1有一个法利赛人，名叫尼哥底母，是犹太人的官。2这人夜里来见耶稣，说：拉比，我们知道你是由神那里来作师傅的；因为你所行的3耶稣回答说：我实实在在的告诉你，人若不重生，就不能见神的国。4尼哥底母说：人已经老了， 5耶稣说：我实实在在的告诉你，人若不是从水和圣灵生的，就不能进神的国。6从肉身生的就是肉身；从灵生的就是灵。7我说：你们必须重生，你不要以为奇奇。8风通过意思吹，你听见风的响声，却不晓得从哪里来，往哪里去；凡从圣灵生9尼哥底母问他说：怎能有这事呢？10耶稣回答说：你是以色列人的先生，还不明白这事吗？11我实实在在的告诉你，我们所说的是我们知道的；我们所见证的是我们见过的；你们却不领受我们的见证。12我对你们说地上的事，你们尚且不信，若说天上的事，如何能信呢？ 13除了从天降下，仍旧在天的人子，没有人升过天。14摩西在旷野怎样举蛇，人子也必照样被举起来，15叫一切信他的都得永生（或作：叫16神爱世人，甚至将他的独生子赐给他们，叫一切信他的，不致灭亡，反得永生。17因为神差他的儿子降世，不是要定居人的罪恶（或作：审判世人；下同），乃是要叫世人因他得救。18信他的人，不被定罪；不信的人，罪恶已定了，因为他不信神独生子的名。19光来到世间，世人因自己的行为是恶的，不爱光，倒爱黑暗，定他们的罪就是在此。20凡作恶的便恨光，并不来就光，恐怕他的行为受责备。21但行真理的必来就光，要显明他所行的是靠神而行。
Scripture: John 3: 1-21
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Those who believe in Jesus are not the same as those who are truly saved Christians.
People often approach religion with selfish motivation. The faith in Jesus Christ is not a religion.
Religious identity is determined by external manifestations, while Christian identity is derived from God and is born of God!
Treating belief in God being the same as being born again is the biggest lie, popular among evangelicals today. Only those who are born again are of God. Only those who are born again by God are destined to have eternal life.
A. What is faith without being born again?
1. The difference between religion and belief -- Timothy Keller made a detailed comparison
between religion and belief: 1. From the perspective of obedience to God
2. From the perspective of motivation
3. From the perspective of facing difficulties
4. From the perspective of prayer
5. From the perspective of self-knowledge
6. From the perspective of criticizing others
7. From the perspective of personal identity and value
8. From the perspective of life achievements and hopes
2. Nicodemus 1. His identity
2. He is a man longing to know God B. What is “Born Again?”
To understand “born again,” we must first understand what “born again” is not.
From the answer of Lord Jesus, we know: 1. If one is not born again, one cannot see the Kingdom of God.
2. Born again is not physical birth. 3. Born again is the completed work of the Holy Spirit. C. How can we be born again?
The key to “born again” is in Christ. 1. Moses lifted a snake in the wilderness 2. Jesus will be lifted up
3. Believe in Jesus and be born again D. The characteristics of a born-again person: 1. A born-again person will not walk in the darkness, but walk in the light 2. A born-again person confesses his sins and trusts God's forgiving grace. 3. A born-again person obeys God's commandments. 4. A born-again person does what the Lord does. 5. A born-again person loves his brother. 6. A born-again person does not love the world. 7. A born-again person will not leave the church of God. 8. A born-again person does justice.
9. A born-again person is a holy person. 10. A born-again person is a generous person. 11. A born-again person is a person who believes in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. 12. A born-again person is a loving person. Conclusion: 1. Augustine's rebirth 2. John Sung (Chinese Evangelist) 3. John Newton Points for Thought:
As you quiet down, think about your own born-again story, and ask yourself:
· Have you rejected your old way and been born again by the Holy Spirit?
· Does your life have born-again characteristics?
· If not, let us come to Jesus Christ, and see the dangers our sins and death have brought us, and look up to Christ the Lord, who is sent from God, who redeemed us and died for us on the Cross. Knowing our own plight and looking up to Him will help one experience being born again.