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What did Jesus mean?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Craigbythesea, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    And v. 8 clearly emphasizes the point to Nicodemus: only by being born of the Spirit is entering the Kingdom of Heaven possible. Jn. 3:5 shows how the Baptism of John ain't gonna do it, although he was the forerunner of Jesus and baptized people with water. Jn. 3:8 shows that only the Baptism of Jesus is gonna do it, the baptism of the Spirit.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  2. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    CONTEXT:
    Nicodemus came to Jesus by night for fear of the Jews. He was a ruler of the Jews. There was no baptism going on all around him. It was the middle of the night. He was afraid for what the Jews (especially the Pharisess, the Sanhedring) would both say or do to him. So he came to him privately. Baptism (whether it be of John or of the disciples of Jesus) does not even enter the picture here.

    Nicodemus's approach to Jesus was both tactful and respectful.
    "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. "

    But Jesus, who knows all things, knew why Nicodemus had come (how to have eternal life), and answers his question without him even asking it.

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    --Thus far there is no hint of baptism, or the like that is in this story. Nicodemus would not even be thinking of such.
    Jesus told him he had to be born again. Nicodemus was obviously confused. What does it mean to be born again? (People today ask the same question).

    John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
    --See the confusion of Nicodemus. How can a man be born when he is old? It seems that Nicodemus is thinking about reincarnation which was around at that time. But reincarnation was not the answer. (Again the farthest thing from Nicodemus mind was baptism).

    So Jesus begins to elaborate:
    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.
    --There is no reference to baptism here. There hasn't been in the whole chapter. To insert it here would be the poorest of hermeneutics.
    He says: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kindom of God."
    Water does not equal baptism. That is a preconceived idea. Throughout the Bible water is used a cleansing agent (as it is in regular life), and so is the Word of God. The Word of God is used as a purifying agent all throughout the Word of God. It is obvious that it is only through the Word of God that one can be saved. One should have a problem interpreting or even associating water in John 3:5 with baptism when one considers these words of Paul:

    1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
    --Paul goest to great lengths to distance baptism from salvation. He was commissioned to preach the gospel, not to baptize. Baptism was not part of Paul's commission; preaching the gospel was. Paul was sent by Christ that people might be born again, that they might be born into the kingdom of God; but not that they might be baptized. That is what he is saying here. Christ did not commission him to baptize. That really throws a monkey wrench into those who associate baptism with salvation. Paul testifies that it isn't even part of his commission to preach the gospel!!

    The water of John 3:5 according John 15:3; 17:17; James 1;18; 1Pet.1:23, is clearly the Word of God. The Scripture does not contradict itself.

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
    --God doesn't lie. One is born again of the Word of God, not of baptism. John 3:5 says one is born of the Spirit, not of baptism. God takes the Word, uses the Holy Spirit to convict through the Word, and brings a soul to Christ. One needs both the Word and the Holy Spirit to be saved. One does not need to be baptized to be saved, only to get wet. I can go swimming to accomplish that. Baptism is not salvic, efficacious, sacramental, merits no grace, does absolutely nothing but get you wet. It is symbolic step of obedience by a believer after one is saved, in obedience to the command of Christ. Faith saves, but it is faith in Christ and his atoning work; not faith in baptism.

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    --There is no water, no baptism here.
    There are two kinds of birth--physical (of the flesh), and spiritual (of the Spirit). If you don't have both you cannot enter the kingdom of God. You must be born again; not baptized. And thus he emphasizes in the next verse:

    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    --Not be baptized, but be born again.

    John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    --One is born again when the receive Christ as their Saviour by believing on his name.
    DHK
     
  3. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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  4. JackRUS

    JackRUS New Member

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    "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit.."

    Note the use of the word 'and' in the text that seems to have escaped the scholars here. If the 'water' is baptism, then one would surmise that baptism + faith = salvation.

    Does anyone here besides me know that Augustine doubted his own salvation and that he was sure that if he wasn't baptized before he died that he would be lost? Therefore I don't value his opinion at all. 1 Cor. 2:14.

    And if the 'water' is the Holy Spirit as put forth by John 7:38-38, then the verse is redundant. How can one need to be born both of the Spirit and the Spirit?

