Read John 3:1-21
Nicodemus was a man with a seeking heart. Despite his status as “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1), he still recognized not only the power of Jesus, but the source of His power. He told the Lord, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).
Jesus seized this opportunity to teach Nicodemus salient truth. He plainly stated, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Despite the many objections from modern-day religionists, this is a clear reference to baptism. After further questioning from the Pharisee, Jesus explained, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
As one reads through the New Testament, it becomes clear that one must die to his sins and become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The apostle Paul describes this process in his epistle to the church at Rome. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
Christian baptism is a reenactment of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Himself. We die to sin, we are buried in water, and we are raised out of that water a new creation committed to following His will. The Scriptures connect baptism and salvation on several occasions. Read Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21. To deny the connection between baptism and salvation is to deny the revelation of God through the inspired penmen of the New Testament.
Have you been born again? Have you been buried in the waters of baptism for the remission of sins by the authority of Jesus Christ?