John 3:1-36 Must be Born Again

John 3:1-36 Must be Born Again

John, Chapter 3, covers how Jesus corrects Nicodemus, a high ranking teacher of the law, how come you do not know these things, that you must be Born Again and how John the Baptist exalts Jesus.

John 3:1-36    Must be Born Again                       July 18, 2016

Remember, Chapter 1 explains that Jesus was the God, Spokesman, Creator of All Things in the Old Testament.

Then we covered John the Baptist, calling of the First Disciples

Chapter 2, we covered the first miracle of Jesus at the Wedding at Cana then we went to the Temple and Jesus Cleanses the Temple. 

You Must Be Born Again 

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews {ruling Council}.

  • Nicodemus {a Greek name} had everything: He was a Pharisee: he was disciplined and respected. He was very wealthy and from a distinguished family.
  • Nicodemus was also a ruler {a rabbi}; a member of the Sanhedrin, or the National Council, and a teacher…but despite all of this, he was still “in the dark” before he met Jesus! Talmud said he was one of the 3 richest men in Jerusalem
  • He did help Joseph in the burial of Jesus.
  • Reported that he survived the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • Believed Old Testament was inspired; Messiah was coming, World Tomorrow, the resurrection, in miracle and obey written and oral law
  • Reports that he was the brother of Josephus, Jewish History Writer

John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs {miracles} that You do unless God is with him.”

Interesting, doing miracles is not a sign from God.  Satan can do them.  We have to be careful.  Why at night, who is We.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be according by {the working or} power of Satan. He will use every kind of power, including signs, lying wonders that serve the lie.

Nicodemus was one of the ‘many’ who ‘believed in His name,’ when they beheld His signs,  Remember from John 2:23

John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did {or performed}

His coming by night could be to avoid the hostility of the other Pharisees:

Perhaps he was timid, or perhaps he wanted an uninterrupted interview with Jesus.  Jews believes their Jewish lineage would save them.

John 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The ancient Greek word translated again {anothen} can be translated “from above.”  To be born from above is to be born again.

Imagine Nicodemus shock at hearing this, he is not saved by being Jewish.

Jesus just gave him some instruction and told him he was wrong:  Nicodemus, like all Jews, automatically supposed that all who were born as children of Abraham would, as Abraham’s seed, be citizens of the kingdom, but Jesus shows him that no one can be a new creature in Christ Jesus unless he is born anew.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation {creature}; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

All it is, we receive the Holy Spirit, combine with Spirit in man and we become a new creature. 

Ezekiel 36:26-27 “I’m going to give you a new heart, and I’m going to give you a new spirit within all of your deepest parts. I’ll remove that rock-hard heart of yours and replace it with one that’s sensitive to me. (27) I’ll place my spirit within you, empowering you to live according to my regulations and to keep my just decrees.

John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Two types of birth

1st birth – from the womb – water caries you

2nd birth – spiritual – the Holy Spirit caries you

He rested in the letter, without paying proper attention to the spirit:

He was surprise by the two questions for Jews: 1) The possibility of the new birth; and 2) The process of the new birth.

Nicodemus clearly does not understand Jesus or the truth about the new birth.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Unless one is born of water refers to baptism {outward sign}, and born of Spirit {inward sign}, receiving the Holy Spirit after baptism, to make us a new creation, living in us.  The laying on of hands after baptism.

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

John 3:6-7 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.

To be born again, is to be inwardly changed from all sinfulness to having the Holy Spirit living in us; God see us as holiness because of the Holy Spirit

He, being a Jew, believed he had the inner transformation promised in the New Covenant. Jesus wants him to take hold of the fact that he does not have it, and must be born again

John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

These winds here referred to, will probably be a mystery to us, so is the operation of the Holy Spirit in a new birth.  We cannot tell or understand where the wind comes from or go to with our natural senses, but we see its effects.  So it is with the Spirit, we do not understand everything about the new birth before we experience it.

John 3:9-10 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” (10) Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

Nicodemus, being confused, wanted to know how he could experience the spiritual birth spoken of by Jesus. He has to think outside of the box.

The question implies that Nicodemus was one of the {Master} Doctors of the Law then Jesus rebuked him and should not be ignorant about spiritual birth on what Jesus just said. We covered one example in Ezekiel, now 2 more are plainly laid out in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

John 3:11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness {testimony}.

Jesus is also rebuking the other Pharisees as well for not understanding the very basic doctrine of salvation and the new birth.  He considered Jesus a teacher from God and yet it was deemed criminal among the Jews to question or depart from the authority of their teachers.  

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

If he could not believe this, how could he understand and receive testimony concerning; Heavenly Kingdom, God, Eternal Glory and who Jesus is?

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

Jesus just told him He is God:  (1) That He existed before He appeared on earth. (2) That heaven was His true abode. (3) That, on earth, His spirit was in communication with heaven.   He also just gave him some Heavenly stuff.

Jesus “makes it clear that He can speak with authority about things in heaven, but no one else can

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, {type; Jesus crucified on the cross}

An event only here explain why Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.  As the bitten Israelites were healed by looking upon the brazen serpent lifted on high, so the world in sin is saved by looking to Jesus lifted up upon the cross (by His blood}. {only place that explains the serpent}

Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.  {delivered from death}

Serpent was made of bronze and is a metal associated with judgment in the Bible and must be passed through the fires of Judgment. They had to look to the serpent to be saved.

