Break the Ice.
- Name 3 cities, one of them being the city you were born. Have everyone guess the person’s city of birth.
Bring the Word.
Remember, the Gospel of John was written to explain who Jesus is and why He came. In John 3, we meet a guy named Nicodemus who finds himself on a journey to discover the answer to these two questions himself. He wants to know who Jesus is and why He came. Under the disguise of night, Nicodemus approaches Jesus with his questions, and Jesus graciously reveals himself as the only source of true life.
Read John 3:1-3
- John introduces us to a guy by the name of Nicodemus. In the first verse of chapter 3, he tells us his name (Nicodemus), his occupation (a man of the Pharisees), and his status (a ruler of the Jews). What point do you think John was trying to make of Nicodemus’ religious standing?
- As a Pharisee, Nicodemus believed in God, the Old Testament, miracles, the resurrection, and he even believed that Jesus was from God. But according to Jesus’ words in John 3:3, why would Nicodemus not see the kingdom of God?
Read John 3:4-7
- Why was Nicodemus apparently confused about what it meant to be “born again?”
- What does it mean to be born again?
- Someone said, “Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.”
- Why can’t spiritually dead people bring themselves to life?
When Jesus said, “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit…” he was not referring to water baptism.
1) First of all, it does not fit in the context of the conversation. Nicodemus had just questioned how an old person can enter the womb again. He did not ask, how can an old person be water baptized. When speaking of being born of water, Jesus was referring to natural birth, not water baptism.
2) Also, water baptism for salvation would not be consistent with other Scripture. The thief on the cross was not baptized, and yet Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.
3). Finally, to be born again, literally means to be born a “2nd time.” It was like Jesus was saying, you must be born naturally (water) and born spiritually (of Spirit).
Bring it Home.
- Action Questions:
- Have you been born again?
- Have a few people share their spiritual birth story.
- How can we pray for you?
Read John 4 before next week!