"Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:5-8
What Is The Message Today?
The natural progression of every disciple is to bear good fruit.Every disciple of Jesus is to bear good fruit.
Why Jesus Used The Tree Metaphor
The natural progression of every fruit tree is to bear fruit.
All fruit trees must grow to a specific maturity to bear fruit.
Jesus said every tree will be known by their fruit
"Beware of false prophets,...You will know them by their fruits... Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" - Matthew 7:15-20
God designed and blessed us from the beginning, to be fruitful. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful Genesis 1:28
1. More than a title
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews - John 3:1
- Nicodemus was a leader
- Discipleship is more than finding a successor
- It is about bearing good fruit as a follower of Jesus
2. Moving people forward
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" John 3:4
- Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, but he was stuck
- Discipleship is about getting people unstuck,
- Move people forward. Recognize and nurture their potential to grow and bear good fruit
3. Meeting people where they are
This man came to Jesus by night (John 3:2)
- However you may want to put it, Nicodemus came to Jesus because he was stuck.
- Bringing people back to a building isn't our vision. Helping people grow into a deep relationship with God is. The church is not about the building, it is about the people.
- If we focus on moving people forward, we are positioning them to bear good fruit
- It's hard to get people unstuck if we are obsessed with getting them back to a building.
- Getting people unstuck means meeting their FELT NEEDS wherever they are in their journey.
4. More than competence, it is about character
..."Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:2-3
- Competence is important. What is even more important is character.
- Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews.
- You could be competent in doing the wrong thing.
- Activity is not an accomplishment. Do not confuse activity with accomplishment.
Bearing fruit is important. What is even more important is bearing good fruit.
5. More than knowledge, more about discovery (Epiphany).
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? John 3:9-10.
- Nicodemus had the knowledge.
- Conviction and confession come through understanding.
- Knowledge is important. What is even more important is discovery (Epiphany).
6. Embracing the people in our community without labeling
Nicodemus he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them said to them, "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?" John 7:50-51
- If we embrace the people in our community and do not judge them, we are making a good start to a good future.
- Nicodemus was/is labeled as a secret disciple of Christ, a coward, a fence sitter, But he had the courage to speak up and defend Christ in the Jew's supreme court.
- Discipleship is based on love
When you unconditionally love others, it gives you the courage to speak up for them. When someone loves you conditionally, it gives you strength.
7. Loving your neighbors with your wealth and property
And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. John 19:39
- Nicodemus served Christ with his wealth and property
- Confess you love Jesus in your own place, and you do so by loving your neighbors -that includes your neighbor's cats, cars, children, everything the Lord has given your neighbor.
- Second, as a follower of Jesus serve Him with your wealth and property.
Are you bearing fruits?
What kind of fruits are you bearing?