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“Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:9-10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Jesus asks Nicodemus you the expert of the Law(Torah) and the teacher/professor of the Tanakh and you don’t understand these things?

So what OT verses was Jesus referring to that speak in anticipation of the born again experience to come?

  • Jesus had just used an illustration of the spirit (John 3:8), which prompted Nicodemus' question. Nicodemus should have had some understanding of the nature of the spirit. – enegue Jan 3 '19 at 10:13
  • Even if that’s true what Bible verses are you referencing that Nicodemus should have known about? – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 3 '19 at 16:00
  • Just do a Bible search for "spirit" (e.g. from BlueLetter) and you will see verses like Ex 28:3, 31:3, 35:31, etc, that demonstrate how God endows people with His spirit which moves them in extraordinary ways. Nicodemus should have known such things. – enegue Jan 3 '19 at 21:59
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    Those verses speak nothing of the born again experience specifically nor directly. I’ll give you verses that do, possibly, maybe... Psalm 22:28-31. I’m talking about the actual process of being born again that only happened after Acts 2 – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 3 '19 at 22:06
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    It's more a question of rudimentary logic rather than express revelation: By physical birth, we enter the physical world down here on earth. But God is spirit, and angelic spirits minister unto Him in heaven above. So how then would one enter this spiritual world ? Could it be, perhaps, by some sort of spiritual “birth” ? – Lucian Jan 7 '19 at 0:20
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There are two passages in the Hebrew scriptures that Nicodemus ought to have related to Jesus' words about being born from above. First, there is Isaiah chapter 56 which encourages "the son of the stranger that has joined himself to the Lord," and the eunuch, to rejoice in the intimate relationship God will enable them to have with himself via the House of the Lord e.g.

Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off... The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, 'Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.' vss 5 & 8

Even more pointed, however, is Psalm 87, declaring the glory of Zion due to the Lord's love, and habitation of his chosen city. The Psalmist writes of God:

I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this [man] was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, [that] this [man] was born there.

No Philistine or Babylonian etc was born in Zion, literally. Yet if they come in faith to the God of Israel, they will be counted as Zion-born. This in addition to where they were literally (and geographically) born. Thus, a second birth.

If Nicodemus had recalled either, or both of those sacred texts, he could have understood quickly that Jesus was not speaking of a literal, physical birth (as his perplexed question in John 3:4 proves he was thinking.)

On this forum, it sometimes pays to hold a question open for at least a week, as more considered responses often come in later, rather than sooner. If you select your choice of answer, few people are likely to then add more information. They generally just move on to open questions. I only saw this question this morning and was disappointed that you seemed content with the one answer given, good though it is. I would have provided a more fulsome answer had the question remained open.

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  • Oh is that right? I misunderstood what that was about. – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 7 '19 at 12:44
  • @Anne great answer! Psalm 87 was very confusing to me uptill now. – Siju George Jan 7 '19 at 14:40
  • Thank you Anne, this has really given me more understanding on the subject under discussion. – Ere Oludiya Jan 12 '19 at 10:15
  • @Anne Please elaborate on your answer. Your first text I’m not following entirely. Now that I understand how this works I’ve awarded the check mark and a +1 to you – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 16 '19 at 16:10
  • The first text is subtle. Isa. 56:3 addresses non-Jews who have bound themselves to the God of Israel, and also eunuchs wh. Under Israel's ceremonial law, no descendant of Aaron could play a priestly part in temple worship at Jerusalem. – Anne Jan 17 '19 at 11:30
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Ezekiel talks about a comming time and the receiving of a new spirit by man. It is also called as the renewal of the spirit or the new birth or the second birth or being born again or simply salvation, saved etc.

Ezekiel 11:18-20 English Standard Version (ESV) 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 English Standard Version (ESV) 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a]

I think Jesus is referring to the above scriptures while talking to Nicodemeus about being born again.

