Message Notes1). John 3:1-10 - 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?
a). We have seen in our past studies on this conversation with Nicodemus that the Lord?s focus is on entrance into or exclusion from the Kingdom of the heavens, and how He draws from the very scriptures of Moses, which Nicodemus as the ?teacher of Israel? should have known to teach these truths.
2). Today we are going to concentrate on the second half of verse 5, being
( Born ) out of the Spirit. Just as we saw being born out of water as a reference to the Red Sea crossing so we can see in being born out of the spirit as a reference to the work of the Spirit amongst Israel subsequent to their redemption from Egypt.
1Co 10:1 ? Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
Ex 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way,
a). God?s leading them by His Spirit was not in any sense aimless and arbitrary, but with a specific end at a specific destination - He was leading them to the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in which they would receive their inheritance
b). God?s guidance of Israel was not only a physical one, but we note form 1 Corinthians that they ate ?spiritual food? and ?drank spiritual drink? - God was not just moving them towards the land but teaching them as they went.
c). He was bringing them from a simple understanding of the death of the Passover Lambs to a full understanding of His plans and purposes for them as a nation - Ex 19:4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. 5 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
d). Without an understanding of God?s purpose for them they would have nothing on which to base their faith in respect of God?s fulfillment of that purpose.
3). We have a parallel situation given to us in Genesis 12 in respect of the father of the nation of Israel, Abraham, - Ge 12:1 ? Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. It is the promise of what awaits him that gives Abraham the faith to follow the Lord on this journey.
a). This is repeated again in Genesis 24 where Abraham?s oldest servant presents his master?s goods to Rebekah, making plain to her what would be her inheritance if she chose to go with him - Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
a). We can see that the knowledge she has of what awaits her gives her the faith to make the decision to go - Ge 24:58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
b). Ge 24:61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
c). Now as we know, Abraham?s oldest servant is a type of the Holy Spirit and we see Rebekah following him as he leads. And again this is not an arbitrary journey, but one leading specifically to marriage with Abraham?s son Isaac.
4). Again in the Book of Ruth we find Ruth going with Naomi, who is a type of Israel and by implication a type of the word of God, a word that was given to this nation alone, which of itself would be Spirit
a). Ru 1:16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."
I/ Ru 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do."
6 ? So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her.
b). And again this journey is to a specific location, Bethlehem, the House of Bread, leading to a specific conclusion ? the redemption of the inheritance resulting in the marriage of Ruth and Boaz
5). We can clearly see from our examples that God?s leading by His Spirit and His Word is always towards a specific destination ? the land to which the individual is called, for a specific purpose ? to receive an inheritance, with an end result ? a marriage relationship pointing to regality.
a). This leading always comes subsequent to the salvation of the Spirit and always requires an affirmative response from the one to be led to go.
b). For Israel at Sinai it was a commitment to obedience - Ex 19:8 Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.
c). For Rebekah and Ruth it was the choice ?I will go?.
6). In the anti type for us -
a). We are ?baptized? in the Spirit
b). We are given spiritual food and spiritual drink
c). And we are able to be led by the Spirit
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
7). Being led by the Spirit is not a charismatic experience
a). Just as with Abraham, Rebekah, Israel and Ruth the Spirit is leading us to a specific destination for a specific purpose Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
8). Listen to what Jesus says
Joh 15:26 ? "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (Teach this)
Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
a). ALL truth - not some, not part, but ALL truth
b). From milk, to meat, to strong meat
c). From knowing that Jesus died for our sins to understanding what it means that He will be a priest forever according to the order of Melchezideck.
d). The Holy Spirit will guide us on our journey from faith to faith as our revelation and understanding increases
Ro 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Teach this)
9). Just as with Abraham, Israel, Rebekah and Ruth our ultimate destination is the land of our calling to, realize an inheritance, culminating in a marriage relationship and regality - Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ? (teach this)
a). Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
10). Just as Abraham?s servant revealed his master?s goods to Rebekah, so the Holy Spirit reveals His ?master?s goods? to us - 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
a). Heb 10:34b? knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
11). And just as an affirmative response to follow in faithful obedience was required of Abraham, Israel, Rebekah and Ruth so it is with us.
a). We would need to conclude that we cannot follow the leading of the Spirit without knowing where we are going and why we are going there.
b). 1Co 9:24 ? Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
c). We will know that - 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
d). Also Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
e). And that - 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God breathed,
12). We can see then that it is the Word of God, which is the Spirit of God, that will lead us to our destination
a). Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
b). 1Pe 1:9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
c). And isn?t this exactly what scripture does, taking us from Genesis to Revelation, from the new birth to the seventh day. It is that very thing that God set in place in the beginning, from the foundation of the world, that we should walk in it. - Jer 6:16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
13). The leading of the Spirit is not so much a physical journey as a journey from immaturity to maturity in respect of the seventh day, the word of the Kingdom, the rest that remains for the people of God - Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ?
14). It is an active, knowing participation in the process found in Ruth
a). Being determined to go on
b). Working in the field for a complete period of time
c). Preparing for the meeting on the threshing floor ? washing, anointing, putting on the garment
15). If we will be like Rebekah and Ruth, both types of the faithful Christian, we will find approval and entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens
a). But I would also draw your attention to the maidens who were with Rebekah, but were not the bride, to Orpah who began the journey but turned back, to the unfaithfulness of the first generation of Israel, to Esau, to Lot, to the Rich Young Ruler, the foolish virgins, the unfaithful servant, the wedding guest without the proper clothes, the condition of the Laodecian church.
16). Let?s close out today with both the goodness and the severity of God
Heb 12:18 ? For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: "And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow." 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.") 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." 27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
17). Close out ? the Lord?s Supper.