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Sermon #5410

Except a Man be Born Again

A Sermon on John 3:3


John 3:3 ESV KJV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on John 3:3 titled “Except a Man be Born Again,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws attention to an incredibly common Christian phrase: born again. What does it mean? In order to answer such an important question, he turns to Christ’s encounter with Nicodemus. Nicodemus comes to Christ at night, enquiring about the source of His power and how a person can be saved. However, before Nicodemus can ask his question, Christ confronts him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains why Jesus confronted the Pharisee in such a way. Christ did so because He cannot be approached as an intellectual equal. This is why Nicodemus is confused when Jesus says a person must be born again. Nicodemus cannot understand this spiritual birth Christ is speaking of because he is of the flesh. The flesh, fundamentally, cannot understand the Spirit. Here, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the meaning of being born again. It’s when a believer confesses their sin and their need for Christ. It is an impossible act through the flesh, and only made possible through God. In closing, Dr. Lloyd-Jones extends the offer of salvation to those who have yet to believe, and reminds Christians of the great love they have in Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Jesus interrupts Nicodemus and tells him he must be born again to see the kingdom of God.
  2. Being born again means having a new start and new life. It is not improving what you already have or adding something extra.
  3. Everyone must be born again, even religious and moral people like Nicodemus. No one can enter God's kingdom as they are.
  4. We must be born again because we are naturally opposed to God and spiritual truth. We love darkness rather than light.
  5. The kingdom of God is spiritual and requires spiritual understanding and a relationship with God. Natural human thinking cannot comprehend it.
  6. God's thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. We cannot understand heavenly and spiritual things with our natural minds.
  7. The only way to be saved and enter God's kingdom is through believing in Jesus, who was lifted up on the cross like the serpent in the wilderness.
  8. Being born again is a mystery, like the wind. It is the work of God's Spirit, not something we can do ourselves. We can only recognize our need for it and ask God.
  9. We can recognize our need for the new birth by acknowledging our spiritual ignorance, blindness, and helplessness. We must cease trying to understand and measure God.
  10. The signs of the new birth include believing Jesus is the Son of God, believing in His atoning sacrifice, having spiritual understanding, and finding joy in God's truth.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.