3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, 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, “Most assuredly, 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 the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” (John 3:3-9, NKJV)
3:3-6 Born Again
Nicodemus thought he saw the kingdom of God coming in Jesus’ signs and wonders. But Jesus answers him that no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
We hear that term thrown around a lot – “born again.” What exactly does it mean to be born again? Surprisingly – it is exactly the way it sounds – it is the second birth.
You see, our first birth was from the water of our mother’s womb. We have all been born once. If you’re sitting here this morning, it is a pretty good guess that you’ve been born once.
But there is an opportunity for you to be born again. Now you may think just like Nicodemus did,
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?” (John 3:4)
But that is not what Jesus is talking about. He is not talking about being born of the water of your mother’s womb twice. He says you must be born of water and the Spirit. To be born again is to be born a second time, not to your mother, but of the Spirit of God.
When you are born, you become a child of your parents. When you are born again, you become a child of God. To be born of water is to become a child of sinners. To be born of the Spirit is to become a child of God.
So the question remains, “How can you be born again? How can you be born of the Spirit? How can you become a child of God?”
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
John of course already told us this back in chapter 1:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
If you have true faith in Jesus Christ, then you are born again.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You Must Be Born Again Of The Spirit!” quote=”You Must Be Born Again Of The Spirit!” theme=”style3″]
He Cannot Enter
Now, being born again is an absolute requirement to see the kingdom of God and to enter the kingdom of God. Not one person will be in heaven who has not been born again. Peter said,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
So being born again gives us an inheritance in heaven. Why only those who are born again? Jesus tells us,
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
If you haven’t been born again, you are only flesh. And the Bible tells us:
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:50)
If you are not born again, you cannot possibly inherit the kingdom of God.
You may be thinking, “I do not understand how this all works. I want to know exactly how this all happens.” Jesus answers that thought in the next two verses.
3:7-8 Born Of The Spirit
“Don’t marvel, Nicodemus,” Jesus says. Maybe he had cocked his head like a confused puppy. Maybe his mouth had dropped open. Whatever it was, he was obviously marveling at Jesus’ statement. He just didn’t see it.
Jesus makes the point, “Nick, you don’t have to see it to accept it and believe it. Take the wind for example – you’ve never seen it, only its effects. The Spirit is the same way. You can’t see Him, but you can see His effect on people, and feel Him in your own heart.”
This is an interesting play on words because the word “wind” and “spirit” in the Greek are both the same: “pneuma.” “Nick, the pneuma spirit, and the pneuma wind are the same – you can’t see them, but you trust that they’re working because you see their effects.”