Water and Spirit

The Bible records an interaction between Jesus and the Pharisee Nicodemus in John 3:1-21.  Nicodemus came to Jesus at night.  The reason never stated, but fear of the Jews represents the likely cause for the dark hour.  Nicodemus presents a conclusion regarding Jesus identity and then he asks two sets of questions based upon the responses of Jesus.

First, Nicodemus stated that Jesus came from God and the signs which He performed verified that conclusion (vs. 2).  Often men see evidence, but refuse to accept it.  Jesus fulfilled a great number of prophecies in coming to man – Deuteronomy 18:18, Isaiah 7:14, 9:1-7, 32:1-4, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9-12 to note a few.  The Jews had been looking for the messiah.  They knew the signs and some accepted Jesus as Messiah.  However, the majority did not readily or openly embrace Him due to fear (John 7:13, John 11:48, John 19:38), hatred (John 15:18-23), or ignorance (Acts 17:30).  Unlike the men who do not act upon the evidence of God in creation (Romans 1:19-24), Nicodemus chose to embrace the evidence surrounding Christ’s origin and seek further knowledge (Matthew 7:7).  The Bible records all the evidence man needs to accept Christ (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The question for man today revolves around whether or not man chooses to accept or reject Christ.

Second, Jesus comment to Nicodemus (“Truly, truly, I saw to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”John 3:5) caused Nicodemus to ask how exactly a man could be born again.  Nicodemus’ mind focused on the flesh and fleshly birth.  However, Jesus spoke of the birth of the spirit.  The spirit of man needs to be born again because when man sins his spirit becomes dead to God (Genesis 2:17, Romans 3:23, 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-5, Colossians 2:13-14).  The question must therefore be how does this rebirth occur?  It occurs by water and the Spirit according to Jesus.  The Lord furthermore compares this teaching to the wind.  Man does not understand wind in complete.  Yet, he acknowledges the existence of wind because he sees the evidence of it.  Man also cannot see a spiritual birth, but this does not make it any less real as its evidence certainly exists.  Of necessity, this requires faith.  As Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Since Nicodemus recognized Jesus as coming from God, the concept of a rebirth should not have been questioned, but accepted by faith.

Finally, Nicodemus still not comprehending the concept of rebirth asks, “How can these things be?” (John 3:9)  Jesus expresses disappointment that Nicodemus cannot grasp concepts beyond the physical.  Through the Old Testament a teacher should have been able to discern the identity of Jesus as the Messiah.  In such discernment, adherence to Jesus Words would be paramount.  Unfortunately, the Pharisees did not grasp onto the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus makes it clear in verses 13-21 that those who do not believe in him love the things of the world and do the deeds of it.  By not believing on Jesus they can be judged to be of the world.  Those who do believe on Jesus would by necessary inference follow the teachings of Jesus and act accordingly.  Their actions judge them according to eternal life and salvation.

Taking the passage of Nicodemus and Jesus and examining it, the conclusion derived must be to believe on Jesus and His Word.  Jesus makes it clear this involves obedient deeds which verify one does believe.  Consequently, when Jesus says “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” man needs to accept such a teaching in faith and act.  Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles that they might receive “all truth” (John 16:13).  Knowing all truth, Peter told the Jews on the day of Pentecost to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).  Their dead spirits became born again out of a spirit of obedience to Christ and their bodies born out of water – A birth of water and spirit just as Jesus spoke.  This scene occurs throughout the book of Acts (Acts 2:38, 8:36-38, 9:18, 10:47-48, 16:15, 16:31-33, 19:15, 22:16).  Peter also told Christians in 1 Peter 3:21 – “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”.  The apostle Paul realized once he was alive, but he died with sin (a spiritual death – Romans 7-9).  When man washes himself in Christ through baptism, he dies to sin and becomes alive once more (Romans 6:5-11).

When someone truly believes, Christ said their deeds of obedience show it.  They will be born of water and spirit through baptism.  Where do you stand with Christ?  Are you choosing to reject Him as much of the world does, proclaiming you believe but continuing to walk in a futile way of life (Ephesians 4:17-19)?  Or are you choosing to demonstrate your believe through obedience showing your love for Christ (John 14:15)?  It is widely believed that Nicodemus examined the evidence and ultimately chose to be faithful to Christ, what have you done with the evidence before you?

Romans 6:16 – “Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

This entry was posted in Travis Main and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.