I. WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH IS BORN OF GOD.
A. When Nicodemus asked Jesus how a man could be born again, Jesus answered, "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."
1. Here we find the word whosoever related again with being born of the Spirit or of God.
2. Whosoever opens the door wide for anyone to come.
3. Jesus said: "All that the Father hath given unto Me shall come unto Me, and he that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out."
4. In Peter's message to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, he quoted from the prophet Joel:
And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
5. As Peter preached to the people gathered in the house of Cornelius, he said:
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
6. Paul writing to the Romans declared:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
7. The last invitation found in the Bible is,
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
8. I can remember singing as a child, "Whosoever surely meaneth me."
B. Being born of God entails, "Believeth that Jesus is the Christ."
1. The word Christ means anointed, and is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word, Mashiyach.
a. The idea is one who has been anointed by the Lord as king or priest.
b. Both of these offices involved anointing with oil.
[It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
c. Concerning David we read,
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
2. So the Jews were looking for the Messiah who would be anointed by the Lord as the King over the nations.
3. There were many prophesies as to the glory of His reign.
4. One of these prophesies is found in Isaiah
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
a. Note His names,
1. Wonderful counsellor
2. Mighty God
3. Everlasting Father
4. Prince of Peace.
5. Believing that Jesus is the Messiah is then believing that He is the Wonderful Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
6. This is why believing that Jesus was just an angel is not really believing that He is the Christ.
7. He is God, He was manifested in the flesh. "Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifested in the flesh."
C. Those who believe that Jesus is the Christ are born of God.
1. Born again by the Spirit of God into the family of God.
2. If I ever hope to enter heaven, I must be born again.
3. Jesus said this to a man who was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, also a teacher of Israel.
a. If someone could make it without being born again, surely Nicodemus was a shoe in.
b. He was a Pharisee, that means he was very religious.
c. He was a Jew, that means he was of the covenant people.
d. He was a teacher, that means he was fully cognizant of the law.
4. Paul who also possessed the same credits declared,
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
5. We have been born of God into the family of God. Speaking of Jesus, John said,
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But 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.
6. Peter wrote:
Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
II. "EVERYONE THAT LOVES HIM WHO BEGAT."
A. We have just shown that we have been begotten by God into the family of God and thus have received this living hope.
a. John tells us that if we truly love God, you also love those who have been begotten by God.
b. That is, your brothers and sisters in Christ.
c. We are all a part of the same family.
B. This is the continuation of the theme that John began in the last chapter as he spoke of the love that we are to have for each other.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
C. If I truly love God who has begotten me into His family, I must also love all of the others who He has called to be a part of His family.
1. I have often wondered how Jesus must feel when He sees all of the factions in the body of Christ.
2. The fighting and the bickering must bring pain to His heart.
3. May God help us that we do not insist that everyone dot their i's and cross their t's just as we do before we can receive them as a brother or sister in Christ.
4. There are some things on which we must stand, but there are so many others where we need to be flexible, and I can surely accept a difference of opinion.
a. Will the church go through the great tribulation?
b. I personally have a strong belief that we will not.
c. Others have an equally strong belief that we will.
d. The difference of opinion should not divide us.
e. Are the gifts of the Spirit valid in the life of the believers today?
f. These issues have nothing to do with my salvation.
g. My positions certainly bring me more joy and blessing, but believing otherwise will not keep them from being a part of the family of God.
h. Is Jesus the Messiah? Now this is one of the issues that determine whether I am a part of the family, and is of utmost importance to my salvation. There can be no compromise.