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Jesus Nicodemus Snakes Evangelism
John Barnett here. Welcome to our small group study. I can’t believe it’s the 30th week we are studying, it’s going by too fast. As you can see, we’re on week 30. We’re in John chapter 3 right here. What we’re going to focus on, of course the whole chapter but look at this, the greatest verse in the whole Bible. There’s one verse that it seems almost everybody, at least in the English speaking world, has heard of. We can use that to our advantage. It’s almost like the Lord has given us a little entree because most people have heard of John 3:16. They just aren’t sure what it means. What is fascinating is what you see on the left side of your slide. When you think of John 3:16, do you usually ever think of what you see in this picture? Do you think of Moses and a serpent on a pole lifted up in front of people that are dying of snakebite? Without understanding the Bible, without reading the Old Testament, that picture wouldn’t make any sense. Let’s go through this study.
Remember, in my mind, you all are sitting at Panera, or maybe you’re at Starbucks, or maybe we’re at Chipotle, and I’m having a Bible study with just a few of you. I am seeking to give you an overview of the whole Bible. This chapter is one of 52. If you understand and study all of these 52 chapters or passages, you will truly grasp the big picture of the key doctrines, of systematic theology, the doctrine of God, the doctrine of inspiration, the doctrine of salvation, all of the big doctrines. Plus, you’ll see how all the books fit together. That’s my goal.
This is called the greatest verse in the Bible. What I have in front of you is something that I found In the newspaper. It said that it was found in the remains of a WW I soldier that had died. When they emptied his pockets, he had written this on the back of an envelope that he was sending to his mother. It was called the greatest verse in the Bible. This is what he does. This is John 3:16 down this side and this is his comments on the other side. “For God,” the greatest lover. “So loved,” the greatest love. “The world,” the greatest company. “That He gave,” the greatest event. “His only begotten Son,” the greatest gift. “That whosoever,” the greatest offer. “Believe in Him,” the greatest simplicity. [I love that.] “Should not perish,” the greatest security. “But have,” the greatest possession. “Everlasting life.” That’s what you and I have. If you know Jesus Christ, you should have a growing desire to share the hope you have in Christ with someone else. For most believers, and I’ve been a pastor for over three decades, one thing scares people more than almost anything else is witnessing. Standing up for Christ, declaring to others that they’re lost, and they need salvation. This chapter and this verse will be my earnest challenge to you to try and share the Gospel if you’re not already doing it. If you have done it in the past, keep going. If you’ve never done it, get started. Let’s just share the Gospel.
The course, what we’re doing this year is, we’re surveying the whole Bible. We’re using 52 preselected chapters and we’re using the devotional method. You remember, I encourage you to get a journal and all of these things are on our Facebook page. You can actually download the how to do this study, which I pasted on this side of my journal, at our Facebook page. You can download that plus the schedule of everything that we’re studying, down this side. I have those pasted in my journal. If you want to see the tools I use, you can look down in the description of this video. Down there, on YouTube, has links to show you the journal that I like and all the tools I talk about.
This is my 30th week. John 3, I wrote at the top. Then, I wrote the title, the summary of the lessons and my prayer. Right there. That’s what I’ve typed up for you because it’s very hard for you to see it with me holding it up. The main tool we’re using is the MacArthur Study Bible. This has 25,000 footnotes that covers every doctrine in the scriptures and every difficult passage or verse, the ones that people think are mistakes, or errors, or discrepancies. All of them are covered in this study Bible. Then, what I’m holding. Many of you have said, what is that Bible? It’s just a plain Bible. It’s a $19 or $20 Bible, but I just spend a lot of time marking it up. That’s also down in the description of this video, a link to this very type of Bible that has room all the way around the margin for you to write little notes. Also, it’s thick enough paper that the writing doesn’t seep through the page. Plus, it’s compact enough that you can take it with you. In fact, Bonnie and I travel most of the time. I always have a special zipper bag that I keep my journal and my Bible right in. It’s always there. It adds about a pound and a half to all of our flights.
