John Chapter 3 Part III
Seeing with Your Heart
John 3: 8-12

            Previously we have looked at two sections of the third chapter of John. The first dealt with The Problem is with Man, the second Flesh and Spirit and today we begin looking at part three Seeing with Your Heart.

             If you remember in we left off last time with Jesus explaining to Nicodemus the need to be reborn and Nicodemus relying on his own eyes and knowledge is totally confused.

             Just as all unbelievers who rely upon self, Nicodemus is lost to the great promise of Jesus. He refuses to open his heart to the truth and will remain forever blind. Let’s pick up in scripture at verses 8 through 12.

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?

     Let us unfold the scripture and see what is happening here.

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.

Jesus has just finished telling Nicodemus not to wonder about the things he said then launches into this verse that at first glance would remind some of us older folks of the 1960’s flower power folks and their “peace brother” anthems.

What Christ really says is that just as the causes and operation of the winds can not be clearly seen by man, so too the work of the Holy Spirit in man cannot be readily seen.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-5  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all

 1 Corinthians 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

As we can see the effects of the wind so too can we see the effects of the works of the Holy Spirit in man. Once again God is trying to point out the futility of man to try and understand His (God’s) ways. We need not understand all about God to believe in Him. Just as the workings of the wind remain a mystery so too are the workings of God through the Holy Spirit. And just as we know and believe there is wind so too must we know and believe God exists.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

             Remember the title of this sermon? Nicodemus had failed completely to get the concept of the spiritual birth as essential to entrance into the Kingdom of God. He knew only Jews as members of that kingdom, the political kingdom of Pharisaic hope which was to make the entire world Jewish (Pharisaic) under the King Messiah.

             Sinful Stupidity or our carnal nature make Nicodemus refuse to believe what Jesus is pointing out. PRIDE; keeps Nicodemus from admitting his ignorance.

Until such time as God decides to lift the scales covering our eyes we cannot in our own human pride understand the things of God.

Note also this is the last time Nicodemus is heard from. I am not sure why this is, but if I may venture out a little, I believe it could be because Nicodemus has made up his mind that Jesus is talking nonsense and he, like so many today, closes his hearing to the truth.

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

              Is Jesus questioning Nicodemus’s ignorance? Again ya gotta love Jesus; he answers a question with a question. Sounds like a parent to me.

Master here means a teacher of the laws of Israel. Jesus basically calls him out. What he says you call yourself a teacher of the law and do not understand how stuck on stupid can you be? You are supposed to be a teacher of the Jews one who can show them the path of Salvation yet you have no clue.

Ok for the scoffers, those who would say “give the guy (Nicodemus” a break” all he had was the Old Testament and that talks nothing of regeneration and such as Jesus is saying. Oh ye of little reading.

Deuteronomy 10:16 - Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Deuteronomy 30:6 - And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Ezekiel 36:26 - A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Psalms 51:10 - Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

First let’s look at Nicodemus he should have known the meaning of these verses, he should have understood that the only way to please God was via a new/renewed/regenerated heart. It was his job, his duty to know.

So true today so many fail to take the time to search the scriptures for the true meaning of things. It is far easier to have itchy ears and harken unto the things that make simple sense than spend the time needed in God’s word to know the truth.

Regeneration is not new it has been God’s plan since before time.

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.

             Plural “we” speak, who is the “we” Jesus speaks of? Some will say Jesus is referieng to the Apostles and Disciples that He has sent out.  But I must asks, is not Jesus alone with Nicodemus? Is this not a two way private or personal conversation? I had read this many times but failed to notice the significance of this passage. Jesus here lays claim to the throne of God. He says WE SPEAK, he can only be using this terminology to explain the plurality of God.

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

So setting aside what Nicodemus and the other Pharisee should have known Jesus points out to him that his kind, the ruling class of Pharisees, have seen the acts of God on earth but believe not their own eyes and knowledge.

This attitude is prevalent today one need look no further than the debate on Creation vs. Evolution:

"There are only two possibilities as to how life arose; one is spontaneous generation arising to evolution, the other is a supernatural creative act of God, there is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation that life arose from non-living matter was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with only one possible conclusion that life arose as a creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God, therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution."  (Dr. George Wald, evolutionist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University at Harvard, Nobel Prize winner in Biology.)

It is no wonder that Jesus makes the next statement to Nicodemus.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

CALVIN:  Christ concludes that it ought to be laid to the charge of Nicodemus and others, if they do not make progress in the doctrine of the Gospel; for he shows that the blame does not lie with him, that all are not properly instructed, since he comes down even to the earth, that he may raise us to heaven. It is too common a fault that men desire to be taught in an ingenious and witty style.

