The Net Pastor's Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 6 Winter 2013
Winter 2013 Edition
Produced by ...
Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
“Strengthening the Church in Biblical Preaching and Leadership”
Part I. The Message We Preach: The Truth About Christ (1 Tim. 3:14-16)
In Part I of the Fall 2012 edition of The NET Pastors Journal I wrote about “The Message That We Preach.” I would like to continue that subject in this edition. There are two foundational subjects about which we preach – (1) we preach the message of the cross (see Fall 2012 edition); and (2) we preach the truth about Christ.
The truth about Christ is particularly important in our day when the claim to absolute truth is mocked and denied, while error seems more and more to be idolized and enthroned. Yet, what people need more than anything else today is “the truth”. There are so many voices in the world, all claiming to know and teach the truth, but each one contradicting the other. Even in our Christian communities, new theologies and practices are constantly surfacing, each one claiming some new “truth” or new interpretation of the truth. No wonder people are confused about what to believe. In fact, they wonder whether it is possible to know truth at all. But Jesus said: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32). He also said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Perhaps that’s why the truth is so maligned – because the world doesn’t want Christ, who is the Truth.
But, it’s the truth about Jesus Christ that changes the world. People all around us need to hear the truth about Him. And they will only hear it if we preach it.
In 1 Tim. 3:14-16, the apostle Paul outlines the foundational truths about Christ that we preach. In this passage, Paul is instructing Timothy on appropriate order in the church. His point is that the church’s task is to uphold the truth in our conduct and in our confession (message). What we do and what we say must be appropriate to the nature of the church and the message of the church. The church is to be disciplined and orderly, under the headship of Christ and the rule of our church leaders, and in accordance with the truth.
Notice first in this passage that OUR CONDUCT IS GOVERNED BY THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH. “These things I write to you…so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God” (14). “These things” refers to what Paul is writing about concerning order in the house of God - prayer (2:1-7), the role of men and women in public worship (2:8-15), and the moral and spiritual qualifications of elders and deacons (3:1-13). After writing about “these things,” he gives a general exhortation about (1) the nature of the church (3:14-15) and (2) the message of the church (16).
The nature of the church is that it is “God’s house” (15a). It’s the place where God dwells with his people. It’s not an institution, but a family. It’s not a building, but a household (cf. Eph. 2:18-22). And God’s household is governed by proper conduct. We can’t behave just anyway we want in God’s house. We must meet certain moral standards, spiritual convictions, and orderly practices that are fitting for God’s house and consistent with who God is. Thus, public prayer is to have certain characteristics and focus, church leaders are to meet certain qualifications, and truth is to be faithfully taught and defended, because the church is “God’s house”.
God’s house is “the church of the living God” (15b). It is not a place for the worship of dead idols of wood and stone, but the place where the living God is present with his people. It is “the dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22; cf. 1 Thess. 1:9-10; Acts 14:15). For, God “does not dwell in temples made with hands” but among his people who are “the temple of the living God” (Acts 17:24f.; 2 Cor. 6:16). When we meet as a congregation to worship God, we give practical and visible expression to the truth that the living God is present and powerful among us (1 Cor. 14:25), by the way we pray, by the songs and hymns we sing, by our Scripture readings, our preaching of the Word, by our communion services, our baptismal services, and our fellowship. And we extend His presence among us through evangelism and missions throughout our community and the world.
Because God is living and present among us in his house, we must conduct ourselves according to his standards, for we come under his scrutiny and we are subject to his judgment.
Not only is the nature of God’s house the “church of the living God,” but it is also “the pillar and ground of the truth” (15c). Perhaps Paul used the imagery of a pillar because he knew that the church in Ephesus could relate to the beautiful temple of the goddess Diana in that city, with its 127 marble pillars, studded with jewels and overlaid with gold. Sometimes we might refer to someone as a pillar of society, an outstanding example of what a citizen should be. Similarly, Paul says, the church is the “pillar of the truth.” Just as a pillar supports and elevates what is above it, so the church supports and elevates the truth for all to see and hear. Public buildings are often known for their impressive pillars that represent the character of the building and what it stands for - its endurance, authority, and power (e.g. courthouses, parliament buildings, cathedrals). Similarly, the church is to be an impressive display of God’s truth – its endurance, authority, and power. Like a pillar, the church lifts up the truth of God for all to see and hear.
