BIBLE STUDY NOTES
Three Miracle Births
Every natural birth is a miracle.
The virgin birth is a greater miracle.
The new birth is also a miracle.
A man named Nicodemus wanted to understand miracles, and he came to Jesus by night.
The name “Nicodemus” means “superior.”
By many accounts, Nicodemus was superior.
Nicodemus was Jewish and, thereby, part of the chosen race.
He was also a Pharisee.
Pharisees were the most religious of the religious.
He was a ruler of the Jews.
He was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was the Jewish high court.
He was one of only 71 in all the land of Israel.
What a shock it must have been to this man with a pedigree to be told that he needed to be born again.
Today’s message will look at the necessity of the virgin birth.
We will understand why God could not just dwell in Heaven and simply forgive men.
THE DEFICIENCY OF THE NATURAL BIRTH (JOHN 3:6)
We have all been born of the flesh.
Nicodemus was born into the natural world.
He had a natural birth; he was born of the flesh.
Because of his natural birth, he was a natural-born sinner.
He learned that one birth is not enough to get him into Heaven.
Nicodemus was bound to the sinful world.
He was born with a sinful nature.
This passage means that he was conceived with a sinful nature.
It is not the amount of sin but the fact of sin that condemns us.
We are sinners by nature, and God must judge sin.
Even if we are raised in a proper and good environment, we still have a sin nature.
Nicodemus was blind to the spiritual world.
A man without Christ cannot see or perceive spiritual things.
Education does not help; you cannot educate someone into the kingdom of God.
A person does not need education; he needs transformation.
Nicodemus was educated; he was a master in Israel.
We should not scold an unsaved person for not seeing spiritually any more than we would scold a physically blind person for not seeing.
Man needs more than light; he needs sight.
We need to pray for God to open our eyes.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
It takes more than preaching to get people saved; the Holy Spirit must open blind eyes.
We must pray that the Holy Spirit will open blind eyes.
THE EFFICIENCY OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH (JOHN 3:14-17)
The efficiency of the virgin birth makes up for the deficiency of the natural birth.
Jesus was not just a teacher come from God; He was God who came to teach.
Jesus is God in human flesh.
Apart from the only begotten Son of God and apart from the virgin birth, there is no salvation.
It is a ministry of revelation.
Nicodemus is born blind; he cannot see spiritually.
His blindness is a willful blindness.
Men hate the light and won’t come to the light in the spiritual realm.
There are those who are repulsed by the truth.
They know that if they accept the truth, then there must be a radical change of life.
They hate the light and will not come to the light because their deeds are evil.
It is a ministry of revelation so that the blind might see.
It is a ministry of redemption.
Why did Jesus have to come to Earth to redeem us?
God is just.
God gave dominion to Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve turned that dominion over to Satan.
It was legally lost.
Dominion was lost by a man, and it must be redeemed by a man for God to be legally just and righteous.
God needed a man to pay the sin debt.
There needed to be a sacrifice, but the sacrifice needed to be a sinless sacrifice.
A sinner could only die for his own sin.
Jesus, the Son of God, was perfectly sinless; therefore, He could die as our substitute.
1 Corinthians 15:22
We all have the sinful nature of Adam.
Jesus does not have the sinful nature of Adam because He’s not the son of Adam; Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus was born of a virgin, without a human father; therefore, He was not a descendant of Adam.
Jesus came as He did (virgin born), to be what He was (sinless), to do what He did (be an atoning sacrifice on the cross) that we might be forgiven and saved and be what we are (children of God).
Without the virgin birth, there is no salvation.
If there had been some other way, God would have taken it.
Without the virgin birth, no sinless Savior.
Without the sinless Savior, no atoning sacrifice.
With no atoning sacrifice, no new birth.
With no new birth, no hope of Heaven.
Jesus was born of a virgin that we might be born again.
He came to Earth that we might go to Heaven.
He became the Son of man that we might become the sons and daughters of God.
THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE NEW BIRTH (JOHN 3:4-7)
Because of what Jesus did, we are sufficient to stand before God and to have fellowship with God; to be born again.
When we are born again, we lay hold of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.
Being saved is like a birth.
In a birth, there is a conception.
In order to have a conception, you must have two parents.
