Participants: Floyd Bresee
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000370
00:31 Hi, I'm Pastor Floyd Bresee and
00:35 I've been thinking it seems to me
00:38 there would be a lot more Christians
00:40 if Christians were a lot more Christ like.
00:44 Let's pray about it, Heavenly Father
00:47 please teach us something today
00:52 that will help us become more Christ like
00:56 Christians, we prayer in Jesus name, amen.
01:01 We're going to talk today about something
01:05 that seems rather unlikely and that is
01:08 being lost in church.
01:11 Is it possible to be in church and lost,
01:14 is it possible to be active in church
01:17 and still be lost, lost in church.
01:19 Let's leave our open please to the
01:22 gospel of John and the 3rd chapter,
01:25 I'll be using the New International version.
01:28 The streets of Jerusalem are nearly clear,
01:33 darkness has come and its dangerous
01:37 to be out especially for a meticulously
01:41 groomed distinguished older man
01:44 who turns to hurry down a narrow street alone.
01:48 Nicodemus is on his way to meet Jesus.
01:53 Now Nicodemus seem to be an exemplary
01:59 church member. It was not just that
02:02 he had money though he did not
02:04 just position and power,
02:07 prestige he had all of these but he was
02:09 a highly moral man. He was a Pharisee,
02:13 he was the kind of church member
02:16 who would never missed church service,
02:19 maybe no one watching today is trying as hard
02:23 to be as good as was Nicodemus.
02:26 But Nicodemus was lost in church,
02:32 and he didn't know it.
02:33 Jesus said so in John the 3rd chapter
02:37 and the 7th verse.
02:39 You should not be surprised at my saying,
02:44 You must be born again.
02:49 Nicodemus was shocked,
02:53 it was absurd you must be born again.
02:57 Now sometimes we think that this was because
02:59 of the idea of born again was new idea to
03:03 Nicodemus that's not so.
03:05 He was very familiar with the term,
03:07 when a gentile wanted to follow the Jewish God
03:12 the person was spoken of us being born again,
03:16 had to adopted into the Jewish family.
03:20 Born again but he Nicodemus he was already
03:26 in the true church, he was born a Jew
03:29 he had no need to be born again.
03:32 It's possible to feel like Nicodemus,
03:35 surely I've been following God,
03:38 I'm in God's true church perhaps,
03:40 do I need to be born again today.
03:44 You and I too could be lost in church
03:48 and not knowing. If like Nicodemus
03:52 we feel that being a good person
03:55 or keeping the Commandments or
03:57 going to church are going to get
03:59 us to heaven. That's we really
04:02 don't have any need to be born again today,
04:07 if that's your feeling you are
04:09 disagreeing with Jesus,
04:11 because he is speaking to us today
04:14 not only to Nicodemus when he says
04:17 you must be born again,
04:20 you respectable church member
04:24 must be born again and again and again.
04:30 You may have heard the parable
04:33 of the little wolf. According to the
04:36 parable the little wolf lived up on a promontory
04:41 just above the meadow where the sheep
04:44 graced and much of the time the little
04:48 wolf didn't have enough to eat,
04:51 and he would get hungry and he would see
04:54 the little lambs down there where all of the
04:57 grass they could possibly devour,
05:00 and sometimes he got lonely because
05:03 his parents would be off hunting.
05:05 But he saw that the little lambs
05:08 always had each other,
05:09 they always had a lot of company
05:11 and they enjoyed playing together
05:15 and he decided what he really wanted
05:17 to be was a little lamb.
05:20 So one day he screwed up his courage
05:23 and he went down into the meadow
05:26 and he walked up behind the shepherd
05:31 and in a platy voice he said sir sir
05:35 and the shepherd looked around
05:38 and he saw a little wolf and he was about
05:40 to club him, the little wolf said no, no, no,
05:45 no I mean you no harm,
05:47 I want to be a lamb could I be a lamb.
