Second Sunday of Advent. Looking Forward to Christ's Coming Again.
Pastor Doug's lesson is from the Gospel of John 3:1 - 18. This is the account of perhaps the most famous of Jesus' conversations. It takes place when the very important Pharisee, Nicodemus, comes to Jesus by night to ask him, What must a man do to be saved? Jesus' immediate response is, You must be born again. Nicodemus is perplexed, for he has undertaken throughout his life to attain salvation through strict observance of the law. Jesus explains that a man must undergo both a physical birth, and a spiritual birth into the Kingdom.
How can we be born again?
1. We need cleansing and new power; must be born "of water and Spirit" (v.5)
In v. 4 and again in v.9 Nicodemus professes his failure to understand.
Understanding is not a requirement. Belief is. (v.10) Jesus divides ("we" vs. "you people")
2. Believe in a lifted up Christ. Everyone is looking for something that will give him hope.
"lifted up" = Christ on the cross
"lifted up" = Christ elevated, honored, glorified
3. Receive the love of God (v.16) Salvation is neither in the law, nor in religion, nor position, nor nationality, nor race; IT IS SOLELY IN THE BELIEF IN THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.
Belief = eternal life (v.16)
unbelief = eternal damnation (v.18)
What now is your response to God?