Born Anew

Letting Go  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:46:48
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Countdown Video: Born Anew

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Scripture Reading by Lady Pepper (Show Slide)

(Show Slide) Thank you Lady Pepper for the announcements and the reading of God’s Word.
Please Take Note’s
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Rewired by Christ - Video
Title of the message this Morning

Born Anew

Let’s pray together.
Main idea:
Those who are “born anew" lock their focus onto the crucified and resurrected Christ who now dwells in us by the Holy Spirit. Our life starts to look like the life of Jesus: we are daily crucified as we pick up our cross and follow him, but we are also daily resurrected with life, love, and joy. We are immersed (“baptized”) into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When this happens we have “entered the kingdom of God” that Jesus speaks about.
Prayer: “Lord, your word says that you will give us a new heart. It says that you will give us a heart of flesh and put a new spirit in us. We want that, Lord. Take our old heart of stone and throw it away. Replace it with a heart of self-giving love that looks like yours. Amen.”
Scripture: John 3:1-17, Numbers 21:8-9, Colossians 1:21-22, Ezekiel 36:26-27


(Pastor: to introduce this message you may want to have a bottle of soda or seltzer water with you in front of the congregation. As they watch, shake it vigorously and then act like you’re going to twist off the cap.)
Hello church! I’m so glad to be with you as we continue in our series Letting Go.Today, I have this bottle of carbonated water with me. I want to use this bottle as an illustration of the incredible love God has for every one of us. What happens if I do this? [SHAKE BOTTLE] What’s going on inside the bottle? [Tremendous pressure building]. Now, what happens when I twist off the cap like this? [Pretend like you’re about to twist off the cap, but stop short…what are people’s reactions?]
Okay, I’m not going to actually remove the cap, but what if I did? What would happen? It would’ve sprayed everywhere! Everything up here around me would’ve been wet. It would be messy!
When I shook the bottle there was tremendous pressure building inside. And if I had removed the cap, the water would’ve gushed out with tremendous force.
God’s love is just like that. His love bursts forth, it gushes forward, just like the pressurized water from this bottle. For all eternity the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have existed in a community of self-giving love. The church fathers called this “perichoresis” which is like an eternal dance of love. The three persons of the trinity love one another and have a deep connection to one another. They know each other and have tremendous joy and love together. There is no fear or insecurity in their communion.
God’s love is so great that he wanted to share it beyond himself. So God, who is a Creator, created the universe. God’s creation is simply a bubbling overflow of his love! We are the object of his love. His love is so great that he has to share his life and love with all of creation. His love bursts forth, it gushes forward, just like the pressurized water from this bottle.
So, the next time you open a bottle and it accidentally sprays everywhere, remember that’s how much God loves his creation! His love FOR YOU cannot be contained.
Today we’re going to look at a story from the Gospel of John. A Pharisee named Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and they have a very interesting conversation.
Read John 3:1-17

Main Teaching

Nicodemus is a Pharisee who comes to Jesus at night, possibly in secret. Was he afraid of being seen by others? Maybe. He definitely wanted to meet Jesus in person. We are not sure at this point if Nicodemus was coming to Jesus in sincere faith or if he was just curious and wanted to know more. Maybe a little of both. Sometimes Pharisees would come to Jesus in an attempt to trick or trap Jesus, but that’s not what’s happening here. Either way, Jesus was approachable and welcoming to all who came to him.

I. In Christ we are born “anew”

Nicodemus knew that Jesus was distinctive and unique. He confesses to Jesus, “No one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (3:2).
Jesus responded, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (3:3). The word translated “again” in the Greek is “anaothen” which can be translated several different ways. It can mean again, or anew, or from above.
Nicodemus took Jesus to mean “again” in the literal sense because he asked, “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (3:4). By being born “anaothen” Jesus meant anew. A rebirth from within by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit”(3:5). Water and spirit are a reference to baptism. The church historically has always connected these two. Only in the last one or two hundred years have we separated them, meaning someone can now “be saved” by praying the Jesus prayer only without being baptized. Different churches have different views on this! But here, in this passage, Jesus is referring to baptism when he talks about being born of “water and the Spirit."
Pastor: here is a chance for you to talk about the importance of water baptism
In baptism we are buried with Christ and born anew. We are united with Christ in his death and raised from the water with him in His resurrection.
Our life is completely renewed in baptism which is why it’s a sacrament. After baptism our focus locks onto the crucified and resurrected Christ who now dwells in us by the Holy Spirit! Our life starts to look like the life of Jesus: we are daily crucified as we pick up our cross and follow him, but we are also daily resurrected with life, love, and joy — because we now have entered the “perichoresis,” the eternal dance of love within the Trinity. We are immersed (“baptized”) into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When this happens we have “entered the kingdom of God” that Jesus speaks about! (3:5). Wow! And that happens now, in this life.
Nicodemus simply responds, “How can this be?” (3:9).

