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Thread: Meaning of being born of the Spirit of God

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Meaning of being born of the Spirit of God

    Would some of the believers here be willing to post their understanding of what our Lord was telling Nicodemas in John 3:5 when he stated that it was necessary to be born both of water and the Spirit of God in order to enter the kingdom of God?
    There are only two kinds of men:

    1. Those who know Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

    2. Those about to learn that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    A person is who they are because of their experiences and what they have learned from their birth onward. A man's values, thoughts and motivations are shaped as they progress through life. "You must be born again" means that you must be able to start over (like being born a second time) in order to have the values, thoughts and motivations that will please God. This is no easy task and man cannot do it alone.

    I am not able to read Greek, but it is my understanding that the word "again" in the phrase "you must be born again" is a play on words that can be translated either "again" or "from above." Taking the word to mean "again" emphasizes the need for a new start. Taking the word to mean "from above" emphasizes God's action in the process.

    The first half of the phrase "born of water and the spirit" is debated. "Born of water" has been explained three ways: physical birth, baptism, and cleansing by God as described in Ezekiel. The third option seems like the best fit. Physical birth would be redundant and baptism is not strictly necessary to be saved. What is required is that God cleanse his people of their sins.

    "Being born again" is God supernaturally transforming a person's heart to be inclined to please him. This means a man's outlook, motivation, values and (hopefully) behaviors are changed from self-pleasing to God-pleasing. An essential part of the process is being forgiven for sin and having the sinful nature purged (i.e., cleansed of sins).
    Last edited by Ickisrulz; 03-05-2020 at 03:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have no fixed understanding of "born of water" either but I suspect it's something the Jews of Jesus' day knew and understood from their heritage. We know synagogs (usually) had several hollow stone wash "tubs" for dirty folk to baptise themselves clean before entering for worship.

    Baptise is just an untranslated Greek word meaning to wash. They washed things to make them clean and that's clearly at least a part of "born of water" means. I think.

    WE know there's no spiritual magic in water baptisms and we know the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is what cleanses (baptises) us from all unrighteousness and clean water often refers to His works so it follows that believer's water baptism is a public demonstration of what the Holy Spirit has already done for our spirits. I think.

    I KNOW N.T. water baptism has no direct connection to the work of John the baptizer; before Pentecost there was no Christian baptism. And the lack of Biblical clarity about how it was done in appolistic times leads me to believe the public method and depth of the water has little or nothing to do with it's spiritual value. I think.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmitty View Post
    Would some of the believers here be willing to post their understanding of what our Lord was telling Nicodemas in John 3:5 when he stated that it was necessary to be born both of water and the Spirit of God in order to enter the kingdom of God?
    being baptized is a reference to being cleansed from sin or a washing away and being born of the spirit is a reference to loving god more and to be turning away from the tares of the world

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Being born again entails being indwelt by God's Holy Spirit and thus being sealed until the day of redemption.

    This is not accomplished by human decision, human effort or man's will, but rather, by the will of God.

    It occurs only once in the life of a believer (when God does something, He does it right the first time).

    To be born again means we have acknowledged that we are sinners (don't take it so hard, God is perfect, we are not); that we are in need of redemption; and that God's solution to the problem of our sin nature was taken care of once and for all through Jesus' substitutionary death for us on the cross.

    Ultimately, it means that we believe that Jesus was (and is) the Christ, co-equal with the Father, and thus a fully acceptable sacrifice for our sins.



    (Sorry, I did not completely answer the OP' s question.)

    To me, the water part would be one's initial birth in the womb. I do not believe it refers to baptism, since both Jesus and the apostle Paul publicly stated that they baptised very few people, if any.

    We are given no example in Scripture of either Jesus or the apostle Paul baptizing anyone. If this were necessary for salvation, would they both not have been baptizing everyone they met? Jesus himself was baptized, so it is obviously obedience to the will of God, but not necessary for salvation.

    The "born of water" part of this passage is certainly a mystery, one that none of us fully understand. Perhaps if we were first century Jews, we would understand this passage more fully, but that did not seem to help Nicodemus.

    My question is, did Nicodemus ever fully acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ, and thus, be born again?

    How about you?

    exile
    Last edited by exile; 03-05-2020 at 04:16 PM.
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Being born again entails being indwelt by God's Holy Spirit and thus being sealed until the day of redemption.

    This is not accomplished by human decision, human effort or man's will, but rather, by the will of God.

    It occurs only once in the life of a believer (when God does something, He does it right the first time).

    To be born again means we have acknowledged that we are sinners (don't take it so hard, God is perfect, we are not); that we are in need of redemption; and that God's solution to the problem of our sin nature was taken care of once and for all through Jesus' substitutionary death for us on the cross.

