He doesn't say, you know Nicodemus, it's always been my opinion that one of the many options that will take you on the road, because all roads lead to God, would be that you get born again.
Not at all. You must. You gotta do this, man. This is essential.
You are born again. And welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Nicodenite debuted on the cable network Nickelodeon back in 1985, and was originally conceived as the first ever oldies TV network.
The idea was to take classic shows like The Donna Reed Show, Dennis the Menace, and The Dick Van Dyke Show, and air them on TV all over again, so that not only those who may actually remember them would have a chance to see them again, but also introduce such classics to a whole new generation. Well, today in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, Skip Heisig talks about an entirely different Nicodenite, but one that retains the same idea of taking something old and making it new again. But first, here's what we have for you this month at connectwithskip.com. Forbes.com recently published an article with 22 tips for how to completely change your life in one year. Sounds complicated. The Bible tells a different story about how to change your life. The Bible says, repent and return to God. And it reminds us we need to always insert but God into every situation.
Here's Skip Heisig. But God is a phrase that appears 45 times in scripture. It's a game changing phrase. It means that no matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter how you may have failed, the truth is God can make things different for you from now on. But God. Discover the power of but God in scripture and why it's a game changer for your own life with the but God teaching series from Pastor Skip Heisig. Our thanks when you give $35 or more to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air. Get your CD collection today.
Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. We continue today in John chapter three. So grab your Bibles, find that spot and let's join Skip Heisig for more of this study.
Okay. Born again. What does that mean exactly?
First of all, push aside all of the cultural baggage that comes with that term that we've collected the last 20 or 30 years. I remember the first time that phrase fell on these ears. That sounded so fresh. Pregnant with possibility.
Wow. Born again, like a whole new life, like a whole new chance, like a second chance. But it has become cliche, hasn't it? In our culture. It is seen today as another Protestant sect. You know, you got Presbyterians, you got Baptists, you got Catholics, you got this group, you got that group, you got that other group. Oh, and then you have the born again group. I've heard people say that to me as I'm sharing with them.
They go, oh, oh, I get it. You're one of those born again Christians, as if there's any other kind of Christian. There is only one kind of Christian and that is a born again Christian. For Jesus says, you'll never make it to heaven unless you're born again.
It is absolutely an essential, a prerequisite. The Greek construction of the two words born again is, and it could either mean to be born from above or to be born a second time. That's how Nicodemus took it. The second time. Because he says in the very next verse, so how does this going to work? Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born? Now, why does Jesus speak of the second birth?
Here's why, listen carefully. Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, the Pharisee, Nicodemus, the Jewish religious guy, and all of his other fellow Jews believed the only thing necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God was their first birth. If you were born Jewish, born a descendant of Abraham, moreover, if you kept the law with all of your heart, guaranteed entrance into the kingdom. When Jesus said, you got to do it all over again, you got to start all over again, it was like a crushing blow to all of his legalism, all of his religion, all of his good works, all of his sincerity.
He's saying it's not enough. You need to be born again to enter into the kingdom of heaven. It's a new birth because it's the entrance into new life. The only reason you live is because of a birth.
You had a birth. To have new life, you need a new birth. And the reason we need a new birth is because we were all born dead spiritually.
D-O-A, dead on arrival. Ephesians chapter two, verse one, and you has he made alive, that's the new birth, who were dead in trespasses and sins. And not like the prince's bride dead, not mostly dead, all dead.
Not mostly dead, all dead. By the way, you may not know this, but if in Judaism 2,000 years ago, if you were a member of another faith and you proselytize that as you became Jewish, they called you reborn. And here's the quote the rabbi said, a proselyte who embraces Judaism is like a newborn child. And so here's Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews who knew that, who thought his birth physically was enough to guarantee him entrance into the kingdom finds out it's not. Here's a guy who thinks he has reserved seats on the 50 yard line of heaven. And Jesus says, you are not even in the game.
And it was like crushing blow to him. Now, there's a lot of people today who think the same thing. Well, I'm a churchgoer. Well, I've been a churchgoer all my life.
Well, I believe in God and I mean well, and I'm sincere and I'm politically conservative. I must be going to heaven. You must be born again. Now look at verse five and six. He presses it further after the question that Nicodemus asks about the method of the new birth. Verse four, 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?
Jesus answered, most assuredly, or dude, listen up. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. And I'm not going to bore you, but I found six different interpretations of what it means to be born of water and of the spirit. Six different views on what that means. Let me tell you what it doesn't mean. It has nothing to do with Jesus teaching baptismal regeneration, that you have to be baptized by water in order to be saved. It could not mean that.
And why could it not mean that? For a very simple reason, because Nicodemus would not have understood it. Christian baptism didn't exist yet. So Nicodemus couldn't go, oh, I get it.
He wouldn't have gotten it. Here's the second reason it couldn't mean baptism. If it meant baptism, then why didn't Jesus go places baptizing people? The Bible specifically says he baptized no one.
