Being Born of Water and the Spirit

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. John 3:5 NIV

The phrase “born of water and the Spirit” originates from a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council, as recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 1-8 in the New Testament of the Bible. This conversation explores the concept of spiritual rebirth or regeneration.

In this conversation, Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to see the Kingdom of God, one must be “born again” or “born from above.” Nicodemus is confused by this concept, wondering how a person can be born again after growing old. Jesus then introduces the idea of being born of water and the Spirit.

The term “born of water” likely refers to a physical birth or possibly a symbolic reference to baptism, which uses water as a cleansing and initiating element in many Christian traditions. Baptism is often considered a symbolic representation of spiritual cleansing and rebirth, signifying a person’s commitment to follow Jesus and live a new life.

The term “born of the Spirit” refers to a spiritual rebirth or transformation brought about by the Holy Spirit. It signifies a renewal of the inner self, a transformation of the heart and mind, and a new life in alignment with God’s purposes.

In essence, being “born of water and the Spirit” conveys the idea of a twofold transformation: a physical and spiritual rebirth. It’s a metaphorical expression used by Jesus to convey the necessity of both a change of heart and a commitment to living a new, spiritually-centered life.

The underlying message emphasizes the importance of personal transformation, faith, and the work of the Holy Spirit in the process of becoming a follower of Christ.

–Diane (

Written by Diane Levy


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