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All About Baptism



Baptism.  Is it required for salvation?  This is a topic that is often glossed over, but when it does come up tends to generate some of the most heated debates.  After all, a topic pertinent to whether or not someone is saved is going to cause some pretty strong friction between Believers.  As with all things, we need to discuss winsomely and lovingly and test everything with Scripture.  I've been on both sides of this debate and two things I've learned are first, baptism is a commanded ordinance and Christians need to immediately obey the command regardless of whether or not they think it is necessary, and second, since it can be a very touchy subject, we need to listen to and love one another well when we talk about it.  Satan seeks to accuse, condemn, and divide, but God seeks for us to unite around truth and lift one another up in love.  The goal in anything is never to persuade someone or win an argument, but to find out the truth of a matter together.

I grew up in the Church of Christ (a.k.a. Stone-Campbell Movement) and the necessity of water baptism for salvation was always highlighted as a core Christian doctrine right up there with One God and the Gospel.  Rarely did a Sunday go by without a spirited Acts 2:38 defense of the need for full H2O immersion.  For most of my Christian life I fervently held to that same belief and defended it with all the zeal I could muster.  There were five or six go-to Scriptures I and others would routinely use to demonstrate what we thought was the absolute truth of the matter (Acts 2:38 chief among them).  Now to be clear, this doctrine is not just the domain of Campbellites.  Many evangelicals who are quick to condemn this belief as outright, anti-sola fide, anathema heresy would be surprised to know that the Church at large has held to one form or another of this doctrine for most of its history.  Some of the original Protestant Reformers, including Luther himself, held to the necessity of the physical act of baptism.

Before you label baptism as a "work" and all of its doctrinal adherents unsaved heretics, I would encourage you to consider that, at least from a Protestant perspective, baptism is not viewed as a work or something that "earns" you salvation, but is simply seen as the way in which a Believer receives the grace offered through the propitiatory death of Christ.  It is still only the death and resurrection of Christ that are viewed as what justifies.  They generally view baptism as merely the salvific appeal to God (1 Peter 3:21) and therefore they view the moment they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation as happening simultaneously with water baptism.  Thus it is viewed as the correct method in which to receive Christ as opposed to an altar call, sinner's prayer, or a laying on of hands.

With that said, my view began to change several years ago as I was researching the penultimate subject of faith versus works.  Through my multi-yearlong study I came to understand and believe that salvation through faith alone was widely taught in the early Church and the Bible is overwhelmingly clear on the subject (see here).  It was the ever-increasing system of rituals and sacramentalism in the post-Apostolic Church that muddied the waters in the ensuing centuries.  Sola fide did not see a return to prominence until the 16th century.  As I have come to use an increasingly literal hermeneutic and the principle of "line upon line" rather than "this and not that" my understanding on the matter has been resolved by interpreting Scripture with Scripture, avoiding assumption when at all possible, and placing things in what I believe is their proper context.

To summarize my present understanding: baptism is necessary for salvation - not a baptism in water, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This baptism is received immediately upon belief in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and is an invisible action performed by God alone.  However, water baptism is commanded and all Believers should immediately undertake it if they haven't yet.  It demonstrates a saving faith because it is clearly taught in Scripture and when someone truly places their faith in Christ they will seek to obey His commands.

Here is how I now reconcile and divide the Scriptures on the subject of baptism:


1. There are three types of baptism listed in Scripture: baptism by water, baptism by fire, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- Matthew 3:11


Here John the Baptist distinguishes between three types of baptism and even divides between himself and Christ: "I baptize you with water... [but] He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..."  Some scholars couple the baptisms of the Holy Spirit and fire together and apply it to Pentecost when "tongues of fire" descended upon the gathered disciples.  I see that coupling as an unscriptural assumption because the Greek word for baptism, baptizó, clearly means to immerse or submerge (though not necessarily in water).  The "tongues of fire" in Acts 2 only rested upon the disciples - they were not engulfed in flames.  Rather, the point John the Baptist is making here is that through Christ to whom the Father has granted all authority to judge (Jn. 5:22), everyone will either be reconciled to God (thus baptized with the Holy Spirit) or destroyed in the flames of Gehenna (Lk. 12:49, Rev. 20:11-15).

This important distinction between water baptism and spiritual baptism is echoed in all four gospels, including John: Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:24-27.  These Scriptures are not easily reconciled with the water-is-necessary approach (in my humble opinion).



