Nicodemus as a leader in Israel should have been well aware of thesymbolic nature of ritual washings under Mosaic Law
Without a doubt, he was; especially since it had to do with the outwardly
worship of God. But, he was ignorant of many spiritual truths, which is so clear by this discourse between Christ and himself...namely, how one is born of the Spirit of God, and the necessity of it before one is a true child of God and able to discerned spiritual truths. He thought that just being born a Jew made one God's child (or, at least makes them special) as most of them thought~(Romans 9:6-8)
.....and as many Premill believe in our day.
which Christ was making a connection
You're dead wrong. Since you are wrong on the doctrine of regeneration by the Spirit of God, then you must
seek another interpretation of the "water" spoken of in verse five to support your errors. Context is everything in understanding any discourse, is it not. While I freely admit that the scriptures is its own interpreter; yet we do not disregard the certain laws that helps us to understand what we are seeking to understand. You were taught this many years ago, I believe, since you have said that you once worshiped with me, yet have kept your identity hidden from me, for whatever reason, so, I am sure you have been taught this. What Is Reading?
Reading is the action of perusing written material to recognize the marks of your language that indicate specific words and combinations of those words forming written communication. The full idea and import of the words and their combinations are dependent on interpretation
, which is the action of determining the sense, or meaning, of a reading. What Is Understanding?
To comprehend; to apprehend the meaning or import of; to grasp the idea of. This is done by staying with the context and the flow thereof. What Is Interpretation?
To expound the meaning of (something abstruse or mysterious); to render (words, writings, an author, etc.) clear or explicit; to elucidate; to explain. Expound. To set forth, declare, state in detail. To explain, interpret. Interpretations must
agree with their context~especially is this so in a discourse as is before us in John chapter three. You were taught this law: A text used out of context is a pretext. we should never violate it; we should learn to spot it. A text is a word, clause, verse, paragraph, chapter, or book you are seeking to interpret. Context is the surrounding information, which shows the author's meaning by the text. Out of context is using words and their sound contrary to the surrounding information. A pretext is a false and incorrect impression designed to hide or disguise the real intent. Now let us look at what you said:
Nicodemus as a leader in Israel should have been well aware of the symbolic nature of ritual washings under Mosaic Law to which Christ was making a connection
Really? Where do you get that from the context, and its flow thereof? It is not there,
my friend, not there
. You are too wise to think otherwise. You are forcing something there that is not even under consideration in this discourse. You are breaking every law of learning and interpreting one's conversation to know exactly what is under consideration and being said. You added:
I would take your I Peter 1:23 reference about being born again by the incorruptible word of God, by which word the gospel is preached, and join that verse with two others.
Friend, you said well that scriptures interprets scriptures, for they do indeed, specially such scripture as 1st Peter 1:23, which said:
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
I do agree fully that Peter is speaking of the written word of God, not Christ
, as some teach, even as Truthcomber try to do so, but failed. Do you believe in the total depravity of man, or have you forsaken that as well? Do you believe that man is dead spiritually toward God, and that his will is in bondage to sin and the devil? Oh yes, you no longer believe that Satan is now, but has been already cast into the lake of fire at 70 A.D. Really it's impossible to reason with men like you, but for the sake of others, let me give you my understanding of 1st Peter 1:23. Based on many scriptures that teach that the natural man cannot receive spiritual truth, because he is spiritually discerned, and is at enmity against God~the sense in which I understand 1st Peter 1:23 is this: We are born again by the testimony, or witness of God, which comes from his word
. What would we know of God, apart from his witness in his word? Not one thing. I would not know one thing concerning God, His Spirit, or His Son, apart from God's witness to us. This IS how we know how we are born again, through the written word of God. God could have very easily put trees in this world with a new message on it every day for us, but he chose to give to us his word to communicate to us.
1st Corinthians 2:1~"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1st John 5:9-11~"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
We are born again, not by the MEANS OF the word of God, but by the testimony of, or, the witness of the word of God! It is the only means by which we have any spiritual knowledge of any spiritual truth! And that witness reveals to me that the new birth is a birth of the Spirit of God...period!
The reason water is not mentioned in John 3:8 is because Christ was devoting that statement to describing only the part the Spirit plays in the regeneration process, not the part that the word of God plays in the process.
Wrong sir, the ONLY reason why water is omitted is that the new birth, or being born again is by the Spirit of God ALONE. You are assuming something that you cannot prove. What else can you say, but what you said. If water meant anything else, other than our natural birth (a question that Nicodemus asked, and was answered by Christ with these words: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
) than it would have been repeated in verse 8. That which is born of the flesh IS FLESH, which means that the written word of God is NO MEANS used in the new birth! It takes the power of Almighty to resurrect/quicken dead sinners to life. Enough said for now.