Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

What does Born Again mean? Why born of water & spirit? – Bible view

What did Jesus mean by ‘born again‘?
How does the Bible explain born of water and spirit?

How does one be ‘born again’?

In this blogpost, we’re explore the Bible definitions and explanations of some of the words used to describe the new birth in Christ.

– What Jesus said to Nicodemus

– How does one be born again?
– What is eternal life?
– What did Jesus mean by born again‘?  What was Jesus referring to?
– What does Son of God mean to Nicodemus & people in Israel at that time?

– Born of water
– Born of the Spirit

– What are some of the signs/evidence that one is truly born again?

– What does Son of Mankingdom of God,  eternal life mean to Nicodemus & people in Israel at that time?
– Conclusion

(each section in this blog is self-contained, please feel free to jump to the section that’s of interest to you)

Premise of this post:
Its best to explain the Bible with the Bible itself.  The Bible is written for anyone and everyone to read and understand.
God speaks through God’s word by the Holy Spirit.  God’s word has power and life, … unlike man’s words.
Our faith is rooted on God’s seed — God’s unchanging word.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing
by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Its also important to note the context of the passage, and what it meant to the original hearers who first heard it during their time.  In this case, its Nicodemus, a Pharisee.


What Jesus said to Nicodemus

The term born again‘ appears in the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee in John 3.
Let’s first read this passage,

John 3:3-7, 12, 13, 16-21 (NASB)
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher;
for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

From what Nicodemus heard about Jesus’ teachings and signs,
he acknowledged God was with Jesus.  The Spirit of the Lord was upon Jesus.

Jesus answered and said to him,
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless one is born again
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

As a Pharisee, Nicodemus was devout, virtuous, and knowledgeable of the Scriptures.
However, Jesus informed him that he needs to be born again.

(Nicodemus did not opened the conversation with a question.
Jesus answered the questions on Nicodemus heart (the reason for his night visit) without him asking)

Nicodemus said to Him,
“How can a man be born when he is old?
He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb
and be born, can he?”
 

i.e. based on our understanding of  natural birth — born of the flesh.

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

That which is born of the flesh
is flesh,

and that which is born of the Spirit
is spirit
.
 

Do not be amazed that I said to you,
You must be born again.’

12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended into heaven,
but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

Jesus informed Nicodemus where He came from — descended from heaven
Jesus is the Son of Man.
In the next part of the conversation, Jesus informed Nicodemus He is the Son of God,
the Savior of the world.

16 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.
 

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
 

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world,

but people loved darkness
instead of light
because their deeds were evil.

20 Everyone who does evil
hates the light,
and will not come into the light
for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
 

21 But whoever lives by the truth
comes into the light,
so that it may be seen plainly
that

what they have done
has been done
in the sight of God.


my Redeemer lives


How does one become born again?

First, let’s introduce Jesus, the Son of God, and the Good News (Gospel).
here’s what Paul said about Jesus:

God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 
The Good News is about his Son.  (Jesus)
In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line,
 

and he was shown to be the Son of God
when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.
It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

17 This Good News tells us
how God makes us right in his sight.
This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say,
It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Romans 1:2-4, 16,17 (NLT)

Jesus’ name carries the meaning: ‘The Lord (Yahweh) is Salvation’
… you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins Matthew 1:21 (NASB)

As summarised in John 3:16,
For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone
who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (HCSB)

When one is ‘born again‘ –> one receives eternal life, one is saved by Jesus
God makes us right in his sight, through faith
in Jesus.
Everyone who believes in Him,
receives life with God, a living relationship with God.

Referring back to verses in John 3:16-21 (read earlier),

To be born again:
believe in the name of God’s one and only Son
, Jesus,
and turn from darkness, evil thoughts & deeds
–> to live by the truth of God’s word and light

And having a God consciousness & reverence for the Lord
that everything we do is done in the sight of God
i.e. follow Jesus & keeping God’s word daily.

Referring to verses in John:3:3-7 (read earlier),

When one is
born again 3:3  =  born of water and the Spirit 3:5
one then
see the kingdom of God 3:3 
& enter into the kingdom of God 3:5

i.e. We enter the kingdom of God through Jesus,
and experience the spiritual realities in the kingdom of God
by submitting to the authority of God and His laws
by His Spirit in God’s kingdom.

