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GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD

One night one of the Pharisees, a man with the name of Nicodemus, came to Jesus.

Jesus taught him a number of important things we need to know as well.

1. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (vs.3).
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, a teacher of Israel. He knew the Law of God and he knew the way into the kingdom was by obeying the Law. But here Jesus turns his whole belief-system around by telling him he needs to be born again.

Nicodemus didn't understand what Jesus meant. He thought Jesus was refering to natural birth, but when he asked him how a grown man could get back into his mother's womb and be born a second time, Jesus answered:

2. "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" (vs.5-6).
The point Jesus was trying to make was that a person had to be born of the Spirit. This is not a natural birth but a spiritual one. Sin caused us to die spiritually, and now every human born on this earth are spiritually dead to God. But through faith in Jesus we can be born again - that is we can become spiritually alive to God once more.

3. "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" (vs.14-15).
Nicodemus still didn't quite understand the meaning of Jesus' words, so He explained to him. While wandering through the wilderness the Israelites complained about not having food and water. They didn't appreciate the manna, God's heavenly food supply, and said they loathed it. So God sent fiery serpents among them. The serpents bit them and many of the people died because of it.

But then the people repented of their sin and Moses interceded for them. God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and to put it on a pole. Now the people who were bitten only had to look at the bronze serpent and they lived.

Nicodemus knew this history well. The bronze serpent points directly to Jesus, and here Jesus is saying to Nicodemus that He will be lifted up onto a cross just as the serpent was placed on a pole. Everyone who looked at the serpent was saved. Everyone who looks to Jesus and believes in Him will be saved as well and will have eternal life.

4. "
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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 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" (vs.16-18).
In these verses we see what is in God's heart for us. We see He loves us. We see Him giving His very best for us. We see God making a way so we can be reunited with Him. We see He doesn't want to judge us, He wants to save us. But we also see there is only one way to be saved and that is through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And we see those who refuse to believe have been judged already because of their unbelief.

5. "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. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God" (vs.19-21).
Jesus is the Light. He came to give us life and light. But so many love the darkness more than they love the Light. We see their love for the darkness in their deeds, the same way they can see our love for the Light, Jesus, from our deeds.

These are but a few important truths Jesus taught Nicodemus.

When you have time, read the whole of John 3:1-21 and see what other truths you find in the passage.