The two parents in the new birth are the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
In John 3:5, Jesus is using “water” as an illustration and an analogy:
In both the Old and New Testaments, water is a symbol of the Word of God.
It is the Word of God which impregnates people so that a birth can take place.
1 Peter 1:23
We provide the womb of faith.
When the Spirit of God and the Word of God come together in the womb of faith, a conception takes place, and a wonderful birth transpires.
Parents do not create babies; all they do is pass on life.
Life comes from life.
A baby receives transferred life from the parents.
When we get saved, we are receiving life.
The Word of God and the Spirit of God transfer the life of God into us.
Going to Heaven is a by-product of salvation.
Being saved is not about getting man out of Earth and into Heaven; it’s about getting God out of Heaven and into man.
It is the life of God.
We are spiritually dead until we are born again.
In a birth, a character is produced.
We are the sum total of the genetic makeup of our parents.
When we are born again, we have the characteristics of God.
It is only natural that the baby has characteristics of the parents.
2 Peter 1:4
God has passed life on to us, and that life now resides in us; therefore, our character is going to be changed.
There is a divine change that takes place.
A Christian is not like a tadpole that becomes a frog.
A Christian is like a frog that becomes a prince by the kiss of grace.
It is supernatural.
What are the traits of the twice-born?
You love the Lord Jesus and His Word.
You will love the Lord Jesus because you will have the nature of God.
God the Father loves His Son.
If you do not love Jesus, then you need to ask yourself if you have the nature of God in you.
1 John 4:19
You have the inner witness of the Spirit.
God’s Spirit will give you an awareness that you belong to Christ.
The witness of the Spirit is not emotion.
Our emotions are the shallowest part of our nature.
Salvation is the deepest work of God.
God doesn’t do His deepest work in the shallowest part.
The witness of the Spirit is awareness.
You are aware that you belong to God.
You have a desire for holiness.
1 Peter 1:16
You will want to be holy because the nature of God is holy.
This does not mean that you will never sin.
We are not perfect.
Before we are saved, we run to sin.
After we are saved, we run from sin.
You have a desire to share Jesus Christ.
We can’t all be preachers, but we can all be reachers.
We have the answer to eternal life.
If we can’t give it away, then we ought to give it up if we don’t have a desire to share the Lord Jesus.
When a birth takes place, there is a finality.
You are only born once in the flesh, and you’re only born once in the Spirit.
The birth in the Spirit is called a second birth, but it is not a second of the same kind of birth.
No one is ever born twice physically, and no one is ever born twice spiritually.
Once you are saved, then you are saved.
You will never find in the Bible where anyone was saved twice.
The Greek construction in this verse literally means “they stand written in Heaven.”
No one can be unborn.
If you give your heart to Jesus Christ, He will save you and save you forever.
There will never be a time when you will cease to exist.
Your soul will always be in existence.
A birth is a starting place.
When you’re born, you’re all tomorrows and no yesterdays.
When we are born again, all of our sins are in the grave of God’s forgetfulness.
We are new creatures.
God has removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West.
If we stumble and fall, we can be cleansed and forgiven.
That sin will never be placed against our name.
A birth is the beginning of a growth cycle.
Some people hesitate to give their hearts to Jesus because they think they can’t live the Christian life or that they are not strong enough or don’t understand enough.
When we are first saved, we are like babies.
We have to learn how to walk and how to talk and how to work.
That’s what babies do: they grow up.
Churches are here to help us grow up.
Don’t let the fact that you don’t have a degree in theology keep you from coming to Jesus today.
Come as you are, and then you begin to grow.
1 Peter 2:2
After you come to Jesus, you then begin to discover what all you received when you got born.
Some people say that they will come to Jesus after they learn more or after they quit a certain thing, but that is like saying that you will grow up and then get born.
In reality, you will not grow until you are first born again.
In a birth, you get a family.
When you are born again, you get the family of God; and God is your Heavenly Father.
God will take care of His own.
If an earthly father feeds his children, how much more will your Heavenly Father take care of you?
A birth has a certainty.
If you’re born, you ought to know it.
And if you’re born again, you ought to know it.
The Bible teaches a know-so salvation, not a hope-so or maybe-so salvation.
The proof of your birth is you.