05:52 The shepherd said oh no, never would,
05:57 they would never accept you and beside you
05:59 would be eating the sheep.
06:01 No said the little wolf I'll not hurt anyone,
06:05 I just get so hungry and I get so lonely
06:07 could I be a lamb, and so the shepherd
06:12 feeling sorry for the little wolf as the
06:14 parable goes he scratched his head
06:16 and he went over and he took the skin
06:17 from a lamb that had recently died
06:20 and he put it around the wolf
06:22 and showing off the other lambs accepted
06:26 him and he ran with them
06:27 and he played king of the hill with them
06:29 and he ate grass with them but he never
06:33 did learn to enjoy grass.
06:36 One day he came back to the shepherd
06:42 and he said sir I smell an odor in the air,
06:52 his parents had killed an old cow
06:55 and he had a tremendous taste for old cow,
07:00 he was sick of grass.
07:03 Would it be alright if I could just be
07:06 excused for just one evening,
07:08 the kind shepherd lifted the little wolf up
07:14 and tenderly he said I know you've not really
07:18 enjoyed eating grass, and I know that you're
07:21 nipping at the other lambs
07:22 heels a little bit. I guess the only way
07:26 to enjoy being a lamb is to be born a lamb.
07:32 You may be a Christian but if you are not
07:34 enjoying your Christian experience may be
07:38 it's because you are not a born again Christian.
07:40 The only way to enjoy being a Christian
07:43 is to be born again Christian.
07:46 You may have tried Christian growth
07:49 through self improvement or
07:52 through self discipline.
07:54 You may have tried changing yourself;
07:57 Jesus said the way to enjoy being a Christian
08:01 is to be a born again Christian.
08:05 Whether for the first or the thousandths time
08:09 it's my privilege to invite you today
08:12 to be born again, to enjoy the born
08:17 again experience today.
08:19 I'm not belittling your Christian experience,
08:22 but please don't make Nicodemus mistake.
08:27 He came just to hear something interesting,
08:31 Jesus wanted him to experience
08:35 something saving, and that could happen to us.
08:40 I pray that you'll not be here today just to hear
08:45 something interesting, but to experience
08:49 something saving. New birth kind of an
08:53 odd expression may hear lot of a time
08:55 what is it. Jesus gives us here
08:58 in John the 3rd chapter,
09:00 and he is talking to Nicodemus
09:03 five intriguing illustrations from John
09:06 the 3rd chapter to help us understand
09:08 what the new birth is,
09:11 and how to experience it.
09:14 The five illustrations, birth, wind, light,
09:20 water, and of all things snake.
09:25 Now let's start with a birth,
09:28 birth emphasis the importance
09:34 of being born again, only a new birth can
09:39 remove your death sentence.
09:41 Nicodemus came flattering Jesus
09:45 but Jesus cut right to the quick,
09:47 in verses 2 and 3,
09:49 He came to Jesus at night and said, Rabbi,
09:53 we know you are a teacher
09:54 who has come from God.
09:55 For no one could perform the miraculous signs
09:58 you are doing if God were not with him.
10:00 "In reply Jesus declared,
10:03 "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom
10:08 of God unless he is born again."
10:13 No one can see the kingdom of God except
10:17 he is born again, you and I were born
10:21 under a death sentence.
10:23 Assistant Pastor at my church back home
10:28 he and his wife just young folks
10:32 had waited and planned until finally
10:35 it was time to start their family.
10:38 And Greg was so proud of it,
10:42 first thing he knew when he had to announce
10:44 it in church much to sand is to grain
10:46 and as the pregnancy developed,
10:50 they took a picture and they found it
10:53 was a boy and they named their coming son Aden.
10:57 And then another picture showed a terrible,
11:03 a serious problem,
11:05 the baby's heart was deformed.
11:09 He would not be able to live if carried
11:14 all the way through the pregnancy death
11:17 would come and there was nothing
11:19 science could do.
