Jesus and Nicodemus

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Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
174
70
28
#1
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.

The real question that is overlooked is "what is the meaning of how "one enters the kingdom of God" I see the kingdom of God is when when Christ rules for a thousand years. I know the scriptures say the kingdom of God is within you but the meaning is we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

While Nicodemus lacked knowledge in what Jesus was teaching made him say: Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born again? We understand from the scriptures what Nicodemus didn't know. Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God- 1 Cor 15:50. The physical body comes first then the spiritual body. 1 Cor 15:44

I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
 

jb

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
4,438
368
83
#2
I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
I think you'll find few with you sharing your opinion!
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
174
70
28
#3
I think you'll find few with you sharing your opinion!
You are probably right. But the modern day teaching did not begin till early 19th century. Even the early church reformers from the RCC such as Martin Luther and John Calvin never mentioned anything about being born again. Just what I see
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
38,055
14,992
113
#4
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’"

There is no salvation for those not born again.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
2,894
1,937
113
#5
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.

The real question that is overlooked is "what is the meaning of how "one enters the kingdom of God" I see the kingdom of God is when when Christ rules for a thousand years. I know the scriptures say the kingdom of God is within you but the meaning is we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

While Nicodemus lacked knowledge in what Jesus was teaching made him say: Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born again? We understand from the scriptures what Nicodemus didn't know. Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God- 1 Cor 15:50. The physical body comes first then the spiritual body. 1 Cor 15:44

I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
Even if a man could go back into his mother's womb and be born again, would it make a difference? Probably not since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

So what did Jesus mean, then, by "you must be born of water and Spirit?"

In John 4:13-14, Jesus said:

13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The water that Jesus was referencing in relation to being born of "water and Spirit" was not literal water in my opinion. Jesus is referring to spiritual water that sustains the born again spirit of those who have faith in Jesus.

This born again process of "water and Spirit" is not something the individual will have control over. It will be solely by the will of God:

John 1:12-13
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:8
8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,410
2,655
113
65
#7
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.
Hello Omegatime, while I believe that Nicodemus was eventually saved, I do not believe that he was saved at the time of this conversation.

For instance, Nicodemus said that Jesus was a "teacher come from God". Really? Is that it? Just another Jewish Rabbi (like Nicodemus and the other Pharisees/Sadducees) and nothing more :unsure:

He also said that, God was "with Him". Again, is that all :unsure: While we know that everything that Nicodemus said is certainly true of the Lord Jesus, we (as Christians) also know that He is FAR more than a man/human teacher who God was simply "with"/on the side of, yes?

While Nicodemus lacked knowledge in what Jesus was teaching made him say: Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born again? We understand from the scriptures what Nicodemus didn't know. I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please.
Nicodemus as, "the teacher of Israel", should have known exactly what Jesus was referring to when He said that we need to be born again, as he, no doubt, had the OT memorized. Like God told him and us in the Book of Ezekiel,

Ezekiel 36
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Finally, being born again (literally, born from above) has to do with the Lord bringing (quickening/regenerating) those who are 1. alive ~physically~ but 2. dead ~spiritually~ .. to "spiritual" life .. Ep 2:1-5. On the other hand, the "bodily resurrection of the saints" has to do with God bringing those who have died physically (but who are still alive spiritually), back to "physical" life (in a resurrected and glorified body, suited for eternal life on the New Earth in the age to come).

Ephesians 2
1 You were dead [spiritually] in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead [spiritually] in our transgressions, made us alive [spiritually] together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

So, I believe that the new birth has everything to do with our salvation, with God bringing us to ~spiritual~ life in Christ, and nothing to do with the physical resurrection and glorification of our dead bodies the end of the age.

God bless you!

~Deut

John 3
16 God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
15,560
7,671
113
#8
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.
When Nicodemus addressed Christ as "Rabbi" instead of "Lord" it revealed that he was still an unbeliever, though respectful of Christ as a Teacher. You will note that many approached Christ and either called Him "Lord" or worshipped Him. Those were true believers. And no one can call Him "Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.
The real question that is overlooked is "what is the meaning of how "one enters the kingdom of God" I see the kingdom of God is when when Christ rules for a thousand years. I know the scriptures say the kingdom of God is within you but the meaning is we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
While the visible, tangible, physical and spiritual Kingdom of God on earth is yet in the future, the Kingdom of God (Christ as King and Ruler) "within you" applies to every person who has been born of the Spirit (born again). One can neither enter nor see the Kingdom of God (spiritual realities) without the New Birth. Therefore the New Birth is an absolute necessity according to Christ.
I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
You are very seriously mistaken. Jesus was not talking about the resurrection at all. He was insisting that the natural man cannot enter or see the Kingdom of God. It needs a SUPERNATURAL EVENT to do so. That is why the New Birth is called being (1) born again, (2) born from above, (3) born of God, and (4) born of the Spirit.

