Participants: Nathan Renner
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000349
00:31 Welcome to Faith Chapel, I'm Pastor
00:33 Nathan Renner from the Detroit Michigan
00:35 Seventh-Day Adventist Church and we're
00:38 so pleased to have you listening today.
00:42 We're going to be talking about how to have
00:44 a new life right now, and we're gonna be
00:47 studying that from John chapter 3,
00:49 which is a famous text of scripture,
00:51 where Jesus speaks about being born again.
00:55 And this chapter is particularly interesting
00:57 to be because for years and years,
01:00 I used the term born again as a negative
01:04 way of referring to Christians that is
01:06 before I became a Christian I referred to
01:08 people as all those or those born again.
01:11 I used it in a negative way and through the
01:15 providence of God he led me to become
01:18 a Christian and understand what it means
01:21 to be born again in a very real way.
01:25 So, I'd like begin here with prayer and then
01:28 we're going to read portions of John chapter 3
01:31 and get into how to have a new
01:34 life right now. Let's pray. Our Father,
01:38 thank you for the promise of new life and
01:41 we ask God that your Spirit would be
01:44 present with us, that you would teach us
01:47 and give us understanding. And we thank
01:49 you in Jesus name, Amen. In John chapter 3,
01:55 we'll begin in verse 1, in John chapter 3
01:58 we're going to read verse 1, the Bible says:
02:03 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named
02:06 Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. We'll read
02:10 also verse 2, it says in verse 2: This man came
02:16 to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi,
02:22 we know that you are a teacher come from
02:25 God, for no one can do these signs that you
02:28 do unless God is with him." Here in John
02:32 chapter 3 verses 1 & 2 we have a very simple
02:35 picture, there's a gentlemen that named
02:37 Nicodemus, he is a Pharisees that means that
02:41 his job in life is to teach God's word.
02:45 He's a ruler of the Jews, that means that
02:48 he has a position of prominence in his
02:53 community and the Bible says in verse 2,
02:57 that he comes to see Jesus at night.
03:01 And then he speaks to Jesus and compliments
03:05 him and I wonder why it is that Nicodemus comes
03:10 to see Jesus at night. I think the answer's
03:13 actually quite simple and that is simply this.
03:17 That in our modern day doing something
03:19 at night really isn't that big of a deal,
03:21 but in the Bible days when you did something
03:24 at night, there were no street lights,
03:26 there were no lamps burning really like we
03:30 have today. And so, when you're doing
03:33 something at night, you're doing something
03:35 somewhat out of the ordinary. So, in John
03:38 chapter 3, when the Bible emphasizes that
03:40 Nicodemus came to see Jesus at night,
03:43 it was emphasizing that Nicodemus is
03:45 doing something odd. And the reason he
03:49 would do it is because he was looking for
03:51 secrecy. He was wanting to see Jesus at
03:54 night, more then likely because he was
03:58 concerned about what his friends would
04:00 think I know the feeling. I was 20-years-old
04:04 and I was not a Christian, I was a punk
04:06 rock kid and I had no real interest in these
04:11 things of the Spirit of God for many years
04:13 and then the Spirit of God began to work
04:16 in my life and began to speak to my heart
04:18 and I began interest, becoming interested
04:20 in the things of God and the things of
04:22 Christ. When I would go to Church on
04:25 Saturday mornings, I would leave the
04:27 house, dress like a punk rocker. And I would
04:30 have in my backpack clothes that would
04:34 be more appropriate for Church. And after
04:39 Church was done, then I would change
04:41 back into my punk rock clothes and go home
04:44 where I lived with my friends. I did this
04:47 because I was concerned about what
04:49 my friends would think if they were knowing
04:52 that I was interested in Jesus Christ.
04:56 Now, as I continued doing the study of the
05:00 Bible and became more interest of course
05:03 then my friends found out and I was
05:06 seeing Jesus in the day. So, in John chapter
05:09 3, we have Nicodemus coming to see Jesus
05:14 at night and why does he come to see
05:16 Jesus at night, it's very simple. 'Cause he
05:19 was afraid of what others would think,
05:23 now in John chapter 3 when he comes to
05:26 see Jesus at night, he comes to him and
05:28 he says, Rabbi no one can do these things
05:33 that you do unless God is with him.
05:36 He comes to Jesus in almost a flattering way,
05:38 a very complimentary way. Rabbi, we know
05:42 that no one can do these signs that
05:44 you do unless God is with him. And Jesus,
05:48 you know you might expect somebody to
05:50 say when they call you good master or
05:52 Rabbi and they compliment you like that.
