Series: The Gospel According to John
Title: Jesus Teaches the Teacher – Instructions for Being Born Again, Pt. 3
Text: John 3:3
Purpose: In this lesson, these verses teach us: You need the new birth so that you can understand and respond to spiritual truth.
Speaker: Bishop Jake Givan, Jr., D. Min
Date: April; 22, 2018
Introduction: In our text, Jesus is talking with a leading religious teacher in Israel (Jesus calls him “the teacher of Israel in 3:10) who does not understand
the basics of spiritual truth. Nicodemus had devoted his life to the study of the Scriptures, and yet he did not understand Jesus’ words (3:3), “Unless one is
born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” To gain entrance to God’s eternal kingdom Nicodemus was counting on the fact that he had been born as a Jew
and that he was not just an average Jew, but a Pharisee. But Jesus yanked the rug out from under his feet and said, in effect: “Your natural birth, your
religious devotion, and your religious studies mean absolutely nothing. You must be born again!”
The main reason you need the new birth is so that you can see and enter God’s eternal kingdom and avoid His judgment (3:3, 5). Without the new birth you’
re spiritually dead and cut off from God. If you die without the new birth, you will perish (3:16, 36). But the verses that we are considering today also teach
You need the new birth so that you can understand and respond to spiritual truth.
Nicodemus had studied the Old Testament and yet he didn’t get what Jesus was saying because he was not born again. Most scholars agree that by the time
of Jesus’ crucifixion, Nicodemus had come to faith, as evidenced in his courage in helping with the burial of Jesus (19:38-42). But at this point, he had not
been born again and so he was spiritually confused, in spite of his years of religious studies and devotion.
Perhaps the apostle Paul (a former Pharisee) had talked with Nicodemus or knew about this story when he wrote (1 Cor. 2:14), “But a natural man does not
accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
I. The Conversation with Nicodemus (3:1-13)
A. The character of Nicodemus (3:1)
B. The compliment from Nicodemus (3:2)
C. The challenge from Jesus (3:3)
D. The confusion of Nicodemus (3:4)
E. The _______________________ by Jesus (3:5-13) Spiritual rebirth requires cleansing from sin and new life through the power of the Holy
1. The __________________ of the New Birth (3:5)
a) Born of ____________________ (3:5a)
b) Born of The ________________ (3:5b)
2. The _______________________ of the New Birth. There is a fundamental divide between the physical and the spiritual (3:6), and it is
absolutely essential that you experience the new birth (3:7).
3. The ___________________ of the New Birth. The only way to understand spiritual truth is to believe the testimony of Jesus (3:9-13)
a) The _______________________. The effects of the new birth are unmistakable (3:8).
b) The _______________________. Religious learning is useless apart from the new birth (3:9-10).
c) The ________________________. Jesus is the infallible revealer of spiritual truth because He came down from heaven (3:11-13)
The late Bible teacher, H. A. Ironside, told of visiting a godly Irishman, Andrew Fraser, who had come to California to recover from tuberculosis. The old
man could barely speak because his lungs were almost gone. But he opened his worn Bible and, until his strength was gone, he simply, sweetly opened up
truth after truth in a way that Ironside had never heard before. Before he knew it, Ironside had tears running down his cheeks. He asked Fraser, “Where did
you get all these things? Could you tell me where I could find a book that would open them up to me? Did you learn these things in some seminary or
Fraser answered, “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my
Bible open before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time, and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught
me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.” (H. A. Ironside, In the Heavenlies
[Loizeaux Brothers], pp. 86-87.)
That’s a major reason why you need the new birth. When God’s Spirit takes up residence in your heart, He will open up to you the sweet truths about Jesus
as you read and study the Word in prayerful dependence on Him. As David said (Ps. 19:10), these truths are more desirable than gold and sweeter than
honey to your soul.
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