Author Topic: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually  (Read 5125 times)

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Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #35 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 05:45:19 »
Our sins are washed by the blood of Christ. Baptism is FOR remission of sin. Sounds like the blood of Christ is applied by God in baptism. Similarly to God healing Naaman after dipping 7 times in the Jordan. The water doesn’t have blood in it nor does it have any power whatsoever. The power to save is God’s and with Christ’s blood, and as Acts 2:38 states we also receive the gift of the Holy spirit to change us into a new person. Being born of the water and Spirit is simply what they had already understood with John’s baptism With the remission of sin PLUS God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, which was not present with John’s baptism.
« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 05:48:55 by Jaime »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #35 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 05:45:19 »

AVZ

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #36 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 05:53:59 »
Avz, why would Nick have to be reborn at the moment of his conversation with Jesus? He was giving him a forshadowing of a coming truth. Baptism in Christ’s name is being born of water and the Spirit. Even Paul waited a few days to be baptized in Christ’s name.

We have addressed the OT saints. Their sins were rolled forward to the cross of Christ. We aren’t told whether Nick was baptized later or not. Jesus was telling him a truth, but also telling US a truth.

Using the OT saints to argue against baptism in Christ’s name is a bad move. Do you think the disciples questioned the great commission because their ancestors weren’t able to be baptized in Christ’s name?

Well, lets fill it in shall we?

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."

This then becomes:

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are baptized in the name of Christ and born of the Spirit."


Seems to be pretty clear to me. Abraham, Moses nor anyone in the OT was ever baptized in the name of Christ. Yet I hope to run into Abraham and Moses in heaven.
Now if you want to "roll over" their sins to the future cross, whilst Abraham and Moses were not baptized in the name of Christ...then the same should be applicable to Nicodemus as well.

See, Jesus said "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."
Thats pretty general and includes everybody.

Jesus did not say that "you Nicodemus" or "everybody in the future" can only enter heaven...
Thats what you make of it.

If indeed what Jesus said must be interpreted as “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are baptized in the name of Christ and born of the Spirit." then Nicodemus was kind of lucky he lived to see the day that baptism in Christ was instituted.
Imagine Nicodemus would have died shortly after Jesus told him the above...not being baptized in Christ, hence not able to enter the kingdom of God.


Right from the start you have made the claim that "born from water" means "baptism in the name of Christ".
You claimed the early church writers said the same thing, but it turns out they did not. They generally say it means "baptism" but none of them say "in the name of Christ".
The early church writers too understood that you cant say "born from water means baptism in Christ" because then everybody in the OT would be excluded.

It's not very difficult.
Baptism with water, in the Old Testament, Temple cleansing, John the Baptist and baptism in Christ has always been the symbol of repentance and forgiveness of sin.
And that's what it means...repentance.
A God-given understanding of sin and repentance.

Acts 5:31
"He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Ezekiel 36
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Acts 11:18
"When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

2 Timothy 2:25
"with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,"

Offline 4WD

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #37 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:00:02 »
If Jesus was foreshadowing baptism in the name of Christ, then Nicodemus could not be born again at the moment he and Jesus spoke.
He had to wait until baptism in Jesus name would be practiced, and only then could he be born again.
And as Jesus said, if you are not born again you cant enter the kingdom of God.

By extension then, nobody in the Old Testament could enter the kingdom of God because nobody was baptized in the name of Christ.
What do you think Jesus meant when he declared,  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 4:17), or  "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15).

What did He mean by "at hand"?  What did He mean by "the Kingdom"?  When did the kingdom which was "at hand" actually begin?

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #37 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:00:02 »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #38 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:33:14 »
AVZ why would you assume that scripture means even the OT saints had to be baptized? The NT was for those at the time forward. God’s covenant with the OR saints was enough to connect them with the cross of Christ. God would have contemplated that don’t you think?

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #38 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:33:14 »

Offline Texas Conservative

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #39 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:48:17 »
I will get back to you later but baptism is not the "water" referred to in John 3:5.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #39 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 06:48:17 »



Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #40 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:18:48 »
So what do you say it IS, if it’s not baptism or natural birth? Maybe we all could agree it has nothing to do with politics or at least agree that disagreement doesn’t equal an attack.
« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 08:08:18 by Jaime »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #40 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:18:48 »

AVZ

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #41 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:35:06 »
AVZ why would you assume that scripture means even the OT saints had to be baptized? The NT was for those at the time forward. God’s covenant with the OR saints was enough to connect them with the cross of Christ. God would have contemplated that don’t you think?

