Questions about when people get "saved"


John Baptized Jesus that He (Jesus) might be revealed to Israel. The Spirit coming down like a dove and a voice saying “This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased” was an announcement that Jesus was the Christ.

How do account for the versus I posted about the Spirit and being born of God being received by faith/belief? TO me they are pretty clear that we are born of God (born again) and receive the spirit by faith/belief.


I agree with you that this small issue of water can be understood in various ways. Agreed. Since this was a private conversation and not a general statement, I believe Jesus was going for a specific response. We both can impose an idea into the text but it must jive with the word born of… this is why I said theologians on all sides debate this. But I stand on the principle of the SUM of The Word is Truth PS. 119:160. To find the truth to our larger subject, we must add up all the common denominator parts.


Paul uses the Baptism concept in a similar way this is why I brought it up.


Yet you don’t see that the spirit coming down on Jesus, when He was Baptized, was showing us how the spirit comes to man?

There’s just to many questions unanswered. Why was John Baptizing to begin with? Why wasn’t he just preaching in the desert?

Like I said in an earlier post, the Bible sure seems to be throwing a lot of water on people. Don’t understand why all these people are getting wet if it’s not important?


I have no clue where you are going with this.

Why would Jesus make something so difficult to understand that theologians on all sides would need to debate this for the past 500 years?

Also, since there is so much disagreement how does God let us know who’s truth is His Truth?


I’ve got to hold for a while but will get back to respond.


Reuben_J. to be born of water baptism doesn’t make sense. Why would you force this passage to mean water baptism when it clearly doesn’t say or mean it.
I agree that to be born of water, doesn’t directly, or specifically use the words I would use to say physical birth, even though our bodies are 98 percent water. But Jesus kind of interpreted his own words when he went on to say, that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit.


This is why you are stumped on this verse, because “belief” IS!! all that Jesus requires to be eternally saved. This is what the gospel of John repeats over and over and over again very consistently. Truly truly I say to you unless one is born again, (from above) he cannot SEE the kingdom of God. (to see spiritually) This was a rebuke to Nicodemus.

Jesus was implying that Nicodemus couldn’t see the kingdom of God. But he was a ruler in Israel! Yes he was. But not for God’s business. He was spiritually blind like all the other Pharisees.
The only difference was, Nicodemus had a divine curiosity about who Jesus was. It was enough to make him seek Jesus out.

"… unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot ENTER the kingdom of God. Verse 6 is a small interpretation… That which is (born) of the flesh, (born of water is suggested here) is flesh, and that which is (born) of the Spirit, (the holy Spirit) is Spirit.

New birth is a regeneration of our human spirit. This birth causes us to “see” spiritually, and “enter in” to God’s ways spiritually.

He finishes His thought in verse 7 and following, but does not return to the water birth analogy. "… you must be born again,

His point was all about spiritual birth, not water-birth, water baptism, water anything. It was an analogy to simply drive home His point.

I read Ianman87’s quote on baptism. he is right on.

The baptism of Jesus is important to understand. and Yes, I agree that it isn’t really about the water itself. These are natural means to a spiritual goal.

When we go under the water, we proclaim to the public that we have died with Christ spiritually. When we come up out of the water, we proclaim to the public we have now risen (spiritually) from the dead and are declared alive! with Christ!

It is here that the Spirit descended upon Jesus and rested upon his shoulders. I would argue that this event was not an indwelling of the Spirit experience. Others in my circle may differ. The fact that the Holy Spirit rested “upon Him” is an expression signifying the manifestation of the Spirit of God.

You find this expression in the book of Acts and in many Old Testament passages. In a sense He was empowered to a degree. He was getting ready to face his pre-ministry test. The desert. Secondly, a voice from heaven came where the Father gave His seal of approval.

It was here that Jesus, who was filled in the holy Spirit and had the Father’s approval, went into the desert to be tested BEFORE He could actually do ministry. Lastly, Luke 4 tells us that after 40 days and nights of testing, He came out of the wilderness in the POWER of the Spirit. This was an increased manifestation of the Spirit to do miracles and healings as the resurrected Christ.

All of it was a pattern given to us for our benefit.


Of course it doesn’t make sense, but that is not what we are saying. You are not born of water baptism. Jesus saying water and spirit in John 3 is a direct connection to John 1 when the spirit descend on Jesus like a dove, when He was being baptized.

This is a direct connection, what is being forced?

I never once said I am stumped. I gave a clear and concise interpretation of John 2 and 3. You keep avoiding the question and won’t interpret John 2. Jesus out right says belief is not enough that is the whole point of John 3.

I agree

I agree

I agree

It wasn’t curiosity. It was belief in Jesus. Sure he might not have been a born again believer but the whole point of John 2 and 3 is Nicodemus thought he was a believer. His “flesh” thought he was a true believer. Not because he was born of flesh but because he was believing in the flesh.


No it is not. You are forcing your interpretation on the verse. Water is not suggested here. Like I already pointed out Jesus was saying your belief is still in the flesh because you haven’t been born again.

