Reborn with the Spirit- JOHN 3:5

5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

5 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. In no way does Jesus rebuke or fault Nicodemus—clear evidence that he who knew what is in a man; referring back to JOHN 2:25 – 25 “and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”, hence regards this man’s questions as being wholly truthful and sincere. Again, Jesus explains his former word, evidence that Nicodemus truly has asked for an explanation. Jesus repeats his former word exactly, adding only one phrase and substituting “enter” for “see,” a mere explanatory detail, for only they who “enter” “see” the kingdom. The preposition ἐκ – ek (of) denotes origin and source. The exegesis which separates ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος – ek vdor kai pneuma (of water and Spirit), as though Jesus said ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ ἐκ Πνεύματος – ek vdor and ek pneuma (of water and of Spirit) is not based on linguistic grounds; for the one preposition “of” has as its one object the concept “water and Spirit,” which describes Baptism, its earthly element and its divine agency: of heaven and earth.
The absence of the Greek articles separating the two nouns makes their unity more apparent. The making of two phrases out of one is due to the preconception that the Baptist’s Baptism consisted only of water. Hence, figuratively, the Messiah’s bestowal of the Spirit can also be called a Baptism—yet leaving unsaid how and by what means the Messiah would bestow the Spirit at this point. Therefore, Jesus postpones the possibility of a new birth for Nicodemus (and for all men) into the indefinite future, when he and others may already have been overtaken by death, which is also left unsaid.

In the Baptist’s sacrament, as in that of Jesus afterwards, water is joined with the Spirit, the former being the divinely chosen earthly medium (necessary on that account), the latter being the regenerating agent who uses that medium. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, the latter could understand that the Baptist’s sacrament was being referred; to was of water. Therefore, this was entirely enough, for this sacrament admitted to the kingdom as wholly as the later instituted sacrament of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus also continued to require the Baptist’s sacrament, as in JOHN 3:22 and 4:2, and after his resurrection, he extended it to all nations through his great commission. No need, then, to raise the question as to which Baptism Jesus here had in mind or whether he also referred to his future sacrament. It was but one sacrament which God first commanded for the use of the Baptist, then was used by Jesus, and finally instituted for all people. We are always reminded as in Titus 3:5 “5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”. This applies to this sacrament in all its stages. Jesus tells Nicodemus just what he asks, namely the “how” of regeneration. How is it possible? By Baptism! Nevertheless, Jesus cuts off a second how: How by Baptism? by using the description of Baptism, “water and Spirit.”

Because not merely water but God’s Spirit is effective in the sacrament; therefore, it works the new birth.

Jesus here assumes that Nicodemus knows about the preaching and the baptizing of John. In passing note that the Holy Spirit is here mentioned and that Nicodemus accepts this mention and all that follows regarding the Spirit without the slightest hesitation, as though he knew this Third Person of the Godhead; compare 1:32. Thus this reference of Jesus to Baptism is not understood by Nicodemus as an opus operatum (religious rite), a mere mechanism to apply to the earthly element with whatever formula God had given the Baptist to use, but as being in the Baptist’s entire work vitally connected with μετάνοια metanoia or “repentance.” Strictly speaking, this repentance (contrition and faith) itself constitutes the rebirth in all adults yet not apart from Baptism, which as its seal must follow, for the rejection of Baptism soils repentance and regeneration, demonstrating that they are illusory.
As Christians today, we view these spiritual steps as an imaginary illusion of a presupposed acceptance of God into our lives. However, when we look at what Jesus reveals, there is a psychological shift in our objective views. We have taken the first steps in changing our lives, and the journey moves forward. Like Nicodemus, we are stirred within our objective need for answers as we seek answers. Whether we allow these truths to satisfy our yearnings is a challenge to our logical reasoning and empirical stirrings within our souls.

Jesus makes it clear that rebirth is a new beginning and putting our past behind us, and accepting a new tomorrow. However, many of us hide behind an illusion that we are saved, our hearts are weighted by our need for the world around us, and we compromise. The journey is difficult, for the adversary stands tall against our salvation. The evil entices our secret desires and illicit needs, and we cower in the shadows, satisfying them. The journey calls us to acknowledge our weak state and our minds are easily swayed; hence, the journey is difficult and the battle lies within us.

We preach joyous oratories, which people want to hear, “The Good News”, and no doubt Jesus is the good news of the New Testament, but there is also the reality that we are the “Bad News,” and we need to make it known and accepted that as much as the “Good News” proclaims salvation and redemption, we must begin looking within our selves and begin the battle with our sin and compulsive need of the world.

Wake up and fight the battle. And with each victory, the War will be won.
A War within ourselves to set aside temptation and immorality

Categories: christianity, english, Gospel of John

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Reblogged this on TRUTH-SEEKER and commented:
    makes me think that its more than a subjective action or view but begins within us

    Liked by 1 person

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