The proof of your new birth is also you: the person trusting Jesus right now as your personal Lord and Savior.
The distinction between your natural birth and your new birth is that you didn’t have a choice in your natural birth.
You have a choice about the new birth.
You are born again by trusting Christ.
Do you want to be born again?
Do you know Jesus personally? If not, you can pray to Him today by asking Him to come into your life.
Call upon Jesus today. Repent (turn) from your sins, and turn to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and acknowledge Him as Lord of your life.
Spiritual Warfare - Part 1 The Enemy
There is a dark, diabolical, and deadly war that is being fought in America.
It is a form of guerilla warfare with sabotage, subversion, innuendo and sniping.
It is a deadly war.
It is a war between light and darkness, good and evil, Heaven and Hell, Christ and Satan.
Whether we realize it or not, we are part of this war.
We cannot afford to be ignorant.
We cannot possibly be neutral.
If we try to be neutral, then we will find ourselves in the crossfire and in the most dangerous place of all.
The church is not a showboat; it is a battleship.
Today’s message is a warning and a call to arms, but also a declaration of victory.
When we were born again, we were born from above.
Being Heaven-born and Heaven-bound, we were also born for a battle.
When we were born again, we were born to win.
Today’s passage of Scripture discusses the Christian warrior.
It’s not merely talking about the pastor or the evangelist or the missionary.
It is talking about each of us.
the christian warrior and his adversary (Ephesians 6:11)
We must know our enemy.
Our adversary is called “the devil.”
The devil today is viewed as sort of a laughable character.
Some people think of him as some medieval superstition.
We make light of the devil.
We call football teams “devils” and “demons.”
Devil Truck Lines “It is easy with the devil.”
We talk about deviled ham and devil’s food cake.
We think of the devil as a guy in long, red underwear with a pitchfork.
We have an enemy, and he is very real.
The Bible does not speak of him as some figment of the imagination.
It has always been his purpose to pull the veil of darkness over his kingdom and have his very existence denied for a while.
But he wants worship.
He will only use this disguise so long before he removes the veil and demands worship.
It is important that we understand who the devil is in our warfare.
If there is no enemy, then there will be no preparation for war.
We have an enemy, and we must understand this.
How is the enemy described?
He is a decided fact.
If we don’t believe that the devil exists, then we are in a very precarious situation.
He is a destructive force.
The Greek word for “wiles” is the word from which we get the words “methodical” and “methods.”
Satan is very methodical.
He is strategic.
He may take two steps back in order to go forward three steps.
He may let us think that we are getting away with our sin.
He may even seem to be blessing us and helping us along our way.
He has made a plan to sabotage our lives and our homes.
He is wily and subtle.
Apart from the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God, he would deceive the very elect.
He is spiritual.
Sometimes people think that because something is spiritual, it is good.
This is not the case.
There is spiritual goodness, and there is spiritual wickedness.
1 John 4:1
Séances, necromancy, Ouija boards, horoscopes, clairvoyancy, visions, and Hindu mysticism are examples of spiritual wickedness.
He is strong.
In our flesh, we are no match for our adversary.
We are too weak to go against Satan in our own strength.
He is sinister.
Satan has a dark, tyrannical power, and he is in a fight to the finish.
There is nothing that he will not do to wreck, ruin and destroy our lives.
He is a defeated foe.
God has already defeated Satan.
It’s not that Satan shall be defeated; he is already defeated.
1 John 4:4
Satan is strong, sinister, strategic, and spiritual, but God is almighty.
If we do not learn these truths, then we will not understand victory.
If Satan is a defeated foe, then why should we be warned?
Even though Satan’s back was broken at Calvary, God still allows him to have power on the Earth.
It is limited power, and it is power that we as Christians can and shall overcome in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is part of God’s plan to make us overcomers and to give greater glory to Himself.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober (not out of hand; alert; awake; self-controlled) be vigilant (stay awake and keep watch) BECAUSE (everyone has the why question) Why?
Your adversary (hostile enemy, your opponent)
As a - roaring lion
Stalks his enemy – every child of the King
Looking for the opportunity to suffer ruin or destruction.
You and I must know our enemy
You and I must be prepared for battle
Next time we meet we will learn how to dress for battle~