Berean Bible Study Notes

John 3:1-21

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You must be born again

To help this all hang together properly, I'll back up and start again at the beginning of chapter 3.

John 3:1 (NIV) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

Probably everyone reading this takes for granted that Jesus' miracles were just that - miracles. We have no question that Jesus was capable of performing miracles. You'd be amazed at how many people have doubts about that, however. People like Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, liberal theologians, skeptics, you name it, all doubt Jesus' miracles. They should all take a cue from Nicodemus, however. This was a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin. If any group had a vested interest in discounting Jesus' miracles, it was that group. However, you can tell by Nicodemus' language that the miracles were common knowledge. There was no discounting them. Now, all we've seen in the Gospel of John is the water turned into wine, but the other Gospels tell more of healing the sick, curing the crippled, giving sight to the blind. Eventually, we'll even see Jesus raise the dead.

John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

The last study talked about how Jesus cuts through all that Nicodemus may have wondering and gets right to the heart of the matter. That word "see" means to literally see. It also can mean to understand or to participate in. Let's hold off on discussing "born again" until we get more of Jesus' answer. The words translated "I tell you the truth," is actually the word "amen" repeated twice. Amen comes from Hebrew, and it means "truth" or "trustworthy" ,"surely" or even "let it be so." The King James says "Verily verily." If Jesus wanted to emphasize something, he said "amen" once. If He really wanted to emphasize something, He said "amen amen." That "amen amen" is only found in the Gospel of John, and you don't really see it unless you're reading the old King James. Basically, Jesus is saying "truly, truly." The point is that He is highly emphasizing how very important the "no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again," statement is.

This was actually the second reference to being "born again" or "born from above" as it can also mean. The first was in the very first chapter:

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

The mention here and in verse 5 of the "kingdom of God" are the only times it is mentioned in the Gospel of John. Here are some verses for your own study of the "now" and "not yet," "spiritual" and "not exactly spiritual" nature of the kingdom of God (as this is just a sampling, try doing a phrase search of "kingdom of God" or "kingdom of heaven" at BlueLetterBible or BibleGateway for the complete list):

Matthew 12:28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Mark 1:14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

Luke 7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

Luke 13:28 "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God , but you yourselves thrown out.

Luke 17:20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Luke 19:11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ' Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'

Luke 21:25 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." 29 He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

Luke 22:18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

1 Corinthians 15:50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

2 Thessalonians 1:4 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

Let's go on:

John 3:4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Let's set aside verse 5 and go on to verse 6. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. I've been using the NIV for the most part today, and this is one place where the NIV translates "flesh" as "flesh." However, in many cases, when that word is used, it's translated "sin nature." It's a little harder to get your brain around a "sin nature" but we can all relate to flesh. What does that mean, Flesh gives birth to flesh? In one sense, it means that if you feed the flesh, it gives birth to more flesh. Give in to sin and you will give birth to more sin. Last year, we had the example of two twins. If you feed one, but not the other, which one will be stronger? The one that gets fed, right? When you feed your flesh (spiritually), your flesh gets stronger.

We all can think of ways our flesh gets fed. For some, it might be torrid romance books or racy movies. For others, it might be the mall and shopping, shopping, shopping. It might be drinks after work or flirting with the cute guy next door. For some women, it could be decorating magazines or fashion catalogs! It's anything that puts your mind on things of this world - or takes your mind off God. It's anything that creates discontent with what you have or envy of what someone else has. It's anything that could lead to sin. To this day, anything mystical still tugs at me. I can't give in to that pull, because I know what it would mean.

Here's a concrete example. Let's say that a donut represents a particular sin that you're vulnerable to. First you think about the donut. Then, you look at the donut. Then you long for the donut. Then you eat the donut. Flesh gives birth to flesh. But, Jesus says, Spirit gives birth to spirit. Here's what Paul says about it:

Romans 8:5 (NKJV) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

I like what J. Vernon McGee has to say about this verse:

Through the Bible Commentary Series: John, Chapters 1-10, McGee, J. Vernon. 1991. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville:

John 3:6 (NIV) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Spirit gives birth to spirit. There are just a ton of things that could be said about that, but first, let's look at how it relates to being born again.

