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Richard Myers

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Nicodemus
« on: September 28, 2012, 09:25:05 PM »
The study of Nicodemus will be one of the most fruitful that we can enter into. It is therefore with great joy and expectation that we begin this Sabbath night.

Our study will be centered in John chapter three. Let us begin.  Read through these verses and prayerfully consider what Jesus is saying to Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a member of a religion that believes it is rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, but does not know that it is miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked. When Nicodemus met with Jesus, he had no idea that Israel would put to death the Son of God. Jesus must find some way to awaken Nicodemus to his lost condition and then encourage him not only that he can have life, but how it is that he may obtain it. This is the object of our study, for it is just as important to us today as it was for Nicodemus in his day.

  3:1   There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 
  3:2   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. 
  3:3   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. 
  3:4   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? 
  3:5   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. 
  3:6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
  3:7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 
  3:8   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. 
  3:9   Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 
  3:10   Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 
  3:11   Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 
  3:12   If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things? 
  3:13   And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. 
  3:14   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 
  3:15   That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 
  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. 
  3:17   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 
  3:18   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. 
  3:19   And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 
  3:20   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 
  3:21   But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 09:34:12 PM »
It may not be understood by some, that Nicodemus, even though he was a teacher in Israel, was not converted. In similar manner in today's churches, many who are teachers are not converted. That one is a pastor, priest, or teacher does not make one converted.  How do we know that this respectable leader in Israel was not converted?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 05:28:26 AM »
Instead of lots of quotes about what conversion & sansctification are, I will try to distill it.       Conversion is "not my will but thine be done"..........in the right now, thoughts, feelings, understandings, plans, actions.    Sanctification ( being harmony with God as well as set apart for holy use) .................   is "not my will but thine be done"..........in the right now, thoughts, feelings, understandings, plans, actions.............. carried out across the life span, carrying the progress of conversion deeper and deeper till no part of the person remains that was not able to endure what God was saying to them .     Conversion's unbroken work each day on it's own is all that God requires, either yesturday was complete or it's getting repeated today, tommorrow comes later, Jesus orchestrates the Holy Spirit's and holy angel's works upon and within the individual from the Most Holy Place intercessions up in Heaven.       

If the communion / union is broken  ..... conversion needs to happen again so the ongoing process of sanctification resumes, and the defiance that is the door into Satan's kingdom is closed and locked once again, and the heart / mind door is reopened to Jesus.   Deciding to sin slammed it in His face metaphorically............................the quenching process began when the decision to sin was made..........................and the Shepherd's struggle to reach into the thorn bush to retrive the lost sheep began anew.  It's only His success that re implanted His perfect life and desires to obey into the sheep that kept the sheep from staying lost.

Romans 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.   The "were" is covered by calvary being ministered above in the individual's behalf, the "shall be" is the ongoing process of Jesus life from above being implanted.  Conversion yesturday and today is like buying a house on a land contract.   It is the last payment that "seals the deal"  ...............................in SOP look up "not saved until"   = 3 hits  notice the original quote.

The Apostle John and Paul and Moses and Daniel - for examples - were closer in communion with Jesus and because of that closeness were able to grasp understandings that explained and distilled things more than other Bible writers usually did.

SOP says conversion is progressive.  The Apostle John & Paul & Peter tell what conversion does and does not do.

1st John Ch 3;  1st Corinthians Ch 13;  Dan Ch 1; 2nd Peter Ch 1;1-12; Deuteronomy Ch 30.    Look up these verses and compare with SOP   

Jesus preserves the individual during the conversion / sanctification process ..........................  untill the sealing...............then with the sealing the individual is armoured sufficently to stand before God without Jesus needing to stay in the Most Holy Place - locked in never ending intercession.   The sealing which is the same process as conversion.....sanctification.........just being on the nearly ended completion end of the time line instead of at the start.....................frees Jesus up to cease interceeding, assume His position as King of Kings and saddle His war horse, return, and bring His family home from the Divine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ( sin polluted earth). 

Nicodemus thought he was sealed.............................. his ideas were all focused on the external.   The external is part of it, it's the results, the internal is the source of what a person does and why...................  God hinges His I-J decisions upon all three , external, internal, (what + why).     

It is supprising that Nicodemus did not understand already, he was very familiar with Yom Kippur every year.................... I guess the lessons were never toward himself but toward others.
       
