Is Baptism Required To Go To Heaven?

Baptism Graphic | Do I have to get baptized to go to Heaven?

Baptism is a beautiful symbol of our salvation.

Is Baptism required for Christians? Do I have to be baptized to be saved? Will I go to hell if I never get baptized? Is ‘Baptismal Regeneration’ Biblical?

These questions are asked frequently in Christian discussions. What one thinks or believes on this subject is not as important as what the Bible states, which is God’s truth. This article will look at the Biblical doctrines on baptism and its purpose. And while Christians are certainly commanded to be baptized, it is not required or necessary for salvation.

What Is Baptism?

Biblical Purpose of Baptism | Baptismal regeneration heresy refuted.

The Bible is clear that Baptism is an outward expression of the work Jesus does inside of us.

The first mention of baptism in the Bible is in Matthew 3:

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight… Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. — Matthew 3:1-12

Baptism is immersion in water. At the time of John the Baptist’s ministry, he called for the Jewish people to repent in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah, Christ Jesus. What is important to note here is that John distinguishes between his baptism, which was done with water, and the Baptism done by Jesus Christ which is done “with the Holy Ghost, and with fire…” This is a very important distinction to understand. Baptism by water is an act a born again believer chooses to do as an outward sign of their salvation to the public. It symbolizes their “death to self” and rebirth in Jesus Christ. Baptism by the Holy Ghost is what takes place in the heart when one is saved and is a critical aspect of salvation. John The Baptist, obviously someone who was knowledgeable on this subject was well aware of what we he was doing and how what Jesus was going to do in His sacrifice on the cross, was far, far greater.

Baptism Is a Picture and Type of Your Salvation

Jordan River Baptism | Baptismal regeneration refuted.

Like Jesus did 2,000 years ago, some new Christians get baptized in the Jordan River.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, 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: — 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

 

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Scriptures is The Gospel. It is the Good Tidings that if a person believes in, can receive forgiveness for their sins and eternal life. It is faith in the Gospel that saves, not in any action of our own. Baptism is symbolic of what Jesus Christ went through and symbolically displays our own “death and resurrection” in Christ:

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. — Romans 5:3-4

Being immersed into water is a picture of Christ’s death and burial. When you become a born again Christian, your old spirit, which was evil, dies to sin. You receive a new spirit and are quickened or made alive, in its place.  Thus emerging from the water is a type of Christ’s resurrection and the new born spirit in a new believer:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. — 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

All these things are happening inside the believer. Baptism is just a symbolic act.  It has no supernatural power and does nothing to affect a Christian or make them believe. There is a belief called “Baptismal regeneration” that states the water used in Baptism does indeed bring a supernatural change in a Christian and is required for salvation. And that this type of supernatural baptism was instituted by Jesus when He gave the command in the verse above. But does the Bible support this? Upon an examination of Scriptures about people in the Bible actually being saved, it becomes clear that baptismal regeneration is a false teaching.

Baptism Happens After One Is Born Again

Infant Baptism Heresy | Baptismal regeneration heresy refuted.

While it may be very cute, infant baptism is not Biblical.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. — Matthew 28:18-20.

These beautiful parting words of instruction from Jesus to His Disciples before He ascended and returned to Heaven established baptism as an ordinance for the Christian church. The people were to be taught first and then baptized once they were born again believers. Nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that baptism is required to be a born again believer. In fact, we see the exact opposite through scripture. The book of Acts provides many details instances of the Gospel being preached and new believers being born again. And from these accounts baptism plays no role in the conversion of the new Christian.

The Apostle Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost

In Acts chapter 2, Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit preached at the Feast of Pentecost and thousands of new believers joined the church. At the end of his preaching he was asked what must be done for salvation:

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. — Acts 2:37-41.

Those hold the belief that baptism is necessary to be born again believe this passage is proof since Peter told them “repent and be baptized..” However when one looks at verse 41, it is clear that only those who “gladly received his word” ended up getting baptized. It was the belief in the Gospel that came first and then the baptism took place.

The Ethiopian Eunuch

Acts Chapter 8 provides another excellent example of the Gospel being shared and a new born again Christian joining the church. The Apostle Philip, once again under inspiration from the Holy Spirit, approached an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament but did not fully understand the Messianic prophecies. Philip helped him and shared the Gospel:

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. – Acts 8:35-38.

Again, notice that in order for the Eunuch to be baptized he first had to confirm that he believed that Jesus was indeed the Christ and the Son of God. He first believed the Gospel and was thus already saved. Baptism was fulfilling a command for Christians as their outward symbol of their belief. Once again, the baptism did nothing to affect the Eunuch’s belief. He was already a believer.

Saul on the Road to Damascus

The Apostle Paul had one of the most supernatural conversion experiences ever recorded. Then known as Saul, prior to being saved, he was an enemy of the Christian church, who hunted down Christians, persecuted them and arranged for their execution. Yet he became a believer after The Lord Jesus spoke to him directly from Heaven:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. — Acts 9:4-6.

At this point, Saul, humbled and blinded by The Lord came to understand the truth, that Jesus is Lord. How do we know this? In verse 5 Saul says “Lord, what wilt thou have me do?” Not only did Saul realize that Jesus, whose believers he had been attacking, was in fact God, he was humbly willing to follow his commands. He was a believer. And yet it was not until days later, that he was baptized:

And [Saul] was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. — Acts 9:9-18.

Saul obeyed Jesus. He then waited and prayed. He was clearly a believer in Christ for 3 days before he was baptized. Again, baptism was not required for salvation.

Cornelius The Centurion

Acts chapter 10 is entirely devoted to the witnessing of the Gospel to one man and his family. The Apostle Peter, directed by God, went to the home of the Gentile Roman Centurion and preached the Gospel. This chapter shows clearly that salvation and receiving the Holy Ghost happens without being baptized.

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly… To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. –Acts 10:34 -45.

 

Peter gives a Gospel presentation and not only did Cornelius believe, in verse 44, the Holy Ghost interrupts Peter’s sermon and fell on “all them which heard the word.”  Without question, Cornelius and his family were born again believers, who received the Holy Spirit. And once they spoke in Biblical tongues, the others with Peter then urged them to be baptized. Why? Because they knew they were obviously born again and had received the Holy Spirit. In every believer, the Holy Spirit works to cleanse us from sin and lead us in our Christian life:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17.

This is the essential baptism and it happens in the heart. It is the new spirit that is born in a new Christian. This is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that John the Baptist preached of.

The Thief on the Cross and Every Old Testament Believer

Three Crosses | Baptismal regeneration refuted.

The thief on the cross never had a chance to get baptized. And he is in Heaven.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus was nailed at his hands and feet. He was completely unable to perform any action, much less be baptized. And yet he was saved:

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. — Luke 23:42-43.

It was his faith that saved him, with no other action. And Jesus Christ personally confirmed it. Now some who support the idea of baptismal regeneration say that the thief was “an exception” because Jesus had not yet given the command of baptism. What this idea ignores is that there is and was always just one way to Heaven: faith in Jesus Christ. From Genesis chapter 3, God told humanity of His plan of redemption through the “seed of the woman”, the child who would one day be born, destroy Satan and redeem the human race.  And it is faith in the Messiah that saves. Hebrews chapter 11 lists many of the Old Testament saints who were saved for their faith in Christ, from Abel to Abraham, Moses to Rahab and others. None of these Old Testament saints were baptized and yet they are in Heaven. Hebrews 11, often called “the Hall of fame of faith”, describes many of the faithful people of the Old Testament and that they were saved:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. — Hebrews 11:13.

They were saved based on their faith in the promise of the coming Messiah just as all Christians today are saved by faith that the promise was fulfilled 2,000 years ago. It is no different. And baptism plays no role.

We Are Saved By Grace Through Faith

 

Believers Baptism by immersion | Baptismal regeneration refuted.

If you are a born-again believer, you should get baptized and show the world you identify with Jesus Christ.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9.

It is our faith in the work Jesus Christ did on the cross that saves us and not any action. Should a Christian be baptized? Absolutely. It is one of the few ordinances of the church given by Jesus. But Jesus also commands Christians to have the Lord’s Supper. By the same incorrect logic, shouldn’t the that also be required in order to be saved? Of course not. It too is just a symbolic act that Christians do to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  Our “common salvation” is a gift of God. It is only received through belief in the heart.  There is no action we can add on to what Jesus did to save ourselves. So this is how we know that Baptismal regeneration is a heresy and false teaching.  Jesus said: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).

It is faith in Jesus Christ that brings the gift of eternal life.  Jesus said “whosoever believeth on Him [Jesus Christ] shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). There were no other stipulation. There is no fine print. We believe in Jesus Christ and we are saved. Water baptism is just our way of publicly identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it is not required to go to Heaven. We cannot do any act to earn our salvation and thank God in Heaven we do not have to. Jesus did it all.

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Comments

  1. Excellent exegetical analysis.

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  2. To believe is not enough,because even the demon believe James 2:19 (Faith with work is dead)
    Baptism is essential to be saved
    Mk 16:16 We must believe & be baptized to be saved.
    1Peter.3:21 Baptism now saves us.
    Act 2:38 Our sins are forgiven when we are baptized
    Act 22:16 Our sins are washed away when we are baptized
    Rom 6:3 We enter into Christ when we are baptized
    Col 2:11-13,Act 2:40,47
    The Step are as following to become a Christian: Believe in Jesus Christ :John 8:24,Heb 11:6, Act16:31,
    Repent of your sins (To change your frame of thinking) Lk13:3,Act2:38,3:19,17:30
    Confess faith in Jesus Matt10:32,Act8:37,Rom10:9-10
    Be Baptized Matt28:19,Act2:38,10:48,22:16,Mk16:16
    Thank You B&E God Bless

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    • Hi Vonnie,

      Yes demons believe in God, but do they believe Jesus Christ is their Savior? That is what saves a person. You say baptism is essential but it is hard for me to understand the basis for this. Are you saying that Paul was not saved until he was baptized 3 days after Jesus Christ The Lord personally witnessed to him?? Was the Ethiopian Eunuch not saved when he openly confessed his belief that Jesus is the Son of God? What about Cornelius who had the Holy Ghost fall upon his whole home. Was he still not saved at that point?? I just don’t know how your interpretation of the verses you listed take this into account. This is why the article highlights actual examples of people in the Bible being saved by Apostles being directed by God or by God Himself. So there would be no confusion. The thief on the cross, who was never baptized, being another obvious example. I fail to see how the verses you list take these specific accounts from Scripture into view. If you can apply your interpretation to them, please share it. God bless.

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      • Blacklantern says:

        That was an excellent analysis. Do Christians have long theological debates about whether or not we are commanded to take the Lord Supper? No. Then why do we have such debates about if we are commanded to be baptized and to go out and baptize others? If you are a new believer in Christ, you can get baptized that same day. If you consider yourself a follower of Christ for many years and have not been baptized, you can do so and fulfill Christ’s command to you.

        Why is this debate? If Jesus did it, commands us to do it, and is our example, then why would we even CONSIDER not doing it?? It confounds the mind. I just hope that anyone who reads this article whom calls themselves Christians, would heed the Word that has been shown and get baptized. Let’s not divide ourselves over the semantics when Christ has already settled the debate. Please keep up the good work and stay vigilant. Be blessed. You are making a difference.

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        • the point of discussion here is to discredit infant baptism :)

          in which case we are saying – catholics, orthodox and all others who practice other doctrines are wrong.

          everyone says their doctorine is correct.