That’s what we do, we do three things. We get a title. We read the passage through, summarize in one sentence what the chapter was about. Let me just read to you John 3. Title: Nicodemus, religion, and the life of new beginnings. That’s what, when I was reading John 3, I wrote all this down this week, that’s what I wrote. Then, you note all the lessons. I’m going to show those to you on a slide. Not just lessons but also trues and doctrines, as many as you can find. If you want to invest the time, use the MacArthur Study Bible to find even more. There are good online resources. The Blue Letter Bible is as an example of a free one. Logos is an app, and you have to pay for it, it’s very good. Here is the whole goal, after we summarize the passage, after we find all those lessons, that application prayer. Do you know why that’s so important? We don’t want to merely be hearers of the word we want to do what God says. That’s what we’re headed toward.
Here’s where we are. Week 30, John 3. There is a title I wrote earlier, on my first time through this. All these titles, what I wrote my very first group. Remember how this started? I was teaching many years ago on how to disciple and I called it Exercises for Biblical Health, or something like that. I said to the congregation, if anybody’s ever not been discipled, I’m starting a group. Boom, so many people responded. I actually, during that first year, which was about five or six years ago, I actually had 10 small groups. It literally so blessed my life. That’s why, now that Bonnie and I are full-time missionaries for the last four years, I have most missed those 10 small groups. You have become a small group. You are the ones that I’m sharing what I’m finding today. I was reading this today and writing in my journal, just like you. Underlining in my Bible, just like you. I’m sharing with you because all of us should be a part of a local assembly, a church, so we can use our giftedness. We should be a part of a small group where there are people that know us well enough, that look us in the eye and ask us how we’re really doing spiritually and what verse are we memorizing. If you’re really memorizing it, quote it to me now. That is the incentive, the motivation to keep going. That’s what Hebrews 10 says, that we “spur one another to love and good works.” We encourage and “exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We’re on week 30, little more than halfway through our journey through the scriptures. Where are we in the harmony of the Gospels? On our website, discoverthebook.org, this is a harmony of the Gospels. It’s the 250+ events. You can download that. I’ve just clipped it. There are 259 events. Where we are is right here. We’re in John’s Gospel, event 24 and 25. Nicodemus visits Jesus at night and John the Baptist tells more about Jesus. You notice that none of these events, the Temptation up here number 18, that’s in the synoptic Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the synoptics. They basically see the same thing. Look, this is the clearest illustration of that. Do you notice that John, all these events that are in the Gospel by John, are not in Matthew, Mark, Luke. That’s why they are the synoptics. That word synoptics, that means they see together. That is such a vivid illustration of the difference between the four Gospels, but that’s where we are.
Why I wanted to show you this is, Jesus is in Bethsaida by the Sea of Galilee, with his hometown being Capernaum. He goes to see Nicodemus in Jerusalem. Think of what that’s like. Let me show you my animated map, so you can see what’s going on. The first miracle, that it was back on that chart we just looked at, was the wedding at Cana. See where it is over there? Then, Jesus moves to Capernaum right up here. This becomes His headquarters. This is where He spent 30 years at Nazareth. He does this miracle at Cana. Then, He moves to Capernaum. Then, He goes to Jerusalem. Coming down, goes to Jerusalem, and there He is down in Jerusalem. Look at this. First, he cleanses the temple, then that’s where we are right now. Nicodemus finds Him at night, comes and talks to Him. Then, He goes through all of these events that you see in the rest of chapter 3.
This is Capernaum. Here’s the synagogue. Peter’s house was right next door to the synagogue, basically in front of it. This is where all the fishing boats were. There were 230 total fishing boats, Josephus tells us, the historian Josephus, during the life of Christ that were fishing the Sea of Galilee. This is one little fishing village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, on the northwest corner. That’s where Jesus made His headquarters. What came down like this, right by Capernaum, was the Via Maris. The great, great Roman highway. That’s just a little picture.