2. The Bible distinguishes between three kinds of water baptism: the ceremonial washings under the old covenant (see here), the baptism of John the Baptist for repentance (Matt. 3:11), and the ordinance of Christian baptism (Matt. 28:19).



3. The Apostle Paul differentiates baptism from the Gospel by declaring that baptism in water is not part of the Gospel message:

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
- 1 Corinthians 1:17




4. The Apostle Peter explains that baptism is indeed necessary, but not a baptism in water, rather the baptism that occurs when you make an appeal to God for cleansing (hence Romans 10:9-10):

This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.
- 1 Peter 3:21


I used to think you added various Scriptures up into a kind of "conversion soup".  Confess and believe (Romans 10:9) + repent and be baptized in water (Acts 2:38) = your saved.  The problem is that this simplistic approach only works when you overlook the contradictions floating around in said soup.  Romans 10:9 makes no distinction between those water-baptized and those not.  Paul emphatically states that all who believe and confess Jesus' lordship will be saved (Rm. 10:10, 13 drive the point home further).



5. The word "baptism" has come to mean a specific religious ritual and the reason for that is Jerome's Latin Vulgate transliterated the word from Greek rather than translated it.  We still use Jerome's transliteration to this day.  An actual translation of the word would be "immersed, submerged, overwhelmed, or cleansed".  Water is not implied and context is very important to understand what substance an object is baptized into.  As pointed out earlier, you can be baptized into water, fire, or even the Holy Spirit.  Biblically-speaking, you can even be baptized into a new status, idea, or state of being.  Context is king.

One of the most oft-cited Scriptures defending the necessity of water baptism is Romans 6:3-4, which states: "Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?"  Water is never mentioned.  Taking the Scripture literally without adding words, the objects that Christians are being baptized into are Christ and His death.

We see another example of this in Acts 2:38.  Again water is never mentioned and the context is speaking only of the newly-arrived baptism of the Holy Spirit in lieu of water (Acts 1:4-5; the fulfillment of Matt. 3:11, Mk. 1:8, Lk. 3:16).  If we take this verse literally as well, without adding to it, it plainly states that what people are to be baptized into is the forgiveness or pardon of sins.  This perfectly comports with Romans 6:3-4.  When you "repent" (i.e., change your mind and believe upon Christ for salvation) then you are baptized into Christ, His death, and the forgiveness of sins.  The One who baptizes you is Christ (Matt. 3:11) and He baptizes you with the Holy Spirit into His spiritual body.  1 Corinthians 12:13 puts the pieces together:

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.



6. The One who performs the spiritual baptism is always and only God Himself.  Men cannot baptize others in the Holy Spirit.  See Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Colossians 2:11-12.

Also, I see no Scriptural basis whatsoever for the modern theological development that views the baptism of the Holy Spirit as different or separate from salvation.  Rather, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the point of salvation, when dead men walking are filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4 was fulfilled in Acts 2:4, 33; compare to Rm. 8:11, Gal. 3:14, Eph. 1:13, 4:30).  This is the spiritual fertilization that occurs when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

Confusion occurs when certain sects assume that "speaking in tongues" is an immediate and normative response to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as happened in Acts 2:4.  No Scripture in the entire Bible states that "speaking in tongues" will always follow or be evidence of the unseen/invisible baptism of the Holy Spirit.  To the contrary - speaking in tongues is one of many gifts and is considered of lesser importance (1 Cor. 12:7-11, 28-31, 14:1-5).  Additionally, the word for "tongues" in Acts 2:4 is glóssa, which has nothing to do with indecipherable angel-language, but actual languages spoken on the earth.  Acts 2:5-12 makes this crystal clear.



7. In my personal inventory of all New Testament Scriptures pertaining to salvation I identified 88 verses indicating that salvation comes through faith, 24 through works, and 5 through baptism (Acts 2:38, Mk. 16:16, 1 Pet. 3:21, Col. 2:12, Rm. 6:4).  This inventory was purely a prima facie study to get a sense of the general message of Scripture on the subject.

What we have are three biblical truths that have to be reconciled without leaving a contradiction.  If a contradiction is left then we haven't reconciled the Scriptures correctly.  The first truth is that from the human perspective the only role we play in salvation is believing in Christ and accepting the free gift (i.e. faith alone; Jn. 6:29, Rm. 3:22, 28, Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16).  The second truth is that baptism is necessary (Mk. 16:16, Acts 2:38).  The third truth is that Christians were commanded to be baptized in water (Matt. 28:19).

