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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. No greater mode.
The world no greater number possible that he gave his one and only could be no greater gift than that whoever believes in him no greater offer shall not perish but have eternal life no greater outcome is all their wonders for joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana that's going pastor are now again he shows us God's word. Our world when you can control.
You can't summon it. You can't dismiss it is invisible, uncontrollable, irresistible and unpredictable, but we know that in southern Louisiana, peanuts, Jesus point Nicodemus this is nothing to do with you is that God thing, born of the spirit born from above, born again, Nicodemus befuddled now says the Jesus.
How can this be. This is categorically against everything I was raised categorically against everything I devoted my life to I am a religious man you see when you want to look for somebody who's really really stout in her convictions of religion on the guy.
How can this be your telling me I can't earn this, you're telling me it's not deserving on my part. Not much is ever really changed. Bob Deffenbaugh says Nicodemus is so much part of the natural religious world they cannot fathom the possibility of the spiritual or supernatural. Nothing is changed. Jesus had enough right now he's not going to give up on Nicodemus.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, are you the teacher of Israel and you don't understand this while it is in a teacher.
The articles there. You are the teacher whenever the Sanhedrin was trying to settle the dispute and they talked about all these Pharisees devoted to the law they say look to be the final word here.
Nicodemus Nicodemus is the one is the custodian of the word of God in the Old Testament. He is the custodian of the law and Jesus is are you the teacher of Israel and you don't get this. Nicodemus did you ever study the covenants. The Abraham a covenant.
The Palestinian covenant, the Davidic covenant their unconditional God is going to fulfill those covenants no matter what because it's God's business. Nicodemus don't understand the Passover lamb.
Don't you understand the provision of manna in the wilderness. Don't you understand all the prophecies of restoration don't you get it Nicodemus.
How could you devote yourself to the Old Testament and not see this one word religion religion blind you to the grace of God, religion is the anesthetic that makes you immune to the real disease. Nothing is changed.
Jesus is just so straightforward with this and now the chapter changes all he talked about in these first 10 verses with the sovereignty of God in salvation, but he knows what's going on in Nicodemus is headed and how each thinking as he says when am I to do with this.
What is our responsibility to see what is what is our responsibility. Then, do we have any. What's our responsibility in Jesus now is going to devote the rest of this discussion to man's responsibility and it's real simple. Believe it.
Believe faith see the one main point of this discussion is when it comes to religion. You can be no compromise. The second one is this that when it comes the salvation it is faith and faith alone in Christ and Christ alone. That's what he's going to say that's it. There's no more discussion about anything else that's responsibility God's sovereignty and man's responsibility God's sovereignty and man's free will, inevitably, by the way, when you study the Bible, especially when you're teaching Bible studies especially also for teaching men. Somehow this really gets the men that ends up becoming a discussion point a lot not passed on.
Just like ask a question.
It is God sovereign or do we do we have free will became when my view is that I really deny the question you just use the word or and I don't think that's what Scripture teaches.
I love what John MacArthur writes about this he said when it comes to God's sovereignty in our free will. It always runs parallel, they always run parallel. They will never come together, they will never intersect. They will never be diminished legitimately. They are what they are. The fact that you don't understand how they go together only proves that you're less than you want to be.
It doesn't say anything about God.
Your inability to harmonize those things is a reflection of your fallenness and my fallenness. People ask me all the time, John. How do you harmonize those. My answer is I don't and I can't. They can't be harmonized in the human mind.
But realize this, you are a puny mind and so on. My and collectively we are puny compared to the infinite, vast, limitless mind of God.
He says all I can tell you is that in the word of God. These truths run parallel and the answer is to believe them both with all your heart.
He says in the one divine sovereignty. It will inform your worship and the other human responsibility. It will motivate your evangelism says it well received.
But Jesus now makes the shift and when he makes the shift. It's in verse 11, he says, truly, truly, once again, amen, amen, I say to you, and then there's a little play on here you said, we speak that which we know. I just love this because my view of it is, Nicodemus came and said we have some questions for you.
So Jesus said okay.
Then we have some answers for you if you want to send say I say we just like you did and he says here. He said we know and we testify what we have seen you do not accept our testimony and a set of now he switches back and if I told you these things, you would not believe how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things.