Isaiah 45:22 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 

When we trust, believe and have faith in Him, we will have Eternal Life.

For God So Loved the World

John 3:16-17 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. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

We all know this verse:  (1) That God is love. (2) That he loved the world {not restricted to any one nation} (3) That he so loved that he gave his Son. (4) That he came to keep men from perishing.  Put trust in Jesus, our Lord

At His first coming, Jesus came so that the world through Him might be saved. When Jesus comes again, He will come in judgment upon those who refused His offer of salvation.

John 3:18  “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Interesting:  Believed In the name, a person condemn himself when they do not believe.

John 3:19  And this is the condemnation {verdict} {basis for judgment}, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

We know before the light is Jesus, darkness was Satan and individuals follow by their rejection of Jesus because of wickedness.  People hate the light of God’s truth.

John 3:20-21 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, {for fear} lest his deeds should be exposed. (21) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done {or in sight} in God.

Think Nicodemus got an ear full, Something he had to think deeply about.

  • Visit with Jesus at night John 3:2-10
  • Defense of Jesus at Sanhedrin John 7:51-52
  • He anointed Jesus burial John 19:39-42

John the Baptist Exalts the Messiah

John 3:22  After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.

They left Jerusalem, to the region or land round about Jerusalem.  Jesus was baptizing through His Disciples. (John 4:2)

John 3:23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.

Aenon: The exact location is uncertain, probably west of Jordan River.

John 3:24-25 For John had not yet been thrown into prison. (25) Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.

Jesus ministry started before Johns ended and sometime later put in prison.  Makes me wonder about the Holy Spirit during this time.  Was the disciples baptizing as John was baptizing?  John ministry was to call men to repentance, baptize them and to prepare them for the Messiah,

What the precise subject of this dispute was we do not know. As John and Jesus were the only teachers who baptized Jews, from what follows, it would seem probable that it was about what is the most important baptism, either performed by John disciples or by the disciples of Jesus.

Remember, the Jews associated baptism with ceremonial purification and only authorize person to baptize was someone appointed and approved by the Pharisees, to become a Gentile Jew.

John 3:26  And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond {on the other side of} the Jordan, to whom you have testified–behold, He is baptizing, and all {everyone} are coming to Him!”

The disciples were concern that John was losing his disciples to another person, Jesus.  Are they jealous or wanted permission to go.

John 3:27-29 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. (28) You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ (29) He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.

They complain of the fact that Jesus baptized and was very popular at this time, but John refers to the witness he had done, and affirms that each is fulfilling the work “given him of heaven.”  A metaphor was given.

John said he is the “best man” at the “wedding” between Jesus and Jesus’ followers. In the Jewish wedding customs of that day, the friend of the bridegroom arranged many of the details of the wedding and brought the bride to the groom.  {Church}

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 

John the Baptist insisted that Jesus Christ had to increase in popularity, authority and influence among the people; must grow until His doctrine shall continue to spread until it extends through all the earth.   

And he, John, had to decrease his ministry to point his disciples to Jesus by my teaching which must cease when Jesus is fully established.  Even though John encouraged his disciples to also follow Jesus, there were still some found many years later in Ephesus (Acts 19). 

John 3:31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 

He who comes from above refers to Jesus Christ. He who is of the earth refers to John the Baptist. John emphasized his earthly origin and its limitations. John proclaimed divine truth on earth; Jesus, on the other hand, is from heaven and above all. 

Basically Jesus, who is, therefore, above and over John.

John 3:32  And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and {yet} no one receives His testimony.   

The phrases express the clear and perfect knowledge Christ has of all truths and doctrines; he having all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him.

The testimony of God, which is greater than that of man; yet few gave any heed or credit to it; few or none among the Jews

The testimony which John had borne to the Jews, that Jesus was the promised Messiah

John 3:33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.

Certified means “to seal.” In a society where many could not read, seals were used to convey a clear message, even to the illiterate. A seal indicated ownership to all and expressed a person’s personal guarantee. To receive Jesus’ testimony is to certify that God is true regarding what He has sealed.

John 3:34  For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure {without limit}.

Does this mean, we have the full Spirit or no Spirit at all, not half full.

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

The Father also gave Jesus all things, including the authority to give life and judge. The phrase into His hand signifies the Son’s authority over the use of “all things.”

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

The wrath of God:

  • The word does not mean a sudden gust of passion or a burst of temper.
  • Rather, it is the settled displeasure of God against sin.
  • It is the divine allergy to moral evil, the reaction of righteousness to unrighteousness.
  • Violent Passion, Anger, Vengeance 

The wrath of God abides:

  • It abides in this world, because there is there is no “statute of limitations” on sin.
  • It abides into the next world, because those who reject Jesus cannot offer a perfect sacrifice acceptable to God.
  • The wrath of God abides until it is satisfied by receiving the perfect payment Jesus made on the cross.

We might say that John 3 is a “must read” chapter of the Bible. These are the “musts” in John 3.

  • The Sinner’s must: you must be born again (Joh_3:7).
  • The Savior’s must: so must the Son of Man be lifted up (Joh_3:14).
  • The Messiah’s must: He must increase (Joh_3:30).
  • The Servant’s must: I must decrease (Joh_3:30).

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