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Unordinary Story

Sermon Notes

John 20:30-31, 3:1-16

Consider:

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Key Terms:

  • Belief (πίστις)– certainty that comes from being convinced by evidence or a compelling source
  • Hope (ἐλπίς) – an expectation of something to come but lacking certainty
  • Signs (σημεῖον), a marker, or flag; an indicator. This term was used in the medical community to denote a symptom of a disease.

Key Verse:

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

Jesus, The Messiah

  • Jesus shows his power at a wedding (John 2:1-12)
  • Jesus shows his superiority over the Temple (John 2:19)
  • Jesus shows his intelligence over the Rabbi (John 3:1-18)
  • Jesus shows his authority over the Sabbath (John 5:1-30)

John provides his reader with all the current information they need to conclude that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Son of God.

John wants us to believe based on the evidence. This is how faith develops.

Jesus visits with Nicodemus (John 3:1-17)

  1. Jesus meets with you on your terms but leads the conversation on his terms (3:1-3).
    • Where ever you are- Jesus will meet you there.
    • Where ever you are- Jesus will point you toward the eternal.
  2. Entrance into God’s Kingdom (born again) is fully available but not automatic. (John 3:4-6, 14-15, cf. Numbers 21:4-9)
    • You cannot enter the Kingdom on your terms
    • This entrance is spiritual in nature
    • This is a miraculous work by Jesus
  3. Jesus explains how to be born again (John 3:16)
    • God loves
    • God gave
    • We believe
    • We receive

Application:

  1. Ask yourself this question: How am I saved?
  2. Ask your neighbor this question: Are you ready to commit to Jesus

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT: 

  1. C. S. Lewis wrote, “Christianity if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” (Mere Christianity) Why did Lewis say the Christian faith cannot be moderately important?  
  1. Pastor Rusty shares three terms that are significant if we are to understand the point of this message: 1) Belief (πίστις)– certainty that comes from being convinced by evidence or a compelling source. 2) Hope (ἐλπίς) – an expectation of something to come but lacking certainty. 3) Signs (σημεῖον), a marker, or flag; an indicator. This term was used in the medical community to denote a symptom of a disease. Using these definitions as your guide, write down: 1) What you believe about God, 2) The hope your faith offers, and 3) The signs which have confirmed God’s love for you.  
  1. In John 2:1-12, Jesus shows his power at a wedding. In John 2:19, he shows his superiority over the temple. In John 3:1-18, he shows his intelligence over the Rabbi. In John 5:1-30, Jesus shows his authority over the Sabbath. Pastor Rusty observes, “John provides for his reader all the current information they need to conclude that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Son of God.” Which of these stories tells you that Jesus is the Son of God? Why?  
  1. Pastor Rusty says, “Jesus wants us to believe based on evidence. This is how faith develops.” Reflect on how your personal faith has developed?  
  1. The story of Nicodemus in John 3 reveals that Jesus meets us where we are but that he points us toward the eternal. How have you found meaning in the eternal? 
  1. Pastor Rusty points out that entrance into God’s Kingdom (being born again) is available to everyone but not automatic. (John 3:4-6, 15-16 and Numbers 21:4-9) He points out that: 1) We cannot enter the Kingdom on our terms. 2) The entrance to the Kingdom is spiritual. 3) The Kingdom is a miraculous work by Jesus. Explain why each of these is important.  
  1. Jesus shows us how to be born again, we must: 1) Understand that God loves. 2) Understand God gave. 3) Believe, and 4) Receive. Have you taken each of these steps?  

LIVE IT OUT 

  • Ask yourself this question: How am I saved?  
  • Ask your neighbor this question: Are you ready to commit to Jesus?  

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