The nature of God’s house, the church, is that it is (1) “the church of the living God,” (2) “the pillar of the truth,” and (3) “the foundation of the truth.” Just as a foundation supports the structure of an entire edifice to give it stability, strength, and a solid footing, so, Paul says, the church is the “foundation of the truth.” The church is the unmovable support structure that supports the truth when it is under attack, holds up the truth when it is under fire by false teachers, provides the firm ground on which the truth rests securely.
So, the church is both the pillar and foundation of the truth - the pillar above ground level and the foundation below. As the pillar of the truth, the church displays the truth from above, from the “housetops”, by expounding it, teaching it, preaching it publicly, and by actively evangelizing the nations. As the foundation of the truth, the church supports the truth from below by following, obeying, and living out the truth (Col. 3:12-17) as the final authority for faith and practice, by studying and teaching and explaining the truth (2 Tim. 2:15), and by affirming and defending the truth (Phil. 2:16).The church is the foundation stone on which the truth rests.
So, as the pillar of the truth, the church is the visible, majestic, glorious, public, unashamed proclaimer of the truth. As the foundation of the truth, it is the firm, solid defender and supporter of the truth, which does not move or change. This is the truth on which we stand and which we uphold. And that demands a certain code of conduct - conduct that must match our message. After all, we are God’s household; we bear his nature and character; we are his presence in the world. Our conduct is governed by the nature of the church, which raises the banner of truth like a glorious pillar and which supports the truth like a firm foundation.
So, the apostle Paul says, our conduct is governed by the “nature” of the church, and, notice also, he says, OUR MESSAGE IS GOVERNED BY THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRIST. The message of the church is called “the truth,” of which the church is the “pillar” and “foundation”. “The truth” here is our common confession of faith, the non-negotiable sum and substance of our Christian belief. The truth is the foundation on which the Christian church rests, and the pillar which the Christian message upholds. It’s our creed, if you will – what we confess in our preaching and teaching, our songs, our prayers, our testimonies.
The truth is the great mystery concerning godliness. “Confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness (piety)” (16). “Godliness” is the primary characteristic of the Christian life and conduct. It is the manifestation of God in our conduct (vv. 14-15) and in our confession (v. 16) – i.e. what we do and what we say. It is behavior that is appropriate to those who uphold “the truth.” The Christian faith is a “great mystery”, Paul says, because, although it was revealed in ages past, it has only now in our age of grace become a visible, tangible, comprehensible reality in Christ (Eph. 3:1-7). The “mystery” is that God has manifested himself in Christ. Jesus Christ has perfectly and fully revealed to us what was previously obscure – namely, the nature and character of God. In Him we know God. He is the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of God’s being (cf. Heb. 1:3). Jesus Christ is God.
Thus, in Jesus we see “godliness” displayed and in him we are transformed into what God wants us to be. In Jesus Christ the “mystery of godliness” is made clear. “Godliness” and “truth” were both perfectly lived out by Christ. His exemplary life is our guide for true godliness. The truth is, in its essence, the truth about Christ, who is the truth and in whom God is most fully revealed. Thus, the “mystery of godliness” is perfectly revealed in Jesus and lies at the centre of the church’s conduct and confession (message) of the truth. The truth that the church confesses and upholds is the gospel, the mystery of godliness, which is now revealed about and in the person, work, life, death and resurrection of Christ. Godliness is rooted in our knowledge and imitation of Christ. God is known most fully in Christ, and from this we learn godliness.
So, the church is defined and formed by its relationship to and its confession of Jesus Christ. What is the truth about Christ that is central to the Christian message? Our message is about the incarnation of Christ. “God was manifested in the flesh”(16a). Christ did not come into being at his incarnation. He eternally existed and, when he came to earth, voluntarily emptied himself of his divine rights and privileges, becoming fully human without surrendering or compromising his full divinity (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:14). That’s how God manifested himself to us. Otherwise God would have forever been a mystery to us. Our understanding of God would have been forever veiled, obscure, and limited to what we see of the evidence of God in creation and in our consciences. But through the self-revelation of God in Christ, we know him personally, intimately, and redemptively. “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us...and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John says (Jn. 4). The One who said “I am the truth” revealed the truth about God to us for He is God, He is Emmanuel, “God with us,” for He was sent by God to make God known to us.
“God was manifested in the flesh.” He was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, took on human nature in addition to his divine nature and dwelled among us, identifying with us in our circumstances and human frailty. For, “in all things He had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:17). The apostle John says, the One whom we have seen, heard, and touched is the One we declare to you (1 Jn. 1:1-3).