05:55 You might expect someone to say well
05:56 thank you for those kind words. And then
06:01 move into conversation, when Nicodemus
06:03 comes to Jesus and says Rabbi we know that
06:07 no one can do these sings that you do
06:09 unless God is with him. Jesus doesn't say
06:11 thank you for those kind words, Jesus says
06:14 in John chapter 3 verse 3, we're gonna
06:16 read it now, John chapter 3 verse 3:
06:18 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly,
06:22 I say to you, unless one is born again
06:26 he cannot see the kingdom of God."
06:30 I want you to imagine what it would be
06:32 like if you had approached someone with
06:35 some very complimentary words, that was
06:38 a find sermon you preached Nathan
06:41 and I said you must be born again and
06:44 if you're not born again you cannot see
06:47 the kingdom of God. You might be taken
06:49 back; you may say well that was rather
06:52 abrupt Pastor. And I imagine that when
06:56 Nicodemus said good master. Nicodemus was
07:01 used to being able to speak to people and
07:04 lead them and guide the conversation,
07:06 and when he tries to do that with Jesus.
07:08 Jesus just simply looks him dead in the eye
07:11 and says, you must be born again.
07:16 Now, obviously this statement confused
07:19 Nicodemus, Nicodemus taken back,
07:22 it says in verse 4, Nicodemus said to him,
07:26 I'm reading now: "How can a man be
07:29 born when he is old? Can he enter a
07:32 second time into his mother's womb and
07:36 be born?" Nicodemus is asking this
07:39 question like what are you talking about
07:42 Jesus? You tell me, I mean I come to you
07:46 just being a nice guy saying that you must
07:48 be come from God and then the first words
07:50 out of your mouth are you must be born
07:52 again, what do you mean? You want me
07:56 to go back into the womb and come out
07:58 again and the Bible says in verse 5,
08:02 John chapter 3 verse 5, Jesus in John
08:06 chapter 3 verse 5 tells Nicodemus what he
08:09 means. Jesus answered, "Truly, truly,
08:13 I say to you, unless one is born of water
08:18 and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom
08:23 of God. Jesus here in John chapter 3 verse 5,
08:28 defines what it means to be born again;
08:31 to be born again according to Jesus is to
08:33 be born of the water and the Spirit.
08:37 Follow, Jesus tells Nicodemus you must be
08:39 born again, Nicodemus says what does that
08:41 mean and how does that happen, what does
08:43 that mean? And Jesus says you must be
08:45 born of the water and the Spirit. Now what
08:49 does it mean to be born of the water and
08:52 the Spirit, to be born of the Spirit means
08:54 that the Spirit of God comes into the life
08:57 and transforms the person that you are
09:01 and to be born of the water of course
09:03 it's the reference to Baptism, it's a
09:06 reference to being Baptized in the name
09:08 of the Father, the Son and the Holy
09:09 Spirit. And so, Jesus is saying that you
09:12 must be born again, you must have that
09:14 transformation in your life by the power
09:17 of the Spirit of God. Now, notice John
09:20 chapter 3 verse 6, Jesus now tells us
09:24 why it is that we must be born again.
09:27 John chapter 3 verse 6, why must I be
09:30 born again: That which is born of the flesh
09:33 is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit
09:38 is Spirit. What is Jesus saying here,
09:41 Jesus is saying that the flesh produces more
09:45 and more of the flesh. The flesh is flesh,
09:50 Jesus says, that which is born of the flesh
09:53 is flesh, so what Jesus is saying is that
09:56 without being born again, without the Spirit
09:59 of God transforming who you are.