    So then, what is the water?

    It could refer the physical water breaking at child birth. Or did Christ refer to the baptism of repentance that John the Baptist taught? One must repent (as signified by John's water baptism) and believe (Spirit)?

    I would hope that no one here would agree with this quote:

    "[N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, ‘Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life’" (Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203])." Tertullian

    What about the thief on the cross, and all of the OT saints then?

    Here is what John MacAurthor thinks:

    "There was a very famous passage in Ezekiel that every teacher in Israel knew, because it was the promise of the new covenant. In Ezekiel 36:25, God made this promise to Israel about a new covenant. He said, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all you idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances or my commandments.”

    Now what Ezekiel is writing there is, that the day is going to come when the Lord will wash your heart, he’ll wash your life; he’ll wash your inner man. He’ll put a new heart in you and he’ll put his Spirit in you.

    So when Jesus talks to Nicodemus and says, "you must be born of the water and the Spirit," Nicodemus knows immediately that he is saying, "I am come to bring the fulfillment of the promised new covenant, promised to and through Ezekiel." Okay? See his is a Jewish Old Testament context, and so it would be actually what the apostle Paul calls, “The washing of regeneration.” The washing, the internal washing of regeneration, and the renewing that comes by the Holy Spirit, that’s Titus 3:5 where you have both the water and the Spirit."

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/70-14-6.htm

    BTW, I was truly born again 13 months before I was baptized.

    Anyone else here who was born again before they were baptized?

    BTW, if baptism is necessary in any minute way for salvation, it's just as bad as the heresy of total baptismal generation.

    www.evangelicaloutreach.org/baptism.htm
    http://www.ovrlnd.com/FalseDoctrine/baptizmalregen.html
    http://www.dokimos.org/immersed.html?origin=main&c
    http://www.fundamentalbiblechurch.org/Tracts/fbcbaptr.htm
    http://www.carm.org/questions/baptnec.htm http://www.biblebelievers.net/FalseTeaching/kjcbaptr.htm
    http://users.htcomp.net/gatewaybc/on_line_articles/baptismal_regeneration.htm
     
  5. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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  6. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    The only faith is faith in Christ. The only baptism is symbolic. What do you mean: "the spiritual reality WB expresses?" If all you mean is that it is symbolic of our salvation, then I agree. You just admitted that it is not salvic. So what is the problem. If it is not salvic then it is not necessary. I was not baptized until two years after I was born again. Where does that leave me in reference to both John 3:3-5 and Acts 2:38?? I would like an answer to that. Was I saved in that two year period? Would I have gone to heaven had I died? If water means baptism, then how could I have been born again during that time? That sure throws a person's soteriology into a state of confusion.

    You don't have to please me. I don't expect you will. You have your presuppositions. But I prefer to compare Scripture to Scripture to find out the truth of God's Word.

    Galatians 3:26-27 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    --Couldn't be a clearer verse that tells us that one is made a child of God (born again) by faith and faith alone.

    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    --Every believer is baptized into Christ the minute he is saved, not by water but by the Holy Spirit.

    No, the pope doesn't have that power either. When one goes against the fundamentals of the faith he wanders into heresy. Salvation is by grace through faith. Baptismal regeneration is a heretical belief that goes contrary to the Biblical definition of salvation--by grace through faith. That is what is heresy. The Bible becomes our guide, our measuring stick.

    I have only presented a plausible and accurate explanation of the thread in question: "What does this mean (John 3:5)?" If you wish to disagree that of course is your perogative.
    It identified early believers as Christians, but only in a symbolic way. It had nothing to do with salvation in a direct way.
    I don't know Robertson's beliefs and don't care. I do know what the Church of Christ believes and debate many of them on a daily basis in another forum. I find it strange that many of your arguments are the same as theirs. They do believe in baptismal regeneration, and they also refer to A.T. Robertson quite a bit.
    They force their preconceived cultic theology into certain verses to make them say what their theology says. Since they beleive in baptismal regeneration, of a necessity every verse that speaks of baptism must also speak of salvation, even Mat.28:19,20.
    I am not playing your games here. I will debate your beliefs as I previously said. I am not interested in looking up and studying the beliefs of your favorite scholars. That's what the Catholics always ask me to do. I am more interested in the Bible, thank you.
    DHK
     
  7. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

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    Many Baptists are beginning to embrace baptismal remission/regeneration under the usage of different language.

