“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, He cannot, enter into the kingdom of God.” – John iii. 5
A friend in Canada who desires spiritual light, asks me to write soon on this text for the SIGNS, especially what it is to be “born of water.”
Jesus is the life and the true light. O may he give us all the light of life, that we may know the truth as it is in him.
He first said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Jesus answers and tells how, in the words of the text. A man (any one of the race of man) must thus be born again, or he cannot see and enter into the kingdom of God. For God is a Spirit, and his kingdom is spiritual. His Son says, “My kingdom is not of this world.” But man, as born of the flesh, is of this world. This world is distinct from “the world to come.” A man is born into this world, this is a natural birth and is of the flesh; so a man is born into the kingdom of God when he is born again. This last birth is spiritual, and is of the Spirit. So Jesus further explains and defines these two births, saying, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Thus our Lord plainly teaches that there are two births, and only two; and that a man is born first, and he is born again. A man who is born of the flesh has natural life, (“the breath of life,”) and he sees and enters into the world. So also, a man who is born again, born of water and the Spirit, has spiritual life, life itself, and he sees and enters into the kingdom of God. As born again, the life of Jesus is made manifest in his mortal flesh. As born of the flesh, man is one with Adam and is earthly; and as born of the Spirit, man is one with Jesus and is heavenly.
“Born of water,” refers to the water of life, pure and holy, the life of Jesus, which he gives in the birth of the Spirit.
“The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” is the blessed word of our Lord. “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” The letter of our inquiring friend shows me that he thus thirsts. Again Jesus says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Christ is the holy fountain of life, he is the well of salvation, he gives eternal life to as many as the Father gave him. When he gives it to a man, that one is then “born of water and of the Spirit.” (The last “of “is a supplied word, and so marked in italics.) Born of water and the Spirit are one, and cannot be separated. A man thus born, is passed from death unto life, and he is a new creature hi Christ, and is in the kingdom of God. This one is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest himself shall establish her.” – Psalms lxxxvii. 5. O how blessed the man who is born in Zion, the holy city of our God. “For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
June 14, 1904.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 72., No. 20.
OCTOBER 15, 1904.