At the time Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, the new covenant was not in effect yet.
Nicodemus was still under the old covenant.

God did not have a personal covenant with any of the OT saints.
Gods covenant with Abraham has always been to Abraham and his seed.

So then, if the old covenant was sufficient to connect people to the cross, then Nicodemus (being Abrahams seed) could appeal to that as well.

You are not getting the point that when Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." that statement has always been true. Right from the beginning upto the end. People always had and have to be born of water and the spirit, the OT saints included.

You are trying to interpret born of water as baptism in the name of Christ, and by some mystical act apply that to some individuals in the OT because God had a special covenant with them.
Jesus makes the case that born of water and the spirit is not an act man does. No, it is from above. God does it.
The problem is that you are stuck in the thought that born of water is something man does through baptism.
That's why Nicodemus was stuck too.

Offline 4WD

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #42 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:39:28 »
At the time Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, the new covenant was not in effect yet.
Nicodemus was still under the old covenant.

God did not have a personal covenant with any of the OT saints.
Gods covenant with Abraham has always been to Abraham and his seed.
The covenant with Abraham is not the Old Covenant. They are different covenants.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #43 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:52:53 »
AVZ, God had a solution for the OT saints, mystical or not. It was the cross of Christ. That’s no weirder than wondering how they were baptized?

By the way, it’s NOT what man does with or in baptism, it is what GOD himself does in baptism. You know this, or should. No more than man doing the doing what results in confessing with our lips -accomplished by God. Just as Naaman dipping seven times in the Jordan did not heal him. God did.

Yes Nick was under the Old Covenant. Jesus was obviously foreshadowing the New Covenant. He was NOT telling Nick that being born was a requirement for being born again
« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 08:11:20 by Jaime »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #43 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 07:52:53 »

Offline Johnb

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #44 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 08:10:19 »
I agree with Jamie.  John the Baptist was already baptizing with water.  Jesus was baptized in water.  Every example in the book of Acts of the apostles folks who came to a saving knowledge was baptized.


Tex if it was not physical birth or water baptism then what do you think being born of water means?

Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #45 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 11:51:48 »
AVZ what do you say being born of water is? You say it has always been so. How was one in the old covenant born of the water?

Would you also agree that the baptism of John was different than Baptism in Christ’s name? How was it different?

Offline Texas Conservative

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #46 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:34:11 »
I agree with Jamie.  John the Baptist was already baptizing with water.  Jesus was baptized in water.  Every example in the book of Acts of the apostles folks who came to a saving knowledge was baptized.


Tex if it was not physical birth or water baptism then what do you think being born of water means?

Will respond later after work when I can use something other than a phone.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #47 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:45:55 »
19,
I can imagine an altar call service
"The gospel is simple. God loves you and wants you to be saved. To be saved, you must be born physically, oh never mind you've done that, you must acknowledge that you are a sinner..."

Plus, fully matured fetuses would not need to begin the salvation process by being born, as they have not yet committed any sins.

Oh, the lengths people will go to try to debunk baptism's place in being saved.
« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:50:18 by e.r.m. »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #48 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:48:57 »
19,
I can imagine an altar call service
"The gospel is simple. God loves you and wants you to be saved. To be saved, you must be born physically, oh never mind you've done that, you must acknowledge that you are a sinner..."


Plus, fully matured fetuses would not need to begin the Salvation process is they have not yet committed any sins. Oh, the lengths people will go to try to debunk  baptism's place in being saved.

I am not dismissing baptism. I am dismissing that "water" refers to baptism in this passage because the text demands it.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #49 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:52:43 »
Texas Conservative,
I'm not countering that if you're referring to another meaning for the water in this passage than in the op.

But if I hear a better meaning for water here other than baptism, I'm open. So far I haven't.
« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 13:33:26 by e.r.m. »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #50 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 12:56:46 »
I am not dismissing baptism. I am dismissing that "water" refers to baptism in this passage because the text demands it.
How, specifically, does the text demand it?

