Common Thread of People Coming to Christ in the Bible [part 3]

The first two stories in this series were about non religious people who came to Christ. In this account we learn of a religious man who comes to Christ. I’m so glad that no one is turned down who comes to the Saviour and puts their belief in Him. Salvation is for ALL who will trust Him as their only hope. The following is perhaps the most famous chapter in the Bible and even non believers have verse 16 memorized. If you have never actually understood the new birth, it is my hope it will help you greatly as you read and consider the words of Jesus:

1 ¶ There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Jesus is telling this religious man that his first birth is a reject. Why? Because it is sinful by nature. We learn later in the Bible that Nicodemus believed what the Lord said and was born again, thus becoming an authentic Christian and follower of Christ.

In this story told by Jesus I am going to emphasize one aspect of the story as surely this aspect helps to understand:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

The story of Moses that Jesus is talking about is in the book of numbers chapter 21. Rather than printing out from the bible the entire story I’ll give here a synopsis.

The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt. God chose Moses to take them from slavery and travel to the land of Israel. An 11 day trip turned into a 40 year trek. God gave the people food and the greatest GPS guide ever invented. A cloud by day and a fire-ball by night.

It did not take long until the people began to complain. They wanted better food such as quail. They complained the food from Heaven was too boring. Yet if they would have obeyed the Lord from the start the entire trip would have been over in about 11 days and they would have been in the land of milk and honey.

Yes, God has patience but after all this time of disobedience God was angry and sent poisonous snakes to kill the complainers. Moses got worried and went to God. Lord if you kill everyone then you won’t be able to keep your promise and give the land of Israel to your people.

So God made a provision.

God instructed Moses to make a serpent out of brass and raise it high in the camp. He told Moses to tell everyone that those who were bitten if that would look at the serpent they would be healed and not die. There were of course scoffers who refused to look. I suppose to them it is no different from today. It doesn’t make sense. There must be another way. It sounds too simple.

We learn however in numbers chapter 21 that all who looked on the fiery brazen serpent were healed. Now follow me:

The poisonous snake represents sin. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. Way back in the story of Adam and Eve we learn this lesson. Now get this as to what Jesus said:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The son of man be lifted up? Yes, on the cross to may the penalty of sin. Everyone who looks to the Saviour for the forgiveness for being a sinner is healed. They receive Gods forgiveness. They are no longer condemned to die.

Not church membership, not by trying to live a good life, not by looking to Mary, not keeping most of the ten commandments but instead looking to Him as your only hope.

When you agree with God you are NOTHING but an undeserving sinner and put your trust and belief in the Saviour you are passed from death unto life. Jesus said this:

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  John chapter 5

Hopefully this helps understand the new birth better. More later as I recall…….

 

 

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