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Way to Life-Lesson 10 - faciliatator's copy

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Receive the Lord Jesus Christ and Eternal Life

Before we get into the Bible, think about the final outcome of your life:

?         Suppose that God would give you the answer to any one question that you ask him about life, the future, or anything else.  What most important truth or fact would you want to know?  What would you ask God?

?         What do you believe will happen to you after you die?

?         How can you live again forever with God after your body dies?

?         Do you know how to enter in to God’s family, and receive the benefits of being His child?  Do you know how to get eternal (everlasting) life from God?

Now, let’s get into the Bible:  let’s read John 3:1-19 together

 

          Understanding the Vocabulary

Nicodemus was a ”Pharisee” (3:1).  What did Pharisees believe?

            They were proud of their racial heritage as descendants of their great ancestor, Abraham, whom God honored.  They also tried hard to establish a record of legally perfect performance of their religious laws.  The believed that these two merits automatically granted them membership in God’s future kingdom.  They confidently depended on their own achievements and goodness to deserve God’s acceptance of them.  Therefore, they did not think that they needed to ask God to forgive them for wrongdoing.  They did not know that they needed God to give them a new, different moral nature.

The “Jewish ruling council” (3:1) was the government of the Jews.  They handled internal affairs under the authority of Rome.  The members of this council were experienced and highly respected leaders from among the Pharisees and the Sadducess.

“Rabbi” (3:2) was a Jewish term of respect for their religious teachers.

The “kingdom of God” (3:3,5) refers to the realm of God’s authority.  Sometimes it refers to the presence and rule of God within the hearts of His people.  It can also refer to the people God rules over, and that perfect place where God rules with exclusive control, which is called Heaven.  Also, it sometimes refers to the future time when God will put away all evil and suffering, and make His created world perfect.

“The Spirit” (with a capital ‘S’, 3:5-8) refers to God the Holy Spirit.  He is one of the three persons in the Trinity.  The Trinity is a Christian term for God, whom we believe is one being, but three persons.  The three persons are God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  All three persons within the Trinity speak to and about each other, yet they are in each other as one infinite spirit, but do not have a material body.  This makes it impossible for us to picture in our minds what God is like.  We cannot know the nature of God unless He tells us.  Sometimes, the things He tells us in the Bible are not easy to understand.            This is a tough one.  Be prepared to elaborate a bit, but try not to get too sidetracked.

“Flesh” (3:6) means human nature.  That is both physical body, and inner character.

“Heaven” (3:13) is the eternal world where God is directly present in manifested power and glory.  There, God shows Himself clearly to everyone who enters.  He reigns in His kingdom with any rival or evil.  This is where people who have received the gift of eternal life will live eternally after their life on earth is over.

“Eternal life” (3:15,16) is life with God.  That can begin now.  It begins when you receive the Son of God, Jesus, into your life to be your Savior from sin and Ruler of your life.  That new life with God will never end.  After your body dies, your conscious mind continues to live.  Then, later on, God will give you a new body to live in forever.

          Now, let’s discuss this Bible story

1.      Why do you think Nicodemus came to Jesus?  Why did he come at night?

           

                        Nicodemus must have respected Jesus’ teaching, and felt that Jesus had something to offer him.  He probably had realized something was missing in his relationship with God, despite his legal righteousness.

                        He came at night, because his friends opposed Jesus.  He wanted to hear more from Jesus in private, before facing any kind of persecution for Jesus’ sake.  Some of our students may be in the same sensitive situation.

 

2.   Compare a person’s second, spiritual birth, described in 3:5-6 and John 1:12-3, to their first, natural birth.

            List some differences.  For example, what are the natures of the parents?

3.      What is the nature of one who has been born again?

4.   Why can we trust Jesus’ description of the way to God’s kingdom in heaven?  Why is Jesus able to know and tell us the truth?  (3:11,13)

                        Jesus is God!  This is a very important point.  Make room for the Holy Spirit to reveal it to them, but don’t move onto 5 without this point being addressed.

5.   What does God desire for our lives?  What is God’s attitude toward the world of humanity?  (3:16-17)

                        We skipped the question about what happens to those who refuse to believe in Jesus.  Try to draw this out in this question.  It is essential information, even though it is very uncomfortable.

 

6.      Has God already done what He had to do to rescue us?  (3:16-17)  What was that?  If He has, what remains to be done so that you can be born again and have eternal life? 

You might want to ask this question in stages to avoid confusion.  Make sure they have thought about what God has done to rescue us, before they start discussing what remains to be done.  And of course, all that remains to be done is faith.  Praise God!

 

Think about these questions, and make your own decision:

 

Think ahead of time, how you want to handle these questions.  Don’t be afraid to let them answer the questions to themselves if that is best.  But, don’t miss the opportunity to lead one to Christ, if the time is right.  Listen to the Spirit.

?         What reason can you give God why He should accept you, and not condemn you for breaking His laws?

?         Are you willing to

§         Give up all trust in your own goodness?

§         And, instead, trust that Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay for your sins, and who rose alive again to give you God’s forgiveness and eternal life?

Will you tell that to God now, and ask God to forgive you because of Jesus’ sacrifice?  Will you ask God to become your God, to take control of your life?  Will you ask God to change you to become what He wants you to be, and to do what He wants you to do?

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