Analysis Of Nicodemus

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Jesus responds to Nicodemus with a seemingly unrelated statement that clarifies itself as Nicodemus asks him to do so: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John
Winder 2
3:3) This appears to have little to do with Nicodemus’s commendation, and thus he is confused as he responds. He asks Jesus, mistaking his words as literal, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4) To which Jesus clarifies: “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.” (John 3:5) He continues to explain this principle of rebirth through the Biblical example of Moses and the nature of God’s love. Nicodemus’s questions function to show what being born again is not: it is not a physical rebirth
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Repentance, according to Alma, is baptism. Baptism is, through the symbolic purification of water, a metaphorical act of being born into the covenant of God. It is both a birth of water and spirit, thus fitting Jesus’s earlier definition. According to Alma, just as Jesus said to Nicodemus, a Christian who is not baptized cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. When Adam receives the Holy Spirit and the ability to baptize, the Lord said to Adam, “Inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water...ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit” (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:59). In the context of these later verses, baptism is the practice that begins the process of being born…show more content…
Todd Christofferson’s general conference talk “Born Again”, he defines being born again as “unlike our physical birth, is more of a process than an event. And engaging in that process is the central purpose of humanity.” (2007) This is the same principle that Nicodemus learned when he came to Jesus at night. Spiritual rebirth is the act of baptism to be “born of water and the spirit” (John 3:5) followed by a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus’s teachings and actions. It is a covenant that, after undergoing it, asks a Christian to function on a level higher than they were before in a moral rebirth as well. The reasoning behind this covenant--as is the reasoning behind everything Jesus taught--is love: ”for the love of God sent his Son not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17) As Jesus introduced the concept of being born again, He is the median through which God’s love becomes the center of spiritual rebirth. Through Him and through spiritual rebirth, man can repent. It is, then, little wonder that Jesus tells Nicodemus when he seeks answers: “ Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John
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