There’s no other way, only one way,
‘You must be born again.’ 3:7

Jesus said,
Light has come into the world.

In the natural, we need light in order to see & experience the natural world around us.
In a dark place, someone needs to switch on the light,
in order for us to see.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”  John 8:12 (NASB)

Jesus is the light for us to see, understand and experience the kingdom of God,
and God’s Truth;
so that, the eyes of our heart may be enlightened  Ephesians 1:18 (NASB)
to know, understand and experience the spiritual realities in the God’s kingdom personally,
anytime, anywhere.

Dear friend, God loves you deeply.
If you have not come to know Jesus yet,
or are not sure of your relationship with Jesus,
right now, wherever you are,
you can know Jesus personally to receive eternal life.
Here’s how to believe in Jesus:

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved. 

10 For it is with your heart
that you believe  and are justified,
and it is with your mouth
that you profess your faith and are saved.
 

13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved
.”
Romans 10:9, 10, 13 (NASB)

because He lives


What did Jesus mean by eternal life?

Jesus said,
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.

John 3:16 (NASB)

Jesus explained,
 Now this is eternal life:

that they know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom you have sent.
John 17:3 (NASB)

eternal life = personally know the only true God and Jesus Christ,
i.e. having a living relationship with God through Jesus,

Thus upon believing in Jesus, one receives eternal life  now,
life from the Lord, and life with the Lord
— a child of God.

Eternal life is not
— something we receive in the future
— not a booked flight to heaven, the afterlife.

Eternal life is a friendship with God,
as God’s child.

We receive this through prayer,
as John explains
11 And the testimony is this, that

God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son.
 

12 He who has the Son
has the life
  (has – present tense, i.e. right now)

he who does not have the Son of God
does not have the life.

13 These things I have written to you
who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know
that you have eternal life.

 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him,
that, if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us.
 

15 And if we know that He hears us
in whatever we ask,
we know that we have the requests
which we have asked from Him.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come,
and has given us understanding so that we may know Him
who is true;
and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. 
This is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5: 11-14, 20 (NIV)

Save, sōzō … What are Christians saved from? (click here)


What did Jesus mean by ‘born again’?  What was Jesus referring to?

In Jesus conversation with Nicodemus,

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?
John 3:9, 10 (NASB)

Jesus answered Nicodemus that as a teacher of God’s word, Nicodemus would have understood what Jesus meant byborn again‘.
Hence, somewhere in the Old Testament the ‘born again’ experience from God is described, or prophesised.

The prophet Jeremiah prophesised about the New Covenant in Jesus,
which was later explained by the writer of Hebrews in the New Testament,

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 

33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord,

“I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it;
and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they will all know Me,
from the least of them to the greatest of them,”
declares the Lord,
“for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34 & Hebrews 8:8-12 (NASB) 

By Jesus blood — our relationship with God
is a covenant relationship.

This is confirmed in Ezekiel’s prophecy

 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you
from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit within you;

and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
 

27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
 

28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers;
so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
 

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)

God said:
I will cleanse you
I will give you a new heart
I will put a new spirit within you
I will put my Spirit within you
I will be your God
My law within them and on their heart, … to walk in My statutes, and  observe My ordinances
they will all know Me
— new convenant

This is what one receives, when one is born again of water and spirit
— to live out God’s word by God’s Spirit in the real world, everyday life.

Therefore, through Jesus blood, death and resurrection,
by believing and following Jesus, one receives:

for I will forgive their iniquity,
and their sin I will remember no more  Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12
We receive the forgiveness of sin, justified, and made righteous to enter into God’s presence,
through Jesus blood, death and resurrection

“they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,”
declares the Lord”  Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12
A personal relationship with God is established through Jesus
— personally know the Lord through His Word, by His Spirit.

 I will be their God,
nd they shall be My people  Jer 31:33, Heb 8:11
We become God’s children, children of God.

I will give you a new heart
I will put My law within them
and on their heart I will write it  Jer 31:33, Heb 8:10
A new heart to love God
and follow His commandments, living out His Word in everyday life.

Jesus said,
“If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.”

John 14:15 (NASB)

I will put a new spirit within you
 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.   Exe: 36:27

No matter how hard we try with our own strength & will power
to reform ourselves,
we are not able satisfy God’s holiness and righteousness.