GILL If I have told you earthly things,.... Not that the doctrines he delivered were earthly ones; for he was not of the earth, but from heaven, and above all, and so spake not of the earth, but of heaven, John 3:31; and this doctrine of regeneration was an heavenly doctrine; and the thing itself required supernatural power, and grace from above: but either they were the more easy doctrines of the Gospel; or were delivered in a plain and easy style, and illustrated by similes taken from earthly things, as from human birth, from the water, and from the wind:

and ye believe not; i.e. those things; ye do not receive them, nor give credit to them; or "me", as the Ethiopic Version adds, who relate them on the best evidence, having fully known, and clearly seen them:

how shall ye believe; give credit to me, or receive my testimony:

if I tell you of heavenly things? of the more sublime doctrines of the Gospel, such as the descent of the Messiah from heaven; the union of the two natures, human and divine, in him; his being the only begotten Son of God; his crucifixion and death, signified by the lifting up of the serpent on a pole in the wilderness; and the wonderful love of God to the Gentile world in giving Christ to, and for them; and the salvation, and eternal happiness of all that believe in him, whether they be Jews or Gentiles; and these delivered in language suitable to them, without figures, or natural similes, which help the understanding, and convey ideas of things more easily to it.

Defender’s Study Bible: If men will not believe the “earthly things” of the Bible (Creation, Flood, dispersion, etc.), which human records and research can verify, then why should they believe the “heavenly things” it speaks about (salvation, heaven, eternal life, etc.) which must be accepted strictly on faith. Many modern evangelicals have become involved in this inconsistency, rejecting the earthly things while still credulously accepting the heavenly things.

Here are some other famous “scientists” who have taken a stance on Evolution.

            "Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."  (Professor D.M.S. Watson, leading biologist and science writer of his day.)

            "For over 20 years I thought I was working on evolution....But there was not one thing I knew about it... So for the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people, the question is, "Can you tell me any one thing that is true?" I tried that question on the Geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, A very prestigious body of Evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, "Yes, I do know one thing, it ought not to be taught in High School"....over the past few years....you have experienced a shift from Evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith...Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge."  (Dr. Collin Patterson evolutionist, address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, Nov. 1981)

             "My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.....It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts...The idea of an evolution rests on pure belief."

(Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson, noted Swedish botanist and geneticist, of Lund University)

Evolution is not a fact. Evolution doesn’t even qualify as a theory or as a hypothesis. It in a metaphysical research program, and it is not really testable science”Dr. Karl Popper—leading philosopher of science

            I suppose the reason why we leapt at the Origin of Species was that the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.”Sir Julian Huxley—Head of UNESCO—One of the world’s leading evolutions was asked in a televisions interview why did the scientific community jump at Darwin’s ideas?

            Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, as secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today” Ruse, M. (2000). National Post. http://www.omniology.com/HowEvolutionBecameReligion

            Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable” Sir Arthur Keith. (1959). Note: he wrote the forward to the 100th anniversary edition of Darwin’s book, Origin of Species

This brings me to my closing point. So many like Dr. Wald claim to be atheist, they deny the existence of God. They refuse to open their hearts to the truth of the bible, the unction of the Holy Spirit and instead deny that which they cannot understand. In fact going to great lengths to prop up the lie that evolution is a fact. Yet we must laugh at their stupidity, yes I said it, stupidity, for in claiming to deny God (or as Nicodemus change God to their own liking) they make themselves greater than God and become their own God. There are no atheist in the modern sense (one denies the existence of any god) for all have a god; either the God of the bible or one of their own making.

Next time we will explore God’s Answer for Man’s Problems. Until then may the God of all mercy and grace watch over and protect you.

Let us pray.

FSM/FSMWO

Special Prayer Requests

23 Feb 2014

PRAYER

Family of Tom H. from FBC Tullahoma (one of our volunteers) upon his passing

Bill and his especially his wife Paula who is expecting

 Inmate Requests

Pray for Tony D. he is back in court this week

Shannon asks for prayer for his two sons will correspond with him so he will know they are safe

Pray for Robert F. Sr. and Jr. to be saved, prayer for the Moore family, revival in America

Clayton J. asks for prayer for son and his mother and stepfather and the Lords will to be done, Prayer for his sister Lynn and Bryan A. marriage, also prayer for his release and ability to transition well.

Ronnie C. asks prayer for his mom Kathy, sister Vickie draw closer together, and that he would get parole

David T asks for prayer for his immediate family many who are new born believers, for God’s guidance for himself, for healing for his mom who has a neurological issue

Will T. asks prayers for his family, the homeless, those with addictions, the lost, for growth in Christ

Ronnie Mc. asks prayer for his wellbeing and that his passion for poems can bear fruit

 Lakeshore Baptist Church

 We had a great two weeks, thanks to Mid-Lakes Baptist Association of Bolivar, MO and Lake Shore Baptist Church of Pasadena, MD most of the sheet rock is installed, the lower entry ceiling is framed out and the back siding is started.

Pray for the ongoing construction of the new church. God will send us the right volunteers to complete the project.  Please keep all them in prayer for safety and efficiency. Pray for finances to complete the project.

Pray for Ms. B. who is back in hospital

The Martin family upon passing of Uncle Buck

Shayna who is expecting twins

Mr David and Ms Doris traveling to Arkansas

Ms Redford struggling

Family of Robert’s ex-wife on passing of her dad

JoEll’s aunt diagnosed with cancer

Lyndsey who’s water broke at 25 weeks

Rebecca a 9 year old with an eye issue

Trina’s uncle who has health issues

Sarah traveling to Jackson for tournaments this week

Troy who is having high BP issues

Continued Prayers for Naida and I in our work in Lakeshore.

