Finally, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, the Messiah, give to water the same place and power in the work of regeneration. For when speaking of being born again—when speaking to Nicodemus, the new birth, He says “except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” May not we, then, supported by such high authorities, call that water of which a person is born again, the water or bath of regeneration?? We have already seen that the consummation of the process of generation or creation is in the birth of the creature formed. It is the moral generation, or the great process of regeneration. There is a state of existence from which he that is born passes: and there is a state of existence into which he enters, after birth. This is true of the whole animal creation. Now the matter of existence, or the mode of life, is wholly changed; and he is, in reference to the former state, dead, and to the new state, alive. In regeneration this clarity is unavoidable.
In the realm of the spirit, the subject of this great change, before his new birth, existed in one state; but after it he exists in another! He stands in a new relation to God, angels, and men. He is now “born of God,” where before he was only begotten. He now has the privilege of being a son of God because he has been pardoned, justified, sanctified, adopted, saved. The state which he left was a state of purity, what some mistakenly call “the state of nature,” inborn sin. The state into which he enters is a “state of favor,” in which he enjoys all the heavenly blessings in Christ. In fact, he is said to “set in Heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” All this is comes into being in his death, burial, and resurrection with Christ; or in his being born of water. The necessity of being buried with Christ in water, that he may enjoy the renewal of the Holy Spirit, and be placed under the reign of favor in the Kingdom of God, is now very clear.
The plan of salvation is the means of becoming, not being. Birth itself is not for procuring, but for being, that life that is, began BEFORE birth. So, in our example: no one is to be baptized, or to be buried with Christ; no one is to be put under the water of regeneration for the purpose of procuring life, but for the purpose of enjoying life ‘In Christ’!! If the child is never born, its sensitive powers and faculties cannot be tested. It is after birth that these are fully developed, and become of value for the management of the new estate. All that I am now promised in the gospel can only be enjoyed by we who are born again and placed in the Kingdom of Heaven, having beforehand come under its influences. So, the philosophy of that necessity which Jesus preached:”Unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,”—becomes a truth that can not be denied. For in the plan of God, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter this new realm of existence. If he enters not, no blessing- promise can EVER be enjoyed of that new life!! If life cannot be entered, that new estate– communication cannot be discernable—all we would ever be able to do is guess at what communications meant whether visible or invisible-discerned only by feelings-felt. Those thinking they can communicate with The Life and fellowship the Living BEFORE they are born, that is to pray, worship, and mature in Christ, at best can only hope, that that fellowship exist. NO BEING can adamantly be sure they can receive anything they request—or to put it simply-God hear their prayer-before birth!! No amount of love in the heart of the unborn child would EVER allow discernable communication—those who think they can pray before baptism—are silenced by nature. Again, God does not hear the prayer of a sinner. Sin WILL not enter the portals of the Ancient of Days!! Never, by anyone!!