    Ultimately, it means that we believe that Jesus was (and is) the Christ, co-equal with the Father, and thus a fully acceptable sacrifice for our sins.



    (Sorry, I did not completely answer the OP' s question.)

    To me, the water part would be one's initial birth in the womb. I do not believe it refers to baptism, since both Jesus and the apostle Paul publicly stated that they baptised very few people, if any.

    We are given no example in Scripture of either Jesus or the apostle Paul baptizing anyone. If this were necessary for salvation, would they both not have been baptizing everyone they met? Jesus himself was baptized, so it is obviously obedience to the will of God, but not necessary for salvation.

    The "born of water" part of this passage is certainly a mystery, one that none of us fully understand. Perhaps if we were first century Jews, we would understand this passage more fully, but that did not seem to help Nicodemus.

    My question is, did Nicodemus ever fully acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ, and thus, be born again?

    How about you?

    exile
    baptism is not necessary but an open acknowledgement of Christ in ones life, look at the thief on the cross he was not baptised , however his good works came from his mouth when he publicly announced who Christ was. believing in faith that Christ was who he said he was will save. p. s. john the baptist did most of the baptising.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by a danl View Post
    p. s. john the baptist did most of the baptising.
    There was no "John the baptist"; he was John the baptizer but not "the baptist."

    John and his work had no connection to Christianity in general (and certainly not to the Baptist denomination as we know it). In fact, Christianity, as we recognise it, didn't exist until the glorious Day of Pentecost (in Acts) when the Holy Spirit came to permanently indwell every born again believer.

    John never Christian baptised anyone in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (nor did Jesus), and neither did anyone else until 2-3 years after John's death by beheading.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    Lds church goes with this.

    Being born of water= baptized
    Born of spirit = to receive the blessing of the holy ghost.





    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingmonkey35 View Post
    Lds church goes with this.

    Being born of water= baptized
    Born of spirit = to receive the blessing of the holy ghost.
    LDS (Mormons) go with a LOT of silly stuff. I know because I have their four major books and my mother, father, sister plus a few others in my family tree followed that decidedly un-Christian cult. (Putting "Church of Jesus Christ" in their label does not make it so!)

    By the grace of God - and the many prayers of my devout Christian paternal grandmother for me - I did not follow that spiritually lethal path.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    There was no "John the baptist"; he was John the baptizer but not "the baptist."
    Hmmm,.....yet the Bible does talk about John the Baptist.

    Here is one example in Mathew 17:

    9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
    10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
    11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.
    12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
    13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

    But then, you already KNEW that didn't you.
    Trolling?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
    Hmmm,.....yet the Bible does talk about John the Baptist.

    13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

    But then, you already KNEW that didn't you.
    Yeah, I knew the term is in the Book but not trolling. I was running short of time when I posted and didn't make myself clear that John was the baptizer but not the founder of the Baptist denomination.

    I attended Southern Baptist churches from about 1955 until about 20 years later. I must have heard a hundred times that "John the Baptist" was the first "Baptist" (and therefore, in effect, the SBC must have come straight from the hand of Jesus!) and they believe we should "follow Jesus' example and be dunked". That isn't true as stated and, if you read what I did say, you should understand THAT common error was the driving force behind my too brief post.

    I did not mean there is literally no reference to "John the baptist" in the Bible, just that many misunderstand who/what John was.

    To be even more focused, John's river washing baptisms may or may not have been dunking but it certainly was an Old Testament symbolic washing of repentance for that moment; that's not at all the Christian "once and done" symbolism of a spiritual act of the Holy Spirit that eternally cleans and seals believers into the body of Christ.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Is it possible that Jesus was saying a man in his spiritual state before being born of the Spirit of God is spiritually blind, and incapable of discerning spiritual matters?
    There are only two kinds of men:

    1. Those who know Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

    2. Those about to learn that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


    Ickisrulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmitty View Post
    Is it possible that Jesus was saying a man in his spiritual state before being born of the Spirit of God is spiritually blind, and incapable of discerning spiritual matters?
    Yes, that is the context. Nicodemus had reached the conclusion that Jesus was a teacher, but he was much more. Nicodemus could not see who Jesus really was.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    We are all born of water from the womb. John was Jesus cousin, preached repentance for 'there is one coming after me that has the power to condemn' in eternity. Water was very important to early culture as a cleanser. Therefore the washing away of sins was an important representation of forgiveness. Jews were very involved in 'cleansing' for every ritual event. External cleansing! Jesus was implying internal LASTING cleansing that only comes from the Holy Spirit. Scripture often refers to this as 'Chosen'. Or, from scripture - APPROVED.
    Whatever!

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    Boolit Master
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    If a man is blind to his spiritual condition unless he is born of God thru His Spirit; then man is incapable of coming to Christ unless he is enabled by the Father. This is exactly what Jesus told the Jews in John 6 : 65 .... do you see that the decision as to who will be given the gift of eternal life is God’s? A believer can request of the Father that an unbeliever be allowed to come to Christ for spiritual healing, but the decision lies solely with God the Father.
    There are only two kinds of men:

    1. Those who know Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

    2. Those about to learn that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    LDS (Mormons) go with a LOT of silly stuff. I know because I have their four major books and my mother, father, sister plus a few others in my family tree followed that decidedly un-Christian cult. (Putting "Church of Jesus Christ" in their label does not make it so!)

    By the grace of God - and the many prayers of my devout Christian paternal grandmother for me - I did not follow that spiritually lethal path.
    Btw I dont call your faith silly.
    nor is it a cult. Its Like saying a Baptist is a cult.


    Please be sensitive to other people Faith's when they choose to share. Or you come out as bigoted.



    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingmonkey35 View Post
    Btw I dont call your faith silly.
    nor is it a cult. Its Like saying a Baptist is a cult.


    Please be sensitive to other people Faith's when they choose to share. Or you come out as bigoted
    Excuse me. You didn't say you're LDS and I assumed you were not, no personal offense was intended.

    I'm very sensitive to denominational error BUT I've known a lot of LDS theology from childhood. My mother, father, sister, one grandmother, several aunts, uncles and cousins I have loved dearly were/are LDS. We always got along fine because it was hopeless for me to lead them to Christian truth but I've sadly had to bite my tongue a thousand times over.

    Finally, I obviously don't know how you define a "cult" but I define cults as very good and religious people who follow a different Jesus and different way of salvation that isn't even close to orthodox Christianity. (And Baptists are quite orthodox.)

    Cults always follow a special "priest" of some sort, plus stacks of extra-Biblical writings, to support their positions. Mormons do all that and more, therefore ....

    Again, no offense was intended but no amount of pretense or tiptoeing around it as if it isn't so will change a thing. I pray the God of the Bible will shine his light on you and yours. (And mine.)
    Last edited by 1hole; 03-09-2020 at 09:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Excuse me. You didn't say you're LDS and I assumed you were not, no personal offense was intended.

    I'm very sensitive to denominational error BUT I've known a lot of LDS theology from childhood. My mother, father, sister, one grandmother, several aunts, uncles and cousins I have loved dearly were/are LDS. We always got along fine because it was hopeless for me to lead them to Christian truth but I've sadly had to bite my tongue a thousand times over.

    Finally, I obviously don't know how you define a "cult" but I define cults as very good and religious people who follow a different Jesus and different way of salvation that isn't even close to orthodox Christianity. (And Baptists are quite orthodox.)

    Cults always follow a special "priest" of some sort, plus stacks of extra-Biblical writings, to support their positions. Mormons do all that and more, therefore ....

    Again, no offense was intended but no amount of pretense or tiptoeing around it as if it isn't so will change a thing. I pray the God of the Bible will shine his light on you and yours. (And mine.)
    It might be helpful if we think about what the words really means.

    bigot
    [ˈbiɡət]

    NOUN
    a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

    synonyms:
    narrow-minded · small-minded · parochial · provincial · insular · blinkered · illiberal · inflexible · dogmatic · rigid · uncompromising · unforgiving · unsympathetic · prejudiced · biased · partial · partisan · one-sided · sectarian · discriminatory · unfair · unjust


    cult
    [kəlt]

    NOUN
    a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

    It would seem that all religions are cults so it is not offensive to call a religion a cult except that some religions feel it is an insult because they think all religions but theirs are a cult.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Guys, what our Creator is saying here (John 3:3) is profound! No one makes the decision to come to God unless God the Father enables that individual by spiritual birth thru His Spirit. Millions of people are physically “alive” but are dead in a spiritual sense. This is why there are men involved in discussions here who laugh at the idea of what we know to be true. We are created spiritual beings living for a short time in a physical body. By grace, some of us are redeemed and some of us are destroyed. But none of us- nobody- is shown or receives injustice.
    There are only two kinds of men:

    1. Those who know Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

    2. Those about to learn that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Timmy, I suppose by your badly unfocused concept of bigots you think we should give credibility to the beliefs of flat earthers, those who stoutly insist we never went to the moon, believe Billy and Hillary may be honest, O.J. didn't do it and firmly believe 9-11 was a U.S. Government plot, etc.

    Naw. Being "open minded" doesn't require we have holes in our heads.
    Last edited by 1hole; 03-10-2020 at 10:11 AM.

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