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November 26, 2021 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit brings part two of a message entitled “You Must Be Born Again” from John 3.
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today speakers president Bob Jones University. Dr. Steve had once again will be in John three continuing the study from yesterday. You must be born again. John chapter 3 this morning. Yesterday we started by considering John three in verse seven where it says Marvel not that I said unto the you must be born again. What we began with yesterday in John three is that Jesus addresses a very fundamental and basic theme in John three of the whole Bible. That is, in order to enter into God's kingdom.
You have to be born again or as we affirm this morning as we did in our creed. The new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit and yesterday we looked at why Jesus when he spoke to Nicodemus said don't be surprised or don't marvel at this. I think we all are somewhat surprised by the statement, you must be born again, even in response since yesterday's chapel to me personally either by email or other forms of communication. It's already evident to me that the Lord is working even in some of your hearts about your own relationship with God and that is have you been born again. So today I'd like us to look at the second half of chapter 3 in verse seven we will look at other verses this morning when Jesus said you must be born again.
And today I'd like to try to answer two questions. Question number one is what is born-again actually mean. And then secondly, how was someone actually born again. How does actually take place, and we will see that this morning.
In this passage of Scripture. Notice what Jesus said in John three in verse three to Nicodemus, he said, verily, verily, I say under the except a man be born again or literally be born from above cannot see the kingdom of God. What does the word born again actually mean and I think that we can illustrate this really through a biblical illustration that even Peter himself uses. And that's the illustration of a physical conception K. In other words, how did you get into this world. You got into this world you were birth through a physical conception, that is, is when the seed of a man impregnates a woman and it creates a child. That's how we all got here. I let some of your homeschooled and you still believe in the stork. Other than that, that's how you got here. I now this is what Peter uses to help us understand the new birth. First Peter 123 being born again, not of corruptible seed that human seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides forever.
The new birth takes place when the eternal life giving word of God. The seed of God's word through the powerful act of the Holy Spirit brings forth a conception in your heart, a new spiritual life or a new heart within you. Paul said it this way, if any man be in Christ he is a new what is a new creation of a new creature.
The oldest passed away. The new has come.
The word born-again means re-generation or you could say this way. A second birth, a spiritual birth likened unto your physical birth.
To be born again has the idea being born from above someone is described it as the life of God coming down into the soul of man. I think it's important for you to realize that just like you do not participate in your first birth.
I mean, what did you do to get here. You just showed up you were conceived and you came into this world, so it is important to realize that when we speak about regeneration or the new birth were not talking about something you do because you have to understand, you cannot change what you are by nature, you cannot go in and change your own heart. It is impossible for you to do that only God can do that and James offer a John affirms this in John chapter 1 verse 13 he says when he speaks of our salvation. Which were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flash nor the will of man, but of God. This is a supernatural work of God that he does with in your own heart and I think it's also important to say that it's just like physical birth only happens one time and it is a completed work that is when you're born, you can't get born anymore than your born, so likewise, when you are say it is a completed work is irreversible. Once you are born again, this is eternal fact is eternal life does not start when you die eternal life begins the moment that you're born again so that leads into this question. How is someone actually born again in Jesus explains the new birth.
In this passage of Scripture, and he does it in three ways. Number one, there's a promise number two, he presents a mystery and then number three he shows as an illustration of a miracle. So let's look at those three things.
The first is a promise. Now the Bible tells us that we are born again through the promises of God's word. Second Peter 14 whereby are given at us exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be a partaker of the divine nature. How is it that I'm born again. I've already said is through the seed of God's word but we could also say it this way. It is through his magnificent promises exceeding great. You could almost say shawl dropping or you could say it's putting the wow back in the wire God has given to us. These incredible promises to us of what he'll do. So where is this promise bandage on. Three. Notice he tells us in verse five Jesus answered, speaking to Nick Nicodemus, verily, verily, I say under the except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This is a promise that God gives us where we are actually born of water and of the spirit know what is at me. Well, some of suggested that being born of water and the spirit is in reference to physical birth and also spiritual birth so just like when you were born your mother's water breaks the amniotic fluid breaks and shortly after that comes childbirth. The water is referring to physical birth and then be born of the spirit is referring to be referred to spiritual birth or we would set this way in order for you to get into heaven you have to be born, not once, but you have to be born twice now. That's not what I believe it means I actually think that there's a clear illustration of what it means and that is that is in reference to an Old Testament promise a magnificent promise.
And where is that found this birth of water in the spirit is found in Ezekiel chapter 36, I'd like you to turn there if you will. And look at verse 25 that through verse 27. I read it to you but I want to take note of this because I believe that what Jesus is doing when he says, born of water and the spirit is referring back to Ezekiel Ezekiel 3625 says, then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you a new heart also will I give you in a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you should keep my judgments, and do them notice Old Testament prophet event. Ezekiel is presenting a wonderful and magnificent promise. And that is God will cleanse the Jewish people from their sins, and he will give to them a new heart in this passage water refers to cleansing from sin. Spirit refers to creating a new heart that here's the question what is Ezekiel speaking about here.
