I read John 3:5 and am wondering what the correct interpretation of the words: "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."(KJV) is.  I don't believe it is advocating baptism as a requirement for salvation.  I have read other's comments claiming that it is referring to: The Word of God, repentance as symbolized by John the Baptist's baptism, earthly birth, or a synonym for the Spirit as indicated in the Amplified Bible.  I would be interested in knowing what you think and especially what John Macarthur has to say.


MacArthur says, "Jesus referred not to literal water here but to the need for 'cleansing' (e.g., Ezek. 36:24-27).  When water is used figuratively in the OT, it
habitually refers to renewal or spiritual cleansing, especially when used in conjunction with 'spirit' (Num 19:17-19; Ps. 51:9, 10; Isa. 32:15; 44:3-5; 55:1-3; Joel 2:28, 29).  Thus Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing or purification of the soul, accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation (cf. Eph 5:26; Titus 3:5), required for belonging to His kingdom."

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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