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God Wants to Give Eternal Life to You!

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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We must know that: 1. Eternal life is our biggest need (vs. 1-3). 2. Eternal life comes by being born again (vs. 3-6). 3. Eternal life comes from God's best gift to us (vs. 13-16). 4. Eternal life comes by believing in Jesus Christ (vs. 16-18).

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God Wants to Give Eternal Life to You!

The Gospel of John

John 3:1-18

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - November 15, 2015

(Revised July 2, 2019)

BACKGROUND:

*Please open your Bibles to John Chapter 3. Lord willing, over the next few weeks we will take a close look at this beloved passage of Scripture. Let's start with the great truth that God wants to give His eternal life to us all! Remember that 1 Timothy 2:3-6 tells us that "God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Please keep that in mind as we read John 3:1-18.

MESSAGE:

*Think for a moment about the value of time. Someone wrote, "To realize the value of one month ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. To realize the value of one hour, ask the sweethearts who are waiting to meet. To realize the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed their plane. To realize the value of one second, ask the person who barely avoided the wreck. (1)

*If one second can have that much value, then how much must eternal life be worth? And God wants to give it to all of us! The expressions "eternal life," "life eternal," "everlasting life," and "life everlasting" come from the same two original Greek words. And these specific expressions are found 44 times in the New Testament.

*We see these expressions here in vs. 15 and 16, but also in Scriptures like John 10:27-28, where Jesus said:

27. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

28. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."

*Another example is 1 John 5:13, where the Apostle John spoke to Christians and said: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God."

*God wants to give you eternal life, and He wants you to know for sure that you have it forever. Charles Ryrie said, "If we could lose eternal life, then it has the wrong name. Eternal life is eternal." And God wants to give you! (2)

*In today's Scripture, God shows us four truths everybody needs to know about eternal life.

1. FIRST: WE MUST KNOW THAT ETERNAL LIFE IS OUR BIGGEST NEED.

*Getting eternal life from God is our most pressing need. Life in this world is very short. What good would it do for me to live a hundred years, if that's all there was to it? What good would it do for me to even live a thousand years, if after that I would spend eternity suffering in hell?

*Please don't be deceived to think that you will simply fade away into oblivion when you die. There are only two possibilities: It's either going to be Heaven or hell for us all. It's either eternal life, or eternal death with eternal suffering in hell.

*Eternal life is our most important need in life. That's why Jesus stressed it first and foremost when He spoke with Nicodemus.

*In vs. 1-3, God's Word says:

1. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.''

3. Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.''

*Then in vs. 17-18, Jesus said:

17. . . "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

*Receiving the gift of God's eternal life is everyone's most urgent need.

*Have you ever been up close when someone was about to drown, or thought they were. I have a couple of times. The first time was in Daytona Beach. We lived there for two years when I was a kid, and most of that time we lived a block away from the ocean.

*I was in the 5th grade and my brother Jon was in the 3rd grade. We went by ourselves down to the beach or over to the river all the time. (You have to understand that this was in the early 1960's, and parents didn't watch over their children like we do today.)

*Today we will barely let our children out of our sight, but back in 1961, it was: -"We're going to the beach, Mom." And she would say, "Okay. Be back for supper."

*One day Jon and I went to the beach. He really didn't know how to swim yet. But we liked to go out as deep as we could without going over our heads. We were up to our chins, when all of a sudden Jon stepped in a hole. It was a big hole where the sand had been washed away.

*Jon was way over his head, but by the grace of God, I was only about 10 or 15 feet away. I got over to him as fast as I could, but I can still remember the desperate panic on his face.

*Imagine how my brother felt. Some of us know, because we have been there. Jon was in real danger and he needed to be saved. But my brother was in much greater danger most of his life. He was in eternal danger until he trusted in Jesus on March 3rd, 2008. That was just 8 months before he died at the age of 55.