When we’re born again,
God gives us a new spirit and new heart within us,
and the Holy Spirit.

And, through prayer, with God’s help
by God’s Word, Jesus blood, and the Holy Spirit
God transforms us.
God changes us from the inside out so that we can walk in His ways, His Word,
to please Him.

By God’s amazing grace,
we receive a new heart and a new spirit from God,
and God gives us the Holy Spirit to empower us to overcome, and do His works.
Therefore,

a new heart and new spirit and Holy Spirit –> born again

Paul summarised,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;     
(a born again new creation)

old things have passed away;

behold,
all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

2:4 But because of his great love for us,
God, who is rich in mercy,
 

made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions
—it is by grace you have been saved.
 

And God raised us up with Christ 
and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:1, 4-6 (NIV)

By God’s mercy, grace & great love, as new creation in Christ:
from old things have passed away  –> to all things have become new 
from dead in transgressions and sins — > to alive with Christ, saved, righteous,  God raised us up with Christ
i.e. born again.

 forgiven by God, made alive in Christ,
And God raised us up with Christ 
and seated us with him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus

Amen, Praise God.

By being born again, with a new heart & spirit, and the Holy Spirit,
we’re empowered to overcome a huge problem we face daily.

As Paul explains,
19 For I do not do
the good I want to do,
but the evil I do not want to do
—this I keep on doing.
 

20 Now if I do
what I do not want to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but it is sin living in me that does it.

The flesh, our sinful nature in us (that we were born with)
hinders us to do good, to please God.

21 So I find this law at work:
I want to do good,
evil is right there with me.
 

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind
and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

Romans 7:19-23 (NIV)

A battle:
in our inner being, we delight in God’s law,
however the law of sin is also at work within us.
How is this law of sin overcomed?

8:1Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus,
 

because through Christ Jesus

the law of the Spirit

who gives life
has set you free
from the law of sin and death
.
 

For what the law was powerless to do
because it was weakened by the flesh,

The law of Moses was unable to save us
because of the weakness of our sinful nature. (NLT)

God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
 

in order that the righteous requirement of the law
might be fully met in us,

who do not live according to the flesh
but according to the Spirit
.
Romans 7:19-23, 8:1-4 (NIV)

In Christ Jesus, through Jesus perfect sacrifice on the cross, and His resurrection,
we are made righteous by the Lord,
— the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us,
and the law of sin is overcomed,
by the law of the Spirit who gives life
— by us yielding to the power of Holy Spirit and God’s word,
live according to the Spirit
in the new nature God has given us by being born again.

Just as Ezekiel had prophesised in the Old Testament,

 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit within you;

and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
 

28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers;
so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
 

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)


What does Son of God mean to Nicodemus & people in Israel at that time?

Jesus said, 
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through HimJohn 3:17

Jesus identified himself as the Son of God.

Here’s some verses from John’s gospel that demonstrate what Nicodemus would have understood by ‘Son of God ‘, at that time in Israel,

For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath,
but also was calling God His own Father,
making Himself equal with GodJohn 6:18 (NASB)     
(in Galilee)

Nathanael answered Him,    (in Galilee)
“Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”
 John 1:49 (NASB)

27 “Yes, Lord,” Martha replied,     (in Bethany)
“I believe that you are the Messiahthe Son of God,
who is to come into the world.” ” John 11:27 (NASB)

The woman said,      (in Samaria)
“I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming.
When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  John 4:25 (NIV)

Son of God — equal with God, King of Israel , Messiah who is to come into the world, will explain everything

A broad spectrum of people in Israel & Samaria understood the meaning of the Son of God.
Thus,  this  understanding also includes the implications and fulfilment of all the prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah, the Anointed One who will save them.

Jesus said,  I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 (NASB) 

Jesus *said to him, “… He who has seen Me has seen the Father
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me;
otherwise believe because of the works themselves. ..”
15 … all things that I have heard from My Father
I have made known to you. John 14:9,11,15 (NASB) 

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58 (NASB)

In reference to:
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 (NASB)

(see also John 1:1-3)

Here’s an interesting example of one with some knowledge about the Messiah and His kingdom:
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, one of the criminals who was crucified with him,
he said,
“41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds;
but this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when
You come in Your kingdom!”
 

