John 3 7-9
Rev. Thomas E. Walker
March 20, 2004
“The Way to Understanding”
Jesus is still trying to help Nicodemus to see the truth about salvation. After Jesus spends time telling Nicodemus about that that is born of flesh is flesh and that that is born of the spirit is spirit. This basic idea a really simple concept but for some reason Nicodemus did not receive what Jesus was saying. Nicodemus marveled at the things Jesus speak of even thou Nicodemus was a Pharisees, Now Pharisees are suppose to know the bible but now you have one of the top Pharisees not being able to understand. Pharisees or a sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile. In addition to OT books the Pharisees recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief and life. They sought for distinction and praise by outward observance of external rites and by outward forms of faithfulness, and such as ceremonial washings, fastings, prayers, and alms giving; and, fairly negligent of genuine faithfulness, they prided themselves on their imaginary good works. They held vigorously to a belief in the existence of good and evil angels, and to the expectation of a Messiah; and they cherished the hope that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or of penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him, and be requited each according to his individual deeds. In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Herods and the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld the theocracy and their country’s cause, and possessed great influence with the common people.[i] But through all this they still didn’t understand the Jesus was the Messiah.
1. The Reaction
I. Nicodemus reaction
a. Was one of amazement
b. Lack of understanding:
c. What make if so difficult for us to receive Jesus
d. Why do we reject the idea of being born again
e. Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Here is the picture you are dying because of a bad heart, the only way you will live is with a new heart transplant and you tell the doctors no. Now that is beyond my understanding.
2. The Resource
I. Jesus gives an example of how we can be born again
a. So this is what happens to everyone who is born of the Spirit.
b. It is like the wind that blows where it wishes:
I. You can’t see it, but you know it.
II. The spirit moves when and where it wants
III. The spirit takes something that is dead and make it live.
" The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army."
c. You can hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
b. You can be endowed or made rich by hearing the Holy spirit.
How do we hear?
"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”" (Romans 10:14-15
I. You can also be empowered by the Holy spirit.
II. You can be employed by the Holy spirit.
3. The Response
I. Nicodemus answered How
a. In what way can we be saved?
There is only one way Jesus Christ.
b. Nicodemus asked how such things could happen a question that he should have been able, at least partially, to answer, because
c. He was the great, learned, widely recognized teacher of Israel, Had great understanding
d. But did not understand that he was speaking to the one that know all things.
e. How do you make since of a man, dying for you well the way to Understanding believing.
The way to Understanding is to believe in Calvary
The way to Understanding is to believe that he was beaten for you
The way to Understanding is to believe that he was hung on the cross
The way to Understanding is to believe that they put nails in his hands
The way to Understanding is to believe that they put nails in his feet
The way to Understanding is to believe that they pressed down thorns on his head.
The way to Understanding is to believe that a spare was put in his side
He was died for three days
Early Sunday morning he got up
His is coming back
[i]Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed., G5330. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996.
[ii] The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.
[iii] The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.