Baptism symbolized the cleansing from sin of a believer.
In the Old testament, water baptism was used by Gentiles who converted to Judaism.
Therefore, it was a ceremony that one used to become a child of God.
There are two types of baptism and both are for the cleansing from sin.
One is from Christ, the other is from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at His water baptism.
I baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.
And a voice came out of the heavens, "You are my beloved Son, in You I am well pleased".
(Mark 1: 8-11)
- Water Baptism (The Justification). This is a symbol of what has been done for us by Christ. He makes us dead to sin by dying for us and burying all our sins.
Buried with Him in baptism, in which also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in newness of life.
(Romans 6: 4)
According to Colossians 2: 12 and Romans 6: 4 this abandonment of sin is symbolized as:
- Death to sin
- Burial of the old person who loved to sin
- Resurrection to a new life
- Baptism Of The Holy Spirit (The Sanctification). This baptism gives us the power to be dead to sin.
The principal work of the Holy Spirit is to cleanse us by writing the law of God in our hearts.
When this is accomplished, we will be obedient to God and take pleasure in doing what is right.
» Washed In Blood. It is Jesus that made both of these baptisms possible through His stream of blood.
- Baptism By Fire (The Glorification). This is the moment of our perfection at the Second Coming.
Washing And Cleaning
There are various washings and cleansings and symbols associated with them.
- Blood. The death of Christ provided a legal way for God to continue cleansing us.
- Water. Water washes away external impurities. Like circumcision, it is probably our public sign that we have entered into a covenant with God.
- Spirit. The Spirit washes away internal impurities.
- Rain. The former and latter rain provide growth.
"And he said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be damned."
(Mark 16:15, 16)
How was a baptism done? Jesus said.
"Go, 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 that I have commanded you: and look, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
(Matthew 28: 19)
- After Repenting. "Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38.)
- After Teaching. Go, and teach all nations ... Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28: 19)
- In The Name Of The Trinity.
Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28: 19)
Acknowledging the Trinity in baptism is important because each brings His own set of gifts that cleanses us from sin.
The Father gives the Son. The Son gives the Spirit. The Spirit gives us powerful fruit and powerful gifts.
- By Immersion. The person being baptized went under the water to symbolize the death and burial.
As they rise up out of the water it symbolizes the resurrection.
In both cases they went where there was a lot of water.
"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. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing." (Acts 8:38, 39)
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
And immediately after coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:9 - 11.)
Current Practices In Baptism
|The Mikvah |
The Mikvah was a ritual bath used for cleansing and purification.
The water must be from a natural source of running water such as rain, snow, river, spring and well.
The entire body, from head to toe was immersed in water.
It was used by the Jews for all washing and cleansing and for the Gentile who was converting to Judaism.
All males washed before the Day of Atonement and the priests washed themselves before entering the sanctuary.
Women washed themselves after being separated for twelve days because of the menstrual cycle.
Today there are many methods of baptism.
- What. Baptism with water, oil, roses or wine.
- Method. Baptism by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.
- Who. Baptism of adults, infants and children.
- How. Some people go under the water three times, once for each member of the Trinity. Others go down only once.
- Name (Authority). Some baptize in the name of Jesus only, others in the name of the Trinity.
Conclusion: The Requirements Of Baptism
However, certain rituals were required.
- Adult. The person must be taught. Infant baptism is not valid because a child cannot learn or repent or make an informed choice.
- Trinity. Jesus commanded baptism in the name of the Trinity. (Matthew 28: 19)
- Immersion. Only water baptism by immersion represents the symbolism of cleansing, death, burial and resurrection.
- Water. Only water baptism was done. Baptism by total immersion in water is the method used in the Mikvah and by the disciples so sought a place with much water and Jesus who went below the water to come up out of it.
And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
(John 3: 23)
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
(Matthew 3: 16)
The bible supports the concept of rebaptism when information is missing.
Acts 19: 1-6 shows the case for baptizing again.
The people had only learned about water baptism, which is the baptism that demonstrates repentance. This baptism had always existed through the mikvah.
However, they had never heard about the baptism by the blood of Jesus and the baptism by the fire of the Holy Spirit.
They had not been baptized under the truth of the new covenant. This was a significant part of the Plan of Salvation. They had to signify that they would submit to Jesus and the Spirit by baptism.
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
(Acts 19: 2-5)
- Critical Truths. New information about the works of God is grounds for rebaptism.
- Requirements. Improper baptisms should be rebaptised by immersion with water after being taught.
Baptism Of The Spirit
Baptism cleanses from sin.
Therefore, the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit is to give us the fruit of the Spirit.
The gifts of the Spirit, like prophecy, healing, miracles and teaching do not cleanse us from sin.
But the fruit of the Spirit like love, joy and faith demonstrate that we have been cleansed from within.
Therefore, the baptism of the Spirit is the process by which the Spirit develops the permanent fruit in us.
He washes away the need to sin from our minds and hearts, at the very core of our being.
The gifts of the Spirit are temporary and different.
The do not demonstrate that we are saved. They are simply given to the saints to fight evil
and to gather more people to Christ because the wicked are attracted by outward signs.
The gifts will disappear when we get to heaven. The fruit will not.
Baptized By Living Waters
Jesus promised that the spiritual rivers of water will be the Holy Spirit.
And that these waters will start within us. Again, this image is the transformation of the mind and heart from within.
| Flood|| Exodus|
Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(John 7: 2,37-39)
In various places in the Bible you will see a reference to "John's baptism" or some other person's baptism.
What does this mean?
