John 3:5 Meaning of Born of Water and the Spirit

John 3:5
“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.’”

Explanation and Commentary on John 3:5

John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. His work was to Baptize people with water and that’s all. The baptism through water has to do with the body (the flesh) being killed and when pulled out, one has a new body. That has to do with the body alone. John announced this and let people understand the difference between baptism with water and with the spirit.

Matthew 3:11
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Being baptized with water is not enough, renewal must not be limited to the body alone but extended to the spirit and soul. John has no power to do that, he is very limited, which is why he introduced Jesus who will come and do that.

Nicodemus went to meet Jesus in the middle of the night. He was curious and wanted to learn more about the Kingdom of God, which he must have been hearing people talk about. He was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He asked Jesus how he could make it to heaven and Jesus told him about being born again.

Jesus told Nicodemus the truth about and what is needed to get to heaven – a new body and a new spirit. This is the fulfillment of what John the Baptist said about Jesus, that He would baptize with the spirit. The spirit He was talking about is not just any spirit. It is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. He promised His disciples the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the long-awaited change in the spirit. After He ascended to heaven, the apostles were all baptized. They became new. All the things the couldn’t do, they started doing them because they now have the Spirit of God in them.

Acts 2:1-4
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

It is important that we must possess the heart of God, the spirit of God in us. That is the only thing that can guide us to the path of righteousness and see the kingdom of God. If we have been baptized with water, that is for the changing of the body, not the spirit. To be born of the spirit means that there should be a change in the spirit. The only one who can do this is Jesus Christ, and we must believe in him for the baptism of the spirit. Like Nicodemus humbled himself at the feet of Jesus Christ, we must also humble ourselves and allow Jesus to change our hearts.

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Biblical Translations of John 3:5

NIV
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

NLT
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”

ESV
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

KJV
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.”

NKJV
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

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