The Bible never teaches regeneration through baptism. Yet baptism is an external sign of regeneration once rebirth has taken place in a believer’s life.
In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
When water is used figuratively in the OT, it always refers to renewal or spiritual cleansing, especially when used in conjunction with the word “spirit”. (Num. 19:17–19; Ps. 51:9, 10; Is. 32:15; 44:3–5; 55:1–3; Jer. 2:13; Joel 2:28, 29).
So, Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing or purification of the soul; it is accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation.
In two different ways, Jesus showed Nicodemus that the new birth is indispensable for seeing or entering His kingdom.
How can you enter and see the kingdom of God?
Jesus said, “You must be born again…” you must be born of water and the Spirit which is the cleansing that comes with regeneration. Do you believe that Jesus died in your place on the cross to pay for your sins; that He rose from the dead; ascended bodily into heaven and will return to judge the living and the dead?
Will you follow Him and obey Him, having trusted Him as your savior, your Lord, and your Treasure above all earthly treasures?
You desire or ability to do so is like His engraved invitation. God’s effectual call never comes apart from God’s enablement.
In the next blog, we’ll consider the difference between being born of the flesh and being born of the Spirit.