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Lessons To A Pharisee

In the minds of many, the Pharisees at the time of Christ's first coming were anti-Christian. That is true, but some Pharisees not only were converted into Christians, they became very prominent in the early Christian Church. The Pharisee Saul, later known as the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), certainly is included in that category. Another is the Pharisee Nicodemus to whom Christ gave two of His most well-known teachings i.e. "born again" and the very-often quoted "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" of John 3:16.

The proof that Nicodemus became a believer is also evident in that he was one of the two men who placed the Christ in the tomb after His sacrifice:

"19:38 And after this Joseph Of Arimathea, 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. 19:39 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. 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." (John 19:38-42 KJV)

"I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"

Christ's "born again" teaching to Nicodemus is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of Christianity. Many Christian-professing people claim to be "born again" now, despite Christ's words that born again means to actually become spirit. That's what salvation from mortality is all about.

Zion

"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 [see When Will You Be Judged?]. 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." (John 3:1-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: By what means are Christians conceived now, awaiting a future birth?
See Spiritual Conception


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