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October 19, 2020 8:06 pm
Dr. Steve Hankins of the BJU seminary faculty continues a doctrinal series entitled, “What Is Man?” from John 3.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Our goal this semester is to have 12 messages that deal with the doctrine of man. How is God made us today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Steven Hankins, a professor in the seminary at Bob Jones University three experiences that I've had a life that have something in common was the birth of my four children. Another was climbing up to a tall tree is a boy and I did this more than one time and have the wind blow that tree and that trees sway. What are you my mother a heart attack she know I was doing. I'm sure that it was a nice warm shower after a long day of dirty work doing something in the yard with the car young man lying on a bunk bed at Patmos and Kelly Island in Lake Erie.
I learned firsthand what those three things have in common are all metaphor I experienced regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit that transformed my heart and will will for any man transform their heart this morning. I want to biblically and theologically explained to you as objectively as I can. What this is regeneration.
I was instantaneously transformed from that day forward, like all of us stumbling seeking forgiveness and cleansing I've seen worked out in my life. The power of that transformation.
I've seen worked out of my life with theologians have defined many times over through the centuries as one put it, is the communication of the divine life to the soul. It's the impartation of the new nature or heart. Another one put it this way. It's the act of God, which the new principle of life is implanted in man is the governing disposition of the chill of the soul being made holy were still another one saying it's God giving a new spiritual vitality, a direction to our lives.
We have the good fortune that the Lord Jesus held an interview that's presented in John chapter 3 in the first part of it in verses one through 15 in which he presents for us a kind of window on a great window through which we can look at the idea presented in Scripture, called regeneration and as we walk through this interview I want us to look very carefully through this window. Like walking through a large sea world aquarium and observing the incredible magnificence of this truth. The beauty of it as we do it. I want us to pose a question for ourselves. Have you been changed since you were saved, if you have you been regenerated.
You become a partaker of the divine nature is second Peter 13 says that any person who has not been changed. Maybe an example of the first idea that Christ presents for us to the writer John in this profound interview and that is the profound need for regeneration.
Look at verses one through three.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night and said to him rabbi.
We know that thou art a teacher come from God for no man can do these miracles that thou dualist except God be with him. Of course Christ could not have chosen a more profound subject to show this profound need Nicodemus.
He was a man from the view of his contemporaries was peerless before God, but in reality he was in a tragic condition.
Like all the rest of the human family. This is a common deception of Satan, we all need regeneration.
No matter what our position in life as verse one says Nicodemus was a Jew. This is the race that viewed themselves a special inheritors of the favor of God.
He was a Pharisee of the strictest sacks of the Jews in the most obedient.
He was a ruler of the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin, the 70 member Supreme Court over religious and civil matters. In short, this man had arrived morally religiously, educationally, socially and politically. You're a BJ student you come from a Christian family with a mother and father who are leaders in a fundamentalist Bible preaching church. Your leaders spiritually on campus. Is it possible to be all those things and not be regenerate. It's as possible as the case presented in Nicodemus we all need regeneration. No matter what our level of sincerity. As verse two says listen to the words of this dear man rabbi teacher. I know that you're a teacher come from God. No man can do the miracles that thou dualist except God be with him. He initiated this conversation with the Lord Jesus and said that because of the miracles that eat seen. He was certain Christ must be from Yahweh. He had come to some right conclusions. He was a sincere man, but the best and the most sincere man is a condemned man because of sin. If, as a man, he has not been regenerated. He is in the words in Ephesians 22 assignment of disobedience in the words of Ephesians 23. He is a child of wrath. In the words of Luke 1618 he is a son of this age and in the words of the Lord Jesus in John 844.
He is a son of the devil.
What an utterly contrasting view men and women from the social and educational cultural elite in this country and any country just educate people better. Give them a better environment. Bring them up out of poverty.
Encourage them and set great goals before them, and they will be okay and the pronouncement of the son of God to that. Is this no and the evidence of all recorded history of the 20th century, out of which we just come in the first 15 years of the 21st century is no those things are not enough to put it's essential in the words of the apostle Paul.
He said, quoting many Old Testament passages in Psalms and Isaiah.
There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understand if there is none that seek after God.
They are all gone out of the way they are together become unprofitable. There is none that do with good, no not one. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 310 through 12 and 23 regeneration as a topic appears some approximately 85 times in the Bible that is a significant emphasis and in it we have stressed the profound need of men to know it through a variety of pictures in Scripture in Ephesians 2 men are said to need spiritual resurrection from the dead and John three where we are. Men are said to need spiritual birth a new birth in second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 Paul writes that men literally need to be spiritually re-created as one passage where the term regeneration is especially used in a theological way in the New Testament. It's in Titus chapter 3 verse five through seven. Listen to these profound words.
