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[PRINT HERE] John 3 (1-25-17) Lecture Notes

St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church

Wed Night Bible Study

JOHN 3:16-21

Dr. E.C. Gregory, PhD – Bible Facilitator                                1-25-17                               Dr. H.T. Rhim, Pastor


John 3:16-21 (KJV) 
16 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 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. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

3:16.  God’s motivation toward people is love. God’s love is not limited to a few or to one group of people but His gift is for the whole world. God’s love was expressed in the giving of His most priceless gift—His one and only Son (cf. Rom. 8:332). The Greek word translated one and only, referring to the Son, is monogenē, which means “only begotten,” or “only born-one.” It is also used in John 1:14183:18; and 1 John 4:9. On man’s side, the gift is simply to be received, not earned (John 1:12-13). A person is saved by believing, by trusting in Christ. Perish means not annihilation but rather a final destiny of “ruin” in hell apart from God who is life, truth, and joy. Eternal life is a new quality of life, which a believer has now as a present possession and will possess forever (cf. 10:2817:3).

3:17. Though light casts shadows, its purpose is to illuminate. Though those who do not believe are condemned, God’s purpose in sending His Son is salvation (to save), not damnation (to condemn). God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:2332). He desires that everyone be saved (1 Tim. 2:42 Peter 3:9).

3:18. The instrumental means of salvation is believing in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. But people who reject the light of the Logos are in the dark (1:58:12) and are therefore already under God’s judgment.

3:19. Men love darkness not for its own sake but because of what it hides. They want to continue undisturbed in their evil (ponēra, “wicked”; cf. v. 20 which has a different word for evil) deeds. A believer is also a sinner (though a redeemed one), but he confesses his sin and responds to God (cf. 1 John 1:6-7). In the ultimate sense, man’s love of darkness rather than God the Light (John 1:510-111 John 1:5) is his love for idols. He worships and serves “created things rather than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25).

3:20. Just as natural light shows up what is otherwise unseen, so Christ the Light exposes people’s deeds as “evil.” (The word “evil” here is phaula [“worthless”], also used by John in 5:29.) Unbelievers have no ultimate meaning of life, no worthy motivation, no adequate goal, and a destiny of doom. Yet everyone who does evil hates the light (as well as loves darkness, 3:19). He fears that if he comes to the light his deeds will be seen as worthless, and he would need to turn from them.

3:21. Jesus is like a magnet. His people are drawn to Him and welcome His revelation. Though the light rebukes their sin, they respond in repentance and faith. They live by the truth (cf. 2 John 1-243 John 14).


The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.

Midnight Encounter with Nicodemus

John 3 (12-21-16) Lecture Notes

St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church

Wed Night Bible Study

JOHN 3:1-8

 Dr. E.C. Gregory, PhD – Bible Facilitator                            12-21-16                               Dr. H.T. Rhim, Pastor


John 3:1-8 (NLT) 
 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.
 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.
 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.
 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’
 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”


3:1. Nicodemus was a teacher (v. 10), a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. The Sanhedrin had 70 members who were responsible for religious decisions and also, under the Romans, for civil rule.

3:2. Why did Nicodemus go to Jesus at night? Because of fear? John did not say why. Nicodemus began, Rabbi, we know You are a Teacher who has come from God. Nicodemus wanted to talk to Him as one Rabbi to another.

3:3. But Jesus was not on the same level with Nicodemus. He is “from above” (anōthenv. 31); therefore Nicodemus must be born “from above” (v. 3anōthen). To be born again or born “from above” is to have a spiritual transformation which takes a person out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God (cf. Col. 1:13). 3:4. Nicodemus was certain Jesus did not mean something ridiculous (such as a reincarnation or a second physical birth), but yet he did not grasp the nature of regeneration.

3:5. —SIX REFERENCE VIEWS TO WATER IN “REBIRTH”)—…being born of water and the Spirit:        (1) The “water” refers to the natural birth, and the “Spirit” to the birth from above (from God). (2) The “water” refers to the Word of God (Eph. 5:26). (3) The “water” refers to baptism as an essential part of regeneration. (This view contradicts other Bible verses that make it clear that salvation is by faith alone; e.g., John 3:1636Eph. 2:8-9Titus 3:5.) (4) The “water” is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). (5) The “water” refers to the repentance ministry of John the Baptist, and the “Spirit” refers to the application by the Holy Spirit of Christ to an individual.   (6) The fifth view was “Water” would remind Nicodemus of the Baptist’s emphasis. So Jesus was saying that Nicodemus, in order to enter the kingdom, you needed to turn to Jesus (repent) in order to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

3:6-7. There are two distinct realms: one is of fallen man (the flesh) and the other is of God (the Spirit). A fallen person cannot regenerate himself; he needs a divine operation. Only God’s Holy Spirit can regenerate a human spirit.

People should not stumble at or reject the importance of Jesus’ words. They must be born from above.

3:8. This verse contains a wordplay which cannot be adequately expressed in English. The Greek word pneuma means both wind and Spirit. The work of the Spirit (pneuma) is invisible and mysterious like the blowing of the wind (pneuma). Man controls neither one.

Only Through Jesus

[PRINT HERE] John 4 (4-12-17) Lecture Notes

St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church

Wed Night Bible Study

JOHN 4:1-26

Dr. E.C. Gregory, PhD – Bible Facilitator                     4-12-17                                       Dr. H.T. Rhim, Pastor


The story of the nameless Samaritan woman at the well, recorded only in the Gospel of John, is a revealing one, full of many truths and powerful lessons for us today. The story of the woman at the well follows on the heels of the account of Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and prominent member of the Jewish Sanhedrin (John 3:1-21). In John 4:4-42) we read about Jesus’ conversation with a lone Samaritan woman who had come to get water from a well (known as Jacob’s well) located about a half mile from the city of Sychar in Samaria.

This was not just an ordinary woman. She was a Samaritan, a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. This is evidenced by the fact that she came alone to draw water from the community well when, during biblical times, drawing water and chatting at the well was the social highpoint of a woman’s day. However, this woman was hated and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth man in a series of men.

The story of the woman at the well teaches us that God loves us in spite of our total sinful lives. God values us enough to actively seek us, to welcome us to a relationship with Himself, and to rejoice in our worship. As a result of Jesus’ conversation, only a person like the Samaritan woman, an outcast from her own people, could understand what this means. To be wanted, to be cared for when no one, not even herself, could see anything of value in her—this is grace indeed.

But there are many other valuable truths we glean from this story. We learn that:

1) Only through Jesus can we obtain and receive eternal life: “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14); cf. John 14:6).

2) Jesus’ ministering to those outcasts of the Jewish society (the Samaritans) reveals that all people are valuable to God and that Jesus desires that we demonstrate love to everyone . . . including even our enemies (John 4:7-9); Matthew 5:44).

3) Jesus is the Messiah (John 4:25-26; 1-41Matthew 27:22Luke 2:11).

4) Those who worship God, worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24Psalm 145:18).

5) Our testimony about Jesus is a powerful tool in leading others to believe in Him: “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world”’ (John 4:39-42).

Additionally, we learn from Jesus’ dialogue with the woman at the well three absolute truths about salvation:

1) Salvation comes only to those who recognize their desperate need for the spiritual life they do not have. Living water can be obtained only by those who recognize that they are spiritually thirsty.

2) Salvation comes only to those who confess and repent of their sin and desire forgiveness. Before this immoral woman could embrace the Savior, she had to concede the full burden of her sins.

3) Salvation comes only to those who take hold of Jesus as their Messiah. For the absolute truth is that salvation is found in no one else (John 14:6Acts 4:12).

In his encounter with the woman at the well, Jesus broke three Jewish customs: first, he spoke to a womansecond, she was a Samaritan woman, a group the Jews traditionally despised; and third, he asked her to get him a drink of water, which would have made him ceremonially unclean from using her cup or jar.