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When Nicodemus came to the Lord in the evening hours, the Lord “cut to the quick” and addressed, presumably, what was on Nicodemus’ mind. He told him that one must be born again (John 3:3). Nicodemus found this perplexing, so he inquired further. Jesus explained there are two “components” to man’s new birth; there is the human response and then the heavenly response. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:, ESV). Thus, to be born again is to be born from above. This passage clearly teaches that one must be born of water (baptized) in order to see (enter) the kingdom of God. One Greek scholar said as much, “…it is clear that John intended his readers to understand the expression as a reference to Christian baptism and the resulting gift of the Holy Spirit” (Mounce 396, italics his). The only reason people refuse to accept the obvious meaning and application of the passage is because of a predisposition against the necessity of baptism in relation to salvation—something the Lord put in place when He said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16, ESV). RT

 

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