          It has become so bad now that we are not twisting the words in the bible to suite our doctrine.

          it should have been the other way around.

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      • “Hi Vonnie,

        Yes demons believe in God, but do they believe Jesus Christ is their Savior? ”

        Yes they do. In fact they KNOW He is the Son of God. But Demons have no hope. They are already lost. Too late for them. They already made their choice centuries ago.

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        • Hi Matthew,

          I think you misread my question. I said:

          “Yes demons believe in God, but do they believe Jesus Christ is THEIR Savior? ”

          They do not believe Jesus is their Savior.

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          • Demons do not need a savior. Who knows what demons need. This is a silly argument and point of discussion.. Demons know Jesus is the Son of the most high. We humans are the ones that need a savior.

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      • “The thief on the cross, who was never baptized, being another obvious example.”

        DOH !! how could Jesus expect a man nailed to a cross to come down to be baptized? This was a one-off case. God sees everything. The thief didn’t have the option. The thief, spoke directly to the Son of God.

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        • Hi Mathew,

          You say this was a “one off” but where in Scripture is that ever confirmed? Where are we ever told in Scriptures that there are multiple roads to eternal life? If you are going to make assertions on such important issues, then you should provide the Scripture to support this.

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          • there is much that the scriptures do not say. They scriptures give you the basics. If you followed scriptures 100% then:

            Is your sabbath on Sunday or on Saturday?
            Do you do any work on Saturday?
            Do you eat pork?

            the Jesus is not against drinking wine – only abuse of wine – do you drink wine or other fermented drink?

            Jesus said He didnt come to change the laws that were given to Moses – He came to fulfill it so none of the old laws have changed. The Bible does not tell us not to smoke or abuse drugs. But it sets a basic outline by telling us that “Our bodies are holy and we must not abuse it”

            like i said – a basic outline was given to man – man forgot it and began to stray – a savior was given who came to reenforce the old laws and pay the price for our sins. We believe in Him. however – the Bible guides us to a good path that leads to God and salvation. It does not specify every single thing that one must do.

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            • “there is much that the scriptures do not say”

              Well, this is why we will remain at a variance. I believe in the Scriptures as my final authority on doctrine. Anything outside of that is human-made doctrine. Not divinely inspired Word.

              “Is your sabbath on Sunday or on Saturday?
              Do you do any work on Saturday?
              Do you eat pork?”

              All these questions are very clearly answered in Scripture. And to answer your question, my Sabbath is every single day of the week, I occasionally work on Saturdays and while I do not eat pork, I do not at all believe Christians are prohibited from eating it.

              If you are not going to go by the Bible to support your belief then we are not going to have a compelling discussion. So I will just respect your disagreement with the article.

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              • Hello Matthew

                I just wanted to touch on something B@E didn’t, as far as eating pork goes, nothing God made is bad and as long as we give thanks, everything we eat is ok (1Timothy 4:1-7). Jesus also declared this by saying its not what you put in your mouth but what comes out that makes a person unclean (Matthew 15:11). God gave us everything to use for our nourishment and none of it is unclean (Acts 10:9-15). And I love B@E’s comment on the Sabbath, everyday should be a Sabbath for us, we should celebrate the Lord daily (Philippians 1:3, Psalms 118:24). I pray you will continue to search the scriptures as God leads to the truth. Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

                Psalms 118:24 1599 Geneva Bible

                This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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                • Mathews says:

                  Jesus also declared this by saying its not what you put in your mouth but what comes out that makes a person unclean (Matthew 15:11)

                  Collin – this is refering to something else. Read the whole chapter to understand its context.

                  Just because we like to eat bacon – does not make it right. Pigs, Shrimp, and such creatures were created as natural cleaners to our environment. God clearly states not to eat them, but we like to twist facts because some of us own large pig farms :)

                  And of course, we cant live without bacon. And we make dishes with animal blood too. right?

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                  • Hi Mathews,

                    You said,
                    Jesus also declared this by saying its not what you put in your mouth but what comes out that makes a person unclean (Matthew 15:11)
                    Collin – this is refering to something else. Read the whole chapter to understand its context.

                    Actually, Jesus clarifies this again to his disciples with more detail in Mark 7:17-20, let’s read!

                    And when he came into an house, away from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
                    And he said unto them, What? are ye without understanding also? Do ye not know that whatsoever thing from without entereth into a man, cannot defile him,
                    Because it entered not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught which is the purging of all meats?
                    Then he said, That which cometh out of man, that defileth man.

                    So clearly, Jesus says, what you put in your mouth, goes to the belly, exits the body and does not defile man. Always use scripture to interpret scripture.

                    Everything that moveth and liveth, shall be meat for you: as the green herb, have I given you all things.
                    Genesis 9:3 1599 Geneva Bible

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              • Mathews says:

                Where does the Bible say every day has to be the sabbath ?

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          • Mathews says:

            the scriptures do not specifically tell us to smoke pot. So is this allowed? The Scriptures does not specifically tell us not to watch porn. So is this allowed? – remember i said SPECIFICALLY – “Thou shall not watch porn”

            God gave man common sense and wisdom and life’s instruction book called the Bible. Some things are left to man’s common sense.

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  3. Hello B&E

    I notice some tension in your responce, forgive me if I’m wrong but i was under the inpression that this is a Christian site & therefore free thing as free blief is warrented.We both have the same Goal, to enlighting and enrich people lives with the word of God. Even though we not alway’s going to see eye to eye let’s agree to disagree,& to leave the hostility for the non-believers. Jesus Christ told Nicodemus unless you are born of the water and the spirited you can not enter into the kingdom of God John 3:1-7.The Chapters & verses I mention teaches us that in all incidents, exspecially the ones you mention believe and baptism go’s hand and hand. Everytime a person believe they were baptized.As far as thief on the cross Jesus Christ had not been crucifed net ,so therefore they was still under the old law and one last thing, the thief didn’t even say he believe. Luke23:43 Thank You For Your Work In Christ God Bless

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    • Hi Vonnie,

      Thanks again for replying to me. I think this is an important discussion as it goes to the heart of the Gospel and the meaning of salvation in Scripture. I have absolutely no hostility towards you at all! The questions I asked were not raised to be hostile. They were genuine. I apologize if it came off like I was upset. I’m not at all. I am sincerely asking those questions. It’s completely okay to disagree and have Biblical discussion. Hence my asking the questions. So again, I am sorry for any confusion.

      1. John 3:1-7 — When Jesus says that a person must be “born of water” he is referring to their physical birth from their mother, not bapstism. We know this because he defines His statement in the next verse:

      Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. ( John 3:5-7)

      Jesus in verse 7 elaborates on verse 6. Being born of water is being born of flesh. It refers to physical human birth, not baptism. And it is in accord with Nicodemus’ question, when he is asking about physical birth from the mother’s womb. Baptism is not in view here.

      2. Thief on the cross – You state that since Jesus had not dies that the thief was “still under the old law.” However, the law was never a means to salvation. From the beginning of humanity the way to be saved was Jesus. The purpose of the law was just to show humanity that we are very much in sin and need a Savior. All Old Testament saints were saved by believing in Jesus:

      By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
      25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26).

      So here Moses is credited for his faith and the fact that he esteemed “the reproach of Christ” as the riches he desired over Egypt. So he was well aware and believed in the coming Christ. Being “under the law” just means being damned to hell for violating God’s Holy laws. It is not a means to salvation. Galatians 3 explains this relationship between law and grace:

      Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

      The law is here to convict us of sin. To show that beyond a reasonable doubt, we are guilty in God’s eyes. And thus it points us to our need for a Savior to become right with God. And that Savior is Christ.

      Let’s look at the whole passage on the thief on the cross:

      And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. — Luke 23.

      Notice the thief first points out that Jesus has done nothing wrong and connects mocking Jesus to not fearing God. He then calls Jesus “Lord” which is indicative in the Bible of submission to greater authority, in this case God. If the thief thought Jesus as just a mere man, he would have never called Him Lord. He then acknowledges the Second Coming of Christ by asking to be part of His Kingdom. At this point, Jesus is battered, tortured and dying on a cross. Yet this thief did not worry about what his eyes saw. His faith guided him to know and believe that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and would return, This was an amazing statement of pure faith in Jesus Christ. And we know he was saved because Jesus personally states it.

      Thanks again for your comments and sorry if my post read the wrong way. I love a good theological discussion! God bless.

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      • B&E
        I truly love and enjoy your site, their few site that speak the word of God even thou our belief differ we both are children of God Thank you ! God Bless

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    • Christ was crucified when the thief asked his sins be forgiven – you make a point tho – The new law came into order when Christ gave up his spirit saying “It is done”

      didn’t think of that before. thank you for that.

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  4. Colin Taylor says:

    If John 3:5 or Acts 2:38 isnt enough proof to show you need to be baptized in Jesus name, not titles (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) to enter His kingdom, then I will pray for all who dont believe that you dont need to be baptized for God to soften your hearts and be baptized in Jesus name.

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    • Hi Colin,

      See my comments to Vonnie above where I address John 3:5. And Acts 2:38 is addressed in the article. As I asked Vonnie, I will also ask you: are you saying the Ethiopian eunuch was not saved before he was baptized? That Saul was not saved when he was witnessed to by Jesus, called Him Lord, obeyed him and waited 3 days in prayer for Ananias? All his actions were the direct result of faith in God. I just don’t see how these verses respond to or address the accounts in Acts listed in the article. Thanks again. God bless.

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    • Colin Taylor says:

      Hi B&E
      In a way I am saying that they werent COMPLETELY saved but rather still in the process of. Because after you have let God into your heart and being filled with His spirit ultimately you shouldnt have to question a baptism because you should be changed and be wanting to dead the “old” you. Besides even if you didnt need to be baptized to get into His kingdom, I would still do it for insurance because i dont want to be on Judgement Day and Him say to me “I dont know you”. So I still think it is required due to the fact that Theophilus (author of Acts) recorded people being baptized in Jesus name numerous times and people being filled with the Holy Spirit also. In conclusion, whether it is required or not, which i believe it is, those who dont believe it is should be baptized either way just for insurance due to the fact that it is stated in the Bible. Thank You, God Bless

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      • Brighton Piniforo says:

        Hi Collin

        Here is link to ‘Ye must be born again’ by David J. Stewart. Take a look into it also, that is what B & E is exactly saying here(http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/ye_must_be_born_again.htm)

        Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ plus nothing else.Consider Jesus’ parable of a Pharisee and a publican who went to pray in a temple (Luke 18:10-14), according to your point of view the Pharisee would have been justified. Salvation is neither a process that has to be completed. It is finished work at the cross of Calvary freely given to every sinner who believes and put his faith in Christ as the only Savior.

        And Theophilus is not the author of the book of Acts but it is the continuation of the book of Luke as he was writing an orderly presentation of the gospel to a zealous Roman young man, Theophilus.Luke wrote every event that happens to the apostles in his presence in Acts( take of words ‘we’ throughout Acts ,that the author was present all times, as it is used) .Read Luke 1:3, and then read Acts 1:1-3 it cleary shows someone is writing to Theophilus.

        God bless you.

