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Summary: Jesus and Nicodemus now get down to the nitty gritty about being born again.

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John 3:1-18

“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said,

“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

“You should not be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?

“Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

“I have spoken to you (pl) of earthly things and you (pl) do not believe; how then will you (pl) believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven - the Son of Man.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:4

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Now, that’s a good question! We don’t even want to contemplate what that would look like!

John 3:5-6

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

This verse 5 has caused more than a little theological debate about whether baptism is necessary for salvation or if it is a testimony of salvation which has already occurred. But we’ll leave that discussion for some other day.

However, the “born again” theme is relentless throughout the NT.

Born again - New birth - New creation

John 3:6

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Jesus is answering Nicodemus’ question here. Nicodemus is thinking in the realm of the physical world. Jesus is speaking of the spirit within a person, the spiritual realm.

Nicodemus is asking, “Is it possible for me to go back into my mothers womb and come out again as a brand new me, with no history and everything starting over fresh again?”

Some people would love that!

If the doctor made a mistake during delivery and maimed the baby

If the mother was an alcoholic or drug user during pregnancy and the baby was born with deformities or neural disorders

If the child was raised in a home of hatred and abuse

If the child was raised on the edge of starvation while the parents partied

If the child’s parents divorced and they always wondered if it was their fault

So many things could make a person want to go back into their mother’s womb and start all over again.

But, Jesus is thinking on an entirely different plain.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) says,

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come!”

Not just the old one reborn for a new start but an actual new spiritual creature!

Titus 3:5 (NASB) says it this way:

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”

So, what should this new creation or new creature look like?

Should we have different attributes?

Eagles see better than humans.

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