Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?…
I. IT IS CLEARLY OPPOSED TO THE SPIRIT AND DESIGN OF OUR LORD'S DISCOURSE TO NICODEMUS (cf. vers. 3, 6, 8; and Mark 16., where "believeth not" is disassociated from baptism).
II. IT IS OPPOSED TO THE DECLARATION AND PRACTICE OF ST. PAUL (1 Corinthians 1:14-18). Had it regenerated, his wisest method would have been to baptize.
III. It has AN AWFUL AND MOST UNSCRIPTURAL ASPECT ON THE DESTINY OF THE UNBAPTIZED. Think of the myriads infant and adult who on this hypothesis are lost, and contrast it with "Suffer little children," etc.
IV. IT OFFERS GREAT DISHONOUR TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND IS AT VARIANCE WITH SCRIPTURAL VIEWS OF THE NATURE AND EFFICACY OF HIS REGENERATING AND SANCTIFYING GRACE. Look at thousands who have been baptized. Have they fallen from grace? When did they ever evidence the possession of it?
V. IT IS CALCULATED TO PRODUCE THE MOST RUINOUS DELUSIONS, that a man is safe by a mere ceremonial without a moral change.
VI. IT DIVERTS THE MIND FROM THE TRANSCENDENT IMPORTANCE OF DIVINE TRUTH AND FIXES ITS ATTENTION ON EXTERNAL OBSERVANCES. The truth is the agency which the Scripture set forth of regeneration.
(H. F. Burder, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?