Offline 19

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #51 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 15:27:01 »
19,
I can imagine an altar call service
"The gospel is simple. God loves you and wants you to be saved. To be saved, you must be born physically, oh never mind you've done that, you must acknowledge that you are a sinner..."

Plus, fully matured fetuses would not need to begin the salvation process by being born, as they have not yet committed any sins.

Oh, the lengths people will go to try to debunk baptism's place in being saved.



You must be born again to Nicodemus meant he had to be born of flesh again. It is my understanding that the Greek phrase could be translated “born from above.”  By his answer Nicodemus clearly misunderstood what Jesus meant. Jesus cleared it up by verse 5 and 6. Jesus was not concerned with the number of birth so much as making him understand that it was a Spiritual birth.

“Born of water” is a way to say born of woman. Jesus was saying in verse 5 born from above in a different way to clarify it for Nicodemus.

This is the way  I believe that verse 5 reads:  Unless one has been born of water (first birth) and of the Spirit (from above) he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Jesus is not setting the requirements for salvation nor for being born again. He's just clarifying for Nicodemus his first statement.

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. NKJV

Our birth is according to the promise.

« Last Edit: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 15:29:31 by 19 »

Offline soterion

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #52 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 15:51:32 »
Water was used for cleansing in the law and it was used symbolically in scripture as a means of cleansing (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

What Jesus was saying about the necessity to be born again had to do with a person being cleansed and renewed on a spiritual level. This section of scripture (John 3:3-5) is connected to the rest of Jesus' discourse in that chapter. Jesus stated that believing in Him results in having eternal life (vv.14-18). This is how a person is born again; the giving of oneself to Jesus and His will in faith. Such a person is cleansed and renewed.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #53 on: Wed Apr 24, 2019 - 19:55:09 »
John 3 (NASB)

3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 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.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 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?” 5 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. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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.”
9 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?"


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A).  We know that this is not talking about physical birth.  "Born of the water and Spirit" is a parallel of "born again" in Verse 3 and Verse 7.

B)   We know that it is not addressing baptism.  Christian baptism didn't exist yet.  Nicodemus wouldn't have understood this and shouldn't have been expected too.  This would have made Jesus admonishment in Verse 10 puzzling.  Yeah, John's baptism was around, but we can see in Acts 19, that John's baptism was not sufficient as it was not done in the name of (authority) Christ.  Since Jesus expected Nicodemus to understand, it had to be a truth revealed in the Old Testament. 

C.  Water and Spirit used in the Old Testament to refer to being cleansed and renewal of the spirit.  It is also a figure of speech called "hendiadys" in which two words or concepts are used to get one point/idea across.  Spirit in John 3:5 gets the point across by itself.  Water and Spirit magnifies this idea.

Ezekiel 36:24-27

24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 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.


In John 4, with the woman at the well, Jesus said to the Samaritan woman talking about a drink of water:

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Obviously, the mention of water does not require baptism.

Continuing in John 7, Jesus again mentions water:

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.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #54 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 05:51:48 »
You are correct about it being cleansed and renewed. And when is one cleansed and renewed? One is cleansed when God remits his sins in baptism in Christ's name. When is one renewed by God? When one receives the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptism in Christ's name. This baptism didn't need to exist when Jesus was proclaiming truth to Nick. It was ABOUT TO BE, and for the reasons already stated. Even if this verse didn't exist, the purpose of immersion in Christ's name is very clear, throughout Acts and he epistles.
« Last Edit: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 06:03:42 by Jaime »

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #55 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 05:59:36 »
B)   We know that it is not addressing baptism.  Christian baptism didn't exist yet.  Nicodemus wouldn't have understood this and shouldn't have been expected too.  This would have made Jesus admonishment in Verse 10 puzzling.  Yeah, John's baptism was around, but we can see in Acts 19, that John's baptism was not sufficient as it was not done in the name of (authority) Christ.  Since Jesus expected Nicodemus to understand, it had to be a truth revealed in the Old Testament. 
Nicodemus was obviously quite familiar with John's baptism.  So it is quite natural that the water that Jesus was speaking of was the water of baptism.  And note that immediately following Jesus' discourse with Nicodemus in chapter 3, verses 1-21, we read in verse 22 &23: After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized

Also the argument that Christian baptism didn't yet exist and must be excluded from John 3:5 isn't really valid since "born of the Spirit" is itself a reference to the future Christian era.  Keep in mind that regeneration by way of the indwelling Holy Spirit was a blessing offered only from Pentecost on (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:38-39).

