The following seven verses are ones most commonly used by Cults and others to support BR. Some of the BR passage are not to be taken literally as the context proved while others are mere commands as you’ll soon see. Three of them are featured here and the remaining four will be on Part 3.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Here, the latter part of the passage is key. If one must be baptized to be saved why was it not repeated at the latter end?
Also, there is this notion called “Hebrew Parallelism” where if a speaker or writer wanted to give a special emphasis then s/he would repeat the statement whereas with us we would either underscore, highlight, italicize, or put it in CAPS. Jesus as a Jew used Hebrew Parallelism Himself.
In addition, Baptism is a command for every new believer to undergo. It is, as said previously in Part 1, that it is a symbol of set apartness; a public… declaration of the change within and an identification of him/herself as a Christian.. If one refuses to be baptized, then is s/he ashamed of Jesus? Does s/he truly believe?
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.
It is my contention that water in this verse really means Spirit because of the following context:
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
I’ll put it this way, if one is a human being is because he is born from a human being, then how can water make one born again? Water is a physical property whereas the spirit does not have any.
Furthermore, if Jesus is telling us to be water baptized in order to be born again, then why in verse 8 does it speak of its unpredictability? Should it not be that when one is baptized the person is immediately born again?
The reason why Jesus paired “Water” with the “Spirit” is because it is an another example of Hebrew Parallelism; He is emphasizing to Nicodemus that the person needs to be born from above (vs. 3). This is in total harmony with an earlier passage which says:
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
– John 1
The most go-to passages for the supporters of BR is Acts 2:38 which says:
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 Ghost.
– Acts 2
If it is to be taken in strict isolation, then it would most likely prove the argument for BR. However, there is no indication that it should be done. So how is this not a support for BR? Look at the preceding verse 37.
First, the Bible says that they, the visiting Jews, were “cut to the heart” after listening to Peter (vs. 14-36). The words in quotation indicated that they believed as they just evidenced “Godly Sorrow” (2 Corinthians 7:10). It was then that Peter gave his instructions to them.
Second, look at the word “For” in verse 38, it does not always mean “In order to”, for context already given. It is thus more appropriate to interpret “For” as “Because of”. This notion is supported by other passages using the same word, . For example, Matthew 3:11; did John baptize people in order for them to repent or because of their repentance?