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Mimi

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 06:28:10 AM »
Quote
Jesus preserves the individual during the conversion / sanctification process ..........................  untill the sealing...............then with the sealing the individual is armoured sufficently to stand before God without Jesus needing to stay in the Most Holy Place - locked in never ending intercession.

Expand on this, Ed. I am a student, listening. Are you stating a "given" that he is preserved as he remains in Christ throughout the sanctification process?
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Ed Sutton

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 07:03:14 AM »
In Isaiah ch 1, a process is called for, by the Words of the Lord.   Looking at this process ..................... one of it's needs to be completed sucessfully ..................... is TIME.     Jesus reads the heart / mind ............................  He knows when to preserve, require decisions and change NOW, and see that a process within the mind / life  is still in process ............. He knows His own time table for each individual.    Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities of the plains ................. came to the limits of His patience, the process of putting His life and what matters to Him could not be sucessfully continued.....................extending probation and preservation under the sheperding of Jesus...............due to human defiance............had failed and was without recovery.  Sealed as perpetual traitors.

Isaiah 1:
9  Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 ¶  Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
11  To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 ¶  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

preserved =  16 Bible texts   (preservation is at the disgression of Jesus while He seeks to convert and sanctify and move toward sealing / armouring the character. )

Genesis 32:30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Joshua 24:17  For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

1 Samuel 30:23  Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.

2 Samuel 8:6  Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

2 Samuel 8:14  And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

1 Chronicles 18:6  Then David put garrisons in Syriadamascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought gifts. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

1 Chronicles 18:13  And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David’s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

Job 10:12  Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

Job 29:2  Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;

Psalms 37:28  For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Isaiah 49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Hosea 12:13  And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

Matthew 9:17  Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Luke 5:38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

1 Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:1  Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Mimi

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 07:21:52 AM »
Got it, Ed. I was reading too quickly and did not digest what you said here. Thank you! Have a blest Sabbath!

Conversion's unbroken work each day on it's own is all that God requires, either yesturday was complete or it's getting repeated today, tommorrow comes later, Jesus orchestrates the Holy Spirit's and holy angel's works upon and within the individual from the Most Holy Place intercessions up in Heaven.       

If the communion / union is broken  ..... conversion needs to happen again so the ongoing process of sanctification resumes, and the defiance that is the door into Satan's kingdom is closed and locked once again, and the heart / mind door is reopened to Jesus.   Deciding to sin slammed it in His face metaphorically............................the quenching process began when the decision to sin was made..........................and the Shepherd's struggle to reach into the thorn bush to retrive the lost sheep began anew.  It's only His success that re implanted His perfect life and desires to obey into the sheep that kept the sheep from staying lost.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 07:39:08 AM »
After reading your two posts, Ed, I am not sure what you are teaching. Are you saying that Nicodemus was converted when he came to the garden to speak with Jesus? 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 11:43:35 AM »
Richard to my mind, after reading about Nicodemus, it seems like that in the pre-conversion mind of Nicodemus - his personal salvation was a done deal and he had arrived already, being by birth a child of Abraham and a devout keeper of the Torah.

He was externally converted to rabbinical traditions and external forms, ceremonies, statutes and so on.  But it seems like a personal application of the holiness of God's law had not yet awakened his conscience as a sinner before God.  The evidence showing the process of the afflicting of soul required prior to Yom Kippur ..... was not prior to the interview with Jesus.    The interview started the process.

Quote
  Nicodemus thought he was sealed.............................. his ideas were all focused on the external.   The external is part of it, it's the results, the internal is the source of what a person does and why...................  God hinges His I-J decisions upon all three , external, internal, (what + why).     

It is supprising that Nicodemus did not understand already, he was very familiar with Yom Kippur every year.................... I guess the lessons were never toward himself but toward others.   

