John 3:5

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by hrhema, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. hrhema

    hrhema
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    What did Jesus mean when he said you must be born of water and the spirit?

    Please don't tell me that he was talking about the water in the womb at birth. Jesus made it very clear that he was speaking of something spiritual not natural.

    Most contend that this does not mean baptism yet again John wrote in 1 John 5:

    And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's son by his baptism in water and by shedding his bood on the cross, not by water only but by water and blood. And the Spirit also gives us the testimony that this is true.
    So we have these three witnesses, the spirit, the water, and the blood and all three agree.

    So If Jesus was not speaking of Baptism in water in John 3:5 why did John write what he wrote in 1 John 5.
     
  2. DocCas

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    The best commentary on the bible is the bible. Read the next verse:
    The Lord tells us very plainly what he is talking about. The first birth is the birth of the flesh which gives us physical life, the second birth is the birth of the Spirit which gives us spiritual life.

    [ April 17, 2002, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    I agree with MacArthur on this:

    "3:5 born of water and the Spirit. Jesus referred not to literal water here but to the need for “cleansing” (e.g., Ezek. 36:24–27). When water is used figuratively in the OT, it habitually refers to renewal or spiritual cleansing, especially when used in conjunction with “spirit” (Num. 19:17–19; Ps. 51:9, 10; Is. 32:15; 44:3–5; 55:1–3; Jer. 2:13; Joel 2:28, 29). Thus, Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing or purification of the soul, accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation (cf. Eph. 5:26; Titus 3:5), required for belonging to His kingdom."

    And the J-F-B commentary:

    "5. of water and of the Spirit—A twofold explanation of the "new birth, " so startling to Nicodemus. To a Jewish ecclesiastic, so familiar with the symbolical application of water, in every variety of way and form of expression, this language was fitted to show that the thing intended was no other than a thorough spiritual purification by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, element of water and operation of the Spirit are brought together in a glorious evangelical prediction of Ezekiel (#Eze 36:25-27), which Nicodemus might have been reminded of had such spiritualities not been almost lost in the reigning formalism. Already had the symbol of water been embodied in an initiatory ordinance, in the baptism of the Jewish expectants of Messiah by the Baptist, not to speak of the baptism of Gentile proselytes before that; and in the Christian Church it was soon to become the great visible door of entrance into "the kingdom of God, " the reality being the sole work of the Holy Ghost (#Tit 3:5)."

    The atecedent to 3:5 is 3:3 where Jesus first tells Nicodemus "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again [from above] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The birth from above is the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.
     
  4. LadyEagle

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    &lt;&lt;So If Jesus was not speaking of Baptism in water in John 3:5 why did John write what he wrote in 1 John 5. &gt;&gt;

    I agree with Thomas C. on this one. John 3:5 was speaking of being born in the flesh (water) and the new birth in Christ (blood).

    I John 5 is speaking about Jesus, not water baptism... "he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ."

    The rest of the verse says, "not by water only (meaning being born in the flesh) but by water and blood (His sacrificial death which did away for the sin offering/blood offering--the veil of the Temple was rent in two). This passage is in reference to Jesus Christ Who fulfilled both the water and the blood.

    Remember too, His side was pierced as He hung on the cross and out came a mixture of blood and water.

    If one interprets these passages to mean baptism by water, then what about the thief on the cross?? Or what about those who are born again but don't have the opportunity to be baptized before death? (like on death bed)

    To equate water baptism as necessary for salvation is equating salvation with works, not grace.
     
  5. HankD

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    John 3:
    5 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.
    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    John 4:
    10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water .
    11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
    12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
    13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
    14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life
    15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

    John 7:
    37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
    38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water .
    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, , which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

    [ April 18, 2002, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  6. DocCas

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    And your point is . . . ?
     
  7. Kiffin

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    I have to agree with Dr. C on this one in that seems to be the most natural interpretation though MacArthur makes some good points.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    What a concept. Interpreting Scripture by actually looking at the context. Natural v Spiritual, Physical v Spiritual over and over again in John 3.

    Thanks for the hermeneutic lesson, Dr. Cassidy. [​IMG]
     
  9. DHK

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    John 3:5 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.
    ---I believe that Dr. Cassidy's view is very plausible and acceptable. But I also believe there is another view which is worthy of consideration. Water, as Chris noted, symbolizes the need for cleansing. The question is, how is a person made clean?

    John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
    ---Jesus said that we are cleansed by the Word of God. The water of John 3:5 is symbolic of the Word of God. Compare Scripture with Scripture to see if this is true.

    James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
    ---Of God's will we are begotten or born, with the "word of truth." We are born again with the Word of God.

    1Pet.1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
    ---Peter says that we are born again of the Word of God which lives and abides forever.
    If we are born again by the Word of God, and we are born again of the Spirit of God, then the only logical conclusion to come to is that "of water and of the Spirit," must mean "of the Word of God and of the Spirit of God."
    "Ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you." Both water and the Word have a cleansing effect.
    DHK
     
  10. Daniel David

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    Felluz, Jesus rebuked Nicodemus for not understanding that he needed to be born again (are you not the teacher in Israel?). It obviously had to be something taught in the Old Testament then. MacArthur's view, which Christ was good enough to type for me, is the only logical and literary interpretation that is valid. We cannot underplay the significance of Jesus' rebuke.

    BTW, Nicodemus made reference to his being in his mother's womb a second time. Jesus rebuked that line of thinking and redirected him to the spiritual birth.

    Literary context would also support a translation that reads "water, even the Spirit".
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Ephesians 5:26 would also lend weight to the view of "water" referring to spiritual cleansing: so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

    To say that "water" equals physical birth does not seem to be something that Nicodemus misunderstood. I think it was pretty clear that non-people (those who have not been born in the flesh) cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

    The contrast of v. 6 is between flesh and spirit ... those who have not been born again vs those who have. How is one born again? By Word (water) and Spirit.
     
