by Joe Alain

Joe Alain
John 3:1-8

Outline: The New Birth . . .
1. Is a Spiritual Birth (3:3, 7)
2. Is a Cleansing from Sin (Jn. 3:5)
3. It Is a Miraculous Change (3:8)

What if you could start over again? What would you do different? The New Year offers us a unique opportunity to start again, to have a fresh start, to have a ''do over.'' Computers are great to have but they sure can be frustrating when they freeze up on you. Fortunately, when your computer gets slowed down and freezes up, typically because there's too much running on your computer at once, you can often magically fix your computer by simply ''rebooting'' it. Just hold down the power button for a few seconds, restart the computer and all is like new again (usually).

What if life had a ''restart'' button? What if you could ''reboot'' your life and start over? According to what Jesus said to Nicodemus, not only is a ''reboot'' possible, it's necessary. We can and we ''must be born again'' (v.7).

Life Application: The new birth changes our standing with God and empowers us to love Him and others.

From all appearances, Nicodemus was an outstanding individual. He was outstanding in (1) His Character (3:1). We are told that he was a ''Pharisee'' (3:1) which meant that he was completely devoted to God, the word literally meaning ''the separated ones.'' They were also known as the ''Chasidim,'' meaning ''loved of God,'' or ''loyal to God.''

Nicodemus was also ''a member of the Jewish ruling council'' (3:1). This meant that he sat on the supreme judicial body known as the Sanhedrin, entrusted with the spiritual and moral leadership of the nation. He is the standard bearer of morality, he would be in the College of Cardinals. Nicodemus also stands out for (2) His Concern (3:2). While representing his fellow council members (''we know,'' v.2), it also seems that Nicodemus is sincere in his dealings with Jesus. The fact that ''He came to Jesus at night'' (v.2) probably indicate ...

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