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        • Colin Taylor says:

          Hi B&E
          The article is very resourceful, though there is no scriptual back up for justifing that the Bible means being “born of water” means just the physical birth
          I cant really tell you anything else but that i beleive that one should be baptized by water (complete submersion) just for insurance because in the end we have to souls so id rather teach to be baptized both of water and spirit with evidence because it is scriptual andif Jesus did it, why not imitate what he has done even if he was sinless? besides i was brought out of the world into a Oneness Pentecostal church so thats how I was tought

          And that was my mistake for quoting Theophilus as the author for Acts, i didnt mean to state like that but yea either we love God so lets just try to save as many souls as we can

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        • Hi Brighton,

          Very well said. Thanks for your post. God bless.

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      • Brighton Piniforo says:

        Thank you B & E for this article.It is so helpful.Keep up this good work.God bless you.

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  5. Darryl B. Lawton says:

    I hate to be the one to tell you, but nowhere in scripture is water baptism recorded as being “an outward sign of an inward commitment.” You would actually have to rightly divide the word of truth to fully understand this, but I will simply say this: For JEWS, under the dispensation of the Law, and under the Gospel of the Kingdom, water baptism was very necessary for salvation. A quick look at Luke 7:30 “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” For this, they were condemned. Water baptism was absolutely necessary for salvation, because it was ‘for the remission of sins” that people were baptized.

    This changed. When did it change?

    First, allow me to show you that in the Gospel of the Grace of God, as opposed to the Gospel of the Kingdom, which teaches Judaism, that the apostle Paul shows us in Ephesians 4:5 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”. So, is this ONE BAPTISM a water baptism?
    No, it is not. Why not?
    Because things changed at the cross. It is now the preaching of the cross for the forgiveness of sins. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

    In fact, Paul teaches us that he was not sent to baptize. He was given the revelation of Jesus Christ, the revelation of the mystery, a new dispensation of grace for Gentiles, as well as Jews, and a new gospel.
    It was this gospel that he was sent to preach. 1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

    So, what baptism is Paul talking about? Look at 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” It is the moment, upon belief of Paul’s gospel (that Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and resurrected on the third day, according to the scriptures) that the holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ.

    Paul preachees a different gospel than Christ and the twelve preached, and for good reason. Paul preaches to the Body of Christ, made up of both Jews and Gentiles, whereas Christ and the twelve preached to JEWS.

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    • Hi Darryl,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. Respectfully, I strongly disagree with much of it and I would just like to share some insights as to why. Please understand that as brothers in the faith we can have a good theological discussion out of love. So let’s have iron sharpen iron.:

      – ” but nowhere in scripture is water baptism recorded as being “an outward sign of an inward commitment.””

      — How do you interpret these verses?

      Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:3-4

      Are literally dying when we get baptized?? Are we literally buried with Jesus at baptism? No. Thus the language is speaking of its symbolic value. A symbol is an outward sign. Hence my using the term. Clearly, the symbolic value of baptism is its identification with the death burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

      – A quick look at Luke 7:30 “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” For this, they were condemned. For this, they were condemned. Water baptism was absolutely necessary for salvation, because it was ‘for the remission of sins” that people were baptized.

      This context of this verse shows a completely different point than what you made:

      “And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. 26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” – Luke 7:24-30.

      The context of the passage was Jesus identifying John as a prophet, despite the fact that he was in jail at that moment. The Pharisees did not like John because he spoke of Jesus. And by verse 30, the Pharisees are merely judged as rejecting God’s counsel because they rejected God’s prophet. Nowhere in this passage does it say baptism was absolutely necessary or that baptism provides “remission of sins.” Who in the Old Testament was baptized? Was David? Abraham? Moses? Yet they are all in Heaven. What the Bible does say is:

      Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

      It is shed blood that provides remission of sins. Not water baptism. The Bible is clear here.

      “23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” –Hebrews 9.

      It was the shed blood of the Messiah that provides forgiveness of sins and nothing else. Nowhere in Scripture are we given any other way by which a person can be saved and there is no verse that ever says “water baptism is absolutely necessary for the ‘remission of sins.'”

      The Law vs Grace: This once again is an extremely important point and if you notice this is the second time it has come up in the comment thread. In the entire Bible, there is only one means of salvation: JESUS CHRIST. The law is not a way to Heaven. That was never the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law is to convict you of sin. You claim that the Old Testament saints were “under the dispensation of the law.” Being “under the law” in the Bible means that you are a sinner. That’s it. The law is there to inform us that we are guilty before God, headed for hell and thus need a savior.

      Here is Paul writing to the Jews on this exact point:

      Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. – Romans 2

      This is a very critical passage for the Jewish people. Paul is explaining that if you are “resting” in the law for salvation, you cannot break one rule ever in your life. This is the standard God set:


      Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. – Deuteronomy 27:26.

      If you break the law once, you are cursed. Period. Thus, no one was ever able to keep the law. Everyone needs a Savior. And there is only one Savior. Jesus Christ. The Old Testament saints were saved by faith in Him. Not by works. Here is Paul writing to the Jews on this once again:

      4 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. — Romans 5

      If Abraham was saved by keeping the law he would be glorying before God saying “I got myself here!!” This is of course not the case. Abraham’s faith saved him. He was saved by faith in Christ. All the patriarchs knew of the coming Messiah. Adam and Eve knew. Israel knew. This is why having a baby is such a big, big, big deal in the Old Testament. Because women knew they had a chance to give birth to the savior who redeems the nation.

      This is why Jesus Our Lord said: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. – John 8:56. Abraham knew Christ would come one day and rejoiced over that. It’s always about Jesus. There is no other way to Heaven.

      I know I wrote a very long response, but this is so important to understand. There is only one Gospel. There always has been and always will be. And it is first preached in Genesis 3:15. I welcome your thoughts and response. God bless.

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      • Mathews says:

        B&E, you see this is your personal understanding, and just like John Calvin, you will also get many followers to buy this answer. But at certain times, you ask for “Specific” References and at other times you use your common sense/ assumptions. So basically, you are just modifying the words and references to suite your purpose. But since you keep asking me for specific references and not my understanding I too have to ask you to show specific references to ” water baptism recorded as being “an outward sign of an inward commitment.”

          (Quote)

        • Hi Matthews,

          Thanks for your comments. However, I strongly disagree with your approach. You are not making substantive, Biblical arguments. Attacking how I write, as opposed to critiquing what I am writing, is just not fruitful for discussion. If you would like to take a passage of Scripture on this issue, rightly divide and show where my interpretation was wrong, please do. But making statements such as these are not productive.

          Regarding baptism’s SYMBOLIC value, I already cited the exact passage I base this belief on. If you have a different reading of the text, please cite the text and explain for all of us to learn. I am very and open to Biblical correction. God bless. -B&E

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  6. Water baptism is the next step of faith for every born again Christian, as it is a command of God, to do so to receive the ‘Gift of the Holy Spirit’ to lead us into ALL TRUTH of God,s word in our lives.As Jesus Himself was baptised by John, it follows that as His followers, we should also be likewise baptised to
    fulfill scripture in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ

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    • Greetings Frank. Great to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Cornelius, who was a believer, received the Holy Spirit, as well as his family, and then was later baptized?

        (Quote)

      • The Roman centurion Cornelius, was one of the first gentile converts to be baptised by Peter after he(Peter) was told by the Lord in a vision that there is no man common or unclean, neither jew or gentile and all that wish to follow the Lord may repent, and be baptised in the name of the Lord
        Jesus Christ.

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        • Hi Frank,

          Right. But what I meant was that in that particular chapter we see exactly when Cornelius receives the Holy Ghost:

          ” While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” – Acts 10.

          So we know for a fact, that Cornelius believed in Christ and received the Holy Spirit before he was baptized. So doesn’t this clearly show that baptism is not necessary to receive the Holy Ghost?

            (Quote)

          • On repenting of your sins,and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life, you receive a measure of the Holy Ghost by faith, looking forward to the fullness of this new life in Christ by being baptised to prove an outward sign of an inward act of faith as a new Christian to lead you into believing ALL GOD’S WORD FROM THIS DAY FORTH!

            If it was necessary for Peter to immediately baptise new believers, why should anyone ignore this important act of faith today? Have you?

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      • Mathews says:

        And you assume that Cornelius had only adult children in this family.

          (Quote)

        • Hi Matthews,

          Once again, you are arguing via straw man. First you mention John Calvin, who I never reference, and now you are bringing up the age of Cornelius’ family members. These are points I never make or reference, yet it is the basis of your disagreement with me. These are fallacious, straw man arguments. Acts 10:44 clearly establishes that Cornelous was saved and received the Holy Spirit before being baptized. Do you disagree with this?

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  7. Hi there folks ,I agree 1000% with Daryl Lawton ,Pauls gospel is different from the 12.The 12 were chosen by Christ on Earth ,the Gospel was for Israel ,they were chosen from the ” beginning of the world” Daniel says Israel will ” stand up “.in the last day.Josephs bones were brought back to Israel so that in the ressurrection he would be standing in his own turf,miacles and signs were common ,sickness healed,Apostles could heal at the drop of a hat .Sabbath day honoured Math 24{last days of Israel }They were told not to worry about money or clothing etc .Paul was chosen by Christ “from Heaven” ,his Gospel was to the “World” The gospel of Grace ,I will send you “far hence to the Gentiles and suffer much “God gave Paul a Doctor compannion Luke to bind up his frequent wounds.Unheard of in the age of Israel !!!!We were chosen “Before” the world began .We are already “seated with Christ in the heavenlies,{now}Eph .We are “caught up”,Thess ,our citizenship is in heaven .Paul repeadly says “My Gospel”,Paul says he would rather be sick ,”I will glory in my imfirmities {sicknesses}that the power of Christ may rest upon me”2Cor our Gospel is of Calvary,death burrial and ressurrection .Paul disclosed the” Mysterys “,keep secret from the beginning of the world .Only in this dispensation “Christ in Us”.Gen 1 says “In the beginning “God created the heavens and Earth “.2 fold purpose of God revealed,the church and Israel,two seperate purposes .James says in Acts 15 “Simeon hath declared how God did at First visit the Gentiles,”after this I will return and build the Tabbernacle of David .After the Rapture God will work again with Israel Zech 12-14,rise of the Anti-Christ etc,rebuilding of Millenial Temple Ez 40-48.”if the fall of Israel has brought Glory to the Gentiles,how much more Glory that we we see in their reurn to God “.God commendeth his love toward us that while we were sinners Christ died for us ” Eric &Dr Janna Jones

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  8. David Monahan says:

    Thank you Beginning and End for airing this issue and building this thread. Thank you also for clarifying that the Old Testament Saints acquired salvation through the same route – THE LORD JESUS CHRIST long before the new Covenant was established on the Cross at Calvary. Their (the Old Testament Saints) faith must have been amazing considering that the Son of God had yet been born and in the absence of any New Testament scripture, or any established Christian Church and no internet or blogs to help them orientate their minds to the Saviour. Beginning and End is not advocating that it is good practice to forego baptism but is focusing light on the bigger picture. What I say next might sound controversial to some. If it is felt necessary to experience baptism by water to secure extra insurance in order to be saved, then the measure of strength of faith must be compromised and weakened.
    “Jesus said to the (very sinful) woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ” (Luke 8: 50) In verse 48, Jesus said: “Your sins are forgiven.”
    Blessings to all.

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  9. Thank you B & E for the informative, bible based explanation of what is required for salvation. I’m in agreement that there really should not be this much confusion in the Christian world but it is. I understand that since Jesus was baptized, it’s a good practice for us to follow. But sad to say there are many churches that teach that if you are not baptized you are going to hell. I recently left a church that espouses that doctrine. I have been saved for 30+ years and I have been baptized. However, I was advised that it is necessary for me to actually teach that you must be baptized and speak in tongues in order to be saved. In good conscious, I could not do so. I recognize the value but refuse to go so far as to actually teach that they’re necessary components for salvation.