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  • I like your response. I would however like to know why it’s connected to a birthing experience. Placing the Spirit into is different for birthing or does it make sense in the Hebrew and is lost in translation? – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 5 '19 at 16:11
  • I am not a Hebrew expert. But all I know about this subject I wrote in my answer to your question Brand New spirit or Old quickened spirit? – Siju George Jan 5 '19 at 16:15
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    @MrConstantin, birth is a common metaphor for the beginning of something, or the first appearance of something new -- Google "The birth of <any organization, movement, trend, etc.>" and you'll find hundreds of matches. Likewise it's a common metaphor to say "I felt reborn" upon any kind of transformative change in one's life. It's that broader, metaphorical application that I believe Jesus was using. (Nicodemus, in verse 4, was I think misunderstanding completely by assuming a fully literal reference to the physical birthing process.) – JDM-GBG Jan 5 '19 at 19:13
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    @MrConstantin When a baby is physically born do we get a different baby than that was in the womb? There are changes of course but the baby outside is the same baby that was inside. Hope this clarification helps. – Siju George Jan 6 '19 at 2:49
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"Born again" is not really what it says in the original. A much better translation would be "born from above". This is what comes to mind:

I believe Nicodemus was fully aware that he was talking about Adam’s original birth as the generation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2:4). Adam was born out of mother earth - earth (adamah, feminine) and the breath of the Spirit of God -heaven (2:7). The dust of which he was made was pre-baptized (1:9), a baptism with the waters below. Nicodemus was saying that a new humanity would have to be born again in such a way as to negate the consequences of Adam’s sin.

Being born over again is also being born from above. The reference is to heaven, to what is on the other side of the firmament set up in Genesis 1:6-8. What is on the other side of the firmament is the heavenly ocean. It is sprinkling with water from above, or passing through rivers with water running downstream, that signifies (in the strong sense) being born by the Spirit from above. Jesus told Nicodemus not to marvel at what He was saying, because it was commonplace and happened alot. All the baptisms of the old time were by sprinkling or by water running downhill. A person who contracted ceremonial death (“uncleanness”) was resurrected by water from above, always. If in Adam we all contract death, is it a birth by water and Spirit from above that will make us a new creation.

Nicodemus asks, in verse 4, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?" This is often taken to be an almost mocking question, but it is not. Nicodemus knows that Jesus does not mean for us to reenter our mother’s wombs and be reborn in that sense. He is using a figure of speech to ask this question: Can history be reversed? Can there be a new creation? History has moved along since the creation, since the sin of Adam. How can that history be undone?

Jesus replies by saying that history is not reversed or undone. Rather, the new birth from above is "of water and the Spirit" (v. 5). If we look back at Genesis 2:6-7, we find that Adam was created without water. He was made of dust breathed upon by the Spirit of God. The water from the ground watered the soil and gave life to plants, but man was made not from ground water but from the Spirit and dry earth. Thus, being born of water is an eschatological idea. The implication is that man would have a new birth when the waters from heaven are sprinkled upon him by the Spirit.

The firmament is the boundary between heaven and earth. The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus is the Firmament, the Mediator between heaven and earth. Thus, it is He who sprinkles us with water from above. It is He who gives the new birth of water and the Spirit. The first creation is by the Spirit; the new creation is by water and the Spirit. The first creation is of the earth, earthy; the new creation is of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

Waters from heaven cleanse the old earth and bring a new world. At the Flood, waters came down from heaven. The various sprinklings of the Old Covenant made the same point. Water baptism today (which of course is by sprinkling ;) ) makes the same point.

Nicodemus asks in verse 9, "How can these things be?" He is asking the legal ground for what Jesus has said. What makes it possible for God to bring about a new creation in the midst of the history of the old creation?

Jesus gets to the answer in verses 13-15: His atoning death will make Him the new Firmament, the Mediator between heaven and earth. His death will grant men access to the baptismal heavenly waters, and provide birth from above, by water and the Spirit.

anóthen: from above Original Word: ἄνωθεν (Strongs/ Thayers)

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First, it is obvious from Nicodemus' response that he took what Jesus said to mean born again:

Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” (John 3:4) [ESV]

After Jesus elaborates that a person must be born again/above of the Spirit (John 3:5-8), Nicodemus displays what Jesus recognizes as ignorance of the Scriptures:

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? (John 3-9-10)

The focus in the discussion is solely on the Jewish people. As a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus should have been teaching the Jewish people they would need to be "born again." That is to say, the biological claim to distinction as Abraham's children, would not be significant in the age to come, because they would receive God's Spirit.

