Re: The gospel
Great discussion guys I have a few things to say on some of these issues.
Concerning baptism as necessary for salvation:
1Peter 3:21 “‘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:”
What Peter is saying here is that the good conscience toward God is what saves the sinner in baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh (ie being washed with water).
John 3:5 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
What this does not say is: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
I would agree more with Frogb0tters interpretation. To say that baptism is necessary for salvation means that you would have to interpret born of water to mean baptized in water. Scripture does not say this though and water can mean more things that baptism as frogb0tter already showed.
here is another verse using water that does not talk about baptism:
1John 5:8 “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”