II. God loves this God-hating world

It’s clear that Nicodemus did not understand being “born again” or being “born anew” like we do today. We have the benefit of 2,000 years of church history and Biblical studies to use as hindsight, not to mention the Holy Spirit.
He asks a good question! How can it be that we are born anew? Like, not doctrinally, but in reality? How can I experience this renewal in my life, practically today? Isn’t that a great question?
Jesus responds by pointing to his own crucifixion. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” (3:14-15).
Jesus is referencing a story in the book of Numbers which Nicodemus would’ve been familiar with. There was a time when poisonous snakes were killing many of the Israelites. Remember, the Israelites were in the wilderness among dangerous creatures. To remedy this, Numbers 21:8-9 says, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”
Jesus is saying this is the first step to experiencing this renewal in your life, being born anew. The first step towards a total transformation. Jesus is comparing himself to the bronze snake. Jesus knew he would one day be lifted up on the cross for all to see. Anyone who looks to Christ on the cross, receives life.
Later, Jesus would say, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). The Greek word here is “helkysō” which literally means “to drag” or “to pull”!
John, the writer of the gospel, continues, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).
Now we come back to where we started. Do you remember my bottle of soda water and how God’s love is like that water, ready to gush forward because it’s meant to be shared?
God loves the world so much that he gave his one and only Son to endure the cross. And this is even more mind-blowing: God loves us even when we hate him back. God loves this world, this God-hating world. He doesn’t love only those who love him back, God loves absolutely everyone. Jesus came and died for absolutely everyone.
Jesus didn’t come and die because God saw us as his enemy. It’s actually the opposite: Jesus came and died because we saw Him as our enemy. God has never considered us his enemy. God has never hated his creation. God’s core nature is self-giving love and everything God does flows from that core.
Our nature is quite different. We are the ones who considered God our enemy. Colossians 1:21-22, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your mindsbecause of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…”
Part of being “born anew” is seeing our Father with brand-new eyes for who he truly is: Love. Colossians says we THOUGHT we were God’s enemies, but that was only “in our minds.
God loves this God-hating world and Jesus died for it. Jesus was lifted up for it. And he will drag “all people” to himself. A huge way we partner with God in this mission is to love our own enemies. In fact, if we are Christlike, we will consider no person our enemy. Why? Because God never considered us his enemy, even when we hated him and didn’t understand him. We should regard no one as an enemy. Everyone we meet is someone to be loved, to be served, to be blessed, and to be prayed for. One day they too may be dragged to Jesus and then we will be brothers and sisters.
Also, once we are born anew, we receive a new heart! God rewires our internal hardware! “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This is an Old Testament prophecy about God’s upcoming New Covenant commenced in Christ’s death and resurrection. Isn’t this amazing? (Sounds like Jesus talking about being born anew, doesn’t it?). Our new heart is like God’s heart, full of self-giving love for those around us, including those who regard us as their enemy.
Why does God love this God-hating world?

C. III. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it

And finally, the gospel writer drops this zinger in the conclusion of our text today: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him” (3:17).
Maybe this is “the something” distinctive and unique that Nicodemus intuited about Jesus. Nicodemus was part of the Pharisees and we know that the Pharisees vibe was not to save the world but to condemn the world. They were more condemning than loving. And because of that, they had it backwards from God, and they modeled to people an angry God who demanded you follow the rules.
Jesus gave off a completely different vibe, and John the gospel writer nails it right here. Jesus was the opposite of the Pharisees. Jesus demonstrated a God who was completely upside down from their understanding. God does not condemn the world, but came to save the world through Jesus.
Can you see how that shift is pretty substantial?
God is not going to condemn this world that he made, full of wonder and beauty, nor is he going to condemn the billions of people he made in his image. He is not going to condemn anything or anyone. His mission is much more difficult! He is going to save everything and everyone who believes!
God did not send Jesus into this world to condemn us but to save us. The Greek word for save here is “sozo” which means to heal, to restore, or to make whole. Jesus does not come to offer us some flimsy salvation that’s activated only when we die and go to heaven. Jesus comes to “save” us today, in this life, to heal us, restore us, and make us whole.
That’s the kind of salvation the world needs, isn’t it? This world needs to be healed. It needs to be restored. It needs to be made whole again. And this is why Jesus came, to do EXACTLY that.


I want to conclude today by asking you some questions for consideration:
1. Have you been born anew? If not, would you like to be?
2. Have you been water baptized? If not, would you like to be?
3. Do you see God as angry and condemning? Or do you see him as loving and saving?
You might not be able to answer these questions today, but I hope that over the next few weeks you’d take some time to consider being born anew. I hope you’d take some time to let go of the sin and shame that may be holding you back.
Remember, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” - John 8:36
Let’s pray together.
(Pastor - This series ends on Easter Sunday, which could be a great time to perform water baptisms. If that’s something you plan on doing, announce it here, and invite people to pray over baptism, commitment, etc…)


The Word of God says in:
John 3:16 NKJV
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.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you’d would like to receive Jesus today, please pray this prayer with all of us:
Lord I believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He died On the cross for my sins and His resurrection from the dead gives me eternal life. I ask forgiveness of my sins, and I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Church Office: 909-922-8090
And I will send you a Bible & a Free Book on how to begin your first 21 steps with Jesus (show the book)
(Show Slide)
***Leave slide up until Pepper gets in position***

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Closing Blessing
Romans 15:13 NKJV
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Have a Great Week! GOODBYE !
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