Here are four passages which Nicodemus should have been teaching in support of this:

17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the LORD God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the LORD God.” (Ezekiel 11)

24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36)

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31)

39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32)

The promise of being restored to the land also comes with a promise to receive a new heart and a new covenant. No one in Israel should have been satisfied with returning to Israel and/or a reliance on an old covenant. This should have been particularly evident to a teacher because Jeremiah said a time was coming where human teachers were no longer necessary (Jeremiah 31:34).

Getting a new heart was likely being taught as only a metaphor because if it were taught as a real action, it would lead one to conclude they must be "born again."

The fact Nicodemus was a teacher was evidence the prophecy had yet to be fulfilled. It is obvious the people had been taught to expect a Messiah who would restore the kingdom to Israel, not to bring about personal rebirth which would allow them to see (John 3:3) and then enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5).

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What was Nicodemus supposed to know from the Old Testament about being born again?

“Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:9--10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

So what OT verses was Jesus referring to in anticipation of the born again experience to come?

Jesus was not referring to any OT verses in anticipation of the born again experience to come, because He said to Nicodemus:

" No one has gone up into heaven, but there is One who came down from heaven, the Son of Man [Himself—whose home is in heaven]."( John 3:13 AMP).

To inform you of such heavenly things.

Nicodemus:

"Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” Nicodemus was a scholar of religious law and a member of the Sanhedrin ,the High Court, and as a teacher he new many prophecies regarding the Messiah, such as:

1/Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:18-25)

2/ Not believed in: Isaiah 53:1 (John 12:37-38)

3/ Heir to throne of David and his kingdom: Isaiah 9:7 (Matthew 1: 6-17)

4/ Jesus was born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 (Luke 2:1-7)

So What exactly, Nicodemus did not understand?

Read John 3:1-8 NASB

1 "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(John 3:1-8 NASB)

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?(John 3:9)

Jesus replied to him:

John 3:10-13 NASB

“Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. "

Jesus , basically was telling Nicodemus that He who was living with his heavenly father and descended from heaven (Verse 13) was in a position to instruct him, how to enter the Kingdom of God ,but since you (Nicodemus) do not accept our (Jesus) testimony about heavenly things ,(Verse 11-12) then here was no other way to obtain the knowledge he wanted, because no man has accented into heaven to obtain such heavenly information, except the "Son of Man"who descended from heaven. (verse 13)

Despite his knowledge and the fact that he had seen Jesus perform many miracles, yet this did not convince him that Jesus was the Messiah , accept his teachings, repent , get baptized and exercise faith in Jesus so that he could be reborn again . The 120 disciples of Jesus at Pentecost 33 C.E. were the first persons to experience this new birth.

The scriptures do not say if Nicodemus later became a follower of Christ.

However it is possible that Nicodemus later did become a follower of Christ, for he humbly acknowledged : “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher." And the fact that later Nicodemus with Joseph of Arimathea, showed up and took the body of Christ and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews." (Verse John 19:40 NRSV)

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Jesus was not referring any verse in the old testament, Jesus referring to His previous explanation about second born that nicodemus admited that he cannot understand such logic.