43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you,
today
you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:41-43 (NASB)

Praise God!  This man was born again in the last moments of his life
born of water and spirit.


Born of the Spirit

Jesus said,
God is spirit,
and those who worship Him
must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24 (NASB)

In the following section we’ll explore what Jesus meant by:

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh
is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit
is spirit. 

This verse also helps us discern the difference between the fruit from the false brethren, prophets/teachers,
and the fruit from true believers/followers of Jesus.

John 3:6 is explained in John 1:12, 13 (NIV)

12 Yet to all who did receive him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God

— 13 children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision or a husband’s will,

i.e. not by natural birth
— born of the flesh  is  flesh,

but born of God.

i.e. born of God, born of the Spirit
by those who believed in his name, Jesus.

God is spirit
Thus, to be children of God, born of God,
one needs to be born of the Spirit

Hence, that which is born of the Spirit  is spirit
— a new creation in Christ  (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

The children of God, born of the Spirit
are those who worship God in spirit and truth,
(not in the flesh or man’s traditions)

Paul wrote:
Those who are in the realm of the flesh
cannot please God.

Romans 8:8 (NIV)

Jesus explains the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing us to God,
And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes,
will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
 

concerning sin,
because they do not believe in Me;
 

10 and concerning righteousness,
because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
 

11 and concerning judgment,
because the ruler of this world has been judged.

13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth; …

 14 He will glorify Me,
for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

John 16:8-11, 13, 14 (NASB)

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, leads us to faith/believe in Jesus.
In so doing, we repent of our unbelief in God the Father and Jesus.

After believing in Jesus,

John 14:23-26 (NASB)
23 Jesus answered and said to him,
If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word;

and My Father will love him, and We will come to him
and make Our abode with him.
 

24 He who does not love Me
does not keep My words;

Our love for God is expressed by obeying His word.

and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in My name,
He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you

We keep and obey God’s word
because we love Him;  inspired by God’s love to obey & submit to Him and His ways.
We enter the kingdom of God through Jesus,
and experience the kingdom of God by submitting to the authority of God and His Word by His Spirit in God’s kingdom.

In the parable of the sower and seed (Luke 8:5-15),
the right seed of God’s word, on the good soil of one’s heart produces fruit.
The same seed that fell on the road, the rocky soil and amongst thorns did not produce any fruit.

In the sermon on the mount Jesus said,
20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:20,21 (NASB)
Jesus explains what he meant by the will of My Father,

in the parable of the wise and foolish builder,
 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, 
may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24 (NASB)

“Satan could quote the Bible as well as anyone else, 
but his trouble is that he doesn’t live it” 
– Marion E Wade

Jesus said,
John 14:26 the Holy Spirit, … will teach you all things,
and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you

The Holy Spirit in each of us gives us insight, understanding and revelation of God’s Word
whenever we read or listen to God’s word.
The Holy Spirit will also remind us of God’s word, as He guides us in our daily affairs to honor the Lord & His word.

Some notes on the transformation from born in the flesh –> to born in the Spirit

Flesh, in the natural
that which is born of the flesh is flesh
Holy Spirit, in the realm of the Spirit
that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
He who does not love Me
does not keep My words; …John 14:24 (NASB)
 If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word;
 …John 14:23 (NASB)
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 

in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV) 

But because of his great love for us,
God, who is rich in mercy,

made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one SpiritEphesians 2:4-6, 10, 18 (NIV)All this is we receive because,
— God’s great love for us
— God, who is rich in mercy
— by God’s grace
— God has a plan
— God is at work in us and in the world

14The person without the Spirit
does not accept the things
that come from the Spirit of God
but considers them foolishness
and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)Without the Holy Spirit,
— the Bible is literary masterpiece, a book of moral & ethics teaching, a book of laws, history of the Jewish people, principles for success, etc.
— Jesus is someone who existed in history, whom Christians believe infoolishness — simply unbelievable, unbelief
eg.  God created the world, miracles in the Bible, Jesus resurrection, the realm of the Spirit, evil spirits, Jesus’ second coming, God’s laws, healing, casting out evil spirits, miracles today, etc
12What we have received is not the spirit of the world,
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words1 Corinthians 2:12,13 (NIV)  
By believing in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who is from God.
By being open to the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Spirit teaches us God’s word, reveals God to us, guides our daily lives as He speaks to us through God’s word.
Faith, hope & love.  Wisdom of God, fear of the Lord.
Truth.