  12. HankD

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    Tom asked (I presume of me)

    &gt;&gt;And your point is . . . ? &gt;&gt;

    I went back amd enboldened the key words in the Scriptures from the book of John to show that the "water" that Jesus spoke of was a symbol or allegory of the Spirit of God.

    HankD
     
  13. hrhema

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    When I attended SBC churches in Houston, Tx they believed that Baptism was necessary for salvation.
    THis scripture was used to support this belief.
    Now today it no longer means this.

    Jesus made it very clear that he was talking about a spiritual experience not a natural experience when he rebuked Nicodemus for asking How a man could re-enter his mother's womb.
    Therefore I do not buy into saying that Jesus was talking about a natural birth experience and the water in the uterus of a woman.

    Nor do I buy into using the blood and water that poured out of Jesus' side as an explanation for 1 John 5. THe only reason why the account of the blood and water mixed coming from Jesus side was so there would be written evidence that Jesus did truly die. To debunk the future idea that Jesus did not really die and all of this was fake.

    John mentioned Jesus' baptism in water. This is exactly what I believe is one of the three elements. No, I do not believe water saves.

    Mr. Cassidy please explain why the Baptists will not allow a person to be part of the church unless they are water baptized? If it has nothing to do with salvation, what does it matter if a person is baptized or not and if Paul did not hold it as very important as a lot of people claim then why do Baptists.
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    No, it never meant this.
     
  15. hrhema

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    Chris Temple: Your reply does not answer the question I posed. Also my questioning does not mean I believe this scripture is talking about Baptism or that I believe Baptism saves. I am asking for reasonings behind the changes because there are people who still believe this.
     
  16. LadyEagle

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    Okay, I'll post this again:

    If one interprets these passages to mean baptism by water, then what about the thief on the cross?? Or what about those who are born again but don't have the opportunity to be baptized before death? (like on death bed)

    Or could it mean Jesus IS the Living Water AND the Blood?

    And what about born of the Spirit? ;)
     
  17. DHK

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    Eagle,
    Water, meaning baptism, is not an option here. That is a forced Catholic interpretation used to justify their doctrine of baptismal regeneration. No where in the context of this story is baptism mentioned or referred to. Nor would there be any reason for Nicodemus to interpret baptism at the mention of the word water by Jesus. He was a Jew who had become a follower in Jesus. John's baptism was a baptism unto repentance, and has nothing to do with being born again. Christian baptism was instituted much later, after the resurrection of Christ. The water was symbolic of something else.
    It could simply refer to the natural birth as Dr. Cassidy explained.
    Or, more likely, it refers to the Word of God, since we are born again by the Word of God, and by the Spirit of God. (1Pet.1:23 and John 3:5)
    Those are the only 2 possible interpretations that I see here. There might be some others but baptism is not one of them.
    DHK
     
  18. Alex

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    According to the way I understand 1 John...5, The water refers to the inauguration of Christ's earthly ministry. See Mark 1:9-11. The blood refers to the close of His earthly life at His crucifixion. Jesus proved to be the Christ at His Baptism and by pouring out His soul to death.

    As far as the need for us to be Baptised is to show publically that we have accepted Jesus and intend to repent of our sins. This does not mean that all who are Baptised are truly saved. Baptism IS NOT a way of salvation anyway, only an expression.

    As for the thief on the cross and a death bed salvation....all is kosher. Again Baptism is not a REQUIREMENT for salvation although we all should be Baptised. You don't have to go to church to be a Christian but IT IS the right thing to do. Jesus knows the heart of the person on his death bed as well as the one on the cross.

    I hope this helps you out.

    God Bless.................Alex

    PS: I tend to talk in laymen's terms an do not often post a lot of scriptures, unless needed.
     
  19. Graceforever

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    Gary:
    What does it mean to be born by water and by the spirit?
    Great question that I would also like to attempt to answer from the bible…..


    1 John 5:5-8 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.



    Peter says,
    I peter 1:17 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Peter states that we’re born of that incorruptible seed, the word of God….

    Then you look in Ephesians 5:25-27
    There you have it, the Bible calls the word, “water of the word”….

    Then in Acts of the Apostles…
    While yet Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word…..

    That was another example of how the word of God cleanses (washing by the word) and the Holy Ghost anointing…. The Holy Ghost fell on all that heard…. The water (word) and spirit (Holy Ghost) saved them….

    Acts 11:16 is another example…


    Jesus at the well was another example of water being symbolic of the word….. Jesus said, If you asked of me I would have given you ”living water” that you would never thirst again…. She evidently didn’t know what he was talking about either… He also mentioned the ”spirit” at the well….. He said the true worshipers would worship God in the “spirit”]

    In another verse….
    ACTS 13:48 “And when the gentiles heard the this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained believed…”

    Faith commeth by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God….

    Acts 15:7 “ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; “

    You can’t be saved but by the water of the word, and the Holy Ghost….

    This is probably my favorite…..
     
  20. Andrey

    Andrey
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    hrhema,
    you have a life-long dilemma, which Christ also faced.
    If you look at the logo at the top of the page, you will see the phrase:

    "The TRUTH shall set you free!"

    From what? (No, I am not trying to start a whole new discussion, sorry!) In part, from what we "believed" which was not accurate.

    Once we "believed" the world was flat, but our belief did not make it so. The TRUTH set us free from that belief.

    Some, prefer to hold on to what they were taught.

    Your disappointment or frustration over what other people believe is a great reason to pray for them. Tradition is a strong magnet, and the Bible is full of instances where people, confronted by truth, chose otherwise.

    Andrey
    www.achievebalance.com
     

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