Message Notes1). Joh 3:1 ? There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
2). We will remember that this whole conversation with Nicodemus needs to be seen within the context of Jesus message and stated purpose ? the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens - Lu 4:43 but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent."
a). And of necessity the focus of His remarks centre around entrance into or exclusion from the Kingdom - "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
b). Being ?born of water and the Spirit? as we have noted, is referencing the experiences of the Children of Israel led by Moses.
c). We have also seen that this reference takes into account the whole process by which God brought Israel to the door of the Promised Land in order to give them their inheritance.
3). 2 weeks ago we had looked at the necessity for Israel to keep the feast of unleavened bread as part of this process - Ex 12:14 'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
a). We have also seen that we have been given exactly the same instruction - 1Co 5:6b Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 ? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
4). Leaven, as we have seen, is representative of sin in our lives, something which is unavoidable given the association of our natural birth with this world and the god of this world.
a). Ro 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
b). Eph 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
5). Last week we looked at the first of the two ways we are to deal with this leaven, that shown to us in 1 Thessalonians - 1Th 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.
6). This week we will deal with the second way we are to deal with the leaven ? remembering that our failure to do so would prevent us from entering the land of our calling, that same Kingdom of the Heavens, and receiving our inheritance in that Kingdom.
a). Isa 1:15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. 16 ? "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
b). It is interesting to note the instruction Naomi gives to Ruth in order that Ruth would be prepared to meet Boaz on his threshing floor
Ru 3:3 "Therefore wash yourself
7). Washing is the key, but not in a literal sense ? we must understand the spiritual truth behind this instruction. And by comparing scripture with scripture we can do that.
8). Let us start in Exodus - Ex 29:1 ? "And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, 2 "and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour). 3 "You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams. 4 "And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water.
a). This scripture deals with the consecration of those who will minister before the Lord as priests ? the washing with water of v4 refers specifically to the washing of the whole body ? something not picked up in our English translation.
b). Then subsequent to this complete washing we find this instruction - Ex 30:17 ? Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 18 "You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, 19 "for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. 20 "When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. 21 "So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them-to him and his descendants throughout their generations."
c). Picture of Tabernacle ? because of their contamination by things associated with sin and sacrifice God required the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering into the place of His presence ? their failure to do so would result in their death. They never had to be washed completely again, but the washing of the hands and feet was a continual process.
9). Knowing how Jesus took Nicodemus to the scriptures in order to teach concerning entrance to the Kingdom of the Heavens let?s look at another example where He points to these scriptures in Exodus ? it happens on the night of the last supper - Joh 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
a). Teach this in the context of Jesus message ? relating it to the Exodus scriptures.
b). Jesus makes it quite clear that if we are going to have ?a part with (Him)? He needs to cleanse us ? And that this cleansing is subsequent to our complete washing at the time of our new birth. And through the teaching from Exodus this is a cleansing that is a continual process.
10). Now in v3 it records - He had come from God and was going to God,
a). Where is His present location and what is His present function?
b). Heb 8:1 ? Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
a). Seated at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the ?true tabernacle?
b). A Minister of the sanctuary / a High Priest
11). This is no insignificant detail - Heb 4:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 ? Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Teach this
12). Let?s try and draw all this together - 1Jo 1:1 ? That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-- 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 ? This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 ? If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. ? Teach this using the Tabernacle picture.
13). One last part to the picture - Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
14). One last thing to note - 2Sa 12:13 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die."
a). David?s confession / God?s forgiveness / the consequences of his sin ? the baby?s death / the great occasion for the enemy to blaspheme
b). Re 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
15). The good news ? for David - Eze 37:25 "Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.
16). For us likewise - 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; - Teach this ? regardless of the consequences of our sin here, think of there.