#DailyDevotion To Enter God’s Kingdom You Must Be Born Of The Water & The Spirit
John 3:1-7 Now, there was a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish council. 2He came to Jesus one night. “Rabbi,” he said to Him, “we know You’re a teacher who has come from God. No one can do these miracles You do unless God is with him.” 3“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered him, “if anyone isn’t born from above, he can’t see God’s kingdom.” 4“How can anyone be born when he’s old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “He can’t go back into his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” 5“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered him, “if anyone isn’t born of water and the Spirit, he can’t get into God’s kingdom. 6Anything born of the flesh is flesh, but anything born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Don’t be surprised when I tell you you must all be born from above. The wind blows where it pleases and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
I often wonder how big the “we” is there in Nicodemus’ statement, “we know You’re a teacher who has come from God. No one can do these miracles You do unless God is with him.” Did the Sanhedrin as a whole think this and were just jealous of Jesus. We know they were jealous of Jesus’ following. Or what this more of a royal “we” or just a small “we” of close associates of Nicodemus? Nevertheless, Jesus responds to his statement with what seems an unrelated response. Jesus tells him the answer to the question he should have asked.
The question I guess, from Jesus’ response, is, “How do I enter the kingdom of God?” To that, the answer is one must be born from above. Now the Greek word there in the text helps us understand Nicodemas’ confusion. We don’t know if Jesus and Nicodemas were speaking Greek to each other or Aramaic and I can’t tell you if the confusion would have taken place in Aramaic. In the Greek though the word Jesus used could be either “born again” or “born from above.” Now born from above would include being born again but not vice versa.
Now what does it mean to be born from above and by what means is that accomplished? John in chapter one tells us, 13“They have been born, not of the blood of parents, nor of a sexual desire, nor of a man’s desire, but of God.” It is to be born of God. The Father must beget us. We are born into this world through men’s desire, sexual desire, of our earthly parents. We are born of flesh and flesh can only give birth to flesh. The flesh, since the fall of Adam, is opposed to all things of God. It has does not have the life of God in it. If we are to enter the kingdom of God, we must be born of God and given the life of God, the Spirit of God.
So now, Jesus has given us the means through which God gives us birth from above, name baptism. In baptism we have the water and the Spirit (who accompanies the Word spoken in baptism cf. Eph. 5:22). Jesus said ch. 6, 63“The Spirit makes alive; the flesh doesn’t help. The words I spoke to you are Spirit, and they are life.” We speak the name of God. We speak God’s promises in baptism. Through this Word the Spirit gives us life in baptism. The Father begets us through the water and the Spirit and makes us his children receiving us into his kingdom. This is God’s great gift to you that you may be certain of your salvation.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us birth through the water and the Spirit so we may enter your kingdom. Always give us your Spirit that we may keep the Word of Jesus and be preserved unto life eternal. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.