Regarding faith versus works, I came to the realization that the 24 "works" verses could all be reconciled by organizing them correctly.  Some applied purely to the wicked who rejected salvation through faith alone (Rev. 20:12-13), others were dealing with justification before man and not God (James 2:14), and still others were speaking to unconverted Jews (Heb. 10:26).

Regarding baptism, the simple solution is to recognize context and apply the Scriptural distinction between spiritual and water baptism (Matt. 3:11, Mk. 1:8, Lk. 3:16).  The former is an act of God alone and the latter is a work of man.  The first important distinction to be made is in Acts 1-2 and the fulfillment of Pentecost:

He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
- Acts 1:3-5


Here we finally learn the correct application of John the Baptist's declaration that though he baptized with water, Jesus would be different - He would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  In the very next chapter Jesus' prophecy was fulfilled.  120 disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:15, 2:1-4).  Then Peter declares to a gathering crowd that they must repent and be baptized.  3,000 more believed and were baptized just like the initial 120 were (Acts 2:41).

I've seen many Baptist scholars dance around Acts 2:38 trying to force it to say something it doesn't.  It really does say "be baptized... for the forgiveness of your sins."  You can't get around what it plainly says, but Campbellites make a mistake of their own - they overlook three key things: first, the baptism spoken of here is contextually that of the Holy Spirit and not water (Acts 1:5, 2:4); second, water baptism is never mentioned in Acts 1-2, and third, 3,000 more people were baptized that day after the initial 120 disciples (perhaps double that if women and children were uncounted).  Countless scholars have wrestled with that inexplicably large number, which presents some real challenges if water baptism is in view.

Though this understanding hasn't been often explored, to me it is the most simple, Scriptural, and contextually-supportable answer.  The 120 disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, a huge crowd gathers to see what's going on, and then those who believe are also baptized with the Holy Spirit.

This understanding may also reconcile another seeming contradiction in the Bible: are we baptized "in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19) or "in the Name of Jesus" as Acts 2:38 and many other passages in Acts indicate?  Let me suggest to you the possibility "in the Name of Jesus" should usually (but not always) be understood as a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was used to distinguish between John's water baptism (Acts 19:1-7) and Jesus' spiritual baptism (Matt. 3:11, Acts 1:5).  Baptism is mentioned frequently in Acts, but when you look at the book with new eyes you'll notice something often missed: water baptism of Christian converts is only explicitly mentioned four times (Acts 8:12-13, 16, 36-39, 10:46-48).  In Acts 8:15-17 we learn that some had been baptized in water, but not yet the Holy Spirit and in Acts 10:46-48 we learn that some were baptized in the Holy Spirit before being baptized in water, thus the distinction between water and spiritual baptism is further proven.

Remember that baptizó just means to immerse or submerge.  Despite 1,500 years of Catholic dogma, water is not implied and you have to look at the context to see what someone is being baptized in.  Scripturally-speaking there are baptisms into water, fire, blood, and Christ (Matt. 3:11, Mk. 1:8, Lk. 3:16, 12:50, Rm. 6:3-4) and the baptism into Christ (Rm. 6:3-4, Gal. 3:27) is accomplished with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5, Eph. 1:13, 4:30).  Since we've already established from Scripture that there is a clear distinction between mere water baptism (an act of man) and the necessary-for-salvation baptism of the Holy Spirit (an act of God), we can then recognize that Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:3-4 are speaking of the latter.  Believers are baptized into Christ, which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and thus we become part of the Body of Christ through faith alone.  This comports with Ephesians 4:5:

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Ephesians 4:5-6


Paul says here that Believers undergo a singular baptism.  Just as there is only one Lord and one shared faith, so also there is only one shared baptism - the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  We are all collectively baptized into Christ with the Holy Spirit when we believe hence being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, which is widely understood to be an accounting term (i.e. transfer of ownership from self to Christ).  Therefore we can now easily recognize the distinction in terminology and avoid confusion - the commanded ordinance of water baptism is separate from spiritual baptism and is done "in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  It is an important symbol, the first step in the Christian walk even, but not part of justification and salvation - at least that's how I now understand it.