10:01 Your flesh will always only produce more
10:06 of itself; the flesh will produce more of
10:11 the flesh. I remember, 5th grade my best
10:14 friend and I, we were pushing our bicycles
10:16 up the hill, we lived in Deadwood,
10:18 South Dakota and there was, there were
10:20 hills and mountains everywhere and
10:23 after school one day my friend and I,
10:25 we were pushing our bikes up the hill and
10:27 as we were pushing our bikes up the hill,
10:29 he looked at me and he said you know
10:31 Nathan if we don't stop swearing we're
10:33 both gonna wind up in hell. Here I'm a
10:36 little 5th grade, he's a little 5th grade
10:38 boy and both of us knew wow we need
10:42 to make a change and I can tell you
10:46 that change didn't happen in my life
10:49 until I was born again. Because my flesh,
10:52 it would always only produce more and more
10:56 and more and more of itself. The flesh is
10:59 that fallen sinful nature that we have
11:03 and it produces more and more of itself,
11:06 there's no changing it, it only has one
11:09 mode and that is sin. And so Jesus says
11:13 you have to be born again, you have to be
11:14 born of the Spirit of God. So, that the
11:17 Spirit can come into your life and instead
11:19 of the flesh producing more of itself now
11:22 you have the Spirit of God producing more
11:26 of itself. Jesus said that which is born of
11:29 the flesh is flesh, it's gonna produce more
11:32 and more and more of itself. But that which
11:34 is born of the Spirit is Spirit and the Spirit
11:37 will produce more of itself. Now, after
11:41 Jesus makes that important point in verse
11:44 7, Jesus then says: Do not marvel that
11:50 I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
11:54 He's saying Nicodemus, don't you know
11:57 that your sinful fallen nature just produces
12:00 more of itself and don't you know that
12:02 if you had the Spirit of God it would
12:04 produce more of itself. So, why are you so
12:08 amazed that I'm telling you to be born
12:10 again, every single human being on the
12:14 face of this planet needs to be born again,
12:17 there's not a young man, not an old man,
12:19 not a young woman, not an old woman.
12:21 No human being that is accepted,
12:24 because every human being has the
12:26 problem with the flesh that wants only
12:29 always to sin. And the Spirit of God wants
12:32 to come in and rewrite who you are and
12:36 change who you are. He wants to birth
12:39 you anew and instead of the flesh producing
12:41 more of the flesh, he wants the Spirit to
12:44 produce more of the Spirit of God.
12:48 Now, we're gonna read in John chapter 8
12:51 verse 8 and Jesus here describes one
12:54 of the most beautiful experiences that
12:57 happens when the Spirit of God begins to
12:59 work in the life. John chapter 3 verse 8,
13:03 lets read it now: "The wind blows where
13:07 it wishes, you hear the sound, and you do
13:11 not know where it comes from or where
13:13 it goes. So it is with everyone who is
13:18 born of the Spirit." Jesus here is making
13:22 the remarkable point that the Spirit of
13:24 God is like wind and we have no idea where
13:28 the wind comes from, we don't know
13:30 where it goes, but we do know that it's real.
13:33 And so what Jesus is saying is that being
13:36 born again, having that experience it's like
13:39 the, it's like the wind blowing in your life.
13:43 I remember my own life, I was living life,
13:45 I was happy, I was content as punk rocker.
13:49 I was doing exactly what I enjoyed to do
13:53 and then the Spirit of God came out of
13:56 nowhere, it began to blow in my life,
14:00 I didn't ask God to do it. I didn't even
14:03 know that God existed really. The Spirit of
14:06 God began to blow, the Spirit of God
14:10 began to speak. The Spirit of God began
14:13 to work, I didn't know where it was coming
14:16 from, didn't know where it was gonna
14:18 take me and that's what Jesus is saying
14:21 with being born again. It doesn't,
14:25 it comes from nowhere really, it's like the
14:27 wind. You don't know where it comes,
14:30 you don't know where it goes,
14:31 but you do know it's real and that was
14:33 my experience. Now, in verse 9, Nicodemus
14:37 asks the most important question,
14:41 now what Jesus has said is, we read his
14:44 point there. Nicodemus said to him,
14:46 "How can these things be?" Nicodemus asks
14:52 how can this happen. Now, I want you
14:55 to follow really what's happened here,
14:57 Jesus has simply said to Nicodemus,
15:00 Nicodemus, you need to be born again.
15:02 Nicodemus, you need to be born again.
15:05 You need to be transformed by the Spirit
15:07 of God, and you need to give evidence
15:09 of that transformation by being baptized.
15:12 Nicodemus, you've got to be born again
15:15 and then the question comes, how can
15:19 I have this experience. People everywhere
15:23 asking how can my life be changed,
15:27 how can my life be transformed?
15:29 How can this happen to me? Very good
15:35 question and Jesus wants to answer it.
15:40 You see Jesus is not interested in just
15:42 telling you what needs to happen.
15:46 He's also interest in telling you how it
15:49 needs to happen, so Nicodemus asked
15:52 how can these things be, Jesus you've
15:55 told me that I need to be born again.
15:57 Yes, I know that my flesh is producing
15:59 more of itself. I know that I need the
16:02 Spirit of God to transform my life,
16:04 but how can it happen and this cry has
16:08 come from many hearts and minds.
