HELLO ALL! Tonight we're gonna talk for a few minutes about being born again, or born of the Spirit, continuing our study on Seeking Jesus. For any new ones, this is a basics class on Christian beliefs, where we try to make it simple.
Father God we lift this class up to you and ask you to bless everyone with spiritual insight and a greater faith. For those who may be seeking Jesus, it's our prayer that this class will help them find Him! In Jesus Name AMEN
OlePappy - Father, bless us with Your mighty presence tonight. Lord grant us the wisdom to receive the knowledge of You Word and then use it in our lives. Thank You blessed Father in the name of Jesus. Amen
John 3:1-2 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
We start our class tonight with a man who was seeking Jesus. His name was Nicodemus and he was a very powerful and influential man. He was a member of a Jewish sect known as the Pharisees, who were very strict in their religious beliefs. He was also a member of the ruling council - a government body of the Jews who decided a lot of the disputes of that day - sort of like our court system.
But there was something lacking in Nicodemus' life and he thought that just maybe Jesus had the answer. However, just in case Jesus didn't, Nicodemus made the precaution of coming to Jesus by night, so no one would know about his meeting with Jesus.
Nicodemus called Jesus "Rabbi" which was a title of respect meaning teacher. Unlike some of the other religious leaders, Nicodemus did not try to put Jesus down or try to trick Him. He came to Jesus with an attitude of respect.
So Nicodemus recognized Jesus as a teacher ... and even a performer of miracles ... and that God was with Him. Which is a good place to start if you are seeking Jesus!
So Nicodemus was starting out "slow and easy" we might say ... and may have made polite comments all night long while trying to "get to the heart of the matter".
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
But Jesus "dove right in" you might say ... and answered the cry of Nicodemus' heart ... how can you enter the kingdom of God?
And Jesus said a very unexpected and puzzling thing. He said that you must be "born again". What did Jesus mean by this? Well it puzzled Nicodemus also ... what did Jesus mean by "born again"?
John 3:4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
So Nicodemus was looking at it from a merely human point of view, and was trying to visualize a full grown man entering his mother's womb and being "born again".
AMEN trouble! YIKES
John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."
Well Jesus answered Nicodemus and said in so many words .... we are not talking about a physical birth, but a spiritual one. Being born of water and being born of flesh refers to the same event - our natural birth (when a child is born, a woman's water "breaks" first ... so this is being born of water). Being born of the spirit refers to a different event.
John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Jesus said that you MUST be born again ... to see the kingdom of God. It is not optional. And to give a physical example of what being born again ... or born of the Spirit ... means, Jesus refers to the wind.
Now you can see the effects of wind ... from a gentle breeze softly waving the green grass to a screaming tornado tearing up everything in it's path, but you can't see wind.
The same with being born again or being born of the Spirit ... it is an event that has certain effects in your life - you can see the results of it - but as for the actual spiritual birth, it takes place in the inner man - and is unseen.
Now the Bible teaches that man is a 3 part being. He is a spirit, he has a soul, and he lives in a body (of course this applies to women too LOL) Now it's pretty obvious what the body is ... and the soul of man is your mind, will and emotions. The spirit is a little harder to understand ... because it is that unseen part of man that communicates with God.
Here is one Malinda: 1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Man was designed to live forever ... originally in the Garden of Eden. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they messed up that plan. We still are gonna live forever somewhere ... but since Adam and Eve didn't like "Plan A", the devil came along with "Plan B" - which caused them to fall from God's favor and head straight towards hell.
God had told Adam and Eve that they would surely die if they ate of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. But when they ate of it, they didn't physically die, at least not then.
But there was a definite change in the inward man. Where once they walked in fellowship with God, now they were hiding. Where once they were happy, now they are full of fear. So what died?
Not their bodies, cuz they were still there, hiding behind fig leaves. And not their souls - because they could still think and feel. So what was left? Their spirits died.
Amen cycle, BIG TIME. So in Adam all sinned and all died spiritually ... we inherit this spiritual "deadness" from Adam, Paul tells us.
So this is why we need to be "born AGAIN"... not of the physical but of the spiritual. So when we trust in Jesus as our savior, we not only receive forgiveness of our sins, but we are actually born again spiritually. It is also called being born of the Spirit, or being born from above.
Of course the problem is, when we are born again, we get a new spirit ... but we have the same old body and the same old soul - thought patterns and emotions.
That is why we are told in the Bible to renew our minds with the Word of God - to relearn new patterns of thinking and believing according to Jesus. And that is why we have to crucify the lusts and desires of the flesh.
Well cycle, actually we do get a new wardrobe - it's called the full armor of God!!! He dresses us in spiritual armor so we are protected against the enemy IF we don't forget to put it on every day!
So being born again makes you new spiritually ... like a new born baby you must feed on the pure milk of the Word to grow. And at the same time, renew your mind with the Word and learn self-control.
Now God doesn't stop there though ... we are promised eternal life and a brand new body when Christ comes to resurrect us from the dead. So the ol bod may give us problems while we are here ... but it's gonna be replaced with one much better!
So have you been born again? Have you trusted Jesus to make you a new creature in Him? If you haven't, I invite you to make that decision tonight so that you too can see the kingdom of God.
Praise the Lord Sparkle! Thank the Lord for that! And when you do receive Jesus, realize that your newborn spirit needs to feed on the Word and grow just like a newborn baby... and that you shouldn't be discouraged if the ol bod or your mind try to trip you up. Because being born again is only the start of a brand new life ... a process that will last your whole life long.
Father God help us to understand what being born again means and teach us how to live this new life. AMEN
This was a discussion on Seeking Jesus in the Bible Study Chat Room at ChurchUSA.com. We meet on Fridays at 8 PM Eastern. Please join us!