Look where Jesus goes to find Nicodemus. This is Jerusalem. This is the city of Israel. This is the epicenter of Judaism for all Jewish people, the temple mount, a 40 acre platform with the temple itself featured in the middle.
To our journals. My journal right here with all my scribblings, I’ve typed out for you. This time, when I typed it up this morning, I wrote week 30, John 3, Jesus explains the Gospel. Summarizing, Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. Jesus is in an evening visit by a seeking Bible teacher named Nicodemus. By using all the resources I wrote, Nicodemus of the New Testament may have been the Nicodemus known in secular history as Nicodemus ben Gurion. If so, he was the 3rd richest man of first century Israel. His brother was Josephus ben Gurion, the world famous historian we read about today called Josephus. We don’t know who Nicodemus was, but he was a very influential, wealthy, powerful Jewish member of the ruling party of the Sanhedrin. He worked in the temple. He was revered as a Bible teacher. He, through his Bible study, came to the conclusion he had a need. All of his outward conformity to all of the religious standards wasn’t making him have peace in his heart. He comes and finds Jesus.
Here’s what I find. You can look over here in my Bible and I’ll show you. Let me get to John chapter 3. I just start reading, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know You’re a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs.’ “ Remember the whole book, we studied that last week, the whole book of John is built around the seven signs. Nicodemus was saying, yeah, I’ve heard of your signs, like in Cana of the water into wine. In chapter 4, right over here, there’s going to be another one in verse 46. “These signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Look at verse 3, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ “ These three verses, I’m reading along, and I think whoa, we just had a lesson. Go over here to the slides and let me show you the lessons. See right here? Here are the lessons. This is the first one I wrote my Journal. Salvation is by faith, not by study. It’s a supernatural work of God. When I read these three verses, I saw that a man that studied all the time didn’t understand what salvation was. Jesus told him it was a supernatural work. Then in the next verses, salvation involves outward changes. Washed by water, the Old Testament purification. That only happens by the Spirit inwardly in the spiritual new heart. That’s what Jesus covers. Then starting in verse 9, Jesus challenged Nicodemus. Again, this is you looking at the text and putting it into bite sized pieces, like you’re trying to remember what you found. You don’t have to find these divisions. Some divisions are obvious in the scripture, I just do bite-sized pieces. Remember, this study is whatever you can find. You don’t have to do such small chunks as I do. What you’re trying to do is, as you’re reading, mine out truths that you can use, the way you think. That’s why, do you remember I told you the first step is to ask the Lord before you start reading you say, Lord Psalm 119 verse 18. Do you remember that? I’ll write it down. Psalm 119 verse 18. You know what that verse says? “Open my eyes, that I can behold wonderful things from Your law,” from your word.
This morning before I read my Bible, got up real early, It was 5:40 am. I was out there listening to the birds in my outdoor rocking chair, sitting by the fire, and had my pen and my Bible. Before I dove in I said, Lord, open my eyes. Help me to understand your word. Then, right next to me is my journal and my pen. You always have the pen right there, ready to take notes. I started jotting these down.
The next one, John 3:14-15. Jesus became sin (like a serpent) and was lifted up to bear God’s wrath in my place.
That immediately took me to looking in all my resources. First, I looked at the MacArthur Study Bible. Then, I looked in all my other books that I study from. I was looking at what Jesus was talking about. Numbers 21 takes place, it’s the 13th of event in the life of the children of Israel. They were slaves making bricks, then they are called by God and led by Moses to cross the red sea to go to the promised land. Of course, Pharaoh is killed on the way. Marah they’re bitter. At Elim they don’t have water. Rephidim. All of these are events in Exodus. They get through the 40 years of wandering, they come up here and they’re not allowed to enter the promised land. They have to circle back around, go around Moab and Edom, up this Way of the Kings. On the way they’re complaining so much, the Lord poisons them with serpents. That’s how you, as you’re studying your lookup all the cross references, you look up the footnotes, you look up the tables and the maps, you look in the back in the index. You find as much truth as you can. You keep writing it down.