We have now accounted for four of the five primary verses to defend the necessity of water baptism.  That just leaves Mark 16:16:

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Again I see a passage that might be misinterpreted by both sides.  Campbellites point out that baptism is necessary for salvation here.  Baptists point out that only lack of belief condemns.  They are both right, but both miss the point: we believe, but God baptizes.  Jesus came not to baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11, Mk. 1:8, Lk. 3:16, Jn. 1:24-27, 4:2, Acts 1:5).  All we can ever do, the only part we can ever play, is to yield ourselves to what God Himself has already done, and believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (the Gospel).  But a penetrating question remains: if you put off water baptism indefinitely, do you really have a saving faith?  The true Christ-follower doesn't look for excuses, but looks to obey.  As a certain Ethiopian eunuch once said, "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?"



Further reading:

Garth D. Wiebe

Dr. A. Ray Stanford

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Does the Bible Separate Salvation from Baptism?

Is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit a Second Experience?

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Speaking in Tongues: Part 1

Speaking in Tongues: Part 2

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29 comments :

  1. When this question comes up, I often look at the redeemed thief on the cross next to Jesus. His only 'work' was to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. No baptism, no real chance to do any good works (or bad for that matter), and didn't even hear a sermon about the ABC's of salvation. He just realized that Jesus was the Messiah and would come back from the dead and confessed his hope that he would be remembered when Jesus came in His kingdom. He also realized that he fully deserved his punishment, but that Jesus had not done anything wrong. The basics of the Gospel are all there. (As well as in John 6:29 and 3:16, among other places)

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    1. Amen Kris. Same thoughts as you. Salvation is made as easy as abc but cost God his Son.

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    2. 100 percent correct Kris. Exactly what I would say.

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  2. Good thoughts Kris. It also reminds me that it was just a simple saving faith in the OT as well. People aren't saved by the law today and they weren't saved by the law back then.

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  3. My thoughts on the matter were based on the idea that you got baptized in water as a way of showing your faith, and asking for accountability. Much like how in marriage you ask those witnessing to help hold you accountable to your vows, baptism is a way of visibly showing to others that you have accepted Jesus and want others to witness it so that they can help to hold you to account. I attend a Southern Baptist church, and their belief is that you are baptized to become a member of that congregation as a way of asking for them to help you as brothers and sisters. But you must be saved before you ever think of the idea of a baptism. Water can't wash you clean, only the blood of Christ can do that.

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  4. excellent scholarship through hundreds of hours of study and pleading with God to show you. very well done.

    thinking a lot about the Acts 2 insemination / conception of the church by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. the example of Baptism by the Spirit and fire (tongues of).

    thinking about the conception, the comet, the spark and Jupiter 40 weeks ago.

    thinking about the recent discovery of the spark that occurs at conception.

    thinking about how it all starts with Him, it begins with Him and our salvation is through Him.

    thinking about Luke 1:35 "the Holy Spirit will come upon you..."

    thinking about Mary's response in Luke 1:38 "...may it be done to me according to your word...".

    Baptism is our agreement with and submission to God's plan, our willingness to allow Him to redeem and transform us.

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  5. My 2 cents worth: I have come to believe, through 40+ years of relationship, that water baptism was old covenant & that was changed at Pentecost. With regards to fire, I have come to believe this was specif to the apostles, as, to my knowledge, no other tongues of fire are evidenced in the NT, indeed the evidence thereafter became Tongues.
    I believe the fire at spiritual conception, as with the spark at natural conception, happens once, not each time the cells of the "organism" reproduce: I believe the Church was conceived at Pentecost, the conception "took", & the cells have been reproducing after their own kind ever since. I believe this is what Jesus was attempting to explain to Nicodemus.
    As for me, I felt a POWERFUL "lifting" IMMEDIATELY upon praying the salvation prayer in "The Late, Great Planet Earth", by Hal Lindsey, which "carried me for two weeks, & I didn't even know that I had even "saved" until two years later, at the lowest point in my life, I took a friend's advice to kneel & ask Jesus to be Lord of my life & as I did, I heard, audibly, "We've already done this." & a vision(?) of myself, lying on my couch in a house from which I had since moved, with the sun streaming through a window & highlighting the page on which was that prayer I had prayed two years before. I had not yet unpacked fully from my move, so rushed to the garage, dug through the boxes for the one labeled "books", dug Hal Lindsey's book out of the box, & flipped through the pages to the page I had just seen in my vision(?), & there it was: that prayer prayed two years earlier. And, once again, I experienced being "carried" by that same POWERFUL "lifting" I had experienced two years earlier, only this time it lasted a month. I found a church & was told I NEEDED to be water baptized, so, I was, & experienced nothing but wet & the glee of those around me.
    Over the years, I have experienced far more tangible evidence of Him in me & I in Him, though His Word & in prayer, than I ever have following the traditions of men.
    All this said, as you so accurately pointed out, this is a touchy subject for so many that I have come to the place of believing that "be it done unto you according to your faith" is the best answer.
    Sincerely,
    Kat Shepherd

