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Today we are starting a new series titled “The Good News of God’s Glorious offer”

The true shepherd of the flock must not only feed the sheep but must also give weekly attention to increasing the flock.

Today is part 1 What Is a Born Again Christian?

Text
John 3:3 (ESV)

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Scripture Reading

John 3:1-15 (ESV)

You Must Be Born Again

3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 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?”

5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Prayer

Father, we are not worthy to come into your presence, and yet we rejoice that through Jesus Christ you have given us access to the very throne room of your grace and power.

We thank you that we can participate in extending your work beyond our immediate share of influence.

Bless the gifts we offer you to the end that others will come to know your Son Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour.

It is in Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

The term “born again Christian” has had national and even international attention especially recently with leaders like Scott Morrison and Donald Trump coming to power and publicly acknowledging they are born again Christians.

And for years there have been many commentaries about what it means to be a born again Christian.

Most people would say it means that you have let Jesus Christ come into your heart.

Not all people who think they are born again Christians are born again Christians, some are not even Christians.

To merely believe in God does not mean that you are a Christian.

2. To live a morally upright life and be a decent neighbour does not mean that you are a born again Christian.

3. To be raised in a godly Christian home does not mean that you are a born again Christian, physical birth and a good environment do not bring us into God’s family.

4. To be baptised does not mean that you are a born again Christian.

5. To be a church member, even a very good one, does not guarantee that you are a born again Christian.

What is the birth from above?

The new birth is a divine change in the heart of a believer by the Holy Spirit of God.

B. The new birth is a complete change in the innermost being of a believer by the Holy Spirit.

This change is not a partial event or by instalments.

C. The new birth is a permanent change in the heart of a believer upon entering into a new relationship with God.

2. Why does everyone need the new birth?

Jesus said that it was absolutely essential if one would see and enter the kingdom of God.
They were the words He spoke to Nicodemus in John 3.

B. Our present spiritual condition requires that we experience this birth from above.

Until this birth is experienced, we are spiritually dead, being devoid of the spiritual life of God.

C. God’s holy nature requires that we experience this birth from above so that we might have fellowship with Him.

It is in the new birth that we become partakers of the divine nature.

Apart from this new birth, we do not have a nature that would enable us to love God and enjoy His fellowship.

3. What does the new birth do for or to a person?

The new birth definitely does not make us perfect or infallible.

The new birth introduces us into the family of God.

John 1:12 (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Galatians 4:6 (ESV)
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

John 3:1-2 (ESV)

You Must Be Born Again

3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

We become part of a human family by physical birth, and become part of God’s family by spiritual birth.

B. The new birth brings eternal life as a present possession to the believer.

John 3:36 (ESV)
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24 (ESV)
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Eternal life is not a reward that is bestowed on us at the end of the way as a result of great faithfulness and sacrifice.

Eternal life is the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and it comes to us at the moment of our faith response to Christ Romans 6:23 (ESV) says it this way

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

C. The new birth brings the Holy Spirit of God into the heart of the believer.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

1 John 4:13 (ESV)
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

The Holy Spirit takes up residency within the heart of the believer at the moment of the new births that he might direct the believer in God’s great redemptive work and reproduce within that believer the character of Jesus Christ.

D. The new birth makes spiritual growth possible.

Lets look at 1 Peter 2:1-2 (ESV) it talks about A Living Stone and a Holy People

2 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.

Until the new birth has been experienced, it is impossible to grow spiritually.

E. The Holy Spirit brings us under the correction and chastisement of our Father God.

Hebrews 12:4-10 (ESV) says

4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

After we become the children of God, God deals with our sins as a father would deal with the sins and mistakes of his child.

Because He loves us, He chastises us to bring us into conformity with the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

4. How can we be sure that we are born again?

Are you trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour?

Have you put your trust in Him and Him alone for your salvation?

Or are you trusting yourself to get the job done?

You can only be sure of a born again experience if you are trusting Jesus Christ alone.

B. There are some distinctive marks of the twice born.

Do you have these characteristic features?

Do you have an appetite for the things of the spiritual life?
Do you hunger for the Word of God?

Do you hunger for fellowship with the people of God?

An absence of these things would indicate either spiritual illness or the absence of life.

2. Do you love God and God’s people?

1 John 3:14(ESV)
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

1 John 4:19 (ESV)
19 We love because he first loved us.

If you do not love God and His people, you should be disturbed about your spiritual condition.

3. Do you have an aversion for sin?

Do you want to avoid sin and eliminate it from your life?

1 John 2:1 (ESV) tells us that Christ Our Advocate
2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And 1 John 3:9 (ESV) says

9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.

If you find deep within your heart a sincere aversion for doing that which is wrong, this is one of the evidences that you have been born of the Spirit and that God’s nature dwells within you.

4. Do you have an ambition to please God in all of your life?

If you can honestly answer yes, these are the evidences that you have indeed experienced the new birth.

5. How can we experience the new birth?

You must come to Jesus in faith that trusts Him.

Accept Him to be what He claims to be.

Decide that you will depend on Him to do what He offers to do and what He has promised to do.

B. To come to Christ means that you turn from a life of selfishness, sin, and self destructiveness and that you make the decision to let Jesus Christ become Lord of your life.

Turn from self righteousness and from the wickedness that will destroy you, and commit your life to Jesus Christ.

Claim Him as your very own.

Confess Him before others and identify yourself with Him.

Conclusion.

Nicodemus, a very good man, needed a new birth.

The Samaritan woman, described in John 4, a very fallen woman, also needed the new life that the new birth brings.

All of us are somewhere between these two extremes.

And between these two extremes, all of us can come to Christ and experience the new birth.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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