26 “When the Helper (the Holy Spirit) comes,
whom I will send to you from the Father,
that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,

He will testify about Me, 
27 and you will testify also, … John 14:26, 27

Jesus is foremost, preeminent, exalted and worshiped, sharing Jesus with others.
God’s word and truth is taught and treasured.
God’s presence, power & love is manifested.

20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words
but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NASB)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV) 

3… no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)

13 For if you live according to the flesh,
you will die; … Romans 8:13 (NIV)
 13 … but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body,
you will liveRomans 8:13 (NIV)16 So I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:16,24 (NIV)

Paul continues in Romans 8,

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh
but are in the realm of the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,
they do not belong to Christ.

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God,
these are sons of God.

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,
but you have received a spirit of adoption
as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit
that we are children of God,

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Romans 8:9, 14-17 (NIV)

Because you are his sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
 

Galatians 4:6 (NIV)

In summary,
by being born of the Spirit, we become children of God,
God presence is with us.
The Holy Spirit will teach us God’s word as we read and listen to God’s word daily.
As we love God the Father, and daily yield to the Holy Spirit and God’s word,
this will bear fruit in a changed & transformed life, bearing the fruit of the Spirit,
being more like Jesus,
and sharing the good news with others.
The Holy Spirit gives us strength/power to resist and overcome temptation, sin and the devil,
and to love God, and love & serve others.

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be
conformed to the image of his Son

Romans 8:29 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
 23 gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

Thus, Jesus said, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word

In discerning & distinguishing between born of Spirit and born of flesh, Jesus taught:

16 By their fruit you will recognize them. ….
17 …, every good tree bears good fruit, …
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, …
20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7:17-20 (NIV)

 I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me
and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
 

If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is thrown away as a branch
and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
 

If you abide in Me,
and
My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
 

My Father is glorified by this,
that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
John 15:5-8 (NASB)


Born of water

What is this water that Jesus is referring to?

 Jesus answered and said to him, 
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;

and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him
and make Our abode with him.
John 14:23 (NASB)

Paul wrote:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as

Christ also loved the church
and gave Himself up for her,
 

26 so that   He might sanctify her,
having cleansed her
by the washing
of    water with the word,

27 that   He might present to Himself the church in all her glory,
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;

but that   she would be holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NASB)

This is similar to what Jesus said after the last supper,
 15:3 You are already clean
because of the word which I have spoken to you.
 .
 

17:17 Sanctify them in the truth;
Your word is truth.
 

John 15:3, 17:17 (NASB)

Make them holy by your truth;
teach them your word, which is truth. John 17:17 (NLT)

Thus, from these verses in Ephesians & John,
we are sanctified, made holy,
clean, holy and blameless
by the washing of water with the word
of God

Your word is truth
God’s word = truth

In John 3:5, born of water and the Spirit,
the water refers to God’s word.

The word of God sanctifies us.
The word of God is also truth.
Thus, we need to daily read God’s word, the Bible, and live according to God’s word.
Jesus said, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word

This is confirmed by Peter
22 Now that you have purified yourselves
by obeying the truth
so that you have sincere love for each other,
love one another deeply, from the heart.

We are purified,
by obeying the truth, God’s word,
which fills us with sincere love for others — God’s love,
God’s nature.
i.e. visible, tangible fruit of the Spirit.

23 For you have been born again,
not of perishable seed, but of imperishable,
through the living and enduring word of God.

24 For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

And this is the word
that was preached to you
.
1 Peter 1:22-25 (NIV)

The Bible, the word of God, reveals God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to us,
so that we can believe, follow and put our trust in God.

born again,
through the living and enduring word of God

The Jesus we believe in
must be the Jesus revealed and presented
in the unchanging Word of God,
the truth of God, the Bible,
the word of the Lord that was preached to you

Not the Jesus and salvation based on man’s traditions, or man’s thoughts,
or methods/rituals of salvation, or from other sources of information/revelation.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6 (NASB)

Knowing Jesus as revealed in the Bible, God’s word of truth.
Following God’s ways according to His Word, the truth.  (not man’s words).