The fifth thing in my journal I found is, salvation is prompted by God’s love. “For God so loved.” The motivation of salvation is the love of God. I wrote that down. Then, verses 19 to 21, I was born loving and seeking darkness, when saved I was drawn to light, and I want any evil exposed and forsaken. That’s just how I think. I was turned from darkness, and I don’t love the darkness anymore. That’s something the Lord changed in me. We’re not supposed to even talk about the unfruitful works of darkness. There are things so bad, not only shouldn’t you do them, or watch them in movies or games, but you shouldn’t even talk about them God says, because we love the light.
The seventh division as I worked on this, John taught that it was God who gives, calls, and blesses ministry. John is talking about John the Baptist, about his ministry and calling. He says that. Then, I love this last one. The testimony of John, Jesus must increase, I must decrease. That’s huge because all of us were born selfish, self-centered, proud. I always, at this point, write sin, S I N; pride, P R I D E, when I’m in small groups. I always have either a placement or a napkin that I’m drawing on because I think in pictures. I have a phonographic mind. In other words, what I see, I talk about, I’m like a phonograph, a record player. Look, Lucifer. What’s the center of sin, pride, and Satan’s name? I. What does John 3:30 say? The cure to the I problem is it’s no longer I, but Christ living in me. He must increase. I must decrease. Less of me, less of my way, less of my wanting my own way, of being the center of my world. That’s what Christ wants to accomplish. That’s what discipleship is all about. That’s what the biblical doctrine of sanctification is all about is less of me and more of him. Jesus must increase, I must decrease. He’s given all of Himself to me, verse 34. I have everlasting life and no longer fear the wrath of God. That was my conclusion from that section.
This is what I call my summary. What I’m doing is, I typed all this out. I wrote a lot of pages because there’s so much in here, especially when I went back to Numbers 21 and I looked at this serpent lifted up, and all that. When Jesus met one of the most religious people of His day, where did He take him? He took him to the Old Testament book of Numbers. Would you ever share the Gospel with someone from Numbers? I wouldn’t. Jesus mastered the art of salvation. He’s so good at it. There are lessons for us to learn. He talks about the mysterious account of the brazen serpent, where we see the promise of salvation.
Here are the ways that I wrote down what I saw reflected. Point number one, God’s sufficiency. The lifted up brass serpent was all that was needed to supply a complete cure. I spent time reading Numbers 21 over and over again, trying to figure out why would Jesus use that with Nicodemus? What I saw is, it shows that salvation is totally of the Lord. The snake on a pole couldn’t save people, but God could. God is the savior. The lifted up brass serpent was all that was needed. It’s because of the sufficiency of God.
Down in the description of this on the YouTube page, I give you a little link. Some of you have never heard of a Gospel tract. A tract is spelled this way, T R A C T. I have so many people that send me messages and they say, how can I get some of your tracks? You know, like your footprints, no, no, no. This is a little piece of paper. This one’s called the promise of Heaven by Crossway Publishers. It’s got scriptures in it. I use that. Let me get my other one I love. Right here, Know Him Personally by SunLife. This is the bridge illustration that shows the chasm of sin. We’re here and Jesus is there. The cross is the bridge. Examples of these are all for you to look at. Most likely, any good Christian bookstore, anywhere in the country could get you these. If you want to see some online, I gave you some links.
Look back to the slides there. Hopelessness. The snake’s venom was deadly. That reminded me of sin. The burning pain. The people who were bitten reminds me of everybody that I see around me. They are all bitten by the serpent of sin and their pain in their life is because of sin. I have the antidote. I’m the one that can tell them about Jesus Christ. His word can set them free. See how important this is? God’s power. One snake on a pole worked no matter how many bites or how bad their condition. I’ll talk about that in just a minute.
