Re-birth, a birth from above.


When we look at the Bible, we find words about re-birth, re-birth is always from above.
What does this mean, what did Jesus wanted to convey when He spoke these words?

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.

Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

From the famous discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus we learn much about re-birth.

1. Not from beneath.

Allthough obvious, we learn that this birth is not a physical birth. We learn from Jesus that the re-birth is all about water and Spirit. What does this mean?


Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In these two verses we learn that to become a son of God is is not about blood, it is not about the will of the flesh, nor from the will of man but of God.

A. Not about blood.

The re-birth does not come about by a blood-union like from fathers, mothers or even an distinguished ancestry. Your father or mother may be a Christian, but they cannot give or transfer it to their child or children. Your great-grand-father might have been a distinguished Christian however, he cannot give you salvation. Pious parents cannot give you salvation.
So, even the Jews could never claim there re-birth by the blood-union in their religious ancestry.

Remember, Jesus told the Pharisees that God could make children of Abraham from stones found in the river. (Matt. 3: 9)

It became evident to them that it needed to be a personal re-birth in the heart of each person individually.

The re-birth does not come about by a blood-union like from fathers, mothers or even an distinguished ancestry

God gave us “all spiritual blessings” in Christ. (Eph. 1: 3)
Christ and through Him alone is how God is reconciling this world to Himself. (2 Cor. 5: 17, 18)

B. Not about the will of the flesh.

Jesus said that flesh could only produce flesh. And the re-birth is spiritual, so flesh cannot produce a spiritual birth. So, it is not by a natural generation.
The Bible teaches us that we are dead through our sin, so our own flesh cannot reach a place where it will be able to do righteous deeds. We first need to be regenerated before we are able again to do righteous deeds. Deeds that are according to the will of God.

C. Not the will of man.

A person cannot lift himself to God and be acceptable to Him.

Tit 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared,

Tit 3:5 not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Tit 3:6 which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

This verse makes this truth very plain. It was not man's own doing that he was saved, no it was the love and mercy of God through Christ.

God makes clear that it is His mercy that saves us.
The will of man can never lift himself to God without Christ.
God's love and mercy is the basis for every person's salvation.

It is not according to our own works.

Eph 2:8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Eph 2:9 not of works, that no man should glory.

Man's own works (flesh) can never produce salvation, it is only by His grace. No one can glory in his own flesh.

D. This birth is a birth which only God can bring forth.

The re-birth is a birth from above, a birth that is done fully and completely by God Himself.
When we come to Him in faith and repentance, God is going to work on our life, God is going to renew our hearts, He is going to perform spiritual surgery. The sinner is changed by God and His power.

Consider Coll. 2: 11, 12

Col 2:10 and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power:

Col 2:11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;

Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

This passage tells us that our circumcision without hands, our baptism, is the working of God. God is the one who is doing this work. We only give ourselves to Him in faith and repentance.
Who raised Christ from the death?? It was God the Father. In the same way we are raised by God the Father upon faith and repentance.

When we come to Him in faith and repentance, God is going to work on our life, God is going to renew our hearts, He is going to perform spiritual surgery

Connect this thought to the leprosy of Naaman. (2 Kings 5)

When he dipped himself 7 times in the Jordan, what and who brought about his cleansing?
It was God's power on him, he was the one that was spoken to. He was the one that needed to dip himself in the Jordan 7 times.

When we were buried with Christ (Rom. 6: 1- 10) we were raised to newness of life.
Where does this happen? This happens in baptism.

2. Water and Spirit.

The new birth is a birth of water and the Spirit.
What does this mean?

We know from Matt. 4: 23 that Jesus came to teach the gospel of the kingdom.
What Jesus taught was all stuff about His church, the church that He would build, the church over which He was king.

A. Born of water.

In both, old and new Testament, water has always been used in cleansing.
So, it is in the new Testament done by baptism, baptism is a cleansing, a spiritual cleansing.

The book of Ephesians give us some insight into this.

Eph. 5: 25, 26

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it;

Eph 5:26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,

We learn from this verse that Christ has wached his church by the washing of water.
What does this mean?

When we look at the book of Acts particularly we find that alien sinners were baptized for the remission of sin when they were baptized, baptized upon their belief and repentance. So the water became the part by which Christ has cleansed his church.

(Note: It is not the water that saves, it is the blood of Christ who saves. However, we come in contact with the blood of Christ when we are baptized upon belief and repentance)

Water plays an important role in the new covenant. (Hebr. 9: 16- 17) In the new covenant there is only one washing and that is baptism. (Eph. 4: 4)

B. Born of the Spirit.

We read in Titus 3: 5:

Tit 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared,

Tit 3:5 not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Tit 3:6 which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Re-birth is about a renewing of the Holy Spirit who was poured out on us richly. When we were baptized there is a renewing of the Holy Spirit. He performs a work that cannot be seen with our eyes, but it is understood by our hearts, by faith.

In our text under consideration, John 3: 3- 8 we also read words about the Spirit. The re-birth was a birth not only of water but also of the Spirit and Jesus said:

The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

When a person is born again of the Spirit, there is an unseen work of God, a work of the Spirit. In our text from Collossians 2 we have seen that there is a work of God in regeneration. IS that work a work that can be seen? No, it is not seen, so is the re-birth that is of God, nothing is seen or witness-able but the work is going on.

He performs a work that cannot be seen with our eyes, but it is understood by our hearts, by faith

The re-birth is compared to the wind, wind cannot be seen, but the work of the wind can be seen and witnessed when we see little trees bend and big trees fall over, so it is with God's work. His work cannot be seen but the evidence is there that it is happening.

Another interesting passage:

1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Here we are also reminded how that “in one Spirit” we were all baptized into one body.
Baptism does not have anything to do with local-church-membership. It has everything to do with entrance into the “one body” of Christ.

Have you been born again by this water, have you been born again by this Spirit?

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