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #56 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 06:31:05 »
You are correct about it being cleansed and renewed. And when is one cleansed and renewed? One is cleansed when God remits his sins in baptism in Christ's name. When is one renewed by God? When one receives the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptism in Christ's name. This baptism didn't need to exist when Jesus was proclaiming truth to Nick. It was ABOUT TO BE, and for the reasons already stated. Even if this verse didn't exist, the purpose of immersion in Christ's name is very clear, throughout Acts and he epistles.

But not in John 3:5, as John 3:10 makes clear.

Offline soterion

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #57 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 06:52:09 »
John 3:8b-10.
...so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?

Nic would understand water for cleansing, and he would have understood spiritual renewal, but he could not have been expected to understand specifically the baptism to come that Jesus was going to command after His resurrection and initiate by His authority on Pentecost.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #58 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 06:54:55 »
The fact that Nick was not then reborn speaks to the fact that Jesus was foreshadowing or alluding to a soon to be future truth. Foreshadowing or alluding was NOT something new by the way even then.
« Last Edit: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 12:18:45 by Jaime »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #59 on: Thu Apr 25, 2019 - 09:16:45 »
Soterion and Jaime,
Agreed. In the same chapter, Jesus also predicts that he must be raised up like the bronze serpent in the desert to show the kind of death he would die. He was, in part, speaking of future things.

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #60 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 00:23:51 »
I revisited John 3:1-8. I believe this is one of the more difficult passage which deserves to be revisited by the Christian. Even Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council, said to be a master/teacher of Israel, apparently do not have understanding of nor perhaps knowledge about. Here's my take and understanding, per my reading to date.

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Nicodemus can see that Jesus is a teacher come from God in view of the miracles that Jesus had done and that God is with Him. However, he apparently is not able to see that Jesus is Christ, the King, at least at that point in time.

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.

First, the phrase "born again" here is what was used to translate the Greek phrase "gennēthē anōthen". It must be noted that the Greek phrase may be translated to "born from above", and "born again". So, this must be kept in mind when reading John 3:3. So when translating it "born again", just keep in mind that such birth refers to a rebirth that which is from above. And when translating it "born from above", just keep in mind that such birth refers to a second birth, a birth different from the birth that we had all gone through when we were brought into our existence. In my following discussion, I'll refer to the birth that we had all gone through when we were brought into our existence as "first birth" and the birth spoken by Jesus here as the "second birth".

Jesus here makes reference to the kingdom of God. We know from scriptures that  John the baptist, Jesus himself and his disciples, went preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand. The kingdom of God that Jesus was referring to here in this passage is not the physical material kingdom like the kingdoms of the world as we know them. It is a kingdom that is not of this world, a spiritual kingdom in contrast to a physical material one, if I may say so. For obviously, if it was of this world, then every man who isn't blind will be able to see it, which would render the necessity of being "born again" to be able to see it, meaningless. I believe that Jesus Christ is the King of this kingdom. That this kingdom is a kingdom that is not of this world, is without mistake. Jesus himself revealed and said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

In this writing of Apostle John, the use of the term "from above", such as in John 3:3,7,31; 19:11, is an indirect reference to heaven above or to God, in contrast to that which is figuratively referred to as from below, that is, the earth below that points to man. This makes the phrase "born from above" to mean "born of God". So, Jesus was telling Nicodemus by the figurative phrase "born from above", that such birth isn't an earthly birth, as being "born of man", but is a birth after the doing or brought about by the doing of God, who is in heaven above. People who experience the second birth are born of God. In John 1:13, we have John referring to such people, as were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. I believe that John here touches the second birth, and speaks of those who were born again.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus here that to be able to see the kingdom of God, necessitates one to be born again or be born of God. This is obviously a work of God and not a work of man nor a work of the man being born. It is God who brings this about, according to His will and purpose, and not according to man's will. More so, this birth is not according to, and could not be according to, the will of the one being born. This is not difficult to understand and accept, in that, we know this pretty well, for in our birth, we have no knowledge, control, or influence whatsoever, with our being born. Why this seems difficult for some to understand this, makes me wonder. 