11:20 I held little Aden in my arms
11:28 and I expected him to be perhaps pale
11:33 and sickly but he was a beautiful baby,
11:37 beautiful on the outside but death
11:42 was waiting on the inside.
11:44 We may make our self look good
11:47 on the outside, but what about
11:50 what's on the inside. What is a new birth,
11:54 its an analogy for what we call conversion
11:57 and Jesus said that no one can see the
12:00 kingdom of God unless he is born from above,
12:04 born again. Now the second of Jesus
12:09 illustrations wind, we have learned
12:15 that its tremendously important
12:18 to be born again. Now how do you
12:21 know when you been born again,
12:23 can I've real proof in my life that
12:27 I've been born again. Notice if you'll verse 8,
12:32 Jesus said: The wind blows
12:37 wherever it pleases. You hear its sound,
12:41 but you cannot tell where it comes from
12:44 or where it is going. So it is with everyone
12:49 born of the Spirit." The wind provides the power,
12:58 the branch provides the moment.
13:02 You can't tell where the wind comes or where
13:05 its going to Jesus said but you can tell when
13:08 the branch moves. And the wind represents
13:12 the Holy Spirit according to Jesus,
13:14 and when the Holy Spirit is working,
13:18 there is going to be movement on the part
13:22 of our lives and if you are not moving
13:27 more Christ like day by day,
13:30 then it means that the Holy Spirit
13:32 is not working, the new birth experience
13:34 is not working in you because
13:36 just as the wind moves the branch,
13:40 so the Holy Spirit moves the life.
13:43 Are you moving,
13:46 God loves you just the way you are,
13:51 but he loves you much,
13:53 too much to leave you that way.
13:55 God accepts His grace which gives you,
13:58 but grace not only accepts grace changes.
14:04 And so, how do you know whether or not
14:07 you have received the new birth,
14:09 there will be changes going on in your life.
14:13 Now, three of these metaphors from
14:16 John the third chapter,
14:18 if we arrange them in a logical order
14:22 will show us the three steps to experiencing
14:28 the new birth. How can I have
14:31 the new birth experience? Step one,
14:35 Jesus uses light.
14:38 Light helps us see things.
14:42 Light represents being able to see our sins.
14:46 The new birth happens when we stop
14:48 hiding from our sins.
14:50 Verses 19 and 20: This is the verdict:
14:55 Light has come into the world,
14:58 but man loved darkness instead of light
15:01 because their deeds were evil.
15:03 Everyone who does evil hates the light,
15:06 and will not come into the light for fear
15:09 that his deeds will be exposed.
15:13 Christ is hated because sin is love.
15:18 You know, how she come home in the dark
15:23 at night and, and it looks clean.
15:26 Next morning you get up and sun is shining
15:29 through the window and lighting on the table,
15:32 and all of a sudden you will see dust,
15:35 it's dirty. Now, the housekeeper has a
15:39 choice, you can either go over
15:41 and pull the chain,
15:42 so you can't see the dust
15:44 or you can get the dust rag.
15:45 Don't you see light is the means
15:52 by which we see? The first step in the
15:58 new birth experience is to see your sins,
16:02 not hide them see them. How often we say,
16:07 I can't see what's wrong with that.
16:10 I, I can't see where I need to change;
16:13 I can't see that I'm any worst than he is.
16:17 Christ you see is the light that
16:21 shows me I'm a sinner, not that I once was,
16:25 this is a danger of active church people,
16:28 not that I once was,
16:29 not that I have been, but that I am now.
16:31 And the first step to the new birth experience
16:36 I'm a sinner. Guilt, the new birth is
16:43 preceded by guilt. Well, that's a terrible
16:47 thing to say, we don't like that word.
16:49 Guilt is an awful place to end
16:52 that Christian should not ever live
16:55 with perpetual guilt, but the new
16:58 birth experience is preceded by guilt.
17:01 It's not the place to end your Christian
17:08 experience, don't live with perpetual guilt,
17:12 but guilt is the only place to begin.
17:16 So, first step new birth experience I'm a sinner,
17:22 second step, I'm sorry.
17:25 And now, Jesus uses the analogy of water
17:29 that is a cleansing. The new birth happens
17:34 when we repent of our sins
17:36 and He washes us clean,
17:38 He forgives us of our sins.
17:41 Notice verse 5: Jesus answered,
17:44 "I tell you the truth,
17:45 no one can enter the kingdom of God
17:49 unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
17:52 Unless He is born of water
17:56 as well as the Spirit.
17:59 Jesus is teaching Nicodemus,
18:01 no one can be saved without a new birth
18:04 and there is no new birth without
18:07 our repentance and Jesus forgiveness
18:11 and cleansing. What is repentance?
18:16 Repentance is simply turning
18:19 around on the road of life
18:21 from being self-centered to Christ centered.
18:26 And the old preacher was exceptionally
18:34 successful in leading his congregation
18:35 to repentance. And someone ask him
18:37 how he did it? Oh! He said,
18:40 it's simple, he said,
18:41 I just marched across the platform,
18:45 I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell,
18:47 I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell,
18:49 I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven,
18:51 I'm going to heaven that is repentance.
18:54 It's turning around on the road of life.
18:58 You miss you will fall,
18:59 but you will fall with your face
19:02 toward heaven. So, step one,
19:05 the light says, I'm a sinner.
19:07 Step two, the water says, I'm sorry,
19:11 please cleanse me from my sins.
19:14 Now, step three, and this,
19:18 this is the one that we find
19:21 a little difficult to understand because
19:24 illustration number three is the snake.
19:27 And what the snake is teaching
19:30 according to Jesus illustration
19:32 is that we could should look up
19:34 and focus our eyes on Jesus.
19:38 So, step three, the snake says,
19:43 focus on Jesus. The new birth
19:46 happens when we focus on Jesus,
19:50 verses 14 to 16 of John 3: Just as Moses
20:00 lifted up the snake in the desert,
20:03 so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
20:05 that everyone who believes in him may
20:09 have eternal life. For God so loved
20:12 the world that he gave his one and only Son,
20:15 that whoever believes in him shall not
20:19 perish but have eternal life.
20:23 God's love is a whosoever love,
20:28 whosoever love believeth in him the King James
20:31 Version says. There is nothing
20:34 you can do to make God love you more.
20:37 There is nothing you can do to may
20:41 God love you less. God loves you because
20:46 of what He is, and not because of
20:49 what you are. And it boggles
20:52 our minds to say it,
20:53 but God if His love is a limitless love,
20:57 loved Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein
21:00 just as much as he loved Mother Teresa.
21:03 You see, ours is a reciprocal love,
21:07 love me and I'll love you, be good to me,
21:10 I'll be good to you. And you've seen it
21:14 happened probably experienced it
21:16 whether you can admit it or not,
21:17 a boys wants a girl for his study,
21:20 but instead of going directly to her,
21:23 he goes to her friend and asks the friend,
21:29 does she like me?
21:31 And he is not going to give his love
21:36 until he is assured of getting love back,
21:39 that's human love, reciprocal love.
21:42 God's whosoever love is not dependent
21:46 upon us being lovely it's depending upon
21:49 His being love. The wonderful book
21:54 on the life of Christ called Desire of Ages
21:58 it says it this way:
21:59 His love is drawing us to Himself,
22:04 if we do not resist His drawing,
22:08 we shall be led to the foot of the Cross
22:11 in repentance, isn't that beautiful,
22:14 if we do not resist we will be led to the
22:18 foot of the Cross.
22:20 I have here a piece of wood,
22:23 and I have on the wood two nails
22:27 and I bring the magnet in and as
22:30 I bring it closer to those nails
22:33 one of the nails jumps over and is taken up
22:37 by the magnet, the other doesn't move.
22:41 How come one comes, the other doesn't,
22:46 because the other is fasten to the board.
22:50 And you see, if you're not moving
22:56 toward your Lord today,
22:58 you are fastened to something,
23:00 what is it? It maybe, maybe a habit,
23:02 it may, maybe some anger,
23:06 some awful disappointment
23:07 in your past. If you just stop
23:11 resisting His love is strong and it so
23:14 overwhelming, it's going to draw
23:16 you to Himself. God is loving,
23:20 not condemning. Notice verse 17:
23:25 For God did not send his Son into the world
23:28 to condemn the world,
23:30 but to save the world through him.
23:34 Our wrong attitude toward God
23:38 comes from a wrong picture of God.
23:42 And if you picture a condemning God,
23:46 get rid of Him, it's the devil
23:49 masquerading as God.
23:51 The real God is not condemning,
23:54 He is loving. Jesus' illustration
23:59 here about the snake,
24:01 it comes from numbers 21,
24:04 why a snake? Well, the snakes
24:10 had bitten the people and their bite
24:13 was deadly, it was the snake
24:15 that was killing them,
24:17 and the cure had to be related
24:19 to the cause. Now the pole on
24:22 which the snake was mounted
24:25 represented Calvary, this was Christ,
24:29 a snake Christ had to be related
24:34 to the cause of sin.
24:38 He had to become man,
24:39 this is the incarnation.
24:42 Christ had to be related to human kind
24:45 in order to save us.
24:47 Now, the snake didn't heal anybody,
24:50 it was looking up that heal,
24:54 look and live. Paul said;
24:57 let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
25:00 the author and perfecter of our faith.
25:05 And so focus in your life on Jesus daily,
25:12 don't focus on mistakes that you have made,
25:15 don't focus on wounds you receive,
25:18 the things that you want,
25:20 keep looking up, stay focused on Jesus,
25:23 the more we focus, the more we'll see.
25:26 Bev Doolittle made quite a name for herself by,
25:31 by painting things that people couldn't see
25:34 and one of her most famous paintings is,
25:37 winter scene with white snow
25:40 in a white burst forest.
25:42 And, and it doesn't seem there is anything
25:45 there really worth looking that,
25:46 but if you stay focus,
25:47 if you keep looking pretty soon,
25:49 you see some Indians in their,
25:51 in that forest, writing the black
25:54 and white pinto ponies
25:56 by focusing you begin to see more.
25:59 The secret to Christian growth is
26:02 to be born again and again and again
26:05 by focusing on Jesus again and again
26:09 and again. As we come
26:12 to the close of our time together,
26:14 I hope you're not watching just to hear,
26:16 there's something interesting,
26:18 but to experience something saving.
26:22 A boy with his father at the toy store
26:27 and he's been lost before,
26:32 he doesn't wanted to happen again and so,
26:36 he focuses on the father,
26:39 but the toys are so attracted,
26:41 they're so beautiful pretty soon his,
26:43 his attention wonders.
26:45 And his eyes go on these things
26:48 that surround him, he turns a corner
26:51 first thing you know his father has disappeared,
26:54 frightened, he turns around
26:57 and runs back only to find that the father
26:59 has been waiting all the time.
27:03 Turn to the Father, he is waiting;
27:06 he has been waiting all the time.
27:09 Loving Father, thank you for waiting for us,
27:13 when sometimes we've gotten our eyes off you
27:16 and focused on the things of this world.
27:20 I pray that we will live today,
27:23 knowing that by the grace of Christ
27:26 we have focused our minds,
27:28 our lives on Jesus and born again.
27:31 Thank you, Jesus we pray in your name, amen.
27:36 Thank so much for tuning into
27:40 Faith Chapel. It was good
27:43 having a chance to chat with you.
27:45 And as you go on back to life
27:48 I pray the riches blessing
27:50 on you and on yours.