The new birth

During the 1st century some rabbis described Gentiles as “a new-born child” when they converted to Judaism (Yebamoth 22a, 48b, 97b). Proselyting to Judaism required a baptism. During the same time that the rabbis were using this language of new birth, John the Baptizer was calling people to reorientate their lives with a baptism of repentance. (Luke 1:15-17; 3:3)

This was the religious background when Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling class, visited Jesus.  Jesus taught Nicodemus that no one can enter God’s kingdom unless he is born from above, namely “born of water and Spirit” (John 3:3,5). Continue reading “The new birth”

What exactly is “born again?” (Pt. 1)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, ESV).

Jesus often made use of a linguistic/grammatical tool called parallelism. It is a colorful and repetitious communication that God employs throughout Scripture in order to aid our comprehension of spiritual things. Continue reading “What exactly is “born again?” (Pt. 1)”