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  6. I started reading this site Aug.31st and came back to Jesus on Sept.2.I have been reading this site for three days now top to bottom. I then started thinking about baptism and whether I needed that or not and looked around on here and didn't see any articles on the subject,so last night I asked God for an answer to my question.I get on here this morning and boom there it is! Praise God!

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    1. That timing is amazing. Thank you for sharing this with me - really encouraging to hear.

      In Christ,
      Gary

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  7. Hello, I just wanted to see if I could put my two cents worth in. Gary you are almost correct about baptism. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is needed as you stated, but water baptism is not. Let me explain. Water baptism was a command for the Jewish people only. I don't think Paul ever said one time to be water baptized. By saying water baptism is required to (For Gentiles) then you are placing your self back under the law and we're not to do that. This is keeping everything in context.
    God Bless~
    2Ti 2:15

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    1. I think you are right and that was actually the point of the article.

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    2. Water baptism being "required" of Gentiles is not necessarily placing anyone back under the Law. The Ethiopian eunuch was a Gentile but Philip baptized him in water. For me, it helps to think of serving God in relational terms instead of religious ones. "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments." John 14:15. Most of my life I viewed that through a works-based religious perspective. I felt I had to keep His commandments to prove my love. Now, I see it through a relationship perspective and keeping the commandments are not a way to love God, but rather, they are a byproduct of a love relationship with Him. That's why I think God used marriage as an example of our relationship to Christ. Because we love Him we are not looking for anyone else.

      In this same context, we see that the one of the Jewish rituals involved in a marriage ceremony was a ceremonial bathing/cleansing. A wedding or wedding ring doesn't make you married, but as an expression of love we have a ceremony and exchange rings as symbols of our love. This is why I don't consider water baptism a religious duty or obligation, but an act of love for my Savior. I think there's a beautiful prophetic meaning to it also, as the Bride prepares herself for the Bridegroom. The Jewish culture and customs are not required for us to fulfill, but Jesus and the Apostles used them to explain the Kingdom.

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  8. Baptism by Water is not required for Salvation; John the Baptist made that perfectly clear. Baptism by Fire and the Holy Ghost is the only Baptism needed for Salvation and the only source of this is Jesus Christ.

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  9. To cut a long story short: Acts is critical with regards to baptism. It is a historical book describing events and decelopment of the early church and not doctrinal teaching. In Acts, you will find people first getting baptized in water then receiving the Spirit and vice versa. It is not a teaching book but historical reading. I myself will refrain to quarrel about this question. I firmly believe in baptism in the Spirit by Christ alone; the water ceremony being an act of public testimony openly to the world and to the fellow church and the spiritual realm but not a salvation issue. What could the felon on the cross have done yet, getting baptized? The Greek word 'baptizo' was also ever used in describing the act of dyeing cloth so that the colour would impregnate every fiber of it. This is exactly how I understand the event and instance of salvation and baptism in the Spirit and I do apply all given scriptures in this kind of understanding: every fiber of my whole being dyed in the Holy Spirit and soaked with Christ during the process of salvation which is effected by God alone. I myself am not baptized with water but in the Spirit and it's OK between the LORD and me as not being part of a local church (as all of them are fallen away from faith around my place so there's nothing to testify to them nor to the world as they are no different from it). If my brethren feel inclined to disagree its OK by me as well. I'm at peace with the baptism issue once and for all. See you soon above with Him, to Christ be all the glory MARANATHA!

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  10. I'm very thankful for this writing and the comments. It wasn't until I read the teachings of Les Feldick about 3 years ago that we are saved by 'faith plus nothing'.
    Our (gentiles) gospel is in 1corinthians15,1-4..."how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:", that's all it takes to be saved, friends. Gary, I think you would be the man to write an article about keeping the dispensations separate, the one that Jesus gave to the jews, and the one that Our Risen Lord Jesus gave to Paul for us gentiles! A majority of pastors, priests and preachers keep mixing these all up and confusing people! God have mercy.

