You Must Be Born Again (John 3:1-15)
Topic: John Scripture: John 3:1–3:15
First Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 36:22-38
Second Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-22
Sermon Text: John 3:1-15
How much did you contribute to your physical birth? Nothing. Each of us was completely passive in that. How much did you contribute to your spiritual rebirth? The Bible teaches us that we were passive in that as well—we had as much to do with our spiritual rebirth as we did with our physical birth. John Calvin points out that the phrase “born again” used by Jesus in John 3:7 reveals that we need God to do more than improve just a small part of us; we need our entire being to be renewed. Calvin writes:
Therefore it follows that there is nothing in us that is not defective; for if reformation is necessary in the whole and in each part, corruption must be spread everywhere…. Thus in the whole of our nature there remains not a speck of uprightness. And so it is plain that we must be formed for the Kingdom of God by a second birth.
- For review, read John 2:13-25. Why did Jesus clear the temple in Jerusalem? What is one point of application for your life that you learn from this account?
- Review our first reading from Ezekiel 36:22-38. What do you learn from this passage about regeneration?
- Read John 3:1-3. Who were the Pharisees? Why do you think Nicodemus visited Jesus? When you compare verse 3 with Luke 18:18, what question do you think Jesus perceived was behind Nicodemus’ visit?
- What is Jesus describing in John 3:8?
- Read Numbers 21:4-9. How does Jesus connect his death in John 3:13-15 to this incident from Israel’s history?
- What do you learn about evangelism from John 3:1-15?
- In preparation for our next study through this gospel, read John 3:16-21. How do these verses shed greater light on the meaning of verses 1-15?