Think about the fact of how big the Israelite campground was. There were 3 million, probably, Jews. How do we know that? In the wilderness wanderings, 3 million? Because 603,000 families left Egypt. That means 603,000 times a father, a mother, and after 40 years, probably a couple of kids or three. If it was a family of 5, 3 million people. Do you know how big a campground that would be? If they just were normal sized campground, it would be at least nine miles by nine miles. If they made a campground, it would be nine miles by nine miles. What’s 9×9? 81 square miles. Right here was this pole. That means if you had been bitten by a snake down there, nine miles away it would be a minimum of four and a half miles to the pole. Any spot was five miles, four and a half, to that pole. I don’t think that they could drag people that fast. How would they get them there? The bite of a viper is so quickly acting that people began to writhe and convulse, and are paralyzed. It was happening all over the camp. What’s the message? All they had to do is believe that the pole was there. Wherever it was that they were bitten, someone got down on their knees next to them. Over there, God has a remedy. If you’ll just look over there and believe that God will heal you from the snake bite, He will. That’s what Jesus was telling Nicodemus, salvation is by faith. You believe that Jesus Christ died 2000 years ago on a cross, just like the serpent lifted up. If you look, not four and a half miles, you look 2000 years back by faith, instantly Jesus washes away your sin.
Their personal need. I’m still working on Numbers 21. The antidote was only good for one person. No one could look at the bronze serpent to get another healed. What it said is, each individual had to look in faith. That’s why we have to lead people one by one to Christ. It was God’s perfect solution. There was only one source of hope and salvation that saved people of any age, any family, anywhere in the camp. I like that. There aren’t many plans of salvation, the way this group of people get saved, the way this group of people get saved. There’s one plan of salvation and it’s written down in the Gospel and in the epistles, in the word of God. Of course, Jesus found it in the Old Testament in Numbers 21, but it’s the same message from cover to cover in God’s word. God is reliable. I wrote, the bronze serpent never failed to work, no matter how often they tried it. God’s just reliable. “Whoever calls the name of the LORD,” the scripture says, “shall be saved.” It’s a simple. That’s why one of my favorite tracts is called God’s Simple Plan of Salvation written by, Ford Porter was his name. This Bible teacher of 50, 75 years ago. All of it is scripture. Just find a tract that you like, learn what it says, share it with people, and tell them about Christ. It was an easy, instant look that was required. It had to be at the only source of help. That’s what the hymn “Look and Live, My Brother, Live” is about.
What does the brazen serpent point at? The great similarity between their condition 3,500 years ago and ours today. We’re all infected with a similar deadly infection. We’re in COVID time now, and I think about that because we spend so much time checking whether we have to wear a mask on airplanes or do you have to wear them here, is that a requirement? We don’t want to get the COVID virus. Look. We all share a similar deadly infection, worse than COVID is, we’re all infected with sin. All touched by the poison of the serpents would die, all infected by the S I N are going to die too. You really have to see life that way. Jesus was very binary. Either you’re saved or you’re lost. Either you have the Son or you don’t. Either it’s true or it’s false. He didn’t have middle ground. Jesus said, this moment, you’re either saved or lost. For some of you, you might’ve just happened on this, and you haven’t gone to something else on YouTube yet. Do you know for sure that you have looked at Christ as your only hope, that you have looked at Him as your sin bearer, that you believe He was lifted up and became sin for you? Have you ever called on the name of the Lord? Do you know His salvation?
Secondly, we all have a similar offer of a cure. There’s only one cure. There aren’t many roads to Heaven. Every religion does have a different way because there’s only one way, one truth, and one life. That’s in the scripture. That’s revelation. Not the book of Revelation. The whole Bible is the revelation of God. In other words, He sent it and it’s truth. Do you know what religions are? Man’s attempts to find their own way to God. Every religion has it, you’ve got to give, and go, and do, and try, and hope, and probably you’ll have to do some extra penance or something to get to Heaven. Jesus said no, I paid the whole price. Whoever will call out to Me and receive My free gift has eternal life. There’s only one plan of salvation. The third thing I wrote in my journal, we all share a similar choice. Only God’s way will work.
