Don Heberly
by Bro. Don Heberly
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"E X C E P T" - 1

John 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." --- John 3:3.

These are the words of Jesus to Nicodemus when he came secretly to Jesus. Nicodemus was of the elite of Israel as far as 'religion' was concerned.

He was a Pharisee. The largest of the Jewish sects. Robert Young gathered that they were known for self conceit, long prayers, paying unnecessary tithes, fasted often, made broad their phylacteries, and held to traditions. Paul referred to them as the strictest of their religion (Jewish, that is), Acts 26:5.

To Nicodemus Jesus said: ". . . except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.", and again "Ye must be born again." There is no sidestepping the 'new birth'. Peter referred to the recent converts "As new born babes, . . .", I Peter 2:2.

Nicodemus heard Jesus on previous occasions, and now is hearing Him about the need and way to be born again, John 3:3-21. He obviously believed it and trusts Jesus as Saviour, as John 7:48-51-53 sees Him defending Jesus to the officers, 45. Later, he joins with Joseph of Arimathaea in burying Jesus when his disciples were no where to be found, John 19:38-42.

I'm sure when Jesus said: "Except a man be born again . . .", John 3:3, Nicodemus believed on Him, even as it is said in John 3:15: ". . . whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Nicodemus likely was of the same stripe as other Pharisees, Paul included, who thought they were righteous by what they did or didn't do in human activities.

Jesus' word says "..That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.", Matthew 5:20. Nicodemus did not come behind other Pharisees in their righteous practices for he was ". . . a ruler of the Jews . . ." John 3:1. He needed ". . . the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: . . .", Romans 3:22. He found it, and so can all who read this - - - if they haven't already been living within it's blessings. DDH

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