We continue with the sermon series ‘People who have encountered Jesus’, with preacher from Alan Cole and our (virtual) service led by Richard Sills.
We continue our series of people who had encounters with Jesus by looking at Nicodemus. While many of the people who encountered Jesus were disreputable and dishonest, Nicodemus was an upright and well respected man – a leader in society. Yet even to him , Jesus issued this challenge “you must be born again.”
1) Nicodemus was not afraid to meet Jesus and question Him. (v2) Do you want to stand out from the crowd and take that first step?
2) Jesus told Him he must be born again.(v3) Being born is an irreversible process. Once you have been born you will live your life. When you are born again as a Christian you are saved for ever, you will live your life and then go to be with the Lord at its end.
3) Jesus splits being born again into 2 parts in verse 5. It involves being born of water – having our sins washed away, and being born of the Spirit – receiving the Holy Spirit into our lives and allowing us to live a new life that is pleasing to God.
4) The way in which salvation is achieved is through Jesus death for us on the cross. In verse 14 Jesus uses the illustration of Moses lifting up the snake in the wilderness so that all who looked on it would be saved. See Numbers 21: 4-9 for the story.
5) The response of the individual is to believe in Jesus (v16). Belief means not just intellectual assent but putting your trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation. This involves recognition of who Jesus is, repenting of sin and allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of your life. Then you will be “born again” and start on a new spiritual journey,
6) Those who believe will spend eternity with Jesus. Those who reject him will be condemned (v18). Each of us has a choice to make.
- Nicodemus,like most people we encounter today, lives a respectible, moral life. How can we convince people today that they still need Christ as Saviour?
- Share something of your testimony as how you came to accept Christ as Saviour. How can people’s “born again” experiences differ? Compare people’s different experiences of coming to Christ in the gospels and Acts.- e.g. Nicodemus, Peter, Matthew, Paul, Philippian jailer etc.
- What do you understand by being “born of water and of the Spirit?” (John 3:5)? Consider also the prophecy of this in Ezekiel 36:23.
- Read Numbers 21:4-9, the story of the bronze snake referred to in John 3:14. What is the context of this story and how does Jesus use this as an illustration of His death?
- What does John 3:16-18 reveal about Jesus’ purpose of coming into the world? How do we need to respond to this and what are the consequences of failing to respond?
Sermon Title: How can a grown man be born again?
Bible Reading: John 3:1-18
Preacher: Mr Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Richard Sills