If I told you earthly things and you did not believe that this point Nicodemus is unbelieving writer Jesus just went through what he did know may find it strange, but I find those two verses extremely encouraging Jesus Christ is the most persuasive powerful, competent, convincing, convincing, brilliant, clear teacher who is Evelyn and he spent a conversation with Nicodemus and that we Nicodemus looked at him and said I don't believe it was Jesus talking to believe that encourages me. People can reject religious people can reject the grace of God. When Jesus was telling them I don't mind them rejecting it when I tell earthly things, he means the concept of birth as an earthly things such a simple thing.
Then Jesus says something amazing though he goes but that's a mistake. He said in verse 13 no one has ascended into heaven, but he would descended from heaven, the Son of Man, why you say that when it comes to salvation and getting right with God. There's nobody on this earth that has the authority I have nobody. No member of the Sanhedrin not to mail the great trainer of rabbis you see nobody see none of them of ascended to heaven I descended from heaven when I come in talking about how to get into heaven yada listen to me. He said I have the authority who could speak on salvation integrated in Jesus Christ.
You see, that's his point. A guy like Nicodemus is really impressed with credentials, especially religious ones. Jesus gets gave his I just came from heaven, so anything to that.
And then what a great offer. He says as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. Now we know how this is going to happen. This is really interesting what you hold your place and go with me back to number 21 in this. Take a look at that passage.
Numbers 21 Jesus now uses a biblical analogy. He is use birth is used when now is using a biblical analogy verse four. Numbers 21 he says. Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way, the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom and the people became impatient because of the journey and the people spoke against God and Moses, why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is no food with no wall and no water. And we load this miserable food that's the man of the God provided the L quickly the sentence the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died while know that you gotta love God's people now so the people came to Moses and said, we have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you intercede with the Lord, that he may remove the serpents from us notice and don't get the per request. Lord please Moses intercede, so there's no more serpents. The Lord said to Moses after Moses interceded for the people make a fiery serpent set it up on a standard and it shall come about that everyone who is bitten when he looks at it, he shall live. And when Moses made a bronze serpent and set on the standard it came about that if the serpent bit any man when he looked at the bronze serpent you live while that's interesting could you imagine being with this bit by your friend in both land or and you hear people talk about the word coming down through the crowd, they just die.
I'm watching people over there there dead center just for states, but some guy dusted people are saying that Moses is making some kind of snake got a brass he's gonna put the ponies not hold up if you look at it will be okay right sure you see this at some like the best plant.
Look, I thought God would bring in mongooses eat the serpents, you know I got something would happen do some like that.
Now that summer he said just look at this and make a lot of sense to me to look know what you think about that now is go back to John three as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes will in him have eternal life. John is talking about eternal life forever. 15 times in this gospel uses eternal life. Whoever believes in him have eternal life want the gospel was clear and short as it can be. That's it. That's it.
You may say, but you got out a little bit of religion to that during absolutely not. Religion kills grace is only just a little bit of religion. That's what the book of Galatians was written.
That's why he wrote it. Paul said, look to see what happened.
The Judaizers followed Paul once again what you need to believe in Jesus. That's enough.
But something else has to take place yet to have your mail circumcised. You see, you have to have him circumcised. If they're not circumcised to be out. Paul said that's another gospel that anybody who preaches that a floor and that's just a little bit of religion. He said let them be anathema cursed forever. In fact he said if an angel from heaven came and spoke that let him be accursed. You see, you can't compromise religion and grace. You can't. Religion strangles and kills grace to.
That's the point or grace overcomes the religion and so we get back here and he says then in verse 16 and now you know this verse.
Notice to each. This verse starts with four because Nicodemus is thought would be why would God do that, why, why would God do that. You see the word in verse 15.
It really bothers Nicodemus as a word you and I would skim right over whoever what you mean. Whoever what CF understands only by Nicodemus. He is a blatant racist Nicodemus views all non-Jews as dirty going name pagans. God would never want to have anything to do with pagans not ever only the Jews are God's people. That's Nicodemus. This is explosive.
By the way religion is almost always in some way exclusive and so consequently what he says is look Nicodemus is nonexclusive. Whoever why would God do that will let me explain Nicodemus for God so loved the world, you mean Israel. No world for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, the one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish Lumi. The word means eternally during Rowan but will have everlasting life.
