Jno. 3:1-5.


1. This subject has been abused, misused and misapplied by many religious people.

2. Much of the abuse and misapplication comes from the lack of term definition.

3. To rightly define the words of any subject will help any sincere and honest person to see the teaching involved.

4. With these thoughts in mind, we will proceed to define the subject of this lesson word for word.


A. BORN: -- To bring forth; birth; to be brought forth. 1. The word "born" should not be confused with "begettal" or "conception".

2. Begettal or conception means the planting of the seed.

a. The seed in this case is the word of God. Lk. 8:11.

3. Born means the coming up of the seed planted, a breaking forth.

4. The word "born" is used about 82 times in the Old Testament and about 46 times in the New Testament.

5. Since the word "born" means a coming forth out of, we will show later in this lesson how this will affect some erroneous doctrines.

B. WATER: -- Means water. H2O.

1. It may seem funny to some that we define water here to mean water, but let it be known that there are many that say it means something else.

2. The word "water" is used over 600 times in the Old Testament and over 80 times in the New Testament.

3. Whenever the lack of water is specified, such as in, 2 pet. 2:17, "These are springs without water..." and Jude 12, "...clouds without water..." another word is used in the original. Greek word "anhudros".

4. "Hudor" in the Greek, means water. "Anhudros" means without water. The chemical sign is H2O, one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen.

5. Read Jno. 4:10-15.

6. In Jno. 3: 5, Hudor is used, meaning water.

7. This should eliminate, in an honest mind, the idea that Jno. 3:5 does not mean water.

a. How would God have said water, Jno. 3:5 if He had not said it like He did?


1. The word "spirit" is used over 230 times in the Old Testament and over 370 times in the New Testament.

2. In over 200 cases in the New Testament where the word is used, it has reference to the Holy Spirit.

3. In Jno. 3:5, the reference is to the Spirit of God, and not the spirit of man.


A. The true meaning of Jno. 3:5 is, that one uis directed by the Holy Spirit to be baptized in or be born of water.

1. The Spirit directs through the word, the Bible. Jno. 16:13-15; Psa. 119:105; Rom. 8:14; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16,17.

2. The begettal is accomplished by the planting of the seed, the word of God, in the soil, the heart. Jas. 1:18 1 Pet. 1:23; Jas. 1:21; Lk. 8:4-15.

a. Preachers and teachers are used in the spreading of the seed, the word, provided by the Spirit. 2 Pet. 1: 21; 1 Pet. 1:12.

B. Many that hold the position that they have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and are therefore overwhelmed by the Spirit, fail to realize that baptism or a new birth requires a coming forth out of. Rom. 6:3-6.

1. Since this is true, they have come forth out of the Spirit and are no longer overwhelmed by it.

C. The birth mentioned in Jno. 3:5, is the same thing that had happened to the members of the kingdom, the church in Eph. 5:25,26.

1. It is also the same thing that took place or is mentioned in: Acts 2:38; 22:16; Titus 3:5.

D. To be born of water and the Spirit, is certainly nothing to be mystified about.

1. It simply means that the Holy Spirit has revealed through the New Testament that one is to be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins in order to enter the kingdom of God, the church.

a. This baptism or new birth is to be in water.

2. This is what is meant by "being born of water and the Spirit."

E. Just to believe the word of God, which is the seed, is not enough for the new birth.

1. The devils believed and trembled. Jas. 2:19.

2. The rulers of the synagogue believed, but would not confess Christ. Jno. 12:42,43.

3. Neither of these mentioned were born again.

4. When a child is begotten or conceived, he is not at that very moment born, but he must fulfill the prescribed time of nature before he is born.

5. When a man believes the gospel, and with meekness receives it into a good and honest heart, he is then BEGOTTEN of God. He is then prepared to be born again. Jno. 1:11,12.

6. Saul of Tarsus, was begotten on the road to Damascus. Acts 9;1-5.

a. He was made to believe on Christ.

b. In Damascus other seeds were planted by Ananias.

c. But he was not born again until 3 days after meeting Christ on the road.

1) If so, where were the elements, water and the Spirit? Jno. 3:5.

d. Ananias was used by the Spirit in directing Saul to be baptized.

7. If one was immersed in water without faith, repentance and confession, he would be born of water but not of the Spirit.

a. Because the Spirit directs one to do these things before being baptized in water.

F. Briefly, let us notice some theories of men.

1. In order to do away with water baptism as an essential to entering the kingdom, some say that water in Jno. 3:5 does not mean water but means, grace or Spirit.

2. Others say that the word "and" in Jno. 3:5 should be rendered "even" to read, "born of water even the Spirit This might be alright if it didn't break every rule of translation.

3. Another says that water, in this verse, is exegetical of the word Spirit and should be rendered, "born of the Spirit like an overflow of water." This too might be alright if anyone had ever heard of an exegesis being given in advance of the word explained.

4. None of these quibbles would have ever been thought of, if it had not been necessary to devise some way to save a man-made theory.

5. These theories are destroyed by the obvious meaning of our Savior's language.

a. To accept plain, simple teaching from God's word, will do away with all man-made theories and wishes.


1. Have you been born of water and the Spirit?

2. You can be, by being baptized in water following the direction of the Spirit.

3. Upon hearing His word, Rom. 10:17. Believing it, Heb. 11:6. Repenting of your sins, Lk. 13:3 and confessing your faith in Christ as God's Son, Mt. 10:32,33, you too can be born again by being baptized in water for the remission of your sins. Acts 2:38; 22:16.

4. Why not obey the Lord right now?

By Jim Sasser

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