- Sermon Notes
BORN AGAIN 101
October 11, 2020
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are here to-day because of the most important decision you have ever made in your life –
All believers should be able to explain this gift of new life to others…
I believe it is good to remind ourselves of the magnificent gift of eternal life –
In 1976 a book called Born Again was released; the story of Chuck Colson –
Tonight we meet Nicodemus, the man to whom these words “born again”, were spoken to the very first time –
I. Nicodemus Faces God
An important man, Nicodemus, and the bible tells us why; a Pharisee, expert theologians, educated, member of the Jewish ruling counsel, the Sanhedrin –
Nicodemus came in secret – So here we have a Rabbi open-ly confessing Jesus is God. Why did he believe this? Be-cause the hard factual evidence was all around him.
A. The evidence of Christ for us
It may surprise you that the NT Gospels only record 31 days of Jesus’ public ministry over 3 years.
John 21:25; And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
But only one month recorded with multiplied miracles, Jesus actually saturated the land of Israel with miracles.
Mark 7:36; And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.
Mark 3:8; and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.
Bible tells us the news of miracles spread throughout the land –
Matthew 15:30; And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them.
The Point – by end of His 3 year ministry…
This basis of verifiable evidence and testimony is what lead Nicodemus to say, only God could do what you are doing – therefore Jesus, you must be He.
B. You must be born again
You would think Jesus would say, great, thanks for coming by and recognizing who I am…NO – Jesus knew he still wasn’t sure if he was going to heaven if he died – so Jesus cuts directly to the chase –
You want to go to heaven, have eternal life, you must be born again…
Nicodemus said, how can that be?
Are you confused about what Jesus is talking about? He is telling Nicodemus and all of us that being born again is not physically being born again – He is talking about a new birth, a spiritual birth that only God can give you.
Ephesians 2:1; And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
Colossians 2:13; When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
II. He Died to Make Dead Men Alive
• It all changes for us, for you who do not know Him personally.
• We must understand this – He did not die to make bad men good or good men better – He died to make dead men alive!
This is what being born again means; He takes people like you and me – nailing our sins to the cross and then birth-ing us spiritually so we become living spiritual beings who are now connected to God, now alive to God, reconciled to God.
A conversation – Nicodemus, the wind is real, you feel it, you can’t explain it – Nicodemus, you may not be able to explain what happens to you when you are born again, but brother, when it happens to you, it is real and you know it – trust me Nicodemus.
He said to Jesus in v9, how can these things be?
Jesus says you are Israel’s teacher? And you do not understand these things?
A. The Old Testament reveals born again
Imagine a possible conversation with Nicodemus
• This is elementary 101 stuff –
• The new birth Nicodemus is in the OT – as an OT expert, you should understand this basic theology of the faith.
• Nicodemus – what could be more important to a scholar like you than being born again?
Ezekiel 36:26; Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
What do you think He’s talking about – being born again…v37 likens it to a valley of dry bones that come alive…
Nicodemus should have understood it. We should all understand this – we should all be able to explain it –
• If you are here you maybe for the very first time truly understand this spiritual truth.
• You can for the first time, make a decision for yourself talking to Jesus Himself – that you want to be born again!
Jesus was inviting Nicodemus to experience it – for without it – not even Nicodemus – with all his garments of medals and gold and silver decoration – not even you Nicodemus can get into heaven! No eternal life – you must be born again.
B. God sent Jesus for us personally
What difference does this story mean in your life?
It means that everyday you should reflect on what God did for you to enable you to make a born again decision – And that you should be equipped to share that story, this story with others who have not yet made this decision.
2 Corinthians 5:17; Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
This is why Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, this is why Jesus was nailed on the cross, this is why He rose from the dead!
He did all this to give us a new birth to a new life that overflows with new things.
C. Christ offers you a spiritual birthright
4 things to take away – many more – but focus on these 4
#1 – A relationship with Christ
When you are born again the first new thing is a relation-ship with Christ
John 1:12; But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
• We become members of a new family – God’s family – a new relationship – His personal adopted children in Christ.
Romans 8:15; For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Our relationship with God radically changes – we are now not His enemy but His precious and treasured children.
#2 – Power over our passions
We all have those self-destructive passions.
Struggles we all have daily – do we live right – act right – work right – talk right – drive right – eat right – most lose this fight in one way or another…
But when Jesus comes into your life – with that comes a new power that can help you overcome these passions.
John 8:34; Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
• But the son of man sets you free…
Personal Illustration –
#3 – New purpose for living.
Madonna once said, fame and fortune are not what they are cracked up to be…wow, you believe that?
Born again people are given a new purpose for living – true meaning, true fulfillment, true satisfaction to life.
2 Corinthians 5:15; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
When your purpose becomes centered around Jesus in-stead of yourself – serving Jesus / serving others instead of yourself – walking with Him daily – you’ll learn that leads to true satisfaction – eternal fulfillment in life.
#4. New assurance about eternity
Remember why Nicodemus came to Jesus to begin with? – he was looking for some assurance that he was going to heaven, that he would have eternal life.
• Isn’t it interesting that all of his religious performance, all of his religious piety, all of his achievement, power and fame – none gave him any assurance about his eternity.
It’s all the same today – you can’t get it anywhere else but from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Great news of the Bible – being born again comes with our spiritual birthright – absolute assurance of eternal life – se-cure in heaven – no doubts.
1 John 5:11; And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:13; These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
I meet people periodically – who say “you know, I don’t know how for certain you can know you have eternal life?”
“I think its arrogant to say you know you have eternal life.”
Many critics struggle to talk about death because an abrupt end to life leaves no answers.
• Think whatever you want, but the Bible says otherwise and I’ll rest my case on the Bible, not what someone wants to debate from some other source or belief or feeling…
• Born again followers don’t have to think or worry about this debate – we don’t have that problem – we are going to heaven and we know why – we are going to spend eternity with the risen Christ.
Dwight L Moody –
Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus; you must be born again.
We don’t know what decision Nicodemus made, the Bible doesn’t tell us. What matters is now – Jesus makes us the same offer – to you and I if it hasn’t already happened.
3 Now 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 have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and 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 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?