Is The Water in John 3:5 Referring To The Embryonic Fluid Inside The Mother's Womb?

No. Some denominations take the position that the "water" of John 3:5 is referring to the physical birth of a child (the "water" birth representing the embryonic fluid inside a mother's womb). They go on to teach that a person who receives Christ as Savior is "born again" (the "Spirit" birth of John 3:5 being defined as a birth from the Holy Spirit). This is not true for several reasons.

  1. The context and original language indicate that Jesus is speaking of the same birth (not two different births) because (1) the words are joined by the conjunction "and," (2) both words share the same preposition, "of", and (3) both words share the same verb "born".
  2. This is absurd because we are already physically born. It would be redundant to state that one must be physically born when he/she is already physically born.
  3. Water immersion is a requirement for conversion in the New Testament. John the Immerser came on the scene immersing people "in water" (John 1:26) and in places where there was "much water" (3:23) "for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4). This fits the remote context in which Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus telling him that he must be ready for the preparatory phase of God's kingdom. Jesus also immersed (although His disciples actually administered the immersions - John 3:22; 4:1-2). After the cross, water immersion is a requirement for conversion too. Peter notes the connection with immersion and water in 1 Peter 3:21. Paul refers to water immersion as a "washing of regeneration" (Titus 3:5).
  4. Simply put, "being born of water and spirit" means water immersion for the remission of sins.


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