A question was submitted this week through the web form which will be addressed in this weeks study. John 3:5 - What does it mean that we need to be 'born of water and the Spirit if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven'? How does this relate to John 3:16 - Believing in Jesus?
Interestingly, the answer to the above questions is related to the previous 3 studies. Before you proceed with this study, it would be in your best interest to read the studies on Matthew 3, Matthew 9 and Matthew 26.
To understand John 3:5, we first need to understand the relationship between being 'born of water' and 'believing in Jesus'. In the study of Matthew 3:13-17, we illustrated the parallel between Jesus' baptism (in water), and His Death and Resurrection on the cross.
When Jesus was baptized He was thrust into the water, foreshadowing His death on the cross. On the cross, Jesus first 'yielded His Spirit', suffering spiritual death. He then suffered physical death. Jesus was spiritually dead when He physically died. He then beared the wrath due for your sins.
Without Jesus you are spiritually dead. This is a repercussion of sin (Gen 3:3). Without Jesus, you are spiritually dead when you physically die. After physical death, you would then suffer the consequence of your sin, eternally separated from God in the Eternal Fire. Jesus suffers BOTH spiritual and physical death in your place, and then bears the wrath for your sins. Jesus become your exact SUBSTITUTE. He dies and suffers in your place.
'Believing in Him' means believing that Jesus is God, and that He acted as your SUBSTITUTE on the cross. Underlying this belief is an understanding that:
Being 'born of water' means repenting- that is why John baptized with water for Repentance (Matt 3:11).
Once cleansed, you are prepared to receive His Holy Spirit. The Spirit He yielded for you on the cross.
First you are cleansed by His sacrifice on the cross, then you receive His spirit.
You are 'born of the water' when you are cleansed (i.e. you repent), You are 'born of the spirit' when you receive 'His Spirit'.
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