Why would you say that being a born-again Christian is a redundancy? Jesus tells us, in John 3:3, ". . . unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." And, then, He explains, in John 3:5, ". . .unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
What does this mean? First, we have our physical birth from our mother's womb. But, we still are only two dimensional beings -- body and soul. Spiritually we are still dead. Without restoring our spiritual connection with God, which we lost with the fall of Adam, we are not complete.
So, how do we become born-again spiritually? Jesus tells us we must be born of the water and the Spirit. Of course, we know that by the Spirit, He means the Holy Spirit. We need the workings of the Holy Spirit within us to regain our spiritual connection with God.
But, He also said to be born of the water -- what water? Many times in the Bible, the Word of God, i.e., Scripture, is referred to as Living Water and Water of Life. So, this is telling us that through the Written Word of God, with the workings of the Holy Spirit -- we can become born-again Christians.
Some will say that this reference to water refers to baptism. However, one is not baptized UNTIL after he/she becomes a born-again believer. So, the salvation which makes us a born again believer cannot be the water of baptism -- since that happens later. Since the water baptism occurs AFTER we are saved -- that cannot be the cause of our salvation. Baptism is a result of our salvation; not the cause. This "water" has to be the Word of God.
And, some will say that infant baptism makes one a Christian. Last Sunday, my wife and I attended an infant baptism -- and, quite honestly, that young infant had no idea who Christ is -- or why some guy in a robe poured water on her head. The parents were happy and blessed, we all had fun and good food, but the child was still just the same child as before -- with the same sin nature and with no spiritual connection with God restored.
That child, as beautiful as she is, as loved as she is -- is still not a Christian believer. How can she be? She has no idea what she should believe. All she knows is -- give me my bottle on time, change my diapers when I poo, cuddle me and keep me warm and loved. That is her world. Right now, Jesus Christ is an unknown to her.
Does saying that one must be "born of the water and Spirit to be born again" conflict or contradict what we are taught in Ephesians 2:8-9? "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
No, not at all, it ties in perfectly with John 3. While we Christians will evangelize people -- only the Holy Spirit can bring them to salvation. And, how is this all done, the evangelizing, the preparation of seekers to receive the Holy Spirit's urgings and leading? Through the Written Word of God, the Bible -- where we find Ephesians 2:8-9 and many other Scripture verses and passages which tell us about God, Jesus Christ, and the salvation He has purchased with His blood -- for all who will, by grace, through faith -- believe and receive this precious gift.
So, yes, my Friend -- through the Living Water, the Word of God -- and the Holy Spirit; people become born-again Christian believers. What is redundant about that?
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,