Scripture: John 3:1-7
Text: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7
In verse seven there are four things that salvation is.
Salvation is said to be everything from Sunday School to keeping the Golden Rule.
But salvation is not doing, the work of salvation is already done.
“Salvation is not in a plan but in a person; and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now like Nicodemus, we must realize that no matter how religious we are, or no matter how powerful we may be, the Bible still says, “Ye must be born again.”
I. MARVEL NOT . . . SALVATION IS PLAIN
Salvation is so plain that a little child can understand and be saved.
God did not intend for salvation to be a complicated matter. The God that loved this old sin cursed world enough to send his son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, loves us enough to make salvation a plain matter to be understood.
As a matter of fact, for a person to neglect the simple plan of salvation is contrary to the very will of God.
II Pet. 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
It is God’s will that everyone be saved.
Now you may say, if it’s God’s will that I should be saved, then just how simple is salvation?
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The Bible says that the power of God unto Salvation is the Gospel of Christ. And that this Gospel of Jesus Christ makes salvation available to everyone that believes in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
So, now that we know that the Gospel of Christ is what brings salvation, the next question is, what is the Gospel?
The Bible explains to us in I Cor. 15:1-4 what the Gospel is:
Moreover, brethern, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and where ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
The Gospel then is simply:
1. The Death
3. and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was the one …
who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Rom. 4:25
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
1. Jesus is the only one who can give salvation.
2. Jesus is the only way given for salvation.
3. Jesus is the necessity of our salvation.
Salvation is plain, because salvation is in Jesus Christ.
II. THAT I SAID UNTO THEE, YE … SALVATION IS PERSONAL
Now we understand that salvation is in Jesus Christ, and that apart from Him there is no salvation.
However, before a person will ever believe in Christ for salvation he must understand certain things about himself.
A. Realize that he is a sinner. (Rom. 3:10,23)
For one to realize that he is a sinner, is to realize that it’s not what he does, but what he is that makes him a sinner.
Man is born with a nature that rebels against God. (Ps. 51:5)
Until a person realizes that he is a lost sinner salvation is not for him.
For Jesus said “… I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 9:13)
B. Realize the penalty of sin is death. (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23; Jam. 1:15)
The death the Bible speaks of here is an eternal separation from God in Hell.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
For a man to die in his sins without Christ, means that on the judgment day he shall hear the thundering voice of the one that could have been his Justifier say to him as his Judge.
“Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
C. Realize that Jesus died for our sins. (Rom. 5:8; Jn. 1:29; I Jn. 2:2)
But you know a person can realize that he’s a sinner, he can realize that the penalty for sin is death, he can even realize that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and still he’ll die and go to Hell.
Why? Because salvation is Personal. (Jn. 3:16) The payment Christ payed for the sins of the world, is only applied to the account of whoever will.
“… whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
III. MUST BE … SALVATION IS POSITIVE
These two words, must be, show the extreme necessity of salvation.
Jesus said we “must be,” because:
A. The Need is Universal
William Evans said, “The need is as far-reaching as sin and the human race. No age, sex, position, or condition exempts anyone from this necessity.”
“… except a man (lit. anybody) be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
B. The Sinful Condition of Man
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”
The flesh can never, by any human process, become anything else other than flesh.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”
“They that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing …”
“The heart is deceitful above all thing, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Man is born with a deceitful nature that is desperately wicked, and no amount of education or culture can bring about his needed change. Only God alone can perform such a miracle.
C. The Holiness of God Demands It
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
We’re to have the very holiness of God if we’re to meet with God.
“Thou art of Purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Because of our sinfulness, and God’s holiness, the wrath of God is upon us.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 15:57
The Cross of Calvary was where the Holy wrath of God was met.
The Cross of Calvary is where the Lord Jesus Christ took the place of a hell deserving human race.
And the Cross of Calvary is where the Universal need of Salvation may be applied to every person who is willing to trust Christ as Lord and Savior.
IV. BORN AGAIN … SALVATION IS PRODUCTIVE
I have only one question to ask here. “How do you justify an experience of salvation, without an experience of separation?”
Separation from the things of this world is plainly taught in the Bible.
A. Abraham was called to separation
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”
B. The Nazarite vow was a vow of separation
The word separation or separate is used 15 times in this one chapter. The Life of a Nazarite was a life of separation from the things of the world.
C. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS CALLED TO SEPARATION
“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”
D. MOSES WAS CALLED TO SEPARATION
“By faith Moses, when he has come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
E. WE TOO ARE CALLED TO SEPARATION (ICor. 6:19-20)
I John 2:15-17
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust there of; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
“And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind …”
II Cor. 6:17
“Wherefore came out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you,
II Cor. 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.”
When we’re born into this world, we’re born dead in trespasses and sins. (Eph. 2:5) but by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior we’re now passes from death into life. (Jn. 5:24)
My friend salvation is productive. A dead seed is placed in the ground and springs forth into life, and life then produces fruit.
Where are the fruitful things in your life that glorify God? Does your life bring honor or disgrace to God? Are you saved or are you lost? You must decide.
Not to be born again is to be lost, there is no substitute for the new birth.