Monday, December 15, 2014

Expository Preaching on John 3,1-16

Yesterday I preached from John 3,1-16. It was an unusual sermon, not easy preaching on born again or from above. Phrases like seeing the kingdom of God and entering the kingdom of God need some explaining. Why did John use three different ways to say essential the same thing? First, born again/above (v. 3), second born of water and Spirit (without the definite article in Greek) in v. 5 and third, born of the Spirit (v. 6). How does one explain water and spirit? Are two different things like water baptism and Spirit baptism? Or is it more likely water which is spirit, the kai in Greek does much than "and" in English? Ezekiel has a reference of water and spirit in the end of ch. 36. I think the word "water" in John 3 functions like water in John 4 where in the latter chapter water is used to signify the Holy Spirit which will come believers in Jesus. Further in John, twice Jesus mentions being born of spirit, first he who is born of the flesh is flesh, born of the spirit is spirit and do not be surprised that you must be born of the Spirit. Jesus is talking about spiritual regeneration through the water of the Spirit just as a man is born through water in her mother's womb, now spiritual rebirth is an act of God, not by the flesh or human will but by the will of God that we become children of God through believing in Jesus' Name (1,12).
I also expounded on seeing the kingdom of God for those who are born again. We enter into a spiritual realm that is God's dominiom in heaven and we can experience heavenly things and blessings which we can testify of as Jesus said, "we only testify to what we have heard and what we have seen (in God's kingdom). I talked about not relying on outward prods like church membership (I shared that in my denomimation, my membership no. is 0004, ranked no. 4 but it avails me nothing in the sight of God). I also shared about the attributes of one who is born again. His religion is not something forced on him neither is he obliged to pursue a course of righteousness but his religion is something born out of a heart transformed to love, know and serve a living God. I shared despite in my 33rd year as a believer, every Sunday I can't wait to go to church whether I am preaching or not. With a touch of humour, I told the congregation how I got up to look at the clock twice, at 2am then 3.30am before getting up at 4,45am at the sound of a mosque's call to prayers. I have up early in the mornings, four or 5 times I meditated on this passage in John 3. I had no notes for his words were in my heart and my tongue was his ready instrument.

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