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calvin

Martinsville, VA

#1 Jan 31, 2013
In many Christian circles John 3:5 is twisted and abused. Those who advocate baptismal regeneration run here for a proof text when nothing whatsoever in this verse is about water baptism.

We should ask ourselves whom was Jesus speaking to and how this would have been understood. Nicodemus was a man of the Old Testament. When Jesus said born of water, Nicodemus’ mind would know absolutely nothing of Christian baptism for such was not even in existence. He would, however, understood Jesus in light of the Old Testament. Jesus even said,“You are Israel's teacher and do you not understand these things.” In other words, within the Old Testament we can understand the meaning. I submit to you that John 3:5 is a reference to Ezekiel 36:24-28 –“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:24-28 parallels beautifully with John 3 and would have been scripture for which Nicodemus would have been familiar.

In fact, John 3, in context, is a section that deals strongly with Gods electing power.

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying,'You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. "How can this be?", Nicodemus asked. Nicodemus understood the depth of Jesus words cut against the natural mans thinking. Jesus told him to even be able to see the Kingdom that first he had to be born from above. Then Jesus compares regeneration with the blowing of the wind saying,“the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Wow, what a hard saying for those who believe they assist God in regeneration. Jesus strikes that notion to shreds which prompted Nicodemus to ask" How can this be?"
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#2 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
In many Christian circles John 3:5 is twisted and abused. Those who advocate baptismal regeneration run here for a proof text when nothing whatsoever in this verse is about water baptism.
We should ask ourselves whom was Jesus speaking to and how this would have been understood. Nicodemus was a man of the Old Testament. When Jesus said born of water, Nicodemus’ mind would know absolutely nothing of Christian baptism for such was not even in existence. He would, however, understood Jesus in light of the Old Testament. Jesus even said,“You are Israel's teacher and do you not understand these things.” In other words, within the Old Testament we can understand the meaning. I submit to you that John 3:5 is a reference to Ezekiel 36:24-28 –“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:24-28 parallels beautifully with John 3 and would have been scripture for which Nicodemus would have been familiar.
In fact, John 3, in context, is a section that deals strongly with Gods electing power.
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying,'You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. "How can this be?", Nicodemus asked. Nicodemus understood the depth of Jesus words cut against the natural mans thinking. Jesus told him to even be able to see the Kingdom that first he had to be born from above. Then Jesus compares regeneration with the blowing of the wind saying,“the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Wow, what a hard saying for those who believe they assist God in regeneration. Jesus strikes that notion to shreds which prompted Nicodemus to ask" How can this be?"
How can a person know that he is born again if there is nothing for him to identify with? What I mean is that there is nothing we can see or feel when the new birth occurs, so how do we know that we have become a new creature?
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#3 Jan 31, 2013
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
How can a person know that he is born again if there is nothing for him to identify with? What I mean is that there is nothing we can see or feel when the new birth occurs, so how do we know that we have become a new creature?
I believe those elected before the world began will be regenerated at which point MADE ALIVE then are able to please God in repentance. If, by your question, you mean how can the elect know they are the elect, the first for sure sign would be having a desire to be in the Kingdom. Sinners do not desire Godly things. Dead men cannot please God, they are totally against the things of God.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#4 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe those elected before the world began will be regenerated at which point MADE ALIVE then are able to please God in repentance. If, by your question, you mean how can the elect know they are the elect, the first for sure sign would be having a desire to be in the Kingdom. Sinners do not desire Godly things. Dead men cannot please God, they are totally against the things of God.
I was thinking in terms of water baptism. Peter says it is the symbol of our salvation. I believe this is the way we identify with our regeneration which is something we cannot see or feel. 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you

But even with the symbol we cannot fully grasp regeneration and the power behind it. It sorta like miracles, we could see miracles like they did in Jesus day and still not believe it, thinking it must be some sort of trick. I think Simon the sorcerer saw it that way.

My main point is that regeneration is a miracle beyond our understanding and our ability to re-produce.

