Studies In The Book Of John
The Text of John 3:1-8
John 3:1-2 - “(1) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) 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.”
A. We can learn some things about Nicodemus by what other Scriptures tell us about him (John 7:45-53 and John 19:38-39).
1. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and since the company you keep speaks about you, his fellowship says some things (Ephesians 5:6-7, Ephesians 5:11, I Timothy 5:22, and II John 9-11).
a. The Pharisees were a generation of vipers (Matthew 3:7-8).
b. The Pharisees were an example of what not to be (Matthew 5:20 and Luke 12:1).
c. The Pharisees taught error (Matthew 16:6; 11-12).
d. The Pharisees often sought to trap Jesus (Matthew 19:3, Matthew 22:15, Mark 8:11, Mark 12:13, Luke 6:7, etc.).
e. The Pharisees were known to be fakers, keeping people from learning the truth, glory seekers, etc. (Matthew 23:13ff.).
f. The Pharisees sought to destroy our Lord (Mark 3:6).
g. The Pharisees kept the traditions of men while rejecting the counsel of God (Mark 7:1-9 and Luke 7:30).
h. Jesus used the Pharisees to teach against self-righteousness (Luke 18:10-14).
i. Like Nicodemus, Gamaliel was a Pharisee who kind of, sort of, cowardly tried to stand for the Lord (Acts 5:34-39).
j. The Pharisees differed some with the Sadducees (Acts 23:6-9).
k. Not all Pharisees refused to change (Philippians 3:4-17).
2. It is also a strike against Nicodemus to be numbered with the rulers of the Jews (Luke 24:20).
3. He came to Jesus by night, which causes one to question if he did not want to be seen with Jesus because of the consequences (John 12:42-43).
B. Nicodemus realized that Jesus is from God because of the miracles Jesus did (John 5:36-38, John 9:16, and Acts 2:22).
1. While miracles showed that Jesus was sent from God, people did not understand that He is the Savior (John 7:30-31).
2. The Jewish leaders wanted these miracles to halt (John 11:47-54).
3. Not all believed based on the miracles Jesus did (John 12:37-41).
John 3:3-5 - “(3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. (4) 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? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”
A. You have to be born of the water in a spiritual rebirth (Romans 6:3-6 and Colossians 2:12-13).
1. Those really in Christ (Galatians 3:27) are new creatures (II Corinthians 5:17).
2. All parts of conversion come together to aid in this rebirth from hearing the word of God to continuation in the truth (I Peter 1:22-25 and I John 2:29).
B. These passages often bring the debate of Holy Spirit baptism to the table (cf. Matthew 3:11).
1. The baptism of the Spirit occurred with the Apostles (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4).
2. The baptism of the Spirit occurred with Cornelius and His household to confirm that Gentiles could be saved (Acts 10:44-11:18).
3. More on this when we discuss verses 6-8.
C. Only one baptism remains (Ephesians 4:5).
1. The baptism that continues today is the one that saves (I Peter 3:20-21).
2. The baptism that continues today is the one that remits sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
John 3:6-8 - “(6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) 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.”
A. You are either spiritual or carnal (I Corinthians 3:1-3).
1. Prior to the completion of the word of God, one needed the Holy Spirit’s guidance to cease carnality (Romans 8:4-11; cf. John 16:13).
2. Now, we can lay aside carnality and grow in the word spiritually (I Peter 2:1-2 and John 6:63).
B. The Holy Spirit was involved in the process of baptism (I Corinthians 12:12-13).
1. Whether it was Holy Spirit baptism as discussed above or the laying on of the Apostles hands (Acts 8:12-24), He was involved.
2. The purpose was always related to miracles (Acts 19:1-7 and I Corinthians 12:3-11).
C. Why the illustration of the wind relating to the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:2-4; 4:31)?
1. You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but when He was active the evidence was clear (Acts 2:33, Acts 8:6, and Galatians 3:2-5).
2. Those who had the Spirit certainly did not doubt He existed (I John 2:27).
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