Sermon Notes 3.28.21
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 “How can anyone be born when he is old? ” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born? ”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can these things be? ” asked Nicodemus.
10 “Are you a teacher of Israel and don’t know these things? ” Jesus replied. 11 “Truly I tell you, we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven — the Son of Man.
14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19 This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” (CSB)
Our Condition (1-3)
Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man.
There was a man…
Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
“For I will create new heavens and a new earth;
the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.
Then be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people.
The sound of weeping and crying
will no longer be heard in her.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and he will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
Our Calling (3-13)
How can anyone be born when he is old?
Asking the WRONG QUESTION…
How much did you contribute to your first birth?
I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
The Cost (14-21)
So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.
For God loved the world in this way:
The cross is thus God’s work. Jesus Christ came to earth not in order to change God’s mind, but to express God’s mind.
– Gary Burge
Will you BELIEVE?
moving from darkness to light
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
See what Jesus is saying? “Your first birth brings you physical life because someone risked her life, but your second birth brings you spiritual and eternal life because someone gave his life. That someone was me.” And if we stay with Jesus’s metaphor in John 16 it gets even more wonderful. He says that, in spite of her incredible pain, a new mother is filled with joy at the sight of her child. So Jesus has the audacity to say, “That’s just a dim hint of the joy I sense when I look at you. All my suffering, torment, and death I have willingly borne, for the greater joy of saving and loving you.” Until you see that and believe and rest in that, you cannot be born again.
– Tim Keller, On Birth