Jhn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Gary, when the above vs says: born of water...is this water baptism or the original birth from the mother's womb when the water is broken and baby is born? I had previously accepted this to be the original birth, but now am thinking that it could mean water baptism, in which case water baptism is necessary to go to heaven?
Hi ... Read the context... John 3:4 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?
Nicodemus, was seeing a natural birth, in the flesh
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Jesus shows us the two births: That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
He preached repentance, this could include water baptism as with Paul:
Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Baptized in water for repentance,
calling on the name of the Lord for cleansing and salvation.
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Water baptism is a sign of the New covenant, a picture of the gospel
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
The baptism of Jesus is spiritual;
1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
John the Baptist said it too: Baptism of repentance, water
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
Baptism of Jesus, in the Holy Spirit
but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Those who are not in Jesus shall be burned at the judgment
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Is water baptism required?
We should be baptized in obedience. This identifies us with Jesus, publicly, for man and spirit to see. The theif on the cross was saved without baptism, grace covered him, but if we are able we should not make excuses. It shows that we are not ashamed to publicly be identified with Christ Jesus, who was publicly hung on the cross for us. He took our shame, so we do not have to be ashamed.