See the context of John six 316 is this discussion with a very religious man. For God so loved no greater motive than that the world no greater number possible that he gave his one and only could be no greater gift than that whoever believes in him no greater offer shall not perish but have eternal life no greater outcome is all there one verse. He said Mrs. White came for God did not send the son into the world to judge the world that will be later, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not judged he would does not believe has already been is been judged already, because he does not believe in the name of the only begotten son of God.
You see your already lost. He says without faith. No matter how religious you are. Because religion can save you only God can. He then gives a little bit of insight.
He says in verse 19. This is the judgment that the light is coming to the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. Must've been hard for Nicodemus to hear that your religious deeds need in order to justify yourself for evil in God's sight while a conversation with a religious man when it comes to religion and can be no compromise and when it comes the salvation it is faith in faith alone in Christ and Christ alone. It is just so simple. Nicodemus was an oppressive man, one of 6000 Pharisees. One of the 70 was the teacher of Israel when it came to the kingdom of God was on the outside looking in, but he thought about this.
He really thought about this turn with me to John seven John seven in verse 45. The officers then came to the chief priests and the Pharisees back to the ruling class.
The Sanhedrin and they said to these people, these officers why did you bring Jesus any officer said never has a man spoke with this man speaks. I don't know. I grabbed him I watch the Pharisees and answered them and said this, you have not also been led astray.
Have you know, one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in him.
Has he. He can't be right and none of us believe in him you know why religion blinds you to grace the blanket because of the most religious men in Israel. But this crowd which does not know the law is accursed and turn her own people, by the way, who supposed to teach them a lot. The Pharisees there cursed Nicodemus. He who came to him before being one of them said our log is not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing doesn't Nicodemus those forms is Weitzen we hear from him by the way, without be hard for him to say that a member is a member the Sanhedrin watch the answer him.
You are not also from Galilee.
Are you search and see that no profit arises out of Galilee. Everyone went to his Nicodemus is thinking were not done one last passage.
This go to John 19 Jesus is been crucified. Jesus is been crucified.
Verse 38 and after these things. Joe's is of Arimathea being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews. He asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus in potted granite information and so he came, he took his body next verse. Nicodemus areas Nicodemus who first came to him by night also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and alloys about 100 pounds weight 75 pounds of very expensive spices 75 pounds.
By the way, in the traditional history of the church. It is said that Nicodemus was the third richest man in Jerusalem. He was also extremely wealthy while he took the body of Christ, and he put the spices on the bodies we could barriers, Lord, what happened is born again is born from above.
See how that happened. He realized he couldn't save himself, he realized that he would never get the God through his own religious activity that God must save them but I think something else happened between chapter 7 and chapter 19 I think he saw the Son of Man lifted up. I think you saw on the cross and remember what Jesus told unless the Son of Man be lifted up. See areas. The serpents on his become sin for us, and Nicodemus converts while it took a while.
It really did which you meet him in heaven when story Musto when it comes to religion, there can be no compromise.
When you're talking your religious person about the claims of Christ stay on the grace of God.
Don't spend your time talking about all the religious activities and what comes the salvation it's as clear as can be. Its faith in its faith alone in Christ. Christ alone.
That's the way Jesus told it and that's the way Nicodemus believed it respray father Nicodemus illustrates to us that it is so easy to get entangled in religious activities that you can become so committed to your religious activities. When Jesus Christ is standing right in front of you. You will not believe what he says father that's a warning to us if there's anyone here that believes that they can justify themselves through the religious activity.
May the words of Jesus Christ penetrate their heart and their soul for some of us.
Father, we believe, yes, I know Jesus died on the cross. But now I'm still going to say myself through other religious activities. Father may be clear that we do not save ourselves. We are born again of the spirit of God is your work. You have simply asked us to believe there is no merit. Father is. You know, in faith, the merit in our faith comes in. The object of our faith because we all believe something for that object must be your son, Jesus Christ, and his dying on that cross for our sins. That's the Nicodemus finally believed that's what many of us believe that's what the rest of us need to believe Jesus Christ the one and only son of God's name. Pastor Bill never if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program is at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.
4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC Penn of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon. You can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and anchoring. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt thanking you for listening to fellowship in order