Religion versus Regeneration

 1. What is going on here? Verse 1 “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.”

A. Who is Nicodemus? He was a Pharisee, part of the Sanhedrin and Israel’s teacher. B. What made him seek Jesus at night?

2. Jesus stays on mission. Verse 3 “Jesus replied,“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

A. “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 God’s  redemptive plan is now being carried out by Jesus His Son.

3. Nicodemus’ question reveals his spiritual blindness. Verse 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!”

A. As a Pharisee Nicodemus’ life was dedicated to obedience to the Law. He is one of the leading teachers of all Judaism and yet, he himself is not one of God’s children.

4. You enter the Kingdom of God by what God does not by what you do. Verses 5-6 “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

A. Religion tells you how to live. Here Jesus is explaining how to have eternal life, being born of the Spirit.

5. Jesus illustrates his point. Verse 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.”

A. Just as physical birth is out of our control, the wind is as well. Like the wind, which is invisible, cannot be controlled and cannot be fully understood, its effects can be clearly seen. In the same way the work of the Holy Spirit is the mysterious, supernatural in bringing about the new birth.