John 3:2-7 'This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Nicodemus said to 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?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, 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 described the new birth in terms of water and Spirit. Of these two, Spirit is the more important. Water may well refer to the emphasis of John the Baptist on repentance and cleansing from sin as the necessary background for the new birth.

The positive ingredient is the introduction of a new created life by the regenerating power of the Spirit. Titus 3:4-5 states, "But when the kindness of God our Savior, and his love toward man, appeared, 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." You must be born again. This is not merely a personal but it's a universal demand. The necessity lies in the inadequacy of the flesh. This includes what is merely natural and what is sinful-man as he is born into this world and lives his life apart from God's grace. Unlike water Baptism, being Born again is self-imposed immersion into the Spirit of Christ. Water Baptism is like being engaged to marry Jesus, whereas, being Born Again is being married to Jesus.

Flesh can only reproduce itself as flesh, and this does not meet with God's approval.
Romans 8:6-7 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." The law of reproduction is "kind after its kind." So likewise the Spirit produces Spirit, nurtured and matured by the Spirit of God. Wind (pneuma, the same word as for "Spirit") produces observable effects as it blows, but its source and future movements remain hidden. So the redeemed life (The Born Again Life) shows itself as something effective, though defying analysis by the natural man.
(See 1 Cor 2:15)

It was not enough for Nicodemus to admire Christ's miracles, and acknowledge his mission, but he must be born again. It is plain that Nicodemus expected the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the Messiah to occur shortly. Nicodemus is aware of the dawning of that day; and, according to the common perception of the Jews, he expects the kingdom to appear in splendor and power.

He doesn't doubt that this Jesus, who works these miracles, is either the Messiah or His prophet, and therefore makes his appearance to Him, compliments Him, and so hopes to secure a share for himself of the advantages of that kingdom.

Christ tells him that he can have no benefit by that change of the circumstances, unless there be a change of the spirit, of the principles and character, equivalent to a new birth.

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