On one side Nicodemus, representing all well-meaning, God-fearing, scripture-memorizing folk. On the other, Jesus Christ. And what the latter says to the former is so uncanny that it sends shock waves through church pews and synagogues to this very day. “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3:5-6 NLT).
The phrase “Kingdom of God” refers to a relationship with God in this life and entrance into heaven in the next. How do we receive citizenship? Be born again. In our first birth we become brand-new humans. In our second birth we become brand-new creations. And who oversees our second birth? The Holy Spirit!