Quote
   The change that must come to the natural, inherited, and cultivated tendencies of the human heart is that change of which Jesus spoke when He said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”. . . He virtually said to Nicodemus, It is not controversy that will help your case. Arguments will not bring light to your soul. You must have a new heart, or you cannot discern the kingdom of heaven. It is not greater evidence that will bring you into a right position, but new purposes, new springs of action. You must be born again. Until this change takes place, until all things are made new, the strongest evidence that could be presented would be useless. . . . {CTr 233.2}

To Nicodemus this was a very humiliating statement, and with a feeling of irritation he took up the words of Christ, saying, “How can a man be born when he is old?”. . . But the Saviour did not meet argument with argument. Raising His hand in solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed home the truth with greater assurance, “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.”. . . {CTr 233.3}

Christ’s words conveyed the lesson that instead of feeling irritated over the plain words of truth and indulging in irony, Nicodemus should have a far more humble opinion of himself because of his spiritual ignorance. Yet the words of Christ were spoken with such solemn dignity, and both look and tone expressed such earnest love that Nicodemus was not offended as he realized his humiliating position. . . . {CTr 233.4}

This lesson to Nicodemus I present as highly applicable to those who today are in responsible positions as rulers in Israel, and whose voices are often heard in council, giving evidence of the spirit that Nicodemus possessed. The words of Christ are spoken just as verily to presidents of conferences, elders of churches, and those occupying responsible positions in our churches. . . . {CTr 233.5}

Nicodemus was converted as the result of this interview. In that night conference with Jesus, the convicted man stood before the Saviour under the softening, subduing influence of the truth that was shining into the chambers of his mind and impressing his heart. . . . Jesus told Nicodemus not only that he must have a new heart in order to see the kingdom of heaven, but how to obtain this new heart.—Letter 54, 1895. {CTr 233.6}

*******************************************

I am not always on the same wavelengths as others, sometime's the printed page or web page is less able to convey through words what in person speaking does.   The garden interview began the process that later converted Nicodemus.  Nicodemus spent time in Scripture & prayer with a different view point from then onward.

Quote
    We may have flattered ourselves, as did Nicodemus, that our life has been upright, that our moral character is correct, and think that we need not humble the heart before God, like the common sinner: but when the light from Christ shines into our souls, we shall see how impure we are; we shall discern the selfishness of motive, the enmity against God, that has defiled every act of life. Then we shall know that our own righteousness is indeed as filthy rags, and that the blood of Christ alone can cleanse us from the defilement of sin, and renew our hearts in His own likeness.   {CC 292.4} 

Chap. 287 - Born Again

     But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:21.  {CC 293.1} 

     Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. . . .  {CC 293.2} 

     He [Nicodemus] saw that the most rigid obedience to the mere letter of the law as applied to the outward life could entitle no man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In the estimation of men, his life had been just and honorable; but in the presence of Christ he felt that his heart was unclean, and his life unholy. . . . As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself. . . . Jesus answered the unspoken question: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." . . .  {CC 293.3} 

     Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. . . .  {CC 293.4} 

     For a time Nicodemus did not publicly acknowledge Christ, but he watched His life, and pondered His teachings. In the Sanhedrin council he repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. . . .  {CC 293.5} 

     After the Lord's ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world's goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.  {CC 293.6}   
 
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Ed Sutton

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 11:55:18 AM »
Quote
  Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. John 19:38, 39.  {CC 327.1} 

     Neither Joseph nor Nicodemus had openly accepted the Saviour while He was living. They knew that such a step would exclude them from the Sanhedrin, and they hoped to protect Him by their influence in its councils. For a time they had seemed to succeed; but the wily priests, seeing their favor to Christ, had thwarted their plans. In their absence Jesus had been condemned and delivered to be crucified. Now that He was dead, they no longer concealed their attachment to Him. While the disciples feared to show themselves openly as His followers, Joseph and Nicodemus came boldly to their aid. . . .  {CC 327.2} 
     Nicodemus, when he saw Jesus lifted up on the cross, remembered His words spoken by night in the Mount of Olives: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14, 15).  {CC 327.3} 
     On that Sabbath, when Christ lay in the grave, Nicodemus had opportunity for reflection. A clearer light now illuminated his mind, and the words which Jesus had spoken to him were no longer mysterious. He felt that he had lost much by not connecting himself with the Saviour during His life. Now he recalled the events of Calvary. The prayer of Christ for His murderers and His answer to the petition of the dying thief spoke to the heart of the learned councilor. Again he looked upon the Saviour in His agony; again he heard that last cry, "It is finished," spoken like the words of a conqueror. Again he beheld the reeling earth, the darkened heavens, the rent veil, the shivered rocks, and his faith was forever established.  {CC 327.4} 
     The very event that destroyed the hopes of the disciples convinced Joseph and Nicodemus of the divinity of Jesus. Their fears were overcome by the courage of a firm and unwavering faith.  {CC 327.5}   

