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As God prepares to meet His people, as He prepares to speak with them If we want to experience God as believers did in days of old, we must III. Approaching God requires mediation. This speaks to how we get to God. Learn the Bible meaning and definition of a covenant. God initiated, determined the elements, and confirmed his covenant with humanity. . failing to see, understand, or believe its position and role within the context and framework of the creation covenant that Yahweh 3 Ways to Prepare Your Teenager for Adulthood. In Jesus' case, many were attracted by his actions, his miracles, and, sadly, "3 In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God is a synonym for inheriting eternal life, unless you are changed spiritually. But as we'll see shortly, there is something that man can and must do to prepare.
An old preacher in Scotland who was rather eccentric, went to the shop of a man in his community one day.
6. You Must Be Born Again (John ). John's Gospel: A Discipleship Journey with Jesus
The shopkeeper when telling this experience says it caused him to stop and think, and as a result of the incident, he turned to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith.
For the Christian to meet God will be a thrilling experience. Death came shortly after he had uttered those words. But for the unbeliever, meeting God will be a frightening experience. The Absurdity of Procrastination Every one of us has offended God many times. The tendency however is to procrastinate.
Any of us might die before Some people have the idea that they are going to wait until the eleventh hour before they give their hearts to the Lord.
But most people who plan to wait until the eleventh hour, die at ten-thirty. They never get it done. The Folly of Rejecting Christ Salvation is a gift. It is not something that can be earned.
Sin is pictured as a master who pays wages. And the awful wages of sin are the separation of body and soul from the presence of God forever. God absolutely refuses to sell salvation. On the last page of your Bible you will find this final invitation: Salvation is the free gift of God. We are saved through faith in Jesus who came to the earth, shed His blood on Calvary, and took our sins upon himself.
By this act, He secured pardon for our sins. This is a favor that God did for us—and God offers this salvation as a gift to you. I am sure that you are aware of the fact that a gift is not a gift unless it is accepted, and that a pardon is not a pardon if it is refused. One of the strangest cases in American history centered around a man named George Wilson. He was sentenced by a U.
Court in Philadelphia back in to be hanged for robbing the mails, and for murder. George Wilson declared the pardon was no pardon unless he accepted it.
This was a point in law never raised before, because whenever a pardon was issued previously, it was always joyfully accepted. Since the law was silent on the point, President Jackson called on the Supreme Court to decide the issue at once. The decision read like this: He called them a brood of vipers: And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.
You must be born anew by your own repentance and humbling yourself before God and the Holy Spirit's divine regenerative work within you. You can't enter the Kingdom of God by your own effort. You must surrender yourself to God! Only God can bring about this new creation in you.
What do you think "water" refers to? Why have you come to this conclusion? How, then, would you paraphrase "born of water and the Spirit" to best bring out the full meaning?
The Wind of the Spirit 3: He is out of man's control and entirely directed by God: 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 pneuma. People who have been born of the Spirit, Jesus is saying, are motivated and moved by an unseen but powerful force beyond themselves. The life of the Spirit is a new level of spiritual existence, a different plane entirely. Only people who have been born of the Spirit can perceive and enter the Kingdom of God. He hasn't heard anything like this before. He asks a somewhat arrogant question: How can this be true if I don't know about it?
Jesus is claiming to be an eyewitness to heavenly things. Now he makes an amazing claim: And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Nicodemus, the strict Pharisee, the "teacher of Israel," must have pondered these words deeply. Now Jesus now refers to a curious image from the Old Testament. Jesus calls attention to an incident that took place during the Israelite's sojourn in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Many of them had been bitten by poisonous snakes, and Moses asked God what to do.
Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Jesus is saying that in the same way that people looked with belief upon the bronze snake that was lifted up, so must they look with belief upon the Son of Man, who will be lifted up.
Nicodemus can't know what this means fully, but in hindsight we see that Jesus was lifted up on the cross, raised from the dead, and finally ascended to glory. This phrase "lifted up" is found three times in John.
The speaker  attributes two actions to God: God loved and God gave.
Prepare To Meet Thy God
Both are in the Aorist indicative tense, which indicates a particular point in past time that God so loved and therefore gave presumably, gave on the cross: In his first letter, John writes: We become sons and daughters of God by spiritual birth or adoption depending upon which analogy you choose.
What a privilege this is! However, though we resemble Jesus, he is unique in his relationship to God, since he is the Son from eternity, the Second Person of the Trinity. Results and Purposes of God's Love 3: Now we're at the second half. The second "that" hina  indicates purpose in verse 16b. God's love resulted in giving or sacrificing his Son for the purpose of a preventing us from perishing, but rather b having eternal life.
But to clarify this, we are given both the positive purpose, to have eternal life, and the flip side, the negative way of stating the same thing, to avoid perishing. In our day, there's a lot of resistance to the idea of hell.