God’s simple plan of salvation, looking at the bronze serpent was such a wonderful portrait of our salvation. Think of these truths. Salvation is simple. The bitten had to only look up in faith. Salvation is immediate. The antidote was amazing. It immediately, completely healed them. It’s exclusive. The bronze serpent was the only all sufficient remedy. It wasn’t like you could make your own snake. It wasn’t like you could go over there and buy one. There was one. One name “under Heaven given among men whereby you must be saved.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I’m going to show you my Bible. What I have here is what is called the Romans Road. Let me first, let me show you the slide then I’m going to show you my Bible. The Romans road right here on this slide is the simplest, most direct method I’ve ever found to use, at a moment’s notice in pointing someone to Christ. The best way is to start by writing Romans 3:10 on the first page inside your Bible. I’ll show you that in a minute, that’s a reminder of where to start. Then, you turn in your Bible to Romans 3:10 to begin the road of explaining the Gospel. What you do is you put road markers in your Bible. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to read all of these pages, then I’m going to show you me doing it in my Bible. We’ll go back and forth between the two.
Here we go, go to my Bible, and this is what I already told you. I write, let me show you, right in the front, right there, Romans 3:10. I just opened my Bible, put Romans 3:10 so that when someone that I’m sharing the Gospel with, when I want to tell them how to be saved, I have this written down. Romans Road number one, we all have sinned. Look what I have right here by verse 10, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “There’s none who seeks after God.” “Their throat is an open tomb.” Continuing, so we sin by our words, we sin by our deeds. “Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways.” By our habits. “The way of peace we haven’t known.” We sin by neglect. “There’s no fear of God.” We sin by irreverence. What this passage is, it’s explaining from God’s perspective all of us are guilty sinners. Look what I wrote, all have sinned. I have this noted.
Then, see this right here? I have a little arrow and it says verse 23. I move over here, and it says Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I wrote, all are sinners. Then, I look up at the person and I say to them, after I have shown them all these things, I say, I’m a sinner. I’m the worst sinner that I know in the whole. Did you know, you can say that too? Do you know why? I don’t know why anybody else does what they do, but I do know what I do. I know how much I understand of God. I know how far short I fall of God’s standard. I confessed to them, I’m a sinner. I say, yup. You can talk about that. Do you know, we usually, if put on the spot, it’s hard for us to tell the truth because we want to cover up our sin or we’re so easy to be critical of others. We’re so self-centered. The Lord says that selfishness is sin. Impatience is not godliness. You can just go through any of these. We sin by words, by deeds, by habits, by neglect, by irreverence. I say, are you aware that you’re a sinner? That’s an opportunity to know whether you should continue. I meet people all the time that say no, I’m not a sinner. If God is not knocking on their heart; God, while we witness, knocks and that’s called conviction. If they’re not feeling conviction, you don’t need to keep going with sharing the Gospel.
See what I wrote right here? We all are sinners. I go to Romans 5:8. Let’s turn over the page to Romans 5 and verse 8. Here it is. I wrote, point number two. Remember, point number one back here was, we all have sinned. All our sinners. Point number two is, Christ died for sinners. That’s what I’m trying to get across to them. First, we’re all sinners. Are you a sinner? I’m a sinner. Number two, Jesus only died for sinners. You can’t be saved if you’re not a sinner. That’s why Christ died for sinners. Look what verse 8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ died for sinners. I talk about that. There are big sinners, there are little sinners, but the wages of any sin I’m going to show them is death. If they only can find one area… most people say that they’re not loving enough, or they’re not patient enough, or they’re not kind enough, or they don’t share enough. If they can find a little area, we’re all sinners. As soon as you get the door open a crack, that they’re saying they’re sinners, say Christ died for sinners.
