You Must

Here are the completed notes from the Sunday AM Service February 28, 2016:


It can go against our grain to be told we must do some thing

Scripture: John 3:1-21

Jesus meets with a religious leaders named Nicodemus and tells him in order to be saved, all must be born again (including Nicodemus himself)

1. The man and his background (vs.1)

Nicodemus – A Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews
Pharisees (separated ones) – A religious and political party in Palestine in New Testament times.

  • Legalistic fundamentalists of Judaism, whose zeal to apply the OT scriptures directly to life led to a complex system of tradition and works.
  • Many Priests, Levites, Lawyers and Scribes were Pharisees – John 1:19, 24; 3:1; Acts 5:34; 23:9

Characteristics of the Pharisees:
A. The strict observers of the Mosaic rituals and zealous of the law – Acts
26:5 (Strictly held to tradition and OT law
B. Outwardly moral and self-righteous – Luke 6:15; 18:11
C. Their opinions, were a standard for others – John 7:47, 48
D. Lack of compassion for sinners – Luke 7:36-39
E. Hypocrites – Matthew 15:7, 8 (their hearts did not match their outward appearance)
F. Sought to destroy Jesus – Matthew 12:14
“A ruler of the Jews” – A member of the Sanhedrin, the governing council of Israel (ultimately under the authority of Rome)

  • It consisted of 70 members and was presided over by the reigning high priest
  • They exercised a wide range of powers in civil, criminal, and religious matters

Deuteronomy 27:26
Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Failure to keep the law brings Divine judgment and condemnation – See James 2:10

  • The law demands obedience
  • The law exposes our sin – the law doesn’t make us sinners but it reveals the fact that we are sinners

2. Nicodemus states his understanding of Jesus identity (vs.2)

“Rabbi” – master (addresses Jesus with great respect)

  • Shows Nicodemus inadequate comprehension of who Jesus is

“A teacher come from God” – not as David Jeremiah states, “God come to teach”
“God be with him”
Nicodemus acknowledges that Jesus is a Rabbi, that he come from God because of the miracles, and that God was with him

3. Jesus response to Nicodemus (vs.3)

Jesus answered . . .
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”
“Born again” – Lit. born from above or be born anew
Regeneration: The act of God that gives eternal life to those “dead in trespasses and sin” as they believe in Christ

4. The confusion of Nicodemus (vs.4, 9)

Nicodemus confuses spiritual birth with physical birth

5. Jesus clarification of the new birth (vs.5-15)

A. A physical illustration – vs.5, 6
Vs. 5 – “Born of water”

  • Baptism (Salvation is by grace not works – Ephesians 2:8, 9)
  • Water of the natural birth
  • The Word of God – Ephesians 5:26, 1 Peter 1:23
  • Repentance (as preached by John the Baptist)
  • OT truth about spiritual renewal and cleansing – Ezek. 36:24-27

B. A reiteration – vs.7
“Ye must” – An absolute – “Ye must be born again”
C. A natural illustration – vs. 8

  • Just as you don’t see the wind, you see the effects of the wind

D. A Scriptural illustration – vs.14-15
Reference to Numbers 21:5-9

5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

See John 12:32, 33

6. Concluding Truth (vs.16-21)

Jesus summaries both the subjects of salvation and condemnation Vs. 16

  • God’s motivation for sending His Son – “So loved”
  • The object of God’s love – “the world”
  • God’s love displayed – “that He gave His only begotten Son”
  • The beneficiaries – “whosoever believeth in Him”

Vs. 17
The purpose –
Not to condemn the world (17a)
To save whosoever will (17b)

Vs. 18-21
He that believeth is not condemned (vs. 18a)
He that believeth not is condemned already (vs.18b)

Vs. 19
Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil

  • The most fundamental reason people reject Jesus is that they don’t want to change

Whatever happened to Nicodemus? Remember he was a seeker of truth
He eventually came to believe in Jesus – Evidenced by

  • Rebuked the Pharisees for condemning Jesus without hearing Him – John 7:50, 51
  • Helped bury Jesus – John 19:38-42