This is the audio from the January 8, 2023 sermon, “Made New In BIRTH!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: John 3:1-21
Today continued a sermon series with a focus on being Made New In Christ. In John chapter 3, we find the account of an interaction between Nicodemus and Jesus which results in some teaching that includes one of the most famous verses in the entire Bible. Being made new in Christ includes a response to the call of Jesus that we must be born again. When we follow Jesus fully, we find that we are made new in . . .
- Belief. John 3:1-3
- Experiencing a new birth in Christ will result in a new belief that is more than just a verbal parroting of what seems to be expected. While Nicodemus begins the conversation with a statement that would indicate some degree of belief, there is also the issue of approaching Jesus under the cover of darkness while very few of the encounters Jesus had with the Pharisees were positive. The first response of Jesus to Nicodemus in this encounter was that something more was needed — the belief that Jesus had come from God needed to bear the fruit of a new belief that comes from a new birth.
- Inclusion. John 3:4-9
- Experiencing a new birth in Christ will result in a new inclusion that gives a place of belonging to all who are born both of water and Spirit. This isn’t a universal inclusion that says anything and everything is just as good as anything else, but rather an inclusion that says in Christ you belong. All who are born of the water and the Spirit are included in God’s family because of the new birth the experience. I don’t set the criteria and no human institution can set that criteria to either include or exclude someone, that is done solely by God.
- Relationship. John 3:10-15
- Experiencing a new birth in Christ will result in a new relationship with God and with one another. When we are born in the flesh, we are related to both those who gave us birth and to those they are already related to. Being born by the Spirit brings us into relationship with God, with all those who are already in relationship with Him, and with all who will still come into the family.
- Truth. John 3:16-18
- Experiencing a new birth in Christ will result in us having a new understanding of the truth of God’s love. While John 3:16 tends to be quoted often to describe the incredible love of God and His desire that none would perish, in context the truth expressed in this passage requires an active belief in God to escape the condemnation that we have brought upon ourselves. It is by living in the truth of God’s Word and His love that we not only experience eternal life, but we have the tools available to share the good news of this new birth with others.
- Hope. John 3:19-21
- Experiencing a new birth in Christ will result in a new hope that endures all things. It doesn’t take very long to realize the truth of the world living in darkness. It is fascinating to me that Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and then Jesus concludes this conversation with a statement that those who practice evil love darkness and those who live by truth will come into the light. When you live with the light of Jesus in you, you have all that is needed to find hope in the midst of the darkness of this world. While the darkness is plentiful, it is not powerful enough to overcome the true light of Jesus.
Today, how will you live as one who has been made new in BIRTH?