    Do you think Augustine may have been bias in his disagreement with the Donatists?

    What is the Donatist belief he is writing against? The above statement, though perhaps not meant as such is biased because it only presents the argument from your p/o/v, therefore, presenting Augustine's argument to 'prove' your position.
    ;)


    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    John the Baptist was only around for a short time before his head got lopped off. If Jesus was saying that John's baptism was necessary (and I don't think anyone on this board is saying that), then everyone after John got his head chopped off is in real trouble. Jesus was speaking a contextualized statement to Nicodemus. Being baptized with water, as so many had done, was not necessarily bringing salvation. Those preaching John's baptism in Acts but who didn't have the Spirit were in the same boat, same dispensation. After John came Jesus, who started a new baptism, the baptism of the Spirit. Seen in the proper social context, water DOESN'T and CAN'T mean baptismal regeneration, regardless of what DHK says; it CAN and (I think) DOES mean water baptism, regardless of what DHK says.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  9. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    So if I am not baptized still two years after I am saved (i.e., born again), according to you I am condemned to hell and not saved at all.
    For except a man be born of baptism and of the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom God.
    Oh well, I guess I'll just remain on your "condemned" list. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Why isn't anyone reconizing my example of the THIEF on the cross I thought that was an excellent example.

    Don't you think God used him as an example just for arguments just like this! The THIEF alone should stop all arguments about having to be BAPTIZED to be saved.

    What more do you all want ? Like I said before this passage is VERY simple.

    Born of WATER is the Water sack from the mother. NO baby at anytime in the stage of pregnacy can be born unless that sack breaks. So even ABORTED babies go to heaven ! If you take it to mean born of THE WORD then babies and very small children cannot go to heaven.

    So the only solution that COVERS EVERYONE is born of physical Birth.

    [ August 31, 2005, 03:11 AM: Message edited by: RightFromWrong ]
     
  11. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    So if I am not baptized still two years after I am saved (i.e., born again), according to you I am condemned to hell and not saved at all.
    For except a man be born of baptism and of the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom God.
    Oh well, I guess I'll just remain on your "condemned" list. :rolleyes:
    </font>[/QUOTE]No, but if you were Nicodemus and were baptized by John with water but not baptized by Jesus with the Spirit, then, yes, you would have been damned to hell.

    Can you not read and understand simple English? Cut and paste anything in my posts that says anything similar to what you just said I have said. This goes for RightFromWrong as well.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  12. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    The exact words and theology Jesus spoke to Nicodemus before he died on the cross is not necessarily what he says to billions of people 2000 years later.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  13. Pipedude

    Pipedude Active Member

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    It is a common quip among Church of Christ people that the thief on the cross is the patron saint of Baptists because he is invoked on so many occasions. [​IMG]
     
  14. Pipedude

    Pipedude Active Member

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    No need to get overly specific, but where does this problem surface? I haven't noticed anything new, but I'm not necessarily in touch with the latest trends. Is it in recent books, journals, or certain seminaries--or what?
     
  15. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

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    Dear Pipedude,
    I give to you the following example. Also, I am a landmark missionary Baptist, who more and more is being alienated from landmark missionary Baptists who now are even denying my immersion as being scriptural and who have previously said an improper immersion equals no previous regeneration because according to their reasoning, the Spirit of Truth cannot be present in anyone who submits to a false baptism

    Is it true that in the last days the daughters will return to the Mother Harlot? [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas

    BTW, the tear is not because we are closer to the return of Christ.

    So if I am not baptized still two years after I am saved (i.e., born again), according to you I am condemned to hell and not saved at all.
    For except a man be born of baptism and of the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom God.
    Oh well, I guess I'll just remain on your "condemned" list. :rolleyes:
    </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  16. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

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    Dear RightFromWrong,
    Use the post a reply button and not the quick reply window . This will permit you to use the various fancy writings of others as well as give access to the various smilies available to use.

