Regeneration: A Change in the Origin of Birth

Through his conversations with Jesus, Nicodemus, a teacher of the Law and member of the Sanhedrin, recognizes that Jesus is with God and is an exceptional teacher. He is trying to understand what regeneration is and is chastened for not knowing as a teacher of the Law.

There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to him at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him."
Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
"How can anyone be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked him. "Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?"
Jesus answered, "Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
"How can these things be?" asked Nicodemus.
"Are you a teacher of Israel and don't know these things?" Jesus replied. (John 3:1-10, CSB)

1. When you read the above account with Nicodemus, what do you observe of Jesus' use of the word "born?" Is Jesus speaking literally or figuratively? Is Nicodemus speaking literally or figuratively?

2. Nicodemus was chastened for not knowing about the New Covenant. In revealing the New Covenant, the prophet Ezekiel speaks of one of its benefits. What do you observe? Is Ezekiel speaking literally or figuratively?

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. (Ezek 36:26-27, CSB)

3. When Jesus speaks of the Spirit, what additional information do you learn?

Jesus answered, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn't love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.
"I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. (John 14:23-26, CSB)

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