Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
“Marvel not” = aorist imperative – “don’t be shocked, when I tell you, you must be born from above.”
Guest Speaker: Pastor Joe Sugrue
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The religious man believes that newness of life comes from below. He works to impress God from earth so his direction is backwards. The believer has non-meritorious faith in that which comes from above.
There is no need to argue with the religious about false doctrines. Grace overcomes all manner of pride. The ultimate display of grace was at the Cross and so that should be the issue when dealing with religion.
“Be” = ginomai = to come to pass. In other words, he has just said “I have been ignorant of the plan of God my whole life.”
Teacher – didaskalos = master of knowledge. “You’re a master of theology from Sanhedrin seminary and you don’t know these things?”
I’m a poor carpenter that you call teacher from a place of no reputation. You’re a PHD from Sanhedrin seminary and an acclaimed teacher to the Jews, and you don’t know this?
When He says “we” He is identifying Himself with the disciples when the disciples learn after the resurrection. And He is referring to everyone who will learn from them in the Church-age.
“Speak” = to communicate, present – linear – aktionsart of the verb lalew = the preaching of the Gospel and the truth of the mystery doctrine will never stop.
“That which we know” = you have to know something to communicate something. To communicate doctrine you have to know doctrine.
“And testify [witness] what we have seen” = to see in the Word. Perfect tense: keep on testifying, keep on speaking.
“And you receive not our witness” = He accuses religion of negative volition and for that reason His explanation of the gospel will be short and to the point.
“If [first class condition: if and it’s true] I tell you things on the earth, and you do not believe them, how shall you believe if [third class condition: maybe yes, maybe no] I tell you things in heaven?” (Col. R.B. Thieme)
“You are hearing now how to get to heaven but you may not make it.”
He is telling Nicodemus that He could take Him to heaven right now and he would still be confused because he doesn’t understand the issue…
God the Son came to earth to save those who were lost. If it were better for God to take all the humans to heaven than He would have done that, but if He did, people would want to stay there because of how nice it was, but not because of the Savior.
Verse 13 – at the time Jesus spoke no man had ascended up to heaven; “but he that came down from heaven [virgin birth], even the Son of man who keeps on being in Heaven [deity].”
While He is standing there talking to him He was in heaven right now. What is He saying? “I am the God-Man. I am a human being talking to you but I am also deity and omnipresent.”
The people who looked up at that serpent of brass lived; the people who didn’t died of a snake bite. The venom of the snake represents sin. The solution to sin was the cross and those who looked up [illustration of believing] were saved or delivered.
Life could only come out of death. In order for a new creation to begin the old creation must be destroyed. When our Lord died on the cross He put an end to the Adamic race and began a new one.
The Jews who were bitten by the fiery serpents were told to look at the brazen serpent “in faith” and they should be healed. This all was a foreshadowing of our Lord.
The serpent’s seed are said to be unregenerate sinners. The serpent therefore represented the sinner.
The remedy which God provided was a public exhibition of the destroyer (the serpent) on a pole, destroyed.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”
The type chosen was in the likeness of a serpent. It wasn’t an actual serpent but a piece of brass made like one, so the one who is the sinner’s Savior was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh.
The brazen serpent foreshadows Christ only as He was lifted up on the cross. The lifting up pointed to the cross. The serpent was a reminder and emblem of the curse.
In the Scriptures brass symbolizes divine judgment. The brazen altar illustrates this truth for on it the sacrificial animals were slain. Upon the brazen altar descended the consuming fire from heaven.
The serpent spoke of the curse which sin produced. The brass told of God’s judgment falling on the One who was made sin for us.
Brass is harder than silver or gold so it portrayed Christ’s mighty strength.
1) They were not told to manufacture some ointment as the means of healing their wounds.
2) They were not told to minister to others who were wounded and help each other out.
3) They were not told to fight the serpents.
4) They were not told to make an offering to the serpent on the pole. God did not ask any payment from them in return for their healing. Grace ceases to be grace if any price is paid for what it brings.
5) They were told not to look at Moses.
6) They were not told to look at their wounds.
The devil is very pleased when he gets an individual looking at good human works, feelings, self, etc. rather than Christ.
It is interesting that man became a lost sinner by a look!
Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
The significance of a symbol lies in its pointing to something more precious than itself.
No good thing, however good it may be, must be allowed to come between our souls and God!
but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.