What is he referencing to and I believe what he's referring to.
And what Jesus was saying in John three is is referring to the new covenant. Jeremiah said he said the days are coming, declares the Lord. What I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. I will put my law in them and I will write it on their heart. There is coming a day when there's going to be a new covenant now question when the new covenant start when did it come into full force. Well dear member on the night before Jesus was crucified. What he did get his Last Supper was the Old Testament Passover meal of the slain and the roasted lamb during that meal Jesus held up a little cup of wine and he said these words to his own disciples, drink ye all of the for this is my blood of the new testament literally new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Do you realize folks that one half of your Bible, the Old Testament and the new covenant that what we have beginning in Matthew all the way through Revelation is this magnificent promise that Jesus Christ would come and die on a cross and he would bring in the force.
He would ratify a new covenant, and through that new covenant are sins would be cleansed and the spirit of God will make us new people and what did Paul call his own ministry in second Corinthians 3 of her 66. He says we are ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit. Paul also says in verse chapter 3 verse five of Titus, he says, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. So the Old Testament promise of being born again is actually this new covenant.
And folks, I want you to understand it is in full force right now and that is in this gospel age. Those who put faith in Jesus Christ, enter into this new covenant and they enter into this magnificent promise of God.
I think this is what Jesus meant when he said to Nicodemus, you must be born of water and of the spirit and Shirley Nicodemus should've understood this. But then there's a second illustration that Jesus uses in helping us understand what it means to be born again and that's found in John three in verse eight, and notice. Here he uses a mystery and is really a mystery from nature that we all understand like what it says.
The wind blows where it lists death in the list that simply means where it wants to go its own wishes its own is the wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the sound thereof, but you can't tell whence it cometh, and whether it goeth so is everyone that is born of the spirit.
Now Jesus is saying that when a person is born again is like the blowing of the wind, it's a mystery why because we really don't know where the wind comes from words when comfort you know we don't know where the wind comes from.
Where's the wind going to go outside alone, you know, windy day in the wind comes flying by. Where's going to. I don't know but what we do know is we recognize the presence of the win because we can hear the win and we can feel the win and we know the effects of the win because they are clear and definite. What Jesus is saying here is that the spirit of God, like the wind moves in the heart of an unbeliever, the spirit of God is the animating power of God to work in our lives any works in our hearts, and you can say blows upon us like the wind I want to go back if I could. In the Old Testament and illustrate this for you because in the Old Testament is very interesting that the word think the Hebrew word for window. The Hebrew word for breath and the Hebrew word for spirit or all the exact same word is the Hebrew word root lock for example in Genesis 1 verse three it says the spirit of God moved on the face of the earth to bring creation in that word spirit is rule in Genesis 2 in verse seven is a God breathed in the man the breath of life, same exact word rule and there's a very interesting and dynamic illustration in Ezekiel chapter 37. So that's the next chapter up from verse 30 from chapter 36.
We just looked at in Ezekiel chapter 37 we see the power and animating force of God through the rule and what is the story in Ezekiel chapter 37 what you've probably heard of it before or maybe you've heard the song Dem bones Dem bones dim drive own. That's what Ezekiel 37 and what is it it's when the Lord takes Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones.
What is God save Ezekiel, he said, Son of Man can these bones. These dead bones live Ezekiel response, he says, oh Lord God, you know. And God said to you Ezekiel prophesy upon these bones and and say under them. All ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord, thus saith the Lord God in these bones. Behold, I will close breath rule to enter into you and you shall live, and I will put breath in you and you shall live. Prophesy the word and I will breathe life into these dead bone. So what happens well as he prophesies suddenly there's a rattling of these bones.
All these bones come together and what happened suddenly their ligaments begin to form between these boats and then there is/and suddenly their skin. Then God says the Ezekiel he said prophesy under the wind prophesies Son of Man and say to the win. But saith the Lord God come from the four winds over breath, and breathe upon the slaying that they may live. So I prophesied and he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet as an exceeding great army.
He prophesied the word and the breath of God, the life of God came in. Suddenly that which is dead, comes to life and then Ezekiel finishes by explaining his interpretation is that this represents Israel and God's future blessing on them. He says therefore prophesy and I say to them, thus says the Lord God, behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves of my people.
I will bring you into the land of Israel and you shall know that I am the Lord, where I open your graves and raise you from your grace of my people. Now watch this and I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your land. God is giving a promise to the Jewish people of their future.
