CHANGING DEATH INTO LIFE
The Need of the Moral
Scripture Reading: John 3:1-10, 14-16
John 3:1-10 and 14-16 say, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This one came to Him by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher…Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and 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. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born anew. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said to him, You are a teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things?…As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.”
- Pharisee /ˈfærɪsiː/ 法利赛人
- Nicodemus /ˌnɪkəˈdiːməs/ 尼哥底母
- Jews /dʒuː/ 犹太人
- Rabbi /ˈræbaɪ/ 拉比
- womb /wuːm/ 子宫
- marvel /ˈmɑːrvl/ 【动】感到惊奇
- blow 【动】（风）刮；吹
- will 【动】愿意
- lift 举起
- serpent /ˈsɜːrpənt/（尤指）大蛇
- perish 灭亡
THE CENTER OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is easy to touch and to read. It is the most precious thing in Christianity. The value and the power of the Bible are unparalleled by any publication among mankind, and it has a transcendent place in religion and in literature, even though it does not focus on literature. The Bible also has a place in science, even though it does not focus on science. From every perspective the Bible has a special place.
- Christianity /ˌkrɪstiˈænəti/ 基督教
- unparalleled /ʌnˈpærəleld/ 【形】无比的；绝无仅有的
- publication /ˌpʌblɪˈkeɪʃn/ 出版物
- transcendent /trænˈsendənt/ 卓越的
- place 地位
- literature /ˈlɪtrətʃər/ 文学
- perspective /pəˈspektɪv/ 观点
Regrettably, many people have a superficial and detached understanding of the Bible. They know that the Bible affects individuals, societies, countries, and human culture, but they know nothing concerning the content of the Bible or the center of the Bible.
- Regrettably /rɪˈɡretəbli/ 【副】遗憾地
- superficial /ˌsuːpərˈfɪʃl/ 【形】表面的；肤浅的
- detached 【形】冷漠的
- affect /əˈfekt/ 影响
- individual 【名】个人
- society 社会
There are sixty-six books in the Bible, but there is only one subject, one center. The Lord Jesus is the subject and center of the Bible. Without the Lord Jesus the Bible is merely an empty shell. The Bible has reality because it has the Lord Jesus. Therefore, in order to understand the content of the Bible, a person must know the Lord Jesus.
- subject 主题
- merely 【副】仅仅；只不过
- shell 壳
THE LORD JESUS BEING WONDERFUL
Beginning with this chapter, we will select several portions from the Bible that show who the Lord Jesus is and that explain His relationship with man.
- beginning with… 以…开始
- select 选择;【同义】choose
- several /ˈsevrəl/ 几个
- portion 部分
Many people think that the Lord Jesus was merely the founder of a religion. Others think that He was a reformer. Still others think that He was a man who had profound thoughts and a noble morality. The different views that people have concerning the Lord Jesus are inaccurate. I hope that we would set these views aside and consider what the Bible says concerning the Lord Jesus.
- founder 创建者
- reformer 改革者
- profound /prəˈfaʊnd/ 【形】深远的
- noble 【形】崇高的
- view 看法
- inaccurate /ɪnˈækjərət/ 【形】不准确的；【反义】accurate
- set…aside 把…放在一边
Suppose there were a famous person who was far away from us both in time and in space. How can we know him? We cannot rely on rumors, for they are unreliable. If we want to know this famous person, we must read a reliable biography concerning him. There are four books in the Bible that concentrate on the life of the Lord Jesus. These books—the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of John—can be considered the biography of the Lord Jesus. These four books describe the Lord Jesus.
- suppose 假设（位于句首）
- rely on 依靠
- rumor /ˈruːmər/ 谣言；传闻
- unreliable /ˌʌnrɪˈlaɪəbl/ 【形】不可信赖的
- reliable /rɪˈlaɪəbl/ 【形】可信赖的
- biography /baɪˈɑːɡrəfi/ 传记
- concentrate 【动】集中（注意力）
- be considered 被认为
- describe 描述
Four books are needed to describe the Lord Jesus because the Lord Jesus is so wonderful that He cannot be described by just one book. The Lord Jesus has at least four aspects. These four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—each record a different aspect. The first three Gospels show the Lord Jesus as a perfect man who became our Savior. The Gospel of John, however, is greatly different from the first three Gospels. The Gospel of John says that the Lord Jesus, who is the best of men, is God. He is the God who was from the beginning and who created the heavens, the earth, and all things, including mankind. Before the heavens and the earth, before all things, and before mankind, He was. He was God in the beginning, that is, in eternity without beginning. One day He became flesh; He was found in fashion as a man and lived among men. He is God who was in the beginning, but at a certain point in time, He took on a physical human body and became a man so that He could be among men.