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

I could sense here that Nicodemus was greatly surprised to hear something like that from Jesus. To his amazement, he threw out these two rhetorical questions in verse 4. Rhetorical in that, it's like any man obviously know the answers to these questions, and so really wanting no answer from Jesus. This response of Nicodemus suggests that what he was concerned about is, at least in his thinking at this point of their conversation, the absurdity of the necessity of being born again to be able to see the kingdom of God. This somehow exhibits either a lack of knowledge and understanding of the matter of this second birth, or perhaps the carnal mind and human understanding kicking in. 

I just want to note, it seems that, the phrase "gennēthē anōthen" was taken by Nicodemus with the "born again" sense than the "born from above" sense. For there is nothing in his response there that even hints of the latter sense. I just thought that, should Nicodemus have taken the phrase with the "born from above" sense, it would fetch a response quite different from what we have there in verse 4.

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

As I have pointed out in my discussion under John 3:3, regarding the matter of our own birth, we have no knowledge, control, or influence whatsoever, in bringing this about. We must therefore here not forget that man have nothing to do in bringing it about.

I don't take this verse as a statement of Jesus that answers Nicodemus' question in v. 4. For as I pointed out, they are rhetorical questions where Nicodemus is really wanting no answer from Jesus. I take this as Jesus in some way clarifying what He told him in verse 3, saying it in another way. 

First, the definite article "the" before "Spirit" is absent in the Greek text (ex hydatos pneumatos). A more literal translation is "born of water and spirit." Also, the construction of the phrase in the Greek text indicates that the preposition "of" governs both "water" and "spirit." Third, whatever its meaning, "born of water and the Spirit" must be synonymous to "born again" or "born from above" (v.3), since Jesus used this phrase to clarify the "new birth" for Nicodemus. These strongly suggest that, the phrase "born of water and of the spirit" refer to only one birth rather than two, consistent with the new birth in verse 3 which speaks only of one birth. Of the phrase "water and spirit", what this refers to is easily determined considering the context in verse 8, where Jesus illustrates to Nicodemus, using the "wind", how the Spirit brings about this new birth, and where Jesus made it clear at the end of the verse that such is with those "born of the Spirit". So, this tells me that the "water and spirit" refers simply to the Spirit, that "water" is a parallel of "Spirit".  Therefore, "born of water and spirit", consistent with "born from above", is just another way of saying "born of the Spirit" or "born of God".

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

In the context of birth, Jesus here tells Nicodemus of two types of birth. One that is of the flesh, that is, of man, and the other one is that of the Spirit, that is, of God. And that which is born of man (who is flesh), is flesh (physical), and that which is born of God (who is spirit), is spirit (spiritual). We can call the former as physical birth and the latter as spiritual birth for simplicity in this discussion.

So with regards the second birth, Jesus was telling Nicodemus, that he is speaking of a spiritual birth, not a physical birth. Jesus by this, revealed that entrance into the kingdom is a spiritual matter, not a matter of physical descent or merit, a revelation that most of the Jews in Jesus' day, apparently including Nicodemus, missed.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Jesus here seems to pull Nicodemus out of astonishment, telling him to marvel not about the matter of being born again. And Jesus, using "the wind", began to illustrate to Nicodemus, how it is with everyone that is born of the Spirit, speaking of the characteristic of the wind and how it operates, suggestive of how it is with the second birth. That this birth comes about to one without his knowing it, as to when and how it comes about, but could somehow be perceived and not totally unknown or unknowable. This, Jesus said, is in like sense that man perceives the wind when it blows even while he cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That whether with or without knowledge of it, it is nevertheless true, real, and it happens. With this illustration, I believe that what Jesus wanted Nicodemus (and us of course) to know and understand of this second birth is that, this is according to the sovereign act and will of God, and is something beyond the control nor influence of man, in like sense that the wind is beyond the control nor influence of man, and not really about how it actually happens or how God actually do it. This new birth therefore is not something that requires anything from man nor is something that calls for the participation and cooperation of man, for it to happen to one. A man is born again without knowing as to when and as to how it comes about. That a man had been born again is perceived, in like sense that the wind is perceived to be there when it blows.

