|Is Water Baptism Required to be Born Again? No! Is Baptism in the Holy Spirit Required to be Born Again? No!|
Is Water Baptism Required to be Born Again? No!
To be born again is to be born into God's Kingdom, into Jesus Christ, into Christ the Body. When you are born, you are born a baby in Christ. Your father was Satan. Now, your Father is God. You are in a new family.
Mark 16:16 says, "Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved but whoever doesn't believe shall be damned." This is one of the Bible verses used to support a doctrine that baptism is necessary for being born again. This verse doesn't say that baptism is necessary for being born again, though, and it does not say that whoever is not baptized will be damned. It says that whoever doesn't believe will be damned. Another Scripture is used, and it only works because of a poor translation: "John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say to you, Except a man be born of water/Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Another Scripture that is sometimes used is 1 Peter 3:21, "... baptism does now save us." That's taken out of context, but it does indicate that baptism has something to do with salvation.
It probably would be wise to define some terms such is baptism and salvation before we go much further.
To be born again requires only belief. Belief is faith. Faith is a free gift from God that comes when He speaks and we don't harden our hearts/minds against Him.
Salvation, in the full sense, is coming into completeness in Christ. This requires a total transfiguration of the human spirit, soul, and body. It requires having Christ fully formed in you--total holiness with no fleshly nature at all. The promise is that we will be redeemed, that is, set free from our own sinful nature, Satan's ability to tempt, and all influence of the culture. All our theologies will be replaced by eyes that can see into the spiritual realm and see reality as it really is with no need for theory. Not only that, but it requires that the Body of Christ, as a whole, be in perfect submission to Christ and in complete order according to the pattern laid out in Scripture. It will require submission to those apostles who are set over the Church and discernment of the false apostles who have called themselves. It will require full power of every gift of the Spirit and every ministry in the Church. It must be a bride for Christ without spot or wrinkle. It must have unity as of one totally complete man, the body in total submission the the Head in Heaven until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (totally complete) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The fullness of Christ is the Head and the body in this unity and order and holiness.
Such fullness is not possible without water baptism, communion, the complete infilling of the Holy Spirit, the total restoration of the Church according to the pattern of Scripture, the gifts of the Spirit fully operational and functioning in order, the the love of God flowing fully between the members and out toward the unsaved, and every other blessing that God has provided for our fulness.
The word translated as "and" has kind of a squishy meaning, though. It could be translated as: "water, and of Spirit," "water, also of Spirit," "water, even of Spirit," "water, indeed of Spirit" "water, but of Spirit,"
The word, "but," makes no sense. The words, "and," and "also" would seem to confirm the majority opinion. The words, "even," and "indeed" confirm the revelation received by the brethren. If the Scripture were subject to private interpretation, we could argue about this, but to what avail?
In the following verse, John 3:6, Jesus says: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Also, in the same Gospel of the Bible in John 7:38-39, Jesus says, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The verse goes on to say: "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" And other Scriptures make it plain that you are born by believing, never mentioning baptism. Baptism is another vital step in our walk, but it is not the method God uses for us to be born again. Baptism plays a role in our salvation and is an example of fulfilling the free gift of righteousness. Looking at the diagram on this page, being born again is how you get started. Baptism is one of God's ordinances (orders) for taking ground.
There are other Scriptures, though, that tell us that we are born again by believing. Some Christian brothers and sisters are taught the idea of infant baptism. While there is no Scripture to defend the idea of infant baptism, the rationalization for it is that God would put that baby into hell forever and ever if it dies without being baptized. Some may have a different reason, but this is the reason usually given. The back up Scriptures are "baptism doth also now save us" and "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Baptism is part of our salvation, but it isn't part of being born again. It is he that believes not who shall be damned, not he who is not baptized.
Is Baptism in the Holy Spirit Required to be Born Again? No!
When you are born again, the Holy Spirit leads you. The Holy Spirit is acting on you. Christ [the word, Christ, means Anointed One, and the Anointing is the Holy Spirit] is the Light Who lights every person according to the first chapter of John. The Holy Spirit is constantly giving His Light to every person. Some people acknowledge Him. Others do not. Once you are born again, then the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a further work that is well documented in Scripture. Some miss that and settle for a sprinkling that they had when they were saved. The word, baptism, means to whelm, to bury, to immerse. You need to be immersed in the Holy Spirit to help you walk in the Spirit.
Last updated: Jun, 2013
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