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John 3:1-21
Beginning last week we are looking at 8 statements of Jesus where he says the words, “Verily, Verily.”
As we said last week, the Greek word that is translated Verily, is the Greek word that has been brought over from the Hebrew as Amen.
This is, of course, where we get our word Amen.
This Word means: to be firm, steady, truth worthy.
Rendered also as “truth”
As we preach this year through various series dealing with Truth, and being set free from the Truth, We want to look closely at these eight sayings where Jesus Says “Verily, Verily” or Amen, Amen, or you could say Truth, Truth.
If Jesus was emphasizing Hey this right here is the truth…I think we ought to pay close attention!
Today we see that a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, came to see Jesus.
This wasn’t just a Pharisee, he was a ruler of the Jews.
Well this Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the night, most likely he might find himself under criticism if others knew he was trying to ask some serious questions of Jesus.
We can see that he is possibly starting to open to the truth…he calls Jesus Rabbi…teacher.
He says we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
The door was cracking open for this Jewish leader.
Then Jesus shook him to his core with a few statements that are basic for us, but were earth shattering for Nicodemus.
We aren’t told in the Bible what happened to Nicodemus after Jesus rose again.
We are told in John 19:38, that he helped with the hasty burial of Jesus in the tomb.
This leads us to believe that he may have become a disciple of Jesus.
Here in John 3, Jesus teaches Nicodemus three whole new truths, and I want to look at those today.
First, the Truth of...
A Whole New Birth
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus is responding to Nicodemus’ statement that He is a teacher come from God.
Jesus wants to take him beyond that to the realization that he needed to be born again.
Jesus is taking him through the process that we all must go through:
A. Seeing Something Different
Nicodemus saw that there was something different here.
Many people are stuck at this stage.
They see that there is something different about Jesus.
He is a good teacher.
There’s no doubt that He was a man of God, I mean look at the miracles He performed.
There are too many people who stop here.
I hope that you will take your journey with Christ further, if you find yourself here.
Then the next step Jesus took him through was.
B. Yielding to the Spirit’s Conviction
Once you hear the story of Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to work on your heart.
Many times it is seen in the form of questions.
Just like Nicodemus was being drawn by the Holy Spirit to Jesus, people today are drawn to give their lives to Christ completely.
Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would bring conviction to the World.
This then leads to the next step that Jesus was taking Nicodemus through.
C. Fully Trusting in Christ
This is why Jesus said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
It is a complete New Birth, a complete giving over and trusting in Christ.
We see the rich young ruler came to Jesus and wanted eternal life.
Jesus wanted complete trust from him, as he walked him through the commandments that Jesus already knew he kept, He then wanted complete trust, but Jesus knew that something was holding him back - materialism.
Jesus wasn’t telling everyone that they needed to sell everything.
He knew this man’s heart…He loved his earthly treasure more than following Jesus.
He did not trust fully in Christ.
The next truth that Jesus walked Nicodemus through is the Truth of:
A Whole New Change
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into 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 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus didn’t understand the concept of the New Birth, so Jesus tries again getting him to understand that this Second Birth is a move to change.
Jesus uses an illustration from nature to help understand the moving of the Holy Spirit in the lives of man.
He tells him, “The wind bloweth where it listeth (wants), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone born of the Spirit.”
It’s not a physical birth - That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
He tells him the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of man, and the only way you can see the work of the Holy Spirit is by the results after the person yields to the Holy Spirits working.
Just as you can see the wind only by its results on the leaves, or reeds…you can only see the Spirits works by the change that is made in a man’s life.
In order for a man to be born again...
in order for him to enter the kingdom of God, he has to be born of the Spirit.
He has to give his life to Christ - which is where the Holy Spirit is leading you.
Knocked on the door while out soul winning of a young man who when I began to witness to him, he said, “I’ve been praying for God to send me someone that could tell me how to get to heaven.”
The Holy Spirit had already been working on his heart long before we ever came and knocked on his door.
When a person gets saved, the effect that the Holy Spirit has on their life is visible.
The things I used to do, I don’t do them anymore!
Have you seen the effects of being born of the Spirit in your life?
Nicodemus hears what Jesus has to say, and his response is How can these things be?
I feel like I can almost hear a chuckle in Jesus voice in verse 10
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Then Jesus proceeds to tell him the third Truth, that of...
A Whole New View
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which 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 whosoever believeth 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 believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
We don’t know if Nicodemus accepted Christ as his savior here at this meeting.
If he did it would be here when his whole viewpoint was changed.
Everything that he thought He knew about the Messiah shifts as Jesus brings this truth to him.
First view that changed is His ...
A. View of the Son of Man
The most common term used for Jesus in the New Testament is the Christ - the Messiah.
But Jesus rarely used this term.
He most often used the term, “Son of Man”
The Phrase from the book of Daniel.
this is the one that is prophesied to sit on throne in heaven with God.
Nicodemus, as well as all the other Jews, would have been familiar with this term.
He tells Nicodemus that He has given him the way to the kingdom as simply as he could, by illustrating with earthly things (born again, wind moving).
He says,
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
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