See what I wrote right there? Arrow, 6:23. Let’s get over to 6:23. It’s right down here. Look what it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” The third lesson. Number one, all have sinned. Number two, Christ died for sinners. Number three, you see what I wrote? Salvation is a gift. I say, “The wages of sin is death,” so we earn Hell. We can’t earn Heaven, it’s a present. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” I say, what is a gift? I usually have a pen. Usually I have a pen stuck, held on my shirt. I pull it out like this. I say, if I was going to give this to you as a gift, here you go. I offer it to them. I say, go ahead and take it, I’m going to try and show you something. I go like this, I say, reach out and take it. As they reach out and take it I say, that’ll be $50. They smile, and let go, and pull their hand back. I said, if you have to pay, it’s not a gift. Think about that, because a lot of people think they’ve got to pay God back. They’ve got to be good enough. They got to balance out their big pile of sins with doing a lot of good stuff. No, look at this. Salvation is a gift.
Do you see what I have right next to it? Right there by 6:23, a little arrow. What does it say? 10:9-13. What’s that? Romans 10:9-13. Here we go, turn over to Romans 10:9-13. ” That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” Look what it says in 13, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ “ That’s pretty absolute. Do you see what I wrote by that number? For all have sinned. Jesus died for sinners. Salvation is a gift. Number four, ask Jesus to save you. Do you know what I say to people after I discussed with them about who Jesus was, that He’s God in human flesh, that He died on the cross, bearing our sins, and explaining all that. I even draw little pictures, I’ll show you. When I get all done with that, do you know what I say? This is what most people never do. The difference between most people sharing the Gospel and those who lead people to Christ is, most people just share the Gospel, they’re just keep throwing stuff out and telling them everything the Lord did, what the Bible says. They just keep talking. They never stop and say, look right at the person and say, is there anything that would keep you from asking Jesus to save you right now? Do you realize you are a sinner? Do you believe Jesus died for sinners? Do you realize He’s offering a gift to you right now? You can’t pay for it. It’s priceless. It’s a present. You just have to call out to Him. You have to ask Him to save you. What would keep you from calling on the Lord right now? That’s what a soul-winner does.
Look back at my slides. I’m going to show you this and if you want a copy of this, it’s on our website. It’s at discoverthebook.org. If you go to the about us tab on the website, there’s one there that says what we believe. Right there is all this wording of how to lead someone to Christ. It even has a prayer of how you can call on the name of the Lord, discoverthebook.org. Back to the slides, Romans 3:10-18, write, all are sinners. I go through these verses. That we sin by our words. That’s what I tell them right there. We sin by our deeds. You saw that written in my Bible. We sin by habits. We sin by irreverence. Therefore, we’re all sinners.
Then I write, go to, Romans 5:8. We get to Romans 5:8 and see that’s there. I say that Christ died for sinners. This is what it says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners.” “We’re reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” Jesus took my place. I explained that to them. We now received reconciliation, that’s imputation. His righteousness placed upon us. It isn’t a race. You want them to understand what you’re talking about? Usually, you’ll sense it. The Spirit of God really gives you great joy in tracking with a person to see if they understand.
Here’s what I usually draw. You can see it on the screen. I say this is when I was born. Six years after I was born, right here, I heard the Gospel. It’s an awful lot of years, it’s 59 years later, here is today. Here is my last day, when I am buried, and I go to Heaven. This is when I was born. This is when I die. This is my life. I say Jesus Christ on the cross paid for all my sins from birth, to the moment I called on the name of the Lord, through today, all the way to the last day of my last moment of my life. Jesus paid it all. When did He pay that? Here is me. Here’s the cross 2000 years ago. Here’s 2021. Jesus paid for my sins from when I was born, to when I was saved, through today, to the last day of my life. That one sacrifice paid for all those sins. You have to explain all that to them, show them what you mean, and talk about the free gift.