2. ETERNAL LIFE IS OUR BIGGEST NEED. AND IT ONLY COMES BY BEING BORN AGAIN.

*The only way to have eternal life is to be born again. The Lord explained this to Nicodemus in vs. 3-7:

3. Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.''

4. Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?''

5. Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"

*"You must be born again," Jesus said. The reason why we must be born again spiritually is because physical birth can only give physical life. Horses produce horses. Dogs produce dogs. Cats produce cats. And mortal people produce mortal people. This is also why in vs. 6, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," but "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

*In other words: That which is given birth by God's Holy Spirit has eternal, spiritual life. The Holy Spirit of God produces a new kind of person by a new kind of birth. It is the spiritual birth that gives us God's eternal life.

*When we are born again, we get a brand new nature, a new spiritual heart. We become children of God, we become part of the family of God, and there will be a family resemblance.

*I met my great niece when I went back to Georgia. She's a beautiful, 18-month-old girl named Olivia, and she looks exactly like her mother. There will always be a family resemblance, and I am talking about things that go much deeper than looks. Often, I have seen it in our grown children: Their mannerisms, their personalities, the way they think, and the way they talk.

*There will always be a family resemblance. This is also true in the Family of God. We begin to resemble our Heavenly Father and our big brother, Jesus Christ. But you cannot be a part of God's family unless you are spiritually born again.

3. ETERNAL LIFE COMES BY BEING BORN AGAIN. AND IT COMES FROM GOD'S BEST GIFT TO US.

*Eternal life is a gift from God. The Lord explained this truth to Nicodemus in vs. 13-16. Here Jesus spoke about Himself and His death on the cross. And the Lord said:

13. "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15. that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

*God the Father loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could have eternal life. The Bible clearly teaches us that eternal life is a gift from God. We could never earn it. God's eternal life must be received as a gift.

*In John 6:27 Jesus said: "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will GIVE you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

*In Romans 6:23 Paul said, "The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*And in 1 John 5:11, John said this to Christians: "This is the testimony: that God has GIVEN us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."

*Eternal life is a free gift for all who will receive it, but it came at the highest possible price! "For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

*And 1 Peter 1:18-19 speaks about Christians:

18. knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold. . .

19. but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

*God the Father's greatest gift, Jesus Christ, made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us! Jesus gave His life. He paid the greatest price so that we could receive His eternal life as a gift.

*As Isaiah 53:5-6 says:

5. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

*Stop and think about what Jesus really did for us on the cross. Over the years I have counseled many couples before they got married. One of my favorite memories comes from a meeting with an older couple. We were just talking about odds and ends, when out of the blue I asked him, "Do you love her?"

*Without missing a beat, he answered, "I love her so much that I would take a bullet for her." And I know that's an unusual way to put it, but what a great expression of love!

*If someone shot at you and I jumped in the way, and took a bullet for you, that would be a wonderful thing. But Jesus Christ did so much more for us! He didn't just take our physical death. We faced everlasting torment and destruction in hell! It was coming straight for us, and there was nothing we could do to get out of the way.

*But Jesus stepped in front. He took all of the suffering that belonged to us, so that we wouldn't have to. Jesus Christ took our death, so that we could have God's gift of eternal life, by placing our trust in Him.

*That's why Paul said these wonderful words to believers in Romans 5:6-9.

6. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

*That's the price Jesus paid so that we could have God's gift of eternal life.

4. ETERNAL LIFE COMES FROM GOD'S BEST GIFT TO US. AND IT COMES BY BELIEVING IN JESUS.

*The gift of eternal life can only be received by believing in Jesus Christ. The Lord made this truth clear in vs. 16-18, when He said:

16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

*The gift of eternal life can only be received by believing in Jesus Christ. Other Scriptures make this truth clear, like John 3:36: "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." And in John 6:47 Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

*Everybody needs to believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. If there was ever a person who didn't need Jesus, it would be Nicodemus, or someone like him. I say that because Nicodemus was a Pharisee fully devoted to God. And Nicodemus tried his best to live up to God's Law. But the only person who ever fully lived up to God's Law was Jesus Christ!

