Jesus spoke with a man named Nicodemus about how to be saved in John chapter 3. “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-5).
You may now be asking, what does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit“? We encourage you to read all of John chapter 3, but a few verses later Jesus adds to this idea of how to be saved. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18).
So now we have this idea – in order to be saved, we are to “believe” in the Son of God and be “born of water and the Spirit.” Jesus both taught and illustrated how this is done. John 1 and Matthew 3 show Jesus illustrating this principle. “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16). Here, Jesus illustrates we can be born of water and the Spirit, by being baptized in water the same way he was baptized.
Consider this passage, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life… For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus,“ (Romans 6:3-4; 10-11).
The Apostle Peter compares the global flood in the days of Noah with our baptism of water and Spirit today. 1 Peter 3:20-21 says, “because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,“
We are saved by the grace of God through our faith (or belief) in Christ Jesus who died for us (Ephesians 2:1-10). We enter that special relationship with him by turning away from our life of sin and being baptized into Christ’s death and then like him raised out of the waters alive and saved. Then we are to live faithfully to Christ, following his commandments, being dead to our sins and alive in Jesus!
We know this is a lot of information to take in. On Mathetis, we offer Bible studies to examine your question and many more. We suggest you take a look at our course, In Need of a Savior, which has a more detailed explanation of what you must do to be saved and how to continue living a life for Christ. Mathetis is a FREE social network designed to help you build your relationship with Christ, Christians, and fellow students of God’s Word.