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4Nicodemus 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?"5Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God."

Christ’s answer which implied ignorance of God on the part of Nicodemus confused him. He had not heard of the second birth. On hearing on this he was puzzled by the suggestion that an old man could go back into the womb. This response based on sense experience indicates short-sightedness. He did not understand that God the Father can beget children by His Spirit.
Jesus loved Nicodemus; after leading him to confess that he did not know the way to God’s Kingdom, he stressed the fact by affirming he was the Truth. We have to believe that we cannot enter the Kingdom without a second birth, the only condition.
What is the second birth? It is a birth, not just a concept, nor does it spring from man’s efforts, since no one can give birth to himself, God becomes the parent and giver of life. This spiritual birth is a grace, not just a reformation of character, nor a social discipline. All are wicked from their early years, and without hope for improvement. Spiritual birth is the entry of God’s life into mankind.
How does this come about? Jesus told Nicodemus, it is achieved by water and the Spirit. Water speaks of John’s baptism and the purification jars at the wedding. Members of the Old Covenant knew that water need in ablutions were signs of cleansing from sin. As if Jesus was saying, "Why do you not go down to the Baptist, confess your sins and be baptized?" Elsewhere Jesus said, "If any one would follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and come after me." Brother confess your guilt, accept God’s judgment on your sin. You are corrupt and perishing.
Jesus was not content with water baptism, but baptized the penitent with the Holy Spirit to create new life in the broken-hearted. After his crucifixion we learn that the cleansing of our consciences is by his blood. This cleansing is by the work of the Holy Spirit. When man is drawn by the Spirit, he is filled with eternal life and its fruit; he becomes a good man led by Jesus. This transformation takes time; just as the fetus develops in the womb and is born. So also is the second birth in the believer.
Jesus made this the aim of his preaching, the theme of God’s Kingdom. So what is this Kingdom? Not a political movement, or any economic theory, but the fellowship of the reborn with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This blessed Spirit comes on them, as they yield themselves to Christ, and acknowledge him as their King to be obeyed.

Lord Jesus, thank you for my rebirth by grace alone. You have opened my spiritual eyes. Let me abide in your love. Open the eyes of those who seek you sincerely, to know their sin and confess, to be renewed by the power of your Holy Spirit, resting on your shed blood, so that they may enter into lasting fellowship with you.
What is the difference between the piety of Nicodemus and the aims of Christ?