The Most Important Conversation You’ll Ever HaveJanuary 9, 2022
Text: John 3:1-18
- Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. It is possible he comes out of fear, or wanting privacy. Often in John night is a symbol of darkness of the heart. It may be reflecting the fact that what he wants is extended time with Jesus. Have you ever talked to someone into the deep hours of the night?
- This is the most important conversation ever. A human stands face to face with God on earth and talks about the conditions of eternal salvation. The sinner speaks to the savior.
- Notice in v.3 the “truly truly” would actually be “amen amen.” The double use makes it emphatic. What Jesus says in this passage is heavens truth. It is the way things really are.
- Chuck Coleson wrote a memoir titled, “Born Again.” Billy Graham was famous for calling people to be “Born Again.” When president Carter was running for office, he was asked what he thought of people saying they were born again? Carter said, “That’s what happened to me.”
- John 3 is not just about how to get saved; it’s not only about getting in the door, but about having new life. It’s about living saved. Some people stumble after their salvation experience, after the New Birth, and they wonder if they have to get Born Again… again. Jesus doesn’t call us to be born again over and over, but to live in the Spirit.
- John 3:8, Wind is a euphemism for the Spirit.
- John 3:11, Jesus emphasizes that he speaks of what he “knows” to be true. It is his testimony. What Jesus tells us about salvation is not a philosophy he is holding to, but
- John 3:13, Jesus is even more blunt. No one has gone into heaven, spoken to the Trinity who “descended” from heaven: The Son of Man. That is, not prophet “descended” from heaven. They were given revelation, but they did not actually stand in the depths of the Presence of the Almighty and see the plan of salvation drawn out. Who has seen it and come down to explain it to us? The Son of God!
What exactly happens when I am Born Again?
1. I am
- Only the Bible presents a clear soteriology; the idea that man needs to be saved and that he needs a Savior. Other religions either remove the issue of sin and evil, or require man to work for his salvation. None of them create a means by which helpless man is saved by a Savior.
- How lost is man? In the fourth Century, a British Monk named Pelagius introduced a system of theological thought that emphasized the goodness of humanity. (Pelagianism.) He argued against “original sin” and that man could choose to turn to God. He was opposed by Augustine of Hippo, who argued that man was “dead” toward God.
- Man is not simply weakened by the fall, yet able on his own to turn to God. We need to be rescued by the Almighty.
- John 3:18, our very being is at stake. We are not just rescued from hell; we are rescued from ourselves. The reason you cannot save yourself is because it’s from yourself you need to be saved. We need a savior who doesn’t need saving.
2. My spiritual nature
- John 3:5, salvation requires we not only be born of “water” but of “spirit.” There are many views of what “water” is. Some believe it refers to Baptism. I think it refers to natural birth; a woman’s water breaks. So we must be born physically and spiritually.
- When I am born again my spirit is raised from the dead. I become alive toward God. I can hear God, I have joy in worship, the Word becomes clear to my now spiritual mind.
3. The Holy Spirit
John 3:8, Jesus describes the work of the Spirit. You hear it, but you don’t see it. When you are saved, God puts his Holy Spirit in you. This is a miracle! You can’t put your spirit in someone else. Yet God can put His Spirit (his Being) inside of you.
Jesus compares the spirit to the wind:
- Like wind, the Spirit is outside our control. It blows where “IT” wishes. It’s not random, but it’s also not under the control of humans. Mankind is not in a position to command God or direct His Will. A sin we see from faith teachers today is their insistence that by the “word of faith” we can direct God.
- Like wind, the Spirit Pushes us. He pushes us toward his purposes. The lost are not driven by spiritual purpose. They are driven by the culture, their needs, their fears.
- Like wind, the Spirit is unseen. Jesus is God incarnate. The Spirit is God indwelt.
- Like wind, the Spirit is strong. Wind can level structures it’s so strong. The Holy Spirit is strong enough to change the direction of your live.
4. I enter a
- You were created for a love relationship with God.
- John 3:16, love is just a word until you give it meaning. On the cross God gave it meaning.
- John 3:16, Jesus offers “eternal” life. That is, life that doesn’t expire. It’s life worth living. Life done in communion and community with God.
How is the New Birth possible?
Twice Nicodemus asked “how?” (John 3:4, John 3:9)
- God’s part = John 3:14, Jesus refers to an incident in Numbers 21. The rebellious nation was healed by a serpent lifted up on a pole. Jesus is comparing his death on the cross to that serpent lifted up.
- My Part = I put my faith in Jesus. I trust who he is and what he did.