Also, Grammar does not work this way.

Verse 5 Jesus says unless one is born of water and spirit.

He only uses the word born once. It is one event, you can’t twist this fact.

Verse 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit

He uses the word born twice because he is talking about 2 separate births here. Like I already said what you propose only makes sense if he separates the water and spirit with the word then or adds another born.

I’m sorry but you are ignoring basic grammar and accusing us of forcing something on the text. Water and spirit are linked, you can’t force them apart no matter how hard you try.

Agreed. Please tell me how you know with 100% certainty that you are reborn? Your feelings, emotions or the fact that you think you are doesn’t count as evidence.

I agree we must be born again, but where exactly here does Jesus tell us how we are to become born again?

This is the point that you don’t seem to want to answer. Yes we agree belief in Jesus is necessary. He even says it to Nicodemus in verse 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

But Jesus only says this after telling Nicodemus he can’t believe until he is born again. Do you see where I am going here? If Jesus out right says we can’t believe unless we are born again then how the heck can we be born again from our belief?

Jesus had to give us some way of being born again, because He outright says we can’t do it ourselves.


God Bless


First of all, like I said, you have to be faithful of the word written, and it says, “water and Spirit”.

Ok, you said ‘born’. It is not likely the literal born because it just not related. And our body is not 98 percent water, lol. I studied Anatomy and Pysiology as my major and it is obviously not.

We therefore have to take ‘born’, not in literal sense because that’s what Nicodemus was asking and it was not as he thought it was.

But if we say Baptism as a new birth, which is said over and over again especially in the Epistles, then it all make sense.

Baptism, therefore has to be with water and Spirit. Christians have a formula for that. I think that is still the nearest and the best explanation for this.


These things are not difficult at all. I understand that perhaps, for you, this is a new and certainly a different way to look at John 3. And since you were taught that born of water really means water baptism, anything else must be difficult to consider. I understand your position, I was raised Roman Catholic and there was a time I had to make many choices.

But the argument on our end is not as problematic as I may have suggested. Most Protestants do not debate this. All I meant was, some have, and some still do. We must rely on the Holy spirit to be our teacher and not man, (1st. John 2:27.) Much of this issue actually has more to do with how one interprets scripture than it does spiritual insight itself.

To answer your last question: How does God let us know who’s truth is His truth? I have been in your shoes on this. I too have asked this question. Usually a person who ask a lot of questions and thoroughly checks things out, and runs everything through the gate of “reason” rather than blindly trust the theological “experts,” will outgrow his affiliation. For Catholics it is twice as hard to do so because there is such a compelling, (yet unspoken) threat of Hell drilled into our heads from the time of birth, practically. It is laced with the idea that God only uses the RCC for correct doctrine. All others are deceived and of the devil. I heard this all my life.

But I say this to Protestants too. I personally would not last fifteen minutes in an old Lutheran Church for instance. Why not? Because it is not where I am at spiritually. Bless those folks but God has so much more for me. Neither could I be content in a southern Baptist Church. Why not? The Baptist are a fine group of people, but my first filling (manifestation) of the Spirit was at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, a filling that would not necessarily be understood or appreciated in a Baptist circle. But that holy Spirit filling caused me to ask many questions, debate, reason, argue, chew-on, etc. until God gave me peace over the truth. I am not alone. My sister, who was also raised Catholic and went to Catholic school through the twelve grade, outgrew all that she was taught when she opened the scriptures and allowed the Holy Spirit to be her teacher.

The truth is not necessarily connected to an organization or an affiliation, like a denomination. The Truth is what God’s word says and what His word means. If we can sharpen our skill to find the meaning of a letter, or a gospel, we are that much closer to God’s divine truth on any topic.

Lets continue in the gospel of John MT1926.

What is next?


Nicodemus is found at the end of Jesus ministry and it is suggested that he became a believer. He was at a crossroads in life in Jn. 3 He was a man of the flesh, but so were all of them. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given any of them new birth. It wasn’t until the resurrection that the Spirit came to indwell them.

But surely Nicodemus was a Jewish leader who believed in God, yet he did not yet have the revelation that Jesus was the Christ of God. At least, we do not see this in John 3. All of the Jews were at a cross road in life. All of them were believers in God yet they were required to make a decision about Jesus in order to have their belief completed and validated. Some did, and some did not.

The natural Jew was running out of time. They needed to answer the call to become spiritual. After the resurrection God was no longer speaking to Israel in a natural way. All worship would soon be spiritual and not natural. See. the women at the well in Jn 4. The Father is seeking such to worship him.

bed time for me.


Why do non-Catholics always go to verses like this every time they get backed into a corner and can’t answer the question? Do you even understand the meaning of this verse? Think it through, if you truly believed what you think this verse is saying you wouldn’t be here. Why are you attempting to teach any of us here? You outright admit here that you are a man and we should not rely on anything coming out of your mouth as being true. Do you see how absurd your interpretation of the verse is?

