***MAN'S PROBLEM: WE MUST BE BORN AGAIN (John 3:1-12).
***GOD'S SOLUTION: JESUS MUST BE LIFTED UP (John 3:13-21).
***THE RESULT: JESUS WILL INCREASE; I WILL DECREASE (John 3:22-36).
First, a religious leader (religion is a works-based attempt to find favor with God) approached Jesus under the cover of darkness so that he would not be seen talking to Him. He was interested in what Jesus had to say, but not at the expense of losing the respect of his peers. Before he could get to his point in coming, Jesus told him that he needed to be "born again." Nicodemus, thinking of birth as a physical event, was astounded. Jesus told him there are two kinds of birth: a physical birth (coming forth out of the water of the womb, physically alive), and a spiritual birth (the total result of the work of the Holy Spirit making man spiritually alive). Both produce life, and neither of them is the result of work on the part of the individual. Just as the child of his parents had no part in his physical birth, he has no part in his spiritual birth. When the Gospel is presented to him in such a way so that he believes it, believing being faith, he is born again.
Second, the Gospel presents Jesus as coming from heaven, sent by the Father to die on a cross, so that when I believe He loved me, and that He died in my place for my sin, I am saved, and I am made alive spiritually. I have been given new life, spiritual life, eternal life. In order for Jesus to provide believers with eternal life, He must be, Himself, eternal. Our faith is not in a dead man, but in the living God, Jesus Christ!
Lastly, the new birth will result in my willingness to give Christ preeminence in my life; I willingly acknowledge (confess) Jesus as being the Lord of my life, and at the same time, I, by acknowledging His Lordship over me, live my life as His servant. He increases, and I decrease. I did not get saved by serving Christ, but I serve Him because He saved me. His gift to me was salvation; my gratitude to Him is expressed in my desire to do His will. The chapter ends with these words:
"He that hath received His testimony hath set to His Seal (Eph. 1:13; 4:30) that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (Jn. 3:33-36).