- William T. Howe Ph.D.
May 4, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
May 4, 2022
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.
Without proof or context many attempt to use this third Verily, verily teaching of Christ as evidence for their pet belief system. But frankly, the Lord’s teaching here is quite simple. He states clearly that the term born again is a wholly spiritual event. You see, to be born again means that one must already be born. So, this spiritual event is reserved for humans that have first been born physically. Physical birth is a birth of water. By reading between the lines, it can be understood that for a person to be born again they must have first been born and still be alive. A person that has been born into physical life then dies no longer has the opportunity to be born again, that possibility is past. This may be basic, redundant, and seemingly unnecessary to communicate in the eyes of some, but this simple truth has ample spiritual and doctrinal ramifications. Believing that only alive humans have the potential to be born again is important to the overall doctrine of salvation.
How can one have any confidence that this thing of being …born of water… is physical birth? The very next verse. Therein Jesus says That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 Being born of flesh is being born of water. According to a “Medical News Today” article most of the human body is water. About 60% of our physical body is water. Interestingly enough, from birth to 6 months the human body is about 74% water. Newborns have a greater percentage of water in their bodies than any other age. Also, about 85% of the brain is water. Blood is 90% water which perhaps gives new insight to the Bible teaching that life is in the blood.
But going back to physical birth, it is a water birth. After all, we all know that a mother’s water breaks just prior to birth. So, a person who has been born of water, physical birth, then has the potential to be born again, spiritual birth. Jesus said that the second birth is brought on by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. Hence, He is sometimes called the “Agent of the new birth” by old timers.
To all this, Jesus follows up with a bold statement; Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7 He knew that this teaching, this Verily, verily teaching would be a battle ground. Therefore, He goes into specific detail about it, just read the entire chapter of John 3, for our Lord explains this difficult teaching very clearly. To this preacher there is no room for misunderstanding what the term born again means. Our Savior told Nicodemus all about it and put it in His book for us.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.