Faithlife Sermons

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*John 3*
I know this should be a thanksgiving sermon like every other church is doing but after writing this sermon most of you will see that this is a real thanksgiving sermon.
I want you to compare what you hear and read with what we see and hear today.
God’s word is like a beautiful painting that comes to life with every stroke of the brush or every word.
Listen carefully to what the Israel leader is saying and then listen and open your heart to what Jesus says.
Turn with me to John Chapter 3 beginning with verse 1:
 
John 3:1-21
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.” *
*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.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
*
*9** Nicodemus answered and said to Him,  “How can these things be?” *
*10** Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
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, 15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16for 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.
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been  done in God.” *
* *
*/Pray,/*
 
*             **Now this chapter starts off with a man named Nicodemus, Nicodemus *represented the best in the nation.
He was a teacher, a Pharisee, and *a member of *the Sanhedrin, *the Jewish ruling council.
*The Sanhedrin had 70 members who were responsible for religious decisions and also, under the Romans, for civil rule.
Why did Nicodemus go *to Jesus at night? *Because of fear?
Maybe it was the normal time for visits?
Because he wanted a time of uninterrupted conversation without the distractions from all the crowds?
John did not say why.
And yet nighttime has a sinister tone in the Fourth Gospel (9:4; 11:10; 13:30; 19:39).
Nicodemus began, “*Rabbi, we know You are a Teacher who has come from God.” *“We” probably means the favorable or the main ones on the council.
The titles “Rabbi” and “Teacher” are polite and flattering on one hand, but they showed how Nicodemus’ did not comprehend just who Jesus is.
The *signs *had pointed out Jesus as God’s Man (*God *was *with Him*), and Nicodemus wanted to talk to Him as one Rabbi to another.
But *Jesus *was not on the same level with Nicodemus.
He is “from above”; therefore Nicodemus must be born “from above”.
To be *born again *or born “from above” “from above” in 19:11
John 19:11
*11** Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.
Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” *
* *
* and “again” in *
*Gal.
4:9)*
*9** But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God,  how /is it that/ you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?** *
 
        Jesus is talking about a spiritual transformation which takes a person out of the kingdom of darkness into *the kingdom of God *(Col.
1:13).
The kingdom is the place or realm of God’s authority and blessing which is now invisible but will be manifested on earth
* Matt.
6:10*
*                   10 Your kingdom come.
*
*                      Your will be done *
*                     On earth  as /it is/ in heaven.
*
 
*Now Nicodemus being who he was thinking in the physical not the spiritual *was certain Jesus did not mean something absurd (such as a reincarnation or a *second *physical birth), but yet he did not grasp the nature or meaning of regeneration.
*3:5.*
Many views are given to explain Jesus’ words about being *born of water and the Spirit:*
(1) The “water” refers to the natural birth, and the “Spirit” to the birth from above.
(2) The “water” refers to the Word of God (Eph.
5:26).
(3) The “water” refers to baptism as an essential part of regeneration.
(But this view contradicts other Bible verses that make it clear that salvation is by faith alone;
 
* John 3:16 16for God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life*
* *
*John 3:3636  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.”
*
* *
*Titus 3:55  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through  the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,*
 
 
 (4) The “water” is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).
(5) The “water” refers to the repentance ministry of John the Baptist, and the “Spirit” refers to the application by the Holy Spirit of Christ to an individual.
The fifth view has the historical value as well as theological value.
John the Baptist had stirred the nation by his ministry and stress on repentance (Matt.
3:1-6).
“Water” would remind Nicodemus of the Baptist’s emphasis.
So Jesus was saying that Nicodemus, in order to *enter the kingdom, *needed to* {turn to Him (repent) in order to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.}*
There are two distinct realms: one is of fallen man (the *flesh*) and the other is of God (*the Spirit*).
A fallen person cannot regenerate himself; he needs a divine operation.
Only God’s Holy Spirit can be the surgeon or regenerate a human spirit.
People should not stumble at or reject the importance of Jesus’ words.
They *must be born **from above*.
*3:8.*
this verse contains a play on words which cannot be adequately expressed in English.
The Greek word /pneuma /means both wind and Spirit.
The work of *the Spirit *(/pneuma/) is invisible and mysterious like the blowing of *the wind *(/pneuma/).
We must understand Man controls neither.
*3:9-10.*
*Nicodemus asked . . .
how *this spiritual transformation takes place.
*Jesus *answered that Nicodemus, as the *teacher *of Israel (or as a Christian”), he or we ought to know.
The Old Testament prophets spoke of the new Age with its working of the Spirit.
* Ezek.
36:25-27;** **25**  Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do /them./
*
* *
*          This is talking about the church and about salvation, 1st off Nicodemus represents how the church does not know the scripture or think in the spiritual or pray in the spirit, And that why the church is falling away and people are turning away because that do not understand, and next Jesus is telling us what happens when we ask Him into our hearts.
And us as Christians still do not get it.*
Joel 2:28-29).
The nation’s outstanding teacher ought to *understand *how God by His sovereign grace can give someone a new heart
*1 Sam.
10:6;** **6**Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
*
 
        If we are to call ourselves Christian, then we should understand How God saves us, if we do not how can we effectively share or testimony or be a witness for Him?
But the fact was that Nicodemus was ignorant, he did not understand of the realm of which Jesus was telling him.
He represented the nation’s unbelief and the churches lack of knowledge.
Jesus, like the prophets, spoke to the nation about divine themes but the Jews rejected His witness.
*   3:12.*
Since Nicodemus could not grasp the basic teaching of regeneration which Jesus presented in *earthly *analogies or earthly themes, how could he understand and *believe *the *heavenly *matters such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Jesus’ coming glorification?
 
    *3:13.*
*No one has ever gone into heaven *and then come back to earth, able to give clear teaching about divine matters.
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