Pray we can reach folks in the community, that we will be an asset to Pastor Don and the church here.

Pray for Naida’s family, especially her sons she left in MA.

Continued healing prayers for:

Rich B. and his continuing health issues

Dan M. recovery from Quad Bi-pass

Bob and Vickie B. Multiple Scoliosis

Miss B who has been having heart issues

Shelia W. diabetes related issues

Mr. Sam as he continues to fight cancer

Mr. Dan continued recovery from a stroke

Mr. David Travis who has serious health issues

 Employment for;

Robert O., Aimee, and others

Fellow Ministries

Wells of Hope Academy, Uganda:  

 Please pray God will continue His divine providence over this ministry and provide the funds needed to finish the construction projects and run the school.

 You can contribute or follow on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/139936426116070/ or Website: www.wellsofhope.org Telephone; 256772407716

 Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship invites you to join us in praying for the work being done in prisons throughout the country, and for the lives being touched by this ministry.

This week, join us in remembering the pain and sorrow of separation that is acutely felt by those who are incarcerated and the children and significant others that they have left behind. Please pray that these families will find a way to express their love for one another, and that marriages in particular will hold strong despite overwhelming odds.

Prison Fellowship's Prayer Team offers volunteers the opportunity to take the needs of prisoners before God during regularly scheduled intervals. To learn more about the prayer team, and how you can participate, click here.

International Network of Prison Ministries (INPM)

Please prayer for the financial well-being of this organization

Serge Taran, Founder **International Network of Prison Ministries; http://prisonminist ry.net/support. htm

Missionaries
Other Groups

Our Friends from ARBCA

From Covenant Baptist Church, the Church Plant in Clarksville, TN

 We thank our Lord for your partnership with us in the work of the gospel here in Clarksville, and for your prayers on our behalf before the throne of grace.

Our Lord Jesus continues to sustain and grow us as a church body.  Again we were saddened to see two military families relocated and one non-military family move due to a job relocation at the end of last year, yet we were thankful for the time that we had with these families.  At the same time, the Lord has brought to us four military families and four non-military families that have been regularly attending our services.  Give thanks to God with us, and pray that these families might join with us in church membership.

The Lord has also been at work bringing salvation to the lost in our midst.  Last year, a young man moved to Clarksville to live with his father who is a member at our church.  Through the preaching of the Word and being involved in the life of the body, the Lord brought him to saving faith.  He was baptized this past October, and he met some of you down at the Lakeshore Project in January.  The Lord has also been at work in the heart of a young woman with a Jewish background.  In my report last year, I mentioned that I was meeting with her and some others to work through the Gospel of Mark.  She has come to profess faith in Jesus Christ, and will be baptized in the next month, Lord-willing.  Pray for these new Christians who are young in their faith to grow and be established in the grace of the Lord.

We would also request prayer for wisdom and grace as we continue to reach out into the community here with the gospel.  We are looking for ways to take the gospel to the local college campus here and hope to start an evangelistic bible study there soon.  We are also planning to have a booth at the Rivers and Spires Festival in downtown Clarksville in April.  We continue to reach out to co-workers, neighbors, and friends.  Please pray for the Lord to give us boldness and grace to faithfully proclaim the gospel, and that He would bring many to saving faith in Jesus.

One last request is that you would pray for the continued formation of the church body here in Clarksville.   We have been working through officer training for the last 10 months, and ask that you would pray for the Lord to raise up elders and deacons in our midst.  Our hope and plan as a church body is to officially constitute as a local church this coming May.  Please pray for the Lord to give us the wisdom we need to make the final preparations before we constitute.  Thank you again, brethren, for your prayers.

In Christ,

John Miller

Church Planter in Clarksville, TN

From Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Ontario, California

Pastors Steve Marquedant and Jeff Massey

Please pray for a radio opportunity that Pastor Jeff Massey has each Friday from 5:05-6pm Pacific time.  He has an hour long program called “Redeemer Radio” that airs on a local secular station, KCAA 1050 AM, based out of Loma Linda.  He also receives twenty 1 minute promotional ads for the program each week.  He is structuring it as a talk show (not call in) with local Reformed Baptist Pastors as guests discussing doctrinal issues.  Steve M. was his first guest and will be a guest again this week on the topic of “The Scriptures”.  Future guests already scheduled are Dr. Jim Renihan, Jason Walter, Chris Beamer, and others.

This is part of our church’s effort to plant a Reformed Baptist Church in Redlands, California, about 30 miles west of Ontario.  Pastor Jeff will be the primary preaching pastor in this new work with a goal of starting Sunday AM worship this September.  A weekly Bible study already meets at the University of Redlands campus.

More about the church plant and a link to the podcast (available 24/7) of the weekly program “Redeemer Radio” is available at the following site: www.RedeemerReformedBaptistChurch.com .  We thank the Lord for this unusual opportunity and invite you to check out the podcast and let us know what you think.