    [​IMG] :D ;) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But don't use more than eight smilies or the wizard will reject your post :confused:

    As he did with this post when I first clicked Add Reply

    May God Bless,
    Bro. Dallas
     
  17. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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  18. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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  19. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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    ===

    OK. You asked me why I criticized your rendering of this verse and your putting the action of one aorist at a different time than another.

    please by the Greek (ie by the Bible)

    1) explain why IYO the action of the first phrase comes before the action of the second. ie, what is your proof that Paul already had arisen.

    2) provide your grammatical evidence from the text that the washing connects only to the calling?

    3) show from the Greek text that there is the word "by."


    IMO our theogy is not more important than the text.
     
  20. BEST EXAMPLE I'VE SEEN YET ON THIS SUBJECT. TAKEN FROM A COMMENTARY

    John 3:5-6

    The Kingdom of God is something that can be entered into. But only those who are "born again" can enter into it. We who are born of the flesh are flesh—just mortal flesh and blood. We were born that way. But it is possible for us to be born again—this time not as a mortal, flesh-and-blood baby, but born of the very Spirit of God. Then we shall be spirit—wholly composed of spirit as God is ( John 4:24 ) !

    God is not a single Personage. The Hebrew word for God, elohim, denotes more than one person. It shows God is a single Family, or "Kingdom," but composed of more than one person.

    We have the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the animal kingdom. The Bible reveals an angel kingdom, created by God and composed of spirit. And then, high above all is the very creating kingdom—the God Kingdom. In other words, the "Kingdom of God"! God the Father and Christ the Son presently compose the Kingdom or Family of God.

    The astounding truth of the Bible is that God is reproducing Himself! God created mortal man in God's own image so that we may become impregnated—begotten—by the Spirit of God. Then, by a resurrection ( 1 COR. 15: 50 ) ), we may be born of God—"born again"—as immortal, spirit-composed persons in the Kingdom or Family of God

    John 3:5-8

    Ruach is translated as "wind" in the Old Testament. Here, the Greek word is pneuma, which is the equivalent of the Hebrew ruach meaning "an invisible force or power." The illustration refers to wind. A person cannot see air, but it is real, is it not? Its molecules can be packed so solidly, so close together, that they will lift a huge airplane right off the ground. One cannot see the molecules, the atomes, the electrons, or protons, but they are there. We deal with other invisible forces or powers, like electricity and light, on a daily basis, and they certainly exist.

    That is the gist of the meaning of spirit. No one would argue that air, of which wind is constituted, is not real, and though it is invisible, it is made up of particles too small for the unaided eye to see. The Bible provides ample evidence to prove that God and angels are not universal nothingness floating around in nowhere. God is not universal mind, conscience, or goodness. He is not an abstract power filling the whole of space. Except for the vast differences in power and potential, the only difference between humans and God is that mankind is earthly flesh and bone whose life is in the blood, while God's body is also flesh and bone but composed of Spirit and immortal.

    This has practical ramifications that must be explored because it means that God cannot be omnipresent in the body. The Bible's consistent description of God shows Him at one place at one time, and He is generally seen managing or participating in His creation. We see Him sitting, standing, walking, talking, eating, drinking, commanding, etc., in specific locations. Nowhere is there any mention of God's size, and therefore the conclusion must be that He is of ordinary, human size, and when He became a man, the Scripture says, there was nothing notable about Him except His character and His powerful teaching.

    John 3:5-8

    In connection with John 4:24 , this verse implies that, since God is Spirit, if one is going to be born of the Spirit, he will be composed of exactly the same substance as God. To make it even clearer, Jesus gives an illustration in verse 8 so that no one would misunderstand His intention.

    Wind is invisible. When something gets moved by the wind, a person can see that object moving. He does not see the wind moving but the object. The wind, composed of air, is invisible to his eyes. This illustrates one who is born of the Spirit. Spirit is invisible but no less real than air. Nobody would argue that air, of which wind is composed, has no substance, for though it is invisible, it is made up of particles too small to be seen by the unaided eye.

    John 3:3-8

    Enter means literally "to go inside of," as one would enter a building, not an ethereal or abstract concept.

    Paul says, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" ( 1 COR. 15:50 ), which agrees perfectly with Jesus' statement. When combined with Jesus being the pattern for the entire new creation, and that He did not go through a conversion process and yet was born again by a resurrection from the dead, John 3:3-8 must refer to the end of the process.

    Otherwise, we have to try to explain away verses like "That which is born of the flesh is flesh" (verse 6). It is perfectly clear on its own; it needs no explanation. We are still confined to the earth. But the birth Jesus is speaking about occurs later: "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit"!

    The old "hat pin test" still works. We still bleed and feel pain. We are still flesh. We are not spirit yet, so we have not been born again.

    It becomes even clearer:

    Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (verse 7-8)

    If we—proven to be fleshly beings—can still see each other coming and going, we are not yet spirit. It is so plain!

    The process that ends in being born again begins at begettal. Throughout the entire process, however, there are types, symbolic actions, that represent later realities. Repentance and baptism typify a death ( Romans 6: 1-11 ). We have died to sin, and when a person dies, he is buried. Likewise, we are buried in water and are raised up out of it (typifying a resurrection) to begin a new life.

    But we are not born again yet; we are still flesh and blood. God imparts His Spirit to us at the laying on of hands, but we are not spirit. We have the Spirit in a small measure as a down payment, an earnest, a guarantee, of our future, complete endowment ( 11 COR. 1:22, 5:5 ) It has begotten us to begin the process.

    We go through these types but the reality is still future. And it will not occur until we literally die, our bodies decay, and we are resurrected by the power of God. Only then will we be spirit. Then we will be like the wind. The process will have been completed. We will be born again!

    John 3:1-8

    Nicodemus was a high-ranking Pharisee—one of the rulers of the Jews. He knew Jesus was a miracle-working Prophet sent by God, and was deeply interested in His teachings. But because Nicodemus did not want to be seen speaking with this man the other Pharisees called a "heretic" and a "deceiver of the people," he came to Jesus secretly at night.

    Jesus told Nicodemus a profound truth—something that completely mystified the man. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," said Jesus ( John 3:3 ).

    Nicodemus was totally perplexed. He asked Jesus: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (Verse 4.)

    Jesus told him: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (verse 7). But Nicodemus simply did not comprehend what Jesus was talking about (verses 9-12). How like so many people today! They, too, are baffled by these simple words of Christ.

    Most professing Christians think they were "born again" when they "accepted Christ" and were "baptized." From that time, supposedly, they received the Holy Spirit and have been living a new life in Christ. True, a real Christian has received the Spirit of God, and is indeed living a new life in Christ ( Ephesians 4:22-24 ). But is this what it means to be "born again"? The new birth described in the Bible is far more than most professing Christians have assumed. When Jesus spoke of being "born again," He did not mean what most people think.

    Nicodemus was familiar only with the process of physical birth. Therefore he understood when Jesus said to him, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." But then Jesus explained we must be born again—not again of the flesh—not again entering our mother's womb, as Nicodemus thought He meant. He explained that we must be born of the spirit—born of God! God must be our Father this time! As we were born of the flesh through fleshly human parents, even so we must be born of the Spirit of our spiritual heavenly Father.

    Here are two different kinds of birth—one physical, the other spiritual. When you were born of your fleshly parents, you were composed of flesh, but "that which is born of the spirit is spirit" ( John 3:6 ) no longer composed of flesh but spirit!

    There will be no blood in the body of one "born of the Spirit." He will not have to breathe air to exist. He will be literally composed of spirit, declared Jesus. That is the plain teaching of the Bible! The new birth is not an emotional experience, but a literal birth!

    So Nicodemus would not mistake the true meaning of being born of the Spirit, Jesus explained to him: "The wind bloweth where it listeth [where it wills], and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (verse 8).

    Notice that carefully. When you are "born again," born of the Spirit of God, you will be invisible to mortal eyes like the wind (unless you choose to manifest yourself). The effects of the wind may be easily discernible, but the wind itself cannot be seen.

    Clearly, Jesus compared the spiritual birth to the physical birth. The latter is a type of the former. Human parents pass on a physical nature at birth to their children, so when we are born of our heavenly Father, we will possess His spiritual nature in its fullness!
     
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