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    • eric jones says:

      “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” nothing more,nothing less,nothing else.the gift of Tongues was terminated with the completion of the canon of scripture,!Cor 12&13..Eric

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  10. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus did say that you must be born again to enter into Heaven.

    You must be a Baptist going by your logic.

    the thief who was saved – common sense – he is nailed to the cross, how or who can baptize him now? in THIS situation this is an exception.

    Are you suggesting that when Cornelius and his family and many other families were baptized after they believed, only the adults were baptized?

    ” Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” – you missed a point here – Jesus does say here a second time that one must be baptized.

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    • Hi Mathew,

      My point about Cornelius is that he was a believer and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44) before he was baptized. Paul was a believer before he was baptized. The Ethiopian eunuch was a believer before he was baptized. The book of Acts shows in detail that baptism is not necessary for salvation. The doctrine you are promoting attempts to attach a supernatural power to baptism that is never supported in Scripture.

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      • Of course everyone has to be a believer BEFORE they are baptized. If they didnt believe, they would not agree to be baptized.

        You said “The book of Acts shows in detail that baptism is not necessary for salvation. ”

        But Jesus Himself says you have to be born again to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

        Which doctrine am i promoting? If one argues for you then I am following your doctrine. If I see something else in the Bible and argue against you – you brand me as promoting false doctrine.

        FYI – i have studied all the doctrines. Born Orthodox, went to Pentecostal , catholic, Syrian, Egyptian and Catholic churches, now attending Baptist Church. I have been every, seen everything, heard everything. To know the truth, one must understand all the doctrines, where they come from , their history and the one must compare them all with the source.

        If you are so Bible oriented, then you must be conducting your praise and worship to God the father, keep the sabbath and you must be worshiping on Saturday. Am I correct? You must also be referring to the Father as YHWH and not by any other name? If you are Baptist, why dont your women cover their heads in church? If you are so Bible oriented, why do you have such big homes, drive big cars? Why is it that you do not help the poor and needy and the sick and everyone else who needs help? Instead your first priority is spreading the Gospel. While Jesus said “He who lives by the sword, will die by the sword” and to “show the other cheek” instead baptists promote owning guns in the name of “self protection”. From my observation – all denominations of Christians have their own doctrines, promote what they believe in and pick and choose from the Bible what ever suits their purpose. In short, every doctrine that is being preached and taught, while it all began with a good intention, is not like a large organization that is now striving hard to make profit and sustain itself. The words of the Bible are now twisted to suite each doctrine and not the doctrine around the Bible.

        Tell me – We are warned of not falling prey to doctrines that will arise many years after the first Disciples have passed on. How many doctrines were started in the last 1000 years?

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      • Mathews says:

        So based on this – from what you say, until John Calvin found this error in the teachings till about 500 years ago, all Christians before him are not saved?

        And Jesus was wrong in saying ““Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” ??

        When you discuss the rules of engagement – stick to one – Purely scripture – or – Scripture and Common sense.

        You choose “Purely Scripture” but I see you swaying back and forth to suite your arguments.

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        • Matthews – I am trying my best to understand your perspective. Let’s assume I am completely wrong on the issue of baptism and you are right. What is the reason for your tone and accusatory manner? Why do we have to debate in this kind of framework? I LOVE to debate Scripture. I think it’s a good thing. But is should be done in a Christ-like manner.

          “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23.

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  11. Beginning and End: Well, this is why we will remain at a variance. I believe in the Scriptures as my final authority on doctrine. Anything outside of that is human-made doctrine. Not divinely inspired Word.

    All these questions are very clearly answered in Scripture. And to answer your question, my Sabbath is every single day of the week, I occasionally work on Saturdays and while I do not eat pork, I do not at all believe Christians are prohibited from eating it.

    If you are not going to go by the Bible to support your belief then we are not going to have a compelling discussion. So I will just respect your disagreement with the article.

    If you are going by the Bible – then God’s laws clearly ban eating pork and shell fish. God does not want us to defile our bodies. Its clearly mentioned in the Bible.

    You said its clearly answered in the Bible – can you show me where it says that every day is Sabbath? You see what i mean? You want every day to be sabbath. its your law. Not God’s law. God wants it to be on Saturday. Please show me a Bible reference to where it says you can choose your own day as the sabbath….

    which verse says all the laws give to God’s people are now nullified? – since you go by the Bible 100% – prove by showing the exact verses and NOT your understanding from a reference in the Bible.

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    • hoamatt20 says:

      Romans 6:14

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      • For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

        you are no longer under the curse my dear – thats what it means. Not that its a free world so go do what ever you want after you a baptized and you get a free pass to heaven. You still have to follow the commandments.

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        • hoamatt20 says:

          The law was given to Israel, and although we as Christians should follow it, they are not meant for us to follow to a tee. The law was a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, but we are no longer under the law.

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          • Beginning and End: Well, this is why we will remain at a variance. I believe in the Scriptures as my final authority on doctrine. Anything outside of that is human-made doctrine. Not divinely inspired Word.

            All these questions are very clearly answered in Scripture. And to answer your question, my Sabbath is every single day of the week, I occasionally work on Saturdays and while I do not eat pork, I do not at all believe Christians are prohibited from eating it.

            If you are not going to go by the Bible to support your belief then we are not going to have a compelling discussion. So I will just respect your disagreement with the article.

            1. Why didn’t Jesus baptize anyone?
            2. when entire families were being baptized, did the infants in their family get baptized?
            3. History shows the Disciples practiced liturgical worship of God. When do you have liturgy?

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          • Beginning and End: Well, this is why we will remain at a variance. I believe in the Scriptures as my final authority on doctrine. Anything outside of that is human-made doctrine. Not divinely inspired Word.

            All these questions are very clearly answered in Scripture. And to answer your question, my Sabbath is every single day of the week, I occasionally work on Saturdays and while I do not eat pork, I do not at all believe Christians are prohibited from eating it.

            If you are not going to go by the Bible to support your belief then we are not going to have a compelling discussion. So I will just respect your disagreement with the article.

            1. Why didn’t Jesus baptize anyone?
            2. when entire families were being baptized, did the infants in their family get baptized?
            3. History shows the Disciples practiced liturgical worship of God. Why do you not have liturgical worship?

              (Quote)

            • 1. Jesus baptizes all believers with the Holy Spirit:

              “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” – Matthew 3:11.

              2. Scripture does not provide any instances of infant baptism.

              3. What the disciples did or did not do in historical books is not relevant to Christianity. The Christian faith is based on the Bible, which is God-breathed. It is divinely-inspired. The Disciples were men and normal humans like anyone else. They could be in error. Which is why Bible believing Christians rely on only on the words of Scripture which were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

              Again, it just comes back to your source. My ONLY source is the Bible. You seem to be looking to numerous sources to form your doctrine. This is why we will not have a compelling discussion.

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              • Mathews says:

                “” What the disciples did or did not do in historical books is not relevant to Christianity. The Christian faith is based on the Bible, which is God-breathed. It is divinely-inspired.””

                WOAH !!! Major mistake here dude.

                The Scriptures were divinely inspired and compiled by the church of England.

                So according to you – Christ lived 2000 years ago, His disciples taught many things, wrote many things, which according to you could be false, and for 1500 years, they continued to be in error.

                Then one day – VIOLA !! – John Calving and the other reformers are divinely inspired to the real deal – more real that what the disciples taught . Oh ! Man ! you have it wrong.

                Once upon a time, there was a church in a remote village. They had a infestation of rats and the rats would crawl everywhere, including during the Sunday gathering.

                So the church committee decided to buy a cat. The cat kept the rats in check. But on Sundays it would still roam about and disturb the prayers and singing. Making young children giggle and run after it. So, the pastor decided to put a basket over the cat and keep it in a corner of the church till the Sunday service was over.

                Many years passed, the village became and town and then it became a city. The cat died, the old pastor passed away. Many years passed. They have no rats and no cats today. But they still religiously keep a basket in the corner every Sunday.

                You see – Your understanding of the scriptures, which was compiled only a few hundred years ago, is wrong. You do not understand the true nature of the origins and the teachings. You do not understand the real purpose – because your teachings do not have history.

                What the disciples did, what they taught, why they taught it , which church they started, why the created certain laws – is all important. But you are trying to be politically correct – and thats where you are wrong.

                Our nations have certain laws – And because we have history – we know and understand why those laws were made. We learn from history. Without a past , we have no present and absolutely no future.

                Yes, it does not serve your doctrine to look into the past.

                2000 years ago, we were warned about false doctrines that will arise. Perhaps , the warning was about you?

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          • Mathews says:

            Agreed. But if you did follow it as much as you could, would it please the Master more? than not having tried at all?

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  12. I am not against you – but if i see something wrong i will point it out.

    If i am wrong and you have showed the right path to me – then i stand corrected . But if you are wrong, do you have the courage to accept it and change?

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  13. Matthew, it is apparent that you haven’t searched the Bible for answers to your own question, otherwise you wouldn’t be assuming that B&E is making up their own doctrines which is certainly not what they are doing. Regarding food and the sabbath, read Romans 14, then read it three more times. Read what other born again believers have to say about it. Christ is FREEDOM. Do you perform sins offerings everyday? Do you follow the law perfectly? If you break the smallest law, you are guilty of breaking God’s law. Do you think that we are still under the law? The Bible could not be more clear on the fact that the old convenant, the old system is finished and replaced by the new convenant which is salvation through Christ’s blood and taking up our crosses daily for him. Obviously freedom doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we or our flesh wants and no true Christian will tell you that or live that way. We are called to “grow into Christ” meaning to change step by step throughout our lives with the sanctification and guidance or the Holy Spirit and ideally be as much like Jesus as possible. Please, please reconsider how much importance you are placing on specific laws and commandments in the Old Testament. Christ is our role model and things changed when he lived and died for us. We are called to live, breathe, and share the Gospel. The Bible is very clear on what is expected of us as members of the Body of Christ in terms of the law and I hope you will come to understand that as you continue to grow and study God’s holy word.

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    • Mathews says:

      “The Bible is very clear on what is expected of us as members of the Body of Christ in terms of the law ”

      Can you explain what is expected of us?

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  14. While I don’t know if water baptism is absolutely required to go to Heaven, I truly believes scripture teaches that water baptism is a part of salvation. Before I get into explaining why I believe this, so we’re on the same page, you should know that I have a rule of interpreting scriptural references about the various types of baptism mentioned in the Bible. My rule is that any reference where that the scriptural text doesn’t indicate the type of baptism I interpret it to be referring to water baptism because my understanding is that generally when baptism (baptizo in the Greek) was used in common speech it usually referred to immersion in a liquid.

    My main reason for believing baptism is a part of salvation is that Mark 16:16 says belief in Jesus and baptism saves, 1 Peter 3: 21 says baptism saves,and Acts 2: 38 says repentance and baptism provides remission of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit (more on that later). The Bible cannot contradict itself so somehow water baptism must be a part of salvation. At the same time, other New Testament verses say God’s love saves, God’s grace saves, grace through faith saves, Jesus’s shed blood saves or provides remission of sin, confession of God saves, et cetera. Therefore, all of these must save, not just faith completely alone.

