111120 nt vistas 03 nicodemus


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Lesson 3 of 26 in a series of New Testament Vistas. This sermon on Nicodemus was presented November 20, 2011, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells.

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  • John 2 ends with Jesus in Jerusalem for PassoverMany people saw his miracles — “signs.”One of these was a man named Nicodemus
  • John 3:1-2 NBLH Había un hombre de los Fariseos, llamado Nicodemo, prominente (principal) entre los Judíos. (2) Este vino a Jesús de noche y Le dijo: "Rabí, sabemos que has venido de Dios como maestro, porque nadie puede hacer las señales (los milagros) que Tú haces si Dios no está con él."
  • History knows a Nicodemus ben Gurion, a wealthy Jew who lived in Jerusalem in the 1st Century. He is likely the Nicodemus mentioned in the Gospel of John.Nicodemus ben Gurion was a wealthy and respected figure, known for his holiness and generosity. He opposed the Zealots and the rebellion against Rome known as the Jewish-Roman War. He tried to make peace with Vespasian to end the war. If the Jews had listened to him, Jerusalem would not have been destroyed in 70 AD.Whether the identification is accurate, or not, as a highly educated “ruler” or leader in the Jewish community, John’s Nicodemus was surely well-to-do.Jewish leaderGrk "a ruler of the Jews" (NIV “a member of the Jewish ruling council” denotes a member of the Sanhedrin)Sanhedrin was combined legislature and supreme court – seventy men who comprised the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews.
  • As a PhariseeBelieved that the present age would end when the Messiah comes and sets up the kingdom of God on earthThe Zealots believed they could force the kingdom of God by armed revolt against Rome.Nicodemus, a moderate Pharisee, believed that the Messiah would set up his kingdom in God’s time. As a Pharisee, he believed that one would enter that kingdom by being obedient to the lawJesus steps through Nicodemus’ accurate yet incomplete assessmentJesus knows Nicodemus’ deeper question.Nicodemus recognizes Jesus’ authority, but he never gets to ask the question that is on his mind, “How does one enter the kingdom of God?”Jesus knows his heart, and in v 3 he answers that unasked question.
  • John 3:3-8 NBLH Jesús le contestó: "En verdad te digo que el que no nace de nuevo no puede ver el reino de Dios." (4) Nicodemo Le dijo: "¿Cómo puede un hombre nacer siendo ya viejo? ¿Acaso puede entrar por segunda vez en el vientre de su madre y nacer?" (5) Jesús respondió: "En verdad te digo que el que no nace de agua y del Espíritu no puede entrar en el reino de Dios. (6) "Lo que es nacido de la carne, carne es, y lo que es nacido del Espíritu, espíritu es. (7) "No te asombres de que te haya dicho: 'Tienen que nacer de nuevo.' (8) "El viento sopla por donde quiere, y oyes su sonido, pero no sabes de dónde viene ni adónde va; así es todo aquél que es nacido del Espíritu."
  • In essence, Jesus repeats the message of John’s baptism that there is no such thing as being “good enough” for the kingdomNo one, no matter how good that person may be, can transition smoothly into God’s kingdomGod requires repentance and redirection – nothing less will do. Remember John’s message:Matthew 3:7-10 NIV But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (8) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (9) And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (10) The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.Matthew 3:7-10 NBLH Pero cuando vio que muchos de los Fariseos y Saduceos venían para el bautismo, les dijo: "¡Camada de víboras! ¿Quién les enseñó a huir de la ira que está al venir? (8) "Por tanto, den frutos dignos de arrepentimiento; (9) y no piensen que pueden decirse a sí mismos: 'Tenemos a Abraham por padre,' porque les digo que Dios puede levantar hijos a Abraham de estas piedras. (10) "El hacha ya está puesta a la raíz de los árboles; por tanto, todo árbol que no da buen fruto es cortado y echado al fuego.