16:11 Many people who asked how can I have
16:15 the change in my life that I know I need
16:18 to have, how can I have it? Well, Jesus
16:21 answers the question, but before he
16:23 answers the question, he gives Nicodemus
16:25 a little bit of a hard time. Remember
16:28 Nicodemus' job was to teach people how
16:32 to know God. He was basically, you could
16:36 almost call him like a pastor he was a
16:38 teacher of the word of God.
16:39 He was a zealous follower of God and
16:43 so Nicodemus, Jesus gives him a hard time
16:46 in verse 10, we'll read it. Jesus answered
16:49 him, "Are you the teacher of Israel,
16:54 yet you do not understand these things?"
16:58 We'll read verse 11 as well. "Truly,
17:02 truly I say to you, we speak of what we
17:05 know, and bear witness of what we have
17:08 seen, but you do not receive our testimony."
17:12 Follow what Jesus is saying here,
17:15 Jesus is saying essentially hey Nicodemus,
17:19 aren't you supposed to be a Bible teacher,
17:22 aren't you supposed to know the spiritual
17:25 message of God? How is it that you don't
17:29 know the answer to this question?
17:34 Jesus says, we speak what we know
17:38 and obviously since you're not talking
17:39 about this Nicodemus you don't know about
17:41 it. Verse 12, let's read verse 12:
17:46 "If I have told you earthly things and you
17:49 do not believe, how can you believe if
17:51 I tell you heavenly things?" Verse 13:
17:54 "No one has ascended into heaven except
17:57 him who descended from heaven,
17:59 the Son of Man." Now, when we get to
18:02 verse 14, Jesus is actually answering the
18:06 question how can these things be?
18:10 Jesus' said you must be born again,
18:12 you must be transformed by the Spirit
18:13 of God. Your flesh is only producing the
18:16 flesh, now you need the Spirit of God
18:18 to produce more of the Spirit, then the
18:20 question comes, how can this happen?
18:22 How can these things be? And now Jesus
18:25 is going to give the answer to the most
18:28 important question in life. Remember Jesus
18:31 said you are not going to heaven unless
18:34 you're born again and Nicodemus says,
18:36 alright, if I'm not going to heaven,
18:38 if I'm not gonna get to the kingdom of God
18:40 without being born again, how does it
18:42 happen? How can I be born again?
18:45 And the answer comes in verse 14,
18:49 Jesus lays it out, Jesus says, this is how
18:52 you can be born again. As Moses lifted
18:56 the serpent in the wilderness, so the
19:00 Son of Man must be lifted up. What is
19:08 Jesus saying here? What is Jesus saying
19:13 here? It's a fascinating story in the
19:18 book of Numbers, God's people had been
19:21 in rebellion against God. They had
19:25 wandered from God and God allowed fiery
19:29 serpents, the Bible says to bite them and
19:32 many of the people were dying. That's
19:36 what Jesus is talking about, Moses lifted
19:38 the serpent and what happen there is
19:42 Moses prayed to God, God what can we
19:44 do? What's the solution to the problem
19:47 of these people dying, and God's answer
19:51 was built a bronze serpent and lift that
19:56 serpent on a pole and whoever looks at
19:59 that serpent will be healed and live.
20:06 Now, Moses built the serpent and people
20:10 looked at the serpent when they were
20:11 bite by snake and they lived, which is
20:16 really a fascinating picture here.
20:18 And Jesus is gonna use this to describer
20:20 his own mission but that really leads
20:22 us to an interesting question, why a
20:25 snake? Why a bronze snake? And here
20:28 in John chapter 3 verse 14, let's read
20:31 John chapter 3 verse 14 again. Now, that
20:34 we know the story that Jesus is talking
20:36 about, let's read it just now. John 3
20:37 verse 14: And as Moses lifted up the
20:42 serpent in the wilderness, so the Son
20:45 of Man must be lifted up, Jesus is saying
20:49 just like Moses lifted that snake in the
20:51 wilderness, so Jesus must be lifted up.
20:55 Now, the question for us today is how
20:58 come the snake is now a symbol of Jesus,
21:02 I mean wasn't it the snake in Genesis
21:05 chapter 3 that was a symbol of the devil,
21:08 wasn't it a snake in Revelation 12
21:10 that's a symbol of Satan. Isn't the
21:12 snake all throughout the Bible a symbol
21:16 of sin and Satan, and how can a symbol
21:20 of sin and Satan, all of a sudden become
21:23 a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ,
21:27 how can that serpent lifted in the wilderness
21:30 be a representation of Christ being lifted
21:33 up and dying on the Cross, how can that
21:36 be? And the answer to that question is
21:40 remarkably profound, it is seen in the
21:43 simple fact that on the cross. The Bible says
21:48 that the Father made Christ to be sin for
21:54 us, so that we could become righteous.