Our message is governed by the truth about Christ – firstly, the truth about the incarnation of Christ (that “God was manifested in the flesh”), and secondly, the truth about the vindication (justification) of Christ. “Christ was vindicated (justified) in the Spirit (16b). To be “vindicated” means to be cleared from an accusation, to be justified by evidence or an argument, to be defended against opposition. If Christ’s manifestation in the flesh speaks of his humanity, then his vindication by the Spirit speaks of his deity. He was vindicated by the Spirit at his baptism, when the Spirit anointed him for ministry. He was vindicated by the Spirit through his works, when he performed miracles by divine power. He was vindicated by the Spirit at his resurrection, when he was raised from the dead (Rom. 1:4; 8:11; Eph. 1:20). This was a complete vindication of who He claimed to be and truly was - the sinless, perfect God-man. This was complete affirmation of his perfect righteousness, full acceptance of his perfect sacrifice, complete vindication that He was God manifested in flesh.
So, our message is about the incarnation of Christ – that he was manifested in the flesh and vindicated by the Spirit. Now notice also that our message is the testimony about Christ. First, there was the testimony of the angels about Christ - “Christ was seen by the angels” (16c). The One who was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death (Heb. 2:9) was observed by them. They knew who He was and they observed him closely from the start to the finish of his life, and they bore testimony to him.
The angels observed him at his birth. They gave testimony that He was God incarnate. That’s why the angel said to Joseph: “Do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:20). That’s why the angel revealed to Mary: “That Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:36). The angels gave testimony that he was the eternal King. That’s why the angel told Mary: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Lk. 1:32-33). The angels gave testimony that Jesus was the promised Saviour. That’s why they proclaimed to the shepherds: “There is born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11). That’s why the angel instructed Joseph to call his name “Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
The angels not only observed him at his birth, they also observed him in his temptations. That’s why they came to him in the wilderness and “ministered to him” (Matt. 4:11; Mk. 1:13). That’s why an angel strengthened him in his agony in the garden (Lk. 22:43). Further, the angels observed him at his death, and were ready to deliver him. That’s why Jesus said: “Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). The angels observed him at his resurrection, as the stone was rolled away (Matt. 28:2). That’s why they could say to the women at the tomb: “Why do you seek the living among the dead – he is not here; he is risen” (Lk. 24:4-7). Then, the angels observed him at his ascension. They said to the disciples: “Why do you stand here gazing into heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you will so come in like manner as you have seen him go” (Acts. 1:10-11). Finally, the angels observed him in his glorification. And they worshipped him saying: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:11).
The message of the church is the testimony about Christ. There was the testimony of the angels about Christ and there was the testimony of the people about Christ. “Christ was preached among the nations” (16d). He was not only “seen” by heavenly beings but he was “heard” by human beings. Jesus instructed his disciples: “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The truth about him that had been declared by God the Father (“This is my beloved Son”) and by the angels was to be proclaimed by his disciples “to all nations”. And that’s our message and mission as well. The One who was mocked, scourged, condemned, and crucified is the One whom we preach to the nations. “Him we preach,” Paul says (Col. 1:28). “We preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24; cf. 1 Cor. 2:2).
The message of the church is the truth about Christ - (1) the incarnation of Christ and (2) the vindication of Christ. The message of the church is the testimony about Christ – (1) the testimony of the angels and (2) the testimony of the people. Lastly, the message of the church is about the response to Christ. There was the response on earth. “Christ was believed on in the world” (16e). The result of the proclamation of the gospel was that people believed the message – 3000 were saved at Pentecost and the movement spread throughout Judea, Samaria, and the nations of the Gentiles, so that both Jews and Gentiles believed on him. Jews believed on him in the world, for “a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Gentiles believed on him in the world, for “when the Gentiles heard (it), they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord” (Acts 13:48; cf. 17:12).
The church proclaims the truth about the response to Christ – (1) there was the response on earth, and (2) there was the response in heaven. “Christ was received up in glory” (16f). This was the completion of his earthly ministry. He was exalted to God's right hand – the place of power, the place of intercession and advocacy for his people. Men hated him, beat him, crucified him, rejected him, and buried him, but God raised him and took him up in glory. The end of his life was not death and humiliation but ascension and glory.
Conclusions. The church’s task is to uphold the truth in our conduct and our confession (message). Our conduct is governed by the nature of the church - we are God’s household, the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Our message is governed by the truth about Christ. This is the truth we boldly uphold and proclaim – the truth that He was manifested in flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, observed by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and taken up in glory, from where he is coming again.
