Creation and the new creation

In last Sunday’s sermon on the dialog between Nicodemus and Jesus (John 3), our pastor drew parallels between the Spirit of God moving over the face of the waters at the creation (Genesis 1:2) and what Jesus told Nicodemus about the role of water and the Spirit in the new creation (John 3:5).

From Rev. James Douthwaite, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Lent 2 Sermon:

Jesus starts where good teachers start – at the beginning, with Nicodemus. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again (or born from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Everything starts with birth, the new birth, and goes from there. But Nicodemus doesn’t get it.

So then, like a good teacher, Jesus repeats His answer, but with a little more information, an explanation for Nicodemus’ question, the second time. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” So this new birth is not a physical re-birth, but one that is done by water and the Spirit. The same Spirit that hovered over the face of the waters at the beginning of physical life in the creation (Genesis 1:1-2), is the same Spirit that works through water at the beginning of spiritual life in its creation. Or in other words, this is all the work of God. Life in all its forms is all the work of God. Not our work. So in the beginning: His Word + His water + His Spirit = life and creation. And still it is His Word + His water + His Spirit = new life and new creation.


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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.