John 3:1-8 You must be born again

My sermon notes from Sunday, April 30th  as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week please visit

John 3:1-8

You must be BORN AGAIN


Nicodemus has questions – vv. 1-2 (Who are you?)

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”


Consider the man

  • Religious – Pharisee. Part of the Sanhedrin…Jewish Supreme Court
  • Educated – Nicodemus is Greek
  • Influential – Ruler
  • Impressed
  • Interested
  • Questioning
    • Came at night
      • Afraid
      • Wanted Jesus to himself
    • Seeking
      • Rabbi
      • Recognized the Signs
        • He recognized His divine mission, but his faith was incomplete


Even though he really did not ask a question, Jesus knew His heart.


Jesus answers the heart question – v. 3

            Tells him what he really wants/needs to know.


Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”


  • Truly, Truly – Most definitely
  • Must be born again/from above
    • Regeneration (new life)
    • John 1:12-13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • Cannot see the Kingdom of God – (perceive, discern, take heed)


Nicodemus and his confusion– v. 4

Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”


This would have rocked the mind of Nicodemus.  He was a Jew, a descendant of Abraham.  Because of their lineage, they were guaranteed a place in the kingdom.  Nicodemus was banking on his “old birth” but Jesus is saying there needs to be a “new birth”

Jews were looking for a Messiah to bring in the “new world’  where the nation of Israel would be preeminent…no longer under the bondage of Rome.  But Jesus came to bring “new life” where He is preeminent.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


Ezekiel 36:22-28

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a] 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Ezekiel 37:11-14

11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”



put yourself in Nicodemus shoes.  He believed in the New Covenant but missed who the New Covenant is all about


  1. The nation of Israel will be gathered – Check….they came out of exile
  2. The cleansing of God’s people – Check….they had all the religious stuff by the Pharisees.
  3. The reign of the Messiah over Israel and the World. …waiting on the Messiah.


Jesus explains – vv. 5-8

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”


  • Born of water and the Spirit
    • Spiritual cleansing (one event…cleansing/new birth Ez. 36:25-27)
    • From above
    • Inside out


  • Cannot enter the Kingdom of God
    • The spiritual realm where those who have been born again by divine power through faith now live under the rulership of God mediated through His Son.
    • The rule and reign of God in the life and hearts of His
    • Impossible unless….


  • Flesh is flesh – Spirit is Spirit
    • Not a work of man/flesh, so that no man may boast
    • It is a God thing, not a man thing
    • Work of God, so that He may receive the glory and honor.


  • Wind blows where it wishes
    • We cannot understand or control, but we can see and embrace the truth of it.
    • God works sovereignly in our midst.
    • We see Him working as we share the Gospel

Leave a Reply