Notice that you must be born of the water and of the Spirit. Jesus makes it clear that born of the water means physically born - the waters being the amniotic fluid in the womb. One must be physically born, before they can be born again. Born of the Spirit is being Born Again. There is no mention of baptism in the above scripture, for one isn't to get baptised before getting saved, only after, in obedience to Christ, but not for salvation. Since being born again is not baptism, it must be something else.
We discussed this when studying the 3rd chapter of St. John's gospel. Please read the full article, but here is the Cliff Notes version.
I think that if Candy takes such a literal interpretation of this verse, then she must rule out the possibility of salvation for those who are never physically born, i.e., those who are miscarried or aborted. Jesus does put being born of water as one of the two conditions for entering the kingdom of God.It can also be a danger to put a significance on the order in which something is placed in scripture. One obvious case would be that Peter's name is always listed first in the lists of the apostles. Would Candy say that this is significant?
This verse supports that baptism and being born in Spirit through belief in Jesus is linked. This is found throughout the entire New Testament.
The first thing that Jesus does after speaking with Nicodemus is to begin baptizing in 3:22.
Why would Jesus say in John 3 that we should be born and believe, when He says everywhere else that we should be baptized and believe? Clearly, when unless you take the verse out of context of other verses, you should conclude that by "born of water" Jesus meant baptism.
You really can't get more clear than 1 Peter 3:21, which states "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
All other religions require one to DO something - rituals, works, sacraments, penance, and acts of self-righteousness. Yet, for the Christian, Jesus paid it ALL. Through Christ's spilt blood, anyone can gain entrance into heaven.
While Catholicism remains unnamed, rituals, works, sacraments, and penance are all code words used by Candy to allude to Catholicism. However, Catholicism does not teach that we are saved by any of these aspects.
CCC #161: Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"
#169: Salvation comes from God alone
#1741: Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."
#620: Our salvation flows from God's initiative of love for us, because "he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins" (1 Jn 4:10). "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19).
#1427 It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.
#2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"- reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.
Accepting, believing, and fully trusting in Christ's free gift of salvation is how one becomes born again - born of the Spirit.
Accepting, believing, and trusting are all verbs, or as they call them in schools now, action words. Candy's religion requires her to DO something, too. It places the burden of salvation on your action of accepting Christ.
I ask again, what role does God's grace play in salvation for Candy?