Read the entire letter before you jump to that verse. St. John tells the readers in this letter in verse 1:2 and 3 that we (being men) proclaimed to you. John is telling them we (men) have already taught you the truth.

Verse 1:5 this is the message we (men) proclaim to you.

Verse 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth. Basically, your BELIEF, what you think you know, is not enough, you must also walk in the light.

Verse 2:4 He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; Basically, your BELIEF is not enough, you must keep the commandments (good works).

Verse 2:6 he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. If I remember correctly Jesus walked down in the water and was Baptized, and the spirit descended upon Him. If you don’t follow Jesus into the water how are you walking the same way as Jesus?

Verses 2:7-14 St. John repeats over and over I am writing you because you already know. He is outright telling them what you have already learned from us (men) is truth. He is speaking to men who have already been taught, by other men. He is not commissioning them to grab a Bible and let the Holy Spirit teach them.

Verse 2:18 Children…as you have heard. Heard from who, from them, men.




Verse 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

These are the men St. John is warning them against in verse 27. The ones that went out from them. The ones that left the teaching of the Church. Right here in this verse St. John is telling us that the deceivers are the ones that claim they are being guided by the Spirit apart from the Church. They are the ones claiming the Church got it wrong and they now know the truth.

Verse 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.

St. John is affirming that what they have already been taught, by men, is what they need to know. He is telling them they know it already. He’s not saying pray to the Holy Spirit that the truth will be revealed, because they were already taught.

Verse 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. What you heard from the beginning. He is talking to men who heard and learned from other men. It doesn’t say read. It doesn’t say what the Spirit revealed to you. This is a direct contradiction to your interpretation

One final verse, just 2 chapters later St. John says…

1 John 4:6 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Here he is instructing the readers that listening to the Apostles is the criterion for discerning the spirit of truth from spirit of error.

He is telling them listening to them (men) is the only way to know God. He doesn’t say read what we wrote, he says listen to our teachings.

He is saying the exact opposite of what you are claiming. He is saying only when your understanding lines up with what they verbally teach (not what you think they meant) is when you will know that you are being guided by the spirit of truth.

Dude, you need to come back to the Church, before you become one of these “deceivers” that St. john warns us about in the very passage you cited.

God Bless


That’s funny I thought I answered your questions. I know exactly what this verse is saying and I stand by it.

John wrote to his readers to warn them of those who were trying to deceive them. see 2:26. In that context he commanded them to rely on the holy Spirit who would teach them.

John too was a man led by the holy Spirit, but he could not be with them every moment to defend all that he taught them.

And that is the point. It sounds like you went on a rant here.

I can’t wait until you read 1st. John 4:1-3. Test the spirits to see whether they are of God.


Well there you go… you’ve decided to pour additional information into the word “believe” simply because you trust outside information more. John’s gospel disagrees with you. If you want eternal life, says, John, “believe in His name.” This simply message is too complicated for complicated theologians who want to lay heavy burdens and pre-salvation weights onto people’s backs.



I’m sure you do know what that verse says to you. But what you think it says is not what it means.

What are you talking about?

I thought you said he commanded them to rely on the Holy Spirit to teach them?

So did they learn from the Spirit or did they learn from St. John? Which is it? You can’t seem to present a clear theology here. Is your theology in order or are you making this up as you go along?

If St. John is claiming they have no need for anyone to teach them that would include himself. Which would be a direct contradiction to what he says in verse 24.

Sorry but interpreting scripture doesn’t work that way. You can’t pick what you want and say see this is the context in which I will interpret this verse. Especially when it contradicts what is written on the very same page.

Sure if a rant is the term you use for interpreting every verse of a chapter before deciding on the context.

Is the rest of the chapter even saying anything to you, or is this one verse the only important part of the chapter?

Amen great verses. Testing the spirits is very important. And how exactly does St. John tell us to test these spirits…

5 They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are of God. Whoever knows God LISTENS to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

By listening to the Apostles teachings. LISTENS IS THE KEY HERE. He doesn’t say by reading and interpreting, by yourself, what is in these letters. Thinks about it, St. John is writing a letter here. He tells them to listen to the teaching of the Apostles, not read for yourself and let the Spirit guide you.

OK let’s go ahead and give this a try. You say the Spirit speaking to you tells you… 1 John 2:26. In that context he commanded them to rely on the holy Spirit who would teach them.

My job is to not believe this statement until I test the Spirit telling you this (1 John 4). I’m sure you would agree I should do this. I mean I’m sure you wouldn’t want me following the Spirit of the anti-Christ.

So how exactly do I go about testing this Spirit?

Well St. John tells me in verse 6. All I have to do is ask you for the evidence that you got your interpretation directly from the Apostles?

So please show me a historical non-Biblical source (not your private interpretation of what you think the context is) that proves to me your interpretation is what St. John meant when he penned verse 26.

God Bless


Not here:

John 15

5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples.


O come on MT. You are little nit picky here. It is one thing for John to teach them it is quite another for the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to this revelation. God uses John but without the Spirit John would be useless.

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