Saving Love-God Loves You-Love God Back (Sunday School April 9, 2017)

Lesson 15
April 9, 2017
International Subject: Saving Love
U.H.S.C. Subject: God Loves You—Love God Back
Lesson Text: John 3:1-16

1. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
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. 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.
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?
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.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
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.
9. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10. Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
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?
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.
14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.

Lesson Outline
I. Nicodemus Meets Jesus (John 3:1-3)
II. Nicodemus Engages Jesus (John 3:4-8)
III. Jesus Critiques Nicodemus (John 3:9-16)

Lesson Setting
Time: 27 AD
Place: Israel
General Theme: “And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” — John 1:51

Explanatory Synopsis

Jesus was a threat to the religious and political authority of his day. It was not the man they feared but his message and spirit. The message of Christ, in every age, is liberation. The system cannot allow liberation to the common man and woman. Liberated souls will not conform to the tends masterminded behind closed doors by the powerful elite.

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin council. The Sanhedrin was the highest authority of the Jews in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. Even the High Priest served at the pleasure of the Sanhedrin. The council was concerned that Jesus was stirring up too much trouble. He was causing the people to question their authority. Nicodemus, and a few other members, knew that God was truly using Jesus. They wanted to know more.

Don’t be a Nicodemus. Nicodemus represents enlightenment constrained by fear. He represents love of position over love of God. Nicodemus could not be seen with Jesus. He had an image to uphold. How many of us are a Nicodemus? How many of us saints, pastors, ministers, and mediums are remaining silent as Father Hurley’s doctrine slowly erodes before our eyes?

Some theologians call Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea “secret disciples.” They followed the teachings of Jesus in secret, while maintaining their public positions. Are you a secret disciple? Are you a Hagar at church and a Christian among your friends, family, and significant others? Have you compromised your walk with Father Hurley in hopes of a position in the church? God forbid. Get in position with God within. Walk with Christ in the light, not in darkness.

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