Prepare To Meet Your God
Even Evangelical Christians seem to be moving towards the Jehovah's Witness position that hell is a sudden extinguishing of life into nothingness, not eternal punishment in the fires of hell. After all, how could a God of love allow people to suffer, even wicked people?
What does it mean to perish? The verb is apollymi, "to cause or experience destruction. Gehenna, "Valley of the Sons of Hinnom," a ravine south of Jerusalem. There, according to later Jewish popular belief, God's final judgment was to take place. Some of the most graphic images of hell are in the last book of the Bible, being "thrown into the lake of burning sulfur Finally, Jesus also talked about being "cast out into outer darkness" where "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matthew 8: Of course, these descriptions are all symbolic rather than literal -- aren't they?
And if they are symbolic, the reality must be terrible beyond anything we can imagine. Why do we ruin the discussion of such a pretty verse as John 3: Because, if we don't understand what it means not to perish, we don't understand the greatness of the alternative -- everlasting life. But Have Everlasting Life 3: You can see these terms used as synonyms in Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler, who asks what he must do to "inherit eternal life" Mark When the rich young ruler is unwilling to obey the Master, Jesus says to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
Our passage in John 3 begins with Jesus' statement that a spiritual birth is necessary to "enter the kingdom of God" 3: Here faith is required to receive eternal life 3: What does it teach us about God? What does it teach us about salvation? Since "entering eternal life" is a synonym for "entering the Kingdom of God," what does this verse teach us about our destiny? Not to Condemn, but to Save 3: This is not a momentary lapse, but a determined unbelief.
Drawn to the Light of the Gospel 3: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Why do they try to hide their sinful actions? Because when non-believers see degradation and corruption with clarity, they will likely condemn it. No wonder Jesus developed enemies, because he shed a strong light on hypocritical, unethical, and downright wicked practices -- and because of his light, they could no longer hide. When we live good, honest, and righteous lives -- even when we don't loudly criticize others' lifestyles -- our lives often cause a negative reaction in those who don't believe, since our righteousness casts a light on their unrighteousness.
Jesus said, "No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also" John Lessons for Disciples This passage tells us some very basic things about the Kingdom of God. It is a spiritual kingdom. The very finest religious person doesn't have a clue what the real Kingdom of God is about unless he has been born by the Spirit of God. Remember your parents saying, "When you're older you'll understand"?
You couldn't understand then because you lacked the basic life experience and understanding that was needed to decipher what you were seeing. The Kingdom is spiritually discerned. Heart belief in Jesus is the key to this spiritual kingdom. Sometimes we confuse new birth with a radical conversion experience. Often conversion is sudden and radical, but sometimes it is gradual. Sometimes we confuse the new birth with saying the "sinner's prayer.
It comes back to our attitude towards Jesus. Do we "believe in him"? All men and women are lost and need rescuing. This truth cuts very clearly across a culture that desperately resists absolute truth, absolute right and wrong, and vocally attacks any kind of judgment on its lifestyle.
To prove this, all you need to do is look at the environment, economic disparity, the apathetic consciences of the privileged, and the mess that many have made of their lives.
Jesus teaches in this passage that man is basically blind, and lost, and perishing. The Kingdom is essentially God's rescue mission to a doomed planet. Nicodemus came seeking truth from Jesus one night and got more than he bargained for. We have no record of a conversion that night.
But on reckoning day, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, buried the King as best they could. Out of the fog of Nicodemus' understanding, the shape of Jesus began to emerge and then sharpen in focus.
One day, Nicodemus would come to believe in Jesus so much, that where a prudent leader would distance himself from an executed criminal, Nicodemus instead cradled Jesus in his arms, washed his body, and tenderly anointed and wrapped it for burial.
Did he believe in the end? O yes, he believed. He could now see the Kingdom beyond the grave. Prayer Thank you, God, for your patience with us. So often we have been too busy to listen, too self-absorbed to recognize you.
Thank you for coming to rescue us from our blindness. For taking us by the hand, and teaching us, and opening our eyes to your Kingdom, and flooding us with your Spirit. Thank you, King Jesus. Key Verses "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again. Its seventy members were presided over by the high priest" Brown, John 1: See more in Appendix 3.
Nay, his very presence there spoke them. We get our word "spore" from this word. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John Second Edition; Westminster Press, p. Robertson, Word Pictures, in loc. The expression, therefore, was not only common, but, so to speak, fluid John Grand Rapids, 1: Odeberg The Fourth Gospel Interpreted in Its Relation to Contemporaneous Religious Currents in Palestine and the Hellenistic-Oriental World Uppsala, argues that the water stands for the celestial waters, viewed in mystical Judaism as corresponding to the semen of the fleshly being.
Thus to be born of water and the Spirit means a rebirth by means of spiritual seed as in 1 John 3: This "standard-bearing pole," is literally the word for "sign" both in the Masoretic text and in the Septuagint Brown, John 1: But this is not unusual in John's Gospel and there is no indication that Jesus has stopped speaking.