Well, he'd be baptizing everyone if that was a prerequisite. It can mean one of two things, being born of water and of the spirit. It could simply mean spiritual cleansing, because those two terms, being born of the water or the use of water and the spirit, were an Old Testament description of being spiritually cleansed. I'm going to give you just one example of that.
There are several. Ezekiel 36, God promises his people, I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away. You will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart and a new and right desire. And I will put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new and obedient heart. And I will put my spirit in you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.
It's Ezekiel 36. It could be that Jesus had that passage in mind. Certainly, Nicodemus would have understood that passage.
He was familiar with it. So it could mean, number one, spiritual cleansing. Here's another possible way to look at it. When Jesus spoke of being born of water and of spirit, he could simply be talking about physical birth followed by spiritual birth. And that is because the ancient peoples used to refer to anybody being born, physical birth, as being born of water.
You'll find some references to that in ancient literature. You know what it's like when a woman is carrying a child and the fetus and then the baby is enclosed in a sack of amniotic fluid and when the baby is about to be born, she breaks her what? Her water. Her water breaks and the baby is in a sack of amniotic fluid and when the baby is about her water, her water breaks and the baby is born. The baby is born of water. So it could simply be saying this, just as the first birth was necessary for physical life, so too the second birth is necessary for spiritual life. And that would make sense out of the very next verse. When he said, verse six, now which is born of the flesh is flesh, born of water, now which is born of the spirit is spirit.
So it means one of those two things, I believe. Let's bring this to the third level and the close and that is the observable activity. Now Jesus ends this dialogue part almost. Nicodemus has one more question. We'll get to that next time.
But he's giving an example of what he's been talking about and he uses the wind as an example. Verse seven, do not marvel that I said to you you must be born again. You know why Jesus said that? I think it's because Nicodemus is doing this.
And his eyebrows were up like what? I mean this is impossible what you're saying for me to start all over again after all that I've invested in my belief system. Don't marvel that I said to you you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes so is everyone born of the spirit. Nicodemus it's like the wind and I just sort of picture that as they were talking in the evening a gust of wind blew through where they were standing.
And it was a perfect example. You don't see the wind, you don't know exactly where that came from or where it's going but though you can't see it you can certainly feel it and you can see the effects of the wind. You know what that's like living in New Mexico around springtime the wind comes up. You can't see it unless it brings the earth with it the dust that blows with it but you might be inside you're all dusted up and you walk outside you come back and you're looking like this and we know because of the effect that is unmistakable it is plainly observable that the wind has affected you. And so what Jesus is saying is you know Nicodemus there are some things that are real that you can't see and just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not real they are real. So it is with a physical birth or spiritual birth you can't see it. If you were to take a new believer at the moment they came to Christ and x-ray them you wouldn't see any difference than when they were an unbeliever.
You can't see it but you can certainly see the changes that will occur in life. By the way this is a play on words in the Greek. The word for wind in that verse and spirit are the same identical word in Greek it's pneuma. We'd spell it p-n-e-u-m-a. We get words like pneumatic tools or pneumatic drills from or pneumatic tires from that means air breath wind spirit. That's a play on words.
The pneuma operates like the pneuma. The spirit operates like the wind very powerful activity very observable activity. Here's the point when a person has been born again you can see the changes that have occurred in that person's life. You can see the fruit of the spirit that starts coming from that person's life. My parents would have told you I don't quite understand what happened but I do know my son is different.
And all of my friends would have said I don't get what he's saying but he's not the same guy. Changes. Go back to verse seven there's a word that we failed to look at. I'm going to close with it's the word must. Do not marvel that I said to you you should be born again. No it's you must be born again. Please notice that our Lord is not leaving much wiggle room with that word. He doesn't say you know Nicodemus it's always been my opinion that one of the many options that will take you on the road because all roads lead to God would be that you get born again.
Not at all. You must. You gotta do this man. This is essential that you are born again. The amplified bible renders it this way I assure you most solemnly I tell you unless a man is born again he can't even see know be acquainted with or experience the kingdom of God. George Whitfield an early colonial preacher used to always preach on this text and loved to preach about being born again and somebody said why do you always preach on the new birth and being born again. Whitfield said it's because Jesus said you must be born again.
