In John 3, a Pharisee named Nicodemus had an encounter with Jesus. He came to Jesus by night and affirmed that He knew Jesus was a “teacher come from God.” Jesus preempted all of his unasked questions with the most important thing that He wanted Nicodemus (and us) to know, that every individual must experience a New Birth in order to be saved.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
At Nicodemus’ confusion at how it was physically possible to be born a second time, Jesus explained further that this New Birth would include two elements, water and Spirit.
“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.” (John 3:5)
He then reiterated that He was not talking about a natural birth, but about a Spiritual birth, so there was no reason to be alarmed.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:6-7)
Following repentance, every New Testament conversion experience included these two elements of WATER and SPIRIT. Read the Book of Acts for yourself. The four main recorded accounts of New Testament conversions are clearly detailed in chapters two (2), eight (8), ten (10) and nineteen (19).Read the Acts of the Apostles for yourself. Click To Tweet
As instructed by Jesus, the Apostles went back to wait in Jerusalem for “the promise of the Father.” They held a ten day prayer vigil, until the Holy Ghost was poured out, and they all spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave them hem utterance.
At the crowd’s confusion, Peter preached the first message of the New Testament Church, giving the people clear instructions.
“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 2:38)
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)
Philip went down to Samaria and preached about Jesus. The Samaritans received his preaching with enthusiasm, and responded by being baptized in Jesus’ name.
“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)
When the Apostles at Jerusalem learned that the Samaritans had received the Word and been baptized in Jesus’ name, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Ghost, as well.
“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” (Acts 8:15-16)
The Samaritans were filled with the Spirit in such an extraordinary way that Simon (who was a brand new Believer) offered money for this power to lay hands on people and give them the Holy Ghost.
Cornelius was a Gentile. Until this time, only the Jewish people had experienced the New Birth, and they assumed it was only for them. God arranged supernaturally to send Peter to preach to Cornelius and his family. While Peter was still preaching, the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his family.
“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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (Acts 10:45-48)
While on a missionary journey, Paul came to Ephesus, and found twelve of John the Baptist’s disciples. He was thrilled to find that they were Believers, and wanted to know if they had fully experienced the New Birth.
“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 19:2)
When Paul realized that not only had they not received the Holy Ghost, but that they had not even heard of the Holy Ghost, he immediately questioned their baptism.
“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.” (Acts19:3)
At this point, Paul understood the situation perfectly. He explained to them that John’s baptismal formula was only for repentance, and reminded them that John had said they would need to believe on and follow the One who was coming after him, that is on Jesus.
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:5-6)
It is very clear and obvious in the book of Acts how the Apostles interpreted and followed through with Jesus’ instructions to be Born Again of the WATER and the SPIRIT. We have no instructions from Jesus to change the pattern. Today, two thousand years later, the New Birth experience remains the same, and will continue to be so until He returns for His Church.
Water Baptism in Jesus’ name
+ Baptism of the Holy Ghost
= New Birth
Warm Regards, -Pat Vick
As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE HERE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM!