John 3:1-7 (KJV) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The first person Jesus called to salvation was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother (see John 1:40). Nicodemus was not the first. He was not even in the top five. but Nicodemus was the first powerful man who humbled himself to come to Jesus.
Nicodemus did not TOTALLY humble himself. The name “Nicodemus” literally means “Victory of the People”. His name shows us that he was a politician and as a politician was loved by the people.
Jesus said: Luke 6:26 (KJV) Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you!for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
If you live for the Lord you will have a few enemies. The darkness hates the light! The world of dark light – the Luciferian darkness – hates the Light of God and His Children. So Nicodemus as a politician was well loved. Further, Nicodemus was powerful. The Bible says that he was:
a ruler of the Jews
The“rulers of the Jews” were members of the Sanhedrin, a council of 70 leaders who oversaw the nation. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a powerful man. He was drawn by God to Christ, and humbled himself, but just so much. The Bible tells us that Nicodemus:
The same came to Jesus by night
The Pharisees were conservative in their religion. When Jesus came and cleansed the Temple of the money changers, was chasing out those who had allowed the liberal practice of using the Temple to make money. The Sadducees were the liberal element that perhaps encouraged this behavior. The Pharisees would not have despised Christ for chasing the Sadducees out, though they disliked Jesus for other reasons. Nicodemus came to Jesus “by night” for two reasons.
Nicodemus wanted to meet Christ but didn’t want his people
nor his power base to know what he was doing.
Nicodemus was in spiritual darkness.
Though he had a name as being a Bible scholar,
he was resting not in God but in darkness.
There are many like this in God’s Church. Jesus said:
John 11:10 (KJV) … if a man walks in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Nicodemus was stumbling around in the darkness. He came to see Jesus but was ashamed to publicly profess his need. When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night the first word he said was:
“Jesus, You are a Rabbi”. Nicodemus meant to honor Jesus, but he honored Christ, not as He is but as he – Nicodemus – though He was. Jesus to Nicodemus was not LORD.
John the Baptist came to “Make straight the way of the LORD” (John 1:23)
The disciples told Jesus “LORD, to Whom shall we go?
You ALONE have the Words of Life” (John 6:68)
The sinning woman forgiven by Jesus said “No man condemns me, LORD” (John 8:11)
The blind boy received his sight when he told Jesus “LORD, I believe.” (John 9:38)
Martha told Jesus “Yes, Lord: I believe that You are the Christ,
the Son of God (John 11:27)
And Jesus said, “You call Me Master and LORD, and you are right, for I am!” (John 13:13)
Jesus is LORD! He may have taught, but He is more than a Rabbi. He is LORD. He is God incarnate, God among us, God in the flesh. He is LORD. His Words are LIFE and LIGHT. Nicodemus went on to say:
we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him
Jesus is God with us. Nicodemus saw Jesus not as “God with us” (see Matthew 1:23)but as“God is with Him”. God is with Jesus, but Jesus is no mere man. He is the Son of Man and the Son of God. Nicodemus was a Rabbi himself and saw Jesus as his equal. That was why he addressed the Lord as he did. Notice that Jesus does not correct Nicodemus – He IGNORES what he said.
Jesus Does Not Argue Light With A Blind Man
Too often today the Church has tried to be “seeker sensitive” in order to reach the world. People study apologetics and spend time trying how best to win arguments with the lost. A person who does not know Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior is in darkness. Jesus came:
Luke 1:79 (KJV) To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Nicodemus was in darkness. He was in physical darkness because he came to Jesus by night. But he is in spiritual darkness because he does not know the Lord. He knows God as one might know Abraham Lincoln or George Washington. He knows God by studying the Scriptures. But Nicodemus needs something, and Jesus cuts right to the point. He says:
John 3:3 (KJV) … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.
A person must be born a second time – born again– or else that person cannot SEE the Kingdom of God. This is the big problem in the Church and in the world today. A blind person does not know light nor color because a blind person cannot SEE. That blind person must be GIVEN NEW EYES. Those who are spiritually blind cannot be argued nor persuaded into believing in the light. God must open their eyes. When God came to save us:
Isaiah 35:5 (KJV) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Nicodemus, you must be born AGAIN. You were born ONCE from your mother, but you need to be BORN of God. You need to be BORN AGAIN:
1 Peter 1:23 (KJV) Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
We have always had many religious people in temple and church, but we need those who are BORN AGAIN. Jesus said:
John 9:39 (KJV) … For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Nicodemus thought he saw – but he did not. Jesus showed him he was lacking, blind, in need of a new birth. Nicodemus is puzzled, as all lost people are puzzled. He asks:
John 3:4 (KJV) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
To the lost the FLESH is everything, the PHYSICAL is what matters the most. All Nicodemus could understand at this point is that Jesus was talking about a second birth, and all he could think of was his mother’s womb. When we are born into this world we are born sinners. David said:
Psalms 51:5 (KJV) Behold, I was shapened in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
That little baby – so cute and cuddly – is born in sin. If you do not think so watch your child in the sandbox with other children. Another child comes to play. One child will drop the toy he is playing with to grab another child’s toy. This is sin. Sometimes one child will crown another child with a toy. THUNK! This is sin. In our first birth, we are born sinners. This is why the Scripture declares without reservation:
Romans 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
We are all sinners because Adam passed on his old sin nature to us all.“And so death passed upon all mankind, for ALL have sinned”. We are all sinners because the nature of Adam is upon us. We are all sinners because we sin. Nicodemus couldn’t understand this. Neither can many people today.
Many see God as a Cosmic Santa Claus, and so they sing with their lives:
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
We can’t “be good for goodness sake”. The Scripture declares:
Psalms 14:2-3 (KJV) The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO, NOT ONE.
You Must Be Born Again
John 3:5-7 (KJV) … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
What does it mean
“to be born of water and of the Spirit”?
What does it mean “to enter into the Kingdom of God”?
Let’s answer these questions one at a time.
- To Enter The Kingdom of God Is To Obtain Eternal Life. Jesus said in another place:
Mark 9:43-48 (KJV) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thy foot offends thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Those who leave this life without God do not enter into the Kingdom of God, but into a place of burning where the fire is not quenched. To enter into the Kingdom of God you must be born again. To avoid a future hell you must be born again. Birth is something we cannot do for ourselves. It is something that God must do for us. We were born physically into this world totally apart from our own effort. We are born into God’s Kingdom totally apart from our effort.
- To Be Born Of Water And Of The Spirit does not refer to any work that we can do, but to a work that only God can do. In the PHYSICAL world, we are born of water and of the flesh. We come forth from our mothers into this world. In the SPIRITUAL world, we are born of water and of the Spirit. In the Old Testament (and the Old Testament was the Bible that Nicodemus read from) God is often depicted as cleansing water. We read:
Jeremiah 2:13 (KJV) For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken ME THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
God is “The Fountain of Living Waters”. It is He Who cleanses the sinner and makes us pure. It is God that David spoke to when He said:
Psalms 51:7 (KJV) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
God washes His people from sin. The LORD is the “fountain of living waters”.
Jeremiah 17:13 (KJV) O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have FORSAKEN THE LORD, THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS.
It is God the Holy Spirit Who must cleanse us from sin. It is God the Holy Spirit Who must make us born again. It is the Blood of the Christ that cleanses us:
1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ his Son CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.
To be “born again” is to be washed at the soul level by God.
To be “born again” is to be changed supernaturally from Adam’s child to God’s Child.
To be “born again” is to be part of God’s Kingdom both now and into eternity.
To be “born again” is to be changed from one creature to another Creation.
When you are “born again” you are “born from above” as says the Scripture:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Those who are “born again” are WASHED by God. They are SANCTIFIED, set apart for God. They are JUSTIFIED or declared righteous by the Blood of Christ. Salvation is entirely an act of God. God must make us BORN AGAIN. God must change us. God must do this. God must make us new creatures in Christ where the old has passed away, and behold, all things are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus emphasizes our inability to be BORN AGAIN when He illustrates God’s ministry of salvation, saying:
John 3:8 (KJV) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
You can hear the wind in the trees. You can feel its cool breeze on a hot day. You can see the leaves rustling. But you neither make the wind blow nor control the wind. God does. Only God does. I cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless I am born again, and being born again is something I can experience, but not something I can force or work toward.
So how to be born again?
We must receive and believe the Lord Jesus.
He must be more than a Rabbi to me.
Nicodemus, you are not His equal.
Jesus is God’s Son.
John 3:13 (KJV) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
As Jesus spoke to Nicodemus He referred to Himself as “The Son of Man”. He said, “no one ascends to Heaven but He (Jesus Christ) Who came down from Heaven”. Jesus is the Messiah Who came from Heaven. And then Jesus said something mind-blowing. “Even The Son of Man which IS IN HEAVEN”. He said, “I came from Heaven, but as I stand before you Nicodemus I AM IN HEAVEN”. Jesus is both mortal, and immortal. He is both Sinless Man and Perfect God. Why did Jesus come?
Jesus Gave Himself So We Can Be Born Again
John 3:14 (KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of man be lifted up:
Jesus came to be LIFTED UP on the Cross of Calvary. When sin brought snakes in the camp of Israel in the Old Testament – deadly snakes – God told Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole and lift it up. When the people looked at that serpent believing they would be saved (see Numbers 21:9ff). Jesus must be “lifted up”. He came from Heaven as the “Son of Man” to die for our sins.
John 3:15-16 (KJV) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
When we believe in Jesus as He is – not just as a Rabbi but as the Messiah Who died for our sins – then God’s Holy Spirit comes to our lives. We become “born again” as the Spirit separates us from the world and binds us to God. Jesus came so that believing in Him we could be brought into God’s Kingdom. God does not wish us to perish, but to be with Him forever. Christ is the Key to the Kingdom. Believe Him. Receive Him. Trust Him. Follow Him. May God touch your hearts with His Word.