In this negative and jaded world we live in, it sometimes feels like Mission: Impossible to try to spread the Good News of God’s love and guidance for the human beings He created. It seems many people have already written off the possibility of God and have an image of Him, and His followers, that isn’t really accurate. In August and September, Pastor G is going to walk us through eight key passages in the Gospel of John that show us that sharing the Good News of Jesus with our village is actually Mission: Possible.
In this message, from week three, Pastor Greg takes us through what Jesus meant by the statement “you must be born again.” Pastor G always challenges us to rediscover our passion for Personal Evangelism.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17
90% of first-time church attendees went to church because of a personal invitation from a trusted friend or family member
… The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. ~ Luke 10:2
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. ~ 1 Peter 3:15
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 have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:1-3
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into 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 be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ~ John 3:4-7
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities… ~ Ezekiel 36:25
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. ~ John 19:34
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! ~ John 1:29
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. ~ Leviticus 17:11
What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me bright as snow, no other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. ~ John 3:8
Pneuma (Greek) ~ Ruach (Hebrew) ~ Hā (Hawaiian)
Wind, Spirit, Breath, Life
Alo: To Share
Alo-hā: I share my life’s breath with you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” ~ John 3:9-10
“Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” ~ John 3:11-13
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” ~ John 3:14-15
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. ~ John 3:17
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~ John 3:18
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. ~ John 3:19
For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. ~ John 3:20
But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. ~ John 3:21
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Luke 10:2 and 1 Peter 3:15
1) What is the harvest Jesus is referring to in the Luke passage? (You may need to read a few verses before or after to gain context.) Why does Jesus say it is plentiful? Do you think it is still plentiful today?
2) Who are the workers? Why do you think Jesus said the workers were few? Do you think the workers are still few today? Do you feel like you are a worker of this harvest? Why or why not?
3) Pastor Greg has mentioned that one of the main reasons Christians often give for not engaging in personal evangelism is they do not feel like they know enough to answer all the questions people may ask them about their faith. Is this the case with you or do you feel confident in your ability to handle most questions about the Gospel message?
4) According to 1 Peter 3:15 does God command us to be ready to give an answer for why we have faith in Jesus? If you don’t feel confident in your ability to answer what should you do?
READ: John 3:1-7
1) Pastor Greg spent a lot of time this week clarifying what Jesus meant by “born again” and “born of water and the Spirit.” Do you agree with his explanation? Why or why not? Do you feel like you could explain this passage to a friend who read it and was confused? Why or why not?
2) Have you been “born again” in the way Pastor G described it? If not, are you ready to be “born again?” If a friend told you they wanted to be “born again” how would you instruct them to go about it?
READ: 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ezekiel 36:25
1) In what was are born again Christians a “new creature?” Exactly how has “the old passed away?”
2) Do you connect with the act of sprinkling water on someone or something to consecrate them? In other words, do you feel this is an effective symbol that points to an invisible, spiritual action that is taking place? Why or why not?
READ: John 1:29 and John 19:34
1) Pastor Greg explained the significance of both blood and water flowing from Jesus’ side. Was that the first time you had heard that explained? Do you agree with his interpretation? Why or why not?
2) If a friend asked you to explain why John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, would you feel confident in being able to explain this to them? Why or why not?
READ: John 3:8 and Galatians 5:22-23
1) Does Jesus’ analogy of the wind and people who are born of the Spirit make sense to you? Do you feel that way at times, that you are being blown along by the Holy Spirit of God, not always knowing where He is leading you?
2) Pastor Greg mentioned that, when meeting a stranger, he can often tell right away that they are a Christian because of the evidence of these fruits of the Spirit. Have you ever had that experience yourself? Do you think strangers who are born again Christians would be able to instantly recognize you as a fellow born again Christian in this way? Why or why not?
READ: John 3:9-15
1) Do you agree with Pastor Greg’s interpretation on why Jesus’ ascension to heaven is different from that of Paul, John, Elijah and Enoch? Why or why not?
2) Had you ever head this explanation of Jesus’ analogy to Moses holding up the bronze serpent in the wilderness? Do you feel confident in your ability to answer questions about this from seeking friends?
READ: John 3:16-21
1) Pastor Greg pointed out that the purpose of the first time Jesus came to earth was not to judge humans but to save them. Do you think most non-Christians are aware of that or do they write off church because they think it’s all about judgment?
2) If all your non-Christian friends were aware that coming into the Light of a relationship with Jesus would not result in their judgment but, instead, in their
experiencing His love, acceptance, forgiveness and salvation do you think they would have less objections about Christianity? Why or why not?
3) How can we make our personal evangelism more effective in communicating this truth about coming into the Light of Jesus rather than continuing to hide our deeds in the dark?