You must be born of water and the Spirit

Posted by admin on 25 September 2022 in John |

John 3:4-8 (NIV 2011)

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!’

5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” 8 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.’


I. The Spirit gives birth to spirit (4-8) 

Nicodemus interpreted rebirth literally and thought of physical rebirth (4). So, Jesus explained in v5-8 that rebirth is

  1. the prerequisite of entering the kingdom of God (5a).
  2. ‘of water and the Spirit’ (5b).
  3. not by flesh but by Spirit (6, 7), invisibly done like by the wind (8).

II. Born of Water and the Spirit (5)

Here, water is related to the baptism of repentance. Immersing in water during the baptism means my old self is dead in the Flood. That is, being born of water is the human side of action and means repenting one’s sins, and declaring one’s old self is dead in the Flood.

What about ‘being born of the Spirit’? It is God’s side of action and means forgiveness of sins and one’s spiritual cleansing & renewal by the power of God.

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