What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 3 / No. 24”

What The Bible Says

Vol. III - No. 24 / April 25, 2021


    Much is said in religion about being born again but is all of what we are hearing really what the Bible teaches on this very important subject? Let’s see if we can honestly and objectively understand what it means to be born again.

    In John 3 we read of a conversation Jesus had with a man named Nicodemus. When Jesus made the statement, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3), Nicodemus thought He was talking about a physical birth (v. 4). It was then Jesus replied, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.“ (v. 5). Jesus made it clear He was not talking of a physical rebirth but instead a spiritual birth. Just as physical life begins with the physical birth, spiritual life begins with a new or spiritual birth.

    The text of John 3:1-7 proves there is a way by which lost people may be saved. They “must be born again” and this is accomplished when we are “born of water and of the Spirit”. The same thing is stated, only in a different way, in Titus 3:3-5: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”. The “washing of regeneration” is the same as “born of water” and “the renewing of the Holy Spirit” is the same as “born…of the Spirit” in John 3. Thus, to fully understand the Bible’s teaching concerning being born again, we must closely examine the two things it takes to constitute spiritual birth: They are “water” and “Spirit”.

    In considering the place water has in being born again, let’s read the passage in Galatians 3:26-27: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” We “put on Christ” when we are “baptized into Christ”. Romans 6:3 says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”. Also 1 Peter 3:21 states “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” Water is connected with being born again and we can see that baptism and the birth of water are for the same thing; namely, salvation. Therefore, baptism and “being born of water” must be the same thing.

    To be born “of the Spirit” is to be born again by the word of God. In 1 Peter 1:23 we read “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” The Spirit was sent from Heaven to reveal God’s word (1 Peter 1:12) and to guide the apostles into all truth (John 16:13).

    The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, constitutes the seed of the kingdom which, when planted in the heart, springs up and bears obedience to the gospel. This is what it means to be “born… of the Spirit”. Our obedience to the gospel is completed in baptism and thus we are born of water. Ephesians 5:26 sums it up by saying, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,”.

    Jesus, in John 3:5, says in a figure what he said literally in Mark 16:15-16: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

    Yes a lot is said about being born again but oftentimes the Spirit is emphasized and the water is all but left out. It takes both! Just as it takes two things - a father and a mother - to bring about a physical birth, it likewise takes two things  - water and the Spirit - to bring about a spiritual birth. All of us who are living were born physically but, more importantly, have we been “born of water and of the Spirit”? Jesus said in John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
—E.R. Hall, Jr. 




    “And these things, brethren, I  have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”  I Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)

    The inspired apostle Paul teaches each of us a lesson in the latter part of this verse about how we should esteem God’s written word above men – our family,  our preacher, etc. – and what they may say.  II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Paul writes here that “Study” and “rightly dividing the word of truth” are essential for shewing ourselves approved to God.  Certainly we are not underestimating the importance of a faithful preacher in our becoming a believer as we see in scripture like Roman 10:14. This teaching is still in keeping with our need to search out the things we are being taught in the scriptures (Acts 17:11b, John 5:39).  

    Political correctness is also a huge obstacle to those who would follow God’s word but they are swayed by “politically correct” thinking – which is sometimes in accordance with God’s plan but is often in direct opposition to it.  We can learn from the example of Peter and the other apostles in Acts 5:27-29 when they were commanded by the political establishment of their day not to teach in Jesus’ name.  These men stood before the council and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”  We should understand that we all should have the proper respect for our government officials (Roman 13) and that does not include violating clear passages of scripture that we have noticed where God must be first in our line of command. 
—Sid Rowe



One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish need from greed..
To stay out of hot water, keep a cool head. 


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