Jesus Part One The Birth of Baby Jesus by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Most of us enjoy Christmas. We have the food, carols, family, the gifts, just to name a few.  But what about those that don’t have family, or their families are to far apart.  What about those who must plan Christmas for another day due to work obligations or custody arrangements. The list goes on. We be amiss not to mention the homeless who have no one at Christmas.

The point here is that most people forget the real reason for the season.

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The Good Samaritan Part Two by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Last week we studied the parable of “The Good Samaritan”  Now that you have had a week to let it sink in, has your opinion of homeless changed?  If not, stay with us today and let’s see if we can change your mind.  If your opinion has changed, stay with us and I am sure you will learn a thing or two.

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The Good Samaritan Part One by Crossing Barriers Ministry

If a friend, family member, co-worker, or a fellow church member were to be come homeless, most of would offer to do something to help that person.  It may be a village that moves to help that person, but we all be part of it I would hope.

So, what is the difference between that scenario and helping a homeless person you pass on the street.  Now I understand there are some that present themselves as homeless that are not but what about the true homeless.  Are you the ones that cross the road or are you the Good Samaritan?

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Life According to … Week 27 Friends by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Friends! Maybe once in your lifetime, you meet a person, and you just click—you’re comfortable with them, like you’ve known them your whole life, and you don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything. Quoted by an unknown author.  A year or so back I was working a ministry event with someone who was a great friend.  It had been a bad morning, other volunteers not pulling their weight and I was getting the bad end of the stick.  As I went to do my next assignment, this friend came up beside me, no words just slid a bottle of Pepsi on the counter and walked away.  It was this action that made the rest of the day go easier.

Stay with me as we learn how friendship is the final secret of life.

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Life According to … Week 26 Finances by Crossing Barriers Ministry

About ten years ago, I started a new fresh life in MO.  I build up from the ground, but I also was able to live comfortably, slightly above the paycheck-to-paycheck stage.  Generally, I had money left over and was ready for minor emergencies should one show itself. Then when I got married, I managed to help my wife to get to that point and now she is a month ahead on all her bills. I started the Dave Ramsey method and had hit the milestone of first $1,000 savings and started paying down debt.  Then the pandemic came along.  Instead of falling to the pandemic, we made it work for us.  We built up our savings and started a long-term savings as well.  Recently we had to discontinue paying down debt due to decrease in income and two major auto repairs that are paid. We feel financially okay but could be better.

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Life According to … Week 2 “Family” by Crossing Barriers Ministry

How many families do you have? I have my biological family which consists of my mother three siblings, an aunt, and several other relatives in that family tree.  Now I also have my married family consisting of my wife and me; five siblings and their significant others; and four grandchildren.  Then I have my church family as well I have my Missouri Disaster Relief family. Stay with me today and let me show you how to bring all these families together as a secret of life and attach it to the secret we learned last week.

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For the One Week Twenty-one Nicodemus by Crossing Barriers Ministry

You have a friend that might believe in God but not sure. The same friend might not believe all that we do but still hangs onto it by a thread.  He is still on the other side of the river.  Can you get your friend to cross the bridge to your side?  Stay with us and find out how.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world in this way; He gave His one and only Son; so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

We have come to the end.  Eighteen weeks we have been studying characters from the bible and the tools they had to evangelize.  We have been basing this on a book by Dr. Danny Forshee with the same title as our series For the One.

We start off with Jesus’ confronting Nicodemus with the truth in John 3:3:

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.

“Truly, truly” is a common expression to introduce Jesus’ teaching or a traditional saying.  The phrase functions on what Jesus is about to say.

The “Kingdom of God” refers to as Nicodemus see it as a new universal reign for the Messiah.

Daniel 7:12-14

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

For Jesus, using the phrase “Kingdom of God” refers to transitioning from the earthly kingdom to the heavenly kingdom.

We are told that Nicodemus is a Pharisee who is a member of the 70-member Sanhedrin, the ruling, and religious and political body in Jerusalem. We are also told that he came to Jesus by night most likely so others would not see him.

Dr. Roy Fish, an evangelistic professor tells us the following characteristics of a Pharisee:

Narrow

Has a thorough, strict, and narrow interpretation of the law

Dogmatic

Interpreted the scriptures in their tradition and not open to another although Nicodemus was open somewhat.

Believer in Supernatural

Pharisees believed in heaven, resurrection of the dead, afterlife, angels, and demons.

Formalist in Religion

Concerned with formalism, legalism, and liturgy.  They more focused on the religion than in the relationship of knowing God personally.

Teacher & Ruler in the Synagogue

It is believed that Nicodemus came to faith in Christ as recorded in:

John 19:38-40

And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, 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. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred-pound weight. 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.

G Campbell Morgan, another evangelist states that Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus took place in three stages:

Face to Face

John 3:2-3

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. 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.

Mind to Mind

John 3:4-8

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? 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 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.

Heart to Heart

John 3:9-21

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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.

Today’s verse presents a concise summary of the gospel message, tying the events of Jesus’ death to God’s love for the world He created. The statement is remarkable in its depiction of divine care for the entire world. Not just His chosen people, referring to Israel.

“One and only son” is derived from the Greek word “monogenes” translated meaning one of a kind.

 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

So, as we close out this message today, lets recap this section of the scriptures:

Instruction – Jesus instructs Nicodemus  in these verses John 3:11-13

Illustration – Jesus illustrates for Nicodemus who He is and what His purpose in coming to earth in verse 14.

Salvation – This is the key to being born again – the key being faith or belief Verses 15 & 16

Light has come – Verse 17 tells us about God’s love for humanity

Believers – Salvation is for believers in verses 18 & 21

Condemnation – for non believers in verses 18-20

As we closed out this series, lets recap what we have learned:

We started with Jesus being the teacher, preacher, and molder of man. We looked at John the Baptist who was handpicked to pave the way for Jesus’ ministry.  As well we followed the following:

The Paralytic

Andrew

The Samaritan Woman

Apostle Peter

Apostle John

Apostle Phillip

Nathaniel

Matthew

The Centurion

The Syro-Phoenician Woman

The Woman in John 8

The man with the withered hand

We studied the Rich Young Ruler

Right before Christmas we studied Mary, the mother of Jesus

Last week we studied the Leper

Each one of these explored different aspects of evangelism in biblical time and we should all have some tools from these lessons that we can use in today.

God sacrificed His son for our sins

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