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Showing posts with label Nicodemus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicodemus. Show all posts

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday - God's Saving Love in Christ - John 3:1-16 - 4/9/2017

Verse 14 (crucifixion) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of man be lifted up:


Nicodemus personal name meaning "innocent of blood." John identifies Nicodemus as a Pharisee, "a ruler of the Jews," that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, & as a "teacher of Israel," that is, an authority on the interpretation of the Hebrew scripture. Nicodemus coming at night suggests his timid & his trek from the darkness of his own sin & ignorance to the light of Jesus. Nicodemus greeted Jesus with a title of respect, "Rabbi" (teacher), recognizing Him as a God sent teacher whose signs bore witness to the presence of God. Jesus replied that Nicodemus could never see the Kingdom of God without being "born again" or "born of water & Spirit." Nicodemus could only marvel at the impossibility of such a thing.


True to his name, Nicodemus defended Christ before his peers who were unaware that one of their number might have believed in him.


The reference to Nicodemus' initial coming at night highlights his later public participation in Jesus' burial. Nicodemus contribution was enough aloes & spices to prepare a King for burial, & so he did. On a deeper level it recognized that in His role as King of the Jews.


The Pharisees were the most devout of Jews. The Kingdom of God is entered, not by moral achievement, but by a transformation wrought by God. Birth into the new order is through water (referring to baptism; & the Spirit). Jesus descended from heaven to bring eternal life, (participation in God's life), through being lifted up on the cross.

Reference summary used from: An Ecumenial Study Bible, The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha RSV & Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday - Gifts that Lead to Faithfulness - I Peter 1:3-9 - 2/22/17

The term "begotten again" or "born again" refers to spiritual birth - the Holy Spirit's act of bringing believers into God's family. Jesus used this term when he explained salvation to Nicodemus (John 3).


Our hope is not only for the future: eternal life begins when we believe in God & join his family. No matter what pain or trial we face in this life, we know it is not our final experience. One day we will live with Christ forever.


Christians now look forward to a family inheritance in the eternal city of God.


God will help us remain true to our faith, whatever difficult times we must face.


Peter mentions suffering several times in this letter 1:6,7,; 3:13-17; 4:12-19; 5:9. When he speaks of trials, he is not talking about natural disasters or God's punishments, but the response of an unbelieving world to people of faith. All believers face such trials such trials when they let their light shine into the darkness. Trials teach us patience & help us grow to be the kind of people God wants us to be.


As gold is heated, impurities float to the top & can be skimmed off. Likewise our trials, struggles, & persecutions strength our faith & make us useful to God.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illionis