Being Born of the Spirit
Wade E Taylor
"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus,
of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night." John 3:1-2a.
Nicodemus came by night because he did not want to be recognized.
But there is a deeper meaning. The Old Covenant, the Law,
had brought only darkness. Nicodemus was walking out of that
darkness toward the One he now recognized as being the “light”
which he sought, but had not found as a Pharisee.
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I
am the light of
the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness,
shall have the light of life." John 8:12 NAS.
As Nicodemus approached Jesus, he said, “Good Master.”
He was saying, “Jesus, you have something that I do
not have, and I have come to see what it is.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again
cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 NASU.
The kingdom transcends and goes beyond redemption. Jesus
is expressing to Nicodemus, not just the way of entrance,
(salvation through the shed blood of Jesus upon the cross),
but the Kingdom in operation, which is the fullness of life
that Nicodemus has witnessed as being resident in Jesus.
For us to “see” the Kingdom means that we have
come to recognize that once we have submitted our lives to
Jesus as our Saviour, there is much more to be gained, if
we will submit our lives to Jesus as our Lord.
Not being able to see that which is from above, Nicodemus
then related this experience of being “born again”
to the temporal realm of life and said,
“How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter
second time into his mother's womb, and be born?” John
Jesus then told Nicodemus how he would be able to experience
that which had drawn him to ask this question.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, 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
is spirit.” John 3:5-6 NAS.
There are two distinct realms of life that we were created
to experience. The natural man relates to and can move only
in the temporal, or the earth realm, as man became dead to
the spiritual realm through the transgression of Adam. But
the spiritual man, through regeneration, being re-born of
the Spirit, relates to both the earthly and the heavenly realm.
Every action of mankind, apart from God, flows downward.
Every action of God through our new birth moves us upward.
Thus, that which is born of the flesh can only produce a fuller
manifestation of the flesh. To one who has been born of the
Spirit is an ever present call to come higher.
“My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love,
my fair one, and come away.” SS 2:10.
Then Jesus added,
“Do not be amazed that I said to you, you must be
born again. The
wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but
know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone
who is born of the Spirit." John 3:7-8 NASU.
Nicodemus had likened this experience to a “womb,”
which relates to our salvation, but Jesus is seeking to take
Nicodemus further, into the Kingdom. Therefore, Jesus said
that it was much more than that - it was like the wind. We
do not have the terminology or words to express the outworking
of the Kingdom in our lives. Thus, by using “wind,”
Jesus lifted this experience into the dimension of spirit.
Concerning this, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “you are
hearing about this experience, but you neither understand
it, nor are able to enter, in your present state of life.
You must first be born of water and of spirit.”
The Scripture that follows will help us in our understanding
of what Jesus is saying.
“And there are three that bear witness in earth, the
spirit, and the
water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
I John 5:8 KJV.
Jesus did not need to speak to Nicodemus concerning the blood,
for as a Pharisee, he understood the need for a blood sacrifice.
But he had no knowledge of being born of water and of the
To be born of water speaks of our being water baptized.
To be born of the Spirit speaks of our receiving the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit.
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.
The blood atonement of Jesus on the cross blots out our sin,
as if we had never sinned. But we still have the Adamic nature.
In water baptism, as we are totally immersed, our Adamic nature
goes down to the grave, and we come up in new creation life.
Our nature has been changed. The “root” of our
Adamic nature has been cut.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life.” Rom 6:4.
Under the Law, righteous living was required, but man utterly
failed. In the New Covenant the ability to live a righteous
life was given.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit
will I put
within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your
flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put
My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will keep My judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit provides this “ability,”
which here is the “cause” or the power (Acts 1:8)
that enables us to live above sin.
Thus, the “blood” forgives my sin; the “water”
changes my nature; and the “Spirit” gives me the
ability to enter into the heavens, above all that is earthly.
These three together as “one” provide a full salvation
that will enable me to enter the Kingdom.
Jesus said that all this is like the wind. “The wind
blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do
not know where it comes from, and where it is going;."
The emphasis is on a present experience, which is only available
to those who respond.
This experience can be compared to an airplane on the runway.
It has an intricate mechanism which controls it while it is
on the ground. But once it becomes air-borne (borne-again),
all that controls the plane on the earth realm become of no
value and is folded away.
A new mechanism comes into control, which responds to the
wind (Spirit), and lifts the plane into the heavens, above
the earthly. It is now functioning under an entirely new set
of laws, the aerodynamics of the wind.
“You hear … but do not know.” In our new
birth, our spiritual senses are re-born but must be developed
in order to function. This means that as we assemble ourselves
together, we are to enter in and begin to flow in the Spirit.
Gradually, we will learn how to ascend into the heavenlies.
Like the Wright Brothers, who were able to fly only a very
short distance in the beginning, but kept trying, and soon
they were flying long distances. We will learn how to function
in the Spirit, as we spend time responding to the wind (“quickenings”
in the realm of the Spirit). We may crash a few times, but
all we need do is get back on the runway and again respond
to the lifting power of the Spirit.
As Jesus said to Nicodemus, “It is far more important
that you experience that which you are seeking, as being lifted
by the wind, rather than understanding it, as being in a womb.”
So also today. We are to respond to the lifting power of the
Holy Spirit. The understanding will follow.