Because Jesus speaks there about those "born of the Spirit", this leads us to the understanding that the second birth that He is talking about in verse 3, that is, "born again" or "born from above" refers to one that is of the Spirit, that is, of God. 

__________________________________________________________________________

It is my current view and understanding, that the second birth, is the man's salvation. Also, to properly be a rebirth and new birth of a man, as to be a new creature, a new man, should necessarily be affecting all that constitutes man, that is, both the body (flesh) and spirit, as was in the first birth. To leave out the body and consider only the spirit will not constitute a new birth of a man, but only a new spirit. It would also mean that the body is not saved, which will contradict scriptures which tells us that the body will be saved as well, in the resurrection. 

It is also my current view and understanding, that the second birth, is a process and not an instant one time event or action. It begins with God's quickening of the spirit of the man. I believe this is when the salvation work by God on the man actually begins. This can be at any time during the life of the man, according to God's will, purpose, and wisdom. The moment this happens, his/her eyes and ears are opened, now able to see the light of the truth and hear the voice of God, and understand God's words, when it reaches him/her. Without this quickening, he/she is not able to see the light of the truth and hear the voice of God, and understand God's words. Next, at some time thereafter, God gives and grants him repentance. It is at this point that God works things out to bring the truth and His words, the gospel of Christ, to his/her hearing, convicts him/her of sin through the Holy Spirit, and leads him/her to repentance unto God and faith towards Jesus Christ. Soon he/she finds himself/herself coming to the decision to repent unto God and have faith in Jesus Christ. It is here at this stage where he/she gets himself/herself baptized according to the instructions of Christ, having fellowship with the church, worshiping God with them, studying the scriptures, preaching the gospel to others, at so much more. And all these new and good things, really is the giving, making, and putting of a new spirit and new heart within him/her by God ~ God transforming and conforming him/her into the image of Jesus Christ. God sustains, teaches, guides, disciplines, and grows him/her to maturity and perfection, to a loving, faithful, and willful obedience to His will until his/her time to fall asleep in Christ. It is during this part of the process of the second birth that the Christian gets to have an active participation in this work of God on him/her. Now, the participation of man here, does not mean that he has any measure of control nor does it mean he/she have a creditable work that could be said have earned his/her salvation, nor does it mean he/she have made this new birth to come to reality. For as I have pointed out, and here point it out again, regarding the matter of birth, concerning one's own for that matter, we have no knowledge, control, or influence whatsoever, in bringing it about. We don't get to regenerate or reborn ourselves. Finally the last stage, is in the resurrection, the Christian shall be given a new body. Hence, the new creature, the new man in the image of God.
« Last Edit: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 00:39:18 by Michael2012 »

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #61 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 02:23:58 »
You must be born again to Nicodemus meant he had to be born of flesh again. It is my understanding that the Greek phrase could be translated “born from above.”  By his answer Nicodemus clearly misunderstood what Jesus meant. Jesus cleared it up by verse 5 and 6. Jesus was not concerned with the number of birth so much as making him understand that it was a Spiritual birth.

“Born of water” is a way to say born of woman. Jesus was saying in verse 5 born from above in a different way to clarify it for Nicodemus.

This is the way  I believe that verse 5 reads:  Unless one has been born of water (first birth) and of the Spirit (from above) he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Jesus is not setting the requirements for salvation nor for being born again. He's just clarifying for Nicodemus his first statement.

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. NKJV

Our birth is according to the promise.

One problem with that is that, whatever its meaning, "born of water and the Spirit" must be synonymous to "born again" or "born from above" (v.3), since Jesus used this phrase to clarify the "new birth" for Nicodemus. Taking the phrase "born of water and of the Spirit" as two births, one being the first birth and the second as the birth from above, is obviously not consistent with verse 3. The phrase "born again" or "born from above" is not talking of two births but only of one.

Another problem with that is that, the definite article translated "the" before "Spirit" is absent in the Greek text. A more literal translation would be simply "born of water and spirit." If two births were in view, there would normally be a repetition of the preposition before the second noun.