Also please note that what Jesus was saying is that any talk about the natural birth is totally irrelevant. One must be born "of Water" and "of the Spirit". There are too many who assume that this water is ordinary H2O as found in baptism. But Scripture uses water as a metaphor for (1) the Holy Spirit and (2) the Word of God. However since the Spirit is included in that statement, this "water" is actually the Word of God as found in the Gospel. The Gospel itself is the seed of the New Birth (1 Peter 1:23-25).
 

Webers.Home

Well-known member
May 28, 2018
2,626
369
83
Oregon
#9
.
John 3:10 . . Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these
things?

That goes to show there are theologians able to read the Bible, and able to
quote the Bible, but not always able to explain the Bible.

A classic example of this particular brand of incompetence is located at Matt
22:41-46.
_
 

Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
422
195
43
#10
“The kingdom of God… is of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

The kingdom is present-tense living, not something we receive upon death.
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
174
70
28
#11
I will finish up with these thoughts. Why didn't Yeshua/jesus thru the rest of his ministry say come and be born again to the people instead of Nicodemus alone, the apostles never preached it nor did Paul, and we went 1900 years before someone decided we need to preach born again as being an act of salvation.
 

Rockson

Active member
Jul 24, 2021
188
70
28
#12
I will finish up with these thoughts. Why didn't Yeshua/jesus thru the rest of his ministry say come and be born again to the people instead of Nicodemus alone, the apostles never preached it nor did Paul, and we went 1900 years before someone decided we need to preach born again as being an act of salvation.
Jesus was just letting Nicodemus. know what he really should have already known that is being a teacher of Israel..."don't you understand these things" He should have. He should have known as a teacher of Israel knowing the Old Testament that man needed an absolute change of nature....that was man's real need. As a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus should have known,

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Eze 11:19

But yes....Jesus didn't refer to it much during his ministry but there really was other language used. To the woman at the well of Samario John 4: 13 we read, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
Also born again all through the teachings of Paul was indeed referred to. It was just different words to describe it. All the scriptures which refer to become a new creation.....a new creature, 2 Cor 5:17 and other verses too....they're all talking about the same thing.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
31,566
10,552
113
#13
John 3:10 . . Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these
things?

That goes to show there are theologians able to read the Bible, and able to
quote the Bible, but not always able to explain the Bible.

not "a" teacher but "the" teacher -- Jesus identifies Nicodemus as either the chief rabbi of the sanhedrin or the head of the synagogue of Jerusalem.

he is not some mean man; he is not an idiot. he is a very intelligent man, with a better mastery of the Torah than anyone on this forum. he is very wise and very learned and is asking extraordinarily deep questions. he puts his social and political position - which is a very powerful one - at great risk in order to speak to Jesus.

their conversation is by no means simple, and he is already displaying great faith by coming to Christ and addressing Him as 'rabbi' -- that's humility on Nicodemus's part, because no one in all Jerusalem was qualified to be Nicodemus's teacher.

don't underestimate him; John 3 is amazing and far beyond the kinds of conversations we have. it's not something to just skim through.
this is like the chief imam of Islam secretly going to John MacArthur to learn about Christian theology -- in fact it's waaaay beyond that.
 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
1,288
868
113
#14
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.

The real question that is overlooked is "what is the meaning of how "one enters the kingdom of God" I see the kingdom of God is when when Christ rules for a thousand years. I know the scriptures say the kingdom of God is within you but the meaning is we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

While Nicodemus lacked knowledge in what Jesus was teaching made him say: Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born again? We understand from the scriptures what Nicodemus didn't know. Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God- 1 Cor 15:50. The physical body comes first then the spiritual body. 1 Cor 15:44

I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
I agree. Israel already had a covenant with God for forgiveness of sins. So Nicodemus was saved in that sense and I have no doubt he believed on that basis. Lord Jesus brought an entirely new and so unfamiliar teaching. Lord Jesus frequently avoided answering questions or turned the tables on people who sought to trap Him. Lord Jesus had the wonderful gift of knowing what people were really thinking so He responded accordingly.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
31,566
10,552
113
#15
I will finish up with these thoughts. Why didn't Yeshua/jesus thru the rest of his ministry say come and be born again to the people instead of Nicodemus alone, the apostles never preached it nor did Paul, and we went 1900 years before someone decided we need to preach born again as being an act of salvation.
you need to understand that 'born again' is not an alien concept to Nicodemus.
in Judaism there are at least 6 different things called being 'born again'


  • a Gentile converting to Judaism
  • a bar mitvah
  • being crowned king
  • being married
  • becoming a rabbi
  • becoming head of a rabbinic school

Nicodemus doesn't just ask, how can a person become born again? -- he is familiar with the concept. he is a very, very learned man and very, very intelligent & wise.
he asks, how can a man be born again when he is old?