- record / rɪˈkɔːrd/ 【动】记载
- eternity without beginning 无始的永远
- fashion 样式
- certain 某个
Outwardly, He was a man, but inwardly, He was God. Hence, the Lord Jesus is wonderful. If we look at Him from the outside, we will say that He is merely a man; but if we know Him from the inside, we will know that He is God. When He was on the earth, His disciples saw Him merely as a man. They knew who His mother was and where His home was. They saw Him rest when He was tired, eat when He was hungry, and drink when He was thirsty. The Lord Jesus had emotions; He expressed pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy. In all respects He was a man. However, He displayed extraordinary wisdom and authority when He spoke, and He had an extraordinary ability to do things. No man could invent the things that He said, and no one could do what He did. Therefore, upon hearing and seeing Him, His disciples often asked, “Who is He?”
- disciple 门徒
- in all respects 在各方面
- display 展示
- extraordinary /ɪkˈstrɔːrdəneri/【形】非凡的
- ability 能力
- invent 发明
- upon doing… 在做……时
The Gospel of John answers this question for us. It begins by telling us that this perfect man, Jesus Christ, is the God who was in the beginning; He is the God who created all things and through whom all things came into being (1:1-3). The Gospel of John then demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is omnipresent—He can see a person who was in another place, far away from Him (vv. 47-51); He is omnipotent—He can change water into wine, which is to make something out of nothing (2:1-11); and He is also omniscient—He knows what is in man (vv. 23-25). He is the eternal God coming to be a finite man. He became a man in order to be among men so that man may have God’s grace and see God’s truth; He became a man so that man may have God’s life and see God. This is the content of the Gospel of John.
- demonstrate /ˈdemənstreɪt/ 证明；证实
- omnipresent /ˌɑːmnɪˈpreznt/ 无所不在的
- omnipotent /ɑːmˈnɪpətənt/ 无所不能的
- omniscient /ɑːmˈnɪʃənt/ 无所不知的
- finite /ˈfaɪnaɪt/ 有限的
THE PEOPLE WHOM THE LORD JESUS CONTACTED
In chapters 1 and 2 the Gospel of John demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is God. Then it immediately presents the kinds of people whom the Lord Jesus contacted when He was on the earth. The Lord Jesus contacted thousands of people, and it would take too much time and space to write an account concerning each person. Therefore, John selected some typical cases to represent man’s condition.
- demonstrate /ˈdemənstreɪt/ 证明；证实
- present /prɪˈzent/ 【动】展现
- account /əˈkaʊnt/ 【名】叙述
- typical /ˈtɪpɪkl/ 典型的；有代表性的
- case 事例
- represent /ˌreprɪˈzent/ 【动】代表
In chapters 3 through 11 the Lord Jesus contacted eight kinds of people. The first kind of person whom the Lord Jesus contacted was a moral person in chapter 3. The second kind of person whom the Lord contacted was an immoral person in chapter 4. The third kind of person whom the Lord contacted was an impotent person in chapter 5. The fourth kind of person whom the Lord contacted was a hungry person, as shown in chapter 6. The fifth kind of person whom the Lord contacted was a thirsty person, like the people in chapter 7. The sixth kind of person whom the Lord contacted was a sinful person in chapter 8. The seventh kind of person whom the Lord contacted was a blind person in chapters 9 and 10. The eighth kind of person whom the Lord contacted was a dead person in chapter 11.
- moral /ˈmɔːrəl/ 有道德的
- immoral /ɪˈmɔːrəl/ 不道德的
- impotent /ˈɪmpətənt/ 无能为力的
These eight kinds of people represent the different people who contacted the Lord Jesus when He was on the earth. These eight kinds of people represent the different kinds of people in the world. Hence, their conditions represent the conditions of all humanity, and their needs represent the needs of all humanity. The Lord Jesus could solve their problems; hence, He can solve the problems of all humanity. The Lord Jesus could meet their needs; hence, He can meet the needs of every person.
- represent /ˌreprɪˈzent/ 【动】代表
- hence 【副】因此
These eight kinds of people represent the different kinds of people on the earth and the condition of every person. Everyone wants to be moral but inevitably has an immoral and dishonorable living. Everyone has a desire to do good but lacks the ability to do good. Everyone is discontent with life and hungry. Worldly pleasures leave everyone empty and spiritually thirsty. Everyone lives in sin and is a slave to sin. Everyone is blind in the eyes of his heart and does not know God, himself, his source, his destination, or the meaning of human life. Everyone is dead in his spirit, having lost the sense of God; no one is able to sense God or know spiritual things.
- inevitably /ɪnˈevɪtəbli/ 不可避免地
- dishonorable /dɪsˈɑːnərəbl/【形】不光彩的；【反义】honorable 高贵的
- discontent /ˌdɪskənˈtent/ 不满足的 【同义】dissatisfied 【反义】content 满意的
- leave 【动】让…处于（某种状态、某地等）
- spiritually 【副】属灵地
- slave 奴隶
- destination /ˌdestɪˈneɪʃn/ 终点
- sense 【名】感觉
These eight conditions are the condition of every person in the world. Only the Lord Jesus can solve these conditions. Moreover, only the Lord Jesus is sufficient to supply the needs that are generated by these conditions. Let us now consider the first kind of people whom the Lord contacted—the moral.
- sufficient /səˈfɪʃnt/ 【形】足够的；充足的
- generate /ˈdʒenəreɪt/ 产生