This is the truth we preach - the truth about Christ’s incarnation, the truth of his ministry, the truth about his death, resurrection, ascension, and his glorification. This is the message we preach - the truth about the central figure of world history, whose life, teachings, and deeds have divided the world; the truth about the universal witness to who Christ is and how He has changed the world; the truth of which the church is the pillar and foundation.
And our aim in upholding and proclaiming this message is to glorify him for who He is, to obey his great commission, and to bring others into a vital, life-transforming relationship with Him. The great aim of the church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth through our conduct and our confession, so that through our conduct (that reflects the nature of the church as God’s household) and through our confession (that reflects the message of the church as God’s truth) others will embrace the person of Christ, come to know him, love him, follow him, and serve him.
May we seek to be faithful preachers of the truth we confess as we proclaim, defend, and uphold our message concerning the truth about Christ.
Part II. Leadership: Being A Godly Role Model – “Your Personal Holiness”
By: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President
The Institute for Biblical Preaching,
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
To be “holy” means to be set apart for the worship and service of God, to be sacred, pure, consecrated to God. How can we be holy in a culture that, for example, sanctions same sex relationships and sex outside of marriage? You can’t drive around the city without seeing a billboard that has a sexual or defiling message. You can’t watch a TV commercial without being embarrassed or offended. So, how can Christians live in such a way that we love what God loves and hate what God hates?
John Owen is someone who lived a holy life. In “A Godward Life”, John Piper writes that John Owen was probably the greatest pastor-theologian among the Puritans in England, being influential politically, denominationally, theologically, academically, pastorally, and personally. Despite his extremely busy and tragic life (he had eleven children, ten of whom died while young, followed by the eleventh when she was a young adult), his passion was personal holiness. He said, “‘My heart’s desire unto God and the chief design of my life…are that…universal holiness may be promoted in my own and in the hearts and ways of others.’” John Piper continues: “Not many leaders today state the goals of their lives in terms of holiness. More and more leaders openly confess that their personal holiness is of no significance to their public performance...That was not the case with John Owen. The wonder, the power, and the beauty of his public life was the constancy of his personal communion with God in purity and joy...In his own words he gave the secret to his personal holiness amid all the pressures and pains of life: ‘What better preparation can there be for [our future enjoyment of the glory of Christ] than in a constant previous contemplation of that glory in the revelation that is made in the Gospel.’ That is the key to purity and holiness, the key to lasting effectiveness in all of life: constant contemplation of the glory of Christ” (John Piper, A Godward Life (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 1997, 124-125).
In one sense we are like all other Christians - on a journey in which we are all becoming more like Christ. But in another sense, we are Christian leaders who are required to model Christian morality and lifestyle by being “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2), by walking like Jesus walked (1 Jn. 2:6), by putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13), by walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16), by putting off the old man and putting on the new (Eph. 4:22-24), by crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24). Hence, we are to practice …
A. Purity In Conduct
We are called to purity: “Be holy for I am holy”. Purity is a prerequisite to fellowship with God, to being filled with the Spirit, to credibility in your personal life, to power in preaching and leadership. One of the key areas to protect is sexual purity.
1. Purity In Sexual Conduct
“Be an example to the believers … in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12)
“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Eph. 5:3-12)
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:4)
We are very vulnerable to the moral standards of our culture and we are particularly vulnerable if we are in a position of Christian leadership. This is an area of vulnerability for all of us, whether old or young, whether you are a pastor or Christian leader in the workplace.
Pastors and Christian leaders are particularly vulnerable because some women are attracted to them because of their public position and communication. In counselling women, pastors and Christian leaders are exposed to intimacies that make them susceptible to being attracted to and by other women. So, don’t let anyone of the opposite sex penetrate your guard. Don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable to temptation. You must be known as one who is fully committed to your spouse (if you have one), one who is sexually pure.
If you want to be an influential Christian, you must be “above reproach.” To be above reproach in the area of sexual conduct means, in Paul’s terms, to be “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6). This implies that you are “a one-woman man” – i.e. that you have eyes and desires for no one else but your wife.
Make sexual purity a priority in your prayers, that God will keep you pure. To fail in this area is to violate a trust as a shepherd of God’s people. To fail in this area wreaks havoc in your life. You are to protect the flock of God, not to expose it to danger. You are to be true to the needs of the flock, not to betray it.
Don’t even come close to violating your relationship with the opposite sex. Don’t nudge up to it, don’t toe up to the line. Don’t flirt with it. Don’t encourage someone else beyond what is proper. A violation of this trust puts your whole ministry and testimony at risk – your credibility, your integrity, your trustworthiness as a leader.