Being born again is God's decision, not ours:

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you

Matthew 16:15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ , the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

 

Being born again is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit:

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

 

The Spirit works through the Word of God:

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

 

That Word is the Gospel:

1 Corinthians 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

 

The Spirit continues to work within us, as living water:

John 4:13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

The Bible refers to our new birth in a number of ways:

New creation:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

The newness of life:

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

A spiritual resurrection:

Ephesians 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

A new heart:

Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

A new spirit:

Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

A new self:

Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Circumcision of the heart:

Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

So, Spirit gives birth to spirit refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in giving us new birth, but it also refers to living in the Spirit rather than living in the flesh.:

Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Just as you can feed the flesh, you can also "feed" the Spirit. The more you stay in God's Word, the "louder" the Spirit will be within you. Do those things that keep your mind on your Savior. Hopefully, this Bible study and our fellowship together help you do that, too. OK, let's take a look at our verses again:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Arthur W. Pink suggests that our new creation is very much like God's creation of the world:

Exposition of the Gospel of John, John 3, by Arthur W. Pink,

Now, something kind of interesting, is that the "you" of verse 7 is actually plural. Your Bibles probably have a note at the bottom saying that. So, Jesus may be referring back to this group that Nicodemus represents - the Pharisees - or, He may be referring to the Jews in general. Of course, the "you" applies to us, too. We must all be born again.

Jesus goes on to explain how the Spirit works: Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

You see the effects of the wind, but you cannot see the wind. Sometimes the most stubborn trees are stirred and sometimes just the tiniest leaf. It's interesting that when the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, there was the sound of a mighty wind. We could really go into a study of the Holy Spirit here, but we'll save that until later in John. One thing that you may want to do (I know I do), is to really pray for God to teach you what this means. Why does Jesus go from talking about being born again to saying "the wind blows where it wishes?" I wish I knew the full answer to that. Why do some people grow and others never do? How is it that a roomful of people can all hear the same words and take them many different ways? How does the Spirit of God wake someone up? When did the breeze begin blowing?

One other thing to note - Jesus is telling THE teacher of Israel - a Pharisee of Pharisees - one of the most religious people on the planet - that he must be born again. It must have been shocking. It would be like telling the president of a synod that he must be born again.

To Nicodemus' credit, however, look how he reacts:

John 3:9 (NKJV) Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"

10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

It doesn't sound like Nicodemus is being arrogant, but genuinely questioning. You can see from Jesus' answer that Nicodemus was not just "a" teacher of Israel, but apparently a very prominent one. Jesus chides him for not knowing and understanding what several of the prophets had talked about:

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ezekiel 37:14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"

Ezekiel 39:29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Joel 2: 28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Giving the new heart is saying the same thing as being born again. God doesn't fix the old one, but gives an entirely new one. You can see that the idea of being "born again" is not just a New Testament idea.

John 3:11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

I don't think Jesus is using the royal "we." It's possible that He's referring to Himself and the Spirit, or He may mean Himself and John the Baptist - or perhaps He's including the statements of the prophets in the "we." The "you" here refers to more than just Nicodemus. He continues to stand for the Jewish leadership, who live in darkness and don't understand the light.

Earthly things - heavenly things. Some people have said that for every heavenly truth there is an earthly picture.

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

Or, as the NIV puts it (which makes more sense):

John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man

Don't let a Jehovah Witness throw you with this verse. Remember that Jesus is the first born of the dead. Until He ascended, people either went to a place of torment or to "Abraham's bosom." (like in the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus). Jesus is saying that at this time, no one has gone into heaven.

OK, now for the most famous section of the entire Bible. You've heard it a zillion times. When Al Gore was campaigning for president, a story went around about an occasion when he was asked what his favorite verse in the Bible was. He always said he was a church-going man. Unfortunately, he either wasn't as familiar with the passage as he ought to have been or just had one of those little slips. Instead of saying "John 3:16," he said "John 16:3," which says They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. Kind of funny.

