The conversation with Nicodemus (4 of 5)
John 3:7 KJV
Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again.
We are not to marvel at it; for when we consider
▪︎ the holiness of the God with whom we have to do,
▪︎ the great design of our redemption,
▪︎ the depravity of our nature,
▪︎ and the constitution of the happiness set before us,
we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this as the one thing needful, that we must be born again.
Ye must be born again.
He who is the great Lawgiver, whose will is a law,
He who is the great Mediator of the new covenant, and has full power to settle the terms of our reconciliation to God and happiness in Him,
He who is the great Physician of souls, knows their case, and what is necessary to their cure, He has said, You must be born again.
You must, you all, one as well as another, you must be born again: not only the common people, but also the rulers, and the masters in Israel.
Christ makes it necessary, by his own word: Marvel not that I said unto thee, You must be born again, (John 3:7). Christ hath said it, and as He Himself never did, nor ever will, unsay it, so all the world cannot gainsay it, that we must be born again.
This change is illustrated by two comparisons.
First, The regenerating work of the Spirit is compared to water (John 3:5).
To be born again is to be born of water and of the Spirit, that is, of the Spirit working like water, as (Matthew 3:11 ) with the Holy Ghost and with fire means with the Holy Ghost as with fire.
That which is primarily intended here is to show that the Spirit, in sanctifying a soul,
▪︎ Cleanses and purifies it as water, takes away its filth, by which it was unfit for the kingdom of God. It is the washing of regeneration ( Titus 3:5 ).
You are washed (1 Corinthians 6:11. See Ezekiel 36:25).
▪︎ Cools and refreshes it, as water does the hunted hart and the weary traveller. The Spirit is compared to water, (John 7:38,39; Isaiah 44:3).
In the first creation, the fruits of heaven were born of water (Genesis 1:20), in allusion to which, perhaps, they that are born from above are said to be born of water.
It is possible that Christ had an eye to the ordinance of baptism, which John had used and he himself had begun to use, “You must be born again of the Spirit,’’ which regeneration by the Spirit should be signified by washing with water, as the visible sign of that spiritual grace: not that all they, and they only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be looked upon as the protected privileged subjects of the kingdom of heaven.
The Jews cannot partake of the benefits of the Messiah’s kingdom, they have so long looked for, unless they quit all expectations of being justified by the works of the law, and submit to the baptism of repentance, the great gospel duty, for the remission of sins, the great gospel privilege.
To be continued
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