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  11. It is very interesting that many people who say baptism is something the Lord commands but that it is NOT important for salvation. Why than God tells us to do something that is not important in HIS SIGHT? Do you think He is concerned only in doing it for public benefit and it does not convey any spiritual meaning? Ok. for instance, there was a law for any gentile who wanted to convert into judaism (become a part of the jewish nation to BELIEVE in "their" God (Yahweh), accept all the commandments and holidays, sacrifices, and circumcise. Why did not believing and accepting all other commandments of the Old Testament was not enough for the Lord to consider a person a Jew without circumcision? It was just a "ritual" for people as well as buptism is just a ritual for some believers today, but without that being done you would not be considered a new-convert into Judaism.And it did not matter whether you believed in God verbally telling about it to others or accepting the sacrifices. You could not become a Jew, Ill put it that way if you were not circumcised. It was important for the Lord Who makes rules.

    Jesus received the Holy Spirit after the baptism, was able to start His messianic ministry only after baptism, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness only after the baptism.

    Apostle Paul believed in the Lord Jesus on his way to Damascus, recognized Him as His Lord verbally and in his heart, obeyed asking for further instructions to follow. But, as with the Lord Jesus he was not sent anywhere pertaining to ministry, preaching etc. but had to be baptised! Only while in Damascus he received the Holy Spirit and baptism at once. Only after this was done he could start preaching the Gospel. So now we have Jesus as the first example of how important baptism is for the Lord and Paul.

    Acts 2:38 is as important as any other passage in the Scripture. It says in Greek "baptisqhtw ekastos umwn epi tw onomati ihsou cristou eis afesin twn amartiwn umwn kai lhmyesqe thn dwrean tou agiou pneumatos" - the word "eis" means DIRECTION and GOAL (to be IN water, to be IN the new state etc.).

    Jesus said who "believes and is baptised will be saved".

    Also I feel uncertain about people trying to install the "right" meaning of the term "baptise" to be immersed in water or in the Holy Spirit. Why do these people think they are right saying what passage with the word "baptism" is about water and not Spirit or the Lord and vice versa? Why do you separate immersion in Christ from water immersion? How do you do that on the Greek grammar basis?

    Let me know, I will gladly continue my study of this subject.

    Up until now I could not find any passage in the Scripture allowing salvation without IMMERSION "eis afesin".

    God bless.

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    1. Dear Iurii, maybe you read the above comment of 'Kat Sheperd' again to better understand what makes the difference between just "experiencing to feel wet" from baptism in water outside and experiencing the Holy Spirit dwelling inside? Blessings to you! :)

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    2. Thank you for the reply. The thing is that PERSONAL experience "being wet or dry" can never be a foundation for my belief. The Bible is, Jesus and apostles with first century Christians. What matters is what God thinks not us. God bless.

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    3. Iurii I'm afraid then you didn't understand what Kat was trying to say. What you mean is obeying the law. But this isn't the love of Christ. Bless you Jesus to give understanding.

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  12. take a look watch the whole thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZpRuGYwIOE
    awesome

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  13. Harvey-Irma-Jose; triple Baptism in the Age of Aquarius "Water Pourer"

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  14. What about the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost being tongues. I have personally experienced this and it was way more life changing than any acceptance prayer.

    I was a teenager and my life had hit bottom and I was desperate for God. Went to church and as soon as they had an altar call for prayer, I jumped and went to the front. I raised my hands and instantly everything went white and I started speaking a different language as this overwhelming happiness came over me. It was very real and 27 years later my life is still spent living for God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The bible says we will be endued with power from on high and that there will be those that deny the power thereof. Don't be a denier, but simply give into whatever God has for you. It is scriptural and a real gift from God. So why argue? Just accept what is clearly laid out in the bible. Seek and you will find.

    One of many studies on tongues as evidence:
    http://studiesinscripture.com/speaking-in-tongues/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't doubt your experience. I certainly believe that happens. My stance is just that 1 Cor. is extremely clear that speaking in tongues is one of many gifts and is of lesser importance. There were dozens of conversions mentioned in the NT and only the conversion in Acts 2 was immediately followed by speaking in tongues.

