In speaking with a ruler of the Jewish people, a man who was mighty in knowledge of the Scriptures and the traditions of the people, Jesus told us that a person must be born of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:3-5). Now, the popular interpretation of this passage is that the water is the amniotic fluid which often "breaks" at the onset of the woman's labor, and the Spirit is the new birth which brings one into Christianity and the body of Christ.
Now, even though the word "water" is never used of this amniotic fluid within the Scriptures but is a modern day colloquialism to lessen the impact of the somewhat gross occurrence and those that teach this have absolutely no grounds on which to base their interpretation for in doing so Jesus would have been stating that in order to partake of the Kingdom of God a person must be a person since we are the only being on earth gifted with a soul (1 Peter 3:20), it is very popular to teach this. But, since there are a vast multitude of people who are born, even naturally, without the breaking of the water (1) and the fact that the water often does not break on its own during the surgical procedure known as a C-Section, then those that believe this must believe that those that are born in such a way do not have access to the saving grace of God!
So, what is the passage actually talking about if it isn't the false teaching that the water is the breaking of the amniotic sack present at the birth of most children? It's very simple, if you take the Bible to interpret the Bible and you look at the context where Jesus is recorded as giving this decree.
In the context, Jesus is recorded as saying that those who "believe (used 8 times in the chapter" "should not perish (John 3:15-16)," "have everlasting life (John 3:16, 36)," and "is not condemned John 3:18)." So, we should understand that belief is that which allows a person to have salvation and enter into the Kingdom of God (since that phrase is speaking of the church).
But, what is that belief? Is it simply acknowledging that Jesus Christ was real and was in fact the Messiah? No, the context of John 3 clearly shows that belief is defined as doing the truth (John 3:21) and that belief is how one comes to Jesus (John 2:20-21, cf. John 1:4-5). Alright, so we have that you have to believe, which is doing the truth, in order to be saved and being saved is being part of the church (Acts 2:47) and so doing the truth/believing is what Jesus is telling Nicodemus is necessary for the New Birth, as it is often called.
But, how does that give us any insight into what the water is referencing in Jesus' conversation with this man?
If one reads within the same chapter, he will see what water is being connected with this in the same context. John was baptizing in Aenon near Salim because "there was much water there (John 3:23)." There it is. If we take the context and try to answer the question then the water must be that of baptism!
Let's sum up what we have said, since it might have been confusing.
- In order to be saved you must be born again (John 3:3).
- Being born again is being born of the water and the Spirit (John 3:5).
- Being born again is synonymous with believing (John 3:15, 16, 18, 36).
- Believing is doing the truth (John 3:21).
- Doing the truth is being baptized (John 3:22-36).
- Baptism is done in water (John 3:23).
Therefore, the water spoken of in John 3:5 is that of baptism! What about the Spirit part of that passage? Without taking too much time to discuss, the Holy Spirit is the way by which we have been given the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21). Since He is the one that gave us the commands, including that of baptism, then our following those commands would be being born of Him, for He is the one that brought us into this world by means of the Gospel and its instructions.
There it is, C-Sections aren't sinful after all. But, teaching that the water of John 3:5 is amniotic fluid is.