New Guy

Morehead, KY

#5 Jan 31, 2013
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
I was thinking in terms of water baptism. Peter says it is the symbol of our salvation. I believe this is the way we identify with our regeneration which is something we cannot see or feel. 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you
But even with the symbol we cannot fully grasp regeneration and the power behind it. It sorta like miracles, we could see miracles like they did in Jesus day and still not believe it, thinking it must be some sort of trick. I think Simon the sorcerer saw it that way.
My main point is that regeneration is a miracle beyond our understanding and our ability to re-produce.
Does this mean that you also see baptism in play in John 3, although we disagree on the meaning of it?
New Guy

Morehead, KY

#6 Jan 31, 2013
Hey Calvin, many do feel that Nicodemus would've had an idea about baptism from this verse. The Jews baptized proselytes, accompanied with the scripture from Ezekiel you quoted. It is very possible that they had an idea of baptism, besides the fact that John the baptist was active before Jesus was, and "all Israel" went out to see John. So, saying that Nicodemus would have no idea about baptism is a stretch at most, and flat out wrong entirely possible.
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#7 Jan 31, 2013
They indeed were knowledged about water rituals and various washings. That is not what I said. I said Nicodemus would not have understood this as Christian baptism. His knowledge was strictly Old Testament teachings. John 3 is not a reference to Christian baptism.

Going off topic a bit, has anyone here done an in depth study on Nicodemus. There exist some traditional studies from historical writings that reveal his life story. In short, Nicodemus lost all his wealth, was kicked out and ultimately beaten to death for siding with Jesus. Even his own daughter was left homeless and was seen eating from scraps.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#8 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe those elected before the world began will be regenerated at which point MADE ALIVE then are able to please God in repentance. If, by your question, you mean how can the elect know they are the elect, the first for sure sign would be having a desire to be in the Kingdom. Sinners do not desire Godly things. Dead men cannot please God, they are totally against the things of God.
Lot of things here. The first thing is YOU BELIEVE. I think it was John whom said we can be assured of our salvation. The next statement you made that is not true is sinners do not desire Godly things. I reference Romans 3
14 For when Gentiles who do not have [m]the Law do [n]instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having [o]the Law, are a law to themselves

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#9 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe those elected before the world began will be regenerated at which point MADE ALIVE then are able to please God in repentance. If, by your question, you mean how can the elect know they are the elect, the first for sure sign would be having a desire to be in the Kingdom. Sinners do not desire Godly things. Dead men cannot please God, they are totally against the things of God.
Also does man have a choice whether to chose God or not? Yes or No

Reference so you can get the correct answer. Joshua
Joshua 24:15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
James Rakes

Martinsville, VA

#10 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
In many Christian circles John 3:5 is twisted and abused. Those who advocate baptismal regeneration run here for a proof text when nothing whatsoever in this verse is about water baptism.
We should ask ourselves whom was Jesus speaking to and how this would have been understood. Nicodemus was a man of the Old Testament. When Jesus said born of water, Nicodemus’ mind would know absolutely nothing of Christian baptism for such was not even in existence. He would, however, understood Jesus in light of the Old Testament. Jesus even said,“You are Israel's teacher and do you not understand these things.” In other words, within the Old Testament we can understand the meaning. I submit to you that John 3:5 is a reference to Ezekiel 36:24-28 –“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:24-28 parallels beautifully with John 3 and would have been scripture for which Nicodemus would have been familiar.
In fact, John 3, in context, is a section that deals strongly with Gods electing power.
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying,'You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. "How can this be?", Nicodemus asked. Nicodemus understood the depth of Jesus words cut against the natural mans thinking. Jesus told him to even be able to see the Kingdom that first he had to be born from above. Then Jesus compares regeneration with the blowing of the wind saying,“the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Wow, what a hard saying for those who believe they assist God in regeneration. Jesus strikes that notion to shreds which prompted Nicodemus to ask" How can this be?"
so you are saying John 3:5 is born of Spirit and Spirit? Why use H2O in that passage if he meant something else
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#11 Jan 31, 2013
JustChristian wrote:
<quoted text>
Also does man have a choice whether to chose God or not? Yes or No
Reference so you can get the correct answer. Joshua
Joshua 24:15
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
You are looking at this from mans side only without regard for Gods hand in this.
New Guy

