John 3:5-8 - The Impossible Life Made Possible
If you're a Christian, you're a born-again Christian.
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Read John 3:1-8
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 are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered 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? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 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 marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 70
Q. What does it mean
to be washed with Christ’s
blood and Spirit?
A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means
that God, by grace, has forgiven my sins
because of Christ’s blood
poured out for me in his sacrifice on the cross.
To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means
that the Holy Spirit has renewed me
and set me apart to be a member of Christ
so that more and more I become dead to sin
and increasingly live a holy and blameless life.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee who had shown respect for Jesus because of the signs, also known as miracles, that Jesus had done. It was during this discussion that Jesus explained to Nicodemus how he needed to be born again. This rebirth was not a second physical birth, but a birth of water and spirit.
Jesus makes this spiritual rebirth an absolute necessity, proclaiming that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." Unless is a strong word, setting an absolute condition that must be met for one to enter the kingdom of God. This spiritual rebirth is not an optional addition to one’s faith, instead this rebirth has been set apart by Jesus as an essential part of following Him. Without this spiritual rebirth, one cannot enter God’s kingdom.
Regeneration is the theological term we use to describe this spiritual rebirth. Much like how Jesus’ physical body had died and was raised to new life on the third day, regeneration points to one’s spiritual death and new life in Christ. This is not an action you take as a believer, since regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit.
This regeneration, or rebirth, is more than a change of heart; it is an entrance into a new life. Where you were once spiritually dead in your trespasses and sins, you are now made alive. This spiritual rebirth is your entryway into a new life, one receptive and inclined towards God.
Regeneration originates with God, it is not something we can initiate for ourselves or for others. While this lack of personal control may spark different feelings in various individuals, I feel an appropriate response to this regeneration is to turn to God in prayer. For those who have either a long held or newly formed faith in Christ, we pray out of gratitude for God’s work of regeneration in their lives. For those who do not yet have faith in Christ, we pray that God may work in their lives, planting a desire for Christ where there previously was none.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, the King, whose kingdom we long to enter into;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will recognize and live into the regeneration (rebirth) you've been given by the Holy Spirit signified and sealed in your baptism
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Luke 1