As Paul wrote to his men to his mentee Titus, a man in the pastoral ministry. He said not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed upon us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. That being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
As you can see, as the interview begins. There is a profound need for regeneration presented, and that simply echoes men and women.
All the other passages in the Bible that talk about regeneration and the condition of humankind.
But then Christ as if taking a bold black marker underlines another truth and talks about the very singular nature of regeneration. Notice verse three Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, ascended the except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
There's nothing like it. There's nothing equal to it. It's not just a by the way, or in addition to truth, along with my other more important truths. Jesus said, verily, verily, I sanded the acceptance of a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. The singular nature of regeneration is seen through Christ's emphatic statement. This is our Lord Jesus. Truly, truly, I say to you, unequivocally, without question, with no exceptions. It's the only way of entrance into the kingdom of God.
The singular nature of regeneration is seen through Christ's presentation of it as an exclusive way of salvation accepts a man be born again. There is no other way into the dominion of God over which he rules it is singular and it is a matter of the heart. It is personal and it is spiritual and here in guys girls is the reproach of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel. Any follower of Christ who reads and understands his Bible realizes that he cannot say that a practicing Islamist or Buddhist or Hindu or Catholic is part of the kingdom of God. Jesus is the only way the only truth. The only life John 1416. It is my faith in him alone, that a man is born. I knew from above, there are not many roads to heaven.
We do not all pray to the same God who just happens to have different names in different religions in different parts of the world that is not what the Bible teaches.
It is Christ alone and his regenerative work alone is singular. It is the standalone litmus test for man's eternal destiny is profound need. It is singular in nature but then the Lord Jesus proceeds onward in the interview and in doing so now the great master the great teacher gives enlightening descriptions of what regeneration is like in verses four through eight. In this passage, I'd like you to watch it closely with me.
First, as we see the description of regeneration.
In contrast to physical birth. Notice in verse four through six.
Nicodemus offending him.
How can a man be born when he is old, can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born. Jesus answered, verily, verily, I sanded the except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Nicodemus was genuinely confused though he should not of been this had nothing to do with the second physical birth.
This was a spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit of alone earlier in this same gospel in John chapter 1 verses 12 through 13. The apostle Paul wrote just how regeneration through the spirit would occur when he said in those verses. But as many as received them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name which were born, not applied nor of the will of the flash, nor of the will of man, but by God, not of blood, meaning not in any way hereditary none of the flesh meeting.
In no way involved with physical procreation, not of the will of man, meaning it's not simply a matter of human choice alone, but by an act of God by the will of God. Now let's see regeneration's description. Next, by our Lord and Savior as he uses metaphors examples to help us understand what it is.
Look at verses five through eight with me when he says, verily, verily, I sanded the except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said into the he must be born again. The wind blow with where it listed, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth so forever is everyone that is born of the spirit for times in verses 538, the Lord Jesus presents regeneration as a birth, not physical but spiritual. Of our desires of our will, of our conscience of our thought processes toward others and toward God. But notice there's a second picture metaphor and it's one of the wind or rather of the water in the second case notice, except a man verse. The verse says be born of the water and of the spirit. Verse five, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This is it. Regeneration is a washing it is a cleansing that occurs by an act of the Holy Spirit. This is precisely what Titus was written by Paul in 35 when Paul said that regeneration is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. There is a purifying that occurs in your wicked sinful heart magnificent life transforming forever changing and then Christ presents 1/3 picture of third metaphor and it's the wind. He says this in verse eight, when he said the wind blow with where it listed for no hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth so is everyone that is born of the spirit.
The trees are moving violently when say wow look at the wind blowing didn't see the wind you see the trees around is invisible but it is powerful.
I was in office on Friday evening of couple of weeks ago when we had that hurricane on campus. I have two walls in my office that her glass and it was an interesting experience power force, but I wasn't seeing the wind and so is the omnipotent agent of regeneration.
We don't see him, but the power is there and that's why John wrote in his first letter. Such an amazing description of the evidences of regeneration. When a person is born of God into the family of God as a source of comfort and also as a source of very important self-examination. John said there will be a pattern of life that will evidence itself. If that mighty work of the spirit is happened to give you a new ruling disposition of holiness, a new heart, a new soul given to you by God and what are those evidences. He said there will be a continual desire and doing what is right is first John 2.29 says he says that that person who's been regenerated, avoids sin and a sinfully dominated lifestyle continually. First John 39. He continually shows love toward God and others. First John 478. He continually trust Christ as his Lord and Savior daily. First John 51P continually and ever increasingly overcomes the world by trusting what God said. There's a pattern around Christmas time. Often times I get this unexpected card in the mail and it usually is just a brief note and then if there's a expression of gratitude and that signature from Bill storm one night after working at Sears at my job in my senior year of high school and finish, walked across the street to McDonald's and I saw Bill sitting over in his car, but was a pretty aimless pothead.