OK, we're used to John 3:16 on its own, but remember what was just said. Jesus had told Nicodemus that everyone who wants to enter the kingdom of heaven must be born again. So, this is a further explanation of how to be "born again":

John 3:14 (NIV) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Here is where Moses "lifted up the snake:"

Numbers 21:4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"

6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

This is really weird, if you think about it. What does the snake - or serpent - represent in the Bible? Satan and the entry of sin, right? But, Jesus is now saying that the snake somehow represented Him? How can that be? Remember this verse?

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The snake was made out of bronze, which symbolizes judgment. So, the snake on the pole was sin and Satan, judged. It goes even deeper than that, though. The people sinned, and God sent snakes among them, to kill them physically, just as their sin was killing them spiritually. So, the snakes are a direct representation of sin. The people weren't told to get rid of the snakes. There was no Moral Majority declaring that the people needed to band together to oust the snakes. They weren't told to treat their snake bites, either. There were no snake bite therapists.

No, they had to only do two things. First, they needed to acknowledge that they'd been bitten. Second, they needed to look at the snake on the pole and live. That word "look" in verse 8 is ra'ah {raw-aw'}. It means:

ra'ah {raw-aw'} Strongs #07200
1) to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider

2) to look at, see, regard, look after, see after, learn about, observe, watch, look upon, look out, find out

3) to see, observe, consider, look at, give attention to, discern, distinguish

It can mean more than just "looking." It can mean just "see," but it often means to look with understanding or to gain understanding.

The "looked" of verse 9 is a different word, but it means pretty much the same thing. It's the word nabat {naw-bat'}:

nabat {naw-bat'} Strongs #05027

1) to look

2) to regard, show regard to, pay attention to, consider

3) to look upon, regard, show regard to

It's kind of fun that the word "snake," or serpent - same word as in the Garden, (nachash {naw-khawsh'}), the word "bitten" (nashak {naw-shak'}) and the word "brass" or "bronze" (n@chosheth {nekh-o'-sheth}) are all very similar words.

So, what does this mean? It means that there was nothing the people could do to help themselves except acknowledge that they'd been bitten and look at the snake on the pole, understanding what that meant for them. They couldn't just look at it blindly. They had to really SEE it, knowing what it was there for.

John 3:14 (NIV) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

Just as that snake was lifted up for snake-bitten Israelites, so Jesus was lifted up for a sin-bitten world. If you acknowledge that you are a sinner and need a savior and look to Jesus' work on the cross as the answer for your sin-bites, you will have eternal life. To convict you of sin is one of the first jobs of the Holy Spirit:

John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.

The snake on the pole that Moses made had to be destroyed later, because people began worshipping it. It's easy to get confused. For example, you've may have seen old vampire movies where people wore crosses to protect them. It had no connection to Jesus - just the physical cross was supposed to protect them. It's not the cross itself that has any power. It's the belief in what Jesus did for you there that saves you.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Some insight from a couple of commentaries:

The People's Bible: John, Baumler, Gary. 1997, Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee.

Jon Courson's Application Commentary, Courson, J. 2003, Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Acts 26:17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

God is light. Evil is darkness. Without God, we live in darkness. Jesus is our light:

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Why do some hate the light? Why does Satan and those in his power hate the light?

John 7:6 Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.

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We were designed to be three-part people - body, soul and spirit. When Adam and Eve sinned, we became two-part people. A two-part person is incomplete and forever seeking to fill that empty space. Possessions, people, power - we may look to all of them to fill that hole we feel. None of those are really what we need. We need the Spirit of God living inside us. We need to be born again.

 

Questions to think about:

Is true Christianity a religion?

What is the difference between Christianity and religion?

Most times, when people say "You seem very religious," they mean that you are serious about God and His word. They may mean it as a compliment or they may not. If they truly understood what they were saying, however, should you take it as a compliment?



The Berean Bible Study of the Gospel of John




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Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11

© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 2/1/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

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