You say I have to WHAT?

You say I have to WHAT? (John 3:1-15)

 
 

Many times, I hear Christians refer to Evangelical Christians as “born again-ers.” They are referring to a before and after experience that is characteristic of those Christians who are usually more zealous about their Christianity.

 
 

Newsflash! Jesus says the only kind of Christians there are, are born again Christians. He goes so far as to say if we are not born again, or from above, then we cannot get into the Kingdom.

 
 

What did He mean by that? Let’s look at a religious leader’s encounter with Jesus on this topic.

 
 

Nicodemus was a Pharisee. Like the Apostle Paul, they prided themselves on knowing Scripture meticulously. They were the religious icons of their day. They were confident, or so we think, of their spirituality and they were proud of it. Apparently with Nicodemus, this was not so. At nighttime, under cover of darkness, Nicodemus comes to Jesus. He tells Jesus that he knows there is something special about the way Jesus handles things. Nicodemus calls Jesus “Rabbi” or teacher, and tells Him that people know He is a teacher that God sent.

 
 

Jesus jumps on that and says one of those things Jesus always says that make one’s jaw drop and head spin. Jesus says, Ok, then, let me tell you that unless you are born again, you can’t get into heaven!

 
 

Oh NO! What did He say? Nicodemus is dumbfounded. All kinds of scenarios must have been going through his head about what Jesus might be implying. The first thing Nicodemus says to Jesus is to bring about the apparent impossibility of His request. How does a person, being big, get back inside his mother’s womb and do the whole thing over again? What an idea!

Jesus responds to him, but not to explain how someone can be born again the natural way, no, Jesus escalates the whole thing by moving right to introducing a concept that Nicodemus has apparently never heard of. He tells Nicodemus that unless one is born of water and from the Spirit of God, they cannot enter heaven!

Well this is a new one, huh? But, no, it’s not! Jesus tells Nicodemus, that if he had been really paying attention to the Scriptures and the Prophets that the Pharisees scrupulously study, he would have see that this was God’s plan all along (Ezek 36:25-27)

 
 

When the stultified Nicodemus asks how these things could be, Jesus just tells him, Hey look! you’re the teacher, you should have known this stuff!

 
 

I can image Jesus’ incredulous look at Nicodemus! Here Jesus was, walking all over the place teaching heavenly doctrines, and here, the teachers of His Law are, still missing the whole point. Jesus admonishes Nicodemus for his apparent ignorance and lets him know that if he can’t understand what’s right in front of him, how is he ever gonna’ get the hard stuff?

 
 

What hard stuff? Well right in verses 13-15, Jesus spills the plan. He lets out the whole plan of God to redeem the world.

 
 

So how are you doing? Do you understand the Earthly stuff? What are the doctrines you understand that Jesus might shake up? Why don’t you go and talk to Him tonight to see what He says?

 

You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com

 
 

Questions:

 
 

Read John 3:1-15

 
 

1. Why do you think Nicodemus went in the dark?

2. Why might Nicodemus be so blind-sighted by the idea of being born again?

3. Read the Ezekiel Passage and see if you can see Jesus’ point in the passage.

4. How might the Jews have looked at it?

5. Are you born again?

6 .How do you explain that to another type of Christian?

7. How do other Christians see salvation?

8. Can you see their view?

9. Find a Christian that has a different view than yours and discuss salvation.

10. Pray and ask God to open your mind to the way He has revealed Himself to the other Christian.

11. Pray together, if they will, for discernment and understanding.

12. Make this person your friend.

 

You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com

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One response to “You say I have to WHAT?

  1. Pingback: Ask the leadership coach » You say I have to WHAT? « Above and Beyond the N.O.R.M.

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