Another problem with that is that, the construction of the phrase in the Greek text indicates that the preposition "of" governs both "water" and "spirit.". The construction of the Greek phrase favors one birth rather than two.

All these considered, the phrase "born of water and of the spirit" could not be meaning to speak of two births, one being the first birth and the second as the birth from above, but strongly suggest, if not clearly indicates, to refer to only one birth, consistent with the new birth in verse 3.

By the way, I agree with your statement that "Jesus is not setting the requirements for salvation nor for being born again. He's just clarifying for Nicodemus his first statement."

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #62 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 02:49:06 »
I agree with Jamie.  John the Baptist was already baptizing with water.  Jesus was baptized in water.  Every example in the book of Acts of the apostles folks who came to a saving knowledge was baptized.


Tex if it was not physical birth or water baptism then what do you think being born of water means?

There is "born of water and spirit", but not "born of water". The phrase indicates BIRTH, one birth not two, consistent with the one birth Jesus speaks in verse 3, "born from above" or "born again". This birth clearly isn't of the flesh or of man, but is one of the Spirit or of God.

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #63 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 02:58:06 »
19,
I can imagine an altar call service
"The gospel is simple. God loves you and wants you to be saved. To be saved, you must be born physically, oh never mind you've done that, you must acknowledge that you are a sinner..."

Plus, fully matured fetuses would not need to begin the salvation process by being born, as they have not yet committed any sins.

Oh, the lengths people will go to try to debunk baptism's place in being saved.

Oh you did not, I have to object. Your being born is never your doing nor will it be ever the doing of the one born.

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #64 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 03:45:12 »
Nicodemus was obviously quite familiar with John's baptism.  So it is quite natural that the water that Jesus was speaking of was the water of baptism.  And note that immediately following Jesus' discourse with Nicodemus in chapter 3, verses 1-21, we read in verse 22 &23: After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized

Also the argument that Christian baptism didn't yet exist and must be excluded from John 3:5 isn't really valid since "born of the Spirit" is itself a reference to the future Christian era.  Keep in mind that regeneration by way of the indwelling Holy Spirit was a blessing offered only from Pentecost on (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:38-39).

First, the argument that in verse 22 & 23 speaks of Jesus and John baptizing does not make the "water" in the verse 5 birth phrase "born of water and the spirit" to refer to water of baptism. These verses are out of the context of the passage in verses 1-10. Even the immediately following verses 11-21, which speaks about the matter of faith, salvation, and having eternal life, which are even more relevant to the matter of seeing and entering the kingdom of God where the second birth is directly connected, does not make these verses necessary context to the subject matter in the passage in verses 1-10. For the subject in verses 1-10 is about the second birth as a necessary thing to happen to a person to be able to see and enter the kingdom of God. This has nothing to do with having faith, nor with water baptism.

Second, a problem with this view is that the water that Jesus was speaking of in verse 5, was the water of baptism, is that, it basically defeat the characteristic definition of BIRTH, if not, put it on the side. Jesus in verse 3 was talking about being BORN again or BORN from above. In verse 5, about being BORN of water and the spirit. In verse 8, about those BORN of the Spirit. The central thought and idea is BIRTH, a REBIRTH or NEW BIRTH of the man. And regarding the matter of BIRTH, concerning one's own for that matter, we have no knowledge, control, or influence whatsoever, in bringing our birth about.

The view where "water" in the phrase "born of water and the spirit" alludes to baptism in Christ's name, what does that say then of the second birth? That in this second BIRTH, the man gets to have to decide regarding his own birth, his second birth. It just does not add up and make no sense.

Also, this view does not make much of a sense to what Jesus said in verse 8, about how it is with those born of the Spirit, the illustration that the wind blows wherever it pleases, hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.   

Offline 4WD

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #65 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 05:02:54 »
In speaking of being born again Jesus was obviously referring to spiritual, not physical, birth.  That is quite clear from Jesus' answer to Nicodemus' question about entering again into the mother's womb.  Jesus responded to Nicodemus with, and I am paraphrasing here, "Silly man, we are not talking about physical birth at all. There is physical birth and there is spiritual birth.  It is the spiritual birth which must be redone. And the spirit is given birth and rebirth only by God."