James wrote,
(God) He chose to give us
birth through the word of truth
,

that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Through God’s word,
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing

by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Faithbelieving & putting our trust in Jesus.
Faith comes & is strengthened when we hear & read the the word of God, the Bible.

Thus, born of water and the Spirit,
thru the revelation of Jesus through God’s Word, by the Holy Spirit
— those who worship God in spirit and truth.

… We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation
—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy
and through your belief in the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NLT)

On a separate note,
as we go forth and share the good news of Jesus,
the onus is on us to present the full gospel of Jesus clearly and truthfully,
in a way that our listeners can understand in everyday language, and sharing our testimonies of our experience with Jesus.

Believing and following the same Jesus that the first disciples believed in and wrote about in the Gospels.

Peter wrote:
16 
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power,
but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying,
This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable,and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:16-21 (NIV)

Being led by the same Holy Spirit who inspired both the Old and New Testament;
the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts through God’s word today.

Paul warned the church in Corinth not to be led astray or deceived by false deceptive teachers/prophets or false brethren,
presenting a different Jesus, a different gospel and a different spirit,
living in falsehood and deception.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning,
your minds may somehow be led astray
from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
 

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received,
or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough,

 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Their end will be what their actions deserve.
2 Corinthians 11:3,4 13-15 (NIV)

Let’s follow Jesus and His word
with sincere and pure devotion to Christ,
living in truth.
Jesus said,
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word   John 14:2 (ESV)

Paul wrote
 I say this so that no one will deceive you
with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments.
Colossians 2:4 (AMP)

By Jesus blood, death and resurrection,
the born again life is birthed and sustained by
— the Holy Spirit and God’s word of truth,
which all comes from God by His grace, mercy & love.

Back to ‘water’.
Here’s an Old Testament use of  water  to refer to the Word of God,

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10,11 (NASB)

It is also true that water is used to refer to the Holy Spirit,

John 7:37-39 (NASB) 
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 
39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The relationship between the Holy Spirit and God’s word,
is best explained by Jesus:

13 But when He (the Holy Spirit), the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth;

for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;
and He will disclose to you what is to come.
 

14 He will glorify Me,
for He will take of Mine
and will disclose it to you.
John 16:13,14 (NASB)

Jesus said,
63 
It is the Spirit who gives life;
the flesh profits nothing;

the words that I have spoken to you
are spirit and are life.
John 6:63 (NASB)

Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth,
who will guide us into all truth,
the truth in God’s word.

The Holy Spirit gives us life,
through the Word of God.

Also, the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus;
not glorify any human or entity.

John wrote:
the Spirit is the truth.
[He is the essence and origin of truth itself.]
1 John 5:6 (AMP)

The Holy Spirit is the originator of truth, God’s word.
The Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s word of truth.


What are some of the signs/evidence that one is truly born again?

Back to John 3, Jesus said to Nicodemus,
Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it,
but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;
so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:7, 8 (NASB)

 the wind blows where it wishes — no one can control the wind.
The Holy Spirit works sovereignly, as He wills.

The wind is invisible, and we do not know where it comes from and where it is going,
However, we can hear the sound of it — we can hear, see and feel the effect and influence of the wind.

How the Holy Spirit works upon someone who is born of the Spirit is invisible to our eyes,
and
who is born of the Spirit is also invisible to our eyes.
One certainly can hear and see the effect and influence
of the Holy Spirit upon the person who is born again, just like the wind.

In the Bible, the Greek and Hebrew words for ‘wind’ and ‘spirit’  are the same (pneuma, ruwach).

Here are some of the spontaneously natural signs of the Holy Spirit at work in a person
who is truly born again & believes in Jesus:

Jesus said,
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit,
and so prove to be My disciples.
 

John 15:7 (NIV)

Receiving God’s answers to prayers;
our first prayer to God — to be born again, believing in Jesus. 🙂

A desire to honor and glorify God.
A desire to be fruitful.

So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:20 (NASB)

Some areas where fruit is visible is
in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity . 1 Timothy 4:12(NASB)

(in the natural, a child would bear some resemblance to his/her parents)

Jesus said,
26 “When the Helper (the Holy Spirit) comes,
whom I will send to you from the Father,
that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,

He will testify about Me, 
27 and you will testify also,

because you have been with Me from the beginning.
John 14:26, 27 (NASB)

A newly born again believer in Christ has a spontaneous desire to share Jesus with others;  you will testify also,
because the Holy Spirit will testify about  Jesus.

‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38

Its interesting to listen to new believers share their new faith in Jesus, …
sometimes, one will hear an understanding & conviction of God’s word,
without them having read or heard these Bible verses before
— by the Spirit of truth who teaches, works in and through us.

eg.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit
that we are children of God,

The same Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures teaches God’s children God’s truth.
Like a baby with a fully-formed beating heart,
every new believer has the full Holy Spirit with them.

Peter wrote about faith in Jesus — in believing without seeing,
 Though you have not seen him, you love him;
and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him
and
are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
 

for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8,9 (NASB)

A newly born again in Christ receives the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit,
and the strength to walk in righteousness.

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 (NASB)

And as one walks with God and His word, one experiences the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our interactions with others,
A visible, tangible change in one’s character to be more like Jesus.

Jesus said,
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another
John 13:35 (NIV)

Paul wrote,
22 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
 23 gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

A  desire to know God. and experience God more.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
 

now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 2:2,3 (NIV)


What does Son of Mankingdom of God,  eternal life  mean to Nicodemus & people in Israel at that time ?

In our final section, let’s look at some terms Jesus used — Son of Mankingdom of God,  eternal life.
What would these terms mean to a religious leader, Nicodemus, when he heard it from Jesus?

In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel saw in a dream,

13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.

14 “And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

Daniel was given an interpretation of the dream, which ends with,

27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One;
His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’

Daniel 7:13-14, 27 (NASB)

At the end of Daniel’s final vision in the book of Daniel:

… But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:1,2 (NIV)

During the time of Jesus, these prophecies lead to questions amongst the people looking forward to the kingdom of God
how does one inherit everlasting life?     (Mark 10:17, Luke 10:25)
how does one enter the kingdom of God?     
(John 3:3-5)
Who is the Son of Man, when will He be revealed?     
(1 Peter 1:10, 11, Luke 2:25-38)


Conclusion

The Bible sums it all well:

 Jesus answered and said to him, 
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;

and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him
and make Our abode with him.
John 14:23 (NASB)

1 Corinthians 15:50,  6:9, 11 (NASB)
15:50 Now I say this, brethren,
that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

6:9 Or do you not know that
the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? …

6:11 Such were some of you;

but you were washed,
but you were sanctified,
but you were justified

in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and in the Spirit of our God.

Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)
But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 
he saved us,

not because of the righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy.

He washed away our sins,
giving us a new birth and new life
through the Holy Spirit.
 

He generously poured out the Spirit upon us
through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight
and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

1 Peter 1:23 (NASB)
23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable
but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring 
word of God.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who according to His great mercy 
has caused us to be born again
to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

to obtain an inheritance
which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away,
reserved in heaven for you,
 

who are protected by the power of God 
through faith
for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Colossians 1:13, 14 (NASB)
1:12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of
his holy people in the kingdom of light.
 

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
 

14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Amen! Praise God! Thank you Jesus!


 Grace | Sharing Jesus

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
September 1, 2017
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2017 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License


 

Advertisements

Information

This entry was posted on September 1, 2017 by in Christianese Wiki, Daily Rice, Discipling, Foundations, Ministry, Serving Quietly, Sharing Jesus, Stepping Stones and tagged .

Blog Stats

  • 24,214 views from 121 countries
Albania Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Bangladesh Barbados Bahamas Bahrain Belgium Belize Bolivia Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Cambodia Cameroon Canada Chile China Columbia Côte_d'Ivoire Costa Rica Croatia Curacao Cyprus Czech Denmark Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Estonia Ethiopia European Union Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France Georgia Germany Ghana Grenada Guatemala Guyana Honduras Hungary India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malaysia Malawi Malta Mauritius Mexico Mongolia Moldova Montenegro Mozambique Myanmar (Burma) Namibia Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria Norway Papua New Guinea Oman Pakistan Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda Saudi Arabia Serbia Seychelles Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Africa South Korea Spain Sri Lanka St Vincent & Grenadines Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Timor Leste Tonga Trinidad & Tobago Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam Zambia Zimbabwe

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 35 other followers

%d bloggers like this: