Wednesday, February 10, 2010

...regeneration, justification, propitiation, substitution - all of grace

I've been preaching through the gospel of John the last five months and it has been a wonderful study of God's Word. The last six weeks we have looked intently at John 3:1-21 which is Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus. This passage, though a narrative, unfolds some of the greatest theological truths found anywhere in Scripture.

For example:
John 3:1-8 - The doctrine of regeneration
John 3:9-15 - The doctrines of eternal Sonship, substitution and imputation
John 3:16-17 - The doctrine of particular redemption
John 3:18-20 - The doctrines of absolute inability, eternal judgment
John 3:21 - The doctrines of sanctification and the perseverance of the saints
What a glorious salvation we have in Christ Jesus our Lord beloved!

May I encourage you to read through this passage and feast upon God's Word today - magnifying the greatness and majesty of our Lord even in incarnation. May you rest in the certainty of your redemption; for you are saved not by works - but by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone.

You Must Be Born Again

3:1 Now 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.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 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?” 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.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (ESV)


Robert Warren said...

Hi Steve:

Just wondering: do you think we should understand "see" in verse 3 to mean "understand" (in the same manner as 1 Cor 2:14), or does it mean "observe"?

Ever since I began paying attention to such nuances, I've taken it to mean "understand".


Detoured By Travel said...

Robert -

I know you were asking Steve, but here's my $0.02.

I think the word "see" in verse 3 literally means SEE/VIEW or ENTER INTO. Unless I'm mistaken it's the same word that's used in Mark 9:47 for "enter the kingdom":

Mark 9:47
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

Thanks Steve the great reminder of God's unfailing grace.

Robert Warren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrin said...

"The wind blows where it wishes" - Amen, and praise God. How our flesh hates not to have control over everything!

bossmanham said...


Darrin said...


mountainguy said...

He is not arminian, neither calvinist, catholic, republican, liberal, democrat, conservative, socialist, northamerican, african, southamerican,etc