21:58 Now, follow this simple point then,
22:01 on the Cross when Jesus was lifted up.
22:04 The Bible is telling us that God made Christ
22:07 to be sin for us, he became everything,
22:12 evil and vile, not that he actually became
22:16 it, he became it for us. And he died the
22:22 death that sin required, remember Jesus
22:28 says you must be born again, you must be
22:30 transformed by the Spirit of God,
22:32 you must be renewed. You must have
22:34 the Spirit of God make you what you
22:38 need to be and Nicodemus says how?
22:41 Oh! How can I have the transformation?
22:45 How can I have new life right now?
22:47 And the answer is Jesus has to be lifted
22:52 up from the earth. There is only one way
22:55 and that is the death, burial and resurrection
22:59 Look now in John chapter 3 verses 14
23:02 & 15, John chapter 3 verses 14 & 15:
23:06 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in
23:08 the wilderness, so must the Son of Man
23:11 be lifted up, verse 15, that whosoever
23:15 believes in him may have eternal life.
23:17 Now, follow the main point again,
23:20 how can these things be? How can
23:22 I be born again? How can it happen?
23:25 And the answer comes just like Moses
23:28 lifted the serpent and the people looked
23:31 and lived, so Christ must be lifted up that
23:35 whoever believes on him should not
23:39 perish but have everlasting life.
23:44 My friends, the key to a new life right now,
23:49 the key to a new life right now is a faith
23:54 and trust in the death of Jesus Christ
23:58 as your salvation. And you believe that,
24:03 you have God's promise that he will give
24:06 you the Spirit and birth you a new.
24:10 John chapter 3 verse 16 follows that up
24:14 with these beautiful promise,
24:16 this beautiful promise. John chapter 3
24:20 verse 16, let's read it now: "For God so
24:23 loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
24:28 that whoever believes in him should not
24:31 perish but have eternal life." My friends
24:35 Nicodemus asked the question, how can
24:38 these things be? How can I have a new
24:40 life? How can I be born again? How can I
24:43 be transformed by the Spirit? And Jesus'
24:46 answer is so simple, it is so simple,
24:52 yet so profound. He says the only way
24:56 for you to have a new life, is for me to
25:00 be lifted up, that is for me to die for your
25:05 old life. The only way for you to be born
25:09 again and be transformed by the Spirit
25:12 is for me to die for your old life.
25:18 So, that you can be filled with the Spirit
25:20 and have a new one. And why would
25:23 God do that? Why would God do that?
25:27 Because he loved the world, he loved
25:32 every last human being and he wants
25:36 to take care of every human being's past.
25:41 And give them a new future, that's why
25:44 he says: "For God so loved the world,
25:51 that He gave His only begotten Son,
25:53 that whosoever believeth in Him should
25:55 not perish, but have everlasting life"
26:01 Friend of mine, God wants you to live
26:04 forever, God wants you to have a new life,
26:08 God wants you to be transformed.
26:11 You must be born again, you say how
26:14 can that be, I'm so enslaved to this habits.
26:21 I'm so weak in this area of my life,
26:24 I've so many problems in this part of
26:27 my life, there's no way for me to change,
26:30 I've tried and tried and tried and tried
26:33 and had absolutely no success.
26:35 My friend, God wants you to have a new
26:37 life, he wants you to have a new life
26:41 right now and you can have it right
26:43 now. It's not for pulling yourself up by
26:47 your bootstraps; you'll never have the
26:49 strength. It is through the transformative
26:52 power of the Spirit of God that is yours
26:56 when you trust Jesus Christ, when you
27:00 believe that Jesus died for you,
27:05 you'll receive the Spirit of God,
27:08 the forgiveness of sins and the promise
27:11 of a new life. You want that new life?
27:15 Put your faith in Jesus right now,
27:19 let's pray. Father please, bless all of
27:22 those people out there, blessed every
27:24 individual who's trusting you right now.
27:29 Fill them with your Spirit, Father,
27:30 I pray in Jesus name, Amen.
27:35 My friend, if you have trusted Christ today,
27:39 believe with all of your heart that he has
27:44 forgiven you in giving you the gift of
27:46 eternal life. And then enjoy the new
27:50 life that he's giving you forever.
27:53 al who's trusting you right now.
27:54 Fill them with your Spirit, Father,
27:55 I pray in Jesus name, Amen.
27:56 My friend, if you have trusted Christ today,
27:57 believe with all of your heart that he has