    I would also point out Paul wasn’t saved on the Road to Damascus as is commonly believed. In Acts 22, Paul recounts in a speech his conversion and gives one extra tidbit that the account in Acts 9 didn’t. In verse 16, Paul recounts Ananias saying to him: “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Very simply, if Paul had been saved on the Road to Damascus, he would have no sins requiring washing away because they already would have been under the blood. Whether or not one accepts my interpretation that the calling on the name of the Lord is a reference to being baptized in Jesus’s name thusly showing baptism washes away sins as correct, the fact is this verse clearly shows Paul couldn’t have been saved on the road to Damascus. As Beginning and End pointed out, Paul truly believed Jesus was Lord on the road. So, I ask you all to ask yourselves and search the scriptures why Paul was still in his sins?

    Now to address the thief on the cross being saved, the answer is simply that he was still under the old covenant. The new covenant didn’t start at least until after Jesus died. These types of covenants required the blood of a sacrifice. While some may point out that Jesus died before the thief, He made the promise before His death and thus the thief was saved or at least had the promise of salvation while still under the old covenant.

    As to why Cornelius and his household received the Holy Spirit before being baptized in water, I can only conjecture based on scripture. Act 10: 44-48 recounts that the household received the Holy Spirit like those in the upper room on Pentecost, even speaking in tongues. Peter when he recounted these events to those in Jerusalem in Acts 11 says in verse 16 and 17: “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, ‘John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.’ Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us; who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” Peter in these verses identifies what happened both on Pentecost and to Cornelius’s household as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Based on these verses, I conjecture that because those in the upper room had not been water baptized in Jesus’ name or at least almost certainly not all of them when they were Holy Spirit baptized, following this model Cornelius’ household was likewise baptized in the Spirit first.

    Getting back to Acts 2: 38 and the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit, because of Peter’s identification of what happened on Pentecost and to Cornelius’ household as the baptism of the Holy Spirit and because there is no indication that anyone other than those in the upper room as receiving tongues or other gifts of the Spirit on Pentecost, it’s almost certain the gift spoken of in Acts 2: 38 isn’t the baptism of the Spirit and it would be redundant if the baptism spoken of in said verse were baptism of the Spirit. So what gift of the Holy Spirit is being spoken of? In Ephesians 1: 13, Paul writes that after one believes in Jesus, one is sealed by the Holy Spirit. However, verse 37 of chapter seems to indicate that those being spoken to already believed (otherwise they wouldn’t have asked “Men and Brethren, what shall we do?”) and thus were sealed with the Spirit already. The answer would seem to be by process of elimination that which 10 disciples received when Jesus breathed on them in John 20: 22: the indwelling of the Spirit.

    In response to a comment B and E made about water baptism only being symbolic, I would ask why can’t water baptism scripturally be both symbolic and spiritual? I have no problem believing that externally baptism is symbolic. However, spiritually while under the water, my understanding of Romans 6 and some verses in Colossians and Galatians is the old man of sin dies and coming out of the water the new man is born. This is not to say there’s anything special about the water. God is the one who regenerates the person baptized, not the water. The waters of baptism are merely where He chooses to do the regenerating, to be where one meets the shed blood of Christ. I view faith as the conception of the new man/born again man and baptism as the actual birth of the new/born again man. As far as if God requires someone on their deathbed who comes to faith to be baptized, I honestly don’t know because God equally would have the ability to give the person enough health to be baptized or to accept their faith, repentance, and confession of faith as enough.

    I ask you all to join me in my prayer that God bless, guide, direct, give us the humility we need and open all our eyes to see what His truth is and to correct us if our view is not His (I include myself in this because while I truly believe what I have written, I could be wrong.)

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    • Mathews says:

      ” I conjecture ”

      I understand from
      I assume

      One can only assume based on what is given to us.

      This is what I am trying to explain to B&E that not everything is in the Bible. It needs to be interpreted. An in this interpretation lies the biggest problem.

      A baptist will interpret the Bible based on how he was taught as a baptist. He will look for answers to suit his belief.

      An Orthodox will interpret the Bible on how he was educated on Christianity.

      Same goes for other denominations.

      The Bible does not list out : To go to Heaven, Do A + B + C and you will have the answer = S which is Salvation.

      If the Bible did list out

      1. Do A
      2. Do b
      3. Do C
      4. do not do D

      then, the Bible would be a one chapter book that we could all read and choose to either follow it or reject it. Instead it is a large book containing the wisdom and teachings of generations given to us by God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

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  15. Mathews says:

    Beginning and End: The Disciples were men and normal humans like anyone else. They could be in error.

    If you believe the Desciples were normal men and not acting with the Holy Spirit in them, then why do you reference them so much in your arguments?

    If what you say is true, then we only need the 4 Gospels and no other book of the Bible since all others were created by men.

    “The Disciples were men and normal humans like anyone else. They could be in error. Which is why Bible believing Christians rely on only on the words of Scripture which were inspired by the Holy Spirit. ”

    You are contradicting yourself here. in one place you say they could be in error and in another place you say it was all inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    which is which?

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    • There is no contradiction. When the Disciples wrote Scripture it was under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean they walked in sinless perfection from that day forward. They were supernaturally empowered to write the Scriptures but aside from that specific task they were still normal human beings and thus fallible. So we can ONLY rely on Scripture for our doctrine, not anecdotes about things they may or may not have done outside of Scripture.

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  16. Mathews says:

    “You seem to be looking to numerous sources to form your doctrine.”

    For now I am not following any doctrine nor trying to “form” one because from what I have understood, all doctrines are only half correct and serve the selfish purpose of their respective churches. Everyone points fingers at the other and says “you are wrong and I am right”.

    What you should be doing, is all Christians, put down your differences, and come together as ONE church.

    Secondly, as for born-again Christians like the Baptist and Pentecostals, these are doctrines are came up in the recent few centuries. The Bible warns us against new doctrines and not to follow them. Just like the LDS doctrine, the Baptist doctrine, and the Baptist church, was born somewhere around 1609 founded by a John Smyth. Though you follow the Bible, your doctrine is new. Just like the LDS churches. So are the pentecostal churches which came in the 1900s. As for doctrine, each Baptist church has its own doctrine. Some are more strict. Some are lenient.

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    • Hi Matthews,

      Thanks for your comments. First off, when it comes to religious matters, everyone has a doctrine, whether we want to call it one or not.

      As for whether the doctrine I believe was from a “recent few centuries” ago or not, I strongly disagree with you yet again. I am basing my doctrine on the Bible, not any recent source or person. It is strictly Biblical. It has nothing to do with any denomination or creed from a church. Scripture is clear that believers were saved and then baptized afterwards. So baptism contributes nothing to one’s salvation. It has no supernatural power. Saying otherwise is actually making a “new doctrine” because it is contradicting Scripture.

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  17. Mathews says:

    not my own:

    “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, “For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him” (2:39). We also read: “Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a
    connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: “Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

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    • Save for Acts 2:38, these verses are being used out of context.

      I do want to issue an apology though Matthews – as I have intended to update this article for some time but have not gotten around to it. Many people have asked for more details on the purpose of baptism and what is specifically doing. It is the entry sign into the New Covenant. Just as circumcision was the entry sign into the Old Covenant. When one became a believer, they were to be circumcised. Sons of the family of Israel were to be circumcised. But that did not save you. Circumcision had no salvation power. Romans 4 makes this clear:

      “Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” – Romans 4:9-13.

      Was circumcision required? Yes. Did it save? No. Because Abraham believed, was counted as righteous before God and received the Holy Spirit, before being circumcised. Remember, The Lord wanted to kill Moses for not circumcising his sons. This is how important it was because it was the symbolic signature to the covenant you have made with God. but it was not essential for salvation. Salvation has always been by faith alone.

      Paul then links circumcision, the signature of the Abrahamic covenant with baptism, the signature of the New Covenant:

      “10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” – Colossians 2:10-12.

      We are “complete” in Jesus Christ. We do not need circumcision of flesh, because we have the circumcision of Christ – which is of the heart. Paul then compares it with baptism – which is our entry into the New Covenant. It’s a signature just as Abraham was required to sign his covenant with circumcision. But we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and salvation at the moment we believe. This is why the thief on the cross can go to Heaven. This is why Abraham can go to Heaven, even though he was never water baptized. Signs and seals are two different things. The seal (the Holy Spirit) is required. The sign is not.

      “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

      Here Paul again explains that the it is the seal that is the mark of our salvation. And the seal is receiving the Holy Spirit in us. So we can KNOW that Cornelius was saved -without baptism. The Ethiopian eunuch was saved – without baptism. Baptism was just a symbol of their agreement to the new covenant. It’s an outward signature for the world. Salvation is formed in the heart.

      I hope this clarifies a little bit more. Again, my apologies for not providing this elaboration earlier. Lord willing, I will update this article this weekend.

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      • If baptism doesn’t save, then why does 1 Peter 3: 21 says it does and Mark 16: 16 says faith and baptism saves?

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        • Sorry to double post, but since I can’t edit my post, I’ll add this here: Since you don’t interpret Mark 16: 16 and 1 Peter 3: 21 to mean what they clearly say, what do you interpret them to mean, Beginning and End?

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          • Please ignore my two previous comments as I am revising them in this comment to say: If baptism doesn’t save, then why does 1 Peter 3: 21 say it does and Mark 16: 16 says faith and baptism saves? Also, Beginning and End, if you’re not interpreting the two verses to be mean what they say (as it seems likely to me you’re doing), what do you interpret them to mean?

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            • Hi Joseph,

              Thanks for your very good question. I notice that you are citing these verse as for what they “clearly say” but you have not provided an interpretation of what they mean in context. But I will try my best to provide my interpretation:

              Mark 16:16

              Let’s look at the verse in context:

              “14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” – Matthew 16:14-16

              I have bolded the operative portion of the passage. What is very clear is that was brings damnation is lack of belief, not lack of baptism. Jesus clarifies the first part of verse 16, with the second portion. To say, “if you do not get baptized, then you are damned” would be clearly adding to what our Lord said. We have to remember that this verse was uttered by God Himself, so we should take it for exactly what it says. Jesus is stressing baptism because it is an important part of a covenant. A contract should be signed and this is the most serious of business. but our eternal damnation does not hang on whether or not we are baptized. It rests on our belief in Jesus as the Son of God and propitiation for our sins.

              Furthermore, this intepretation allows us to harmonize with other verses where Jesus proclaims the Gospel:

              “16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18.

              No mention of baptism. Only belief.

              “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” – John 6:47.

              No mention of baptism. And notice it says “hath everlasting life.” Hath is present tense, meaning at the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, you are saved.

              “29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” – John 6:29.

              “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:40.

              Jesus repeatedly explains salvation with no mention of a baptism requirement. And thus the interpretation I have offered harmonizes with other Scriptures directly quoting Our Lord. Yours does not.

              2. 1 Peter 3:21

              “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 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: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” – 1 Peter 3:18-22.

              This passage is actually explaining the point I was trying to make to Matthews. Noah being inside the ark, was a picture of baptism, which itself is the antetype of Christ’s death burial and resurrection. In verses 18 and 19, Peter is describing the burial and resurrection and what happened to The Lord during His death. Verse 20 and 21 are Peter explaining that “those angels sinned and were punished during the days of Noah and the flood – the ark itself being a picture and foreshadow, even like baptism which is the symbol of salvation.” What came first, the ark or Noah’s faith? Noah’s faith. And the ark was the symbol of salvation because Noah was faithful and found grace with God before it was ever built. Similarly when a Christian is being baptised, which is a type of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, we know that person is saved in the same fashion we know everyone on the ark was saved. But that saving comes from the true baptism – which is from the Holy Ghost, not water. Again, it is the seal of the Holy Ghost that saves.