*Nicodemus was better than most men, but he was also a sinner who needed a Savior. And we know this, because Romans 3:23 tells us that all of us "have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

*How righteous are you? Richard Wilson made a great point when he said, "Some folks think they are really good people. But let's suppose that a person only sins 3 times a day: A sin in the morning, a sin during the day and a sin at night.

*That sounds like a pretty good person to me! But if that person lives to be 70 years old, they will commit 76,650 sins in their lifetime. And that doesn't count leap years." (3)

*Church: That also doesn't count all the good things we should have been doing when we were wasting our time on sin. The truth is that all of us have sinned a whole lot more than we think. And some of us have sinned more than others, but all of us have sinned, so all of us need Jesus!

*Alan Perkins explained that this is "because God is completely holy, and His standard is perfect righteousness. It doesn't matter if you're a little better than someone else, or even a lot better than someone else. You're still guilty of sin. You're still condemned.

*The person who jumps halfway across the Grand Canyon winds up just as dead as the person who only jumps 8 feet out from the cliff. They both fall a mile to the bottom. That's why we must depend on Christ's perfect righteousness to make us right with God. Our goodness will never be enough. We can't make it to heaven by even the most outstanding attempts at good behavior. (4)

*But Jesus Christ died on the cross to take all of the punishment for our sin. And Jesus rose again from the dead! Now our Risen Lord is able to give His eternal life to everyone who will believe in Him.

*Everybody needs to believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. But what does it mean to believe? What does it mean to have saving faith? Well, since eternal life is a gift from God, then believing is like receiving a gift from someone who loves you.

*Imagine that it's your birthday, and I stop by for a visit. I love you very much, and I also happen to be very rich. In my hand is a little wrapped-up box, and inside the box is a key. Maybe it's the key to a $70,000 NITRO Z-9 Bass Boat, or a Ford F350 Super Duty Super Cab, or an $80,000 BMW, or a million-dollar home!

*I tell you how much I love you. I tell you about the gift, and I leave the box on the table for you. The key is in the box, and it's yours for the taking. But you never take the wrapping paper off. You never open the box. You never do what you can do with the gift. I really gave it to you, but did you really receive it? -- No.

*God's gift of eternal life is something like that. Jesus Christ paid the highest price for your gift when He died on the cross for you. And now the Risen Savior freely offers the gift to you. But you have to receive it.

*In order to receive God's gift of eternal life, you don't open a box, you open your heart. And you don't take something out. You let someone in. By faith, you let Jesus Christ into your heart. By faith, you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

*He wants to come in. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

*And speaking about Jesus, John 1:12 says: "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."

CONCLUSION

*Have you believed in Jesus? Have you trusted in the Lord to give you His eternal life? You can surely trust Jesus Christ to give you His abundant, eternal life.

*And this new spiritual life is a reality that becomes ours the moment we trust in Jesus Christ. Eternal life doesn't start when you die. It starts when you believe in Jesus!

*In vs. 18, Jesus said, "He who believes in Him (i.e. He who believes in Jesus) is not condemned. . . John 3:36 also says: "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

*Eternal life doesn't start when you die. It starts when you believe, and it lasts forever, so put your trust in the Lord and receive His gift of eternal life. You can do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Adapted from: Story as told by Mark L. Feldman and Michael F. Spratt in "Five Frogs on a Log" - New York: Harper Business, 1999 - Source: Sermons.com sermon "The Defining Moment" - Luke 2:22-40 - 2003 - Preaching for Advent and Christmas - Vol. 4

(2) Source: Online sermon "Is Following Christ a Condition of Eternal Life?" by Bob Wilkin - John 10:27-30

(3) Adapted from SermonCentral illustration contributed by Richard Wilson

(4) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon “The Tax Collector and the Pharisee” by Alan Perkins - Luke 18:9-14

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