A Prayer
of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
Edition No. 25               WE ARE HERE TO LISTEN TO               August 1, 2003
  The Voice of Jesus
This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!
Salvation: Is Baptism Necessary? (John 3:3-8)
The False Teaching
Is Baptism essential to
 The Catholic view: Theologians distinguish a twofold necessity, which they call a necessity of means (medii) and a necessity of precept (præcepti), The first (medii) indicates a thing to be so necessary that, if lacking (though inculpably), salvation can not be attained, The second (præcepti) is had when a thing is indeed so necessary that it may not be omitted voluntarily without sin; yet, ignorance of the precept or inability to fulfill it, excuses one from its observance. Baptism is held to be necessary both necessitate medii and præcepti. This doctrine is founded on the words of Christ. In John, iii,3,5 He declares: Unless a man be begotten again of water and the Holy Ghost, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.  Christ
makes no exception to this law and it is therefore general in its application, embracing both adults and infants.

This view is  false! It is also a false reading of John 3:3-8
Exposing the Error
First, the rendering of the lines from John 3:3,5 is faulty.  It should read begotten from above rather than born again. Then there follows the gross misreading that begotten of water means water baptism! What does Jesus mean if not baptism?  Here is the context:
Nicode'mus said to him, "How can a man be begotten when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be begotten?"   Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is begotten of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is begotten of the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit.  Nicodemus asked about two births -- first from the womb, then (when one is old) again from the womb?  Jesus corrects him on the second one only. One must be twice begotten, first from the womb (of water) and the second, anew of the Spirit. Then he confirms the two, the first of the flesh, the second of the Spirit. To inject baptism here is out of context and it cannot be read so  except by one predisposed to identify begotten of water with baptism.
There is no instance when Jesus calls baptism a begetting or a birth!
Declaring the Truth
Jesus commented only once on water baptism - when he was baptized by John: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness. (Mat.3:13-15)  This means that water baptism resembles what fulfills all righteousness, but is not that. What fulfills all righteousness is one's own willing death, burial, and resurrection, which he called a baptism, saying, I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! (Luke12:500   It must be willing, conforming to the Great Principle. Jesus was baptized twice, once in water and once in the earth. Both were examples but only the last was salvific, and that only when we each take up a cross and follow him. He said not that it is fitting for me, but rather for us,.to fulfill all righteousness. He confirms this in saying to Peter, with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;(Mark 1039),  More