              This is why Peter compares it to circumcision (the entry sign of the old covenant) or water immersion (“NOT the putting away of the filth of flesh”). This is a very clear contrast he is making. And he’s saying it’s not about the outward ceremony, but about the inward regeneration of the person. The only way anyone can have a “good conscience” towards God is to be righteous before Him. And that only comes after salvation. This passage is not easy to understand at first glance. But Peter is affirming that inward baptism is what saves and not external baptism. Just as the waters did not save Noah, the ark did. And it was a foreshadow of passing from one world to a new one. Similarly, our ark, Jesus Christ, brings us from our old world to a new one of eternal life when we put our faith and trust in Him.

              I hope that makes sense. If you have another interpretation, please feel free to offer it.

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          • Hi Beginning and End,

            Thanks for answering my comment. I’m going to reply to your reply, God willing. I’m not sure when though because my wife’s sister is on her deathbed and we’re going to be travelling to see her and should she pass while we’re there we’re staying for the funeral. Hopefully, I will be able to reply sometime this week. Please keep her in your prayers and also keep the whole family in your prayers. In the meantime, I do have a large comment posted above from like June 6 that should explain my beliefs and interpretation somewhat and perhaps even act to reply to some of the points you just made. Thank you and God bless.

              (Quote)

          • Hi Beginning and End,

            Thanks for the prayers. Things are still touch and go right now with my sister-in-law so please continue with the prayers that God’s will be done whether it be to heal her or take her. I believe she is saved, but there are several issues, so I could be wrong.

            Now to reply to your post, as far as your comments on Mark 16: 16 go, the verse still connects baptism to salvation despite the points you made. I also would point out that baptism is just a meaningless dunk in a river or baptistery without faith, so I don’t see it as a big deal for the latter part of Mark 16: 16 to not mention baptism. I believe the two of us are in agreement as to the importance of faith and that we are saved by God’s love and grace, not the works of men. What we differ on is when regeneration happens and what degree of importance water baptism has. As I wrote in my large comment on June 6, I view faith as the conception of the new man/born-again man and baptism to be the actual birth of the new man/born-again man.

            As far as the several verses you quoted that only mention faith, I don’t dispute them. What I would point out is that, again as I pointed out in my June 6 post, throughout the entire New Testament you will find verses that say many different things save or provide remission of sins and because the Bible cannot contradict itself, we have to harmonize all these verses, not just the ones in the Gospels.

            Now to your comments on 1 Peter 3: 21, we’re in agreement that it is the “inner baptism” as you put it that saves. We, however, disagree when the “inner baptism” occurs. Based on said verse, Romans 6, and other verses, it makes more sense to me and harmonizes with all the verses on salvation and remission of sins that the “inner baptism” happens simultaneously with water baptism, not before as you seem to believe. I would also point out that the type of faith that saved Noah and still saves today is an active, transforming faith. Yes, Noah found grace in God’s eyes, but he still had to build the ark to be saved. ( It is true we don’t definitively know that God would have allowed him and his family to die for not obeying and building the ark, but we don’t know God would have still saved Noah either.)

            Thanks again and I look forward to your reply. Also, if you haven’t already checked out my June 6 post, please do. It will explain some of my reasoning better.

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          • Edit to my June 11 reply: For whatever reason, I mistakenly thought in B & E’s reply, he wrote inner baptism. Upon rereading, I see he wrote “inward baptism” so my quotation was wrong. I humbly apologize for my lack of attention to detail and for misquoting B & E.

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  18. Mathews says:

    Where does the Bible say that baptism is restricted to Adults only?

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  19. Mathews says:

    again, not my own –

    the people whose baptisms we read about in Scripture (and few are individually identified) are adults, because they were converted as adults. This makes sense, because Christianity was just beginning—there were no “cradle Christians,” people brought up from childhood in Christian homes.

    Even in the books of the New Testament that were written later in the first century, during the time when children were raised in the first Christian homes, we never—not even once—find an example of a child raised in a Christian home who is baptized only upon making a “decision for Christ.” Rather, it is always assumed that the children of Christian homes are already Christians, that they have already been “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3). If infant baptism were not the rule, then we should have references to the children of Christian parents joining the Church only after they had come to the age of reason, and there are no such records in the Bible.

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  20. Mathews says:

    some more – not my own

    But, one might ask, does the Bible ever say that infants or young children can be baptized? The indications are clear. In the New Testament we read that Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and that “She was baptized, with her household” (Acts 16:15). The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptized that night along with his household. We are told that “the same hour of the night . . . he was baptized, with all his family” (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, “I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor. 1:16).

    In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included. If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that “he and his wife were baptized,” but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptized as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture.

    Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms. More probably, there were both younger and older children. Certainly there were children younger than the age of reason in some of the households that were baptized, especially if one considers that society at this time had no reliable form of birth control. Furthermore, given the New Testament pattern of household baptism, if there were to be exceptions to this rule (such as infants), they would be explicit.

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    • These examples are engaging in wild speculation. There is no way we can know if the ages of the children of the Philipian jailer or Cornelius, if they had children. There is no reasonable way to assume the children were “both you and old.” This is not Biblical exegesis. This is eisegesis – just reading your own ideas into Scripture.

      A true Christian cannot formulate sound doctrine based on things NOT included in Scripture. Many heresies are established this way.

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  21. Mathews says:

    the Bible never says, “Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation except for infants”

    So i must ask this question to you since I have done so to myself:

    Are you using the Bible to support your ideas and doctrine about salvation? Or are you letting the Bible, the word of God, use you?

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  22. Mathews says:

    copied:

    ” In Matthew 28:19 He says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit . . ..” Before He ascended, the Lord of the Church commanded us to baptize “all nations,” a phrase the Church has always understood to mean “everyone.” Matthew 25:31-32 also uses the phrase “all nations” in this way. All nations are to be baptized, regardless of race, color, sex, age, class, or education. Jesus makes no exceptions. He doesn’t say, “Baptize all nations except . . ..” Everyone is to be baptized, including infants. If we say that babies are not to be included in Christ’s Great Commission, then where will it stop? What other people will we exclude?

    It is true that there is no example in Scripture of a baby being baptized. However, to conclude from this that babies are not to be baptized is absurd. Neither are there any specific examples of the elderly being baptized, or teenagers, or little children. Instead we read about men (Acts 2:41; 8:35) women (Acts 16:14-15), and entire households being baptized (Acts 10:24,47-48; 16:14-15; 16:30-33; 1 Co. 1:16). The authors of the New Testament documents didn’t feel compelled to give examples of every age group or category being baptized. Why should they have? Certainly they understood that “all nations” is all-inclusive.

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    • Coleman says:

      Hi Matthews,

      I think I’ve seen this argument that you quoted before; if I’m not mistaken (though I might be) it is used by the Lutheran church in defense of infant baptism. However, the argument that the term “all nations” includes babies who are not able to mentally and verbally accept Christ as their Saviour (Romans 10:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:12) seems somewhat dubious.

      The word ‘nations’ in Matthew 28:19 comes from the Greek ‘ethnos,’ from which we get the word ‘ethnic’. This word is also variously translated as ‘people’ (Romans 10:19), ‘Gentile’ (Matthew 10:5), and ‘heathen’ (Acts 4:25). It seems to be used to refer to ethnic or people groups, as in Mark 13:8, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”.

      Now, we know that there was a time when Jesus sent His disciples to minister exclusively to the Jews, rather than to other ethnic groups:

      “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.
      But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

      Matthew 10:5-6

      So, in light of these verses, Matthew 28:19 seems to have Jesus telling His disciples to teach and baptize “all nations,” not just the Jews only, but the Gentiles as well!

      However, if we take this verse to mean that we should baptize everyone PERIOD, we run into some problems. Let’s examine Acts 8:36-38 (verse 37 is so controversial that it is missing from the Alexandrian manuscripts and many popular Bibles):

      “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
      And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
      And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

      Acts 8:36-38

      When the eunuch asked Philip what would stop him from being baptized, Philip gave one prerequisite: believe with all thine heart. This is the same prerequisite that applies to all Christian baptisms. Belief must precede the immersion. It was only AFTER the eunuch confessed that he believed Jesus Christ is the Son of God that Philip baptized him. With babies, at least before they can talk, we have no idea what they think about Jesus, or whether or not they even understand who Jesus is. Parents may say that they will raise their babies as Christians, but baptizing a baby BEFORE he becomes a Christian seems a little like putting the cart before the horse.

      Mathews:
      copied:

      It is true that there is no example in Scripture of a baby being baptized. However, to conclude from this that babies are not to be baptized is absurd. Neither are there any specific examples of the elderly being baptized, or teenagers, or little children. Instead we read about men (Acts 2:41; 8:35) women (Acts 16:14-15), and entire households being baptized (Acts 10:24,47-48; 16:14-15; 16:30-33; 1 Co. 1:16). The authors of the New Testament documents didn’t feel compelled to give examples of every age group or category being baptized. Why should they have? Certainly they understood that “all nations” is all-inclusive.

      There is a very good reason why the New Testament did not NEED to include examples of elderly, teenagers, and little children being baptized: all of these people were old enough to hear and comprehend the gospel, and (assuming they weren’t mute or deaf, Acts 5:12, 14-16) to make a confession similar to the one made by the Ethiopian eunuch: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!

      I fear that the practice of Protestants baptizing babies may be more of a result of sentiment and tradition rather than Biblical teaching and example. Having read your other posts, I see that you have been studying many other doctrines and systems of thought. I pray that God would give you wisdom to understand the Scriptures, that you would draw all of your doctrines from the Scriptures, but most of all, that you would know and believe the doctrine of salvation from death and hell through faith in Christ alone (John 3:16-18, 11:25, 26, Revelation 20:15, 21:1-4, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 4:15, 16, 10:14, Acts 4:12, 16:31, 20:28)!!!

        (Quote)

  23. Mathews says:

    perhaps you are arguing this from a logical stand:

    Logic says, “I don’t understand how a baby can believe, therefore I reject infant baptism. It is logical to me to do it my way.” Will you obey Christ and baptize “all nations,” including infants, even though you don’t understand it? Or will you obey human logic and reason and reject infant baptism because you don’t understand how babies fully if the command included or excluded babies?

    “Go ye therefore and baptize all nations…..except babies and those without reason, like a child with autism or slow mental development.”

    You said you follow the Bible 100%. The Bible does not say not to baptize babies.

      (Quote)

    • Hi Matthews.,

      When Christ said to baptize all nations, it was in reference to people who were willing. There is no compulsion in Christianity. Jesus told the disciples that if people in a certain town reject their message, dust their shoes off and move on. He did not say “insist that they believe and be baptized.”

      So it is not “logical” to say “all nations should include babies” because you are leaving out the important condition – namely, that one willingly believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. This is something a baby cannot do. So your argument fails here.

        (Quote)

  24. Mathews:
    “You seem to be looking to numerous sources to form your doctrine.”

    For now I am not following any doctrine nor trying to “form” one because from what I have understood, all doctrines are only half correct and serve the selfish purpose of their respective churches. Everyone points fingers at the other and says “you are wrong and I am right”.

    What you should be doing, is all Christians, put down your differences, and come together as ONE church.