John Chapter 3   Part II
Flesh and Spirit
John 3 1-7

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.

 4Nicodemus 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.

 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again

This introductory passage of scripture is often overlooked by folks eager to quote John 3:16. The problem is we cannot fully understand the impact of Jesus’s words in John 3:16 without first understanding the context in which they were said.

Whenever studying the bible I find it most useful to ask some simple questions in order to get the deepest of understandings. Questions like who (are the key figures) (is the writers audience) what (are the circumstances of the situation and writer), where (is the event taking place) (is the writing taking place) why write this (what is its purpose) and lastly how does it apply to me.

After the quick reading if these verses let’s see what we can glean.
Who   Nicodemus and Jesus
What  Note came by night (secretly?)
Why    to Question Jesus, to obtain answers, to confirm suspicions
How   We too should ask questions in order to grow

Let us unfold these few verses and see how our preliminary responses hold up

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

The Pharisees were a sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile. In addition to OT books the Pharisees recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief and life. They sought distinction and praise by outward observance of external rites and by outward forms of piety, and such as ceremonial washings, fasting’s, prayers, and alms giving; and, comparatively negligent of genuine piety, they prided themselves on their fancied good works.

They held strenuously to a belief in the existence of good and evil angels, and to the expectation of a Messiah; and they cherished the hope that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or of penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him, and be requited each according to his individual deeds.

In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Herod’s and the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld the theocracy and their country's cause, and possessed great influence with the common people. According to Josephus they numbered more than 6000. They were bitter enemies of Jesus and his cause; and were in turn severely rebuked by him for their avarice, ambition, hollow reliance on outward works, and affection of piety in order to gain popularity.

This is not the usual common folk come to question or Jesus here we have a member of the ruling class.

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.

Note Nicodemus comes by night. Why the secrecy? Why not go and ask or confront Jesus about this matter in the daylight on public? He was most likely afraid of being seen and losing his lofty position in society. Remember our discussion previously when we looked at John 3:20.

The second key to this verse is what Nicodemus says. He does not ask Jesus a question but makes a statement he believes to be fact about Jesus; calling Him Rabbi or “master” in this case. He recognizes the works of Jesus but not the Christ.

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.

           You have got to love Jesus’s response. He answers Nicodemus with a matter of fact statement of His own. Only this one, only a true believer can understand. Jesus preaches the Gospel to him.

Christianity starts with us knowing ourselves not only to be corrupt in part, but to be wholly dead in sin so that our nature has need to be created anew. Jesus recognized Nicodemus was not the pious servant of God He pretended to be and needed correction (and Salvation). Instead of responding with something like Yes Nicodemus, I am sent from God, He wants him to recognize his wicked state and the need to turn from it.

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?

Nicodemus in his lost state does not have a clue. Jesus might as well have said I am from the moon.

To me this is clear evidence of the need for the Holy Spirit’s work. We know that no one of his own accord will seek after God:

Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts

Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

It is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that a man will turn towards the light and have any understanding of God’s word.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

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.

The first thing we must recognize is Nicodemus finally gets around to asking questions and what does Jesus do? He ignores them and he tells him what Nicodemus needs to know.  Note also Christ does not directly answer Nicodemus’s question he tells him the path to eternal life.

The question of what Jesus is referring to in be born of water and the Spirit has been interpreted many ways over the centuries.

Many believe that this refers to H20, water. As in this commentator: Except he experiences that great inward change by the Spirit, and is baptized as the outward sign and means of it.

But I dare say if that is your conviction I must disagree. Salvation cannot be accomplished by an external bath. Water brings out no spiritual cleansing. It is merely a symbol...as it was in the Old Testament a symbol of purification. Christ cannot be talking about water.

Another common held belief is that Jesus speaks of the water of physical birth. That He's saying to Nicodemus you have to be born physically because the baby is born in a physical way. When a baby's born, it's born in a sack of water." And so what He is saying is, "Nicodemus, you have to be born naturally and then spiritually." This has been the opinion I held until very recently.

The question is, why is He standing there telling this old man that he has to be born physically? He was born physically long ago. Plus the fact that that would be completely read into the text, it appears nowhere else in the Scripture and seems mere speculation.

The Greek word for water here is Hudo (Hoo-dore) and literally means water as in lakes, rivers, streams etc.

John MacArthur says: Well, then, what water is it? Well, let's take the context. What water would Nicodemus have thought of? If Jesus said to him you must be born of water and the Spirit, what water would have come to Nicodemus' mind? Very obviously, The Old Testament water used for purification. He would have immediately remembered that whenever an object or a person was defiled and unclean, that person had to go through ceremonial washing of water which symbolized an inward perfection. That's what the baptism of John the Baptist was all about; it was symbol of cleansing on the inside.

