When I look at what was taught by Jesus Christ and then preached upon His authority by Peter, and then practiced by the apostles consistently; I see two essential elements that make up the new birth: WATER and SPIRIT. Whenever either ingredient of the new birth was missing, the apostles IMMEDIATELY added the missing one. Even folks who had been baptised personally by John the Baptist were IMMEDIATELY re-baptised in Jesus name for the remission of their sins. John's baptism was only for a temporary period of time.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
* Let us notice the essentiality of both WATER and SPIRIT: *
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
* (Those that suggest that non-believers would be baptised and that Jesus would have needed to mention lack of baptism WITH non-belief, are not really sincere, so we need not waste time with them.)*
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.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.
* Here is a case where the re-birth of WATER preceded the re-birth of SPIRIT*
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received
the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Acts 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 8:17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
* Here is a case where the re-birth of SPIRIT preceded the re-birth of WATER> *
Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came
with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
* Here we have another case where the re-birth of the SPIRIT preceded the re-birth of the WATER. *
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed
through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Acts 19:5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
* The apostles making sure that folks had been re-born of the WATER and re-born of the SPIRIT, the Acts 2:38 plan of salvation that has always been adhered to by true Christianity. *
Rev. Steve Winter
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