Morehead, KY

#12 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
They indeed were knowledged about water rituals and various washings. That is not what I said. I said Nicodemus would not have understood this as Christian baptism. His knowledge was strictly Old Testament teachings. John 3 is not a reference to Christian baptism.
Going off topic a bit, has anyone here done an in depth study on Nicodemus. There exist some traditional studies from historical writings that reveal his life story. In short, Nicodemus lost all his wealth, was kicked out and ultimately beaten to death for siding with Jesus. Even his own daughter was left homeless and was seen eating from scraps.
But yet the kingdom of God did not appear until Pentecost in Acts 2, yet Jesus is still teaching Nicodemus about the new birth and the kingdom. The kingdom at that point was not yet a present reality, yet Jesus still preached it. Christian baptism did not come into existence until Pentecost, but that does not mean Jesus didn't teach anything about it at all. I believe this is clearly an allusion to Christian baptism. Titus 3:5 says we are saved by the washing or laver of regeneration. The meaning should be clear.
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#13 Jan 31, 2013
James Rakes wrote:
<quoted text>
so you are saying John 3:5 is born of Spirit and Spirit? Why use H2O in that passage if he meant something else
I don't wish to debate baptism. Sorry.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#14 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
You are looking at this from mans side only without regard for Gods hand in this.
How can I be seeing it from Mans side since these words were from a prophet of God who spoke for him. Did Joshua speak wrong?

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#15 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
You are looking at this from mans side only without regard for Gods hand in this.
Lets answer honestly

Also does man have a choice whether to chose God or not? Yes or No

Reference so you can get the correct answer. Joshua
Joshua 24:15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Your credibility is slipping when you dont answer.
New Guy

Morehead, KY

#16 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't wish to debate baptism. Sorry.
If you're going to be quoting John 3 and doing so from a Calvinist position, then you will almost certainly have to debate about baptism. Unless of course you dont seek to change anyone's minds. That also could be possible, since if God doesn't regenerate us first we don't matter anyway.
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#17 Jan 31, 2013
New Guy wrote:
<quoted text>
If you're going to be quoting John 3 and doing so from a Calvinist position, then you will almost certainly have to debate about baptism. Unless of course you dont seek to change anyone's minds. That also could be possible, since if God doesn't regenerate us first we don't matter anyway.
John 3 speaks nothing of water baptism. Jesus was discussing a supernatural work of God that enables one to qualify for the Kingdom. Jesus was not commanding anything at all in John 3. He was not commanding water baptism and Spirit. He made a point that one must BE born from God before one can even see the Kingdom.
calvin

Martinsville, VA

#18 Jan 31, 2013
The sinner is apart from the life of God, dead in trespasses and sins, is ignorant, is without understanding, is blind to spiritual truth, doubly blinded by Satan and the world as well, and in that condition there is nothing he can do for himself to become alive.

You think by some prayer, by way of an altar call, you can woo your way to Life. You might as well try to raise somebody at the local mortuary, or even better yet, go to the nearest graveyard and try pleading with the corpses to see if they can raise themselves from the dead. It can't be done. Life has to come from the one who is the source of life, God Himself. And if there's going to be any response, then there has to be a work of God prior to that response. And that is what the Bible calls regeneration.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#19 Jan 31, 2013
calvin wrote:
The sinner is apart from the life of God, dead in trespasses and sins, is ignorant, is without understanding, is blind to spiritual truth, doubly blinded by Satan and the world as well, and in that condition there is nothing he can do for himself to become alive.
You think by some prayer, by way of an altar call, you can woo your way to Life. You might as well try to raise somebody at the local mortuary, or even better yet, go to the nearest graveyard and try pleading with the corpses to see if they can raise themselves from the dead. It can't be done. Life has to come from the one who is the source of life, God Himself. And if there's going to be any response, then there has to be a work of God prior to that response. And that is what the Bible calls regeneration.
Here is another error to your theory. If a person is always lost unless God has elected him, why in the world would Satan be of any consequence? Double Blinded By Satan???? I dont know where you get this talk but you should really look at it before you repeat it.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#20 Jan 31, 2013
Your skipping all these tough questions arent you?

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