John Chapter 3
You Must Be Born Again:
(Read John 3:1-10)
As an old man, Necodemus learned he needed to be born again to enter the kingdom of God. In this chapter we see his conversion with Jesus. He came to Jesus by night. He knew Jesus was a teacher who came from God because no one could do the miracles he did unless God is with him. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of Jewish religious court, Sanhedrin. He was also an influential teacher, wealthy and old (John 19:39). Despite all his learning, he failed to understand that Jesus is the Messiah. Nicodemus was curious to know Jesus but was not committed. He could not even see the kingdom of God much less enter (John 3:5). Only the Holy Spirit can enlighten our spiritual understanding to believe Christ (1 Corinthians 1:14). Jesus told Nicodemus “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God". Water is symbolic of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to regenerate those who believe in Christ. Nicodemus did not understand the nature of the kingdom of God. Christ explained to him the difference between physical birth and spiritual birth. Here water is not referred to as water baptism. Water baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. Apart from the work of Holy Spirit, the natural man can never understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 1:18). Becoming a Christian is a supernatural work of God's grace. Those who trust Christ become a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). God gives them new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. They will have a new desire, a new attitude and love to obey Christ. Understanding is not a prerequisite for salvation but faith in Christ. Faith is more than mental assent of some biblical facts but active trust in the promises of God (John 3:16). It is the conviction of things concerning Christ that he is trustworthy. Baptism is not a requirement for salvation. Otherwise, none of the Old Testament saints, including the thief on the cross could be saved.
Why must we be born again?
(Read John 3:11-15)
The natural man is spiritually dead and at enmity with God (Romans 3:23). “Human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Regeneration is the supernatural work of God. When we get saved the Holy Spirit takes residence in us. Thus we become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). All three Persons in God-head are involved in our salvation. We are born again because of the mercy of God the Father (1 Peter 1:3). Christ procured our salvation on the cross by his death. The eternal life is the very life of Christ (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit imparts new life in us to live a godly life (Galatians 5:25; 2 Peter 1:3). To illustrate regeneration, Christ uses two illustrations. The wind and the brazen serpent. The wind is a mystery. The Spirit is likened to wind, invisible yet active and powerful. Wind is not visible, yet we feel its effect. Likewise, when a person gets saved, he will be changed. The new birth is a miracle and faith in Christ is the key that opens the door. Jesus was lifted up on the cross like the brazen serpent was lifted up in the wilderness. When Israel bitterly complained against God and Moses, God sent poisonous snakes, and many died. When people cried out for deliverance God said to Moses to put a replica of a snake on a pole. When they were bitten, they could look at the brazen serpent and be healed (Numbers 21:4-9). God is the one who provided the brazen serpent for deliverance of Israel (Numbers 21:8-9). When Jesus was lifted up on the cross, he took God's judgment for us so that those who believe him will receive eternal life (John 3: 14-15). All those who looked to the brazen serpent found deliverance. Regeneration is entirely of God. The brazen serpent is a picture of Jesus Christ who died on the cross. He took our judgment of sin on himself (1 Peter 2:24). Those who look to Jesus in faith will receive eternal life. The regeneration is a supernatural work, and it requires divine insight to understand. Have you received eternal life by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life". This verse perhaps is the favorite verse of the Bible. This verse speaks of the extent of God’s love. Out of His great love, God sent His son to save sinners. He loved the whole world. The "world" spoken of in this verse is the world system that is at enmity with God. It is the greatest love the world has ever known. While we were yet sinners God sent his Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). It is sacrificial love. This is the most expensive and greater love God manifested. Whosoever believes in Christ should not perish but have eternal life. It is universal love. There is no love like the love of a dying Savior. It is also an exclusive love, those who believe in Christ will be saved. It is the undeserving love in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Also, it is the discipling love (Hebrews 12:6). It is also the providential love that makes the sun rise on the evil and good (Matthew 5:45). God's love is not earned by good works. God is the essence of love, and He extended his love to guilty sinners. It is like the sun shines on me because that's what the sun does. God is love (1 John 4:8-10). Those who believe in Christ will be saved. This childlike faith in Christ is a stumbling block to the proud because it means weakness in their sight. Faith is a reality in our daily life. Faith in Jesus will never disappoint us. The best way to see God's great love is to meditate on Jesus who died on the cross (John 3:16). God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save the world. God's purpose of sending his Son was redemption and not judgment. Those who reject Christ are already under judgment (John 3:36). Every time they sin, they are storing up judgment on them. People do not believe in Christ because they do not want their sin to be exposed (John 3:20). Salvation is not an intellectual problem but a moral problem. Those who believe in Christ will receive eternal life. Eternal life is defined as knowing God and His Son and experiencing His life (John 17:3). When we put our faith in Christ we share the relational intimacy of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When Christ returns, we will experience the fullness of it (2 Peter 1:11). Have you experienced God's undeserving love in your life? (Romans 5:8). Pray that God would give an insight of God's great love in the face of Jesus Christ. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you shall be saved. Begin each day, thinking of God's great love and by renewing your mind on his grace. Pray that God would use you to share the life transforming gospel with your friends and neighbors.
The testimony of John the Baptist:
(Read John 3:22-36)
John the Baptist came to bear witness of Jesus Christ. John rejoiced over Jesus' popularity and desired that Jesus must increase, and he must decrease. John acknowledged that Jesus came from heaven. John baptized people with water and testified that Jesus will baptize them with the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus gives eternal life. Eternal life speaks of the quality of new life we receive from God. This relationship with Jesus is described in terms of a marriage (John 3:39). Jesus is the perfect bridegroom, and we are the unworthy bride (2 Corinthians 11:2). Jesus took upon him the wrath we deserve to give us eternal life. Jesus is the only Savior of the world. Salvation is a relationship. Either we are with Christ or against Christ. The basis of our salvation is God's grace and Christ's death on the cross. Christ endured the judgment of sin we deserve. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone. God desires that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:4). The Bible does not teach limited atonement (2 Corinthians 5:21). God's wrath is his settled attitude toward sin. Disobedience results in wrath but faith in Christ results in salvation. God does not want anyone to perish in their sin (2 Peter 3:9). Faith in Christ alone results in salvation. Are you saved? Pray that God would open your eyes to see the glory of God in Jesus Christ and be saved. What a gracious Savior, what an undeserving offer!