      Delete
    2. If you believe this happens and it is scriptural, why don't you want this experience for yourself and instead downplay it? I want everyone to experience the fullness of God and not just some of Him. It is wonderful and you can feel His power in you. I was a believer before receiving the Holy Ghost, yet under constant demonic attack (like stuff straight out of a horror film). These all went away after speaking in tongues and truly receiving the Holy Ghost and the power from on high Jesus promised.

      Tongues as a gift and tongues when receiving the Holy Ghost are different. Courts require 2 or more witnesses with clear evidence and we have 3. The bible has 3 references where people spoke in tongues when receiving the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46 (tongues as evidence to the Jews and Peter that the Gentiles were receiving the Holy Ghost too), Acts 19:6.

      Receiving the Holy Ghost is separate from salvation (Acts 8:5, 12, 14-17 where the Apostles heard that Samaria had received the word of God so Peter and John were sent and they prayed for them to receive the Holy Ghost). Although it is separate from salvation, the Holy Ghost gives us power and why would you not want this power from God (Luke 24:46-49)? Tongues has always been a contentious subject, but it is clear in the bible. People are just afraid of it and the devil has made it taboo to keep the full power of God from us.

      As a teenager nobody told me I needed to speak in tongues, it just happened and the Holy Ghost changed my life instantly. It was a real experience not a repeat of someone else leading a prayer. Where is it in the bible where any apostle lead someone in a "sinner's prayer" or "salvation prayer" and then told them they were born again or saved? Yet people use this man-made ideology in most churches nowadays while shunning actual scripture. This is very dangerous as people don't truly repent and give their lives to God and I see a large percentage of "Christians" that live the very lives of those that Jesus said would not make it into heaven. All because they repeated an empty prayer. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16), not a quickie fast-food church service prayer that fits the lifestyle of the modern "Christian".

      God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so saying we need to adapt salvation to fit our modern society is not biblical. I'm ranting a bit here and getting off the initial subject, but I am deeply saddened when I see friends of my own kids now posting on social media (an idol within an idol (smart phones)) how they are high, drunk, having sex, shoplifting (and proud of all this) then on Sunday posting a scripture and selfies with others at church. Jesus said the sexually immoral, drunkards, and idolaters will not make it to heaven, but they are told after repeating this false prayer that they're on their way to heaven. Wide is the path that leads to destruction and many enter into it, but small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. "Churchianity" needs to end and true belief and following of God's actual word needs to be the focus. The bible is very clear that lukewarm "Christians" won't make it and it is a complete disservice of the modern church to say everything will be ok, just repeat after me...

      Delete
    3. Hey Travis, I appreciate your views, I just don't share all of them.

      For starters, I see no biblical basis for "tongues" being normative after salvation and neither do I see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as separate from the normal conversion experience.

      All that said, again I believe in the gift of tongues (if you mean actual, ethnic languages), but the Bible is clear they are of lesser importance. That's not my words, but Scripture. Now, I am not closed to them, I am open to whatever God wants to do and I've even prayed for the gift before, but He has not given it. Instead He has given other gifts and I intend to use them faithfully.

      I've had a myriad of spiritual and mountaintop experiences like feeling filled with light, but at the end of the day, feelings and experiences are real, they're just not reliable. God's Word is reliable.

      Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit separate?

      Baptism in the Holy Spirit

      Speaking in tongues

      1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:5, Joel 2:28-29, and Acts 1:4-5, 2:1-4 are conclusive to me on these issues.

      In Christ,
      Gary

      Delete
    4. Travis, some easy question to answer: did you understand yourself what you were uttering and did other people understand what you've been talking? I'm very cautious about "tongues" because of 1 Corinthians 14 (and 13:1!). Most of people claiming to speak in tongues as a gift by the Holy Spirit are indeed being gifted by another Spirit which is NOT from God for that reason.

      Delete
    5. How are you guys coming up with tongues have to be a valid language when Paul is VERY clear.... 1 Corinthians 14:2
      For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
      Again the context of passage being that tongues does not edify anyone but prophecy can and does which is why it is the more desirable gift.
      Also, you guys seem to be missing the portion of Acts 2 where a portion of hecklers (who did NOT hear them in their native tongue) accused them a being drunk.
      Grace and Peace

      Delete
  15. Anyone notice that today's forcast track of Irma seems to be pointing at the same crosshairs of the 2 Eclipses?? Seems we are getting Baptized with Water this month!

    ReplyDelete


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