Next, salvation is a gift. You write, by Romans 6:23, the gift of God. That’s where I say, if you want my pen, I’m going to charge you for it and show them. Then, ask Jesus to save you. It’s the critical part. So many never lead some to the Lord because they never asked them, what would keep you from asking Jesus to save you? Then I show them, “confess with your mouth.” Believe in your heart. “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The scripture says whoever believes on Him and “whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Look at this, if God is at work, you will sense it. I’ll never forget one person I was explaining this to. I was holding my Bible up like this and I was reading to them. When I glanced up, we were standing up; when I glanced up, they were gone. I looked and there they were, one of the most dramatic conversions I’ve ever seen. They got down on their face on the ground and they said, I can’t believe God would forgive me of all my sins, I’m a very great sinner, I would like this. I had to get down on my knees by them. I couldn’t stand up. I led them to the Lord. They were a trophy, like anyone you lead to the Lord, of God’s grace, to see the Lord do that.
On our website I have this prayer. Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. There’s nothing I can do to save myself. I confess my helplessness to forgive my own sin or work my way to Heaven. At this moment I look on Christ alone as the One who bore my sin. This is from a Gospel tract somewhere, that I read. I love it. You can get that on the website or buy a tract and find one you love. As best as I can, I now transfer: my trust to Him. I’m grateful He promised to receive me despite my many sins. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you’ll walk with me through the valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
That’s our study of John chapter 3. There’s so much, if you get involved with your study Bible and look up the serpent in the wilderness and Nicodemus, and look up the doctrine of salvation in your study bible, of imputation and reconciliation, and all those things, you’re going to have a very big week.
Don’t forget, write Romans 3:10 in the front of your Bible. Mark the Romans Road. By some Gospel tracts. Then, do what I do as a habit. I take a tract and I fold it up. I put it in my wallet. I say, Lord, help me to have a divine appointment to share the Gospel this week. He always gives me one. What happens is, there’s someone that’s so friendly, they just are above and beyond. They’re just talking. Finally I say to them, here’s what I usually do, I say hey, if this building collapsed do you know for sure that your sins are forgiven? We’ve had collapsed buildings in the news this year, tragedies. There was one in Washington, DC. There was one down in Miami. I don’t know where else. They look up and they think about it. I say, if this building collapsed do you know for sure your sins are forgiven? Would you go straight to Heaven or are you not sure? I pull out the tract and I share as much of the Gospel as I can. Then I give them the tract.
Let me pray this prayer. You can see it on the screen. This is my application from this whole week. You could tell this was a great week. Lord, I’m so glad You talked to Nicodemus that night. I too have questions, and You always patiently answered. I believe that You have saved me, washed me, put your measureless Spirit into me. May you increase as I seek to decrease. Thank You for Your love and eternal life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Have a great week. Enjoy your time in the word.
I have three quick assignments, challenges. Number one, find someone you can share your findings with, your journal. Maybe you can show them how to mark their Bible and how to lead someone to Christ. I remember once showing someone how to lead someone to Christ. In the middle of it they said to me, I’ve never received Him. They didn’t know that I knew that. I was saying, this is how you lead someone to Christ, I wanted to see if the Holy Spirit was convicting them. Right in the middle of us writing it in our Bibles, they called on the name of the Lord. Find someone to share this with.
Number two, you notice that a lot of these verses I kept quoting, I would look up and keep quoting. Why don’t you start a scripture memory plan? That’s the best way to have the word of God in your mind, ready to share. You’ll never believe how often the Lord will prompt you with a previously learned verse, you’ll just remember it and share it.
Finally, pray for us. What we’re doing right now, teaching this class is what we do all day, literally. I slip into my office to start preparing at 7am and I prepare all day long. Bonnie feeds me. All day we are preparing classes, and taping classes, and teaching. I do this at night. It’s actually, if you could see in the studio, Bonnie’s sitting over there, it’s getting dark, it’s getting late, but you’re my small group. Pray for us. We’re scheduled this fall to be in Europe and in Asia. The COVID regulations seem to change every day. They keep opening and closing countries right now. The countries we’re going to one is still open. The other one has closed, but they’re opening back up. Just pray that we’ll get everywhere the Lord wants us to be to teach next generation students, encourage and mend those frontline servants of the Lord.
Next week we’re going to be in John 10. Can’t wait. Have a great week in John 3. God bless you.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
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Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.