  • Does so with the new imagery of being “born again.”Builds on the imagery in John 1:12-13John 1:12-13 NIV Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- (13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.John 1:12-13 NBLH Pero a todos los que Lo recibieron, les dio el derecho (el poder) de llegar a ser hijos de Dios, es decir, a los que creen en Su nombre, (13) que no nacieron de sangre, ni de la voluntad de la carne, ni de la voluntad del hombre, sino de Dios.“Born of God” in John 1 is the same as “born again” in John 3
  • For all the good things we know about Nicodemus ben Gurion, even he must start from scratchA start so radical that it is a new birth - born a second time, but this time as God’s childWithout this radically new beginning, even Nicodemus will not see (experience, enter) kingdom of GodNicodemus doesn’t understand either the metaphor or the need for a radically new beginningJesus clarifies the meaning of the metaphor
  • Rebirth is a matter of spiritual repentance and spiritual renewalRemember John’s prophecy: I baptize in water; he will baptize in Holy Spirit“Born of water” is a reference to baptism based on repentance, following John’s model
  • “Born of Spirit” is a reference to regeneration from the inside outIn order to be part of God’s kingdom, one must be1. Born of water in baptism, and2. Born of spirit in regeneration from the inside out.Begins with repentanceAgree with God — sinner; sin has separatedWant things to be differentNicodemus: you cannot transition smoothly into God’s kingdomGod must cleanse you of your sinGod must make you into a new personYou do not save yourself (≠ earn; deserve)— God saves you
  • Jesus continues by emphasizing the difference between flesh and spiritFlesh is the worldly existence into which we are all born – sin leading to death.Spirit is the realm of salvation leading to eternal lifeYou can’t grow/evolve from the realm of flesh into the realm of the SpiritOnly way to cross the divide is through the work of God’s SpiritWhy all works religions are wrong — knock on doors, give money, go to church, etc.
  • Drives the point home with a pun: The same Greek word, πνεύματος (pneumatos), may be translated "wind" or "spirit."The same Greek word, (Gk. πνεῖ) (pnei) may be translated blows or breathes out (speaks).The same Greek word, φωνὴν (phooneen) may be translated sound or voice.Rebirth is not a natural phenomenonMysterious work of God’s SpiritMay not fully understand it, yet it is as real as the windHow is all this possible? Essence Statement
  • John 3:16 “Porque de talmaneraamó Dios al mundo, quedio a Su Hijounigénito (único), paraquetodoaquélquecree en El, no se pierda, sinoquetengavidaeterna.God made the world, loved the world, gave his Son for the world, and His Son will in turn die for the sins of the world so that those who have placed their trust in Jesus will live with God forever.
  • “God Gave His One and Only Son”Did not give what we deserve – condemnation and deathGave what we do not deserve – forgiveness and life
  • His one and only Son — no brothers /peers — Sole means of salvationAlthough this word (μονογενη) is often translated "only begotten," such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child, but It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb11:17) who was not Abraham's only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means "one-of-a-kind" and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna theou), Jesus is God's Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense.
  • “Whoever”Because God loved the world, he offers salvation to all — whoeverOffer of rebirth must not be limited to any one group of peopleRich, white, intelligent, gifted, beautifulSalvation is for all, and cross is sufficient to cover the sins of all who believe
  • Yet it is only to those who believe in Jesus given right become children of God (John 1:12-13)(πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον “everyone who believes into him”)"The main elements in "faith" in its relation to God are (1) a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God's revelation or truth(2) a personal surrender to Him(3) a conduct inspired by such surrender.Our best synonym is “trust” which always involves some action based on that trust (e.g. obedience)Key idea of trust is obedience – acting on the belief. (carnival knife thrower – assistant trusts expertise of knife thrower – contra the spectator who “believes” the assistant will not be harmed, but who “risks” nothing)True biblical belief moves us out of ourselves and into the person of JesusBecome his child — live as his child — follower; discipleTo believe into Jesus is to abide in Him, live in him, be joined to him.No longer trust in ourselves for salvation/life — place all our trust in him.
  • “Shall Not Perish”ἀπόλλυμι (apollumi) can mean either (1) to be lost (2) to perish or be destroyed, depending on the context.The alternatives presented are only two (again, it is typical of Johannine thought for this to be presented in terms of polar opposites): perish or have eternal life.
  • “But Have Eternal Life”We think of “eternal” in temporal terms — never ending“Life of the age”Bible thinks in terms of two ages — this age and the age to come (Messianic)Not so much that this coming age will go on foreverIt is a different kind of age — emphasis is on quality, not quantityEssence of eternal life: life lived in relationship with God — We can possess this quality of life here and now — enter the Kingdom of GodHow Jesus concludesTo enter the kingdom is to have eternal lifeAfter our death — same thing, even more so — see Him face to face
  • The Doors of the Kingdom of God Stand Open Before YouGod made you, loves you and knowing him is the only answer to the longing in your heartHave you been born of water and spirit?Begins with an admission of sin — repentance — cross is sufficientTrusting him wholly for forgiveness and lifeBaptism – born of water and spirit
  • Then God will make you into something that you were not before — renewingLive out your life as his child — a reborn child of GodLive a quality of life unlike anything the world has to offer.All the while looking forward to living eternally in his presence.
  • 111120 nt vistas 03 nicodemus

    1. 1. NewTestamentVistas
    2. 2. John 3:1-2 NIVNow there was a Pharisee, a mannamed Nicodemus who was amember of the Jewish ruling council.He came to Jesus at night and said,“Rabbi, we know that you are ateacher who has come from God. Forno one could perform the signs youare doing if God were not with him.”
    3. 3. Nicodemus: The Best of the BestSanhedrin • Jewish High Court • Legislative body • Supreme court
    4. 4. Nicodemus: The Best of the Best PhariseeSanhedrin • Jewish High Court • Looking for • Legislative body Kingdom of God • Supreme court • Enter by obeying the Law
    5. 5. John 3:3-8 NIVJesus replied, “Very truly I tell you,no one can see the kingdom ofGod unless they are born again.”“How can someone be born whenthey are old?” Nicodemus asked.“Surely they cannot enter a secondtime into their mother’s womb tobe born!”
    6. 6. John 3:3-8 NIV Jesus answered, “Very truly I tellyou, no one can enter the kingdomof God unless they are born ofwater and the Spirit. Flesh givesbirth to flesh, but the Spirit givesbirth to spirit. You should not besurprised at my saying, ‘You mustbe born again.’
    7. 7. John 3:3-8 NIVThe wind blows wherever itpleases. You hear its sound, butyou cannot tell where it comesfrom or where it is going. So it iswith everyone born of the Spirit.”
    8. 8. Correcting His MisconceptionsAffirms Johnre: baptism
    9. 9. Correcting His Misconceptions New image: “born again”Affirms Johnre: baptism
    10. 10. Correcting His Misconceptions Must start from scratch New image: “born again”Affirms Johnre: baptism
    11. 11. Rebirth: Repentance & Renewal Born of Water
    12. 12. Rebirth: Repentance & Renewal Born of Water Born of Spirit
    13. 13. The Difference Between Flesh & Spirit Flesh Spirit • Sin • Salvation • Death • Life
    14. 14. Rebirth: Not Natural but Realπνεύματος Wind Spirit Exhales πνεῖ Blows (speaks) ν Sound Voice
    15. 15. John 3:16 NIV For God so loved the world that hegave his one and only Son, that whoever believes inhim shall not perish but have eternal life.THE ESSENCE OF THE GOSPEL
    16. 16. “God Gave His One and Only Son” God Gave Did not treat us as we deserve Gave what we do not deserve
    17. 17. “God Gave His One and Only Son” God Gave One and Only Son Did not treat us No as we deserve brothers/peers Gave what we Sole means of do not deserve salvation
    18. 18. “Whoever Believes in Him” Whoever Available to everyoneNot limited to any group
    19. 19. “Whoever Believes in Him” Whoever Believes in Him Available to Accessible to everyone those trusting HimNot limited to any The decision is group ours, not His
    20. 20. “Shall Not Perish but Have Eternal Life”Shall Not Perish μὴ ἀπόληται – will not be lost; destroyed Polar opposite of eternal life
    21. 21. “Shall Not Perish but Have Eternal Life”Shall Not Perish Have Eternal Life μὴ ἀπόληται – will not ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον – will be lost; destroyed have “Life of the age” Polar opposite of Essence: life lived in eternal life relationship with God
    22. 22. The Doors of the Kingdom of God Stand Open Before YouHave you been born of water and spirit?Repentance Trust Baptism
    23. 23. The Doors of the Kingdom of God Stand Open Before YouHave you been born of water and spirit?Repentance Trust BaptismGod will make you into something new Reborn Relationship Eternal