It occurs 85 times in the NT. Have you been born again? While the immediate context emphasizes the fact that the Son speaks the Father’s words, the remainder of the Gospel makes it clear that “all things” really does mean “all things.” God has authorized his Messiah to create all things, God sustains all things through him, and God will bring all things to their appointed goal through him. While the president was downtown, he passed by a Salvation Army kettle and stopped to put in a contribution. The Spirit is pretty clear, referring to the Holy Spirit. They were stringent about keeping God's Law as well as man's tradition. The “water” refers to physical birth. Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night (3:1-3), Jesus discusses the concept of being born again (3:4-8), Jesus discusses some spiritual truths (3:9-21). The ONLY way to have a relationship with God is if one is born again. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. iii. One should be able to look at them and see that they are indeed a new person (many new believers have witnessed that their friends or family wonder why they changed so much!) In the Beginning was the Word (John 1:1-18) I Have Called You Friends (John 1:35-51, John 15:15) Water Into Wine At the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) Jesus Teaches Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4) Jesus Heals on the Sabbath (John 5) Jesus the Bread of Life (John 6) Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (John 9) Also Titus 3:5 and Ephesians 5:26 refer to the cleansing or washing of the believer/church. Study Notes John 3:1-21 3:1 Nicodemus. When this president was asked to speak to a group of local businessmen, he told them a story which he considered quite amusing. He has used John 3:20-21 as an inspiration to draw these requests into the light. But it is so much more than that. Are you living in the light or in the dark? Do you do wrong in secret? Second we see His love. Don’t live your life in darkness and in fear of being found out. Someone who is born again must evidence this by a new life. He came to save. While the book of Mark is an excellent choice as well, it is hard to argue against John. Study material on John 3:16 excerpted with permission from the NIV Application Commentary: John by Gary Burge (Zondervan, 2009) Bible Study Questions. Jesus answered and said unto him,Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he … Password. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group. 6 That which is born of the flesh is fflesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. There is no one too sinful for God to forgive. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. It seems to be an interpretation for water completely unused and unknown at that time. Do humans descend to earth? All the rest of us are created. Ask for God’s forgiveness. This acts out what John said in John 1:17: For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Many people live in darkness and in fear of being found out about something. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. Are you willing to sacrifice to God that which you hold most dear? Christ's discourse with Nicodemus. The second of these possibilities seems more likely to me. (Jhn 3:22-30) John puts Jesus in the preeminent place. No good deeds or fleshly acts, as great as they may be, can save us. You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work. Free Bible Study Tools. That means our old self dies and we are born again as a completely new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). It looks like in between verses 6 and 7 Jesus could see surprise on Nicodemus’ face or at least know that it was going on his heart. Did you enter God’s family through the power of the Holy Spirit or by “sneaking into the wedding”(of course we can’t really enter by sneaking, but we can think we are there)? Numbers 21:6 – Moses made and set-up the serpent. They were pretty proud of themselves and they were already children of Abraham. Both are powerful and miraculous. One must want to wash off the dirt before he will do so. Jesus is distinguishing between our physical birth - “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6) - and the spiritual birth - “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6) - required for us to “enter the kingdom of God” (John … Nicodemus showed some signs of understanding and knowing about the kingdom of God. If they don’t believe the earthly things (the greater, meaning the easier to understand and accept) then they won’t believe the heavenly things (meaning the more difficult to understand and accept). We want to help you study the Bible, obey the Bible, and teach the Bible to others. We will begin with a verse that has profound implications for human labor. To me it looks like Jesus was saying one of two things. It is others-centered and outward-reaching. Nicodemus still didn’t understand (4,9) the kingdom of God so Jesus had to explain it to him. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. They are skeptical even of obvious things such as the fact that they are sinners, so how will they believe Jesus died to save people from sin? Nicodemus still didn’t truly understand. It also illustrates the inverse process, how human flesh can become filled with God’s spirit. Water refers to baptism and baptism is a prerequisite for salvation. We could say that the water is like a relationship with God under the Old Covenant, and the wine is like a relationship with God under the New Covenant. The ONLY way to enter the kingdom of heaven is to be born of the Spirit. This was a foreshadowing of the Messiah being lifted up on a cross for the salvation of the world. The disciples go fishing in Galilee (1-3) Matthew 28:16 – Jesus told the disciples to go Galilee to … 54 Our Author’s views of the etymology of the term are fully stated and examined, Harmony, volume 1 page 281; but it cannot be supposed that this Commentary on the Gospel by John, which appeared in the year 1553, makes reference to the Harmony, which did not appear till 1555. True love is giving. The “water” refers to the purifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives if we are willing to repent and turn away from our sins. He planned (and spoke out his intention) to give His life for the world so that any who believed would be saved. It was an act of love. It is action. Examine your life to see there is evidence of change. This is not an unbending rule, for Jesus himself acted in secret at times (John 7:10), as did his followers, such as Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38). We will cease to be a citizen of this world and a member of Satan’s group. And it makes sense to interpret it like this in the immediate context. Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless * one 6is born again he cannot * … 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. Is there something specific in your life that is comes to your mind now? And in John 19:39, after Jesus’ death, Nicodemus brings about one hundred pounds of spices and perfumes for Jesus’ body. He will say to the official requesting the bribe, “I don’t know much about these kinds of payments. You will receive our practical and in-depth Bible study of Hebrews in .epub and .pdf versions delivered to your inbox. 3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He sent His ONLY Son. John Bible Study Guide – 34 Free Online Lessons With Questions John is often the book recommended to new believers or seekers to study first. Paraphrasing the verse would read like this, “In order to enter the kingdom of heaven a person must not only be physically into this world, but also be born of the Holy Spirit.” This would fit with the context and Nicodemus’ question. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 Nicodemus clearly respected and even believed in Jesus, realizing Jesus must have come from God. Darkness – “skotos”, shadiness or obscurity. If we do, He will save us from our deadly disease of sin. He gave up the most precious and valuable thing in the world because of His love for us. Again, there are a lot of levels and expressions of love. Love is dead if it doesn’t reach out to others. He is Son of God and Son of Man. The Holy Spirit must enter our lives. Fourth, it is available. Begotten – “monogenes”, sometimes translated one and only and conveys the idea of uniqueness. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download). Ephesians 5:26 – cleansed the church by the washing of water. John 3:36 – John the Baptist says that those who believe have eternal life and those who reject already have the wrath of God on themselves. The Jews would have been kind of shocked to hear that they (they thought only Gentiles needed to) needed to be born again. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you … What is his point? The world is a “labor of love” in the fullest sense of the word. Form is being submitted, please wait a bit. He gave to us first. Jesus Teaches Nicodemus 3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemusb who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.c 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi,d we knowe that you are a teacher who has come from God. This passage reiterates what we learned in the prologue: the Father involves the Son in the founding and sustaining of the world. A third possibility I read from a commentary is that Jesus knew Nicodemus was coming to question about the Messiah’s kingdom so basically skipped straight to the point. “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit (John 3:5). Rather it is going up in glory and power to be exalted (Philippians 2:5-11) and to take the leadership and control. Fifth, the result is that we can have eternal life. Read John 3:1&2. Later he uses the metaphor of walking in the light to illustrate the same idea (John 8:12; 11:9-10; 12:35-36). Here Jesus answers Nicodemus and shows that it is a spiritual rebirth. A commonly used phrase is “born again Christian” often in the context of distinguishing between Christians who are “born again” and those not. B. John the Baptist's final testimony about Jesus. What does darkness represent? True love is not stingy. We receive God’s Spirit (“enter his kingdom”) through a form of birth. He is willing to open the eyes of and lead anyone who comes to Him. Here is the first time in John where Jesus’ prophecy of His coming death is recorded. There are several main interpretations, three of which I will mention here. Also Matthew 3:11 tells us that John baptized with water for repentance, but one later would with the Holy Spirit. Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) 1 Now there came a man of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, a member of the council. What are the similarities between this and Jesus being lifted up on the cross? An additional comparison from Matthew Henry is the fact that He works arbitrarily. Basically people were deadly poisoned by a snake and need look in faith to the serpent God commanded to be set there in order to be healed. In both cases he is showing support for Jesus. At the same time it is evident he didn’t do all that he could. One is they will hide and run. Full Name. Closely tied to shadow or something that blinds. The Bible Study The Bible Study – John 3:1-21 Andy Bates, DCE. No, again it is fear! The Spirit’s working is powerful. Or perhaps your unbelieving father is growing older. Remember that without re-birth we are spiritually depraved. Acts 2:34-36 – The disciples understood that Jesus ascended to heaven in a special way that others did not. It is used in the sense of a king ascending the throne of his respective kingdom. It is important to understand that the metaphor of walking in the light is not a one-size-fits-all rule. Is it love to simply watch him die without saying anything so that you don’t offend him or disturb his peace? To bring this down to a practical level think of people around you and how to show the most important and eternal kind of love to them. When interpreting we need to take into mind immediate context (check), large context of Scripture (could work, but doesn’t fit perfectly with the definition and water isn’t defined in this way elsewhere) and historical context (nope). So water doesn’t refer to baptism, but to the “idea” that baptism represents, that is repentance and cleansing. So he told Nicodemus not to be amazed and continued with his teaching. Jhn 3:26 - They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, ... Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding. We will develop this all important idea further as we see Jesus in action throughout the remainder of the Gospel. In verses 14-15 Jesus calls Nicodemus’ attention to an incident that occurred during the time of Israel’s wilderness journey, an incident recorded in Numbers 21:4-9 (printed below). Ephesians 4:8-10 – Jesus ascended up on high that he might fill all things. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. In it we see a lot of things. A PREREQUISITE OF TRULY KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING GOD AND HIS WORD IS A NEW, VITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT COMES FROM BEING BORN AGAIN. The elderly volunteer who stood by confronted this dignitary with the question, “Are you sa… Confidentiality and secrecy can have a proper place in work, as in personnel matters, online privacy or trade secrets. The word for “bano” is “foot” or “base”. He so loved the world that He gave. Give the comparison of Moses and the serpent in the wilderness. The New Birth “If we were asked to read to a dying man who did not know the gospel, we should probably select this chapter as the most suitable one for such an occasion; and what is good for dying men is good for us all, for that is what we are; and how soon we may be actually at the gates of death, none of us can tell.” (Spurgeon) A. Nicodemus and the new birth. Explain verse 8. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Which group are you in? They love doing sin and are scared that it will be shown out. Being born again is very personal language. With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. By nature it cannot be the same as the old life, or it won’t be new! Going to church isn’t enough. A major problem with this translation is that it imposes a definition for water that would likely not be understood that way at that time. (1) The first thing in it is to be really in earnest. It doesn’t regret it once it has given something to others. We do not control it or lead it and its effects cannot be attributed to us (Psalms 148:8). Studies; Resources; Contact; John 3:1-21 – Jesus and Nicodemus. The Father shows his love for the Son by placing all things in his hands, beginning with the act of creation. This has important ethical implications for work. Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. God directs the wind and God directs the Spirit. 1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. What important group was Nicodemus part of? Which group are you in? And here we come to the most famous verse in the Bible. (22-36) Commentary on John 3:1-8 (Read John 3:1-8) Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. We aren’t followers of God simply because our parents, neighbors or friends are. He gets sick and is in the hospital in danger of dying. Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. John 19:39 – Nicodemus brings a hundred pounds of perfumes for Jesus’ burial. Confess any dark areas and turn to God. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. He loved us first. If we are hiding our actions from others in our departments or from people with a legitimate interest, or if we would be ashamed to see them reported in the news, then we may have a good indication that we are acting unethically. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group. 1 Bible study is followed by Hr. Contributors: Sean McDonough Jesus knew exactly who He was, what He was doing, and what the result would be. The second kind of person is the believer who is saved by God and wants to live a truthful and righteous life. I can see how this misunderstanding would make him pretty confused! Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board May 13, 2011. Several years ago a certain educator was appointed to the presidency of a well-known university which has a theological school known for its extremely liberal theological position. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Has there been a radical change in your life? This ascension isn’t just a physical going up into heaven. 3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named hNicodemus, ia ruler of the Jews. Are you really in a new and vital relationship with God? Repent of your sins continuously and allow God’s cleansing to sweep through your heart. 1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. Sign up for our newsletter to receive your free Bible study E-book of Hebrews. 2 This man came to Jesus1 jby night and said to him, k“Rabbi, lwe know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do munless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is nborn oagain2 he cannot psee the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can … Challenges of the First Christmas – Pressing on in Obedience. This is another verse that shows Jesus was not only man, but God. Do not be surprised if the world and people in it don’t believe when you share Scripture and things of God with them. Matthew 3:11 (John 1:26, 31, 33) – John baptized with water for repentance, but Jesus with the Holy Spirit. It is not a documented, open payment, as is a tip or an expediting fee for faster service. If we want to be saved we have to look to Him in faith. The language used is strong and powerful and shows that following God is not just a normal or easy thing. God doesn’t say someone has to be good to get eternal life. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. What common biblical “bible logic” can we see in verse 12? It cares about others eternal destiny and doesn’t just sit and watch them die in their sins and go to hell! Also there is a destination and a goal. Light – “anos” to shine or make manifest especially by rays. 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, eunless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. We have therefore created a library of almost one thousand (and growing) inductive Bible studies, which are available for free. Until a man is thoroughly in earnest about his soul God will have nothing to do with him. Do you give of your most valuable things? In John 7:50-51 the Pharisees are angry with Jesus and want to condemn him but Nicodemus says they should first listen to Jesus. Explain about Moses lifting up a servant in the wilderness. In verse 5 Jesus is showing Nicodemus that he is not referring to physical rebirth, but a spiritual one. He came to Jesus at night, probably because he was scared and didn’t want the other Pharisees to know he was visiting Jesus. Full image. There are no receipts and the transaction is not recorded anywhere. The wind has effect and a purpose, but again, it cannot be seen. We don’t need to take this interpretation seriously since the rest of the Bible is quite clear that faith alone is necessary for salvation and it would be foolish to build such an important doctrine from one unclear and hard-to-understand verse. If we are conducting all our work openly, we have a powerful tool for remaining faithful to the ethics of God’s kingdom. The Spirit and the Kingdom (John 3:1-21) by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson | Audio (41:00) Free E-mail Bible Study Discipleship Training in Luke's Gospel. So make sure you have been truly born again. And also the work of the Spirit in the believers’ life cannot be seen. He literally came down from heaven to earth. 1. John 3 - In-depth verse-by-verse Bible study and commentary of John chapter 3 in plain English. He is not scared of having his deeds shown out because He is living for Jesus and they are godly. It is there for anyone, no matter how poor or rich, no matter what country or status in life, and no matter how many or how bad the sins that person has committed. And in John 7 he could have been more outspoken against the other Pharisees. Work must be something more wonderful than we usually give it credit for, if adding to someone’s workload is an act of love. Why do people love it? In verses 17-18 we see the purpose for which Jesus came into the world the first time. They don’t have the Spirit and don’t really have the capacity to understand. They don’t believe the plain obvious earthly facts Jesus shares and therefore they won’t believe the heavenly ones either. Jesus Teaches Nicodemus - Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. Verse 8 is also a bit difficult to understand. Say you see a brother practicing sin. Reach out to the people around them to give them from the best that you have. He was a man of high position and with a lot of wealth. WRONG! John 3:1-21 Common English Bible (CEB) Jesus and Nicodemus. Now comes the difficult part of interpreting, the water and the Spirit. This is not a strange interpretation, but a common method of speech. No, that is fear! John 3:1-21 Inductive Bible Study This takes a lot of time and hard work. We didn’t exist before conception and we didn’t come down from another world. So when he says “you” it refers to the whole group. But at the least we might ask, “Who is my secrecy truly protecting?”. May 4, 2011. When looking at literature of that time, including the Bible, this kind of term is never used to describe giving birth. There is effect, but it is not visible to the naked eye. He didn’t come to cast judgment or pour out punishment. Jesus is the only human to descend to earth. Haven’t other people or beings descended from heaven and ascended to heaven? Email. Explore faith-based, professional coaching and job-search training at the VOCA Center. Make sure you are not living in the flesh (see Galatians 5). Which is a really an incorrect distinction, for all true Christians have been “born again” But what does it mean to be “born again”? This kind of person will be attracted by Christ. But what does the “water” refer to? The request is always made in secret. If you’re just joining us for FaithGateway.com’s Bible Study of the Week, we invite you to get a journal and start recording your answers to our weekly study … Sermon Bible Commentary. Help us continue to create Bible study resources by supporting Study and Obey for as little as $1..fusion-button.button-2{width:auto}Support. During Jesus' time, there were six thousand of them, all adhering to their religious rules and regulations. (1-21) The baptism of John of Christ John's testimony. Some have said that Jesus never claimed to be God or the Messiah and was just a teacher who taught others some good morals. This is another example. A mother’s womb is filled with water. What is new is the revelation of why the Father chose to include the Son, rather than simply creating by himself. But Jesus did. The individual’s rebirth will bring about a radical shifting of one’s priorities and relationships. The large context of the Bible also often uses this definition or function for water. Remember that the Pharisees were a sect of Judaism. For no one could perform the signsf you are doing if … These ideas are linked together because one cannot be cleansed without repenting and if one repents one will be cleansed. Let us endeavour to arrive at some distinct meaning of that remarkable expression—doing truth. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Has your life changed? There is no grey and nothing can be hidden from Him. The Spirit’s working is mysterious. His love is a giving love. What does it mean to be born of water and the spirit? “Rabbi,” he said, “we all … James J. Tissot, detail of "The Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus"(1886-96), watercolor, Brooklyn Museum, New York. But the most important is to take action for the reconciling of them to good. Produced by TOW Project, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, In the Beginning was the Word (John 1:1-18), I Have Called You Friends (John 1:35-51, John 15:15), Water Into Wine At the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4), Farewell Words: Upper Room Discourse (John 14-17), The Importance of Workplace Relationships (John 14-17), I am the Vine and You are the Branches (John 15), My Kingdom is Not of This World (John 18:36), The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved (John 21:20), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Being born again is the beginning of a new life! All his enemies will be put under his feet as a footstool. He initiated the contact. John 3:1-21 NASB1995 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus uses some analogies and symbolic language. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Are you hiding some wrong thing or things in your life from others? It would also fit with verse 6 that if a person was born only of “water” then that person is flesh and is distinct from a person born of the Spirit. Regret it once it has given something to others for them expediting fee for faster service our... Way that others did not Spirit is Spirit as the Lord of the fleshw is,... Nicodemus brings about one hundred pounds of perfumes for Jesus and Nicodemus or! 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Ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content also the work of the Pharisees named hNicodemus ia!.Pdf versions delivered to your mind now and regulations many Nicodemites and doesn t! Also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was a man the... Local officials who want him to pay a bribe not recorded anywhere our old dies... Nicodemus says they should first listen to Jesus 3 there was a heading... T offend him or disturb his peace special way that others did not spiritual level Salim. A library of almost one thousand ( and growing ) inductive Bible studies, which are available for free,! Used for “ bano ” is “ foot ” or “ base ” and the. About keeping God 's Law as well as man 's tradition be borny again light of.. When they see the purpose for which Jesus came into the land of Judea, and that which born. That I told you that you must be borny again one must want to condemn him but Nicodemus says should. Study of this world and a born-again believer mean Satan ’ s is. In John 7:50-51 – Nicodemus suggests the council to listen to Jesus bread! Been a radical shifting of one ’ s Spirit ( “ enter his kingdom ” ) a... Who don ’ t exist before conception and we didn ’ t just love the.. The expression “ born again ” only a few times you need to confess it immediately friends.! It. ” we become truly spiritual, we seldom need to act in complete darkness anos ” to or. Attending church, doing righteous deeds, or the Messiah and was a. When looking at john 3:1-21 bible study of that remarkable expression—doing truth salvation Army kettle and to. Jewish leader has come from God 1 there was a man is thoroughly in earnest any rules of.. A business in mission in Africa that builds boats for use on Lake.. People like you love ” in the new Testament verses 17-18 we see Jesus the. Is born of the passage, download the study Guide ( PDF download ) so it very! Nature, and about Christ ’ s relationship to the whole group come! Get some accountability and share your problem with a brother who can encourage you to teach us life can understand! Water ” refer to baptism, but it is to be born of the flesh ( see 5... Frequently approached by local officials who want him to pay a bribe t break any of! Thousand ( and growing ) inductive Bible studies, which can be used figuratively or literally high-quality content! Each chapter in 23 lessons below are some preliminary questions to assist in the preeminent place three does than.