That which is the come in a kingdom that does not currently exist on this earth but I also believe that this shows us how it is that God works that the word is prophesied of the word is preached, but when blows and the dad come to life when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached the spirit of God, like the wind blows life in the dad sinners. Ephesians 21 and you happy Quicken who were dead in trespasses and sins. You know you got saved, heard the gospel in God's wind blew on your heart that's very interesting. Jesus as the wind blows where wants to blow that is nobody controls the direction of the wind. You can't tell where the wind comes from and where the wind is going to blow where it blows when it blows upon whom it blows it. We don't know we do not.
To determine the basis of the will of the spirit. It blows where it wants, but you can see its effects.
When you see the waving of a flag.
The swaying of a tree. The turning of a wind turbine, or the destruction of a home from a tornado or hurricane you know that the wind is the cause and Jesus said so is everyone that is born of the spirit. This is a mystery, upon whom God decides to blow but the effects are evident and wants the affect of of the working of God in the heart. What's the chief dynamic or the chief affected a life. It is this that you actually believe you actually believe the word you actually believe in Jesus you actually trust in him with all your heart, I know not why God's wondrous grace to me, he hath made known know why unworthy, Christ, and love redeem me for his own plot. I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I've committed to him against that day. I know not how the saving faith to me did impart know-how, believing in his word raw peace within my heart I know not how the spirit moves convincing men of sin, revealing Jesus to the word creating faith in him, but I know I believe the evidence of the spirit of God, is it at work is that he comes to the preaching of the word and people actually believe. Are you a believer with all of your heart. Jesus is yours or your sins washed away Nicodemus how you born again is a promise is a mystery, then very quickly have to finish and gives an illustration. It's actually one that is found in the Old Testament. Verse nine Nicodemus asked the question how can these things be in Jesus basically scolds Nicodemus he said you all know the answer. This Jesus made it clear that the reason why Nicodemus didn't know the answers because he wasn't really a believer in Jesus. Then in verse 14 points back to the Old Testament illustration that shows us our born-again I preach this story many many times. I preached it many times in India and seeing God work in people's lives. What is the verse as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life with the wind we see God's sovereignty, but with this illustration of this miracle, we actually see our personal responsibility. What's the source very simple.
The Jewish people are traveling through the wilderness. Life is hard way is difficult and the people begin to complain, they criticize Moses they criticize God. What a God brought judgment on the people he began the sand into the camp poisonous snakes.
Could you imagine it. We are sitting here in this building and all of a sudden poisonous snakes start coming up from the four rattlesnakes copperheads water moccasins and all of a sudden you can escape them.
You jump up and try to run out and every time you take a step a snake bites you, could you imagine what would happen. The bedlam in this room, people going nuts her by screaming is what happened all of a sudden the people realize the reason why God was judging them with their sin, and so they change their tune and they went to Moses and said Moses been wrong. We have sinned against you and is gets God in them. He said Moses become our mediator and pray to God that he would deliver us from the power of this snakebite this death and go. So God responded. Moses prayed and what he got say Moses to do take a snake take brass and inform and shape of the brass into a snake and put it on the pole and lifted up and everybody that will look at that snake of brass will look at that pole I'll perform a miracle instead of them dying.
I will actually give them life, so he makes a snake of brass he puts it on the pole and lifts it up and everybody that looked at it. What happened to everybody lift and J.
Jesus said this is an illustration of my crucifixion as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, and that being lifted up as being lifted up and dying on the cross. Why, because on the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin and Satan, and death by his death. We live and just like the people look to the serpent of brass to live. So when we look to Jesus at the moment that we look we live, but it's a it's a responsibility nobody can make you look. This look is exclusive.
If you look at Moses you going to dive you look at your mom and dad you got a dog you look at the tabernacle you can adopt you look at yourself.
You go to die. I find a lot of people doubt their salvation because they're looking at everything the Jesus they look back and I get say when I was six years old and I really pray the right kind of prayer did I really mean it and you get sort of messed up in your brain because you're looking at the wrong place is only one place to look, and that's Jesus on the cross, dying for your sins, but that's where the new covenant comes in and here's what God says I will perform a miracle if you look to me I will I will keep my promise and I will perform a miracle and you will not die but you will live in the Bible says everybody that looked lived. Nicodemus how you born-again look I given you this promise a new covenant, I told you it's a mystery, but you have a personal responsibility Nicodemus you must respond, and you must look and you must live so you say Dr. better than what should I do. No doubt some of you are not sure that your saved you what you need to do seek the Lord, call upon him while he's near pass me.
Not a gentle Savior, hear my humble cry while another is our calling. Do not pass me by Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry while another is our calling.
Do not pass me by. If you are not saved. If you are not born again, look to Jesus. Now our gracious Lord, we thank you that your merciful. We thank you that your promises eternal. We thank you that your mercies a great and we thank you Lord that your your miracle is true that if we believe we will live and so father we pray that should work. Impart life. We pray unto those who were dead in trespasses and sins. We pray for your grace to be extended to many here today.
In Jesus name, amen.
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