Reincarnation (John 3:1-10) 11-30-14 (Sun)
John 20:31 shows the purposes the Bible and why it was written. First, it is written to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Second, it tells that by believing him, we may have eternal life in his name. The Bible states Jesus Christ is God.
The reason why Jesus came to earth is to help us to be born again and lead us to heaven. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." Therefore, whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Whoever does not believe him will be judged.
The reason why we have gathered here is to have our sins forgiven by God and earn eternal life.
1. Jesus is God. (2)
Let's look at who Jesus is. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. Jesus was already omnipotent and knew everything.
There was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him."
Here, Nicodemus calls Jesus "Rabbi." It is a formal word that means "teacher." In other word, it means a prophet who God has sent. For 400 years, there was no prophet in Israel. So, Nicodemus thought Jesus as their prophet because of all the signs that Jesus had performed.
Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." Nicodemus did not even ask anything but Jesus answered him as if he knew what Nicodemus was going to ask. This proves that Jesus is truly omnipotent.
2. Reborn by Believing in Jesus Christ. (5)
"How can someone be born when they are old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!" Nicodemus was a teacher in Israel and he surely knew a person cannot be born again.
Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." Jesus repeats again what he had said in the verse three.
What does he mean by "unless they are born of water and the Spirit?"
It does not mean the reborn of a physical body. It means the reborn of our spirits. To be concise, it is saying that a person's sin can be forgiven and spiritually born again. Our sins can be washed off with the water. And that water, the only thing that can wash off our sins is the blood of Jesus Christ.
But many people do not understand the true meaning of this Just like Nicodemus. Nicodemus was also a Jewish. Therefore, he believed that his sin could be forgiven by doing well. We think the same too. However, in Romans 3:20, it says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin."
Reincarnation of our spirits cannot be done just through our deed. It can be only done by God. Then who receives the Holy Spirit?
John1:33 - And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ’The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
If I truly believe in Jesus Christ, he will wash our sins. He will give me Holy Spirit. With faith, my spirit will reincarnate. Jesus said, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You must be born again.’"
Nicodemus only did good deeds as his custom. It is only done outside. Flesh only gives birth to flesh. Spirit only gives birth to spirit. The Holy Spirit gives birth to our spirit.
Nicodemus thought doing good deeds will forgive his sins and bring him to God but when he heard from Jesus that only the Holy Spirit and God can reincarnate his spirit, he was surprised. So, Jesus knew what he was thinking and answered him.
"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."
Just because there is no wind, it does not mean there is no wind at all. There is wind. We can see wind blowing by hearing its sound or by seeing the leaves fall. Likewise, we cannot really know if there is a Holy Spirit in a person's heart. But we can acknowledge by seeing that person change. If we believe in God, we can be born again and go to heaven. If we don't, what will happen?
3. No Reincarnation. (10)
"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
"You are Israel’s teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?
Nicodemus was one of the preeminent teachers in Israel. How the reincarnation of our spirits is done is clearly explained in Ezekiel 36:25~27. But Nicodemus did not know about this so he could not understand what Jesus was saying. That is why he was scorned by Jesus. Not only Nicodemus but all of the other Israel’s thought like him.
Jewish people look like they are obedient to God and doing good but they were opposite. They did not understand the true meaning of God's word. They only knew how to think about worldly righteousness.
Not all people who have visited Jesus went to heaven. Some came to see Jesus but they left when Jesus did not provide them what they wanted.
Nicodemus came to Jesus but he did not believe what Jesus told him. However, in John 7:50~51, he was reincarnated with his faith in Jesus Christ.
In John 19:39, "Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds."
We have come to see Jesus Christ today. But just coming to see him is not enough. We must throw away our worldly law and righteousness. Only think about God's word and faith in Jesus Christ.