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  • You should reread the text. Jesus said that Nicodemus should have known. Therefore he should have known from an existing text and not from a first time conversation. – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 6 '19 at 14:44
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I can understand and as a conservative respect your desire for Old Testament proof. However, our Great Teacher, was not exactly what anyone would call conservative or conventional during His time on earth in a human body. Jesus came (in part) to show the world that spirit and flesh could come together completely in only One Person, the Son of God, born of Him. Nicodemus may have been among other things considered to be a physician. I have dealt with many physicians. After studying and searching through all the parts of the human body, with hands, eyes and hearing what it is and is not, that becomes all that is real. I body, for the first few minutes after death, does not always look that different. What is missing? We believe as believers in Christ, that the real person, in spirit form or soul, is gone. Why, because the body does not work anymore. Jesus could have also been preparing Nicodemus for the experience of His death. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus believe in the afterlife. It is not spelled out clearly in the The Old Testament. We do not understand it after the death of Jesus, except by faith in the unseen. Have we had anyone come back after being dead three days, other than Jesus, to say what is out there. Have we sent a probe to heaven to bring us back information of what it is really like? This Jewish, very traditional, very steeped in the Old Testament literature, likely still would not accept very openly that resurrection from the dead was possible. I believe, Jesus was simply trying to get Nicodemus to understand that having eyes he was not seeing and ears he was not hearing; the real issue. This is why Jesus chided him. With all that Nicodemus knew he could not understand spiritual concepts. He wants wanting to touch, see, smell or taste that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus was amazed that Nicodemus had not learned that physical and spiritual can meet and in Christ they can grow together, but they are like two different planets in the universe, or stars. They can be identified as existing, but not touched and smelled and felt. They in the same universe but not on the same orbit. When we try to combine them with human tools they bombard one another. Nicodemus should have been after all these years learned the "Typology" of The Temple and the sacrifices. He may have had some idea that they represented something other than just what was seen with the eyes. A man working in a slaughter house my have wiped gallons of blood from his apron and boots, but never related it to the fact that One born of God and Spirit could bleed. We who are supposed to be spiritual ought to know such and relate to it somehow, but we have to take it by faith the Blood of Jesus cleanses our sins. I can relate to people who do not see anything spiritual to breaking and eating pieces of bread and sipping wine. It is one thing spiritually and another physically. I have filled the cups and broken crackers many times to be passed out in Memory of Jesus on the Cross. Nicodemus by all rights, should have known Who Jesus was and the way He would bring salvation to all mankind, but he did not. Thousands of Jews in Jesus time on earth accepted Him as Son of God and the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. Thousands of the hierarchy of Jewish tradition and practice, never understood. We cannot understand why they could not understand that Jesus was and is The Promised One. Guess what, we could be just like Nicodemus. We may practice Christian religion but do not identify personally with the fact that Jesus Christ is now spiritual and delivered to our hearts by the Spirit of God, not physically. We do not take Jesus bodily and say, come on and go the cross for me. The Jewish tradition and thinking could never picture a Messiah on a cross. Nicodemus, needed to struggle about which he was going to believe. The Old Testament way was with physical evidences of salvation like blood from bulls and burnt offerings, ritual, explicit rites by explicitly dissecting every law of the Old Testament and following it perfectly. Nicodemus did know the Old Testament, but he did not understand faith in the Unseen God to the point of putting it all together as it pointed our Jesus as being Christos. That is a spiritual thing. If it was not so, all of the Jews would have followed Jesus. The wiser we think we are the more we depend on ourselves for our answers. The more we walk by faith in the Unknown God and the Unseen Spirit, the more we admit our lack of knowledge no matter how educated we become. I too, believe in scripture and verse as my only proof for a biblical argument or verification. However, if Jesus had picked such a thing, Nicodemus would have gone away justified or spent all night with Him with a good round of Jewish bickering. Nicodemus could stand his ground with any one wanting Old Testament proofs. Jesus gave that to some. He gave Nicodemus and God-modeled question that would lead him to not just "searching scripture" like you are doing. I believe Nicodemus went home and started researching as you have for Old Testament proofs. Having something proven physically and materially does not increase faith, as some suppose, but it aims faith in a different direction. Faith in its truest form is aimed at an unseen target. It is not just closing the eyes and shooting into the darkness. It is shooting into the unproven and still knowing that God is really there. It is taking our bow and arrows and not aiming at a seen target, but one much greater than physical goals and targets, it is aimed at Spirit and Water that is not seen but we get a taste of from time to time like a newborn baby, so that whether or eyes are focused or not we still reach because with know that milk is there. We know God is real, because we are born again into a life that is not just flesh and blood. We are born into a world where milk is not squeezed from the tits of a few verses, but comes directly by faith in The Word of God, Jesus Christ and His ways of Revealing Himself through Spirit and the water of tears or our prayers sitting in darkness and waiting for Him that we know is there when all proof has disappeared. I apologize if I get a bit inspired. I am a retired chaplain and have been by many death beds, including that of my dear wife. Death and dying separates the "would be's" from the real believers. Facing death means facing the darkness and the nothing physical while the last part of physical fades away and still seeing the Light. I know He is there. If I forgot every verse of scripture that I have memorized over fifty years, I would still Know He was there. I am not special. I am a realist and part skeptic. But the unshakable parts of our Christian faith are there when nothing visible or physical else is left.