    Secondly, as for born-again Christians like the Baptist and Pentecostals, these are doctrines are came up in the recent few centuries. The Bible warns us against new doctrines and not to follow them. Just like the LDS doctrine, the Baptist doctrine, and the Baptist church, was born somewhere around 1609 founded by a John Smyth. Though you follow the Bible, your doctrine is new. Just like the LDS churches. So are the pentecostal churches which came in the 1900s. As for doctrine, each Baptist church has its own doctrine. Some are more strict. Some are lenient.

    You make some good points, but are you certain that at least some of these “new doctrines” aren’t merely rediscovered doctrines that have been long forgotten and merely put into more modern language?

      (Quote)

    • Mathews says:

      Looking into some of the Ancient churches – this is what I have learnt:

      They were once upon a time, the true and faithful church that Christ built and the disciples enforced.

      The burning of incense, the altar, the candles all were part of the Ancient churches.

      Over time, these churches start bringing in new ideas, new traditions, and new attractions to suit the modern generation. They think that by modernizing the church they can attract more youth. And in the process of modernizing, they have strayed away from the original church. Some have begun accepting Gays and performing Gay marriages (now this is a two sided topic) . Others have introduced their own cultures and traditions. These churches have strayed away from the theme of worshiping God the Father and have become more like a cultural and financial organization. And just like any large organization, their agenda has now become “Profit” at any cost.

      However, – I also see good in some things they do:

      – The ancient churches still have worship services to God the father. This is their first priority. All other things come later.

      compared to:

      – a Baptist church where after every sentence from the pastor the sleepy man in the back row exclaims “Amen”. Where mothers day is celebrated during worship service, fathers day, honoring the military, supporting evanglism….all these during they worship service. The focus is not on God.

      The Ancient churches too celebrate mothers day, fathers day and support our troops. They too help the poor. BUT – its all after the worship service. FIRST worship God the father. then the rest.

      i do not see this in the modern day churches such as yours.

        (Quote)

      • Hi Matthews,

        I respectfully would point out that even the “ancient churches” doctrines differ from some of those in the New Testament. Hierarchical positions such as Patriarch, Cardinal, Archbishop, Pope, Metropolitan, et cetera are all innovations not mentioned in the NT that came in the first few centuries of the church. Baptism by pouring and sprinkling are also early non-biblical innovations. The word used in the NT for baptism is baptizo which means to immerse, dip, or whelm. You can check that out in a Strong’s Concordance, if you wanna see for yourself. There’s one at biblestudytools.com along with other tools for Bible study.

          (Quote)

  25. Beginning and End:
    There is no contradiction. When the Disciples wrote Scripture it was under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean they walked in sinless perfection from that day forward. They were supernaturally empowered to write the Scriptures but aside from that specific task they were still normal human beings and thus fallible. So we can ONLY rely on Scripture for our doctrine, not anecdotes about things they may or may not have done outside of Scripture.

    I am confused with what you say:

    First you say “wrote scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy spirit”

    then you say “we cannot everything they did because they were still normal human beings and thus fallible ”

    Which part in the Bible is written with inspiration and which part is written as a normal human being? Which part must we obey and which part we must/cannot obey?

      (Quote)

    • Hi Matthews,

      I will try to be clearer. The Holy Spirit were under direct inspiration and control of the Holy Spirit when they wrote the Scriptures. They were merely vessels for the writing of God’s Word. So ALL of the Bible is directly of God. But the writing of the New testament books was the extent of that direct control over the Apostles. This does not mean they lived the rest of their lives as perfect human beings. God can give Holy Spirit power to whom He chooses for specific acts. That does not make that person perfect in every thing they do.

        (Quote)

  26. Beginning and End:
    These examples are engaging in wild speculation. There is no way we can know if the ages of the children of the Philipian jailer or Cornelius, if they had children. There is no reasonable way to assume the children were “both you and old.” This is not Biblical exegesis. This is eisegesis – just reading your own ideas into Scripture.

    A true Christian cannot formulate sound doctrine based on things NOT included in Scripture. Many heresies are established this way.

    Good point. “How do we know they had children”

      (Quote)

  27. What does the Bible say about the need for the children of Christians to be baptized ? Do they have to? Or they are already Christians since their families accepted and followed Christ?

      (Quote)

    • Mathews:
      “What does the Bible say about the need for the children of Christians to be baptized ? Do they have to? Or they are already Christians since their families accepted and followed Christ?”

      No one is saved as a result of what one’s family believes. A relationship with Christ is personal, and salvation is not conferred by one’s parents or absorbed by living in a Christian home. Therefore, children born to Christian parents could only be saved the same way as everyone else: by making the decision for themselves to believe in Christ (John 3:16, Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9-14).

      May God bless you and guide you into all truth!

        (Quote)

  28. Mathews says:

    Mathews: There is no reasonable way to assume the children were “both you and old.

    neither is there a reasonable way to assume infant baptism is banned

    ” just reading your own ideas into Scripture. ” – an so are you my friend :)

      (Quote)

  29. The “how” of salvation is, and always has been, the power of the Word of God/God’s declaration of righteousness, received through faith.

    That is how people were saved in the Old Covenant and now in the New. No one has ever been saved by HIS own efforts. Circumcision saved no one. Good works have saved no one. The ACT of Baptism has saved no one. And YOUR “decision” did not save YOU. Actions/works of man do not save. God does all the saving, and he does so through the power of his Word: “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.

    When does the Bible say that God saves? In numerous passages in the NT we see one “when” of salvation: Men and women hear the Good News of the Gospel, believe, repent and are saved! God did 100% of the saving! There is no where in Scripture that states that sinners have the capability to make a “decision” for God, to make a “decision” to believe. The second chapters of both Ephesians and Colossians and the third chapter of Romans all state that sinners are spiritually dead. Dead men do not make decisions!

    You are saved by the power of God’s Word which “quickens” your spiritually dead soul, makes you alive, gives you faith, and you believe. Sinners do not “decide” to be saved. God decides to save THEM!

    And there are multiple passages of Scripture that state that another possible “when” of salvation and the forgiveness of sins is at the time of Baptism. It isn’t the act of Baptism or the decision to be baptized that saves. It is the power of God’s Words spoken at Baptism which miraculously and supernaturally “quickens” dead souls, gives them faith, and they believe.

    Salvation is not dependent on you at all. You bring NOTHING to the “table”. God does it all. He doesn’t even allow you to bring your mature intelligence and decision-making capabilities to your salvation. God decides to save YOU. He decides to save you for reasons we do not know. But he saved you irrespective of merit on your part. Making the right “decision”, “accepting Christ”, makes you better than the person who doesn’t make the right decision.

    If God saves you based on YOUR “good” decision, that is merit, which is a good deed, which is a work, which is unacceptable to God. YOU did not decide to be saved! God decided to save YOU!

    For more information on the TRUE plan of salvation, go to the official website of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, an orthodox Christian Church that follows the doctrines and practices of the Early Christian Church. http://www.lcms.org

      (Quote)

    • Mathews says:

      If one has to wait for God to decide who to save a not save, and give the gift of Faith, the why go out a preach the Gospel? God will gift it to them. Like – he will press a button or wave His hand and they will instantly have faith and no free-will involved and without any effort in their part. There is no wisdom in what you say. If you say something truthful I will accept it – but I will challenge you if your point does not hold water.

        (Quote)

  30. B&E, you do an amazing job here of teaching the Word. Your interaction and thoughtful responses are what separate this site from any other like it. You are clearly gifted and are using your gift for the glory of God. Thank you for this service and God bless!

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  31. Friend in god says:

    Thank you b&e

    My mom is in hospital now and as I pray for her daily I was wondering about her salvation. She is a wonderful women with a heart of gold. I remember her being baptized but she does not remember. So does the act mean anything probably not. Does her kindness love acceptance of The Lord mean she will be saved I thinking yes.i was water baptized two years ago was I saved because of this act, maybe. Will I be saved because I beleive in Jesus and live every day for him. I think so. Does god want me to repent of my sins beleive in him and be a good person, again I think so. Jesus was love. Will my mom not reach heaven because she may or may not have been baptized. As I said god is love and to think my mom will not reach heaven because of a ritual is wrong. I know of a person who was baptized but his day to day life does not reflect jesus. Will he reach heaven but not my mom because of a baptism. I put my faith in The Lord that as previously mentioned god saves. He knows our heart and if being baptized helps us to be a better person then great, if going to church helps us to do gods work then go. Whatever u need to do to make The Lord the center of your life then do it. Once again thank you for your word and god bless. Please pray for my mom,pray the surgeons can help ,pray that myself and my family will continue to trust in gods plan.

      (Quote)

    • Dear friend,

      The Bible says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

      If your mother believes in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior she IS saved.
      If YOU believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you ARE saved.

      Baptism is one of two possible “when”s of salvation, it is not the “how” of salvation. The how of salvation was, is, and always will be the power of God’s Word/God’s declaration of righteousness. IF you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, no matter how weak your faith may be, that is evidence that God has “gifted” you faith, saved your soul, and declared you righteous in his eyes.

      Lutherans do believe that God saves in Baptism, but it is not the water of Baptism that saves, it is not your decision to be baptized that saves, it is God’s declaration of righteousness in his Word that saves. God can and does save without Baptism, by the preaching of his Word or the reading of his Word, using the Holy Spirit to convict a sinner’s heart and quickening his dead soul to believe.

      Sinners do not go to hell due to not being baptized. Sinners go to hell due to a lack of belief/faith, just as our Savior states in Mark 16:16.

      Ask your mother if she believes in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. If she says “yes, I do believe in Him as my Lord and Savior” then you have nothing to fear. She is saved. She is a child of God.

      If she has not been baptized I would urge you to encourage her to do so after she has recovered, but her lack of baptism does NOT preclude her from being saved, a child of God.

      I am praying for you.

      Gary

        (Quote)

  32. The below scripture should sum this all up. Christ is not building his church on works but on the belief That he is the son of the living God. Baptism is a Christian desire to experience the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We should all want to do this. Verse 16 below is what Jesus is building his church on.

    Mathew 16
    13 When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

      (Quote)

    • I really like this verse because of the statement made by the Faithful followers and where it took place. Jesus was standing above the Gate of Hades (Pagan site) on the mount overlooking the Fallen Angels’ Mt.Hermon. I am second,in His service.

        (Quote)

  33. Hi,

    Regarding Baptism. There are 3 different kinds namely water, spirit and fire baptism. Therefore all scriptures that mention the word Baptism will probably be refering to one of the 3. I noticed that everyone in this discussion almost always assumes that the word baptism is usually WATER baptism. Why?

      (Quote)

  34. Mathews says:

    Why does the Baptists Church and other born again denominations teach so many things against the Catholic church?

    I am not a catholic but this is what I found from my research:

    Jesus said He would build His church on The Rock, Peter. Peter was the leader. Once they all went out, Mark started the Egyptian Church (Coptic), Thomas preached in India and started a church there and so on.

    These churches have a direct connection to Christ. These churches are 2000 years old.

    The protestant churchs only came in the last 500 years with new ideas and new understandings. These new teachings did not exist during that time. These old churchs, have 2000 years of traditions handed down generation after generation.

    I spoke to many catholics and, from what i understood from my Baptist friends , the catholics should not know the Bible well, have only a casual relationship with God, have not accepted Christ as their personal saviour. But after speaking to Catholics, this is false teachings by the Baptists.

    The catholics have all accepted Jesus as their personal saviour, know the Bible very well, are taught the Bible and Church history and traditions, Do a lot of charity. I see many catholics on the bus and train and they are often reading the Bible or praying.

