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Jesus teaches of new birth through baptism

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Today’s bible study is from the Gospel of John 3:4-5. Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

In this beautifully simplistic passage, Nicodemus asks the question: How can a man be born again? He is surely aware of the process of physical birth, but is asking about the process of rebirth into the Christian faith.

Jesus answers him by saying that a man can be born again, but that this cannot happen without the water and the Spirit. Then Jesus goes on to say that without this, no man will enter the kingdom of God. Birth as a Christian by water is usually incorporated in the sacrament of baptism, when a baby or adult is wither sprinkled lightly with drops of holy water or immersed bodily in water. This recalls the story of John the Baptist performing baptisms in the river.

We now use consecrated water in a baptismal font or water deep enough for complete immersion, yet the ides is the same. The water baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. It brings the Spirit of the living God into our lives and allows it to enter our hearts and our minds. We are reborn as followers of Jesus and children of God the Father Almighty.

We may be aware of a freshness and newness in this experience. The blue of the sky may actually appear brighter, the leaves of the trees greener, and the smell of rain more fragrant. We may actually see new beauty in a sunrise or sunset, in the smile of a child, or the parchment hand of an elder. In some cases, true Christians have fallen to their knees in awe upon baptism and newness of life.

Along with this new life as children of God, we are promised a place in His kingdom. We can enjoy the peace and grace of God’s kingdom here on earth and for all of eternity with our heavenly Father. May we be born again, baptized as your children by the water and the Spirit and may we be granted a place in Your heavenly kingdom, Dear God.

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