Hi beloved, Iím glad to be back to share Godís word with you. Weíve been discussing the born-again topic that Jesus and Nicodemus had in John chapter 3. The reason for the detailed explanation is to feed you enough information to prepare ministers to answer every question that maybe asked by someone who is inquisitive.
Jesusí Second Explanation of being Born-again
Nicodemus does not seem to understand that he must be born-again spiritually to see the kingdom of God. So he thought about what Jesus had said and asks if he can re-enter his motherís womb a second time and be born-again (John 3:3,4)
We understand that biblically itís not a relational experience. Itís not by human effort either. However, Jesus decides to give Nicodemus a second explanation. Jesus said, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5)
Born of Water and of the Spirit
In order for us to thoroughly understand this phrase, ďborn of water and of the SpiritĒ we need to realize that physical tangible wet water- we drink and shower with is not what Jesus was referring too. Tangible wet water will not convert or supernaturally transform our human invisible spirits so we can become a child of God or see a spiritual kingdom thatís invisible.
So what did Jesus mean by saying, ďbe born of water and of the Spirit?Ē Jesus meant it figuratively. Letís look at some bible passages that will give us a clue as to what Jesus meant.
Water- symbolic to mean Salvation
Jesus used the word ďwaterĒ symbolically when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in reference to Salvation she can experience. Jesus said to her, whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14)
Jesus was inviting this Samaritan woman to receive Salvation by symbolically stating that He has unique water that will cause her never to be thirsty again. But that the water He is symbolically offering her will spring up inside of her bringing her everlasting life.
Making sense of it
Itís no coincidence that Jesus tells Nicodemus in John chapter 3, ďexcept a man be born of waterÖĒ Then in John chapter 4, Jesus says,ÖĒBut whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14)
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman he was talking about Salvation. He just used different approaches because the Samaritan woman is not well versed in Old Testament scripture as Nicodemus is. So Jesusí point of discussion was birth out of His physical thirst that open the door for a spiritual conversation. Ministers need to be open to smoothly enter into a spiritual discussion without being overbearing and obnoxious. We are to win souls not chase them away.
So what does it mean to be born of water? Itís to experience a supernatural refreshing touch of God that Jesus is offering- its everlasting life with God.
1. Jesus is one agent- born of water.
2. The Holy Spirit is the other agent- and of the Spirit.
John gave us a little more clarity in his letter. John wrote, For whosoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth (1 John 5:4-6)
Reading Johnís description in his letter, we clearly see that Jesus is mentioned as the symbolic water and blood. Secondly, by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, we overcome the world through our faith in Him. John tied together being born of God with overcoming the world through our faith in Jesus Christ who came by water and blood.
1. So being born of water- means being born through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. And of the Spirit- means the Holy Spirit.
Flesh is Flesh- Spirit is Spirit
Just in case Nicodemus didnít catch the symbolic meaning and revelation, Jesus goes on to explain that being born physically is totally different than being born-again spiritually. By saying, ďthat which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6)
Jesusí third Explanation
Nicodemus didnít seem to understand the first explanation, that he must be born-again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus was patient and kind enough to go on with a second explanation; ďexcept a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Jesus made the second explanation clearer by making a distinction; that which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). Jesus was clearly showing that the born-again experience is a supernatural experience. However, Nicodemus was still in the dark. Jesus doesnít give up trying to explain this encounter, thank God! We could use the clarity.
Jesus very patiently gives Nicodemus a third explanation in hopes that he will get the spiritual and biblical idea of this supernatural experience.
Jesus said, Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born-again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:7-8 NKJV)
Making it Simple
Jesus said, ďDo not marvelÖĒ, in other words, be shocked, surprised or puzzled that you must be born-again. The wind, the air that moves, is invisible. You can feel it. You can hear it. You cannot see it. If it carries a scent, you can smell it. We donít know where it comes from or where itís going.
The natural wind moves the big limbs of a tree. A violent whirlwind will rip a house to shreds and flip over trucks, cars, buses and even great ships on the sea. We cannot deny the natural winds presence, power and reality even when we cannot see it.
Everyone that is born-again by the invisible Spirit of God is touched by a supernatural wind that dramatically changes their lives. You can feel it within you in your human spirit. You can sense it doing something you never felt before. You can feel it drawing you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You can feel it moving you to desire godly things. You can feel the change from being in the kingdom of darkness to becoming a child of God and entering into the kingdom of light.
Jesusí Aim as a Teacher
Jesus thought that Nicodemus will reflect his theological knowledge on the Old Testament scriptures. On how the Spirit of God moved upon the waters of the deep during creation and produced dry ground (Genesis 1:2). Or how the wind, the air that was breathed into the nostrils of Adam during the creation of man gave the first man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7), and this same wind could have given him a new spiritual life in the kingdom of God.
Jesus was hoping that Nicodemus would draw an Old Testament parallel by considering what happen to Elijah when a whirlwind transported the Prophet into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).And how Ezekiel the Prophet saw a vision of a valley full of dry bones. And God told Ezekiel to prophesied, speak to the Breath, the wind, and say, Thus said the Lord God, come from the four winds, O Breath, and breath upon these slain, that they may live (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in simple scriptural terms that he can identify with if he would have placed a little mental effort to visualizing the parallels to Godís Spirit working in the Old Testament. But Nicodemus said, ďhow can these things be?Ē (John 3:9)
The Teachers Reproof
Jesus answered and said to him, are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? (John 3:10)
In other words, you donít understand the bible? You donít know what the scriptures say about these things? You donít know that in the Old Testament that you Pharisees study that the Spirit of God is the finger of God, the hand of God, the arm of God, the wind of God and the breath of Almighty God? You canít perceive the idea that this is a spiritual- supernatural experience Iím trying to point out?
1. I gave you simple illustrations.
2. I thought you could have connected the dots of scripture that will draw you the picture.
3. I thought you could interpret these terminologies and easily parallel them to what Iím saying.
4. Why canít you comprehend these truths?
5. Why canít you gather this information that your Pharisees College doesnít teach?
6. Why is it hard for you to realize that you must be born-again?
7. Didnít they have a course on spiritual regeneration as Jeremiah and Ezekiel predicted?
8. Didnít they have a course on miracles, signs and wonders of the supernatural?
Jesus concluded by stating these explanations were simple; Verily, Verily, I say unto you, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you do not receive our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:11-13)
The scriptures are on the earth. Nicodemus had studied them constantly as a Pharisee and a teacher of Israel. Yet, he failed to comprehend the concept of being born-again.
Jesus came from heaven, miraculously born of the Virgin Mary. He was performing many miracles by the power of God. Jesus walked on the earth in Godís image and likeness. Nicodemus recognized the amazing character and authority that Jesus operated under. Jesus told him he must be born-again to see the kingdom of God. He had trouble believing what Jesus was saying to him.
I pray that you wonít have a hard time believing in this, in Jesusí name, amen. Part 4 will be my next article. May God Bless you to teach this topic powerfully.