    I know a priest from the Orthodx Church who does not own a car, house or anything – except for a pair of pants , a jacket , shoes and two cossacks. I see Baptist and born again church pastors living in luxury, driving big cars and owning luxury homes.I see Baptists will only help their church members, but the catholics help everyone. They truly “Feed the sheep”. They visit the sick and poor, help them, take care of them, wash their sores and wounds. Their Nuns live in total isolation, just to serve the poor and to praise God.

    Yes, without understanding their traditions, it all seems strange to another person. And its natural to get scared and point fingers.

    I know a few Catholics who go to Non denominal chiurches and to Baptist churches. They tell me they dont go to Catholic churches because they are very strict. They have to learn the Bible everyday, pray, do charity and many other strict lifestyle.I also know 85% baptist teens grow up and leave the Christian faith alltogether. This is from a verified source, a Baptist professor in PA.

    No after all that, perhaps you will say – “But they practice infant baptism” – you are wrong here too.
    1. Its not really baptism but centuries olf tradition of dedicating a child , from a Christian family to God.
    2. The Baptists say , Baptism is not needed to go to Heaven – so then where is the problem? Case closed right?

    Last point – the Bible was compiled by the Church of England, and Christianity survived for 1500 years before the born-again churches were formed. So all those people since the time of the desciples, till the formation of the protestant churches and the discovery of adult baptism, will not go to heaven? So if the Catholic and other ancient churchs are fake, how come the Holy Spirit worked in them to survive 1500 years and compile the Bible?

      (Quote)

    • Hi Matthews,

      I wanted to respond to something you said regarding Scripture:

      “Jesus said He would build His church on The Rock, Peter. Peter was the leader.”

      Here is what The Lord said, but I am going to include some of the Greek:

      “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Πέτρος Petros], and upon this rock [πέτρα petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

      As you can see, The Lord used two DIFFERENT words in the verse. Peter’s name means “rock”, as I’m sure you know. The word is petros in Greek. But when Jesus said “upon this rock” he used petra, the FEMININE noun for rock. Thus by any basic grammatically correct reading, the rock that Jesus was building His Church upon was NOT PETER. It was something else that Jesus was referring to. What was that? It was Peter’s confession that Jesus is The Christ, The Son of God. That is what the Church was built upon, not Peter.

        (Quote)

  35. Mathews says:

    Edison:
    Hi,

    Regarding Baptism. There are 3 different kinds namely water, spirit and fire baptism. Therefore all scriptures that mention the word Baptism will probably be refering to one of the 3. I noticed that everyone in this discussion almost always assumes that the word baptism is usually WATER baptism. Why?

    because the translation of the original word means “By immersion” in water.

      (Quote)

  36. Mathews says:

    Coleman:

    but you see – my point is – this teaching is only 500 years old and propagated by the new found protestant church. Are you saying that after Christ’s ascension, no one figured this out for 1500 years untill someone like Calvin came along?

      (Quote)

  37. Mathews says:

    You also teach that the Lords supper is just “In memory of”

    This is there in Luke.

    But the book of Mathew states “For the remission of sins”

    Why do you only quote Luke and Ignore Mathew ?

    This is why I say, you are creating your own doctrine and picking and choosing.

      (Quote)

    • Hi Matthews,

      Okay, so now we are quoting Scripture. This is great. Let’s look at Matthew:

      “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
      28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:27-29.

      Please explain the proper doctrinal understanding of the passage.

        (Quote)

  38. Mathews says:

    Collin:
    Hi Mathews,

    You said,
    Jesus also declared this by saying its not what you put in your mouth but what comes out that makes a person unclean (Matthew 15:11)
    Collin – this is refering to something else. Read the whole chapter to understand its context.

    Actually, Jesus clarifies this again to his disciples with more detail in Mark 7:17-20, let’s read!

    And when he came into an house, away from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.And he said unto them, What? are ye without understanding also? Do ye not know that whatsoever thing from without entereth into a man, cannot defile him,Because it entered not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught which is the purging of all meats?Then he said, That which cometh out of man, that defileth man.

    So clearly, Jesus says, what you put in your mouth, goes to the belly, exits the body and does not defile man. Always use scripture to interpret scripture.

    Everything that moveth and liveth, shall be meat for you: as the green herb, have I given you all things.
    Genesis 9:3 1599 Geneva Bible

    Tell me : Does God, go back on His word ?

    Jesus always spoke in Parables. He meant its not what a man eats that makes his heart unclean.
    Does this mean that we can eat unclean food ?

    God only says one thing , and only once. He never changes His stand like we humans do.

    Yes , after the flood He said we can eat anything that moves – BUT – do not eat certain creatures. God is the creator and He knew the purpose these creatures served on earth. Thats why He said not to eat them.

      (Quote)

  39. Mathews says:

    History , for anything, is needed to know why certain things happened, how it happened, and why certain things we do today are important. Because of history we know that dictatorship is bad. Because of history we know why we have safety codes in society. Because of history, we know we must do everything possible to prevent a 3rd world war. The same way, we need history to know and understand the origins of our faith. Without history, we would know have the faith we have today.

    Christian history states that the Christian church survived the Roman persecution. There was only one faith, one baptism, same teachings and same worship rituals for about 3 to 5 centuries. Where ever a disciple started a church, the Church was named after that place. This naming was not to separate the Church into denominations, but to know and identify where each of them were.

    In 451 AD, the Council of Chalcedon took place. The church leaders from all the places across the world met and argued about weather Christ was God and Man or just Man and various other theological arguments. They could not come to any conclusion and so a split occurred. A few of the church leaders decided to continue following the teachings of the disciples and decided not to inject new thinking into what was taught by the disciples. These church decided to remain orthodox in their ways – these are called the Oriental Orthodox Churches and they continue even today to follow the same teachings, prayers and rituals practiced by the disciples and Christ. These are the Coptic Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Indian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Church.

    The other Churches decided to separate themselves because they had different ideas. These churches later split and formed the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The split occurred due to differences in ideas about the Holy Spirit. The RC church also began selling the idea that the Pope had supreme authority over all the churches. Some theological scholars say this was because the Roman empire which was waging wars and crumbling, discovered that it was easier to control people in the name of religion than to use force. It was also easy to collect tax in the name of tithing. The RC church saw political gain in the name of religion. The RC church started demanding authority over kings and rulers all over Europe and demanded everyone pay the 10% tax to the RC church. The RC church grew and expanded and just and in any growing organization, corruption and malpractice crept in. The RC church was rich and everyone wanted a part of it. Corrupt priests and new teachings crept in. Anything or anyone that went against the RC church were considered heretics. They were burned at stakes or tortured or killed. One such person was William Tyndale, who was strangled and burned in 1536 because he translated the New Testament into English. Before this, the scriptures were in a different language and not everyone could read it – so the RC church could twist the words around to fool the common man. But once it was translated, and everyone had access to the scriptures, it was seen as a threat to the RC church. Educated people at that time around 1540 AD, started reading the scriptures and comparing what the RC church was teaching them. These people started seeing large differences in what the RC church taught and what was actually in the scriptures. These educated, and newly enlightened people started leaving the RC church because of its corruption and false teachings.

    Martin Luther (1483-1546 AD) disputed the teachings of the RC church. His rebellion against the RC church spread throughout Europe, thereby starting the Protestant reformation.

    The RC church taught the fears of hell and purgatory. Remember, this was about 500 years ago and people were not as educated and now. The RC church also offered salvation in return for money (this is still seen today). The poor in those times could not afford to pay to have their sins cleaned and attain salvation. These poor were stuck in a church that demanded money as a passage to heaven rather that teaching the Salvation through Christ. The rich too were not happy to pay up to go to heaven. Christ’s sacrifice and the salvation He offered were forgotten. NOTE: There were good men and Clergy in the RC church at that time, but there was large scale corruption in the higher levels.

    The people were tired of the “Dictatorship rule” of the RC church. They were done and wanted out. John Calvin ( 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) too was from this period. The people and the reformation movement wanted to separate themselves from the RC church as far as possible. They wanted to deny everything the RC church taught. The reformation movement also refused priesthood because of the corruption among the RC priests. The Protestant reformation also denied ad refused to follow anything that only an RC priest had authority to do like the sacraments. They also separated themselves from RC teachings like Intercessory prayers, many rituals, and other parts of the tradition that were delivered from Christ and His apostles, not because of biblical, traditional, or historical reasons, but rather because of inner- psychological, historical, and social reasons. Then, later on they tried to rationalize them by finding biblical verses that supported their beliefs. In a severe reaction to the forgotten grace of God in the Roman Catholic Church teachings and its full concentration on human work, the Protestants based all their teachings on salvation, grace, and complete refusal of human work.

    While these corruptions and conflicts happened in Europe, the Christian Oriental Churches in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East continued to preserve the original teachings and spirituality of the early church. They had no relationship with what happened to the Catholic Church during this period. Moreover, they condemned the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church and its deviations from the original teachings of the early church.

    These Oriental Orthodox church , still continue to follow the original teachings, methods of worship and the salvation offered by Christ.

    Now, you see, why History is important? Now, we also see, why some do not want to look into History because it exposes the true facts. Having said the above, I must also say that these modern day protestant church are often in the new for embezzling money in millions in the name of tithe.

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    • Hi Matthews,

      With all due respect, a Christian doesn’t need to know any of things you wrote to have a Godly knowledge. None of this history really matters as long as we study the Bible and proper doctrine. And you have truly overestimated history and human nature if you think history has prevented bad things from occurring. 6,000 years of recorded human history and we still have dictatorships today. We still have genocide. We still have slavery, sex trafficking and every abominable behavior imaginable, today. So history has not prevented much of anything at all.

      And there will indeed be another World War. How do I know this? The Bible says so: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle…” (Zechariah 14:1-2).

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  40. My brothers, once again I ask, why do we argue? There is no need for a long winded discussion about this topic.

    I will settle the argument with a question: The man on the cross next to Jesus who was promised paradise- Was he baptized in water, or did Jesus promise him eternal life because of his faith?

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    • Mathews says:

      Joe,

      Let me ask you a question: Did Jesus have the common sense to know all three of them were hanging on a cross and therefore cannot expect the man to come down and get baptized?

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      • Mathews,I think you misunderstand or maybe I did not articulate my point well enough. Your reply is exactly what I mean- The man on the cross was saved without baptism by water.

        Faith in Jesus is all it takes for salvation. Baptism in water is an earthly proclamation of this inner salvation.

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      • PS- You have the right attitude Mathews. Though there are many Christian teachers out there who are useful, I have leaned on Jesus to find a deeper truth and faith, one which I have not found in any man.

        Trust in Him and he won’t let you down. If something doesn’t sound right then don’t take it as truth. Pray to the Lord and he will lead you into all truth, even if it takes years! (Like in my case, being a stubborn fool) :)

        Keep the faith and never stop drawing nearer to Him!!

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  41. Mathews says:

    B&E, Not having an argument with you – I am searching, learning. I an not stuck to one doctrine. I am searching for the true and correct doctrine – and in this search I will point out anything that does not look correct.

    Just so you know – the catholic forums finally kicked me out for asking them one question “Why do Catholics charge money to forgive people’s sins or to pray for their sick. $5 for a small sin or prayer, $10 for a medium one, and the rate card goes on”

    Jesus gave freely and no one who has received from Jesus must charge to give it forward.(Tithing is different)

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