“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3b) “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5b,6) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Through the ages men have sought to establish standards for entrance into God’s kingdom. A Jewish official named Nicodemus seemed qualified by race, religion and reputation, but Jesus Christ laid down the one qualification the Lord requires (v 3b), and Nicodemus did not qualify! As the reigning King of the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ demands two births! The fact the Lord made the qualification known to one respected by his community emphasized there are no exceptions! This is not a recommendation, but a requirement!
After demanding two births, Jesus went on to describe both births in verses 4 and 5. One is a birth of water, and the other is a birth of the Spirit (v 5). A couple readily recognizes that a fleshly birth is near when the expectant mother’s “water breaks”. Likewise, when Jesus uses the phrase “born again” (v 3), the alternate translation for “again” is “from above”! Just as no one ever lived physically without being born physically, the same is true spiritually!
Next in His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus defines the two lives that come about as the result of the two births (v 6). Quite simply, a physical birth results in a physical life (6a), and a spiritual birth results in a spiritual life (6b). The Lord uses the wind as a great analogy to clarify His meaning (v 8)). The Greek word translated ‘wind’ can either be translated ‘wind, breath or spirit’! Just as the wind is not seen (although it’s effects can be seen), so the inner work of the Spirit can’t be seen with the human eye, but the outer difference can be observed. Only the life that is spiritual in its origin can be spiritual in its operation and effectiveness!
Only the King of the Kingdom of God may determine the qualification for entrance into His Kingdom, and Jesus does that in his conversation with Nicodemus. Early in that conversation (v 3) Jesus said, one must be “born again!” So the question becomes, “How?” Later (v 16), Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life!” There are four Greek words in the New Testament translated “believe”. They mean, “To trust in; To cling to; To rely on.” If you will “trust in” what He has done for you: “Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6 If you will “cling to” who He is in you: “Christ in you, the Hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 If you will rely on what He has said to you: “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3. Have you been “born again?” If not, trust in Christ, cling to Him and rely on Him today and every day!