Offline Michael2012

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #66 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 05:59:22 »
In speaking of being born again Jesus was obviously referring to spiritual, not physical, birth.  That is quite clear from Jesus' answer to Nicodemus' question about entering again into the mother's womb.  Jesus responded to Nicodemus with, and I am paraphrasing here, "Silly man, we are not talking about physical birth at all. There is physical birth and there is spiritual birth.  It is the spiritual birth which must be redone. And the spirit is given birth and rebirth only by God."

That's right, it not about our first birth, which you there refer to as something physical, but to spiritual, birth. Spiritual it may be said or considered to be, it is not really in the sense that it pertains the spiritual element of man, but in the sense that this birth is from above, that is, it is of the will of God, not of man. So, it would be a mistake to say that this second birth only pertains to the spirit of man.

As I pointed out in one of my post here, to properly be a rebirth and new birth of the man, as to be a new creature, a new man, it necessarily should be affecting all that constitutes man, that is, both the body (flesh) and spirit, as was in the first birth, which you here refer to as physical (not spiritual), birth. To leave out the body and consider only the spirit will not constitute a new birth of a man, but only a new spirit or a rebirth of the spirit. It would also mean that the body is not saved, which will contradict scriptures which tells us that the body will be saved as well, in the resurrection.

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #67 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 06:15:11 »
I desire to post on this later today if my time permits me to do so~I've been up all night with my grandson.
Quote from: Michael2012 on: Today at 00:23:51
Here's my take and understanding, per my reading to date
Brother that's a very humble confession from a person who is open to the truth and knows our weak frame which is subject to error much more so than to TRUTH.   

Offline 4WD

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #68 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 06:36:56 »
That's right, it not about our first birth, which you there refer to as something physical, but to spiritual, birth. Spiritual it may be said or considered to be, it is not really in the sense that it pertains the spiritual element of man, but in the sense that this birth is from above, that is, it is of the will of God, not of man. So, it would be a mistake to say that this second birth only pertains to the spirit of man.
Michael, it is being BORN AGAIN.  It is a REbirth. Clearly, the flesh is not born again.  So what is born again?  Only the spirit.

Quote from: Michael
It would also mean that the body is not saved, which will contradict scriptures which tells us that the body will be saved as well, in the resurrection.

1Co 15:50  I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.


I think it is you who contradicts Scriptures.  There is no flesh and blood in the resurrection, i.e., no physical body in the resurrection.

Offline soterion

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Re: Physicial birth is necessary to be born again spiritually
« Reply #69 on: Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 07:17:16 »
Jesus here makes reference to the kingdom of God. We know from scriptures that  John the baptist, Jesus himself and his disciples, went preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand. The kingdom of God that Jesus was referring to here in this passage is not the physical material kingdom like the kingdoms of the world as we know them. It is a kingdom that is not of this world, a spiritual kingdom in contrast to a physical material one, if I may say so. For obviously, if it was of this world, then every man who isn't blind will be able to see it, which would render the necessity of being "born again" to be able to see it, meaningless. I believe that Jesus Christ is the King of this kingdom. That this kingdom is a kingdom that is not of this world, is without mistake. Jesus himself revealed and said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

This reasoning is a misunderstanding of the use of the word "see."

Jesus is not talking about seeing with the eyes, but about experiencing, being a part of. I believe He clarified this in verse 5 when He used the phrase, "...cannot enter..."

Quote
Jesus was telling Nicodemus here that to be able to see the kingdom of God, necessitates one to be born again or be born of God. This is obviously a work of God and not a work of man nor a work of the man being born. It is God who brings this about, according to His will and purpose, and not according to man's will. More so, this birth is not according to, and could not be according to, the will of the one being born. This is not difficult to understand and accept, in that, we know this pretty well, for in our birth, we have no knowledge, control, or influence whatsoever, with our being born. Why this seems difficult for some to understand this, makes me wonder. 

And, yet, we know that it is by faith that a man is saved. Faith has to be exercised, by the choice of the person, to enter into the kingdom of God. Your comparison of the physical birth and the spiritual to this extent is going way too far and negates so much of scripture that says otherwise.

 

     
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