A. Some people use the term "born again Christian" to refer to a
particular type of Christian.
1. They use the term as if there are other kinds of Christians;
e.g. as if some Christians are born again Christians and
other Christians are not.
a. However, if a person is a Christian at all, he is born
b. There is really no other kind of Christian.
B. Our purpose in this lesson is to carefully examine John 3:1-8
with emphasis on the new birth.
I. Verse 1 - First, who was Nicodemus?
A. It says in verse one that he was a ruler of the Jews.
B. Nicodemus was a far better man than most of his fellow Jewish
1. He defended Jesus before his peers and tried to get Jesus a
fair hearing. John 7:45-52
2. After Joseph secured the body of Jesus, Nicodemus brought
burial spices and aided in the burial of Jesus. John
II. Verse 2
A. We don't know why Nicodemus came to Jesus at night.
B. He addressed Jesus as "Rabbi," a title of honor used of
distinguished teachers in that day.
C. In the latter part of verse two, we see that Nicodemus made a
wise observation, something many of the other rulers were not
able to make.
1. Consider the words of the man who was given sight. John
III. Verse 3
A. Jesus began immediately to teach Nicodemus what he needed to
know and do.
1. It was not enough simply to acknowledge Jesus. Nicodemus
had already done that. There was more he needed to do.
2. The words "Verily, verily" (KJV) or "Truly, truly" (NASB)
or "Most assuredly" (NKJV) show the importance of Jesus'
3. Jesus showed the necessity of being "born again" in order to
gain entrance into the kingdom. See also verse 5.
a. If one has not been born again, he is not a citizen in
B. Jesus' statement about the new birth struck at the very heart
of the Jewish concept of the Messianic kingdom.
1. They were expecting the Messiah to deliver them from the
hated Roman yoke and to restore the kingdom to Israel.
2. The Jews were expecting to be citizens in the Messianic
kingdom because of their fleshly, physical birth.
a. Like most of his Jewish friends, Nicodemus would have
thought that being born a Jew and living according to
the Law, would satisfy God.
b. But one's natural birth cannot make one a beneficiary of
the blessings, privileges and promises of the kingdom of
IV. Verse 4
A. Nicodemus was confused. He was thinking in literal, physical
terms instead of spiritual.
1. It was very difficult for the Jews in the Lord's time to
make spiritual application of the Lord's teaching. John
V. Verse 5
A. Jesus responded and clarified His statement and then now gave
the "how" of being born again.
B. Jesus spoke of one birth with two elements water and the
C. Some take the position that there are two births described in
John 3:5. One is the water of the physical birth, and the other
is Holy Spirit baptism.
1. To say that water represents the natural birth is the same
mistake Nicodemus made.
a. Jesus showed that He was speaking of a spiritual birth in
VI. Verses 6-8
A. Children of God are born, not of the flesh, but of God. John
1. We cannot see the wind, but we can see the effects of it.
2. So it is with the one who is born of the Spirit.
B. Water is connected to only one thing in the New Testament.
1. It is water baptism - Acts 8:36-39; 10:47-48; 1 Pet. 3:20-21
a. One is raised from baptism to walk in the new life. Rom.
b. When one is baptized into Christ, he becomes a new
creature in Christ. Gal. 3:26-27; 2 Cor. 5:17
2. Thus, the water in the new birth refers to water baptism.
C. To be "born of the Spirit" is to be "born of the teaching of
the Spirit." 1 Peter 1:22-23; James 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15
1. One is "born again" (born of the Spirit) when the Word,
delivered by the Spirit, is planted in his heart and leads
to faith and obedience.
2. "Born of water and of the Spirit" is the same act spoken of
in Titus 3:5 and Eph. 5:26. (See chart below).
A. To be "born again," one must be born of water and the Spirit.
1. To be born of the Spirit is to hear the word of the Spirit
and respond to it with faith and obedience.
2. To be born of water is to be baptized in water in accord
with the teaching of the Spirit.
B. How about you? Have you been born again?
"Born of water and the Spirit" - John 3:5
"Washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5
"The washing of water by the word" - Eph. 5:26
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" - 1 Cor. 12:13