Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Second Birthday

Week 11 in "The Life of Christ"

In last week's lesson (10/28), we saw Jesus reveal His true identity to His disciples through His miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding in Canaan. In this past lesson (11/4), Jesus reveals His identity as the Savior to Nicodemus, a Jewish religious ruler.   

So what's significant about this passage?  Let's take a look. 

John 3:1-21

Biblical Truth (Big Idea) : Eternal life begins through faith in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. 

One of the most quoted Bible verses in history occurred not in a sermon but in an intimate conversation between Jesus and a man named Nicodemus. Jesus clearly shared God’s love for the world by providing a way to new spiritual life through His Son—Jesus.

1. We experience a new life only through the Spirit’s work in our lives (John 3:1–8).

Jesus got straight to the point with Nicodemus, a revered teacher of the Jewish people.
Despite the impressive resume that Nicodemus had as a Jewish ruler and teacher, Jesus made it clear
that only the Spirit can create the inner change needed for a new life. The flesh cannot do anything to
attain that which is of the Spirit.

We can try to live good lives, do good things, and give the right answers—but all of these
actions are purely from our own human efforts. Only the Holy Spirit can create new life in us. We cannot rely on our own efforts to change our lives and to prepare us for eternity

2. We receive salvation only through faith in Christ’s life and death (John 3:9–17).

Jesus referred Nicodemus to the Old Testament event when Moses raised up a serpent on
a stick to save the people of Israel from death. Jesus said that the Son of Man would also be raised up
(on a cross) and would in that way provide eternal life to all people who believe in Him. Because God
loves the world so much, He provided a way for the world to be rescued from the judgment that their
sinfulness demands. 

We can take heart that God loves us so much that He sent His Son for our salvation and redemption. This salvation, however, comes only from faith in Christ. He is the only way to salvation and the only one who sacrificed Himself in our place for our sinfulness.

3. We have a future determined by our response to Jesus (John 3:18–21).

Jesus told Nicodemus that the judgment of humanity is based on people’s individual response to the Light, Jesus. Some people will not choose Jesus because they do not want Him to change their lives. Other people, however, seek the truth of God’s salvation and desire His work in their lives. The eternal future of every person will be based on how he or she responds to Jesus.

We will be judged based on our response to Jesus’ life and His offer of salvation. Inviting
the Holy Spirit to change our lives requires our willingness to let the Light expose our sins and forgive
them. By recognizing Jesus as Lord of our lives, we are given salvation by His grace and through faith in Him.


God provided a way of salvation through His Son, Jesus. Only through the Spirit’s working in our lives can we have a new life, and only through faith in Christ can we have eternal life. We can do nothing to have eternal life apart from the work of Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives, we can be changed into a new creation that seeks to follow Christ in spirit and in truth.

Life Group Questions:

Have you been born again ?

What sort of transformation has occurred in your life that causes you to be able to say, “I have been born again”?

If you have a relationship with Jesus, what from today’s discussion would be important to share with your friends?

How difficult is it to proclaim Christ as the only way to salvation in today’s culture? Why is this the case?

How can we be loving to people in other religions without compromising our convictions?

If Jesus is the only way to be saved how are you sharing Him with your lost friends?

No comments: