Friday, June 05, 2009
THE BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE - PART 5
We will continue our study on "The Born Again Experience" looking in John 3:5.
But first, let's review our passage thus far. In John 3:1-4 a religious leader of his day Nicodemus is talking to Jesus, and Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. So the main message of our complete text (John 3:1-8) is concerning being born again. We studied this in John 3:3.
Now let's look at John 3:5.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
There are 3 interpretations (views) of what it means to be born of water and of the Spirit:
View 1) The Roman Catholic view and some of her sister Protestant churches: that through baptism and the act of the priest one is born again. This view is not Biblical because salvation, including being born again, is all of grace (God's unmerited favor), and is not of works.
View 2) That the water is the Word of God/the gospel and accompanied by the Spirit, one is born again.
View 3) that being born of water refers to our first birth through our Mother, and the Spirit is the Spirit at work in regeneration - being born again.
This view, which we believe is the biblical view, is repeated in the next verse (verse 6).
What our text IS saying by Jesus is: of a truth, unless one is born again, they cannot be in the kingdom of God.
What is the kingdom of God?
Remember our study in verse 3?
Being in the kingdom of God is to be born again: "Righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17).
All of us have been born once by our Mother. But Jesus tells us that we must be born twice to know Him - being born again (born from above). We can know that we have been born again when we forsake all false religion (any religion that adds or takes away from the Bible), and that we are looking to Christ for ALL of all salvation!
By Craig Miklosik