**************************************

 
Quote
   By looking constantly to Jesus, from morn till eve, with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Savior. They feed upon His word, for it is spirit and life. The HolThis word kills the natural, earthly nature, and a new life in Christ Jesus is created. The Holy Spirit comes as a Comforter to them. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the mold of the divine similitude. The image of Christ is reproduced in the human agent, and by the transforming efficacy of the grace of Christ he becomes a new creature. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12, 13). This is the new birth.  {10MR 166.1}   
   
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Richard Myers

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 03:34:02 PM »
Yes Ed, Nicodemus was shocked that he was not good enough to go to heaven.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2012, 10:03:20 PM »
The Words of Christ are unmistakable to Nicodemus "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Like most of the Jews, God's chosen people, Nicodemus was not converted, but thought he was. So it is today. "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...be zealous therefore, and repent...To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:17,19,21. 

Many are confused about what it means to be "converted". Many believe they have eternal life, salvation,  when they sin, but they do not. Jesus does not leave Nicodemus confused about what it means to be born again. " 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." John 3:5-7.

To be born of the Spirit is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then one is a partaker of God's divine nature.  Heaven is free from all sin, from all defilement and impurity; and if we would live in its atmosphere, if we would behold the glory of Christ, we must be pure in heart, perfect in character through His grace and righteousness. This is what it means to be born of the Spirit.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Donna H

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 08:32:51 AM »
We know that Nicodemus was not converted because He did not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God:

John 3:2
... Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God...

Nicodemus only acknowledged Jesus as a teacher. This explains Jesus' focus on being born of the Spirit in connection with His emphasis of being the Son of God, and the gospel necessity of the Father and the Son (John 3:16).

Without seeing Jesus the Christ as the Son of God, He could not have been brought to repentance by seeing the goodness of God, which is manifested to us in the fact of John 3:16. No matter how highly he respected Jesus as a teacher, even as a teacher come from God, without the realization of who Jesus truly was,  his heart would have been unmoved by the goodness of God in giving us His only begotten Son.

Being born again involves being brought to repentance.

"It is one thing to assent in a general way to the agency of the Holy Spirit, and another thing to accept His work as a reprover calling to repentance... The only hope for these souls is to realize in themselves the truth of Christ’s words to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” “Except a man be born from above, he can not see the kingdom of God.” John 3:7, 3, margin." COL 48.2,3

Being brought to repentance involves perceiving the goodness of God.

Romans 2:4
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

The goodness of God is shown to us in the plan of redemption.

"Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption." 2MCP 523.1

The plan of redemption is about a Father and a Son and their great love for us.

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.

John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

It may not be understood by some, that Nicodemus, even though he was a teacher in Israel, was not converted. In similar manner in today's churches, many who are teachers are not converted. That one is a pastor, priest, or teacher does not make one converted.  How do we know that this respectable leader in Israel was not converted?

Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Richard Myers

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2014, 11:57:49 AM »
Amen, Donna.  Nicodemus did not know that it was God in the flesh with whom he was speaking. Jesus told him very pointedly that he was not converted. ""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." Did Jesus tell him how he could be born again?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Donna H

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Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2014, 06:03:06 AM »
Did Jesus tell Nicodemus how he could be born again?

We know for certain that Jesus told him that he MUST be born again, but did He tell him HOW to be born again?

Yes. In order to be born again one must believe the testimony of the Father and the Son, which is that because God loves us so unspeakably much He gave us His very own, only divinely begotten divine Son to reconcile us to God and to give us eternal life.

John 3:11-12
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?

John 3:16
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.

1John 5:1, 4, 5
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Believing that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that God is the Father and Christ is the Son of God. To believe one us to believe the other. This is the faith that overcomes the world: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Mat 16:18.

1John 2:22
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1John 5:9-11
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

"Through this simple act of believing God, the Holy Spirit has begotten a new life in your heart. You are as a child born into the family of God, and He loves you as He loves His Son." CSA 30.5
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Richard Myers

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  • Posts: 38714
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Nicodemus
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 03:26:40 PM »
Posts relating to the godhead have been moved to the existing thread on "The Godhead" in Laodicea.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.