Just a question.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
In the new birth;
What is meant by being born of the spirit?
How is one born of the spirit?
Please provide scripture to back your answer.
A very interesting and a very important question. First permit me to correct you on one little, but important, point. It is not born of the spirit; rather it is born of the Spirit. The spirit of man is born and reborn, i.e., born again, of the Spirit.
Jesus, in speaking of being born of water and spirit, is in John 3 speaking specifically of being born again. Some argue that the word again in verses 3 and 7 comes from the Greek word ἄνωθεν [anōthen] meaning "from above
". There is some truth to that. Stong's says that it means "from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew: - from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top"
. Thayer says, 1) from above, from a higher place 1a) of things which come from heaven or God 2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first 3) anew, over again
. So indeed, I believe that the connotation of from above must be considered. But also, it is important to note that Nicodemus' question in verse 4 means that he took Jesus words to mean "again", that is, "a second time". Nicodemus explained his question of "a second time" buy elaborating about entering a second time into his mother's womb.
We note that Jesus did not correct him immediately, but simply went a little deeper in what he meant by the phrase "born again". He began by saying that one must be born of water and Spirit. And then He added the important distinction between born of flesh and born of Spirit. Keep in mind here that Jesus has, by implication of verses 3 and 5, defined "born again" to be the same as "born of water and Spirit". He has also, by implication of verse 3 and 5, defined "see the kingdom" to be the same as "enter the kingdom".
In verse six, Jesus begins to correct Nicodemus' response about a man entering a second time into his mother's womb and being born. He does so by pointing out that whatever if born of flesh is flesh and whatever is born of Spirit is spirit. He is telling Nicodemus that entering or seeing the kingdom is not about the flesh of the human being, rather it is about the spirit of the human being. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that He is not talking about being born physically a second time; instead, He is talking about being born spiritually a second time. And being born spiritually a second fime, like being born spiritually the first time, is by Spirit, not by flesh.
When a human being is born, the body, the flesh, of the child is the result of the union of the father and mother. In other words, that which is born of flesh is flesh. Not so the spirit of the child. Jesus says the spirit is from God. In other words, that which is born of Spirit is spirit. That is right in line with what we read in God's word in Zechariah and Ecclesiastes and, I believe, in Genesis also. In Zechariah we read that the LORD "stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him" (12:1)
. In Ecclesiastes we read that in death "the spirit returns to God who gave it" (12:7).
In Genesis we read that "God created man in his own image" (1:27; 9:6). I think it is obvious that this can only mean that it is the spirit of man is created, made, in the image of God. For God says that He formed the body, the flesh, of man from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7, 3:19; Eccl 12:7)
Thus Jesus, in John 3, has made it clear to Nicodemus that it is the spirit of man that must be reborn, born again, born from above. Why again? If the spirit of man was born, formed, created, made by God, then why would it need to be reborn, reformed, recreated, remade by God? Obviously, something happened to the spirit to need a rebirth. Somewhere along the line, something happened. Paul describes that something that happens. He talked about that in the context of the law and its effect on his own life. He says about the law and the commandment of God which he said is "holy and righteous and good" (Rom 7:12) that "I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died" (Rom 7:10). What died? Not the flesh, the body. Clearly it was his spirit that died.
That was also Paul's message in Ephesians 2 also when he talked of being dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). And he talked there about God, being rich in mercy because of the great love he had for us, made us alive together with Christ. (Eph 2:4,5). And there we have "born again", The spirit, born once, became dead in trespasses and sins and then must be born again, i.e., made alive together with Christ. In doing so, God says "by grace you have been saved" (Eph 2:6).
Thus, yogi bear, that is what it means to be born again of the Spirit. With that I think you know what my answer is to your question of How is one born of the Spirit. But that is a separate question. If you would like me to continue with that, I can.