Now think with me on this, don't lose yourself. To the Jews, water meant cleansing. And Nicodemus' brain would have gone right back, cause he knew the Old Testament, to Ezekiel 36:24 to 27. And you know what he would have read there? Listen, "I will sprinkle you with clean water," and then two verses later, "I'll put My Spirit within you." In Ezekiel's prophecy that God would redeem Israel, He says it will take two forms, I'll sprinkle water upon you and you shall be clean the water of cleansing and I'll put My Spirit within you. That's what it was. It was a symbol of cleansing. H20 water isn't even there in verse 5, that's not talking about water, that's talking about purification in the inside. So He is saying, "Except a man be cleansed, purified, he can't enter the Kingdom of God." And it's interesting to me, also, that the agent of this purification is the Word of God.

So, here's the picture. This person needs to be purified. That purification is done by the Holy Spirit using this water. And what is the water? Ephesians 5 says that Christ shall wash His church by the water of the...what?...Word.

Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

A.W. PINK= The new birth is a Divine work. It is accomplished by the Holy Spirit applying the Word in living power to the heart. The reception Christ met during the days of His earthly ministry is the same still: the world "knows him not;" Israel "receives him not;" but a little company do receive him, and who these are Acts 13:48 tells us—"as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

            Ok, I have quoted enough folks and text to get the point. I believe that Christ is referring to the Old Testament water used for purification. He is telling Nicodemus that just as in the OT one needed purification so too does Nicodemus. We today understand that this purification starts with the blood of Christ at Calvary and is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit in each of us.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Man by his natural birth, is a mere natural man; that is, he is carnal and corrupt, and cannot discern spiritual things; nor can he, as such, enter into, and inherit the kingdom of God 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Geneva Study Bible says of this verse: That is, fleshly, namely, wholly unclean and under the wrath of God: and therefore this word "flesh" signifies the corrupt nature of man: contrary to which is the Spirit, that is, the man ingrafted into Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit, whose nature is everlasting and immortal, though the strife of the flesh remains.

A man that is regenerated by the Spirit of God, and the efficacy of his grace, is a spiritual man; he can discern and judge all things of a spiritual nature;

Spurgeon says of this: It is only then, as we are born of the Spirit of God that there is any spiritual life in us whatsoever.

Flesh = Sarx Used some 130 times in the New Testament

* All Life; relatives; outward appearance

* Human Weakness   Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

* Human Nature  John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

* Human Depravity or Evil Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

1)  Produces Death  Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

2)  Fights God’s Law  Rom 8:5-9 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

3)  Dominates Man’s Thoughts Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4)  Fights the Holy Spirit  Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

5)  Reaps Corruption Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

6)  Seeks Outward Recognition  Gal 6:12-13  As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Spirit = Pneuma

Note the two words here, Spirit and spirit. They are the same Greek word with very different meanings.

*  the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son

* the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

the soul

"Spirit", signifies the Holy Spirit of God, the author of regeneration and sanctification; whence that work is called the sanctification of the Spirit, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, ( 1 Peter 1:2 ) ( Titus 3:5 )

Who is born of the Spirit? Only those regenerated born again believers in Christ. Along with that new birth comes some character traits:

1) New Creature 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2) Changed Life Style Rom 6:4-11 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.For he that is dead is freed from sin. (note this does not mean a believer cannot or will not sin as some teach)Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

3) One at war with the Flesh Rom 7:18-23  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

4)  Makes no Room for Fleshly desires  Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

5)  Crucifies the Flesh Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Nowhere is this distinction between Flesh and Spirit more apparent than in Galatians 5:16-26. I am here quoting from the Amplified Bible:

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,

20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),

21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 (If you are living the life described above Christ is not in you)

 22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,

 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].

 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

 25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [b]we have our life in God, let us go forward [c]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

 26 Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Without giving Nicodemus a chance to reply Christ continues and says what should have been apparent to Nicodemus. The law requires all who are tainted, stained with sin to be regenerated through washing away those stains as it were.

I am guessing that Nicodemus had the deer caught in the headlights look and Jesus said the obvious to snap him out of it.

Does it work? Does a man really change because of the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit? One of my favorite songs by Bill Gaither is Thanks to Calvary the chorus goes:

Thanks to Calvary I am not the man I used to be
Thanks to Calvary things are different than before.
And as the tears ran down my face I tried to tell them (him,
Thanks to Calvary, I don't come here anymore

It surely does work. True believers will always Thank Calvary for the new life they have.

Until then may God richly bless and preserve you in his mercy and grace.

Let us pray.

FSM/FSMWO

Special Prayer Requests

09 Feb 2014

 

PRAYER

Inmate Requests

Pray for Tony D. as he has lost his appeal. Pray God will strengthen him.

Shannon N. asks prayer that he makes parole and reconnection with his kids

Ronnie M. asks for prayer for his mom’s health, passing his GED, he gets released soon and for better treatment of inmates

Clayton J. asks prayer for his family to be saved, that he gets probation time, reconciliation with his son, clearer understanding of God’s word and the desire to do God’s will in all things.

Ronnie C. asks prayers for his mom Kathy and sister Vickie.

 Our Internet Friends

Sandra S. wrote -  Hi, Keep me in your prayers, please... Greetings from Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. All the best!

Jason E. , Need your prayers for Latricia Ray been sick for couple weeks coughing real bad hardly able to breath. Please also pray for me I am traveling out of town on Monday to an appointment that will determine my income for the next while.

Judith T, wrote; Desperately looking for prayer for myself and my 16yr old daughter for healing and deliverance. Things are really rough. Thank u for praying..

 Lakeshore Baptist Church

Pray for the ongoing construction of the new church. God will send us the right volunteers to complete the project.  Please keep all them in prayer for safety and efficiency. Pray for finances to complete the project.

Pray for Ms. B. who runs our Mercy House distribution center, she had a heart attack and 2 stints put in

Mr. Gary who is back in the hospital

Mr. James who has taken a down turn

Ms. Sheryl who is recovering from hip replacement

Gabriel who is having problems after knee surgery

Trina’s uncle who has many health issues

Robert’s friend who has cancer

Angela still having problems a year after neck surgery

Mr. Gene’s granddaughter pregnant with twins

Pastor Don and the many others suffering from sinus attacks this season

Emily as she takes her master’s exam Thursday

Continued Prayers for Naida and I in our work in Lakeshore.

Pray we can reach folks in the community, that we will be an asset to Pastor Don and the church here.

Pray for Naida’s family, especially her sons she left in MA.

Continued healing prayers for:

Rich B. and his continuing health isses

Dan M. recovery from Quad Bi-pass

Bob and Vickie B. Multiple Scoliosis

Miss B who has been having heart issues

Shelia W. diabetes related issues

Mr. Sam as he continues to fight cancer

Mr. Dan continued recovery from a stroke

Mr. David Travis who has serious health issues

Mike’s mom (local family) who is battling cancer

Employment for;

Robert O., Aimee, and others

Fellow Ministries

Wells of Hope Academy, Uganda:  

 Please pray God will continue His divine providence over this ministry and provide the funds needed to finish the construction projects and run the school.

 You can contribute or follow on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/139936426116070/ or Website: www.wellsofhope.org Telephone; 256772407716

 Prison Fellowship

Prison Fellowship invites you to join us in praying for the work being done in prisons throughout the country, and for the lives being touched by this ministry. This week, please join us in praying for an Angel Tree child named Kassidy. She was very close to her dad until last year, when he was overtaken by drug addiction. His preliminary hearing was last week, and because she lives in a small town, she is being bullied in school. She is also suffering from depression. Please pray for the salvation of both Kassidy and her father.

Prison Fellowship's Prayer Team offers volunteers the opportunity to take the needs of prisoners before God during regularly scheduled intervals. To learn more about the prayer team, and how you can participate, click here.

 International Network of Prison Ministries (INPM)

 Please prayer for the newest Prison Ministries members:

Arizona Second Chance New Days Prison Ministry
Trisagion Orthodox Christian Assembly Edwin
Ignacio Sanchez Lemonada Prison Ministry
Victory Assembly Prison Ministry Dismas Ministry
Dallas Children Photography Not Forsaken Missions
Universal Life Church of Cadott Thumb Church
Chain Breakers Freedom Tabernacle Gospel Ministry of Smithfield
Freedom House Discipleship The Way Out Rehabilitation Cneter
Isaiah 61 Ministries Community Grandparents of America
Alpha Care Hope Prison Ministry

Serge Taran, Founder **International Network of Prison Ministries; http://prisonminist ry.net/support. htm

 True Freedom Outreach New Zealand; PRISON WORK IN EGYPT

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Warm New Year greetings to all of you, and a special thank you to those who gave extra for Christmas.  I have been awaiting news of Christmas in Kanater and an updated list of KWP prisoners, before penning this newsletter.   From 8-12 January I attended the New Wine conference held in Warkworth, and was encouraged by the opening message given by Andrea Wigglesworth, that 2014 will indeed be a year of the Lord’s favour for New Zealand.  Two hundred years ago the gospel was first preached in New Zealand on 25th December, 1814, when a Maori chief, Ruatara, invited Samuel Marsden to speak in the Bay of Islands.  An initiative to reach every home in NZ this year with the good news of God’s grace is under way.  May 2014 be a year of God’s favour in your lands too, and in Egypt, and for the brothers and sisters in Kanater.  May we all see many receive the good news, be set free, and be enabled by the Holy Spirit to  minister God’s love and grace to others in need.

Miss Jeanette Grimmer, 154 State Highway 1,  RD 1, Warkworth 0981, New Zealand.

Jeanette’s e-mail is:  jgrimmerster@gmail.com

You can read the whole newsletter from Ms. Jeanette here. 24464 TFONZ 27th January, 2014 Newsletter (1)

Missionaries

Tabăra Larga (Camp Larga) "Copii pentru Hristos" Moldova

 Pray with us for:

Health, power and being filled with the work for which He has called us

The Teachers Home Bible Clubs, for many more young people to answer God’s call to teach children

That the children in these clubs and Sunday school will follow God

Repairs to the Camp’s stage and road

 Our Friends from ARBCA

Please pray for ARBCA  national pastor Obed Rupertus.  Obed injured his hand with a circular saw.  Here is a note from his daughter:  “Please keep my daddy, Obed Rupertus, in your prayers! We thank the Lord that it didn't cut any bones, tendons or nerves but he is about to lose the piece of skin (flesh and muscle) base-back of his thumb due to infection He can't take pain killers cause of his thrombosis earlier last year so he's in a lot of pain. Pray for healing and strength, as he has to deal with this pain. Thank you so much! God is good.”

From Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jesup, Georgia

 We are anticipating Earl Blackburn to be at EBC on February 15-16 and ask that you pray for the ministry of the Word during his visit.  For more than two years we have published a monthly article in the local newspaper.  Several folks from around the county have commented about the various articles.  Please pray that the Lord will use this outreach to advance His kingdom.

As a Reformed church in a small community we face various challenges.  One is the distance people travel to attend worship and various church functions.  Although there are several ARBCA churches in Georgia, none are close to Jesup.  Moreover, although there are many churches in Wayne and surrounding counties, none are reformed or even nearly reformed.  Currently folks are attending EBC from six different counties in addition to Wayne where EBC is located.  One challenge we face is how to assimilate and involve these people in the life of the church.  Please pray that through Christian prudence we can in wisdom address this situation and see EBC grow in number, influence and ministry.

From Grace Baptist Church in Van, Texas

Prayer requests:  1.  That we would seek to glorify God in all our duties, both personal and corporate    2.  That God would continue to give us a self-less spirit of seeking to serve one another and others    3.  That we might find new means of carrying the gospel to people in Van    4.   That we might find the right property on which to build, (or one with an existing building) that we might call our home for our meetings.   5.  That we all might be growing up into the image of Christ

 

 

Recently I began holding regular Sunday evening services at the local county jail. A true blessing of God and one that hold great responsibility. The following is a copy of the sermon I preached over the first two Sunday evenings.

The most recognized verse in the New Testament is probably John 3:16

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.

For many years I understood that Sin was a bad thing and if I just believed Christ died for my sins all would be ok. Much like some of today’s water downed versions God’s Holy Word This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life (The Message) my understanding of man’s sin was greatly lacking.

It was not until I read the follow on verses to John 3:16 (17-21) that I understood how low, how wicked how disgusting my sin and yours truly was.

 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.

Let us take some time now and look at these verses individually.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

So why did God’s Son come? Let’s look at the two key words in this verse.

 Condemn or Krino (kree-no)

*to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure

*pass judgment on the deeds and words of others

*to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment

Saved or Sozo (Sode-zo)

*to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

*to save in the technical biblical sense

*to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

So why did Jesus come; well we just read that it was not to convict or doom folks He came to save them and more.

I have listed six reasons I believe are most important to Christ’s coming. Let us explore them together:

1. He came because God promised He would. We read of that promised ‘seed’ who would destroy the effects of sin (Gen 3:15 )

There we find two “seeds”, or descendants, the seed of The Serpent and the seed of The Woman. There is to be enmity between these two classes, enmity meaning strife, contention, hostility and war. It is clear then that they represent opposites in conflict. And like all warring parties they hate each other.

Let me ask you a question, would you believe in a god who breaks his word? Would you believe and trust in a God who could not fulfill His promises? If one of the first promises we read about in the Bible is a lie or broken what good is the rest of the book? But though many, many have tried no one came prove a single blatant lie of the Bible.

 2. He came to fulfill the Law Matthew 5:17 - “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but fulfill.”

Anyone ever heard someone say I’m a New Testament Christian. Warning bells should go off at that statement. It maybe some innocent comment; a naïve way of saying I am washed in the Blood or it maybe someone professing this neo orthodox idea that the Old Testament is no longer applicable in any way and should either be discounted or left to one’s own interpretation.

Those people are WRONG! They need to really the book, read 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now do not leave here saying Brother Mike said all the OT laws are still valid. If you go and ask the CO’s for a calf to slaughter you are likely to get a checkup from the neck up instead.

 3. He came to call Sinners to repentance Matt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John MacArthur said about this: Repentance is no more a meritorious work than its counterpart, faith. Think about that. Just like we have no part in saving faith neither do we in repentance. It is the work of God alone.

It is an inward response. Genuine repentance pleads with the Lord to forgive and deliver from the burden of sin and the fear of judgment and hell. It is the attitude of the publican who, fearful of even looking toward heaven, smote his breast and cried, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:13). Repentance is not merely behavior reform. But because true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.

A side note: I am often asked can we tell if someone is truly saved. My answer in most cases is Yes; God’s word is full of examples of the outward expression of the inward man we can look for, but that is a different sermon.

 4. He came to Fight; Matthew 10:34-36 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

God is love of that there can be no question. But that same God is no whamsy pansy wuss; that many would have you believe. Read the accounts of God judgments upon Israel and her enemies in the OT, or of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and I am sure there are more than a few vendors from the temple of Israel that wish He was not so tough. He is a mighty God. He is more than capable of taking on all comers.

 5. He came as a Saviour; Matthew 18:11 - “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

We will study this in depth in the following weeks, needless to say as the verse says He came to save.

 6. He came to serve Matthew 20:27-28 - “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The first characteristic needed to being a good servant is humility; and the first characteristic of a good Christian is being willing to serve (1 Samuel 3:4)

Phil 2:7-9 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Think about that for a moment the Son of God, the second person of the trinity, all knowing, powerful and everywhere humbled himself so much that He took on the flesh of man. He left the throne on high to come to this cursed planet to become a servant for you and me. That folks should make you stand in reverence and wonder. Stand in wonder trying to figure out why He would come to serve a wretch like you and me. Stand in reverence when we realize there is no good reason apart from His love. What would you do for a loved one? How low would you humble yourself?

 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.

Let’s look at this word condemned again for a moment. It is a judicial term, a legal term that we still use today. Inmates on death row are condemned to die. So true is the fate of sinners Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin is death;

But upon their believing, the process is comes to a standstill, judgment is stopped, and he is not condemned. This means more than a stay; he is not condemned, that is, he is acquitted and his record wiped clean.

Unlike someone who through modern DNA evidence is found innocent and his record cleared we the accused sinner, are not innocent, we cannot plead not guilty to the indictment. We are guilty and our sins are our own fault. We have no one to blame but ourselves, we have what I call SOS Disease, that is Stuck on Stupid Disease.

But we can plead a noli prosequi or do not prosecute, upon the indictment, as Paul states, Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Like the world all born again believers will be Judged (2 Cor 5:10) but unlike the world we will not be condemned; 1 Cor 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Ok, here is where it gets scary. How many times have I heard from unbelievers that they think Christianity is no good because how can a “loving God” punish all mankind for Adam and Eve’s screw up?

Let look at what Christ says next:

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.

Do you see it? Do you see what the mighty Savior says? Who condemns mankind, God? No man himself does, men loved darkness rather than light.

There is no one in this room, no one anywhere in the world that would not have done the exact same thing as Adam and Eve. Some of us type A personalities would have led a charge to that tree without the serpent’s help.

Condemnation = Krisis - Kree-sis This is the sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment That light (Christ/Salvation/Regeneration) has come

BUT!!! Men love darkness: Darkness = Skot-os of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality

Deeds = Ergon – Er-gone business, employment, that which any one is occupied that which one undertakes to do, an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opp. to that which is less than work the very nature of and desire of man (his work habits) are evil.

AMPLIFIED 19 The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.

I would like to make 4 points about this verse.

 1. Our Rebellion against God is unwavering:

Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me

Rom 10 -12 As it is written , There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth , there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way , they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one

 2. In this state of rebellion all man’s acts are sin

Mark 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Romans 14:23 says, "Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." This is a radical indictment of all natural "virtue" that does not flow from a heart humbly relying on God's grace.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is , in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

 3. Because of Sin man cannot see the light (God)

Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Rom 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be . 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

2 Cor 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 4. Sin deserves Eternal Punishment

Sin all sin not matter how “big” or “small is evil and deserves eternal punishment. I love the comment Geoffrey Thomas, pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church in Wales for over forty years; he called the depravity of our sin “maggot dung”. That my friends is pretty low.

Then many of us have heard someone say “but how can your God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Ask them who standard of “good people” they are referring to the worlds or God’s?

Job 4: 8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death

Rom 6:23a For the wages of sin is death;

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Have you ever known someone like this? Maybe if more of us looked more closely in the mirror we would see the truth. Nah!

We love the dark side; we crave the excitement the adrenalin rush of living on the edge. We hate the thought of being caught convicted or exposed.

Reprove here means:

to convict, generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted

by conviction to bring to the light, to expose to find fault with,

to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove

to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation

Why does man not go toward the light on his own accord? Because his lies, tricks, his evil intent would be exposed to God and the world. Little does he understand God already knows and sees all his faults. And truth be told most of the world does too!

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Here Doeth – Poieo= poy-eh-o; means to act rightly, do well; to carry out, to execute and is this case “truth”.

What truth? Why the truth that is found and taught in the Holy Bible. The truth of God with His purpose and plan of redemption through Christ. The truth that specifies the duties of man, opposes the superstitions of the Gentiles, the inventions (made up laws) of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among supposed Christians.

An example of the later was an article in written by a “priest” in Mobile, AL recently. In it he compared God to a Jazz impressionist just kinda going with the flow. He claims God has no plan instead He (God) has a Nike attitude. You know He God Just Does It, whatever strikes His fancy at that moment. How corrupt a thought, how false a claim how lost a man is he. God has a plan, He has had said plan since before the foundations of the world. It is clearly defined and stated in the Bible yet so many today make up their own God and call it Christianity.

The last key word here is Manifest = Paneroo – fan-er-o-o meaning expose to view, make manifest, to show one's self, appear to become known, to be plainly recognized, thoroughly understood who and what one is.

In stark opposition to the man in Verse 20 the man here in Verse 21 knows he will be exposed he wants to be exposed. Why, but for the Glory of God. The transformed life he leads is on display for all so that they may understand but for the grace of God go I.

Let Us Pray.