John 3:1-8 If it Does Not Come From the Bible June 9, 2013
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
a. In England’s famous daily newspaper called “The Times,” it had an article titled “You Will Live Longer if You Do Not Miss Sunday Worship Service.” The content was about an American consulting company that conducted a health survey of over 2000 deaths, and it concluded that people who attended weekly Sunday service lived 7 years longer than people who did not attend church.
b. Generally, we can see that historians divide the history of human development into different stages. First, it’s the agricultural society. Human society had to labor to farm and grow livestock in order to live and eat. In this agrarian society, it was the strong man who ruled over others. But after a while, people began to invent technology and it began the industrial society. In this industrial society, it was the best technician that came out on top. But the problem was that even with this technology, it was not readily available to the mass public. That is where the intellectual people re-invented and led the technology to be readily available to be used by the public. This opened an era for the intellectuals where the technicians worked for the intellectual people. The next historical era now proceeds to the world of information and communication. This is an era where faster and quicker service means success (i.e. selling products faster, faster internet/computer, faster transportation, etc.) Currently, this is the world that historians claim we are living in right now. But the problem is, once we pass this world of information and communication, what kind of era would we be facing next? Experts on this matter unanimously agree that the next era would be a spiritual era.
c. Currently, there are not that many people who think that spiritual life is the most important aspect of their lives. Especially among intellectual, powerful, and technology-savvy people – this has been the way they have been thinking and living in this information era. However, the world is changing and the spiritual world is approaching. As many of you know already, the western society was built on the foundation of Christian faith. But as the American society went through these different stages of history – industrial, intellectual, and information eras – people began to think, “Ah, we can live on our own without the help of God.” But recently, people are beginning to realize this is not the way we should live and we cannot live without God. This is how the era of spirituality is beginning to open.
a. We are familiar with the story of Nicodemus in John 3. He was a leader of the Sanhedrin and leader of the Jews. He was person of intellect, power, and honor. He was a person who had it all. However, one night, he came to Jesus. On the outside, Nicodemus did not seem to lack anything, however, he seemed to have a serious concern regarding his life. What did he realize, even though he seemed to have everything in life? It seems like he was seeking for a deeper thirst for life. Even though Nicodemus had everything in life, he may have been wondering why he was not satisfied with life. Jesus told Nicodemus a famous saying. Happiness in life is not only about having a lot of wealth, intellect, power, or honor – one cannot enjoy life just with these things. The one fundamental thing that you need is spiritual – to be born again. In other words, you need to be born again through the Holy Spirit. You need to live a spiritual life. People cannot live just on worldly things, but people are spiritual beings. Therefore, people cannot be truly happy without a spiritual life. In verse 5, it says that this is the only way to enter the kingdom of God. What kind of world is the kingdom of God? It is a world without worries or concerns. It is a world full of happiness. It is a world where people can feel rewarded and feel true happiness as human beings. This kingdom of God, the essence of happiness in life - How is this kind of life possible? We have to be born again through the Holy Spirit. In other words, we have to live spiritual lives.
a. Spiritual life is the most important thing in our lives. As a business person, or as teacher, or as a doctor, or as a singer or a writer – this spiritual energy is the fundamental energy in our lives. Do not think that you can do well without this spiritual energy.
b. When you look at 3 John 1:2, it says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” We are living in a world where it is led by people who are captivated and overflowing with the spirit of Christ.
c. There are many concerns when parents are teaching their children. What do you think you are teaching your children? Many people think they must teach them computer skills or they will not do well in life. Some people think they need professional training. Others think teaching them to surf the internet or learn foreign languages is important. However, the world is approaching where learning these skills is not enough to survive. We have to teach our children not just computer skills, but how to pray. We have to teach them not how to surf the internet but how to sing praise. Instead of just having the knowledge to speak in foreign languages, they must be inspired by the word of God and learn how to receive revelations. They have to learn to physically experience God’s leading in their lives. These types of children will learn to lead, to adapt, and survive in this coming spiritual era.
d. Dear brothers and sisters, a new era is approaching. A great spiritual era is now opening. I hope we all become people who are filled with the Spirit and lead the 21st century.