He was kind of the pioneer hippie in the group of my friends that I knew in high school I began to talk to Bill as we sat there together in the car and the opportunity presented itself to give them the gospel and I did. We talked for quite a while. He drove me to my house.
We sat in front of my house and I gave him Scripture, and he opened his heart to Christ. They went on to marry a Christian woman to raise Christian family. He is a leader in Bible preaching church is Bible preaching church and evidences the fruit of a transfer life and that card always says thank you for that night that you show me how to be born again. It changed everything.
And it does change everything. People need a profoundly it is singular in its nature, the Lord Jesus presents a magnificently enlightening description but there is no way to know regeneration and less there is saving faith in the gospel. It is always essential for regeneration and this is how the Lord Jesus climaxes this interview in verses nine through 15.
My freshman year and traveling home to my home in northern pass through the small town. My grandparents they were both not believers. I knew that and I wanted them to hear the gospel the opportunity presented itself, I gave them the gospel when home when I was returning back to school, coming back through my granddad who often would take me for rides in the country when I was young boy said Steve let's go get in the car. Let's go for a ride. As we drove out to the countryside there and for County Ohio.
My granddad turned to me and he said Steve I want you to know my 70-year-old grandfather that I placed my faith in Christ based on what you told me on born again two years later I was standing the third floor revealed dormitory and I got the call that my grandfather gone home to be with the Lord. He was 70, but he was born again. The Lord Jesus launches an effort to persuade Nicodemus now. He said Nicodemus in verse nine and 10. I want you to understand that this is taught in the Old Testament. It is a firm there.
Nicodemus answered and said to him, verse nine.
How can these things be. Jesus answered and said to him, art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things Nicodemus.
He gently reproves him, don't you understand you are a master teacher in Israel and you don't remember what first Samuel chapter 13 verse six says that God by his spirit will turn Saul into another man that God by his Spirit would give him another heart. Nicodemus don't you remember when Jeremiah the prophet said to those returning from the Babylonian captivity.
I will give them a heart to know me and I am the Lord, don't you remember Nicodemus with the prophet Ezekiel prophesied about the restoration of the people when he said I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh. If that were not enough Christ ramps up the he said no. Saul taught in the Old Testament Nicodemus, but I want you to know as to what the Old Testament says everything is to be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. I want to give you a fact Nicodemus that there are two great witnesses that are testifying to you of this new birth. Look at verse 11 verily, verily, I send the we speak that we do know what we do know, and testify that we have seen, and you receive not our witness who is he talking about. We Nicodemus knew about John the Baptist. They were going in multitudes to John and being converted repenting of their sin and trusting in the coming anointed one. He knew about the ministry of the Lord Jesus. That's why he was so caught up with an interested in it. He'd heard and seen the power of the message of these men and the transforming work of the Spirit in multitudes. If that were not enough. Jesus says in verse 12 and 13, Nicodemus.
This truth is affirmed by to you by yet another witness notice verse 12 and 13 now if I have told you earthly things and you believe, not house.
So you believe if I tell you of heavenly things and no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven.
Nicodemus I am the anointed one, of God and the Son of Man. I am the Messiah.
I am the God man I am standing before you is the very image of the being of Yahweh, and I'm telling you this is it. And then in mercy to help Nicodemus further understand he turns his and his attention to a great example or illustration in the Old Testament, and he affirms the great faith alone.
Illustration given in the wilderness wanderings.
Verse 14 and 15 and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believe it in him should not perish but have eternal life. Just as the Israelites who mumbled and grumbled and murmured about God's dealing with them were stricken with serpents, that bit them, and Moses was told by God to make a bronze replica of that servant hold up on a staff and of people would look at that and trust in that because God said to do it.
They would be delivered from the bite of the fiery serpents. So Jesus says Nicodemus, if you will look to me. Look to me is the one lifted up by faith alone to deliver you from the bite of iniquity and sin and Satan.
You will be delivered. You will be saved, you will be rescued. Regeneration is the great change of heart for the believer we seen that this morning seen the profound need for it.
The singular nature of it. The enlightening description of it and the saving faith essential for it as presented by no other than the son of God. When that knock came on my door and I opened it by heart just leapt with joy. I hadn't seen Rossford quite a long time. At one point he had come to Christ. As a result of the presentation of the gospel in witness many years ago. As I talked with him, he'd gonna join the Navy became an engineer on a nuclear submarine. He raised a family, for God. He retired from the Navy and he stop by here to tell me he was in transit to go assume the pastorate of a Bible preaching church in New England and he said what happened that day changed my life forever. I was regenerated, he became a new man with the new ruling disposition and new desires. Regeneration is your great transformation of heart, just like Ross regeneration transformed you forever regeneration promises the possibility of still greater transformation in the image of Christ by the power the spirit you can be transformed today. And day by day by day because of regeneration. We hope you'll join us again tomorrow at the same time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform