Context: Proverbs 8:17 – “…And those who diligently seek me will find me.”
Nicodemus: member of Sanhedrin. He represents the aristocratic, well-intentioned, but unenlightened of the change happening in Judaism. He is drawn by Jesus’ miracles (verse 2). He had a searching heart.
Nicodemus’s eyes/mind were clouded by trappings of his church. This is one of the reasons why we are doing this series!
Conversation: Romans 8: 14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Verse 3: Jesus talks about the Kingdom (not heaven) as the focus. nb. 3:16 “eternal life” (not the same as heaven). He emphasized Grace over judgement. A kingdom is where a king rules, so the Kingdom of God consists of all those people who come under His rule (not the ones who said a “salvation” prayer and then go and do their own thing. Salvation means your life will be changed.
Verse 5: The Kingdom is spiritual in nature (esp. verse 8)
Verse 14-15: Salvation starts as a simple act of faith that Jesus did it all (3:16). Moses lifting up the serpent (context, lack of trust. They asked Moses to get God to remove the serpents. God didn’t instead He provided a way of healing if they got bit. Death (via the serpents) was the penalty of their sin. God didn’t remove the penalty (of sin), but provided a way so that in spite of the penalty, people were saved (lived). This is what God did for us. The penalty of sin is death. God provided a way to live!)
Become a follower of Jesus. Nicodemus did (7:50-51, 19:39).
That choice is lived out in everyday life (1 John 1:6-2:2).
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Deeds reveal heart. James 2:26 “…so also faith without works is dead.”
Worry more about the doing, not the “not doing”
Focus not on where you are failing, but where you are succeeding