“You Must be Born Again”
BIBL 2013 NA-BS 1205


Term Paper (Final Draft)


7 September 2003



“You Must be Born Again”


In John, chapter 3, Jesus explains to Nicodemus “ye must be born again.” It is interesting that Jesus uses the birth analogy to make a point. The birth of a child is one of the most fascinating experiences of human life. Every culture understands what it is for a baby to be physically born, and every person has had a first hand experience with a child being born. Jesus told one of the most important lessons He ever spoke by using the birth experience as an analogy.


To understand the analogy, we must first understand the important aspects of childbirth. First, while the baby is in the womb he is not aware of life. He is still covered in the darkness of the mother's womb. In essence, the baby is 'dead' to life outside of the womb.


To further illustrate this truth, we must understand that we are a living person while we are sleeping. Yet while in the unconscious state, we are unaware of the life we experience when we are awake. While we are unconscious in our sleep and not dreaming, we are not aware of the world events taking place out our consciousness. We are essentially dead to the real world.


Additionally, while the baby is in the mother’s womb, it does nothing of itself to sustain life, but is completely dependant upon the mother. When the baby is born, however, a series of important changes take place. As the baby passes from the darkness of the mother's womb into the light of the world, the baby becomes aware and starts breathing air on his own.


Jesus knew all these things about the birth experience when He told Nicodemus that he must be born again. Nicodemus was confused about Jesus' words and asked how he could enter back into his mother's womb a second time. He was thinking carnally, not spiritually. Jesus was using the birth analogy to tell Nicodemus that radical changes had to occur in ones' life before they could enter the kingdom of God. Jesus was trying to tell Nicodemus that, presently he was living in darkness, regardless of his lifestyle. Works alone are not enough anymore. Nicodemus, and all of us must pass from darkness to light-be reborn, before we can enter the kingdom of God.


Jesus was telling Nicodemus the same truth that the Spirit wrote through Paul in Ephesians chapter 2 (kjv). It reads as follows, "And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." (Eph. 2:1-3)


Jesus was telling Nicodemus that he must be born again out of the darkness of walking in the lusts of his flesh and out from under the wrath of God. Later, Jesus told Nicodemus that, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18 NIV). “Being spiritually dead due to refusing to respond to God's grace, a person who has not been born again is under the condemnation of the Lord”. (http://john13-6.org/BornAgain.htm)


Nicodemus was a noble religious leader. Jesus was not speaking to a bad man who cared for no one. He was speaking to a well-respected member of the community, an elder. This man was one of the rulers of the Jewish nation at he the time. And yet, Jesus told this Pharisee that; "Ye must be born again". Jesus was saying that Nicodemus lacked something essential; spiritual life, and until he was born again into a new life, he was dwelling in darkness, for “…no one cometh to the father, but by me”(John 14:6 KJV).


It is interesting to me that Nicodemus came to Jesus and admitted that he knew He was the Son of God, and then began