Whether we are pastors or lay leaders, Satan wants to gain an advantage over us. He does this by setting traps for us, particularly when we are under stress, discouragement, or loneliness. When you are discouraged with ministry or the Christian life, the danger of moral failure becomes less threatening to you and, thus, more possible.
So, protect yourself from sexual temptation. How can you do that? You can protect yourself from yielding to sexual temptation by building fences. What do I mean by this? Build into your life boundaries that will help protect you from sexual temptation and impurity. For example, (1) build into your routine a recreational activity that reduces day-to-day pressure; (2) spend time with your spouse; (3) never meet with someone of the opposite sex behind closed doors, either in your office or in an empty building; (4) take needed vacations; (5) get sufficient rest; (6) don’t watch movies that might arouse you sexually. Question: What might some other “fences” be?
You can protect yourself from yielding to sexual temptation by considering the potential consequences of inappropriate relationships or sexual conduct. Consider the consequence of forfeiting your children’s respect. Consider the consequences to your marriage, family, and ministry. Consider the consequences to the congregation you lead – such as the sense of betrayal, distrust, or the temptation to follow your example. Consider the consequence of grieving the Lord who died to save you from sin. Consider the guilty memories that may haunt you for the rest of your life.
You can protect yourself from yielding to sexual temptation by developing proper relationships. Joseph considered his relationships with Potiphar and God more important than momentary pleasure (cf. Gen. 39). He maintained his relationship with and respect for Potiphar (“Your husband has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife”) and he maintained his relationship with and respect for God (“How could I do this great evil and sin against God”). This protected Joseph at a moment of extreme vulnerability to sexual temptation.
You can protect yourself from yielding to sexual temptation by acting responsibly and maturely. Inappropriate sexual conduct is the product of irresponsibility and immaturity. Again, Joseph acted responsibly and maturely and wisely in relation to his employer and his job.
You can protect yourself from yielding to sexual temptation by developing and strengthening your own marriage (if you are married). This is probably the best way to guard your sexual purity. So make sure you spend time with your spouse and love her deeply. Make sure that women (if you are a man) know that your wife is #1 in your life. Keep all other women at arm’s length.
Part III. Devotional Thoughts: “Christ Our Example In Overcoming Temptation”
By: Dr. John MacArthur, Pastor
In “Daily Readings from the Life of Christ”
(Moody Publisher, 2008), January 26.
“But He answered and said, ‘It is written...it is It is written...it is written...it is written...’” (Matt. 4:4a, 7b, 10b)
The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed our supreme example for how to resist temptation. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (cf. 2:18). Our responsibility is to consider the many ways He was tempted, look to Him, and follow His example in turning away from sin.
Jesus met the worst temptations Satan could hurl at Him, and He emerged victorious. Now He is ready to share the joy of victory with all His saints. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
The key to our triumph over temptation is to resist it the way Jesus did, by completely obeying God and His Word. Just as in every aspect of the Christian life, we will have success in resisting temptation by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2). Like the hurdler who learns to keep his eyes on the finish line as he runs, thereby not tripping over any individual hurdle, so we must keep our eyes on the ultimate goal – being with our glorious Lord and Saviour forever in heaven.
Ask yourself: God’s Word is such that the more time we spend in it, the more it sinks into us – into our hearts, into our thoughts, into our impulses, reactions, and conversations. Are you mining daily from this treasure? Make sure Satan has to climb over a lot of Scripture to get to you.
Part IV. Sermon Outlines
By: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
I have been publishing a series of sermon outlines on Jesus’ seven supernatural deeds as recorded in John’s gospel. In the last edition of The Net Pastors Journal, we published the last four sermon outlines in that series. Now we begin a new series of sermon outlines on Jesus’ seven significant dialogues (or, discourses) in John’s gospel.
John 3:1-8, Jesus’ Dialogue With Nicodemus (Pt. 1)
Subject: Entering the Kingdom of God
Point #1: What’s the key to entering the Kingdom? (2-3)
1. The kingdom of God has both a spiritual and physical aspect
2. Entry into the kingdom is on the spiritual principle of new birth
Point #2: How does this spiritual birth take place? (4-8)
1. Spiritual new birth takes place through “water and the Spirit” (5)
2. Spiritual birth is entirely different from physical birth (6)
3. Spiritual birth is the universal key to the Kingdom (7)
4. Spiritual birth is like the wind (8)
Related Topics: Pastors