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    There is nothing that I will accept in the NT unless first it is foreshadowed in the OT. Those are the Scriptures. That’s not to say that I ascribe to the Old Covenant rituals/laws. That is the context to anything NT or New Covenant. When Paul preached to the Bereans they went and consulted the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was so. Clearly they didn’t consult the NT they consulted the OT. That is why it is paramount to understand the OT because without its context heresy is imminent. Please edit your posting to include paragraphs. It is rather difficult to read. Thank you. – Nihil Sine Deo Mar 7 at 15:25
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I, too, struggle with the question that the term, "born again" is not found in exact words in the Old Testament. I do believe as some have mentioned that a transformation of heart and mind has been declared necessary for understanding God. My view point is simply that the Lord announced that "His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts." To match wits and thoughts with Jesus the Son of God, was just as futile as trying to match wits with God, Himself. Job tried it. Job is considered one of the oldest writings in Scripture. Job one his soul by losing the battle of wits or trying to out think God, Himself.

Nicodemus was trying to use his education and understanding to "figure out" that Jesus was Mesiah or Son of God. To provide and understanding for this act of faith, Jesus used something that may not be used verbatim in the Old Testament. To use an Old Testament text, would have been giving Nicodemus the same thing some people want today, scripture and verse proof that God is faithful. God being Who He is and His Son Jesus being the Only Begotten is a step by faith. It is not just standing on a promise or two. It is saying in surrender, I accept that You, O God are real simply by accepting what I cannot see.

If we use seeing it explicitly in chapter and verse as the only verification of the experience of knowing who Jesus is and Who His Father is and will always be, we will likely come up short every time that we cannot find scripture and verse for the works of His Hand. Nicodemus, used the same thing with Jesus that he did other things in his education. He declared, :...these great works prove that you have the power of God, you could not do these things if you were not..." Nicodemus was still "if'ing" and Jesus knew that. He saw that in Nicodemus' heart, he needed to change his reliance on human proofs for a spiritual experience that revealed to him forever that Spirit, Jesus, God, The Father and all things spiritual were just as real as written word.

There will be those who think that this is a form of mysticism. Christianity is a form of mysticism in that we must believe in what we cannot see of prove. If we, like Nicodemus, only believe what we can see and prove, then we will lose out in times of testing. Paul had his born again experience in a different manner that did Peter. The results were the same. They had a faith that was proven by the test of martyrdom, which means believing Christ when all else is gone, disappeared, possibly even our ability to prove Him with scripture. Believe me, such a place is real with Alzhiemers and other mental illnesses. At that point a person must be reborn into a faith that just simply knows that Jesus and God are real as is the Holy Spirit without, reason, mental capacity, simple "proofs" or any thing else but a personal relationship with the unseen and unknown to simple physical things. Nicodemus at his age had become a skeptic of anything that he could not measure, prove or explain. Jesus met him there and did chide him for not understanding the simple truth. God is not just what you see with your eyes. If Nicodemus depended on just what he could prove and see and deduct as a lawyer of faith and practice, he was lost. Looking at Jesus in the best "night light" they had in those days did not prove to him that Jesus is and was the Son of God. It is a spiritual experience that cannot be understood by any one physical phenomena. It is not physical or metaphysical. It is spiritual. It cannot be controlled or conditioned to rites or sacrificial practices. Nicodemus knew these by common experiences in the temple and Sanhedrin. He had to find an experience that was so real that it could not be denied, but not one proven by anything physical which for Nicodemus would soon fade away just as the sacrificial practices of The Temple and the laws of the Jewish system.

The born again experience can only be proven by testimony, not by anything physical. It can be verified by works and physical rites and practices, but not proven. A person baptized a hundred times is just a wet person. A person kneeling is just a posture. The action of the heart and soul is measured by the invisible. Perhaps, this simple acceptance of his own God being invisible and unknown scientifically, was all Nicodemus needed to confess. Confessing Who and What is, is far more important that confessing what is not.

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