The Marvels of Christmas - They Saw His Glory: The Indispensable Need For Two Births

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

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1. Introduction: the Meaning of Christmas

1.1. Why did Jesus come? (John 10:10)

1.2. Why “Two Births”? (Luke 2:11 and John 3:3)


2. The Marvel and Misunderstanding of the New Birth

2.1. Nicodemus: “How can a man be born when he id old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” (John 3:4).

2.2. Jesus: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8).

2.3. Nicodemus: “How can these things be?” (John 3:9).

2.4. Regeneration is NOT reincarnation. Being born again doesn't mean that we need to be re-born physically in the next life. Jesus clearly teaches, “Flesh gives birth to flesh; and the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” To be reborn physically would mean that we will again be stained with Adam's sin. We need spiritual regeneration in this life, in order to receive eternal life. There is no second chance.


3. The Maker and Means of the New Birth

3.1. The First Coming of Jesus Christ. Who He was, and why He came (John 1:14-18).

3.2. Becoming Children of God (John 1:12).

3.3. Conception and Conversion from Above (John 1:13 and 3:7) “You must be born again” (John 3:7, “again” -- Greek “anothen” = “anew” or “from above”). It is all of God's grace (John 1:16).

3.4. Cleansing and New Creation “Born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). See Ezekiel 36:25-27 and compare Paul's statement in Titus 3:5. The place of water-baptism, and the role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is compared to the wind (John 3:8) and to “rivers of living water” (John 7:38-39). He convicts of sin, converts the sinner, and creates new life (John 16:8-11; Rom.8:2,13; 2 Cor.3:6).

3.5. The Cross is a "must" for our salvation (John 3:15). Christ's death and resurrection bring us eternal life.

3.6. Coming to Christ by Faith (John 1:12 and 3:16). Why did God give His only Son? Two reasons: “So loved”; “so that...” The Lord Jesus shows us the link between God's Love, Life and Light (John 3:16-21).

4. Conclusion:

“You MUST be born again!” The marvels of Christmas are Christ's Birth, and our New Birth! The apostles saw His glory. As children of God, we can also enter His kingdom and share His glory -- but only by being born again, from above, from God, through His Son, and by His Spirit. Have you been “born again”? If so, Happy New You!


Discussion Questions

1. “You must be born again” -- does this mean reincarnation? Why, or why not?

2. “Born of water and the Spirit” -- does this refer to baptism? Why, or why not?

3. Share your own experience of being “born again”.