Nicodemus isn't a Gentile.
Nicodemus has already had his bar mitvah.
Nicodemus cannot be made king. he's a Levite.
Nicodemus is very likely already married.
Nicodemus is already a rabbi.
Nicodemus is very likely already head of a rabbinic school, or at the least considered to be at such a level.


he knows that Jesus is talking about something else; something he doesn't know about. that's why he has come to Jesus in the first place, to be taught by Him: he calls Him 'rabbi' and this is a term of intellectual respect; he from the moment he met Him is bowing to Jesus in terms of knowledge and understanding. he is coming to him as tho wishing to be His disciple

his answer, asking shall he climb back into his mother's womb? -- this answer is couched in this context. he's being very Jewish, lol, using hyperbole to indicate his amazement at what Jesus is telling him.

Jesus replies by introducing the Spirit into the conversation. Nicodemus isn't unfamiliar with the Spirit of God -- he is a master of the Torah. he can probably recite the entire OT from memory. but while he has a concept of 'rebirth' in a spiritual sense, and he has a concept of the Spirit of God coming over a person so that he prophesies or is filled with power, he doesn't yet have a concept of being 'reborn' i.e. permanently changed on a fundamental level through the Spirit of God.

should he have? well he certainly could have. it is written in the scripture. Jesus isn't being unfair when he asks "you do not know these things?" -- but what this is showing is that Nicodemus, who represents the pinnacle of human scholarship & understanding of the scripture, was not able to arrive at these things on his own. the Bible is not a book that can be understood without the guidance of God; God must open a person's understanding -- when He does, these things look obvious. but we should not think of ourselves as 'smarter' than others because He has granted us to be able to see! it's the working of God, not of human ability and intelligence.

again, Nicodemus is not stupid -- don't read John 3 as tho he is, or you'll miss what's happening here
 

Webers.Home

Well-known member
May 28, 2018
2,626
369
83
Oregon
#16
.
It's both tragic and ironic that the Watchtower Society's rank and file
missionaries go worldwide advertising a kingdom that they themselves will
never be allowed to enter. Here's why.

At John 3:3-12, Christ discusses what he labels "earthly things".

The primary earthly thing discussed was the kingdom of God. The other
earthly thing discussed was a Spirit-birth requirement to enter it. In other
words: God's kingdom on earth, and a Spirit birth, are joined at the hip.

The overwhelming majority of JWs coming to our doors aren't Spirit-born
now, nor do they ever expect to be-- not in this life, nor in the next --yet
they sincerely believe they have a shot at admission to God's kingdom on
earth. However, seeing as how the Spirit-birth requirement is a must rather
than an option; they will not succeed.
_
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
174
70
28
#17
Thought I would leave some last words.
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding. Many of you said because Nicodemus didn't say Jesus is Lord or wasn't the right words but scripture says differently.

Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. John 14;11

Many of you think we are in the kingdom of God--find your thoughts sad
 

Pilgrimshope

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
3,108
982
113
#18
When I read the scriptures in John 3, I see no hint of this story being about salvation. Many say Nicodemus was a lost soul or a unbeliever but when he came to Jesus he said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Those words spoken by Nicodemus makes him a believer in my understanding.

The real question that is overlooked is "what is the meaning of how "one enters the kingdom of God" I see the kingdom of God is when when Christ rules for a thousand years. I know the scriptures say the kingdom of God is within you but the meaning is we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

While Nicodemus lacked knowledge in what Jesus was teaching made him say: Can a man go back into his mother's womb and be born again? We understand from the scriptures what Nicodemus didn't know. Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God- 1 Cor 15:50. The physical body comes first then the spiritual body. 1 Cor 15:44

I believe this story is all about the resurrection and not when one believes or has anything to do with salvation. Your comments please
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:1-5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

How can a man be born again ? Believing the spirit which nicodemus did he acknowledged it and sought his teaching from God born of spirit is to believe the word of the gospel

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭6:63‬ ‭KJV‬‬

so he was already being born of the spirit the other birth is baptism for remission which is what completes the new birth remitting sins and cleaning the person as a new born before God without sin

it’s the removal of sin and new birth into the word of the gospel

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:23, 25‬ ‭KJV‬‬

belief of the gospel and baptism is how we enter into the kingdom

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭16:15-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬
 
Aug 18, 2021
92
33
18
#19
You are probably right. But the modern day teaching did not begin till early 19th century. Even the early church reformers from the RCC such as Martin Luther and John Calvin never mentioned anything about being born again. Just what I see
I am puzzled, you probably profess to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, the belief that Scripture is the sole authority of God, God's word. But then you want to site both Luther and Calvin as your authority also. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Furthermore, Luther and Calvin didn't even agree with each other on important Christian issues/beliefs.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
19,033
5,038
113
#20
I am puzzled, you probably profess to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, the belief that Scripture is the sole authority of God, God's word. But then you want to site both Luther and Calvin as your authority also. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Furthermore, Luther and Calvin didn't even agree with each other on important Christian issues/beliefs.
Please, why are you puzzled? Just because a person is aaware of Luther and others historically does not translate as being a disciple.

This is supposed to be discussionn I believe.