Made Alive Part 1 Study Guide .pdf
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Made Alive Part 1 - The Essence of the New Birth
Text: John 3:1-12
The essence of the new birth is that God takes spiritually dead people and makes them alive.
The new birth makes a person BRAND NEW. It is not about ‘turning over a new leaf’ or
‘finding religion’. The new birth is not moral rehabilitation, but it’s spiritual regeneration.
Before the new birth we are dead IN sin, but after the new birth we are dead TO sin and
alive to God
In the new birth people are transformed and not just conformed. The new birth begins
inwardly and works outwardly, not the other way around. The new birth is about
relationship with God, not rules of a church. The new birth is about a spiritual work of God,
not the works and self-‐effort of ourselves.
THREE FACTS ABOUT THE NEW BIRTH
1. The New Birth Is Not A Guarantee For Anybody
A. Being Religious Doesn’t Make You Born Again
Nicodemus was: A Pharisee, A Member of the Jewish Ruling Council, and Israel’s Teacher.
Nicodemus was a very religious man. He learned the scriptures from a child and did all of
the religious works that he could, yet Jesus said he needed to be born again.
This means we can be good people, moral, do religious works, hold positions in church.. yet
NOT be born again!
B. Your Natural Birth Doesn’t Make You Born Again
There are two things that mattered to Nicodemus and in Judaism: 1. Their birth as a child of
Abraham, and 2. The fact they were born in national Israel automatically made them a
recipient of covenant with God.
Jesus is in essence telling Nicodemus here that it doesn’t matter if you are born a Jew in
Israel or not, that no longer guarantees you a covenant with God. In order to be a part of
what God is doing, he must be born again.
This means we can be born into a Christian family, in a Christian community, and in a
Christian nation yet NOT be born again
2. The New Birth Is How You Experience The Kingdom of God
Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again to ‘enter’ and to ‘see’ the kingdom of God.
A. The kingdom of God is not about establishing an earthly entity, but entering into a spiritual
The Jews were looking for a political leader to over throw their oppressors and set up Israel
as a physical kingdom, but Jesus came not as a political leader, but as a spiritual leader to
overthrow spiritual oppressors and set up a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of people.
B. The kingdom of God (heaven) is not about getting off of the planet, it’s about advancing this
spiritual kingdom into the hearts and lives of people on the planet
Jesus isn’t talking to Nicodemus about going to a place called heaven when he dies, but a life
called the kingdom that he could live right now!
The kingdom of God is the dominion and power of God coming into the earth and taking
authority through supernatural means, bringing salvation, deliverance, healing, life and
C. A spiritual kingdom requires a spiritual birth
3. The New Birth Was Foretold In The Old Testament
Jesus told Nicodemus that he should not be surprised of this saying because Nicodemus was
‘a teacher of Israel.’ As a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus knew that the scripture foretold of
what God would do through the Messiah in bringing spiritual regeneration.
God’s ultimate plan was NOT the Law of Moses. The law of Moses was only temporary
UNTIL Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 8:6-‐8, 13
The New Birth was promised to God’s people in the Old Testament scriptures, scriptures
that Nicodemus KNEW very well, and ultimately these promises were fulfilled through
Questions and Reflections:
1. Why do you think a powerful, religious man like Nicodemus came seeking something
2. According to this lesson, what is the essence of the new birth?
3. Explain in your own words what it means to be born again? How would you explain it to
4. In your own words, what does it mean to be ‘dead to sin and alive unto God’?
5. In the parable in Luke 18:9-‐14, why do you think that the religious man (Pharisee) went
away lost, while the tax collector went away justified?
6. What do you think it means to ‘see’ and ‘enter’ the kingdom of God?
7. How does it change our focus when our idea of the Kingdom of God changes from just
‘going to heaven’ to ‘manifesting the kingdom on earth’?
8. What are ways that believers today can show that they belong to the kingdom of God?
8. Why was the Law of Moses only temporary? What part does the Holy Spirit play in your
9. Why should Nicodemus have known about the promise of the new birth?
10. What difference do you think being born again would have helped Nicodemus? How has
the new birth helped you?