It's a must. Who's he saying this to? Saying this to a pagan a garden variety unbeliever. Now he's saying this to a religious person who believed his religion would save him believed his good works would save him believed his status would save him and he said you must be born again. There's a simple formula you've you've heard it here before but it sums all this up if you are born once you will die twice if you are born twice you will only die once if you are born once physically but not spiritually then you will die physically and eternally but if you are born twice physically and spiritually born again you will only die once you might not even do that if the lord comes back but just by all that we have seen every person born dies so far that's that's the going record you're going to die but that's it you'll die we'll bury you your body will decay your spirit will immediately be with the lord you will live forever until that resurrection you will live forever and ever and ever if you're born once you'll die twice if you're born twice you'll only die once there was a businessman who had a large warehouse in a city he wanted to sell it it had been vacant for 15 years doors busted out windows broken vandalized inside there was a prospective buyer that the seller showed it to and the seller went out of his way and showing the property to say now i just want you to know i'm going to fix this place up before you buy it i'm going to put new doors on it new windows deck out the inside whatever you want and the buyer said look when i buy this place i don't want the building i'm going to rip it down and build something new all i want is not the building but just the site that's how it is when you come to him everything that you've used in the past to say i'm saved because of this or that or this or that goes you don't come to christ and he reforms you he transforms you total change you're a new person if any man be in christ he is a new creation old things are passed away behold all things become old things are passed away behold all things become new that's what he does all he wants is the site and permission to build and if you say the site is yours and you have permission to build you are in for the right of your life you are in for the life of your life it will the new birth will lead to a whole new kind of life and you should know on good authority from our lord jesus christ if you have not experienced the new birth which means you recognize you're a sinner you turn from that you turn to him and he by an act of sovereign grace saves you regenerates you creates something new if that doesn't happen in your life understand you will never ever ever ever see heaven see heaven that's pretty potent isn't it you must be born again so i remember when my friend put his finger on my face said heitzig have you been born again i had been i just didn't know what it was have you been do you know for sure would you like to make sure let's pray together heavenly father we close this service and we think of this divine imperative this eternal imperative this necessity it's not an option if we want to see heaven it's not an option if we don't want to see heaven if we just want to go our own way and and feel good about whatever we're into then any religion will do any belief system will do but if we want to see the kingdom of heaven we must all be born again that means we recognize that everything we have brought up to the table to this point that we have relied on in terms of our religion our own goodness or our works is nothing we need the entrance into new life called the new birth and so lord i pray that anyone who is in doubt would end that doubt today and come to christ in jesus name amen well if that's something you'd like to do to make sure that you'll see heaven when death comes whenever that may be we'd like to explain to you how to do that just give us a call here at 1-800-922-1888 and we'll tell you exactly what it means to be born again how you go about doing that and what happens next you don't have to wonder what might happen after you die or even what the purpose of living life is you can know those answers and we'll tell you how when you call us 1-800-922-1888 that's going to wrap things up for today but right now let's check in with Skip and lenya all right i have to say i just love the title today's message the nick at night and that's wonderful that nickademus he came at night so you are very clever mister well it's already been done i just borrowed i co-opted the phrase why would nick come at night he probably for a couple of reasons most people say because he was afraid to be seen doesn't say that though he could be just a busy guy and being a member of the sanhedrin would exact certain responsibilities and time demands from him that would afford him little time and that the only time he had was at night number one number two jesus himself was pretty busy during the day and a crowd's following him and he probably wanted a little more quality time than just a word or a touch he wanted to be able to have a conversation with him and the best time would be at night so i don't fault him for coming at night i think he was curious i think that he heard things and his curiosity drove him probably when he heard him speak being a man of the law being a lettered man he heard a depth he heard his and felt his soul being watered like nothing ever hit him and he wanted to go deeper and he wanted to go more all in i love that god uses different ways to motivate us you know curiosity you know what are those people doing down there at calvary you know i hear you know about that church and it has a coffee shop or a skate park or i think that that's wonderful in that it shows us how to be fishers of men you never know what the lure will be i mean of course jesus is the most amazing lure and nicodemus was curious about that but for today for us to approach society and and give them an opportunity to be curious about jesus is just wonderful and and we don't mean being kitschy doing weird things that people would go i just think if a person truly lived a christian life i'll just take myself for example i remember when the lord convicted me when i was working in in radiology in the medical field if i would just live differently enough from them and in such a satisfying way before them in a compelling way they would ask why is he so different what does he have that we don't have i want to ask him about that just to live the christian life i'm in love with jesus what would be the classic description of being a witness i mean that's truly what being a witness is a life well it's who you are now what you say now i have to say you're a pretty good witness for me too okay in what way because you had all those things i knew you had a hunger and a thirst for christ but you weren't weird you were fun and you you know surfed and you were real like you didn't become some plastic you know doll christian that you know wore patent leather shoes or whatever it was you still had all these diverse interests and you know you were just a great person to be around i found that very attractive as well i think back to nickademus then probably nickademus because he had heard teachers and preachers of the law and he knew a lot himself is that he saw something in christ that was real authentic compelling and he wanted to know more i think that's what i meant well thanks lanya and Skip and thanks for those thoughts on john chapter 3 at our teaching today nick at night next time we'll explore the radical change that can take place when we're born again with the extreme makeover soul edition right here in connect with Skip weekend edition a presentation of connection communications make a connection make a connection at the foot of the crossing cast your burdens on his word make a connection connection connection connecting you to god's never changing truth in ever-changing times
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-09 17:49:13 / 2023-03-09 17:58:16 / 9