All these baptisms occurred after an exodus from slavery to sin, to meet God and establish a new covenant.
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. (1 Corinthians 10: 2)
The Hebrews were leaving a life of slavery to follow God.
The one who taught them and led them out of slavery was Moses.
They were baptized when they were surrounded on all sides with the sea and covered with the cloud.
Afterwards, they met God and established a covenant on Mount Sinai and began a new life.
He also made an exodus from sin and was baptized by the waters of the flood which came from above and below.
Afterwards, he left the ark to establish a covenant with God on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8: 20-22; 9: 9-17). Then they began their new life.
- John. John baptized to turn people away from sin. But He could not promise the Spirit who could keep them from sinning in the future.
As for me, I baptize with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I,
and I am not fit to remove His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3: 11)
And I remembered the word of the Lord, How He used to say,
"John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit".
Therefore, if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I that I could stand in God's way?
(Acts 11: 16-17)
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
(Acts 1: 5)
All the previous leaders baptized with water and made a covenant.
Jesus did the same, but His new covenant gave the Spirit which could give the power to be permanently free from sin. Only He could give the baptism of the Spirit.
I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water
said to me, "He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit."
(John 1: 33)
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (Romans 6: 3)
For all of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
» Washed In Blood.
Jesus is able to wash us with water because He gave His blood to give us life.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
(Revelation 1: 5)
How can washing in blood give life when the Old Testament laws say we will be cut off for eating blood (Leviticus 3: 17) or touching the dead makes us unclean (Numbers 19: 11)?
In Jesus we have a paradox.
Jesus Christ was resurrected and is now seen as the living Lamb who is continuously bleeding as He offers this blood as our substitute.
We are not dealing in the blood of the dead but in the blood of life and our God is not dead, He is alive forevermore!
New Covenant Baptism
John baptized with water only, but Jesus baptized with the Spirit also.
Under the new covenant we must be baptized with the water and the Spirit. Repentance and a new heart.
| Water|| Spirit|
|Acts 2: 38. Repent and be baptized and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. |
Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3: 5)
The water baptism comes after teaching. The Spirit baptism comes after believing. Both baptisms are needed.
This series of events is stated another way.
Now faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10: 17)
Faith or believing, causes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This faith comes only after we are taught the words of God and we believe.
Water baptism is the universal sign that we are leaving the life of sin and death behind, to follow Christ.
This repentance leads to justification.
Then God responds by giving the Spirit who brings sanctification.
Jesus said that if He did not leave, the Holy Spirit could not come.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away;
for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you;
but if I go I will send Him to you. (John 16: 7)
According to John 7: 39, Jesus must first be glorified before the Spirit could be given.
Since we know that the Holy Spirit has always been here,
this probably means that He could not formally come to be the constant companion under the new covenant.
Another baptism (or method of cleansing) arrived with this new covenant.
Before the death of Jesus, all baptisms could not have formally included this baptism of the Spirit under the new covenant.
The terms of the covenant could not be applied until the death of Christ.
However, those who had faith could take hold of this future reality.
What was different is that now the Spirit could be given by the Laying on of hands.
The power was being actively sent, not passively received through faith.
| Old Covenant|| New Covenant|
|| The Inauguration
|| Holy Spirit
|Dead to Sin
||Power over Death
||Power to Change (grow fruit)
||Power to be Useful
Many people define the former and latter rain as the baptism of the Spirit.
I think that this is too limited.
The purpose of the rain was to multiply the harvest.
Growth in numbers not cleansing. They had already been cleansed and were united.
Therefore, they were prepared to gather the harvest that the Spirit would bring.
In fact, Jesus breathed on His disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit on the night of His resurrection.
They received the Spirit before Pentecost.
So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God;
for He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain, the early rain and the latter rain as before.
(Joel 2: 23)
- Early Rain. This occurred during the spring to bring in the wheat harvest.
At its fulfillment, it occurred at Pentecost.
- Latter Rain. This occurred in the fall to bring in the fruit harvest.
Therefore, following the pattern of God, this "second Pentecost" as it is often called,
should actually occur during the feast of tabernacles.
The Washing Of The Holy Spirit
Although Baptism is a symbol and it cannot change us, yet it is still a requirement because it is still prophesying about things not complete.
In the same way that the prophets said that the blood of animals cannot remove sin 1000 years before Christ, but it was still sin if the people did not obey until after the crucifixion.
Baptisim prophesies about the sinless perfection and resurrection to eternal life.
The ones who fulfilled the symbol must be able to recognize it when they come.
There is either a generation or a people coming who must recognize through diligent study of the Bible what they must see.
It is our hope in symbols. If we change it the enemy has a way to deceive us.
The signs must be present. It will look like stupidity to the ones who must destroy it.
The Laver is a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit.
- Washing And Regeneration.
Jesus was washed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit at His resurrection. He was brought back to life again.
Holy Ghost Power.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
(Titus 3: 3-5)
God will save us Himself, through the works of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of eternal life.
- No Longer Slaves. Sin has no more power over us with the Holy Spirit.
We have been washed, freed, untangled.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
(Romans 7: 5-7)
It looks like we were freed from the moral law, but we were freed from the law of the curse to walk in the righteousness of the law.
We have already been purchased but we think that sin still has power over us. We are now a temple built by God.
A Temple For A New Mind.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
(1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)
Since you have been redeemed, do not return to slavery.
Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
(1 Corinthians 7: 23)
- Renewed (Mind Restored). Even before our bodies are changed, our minds can be renewed.
This is not a new age counterfeit.
We must reject the failing temptations of this world and cling to the Word of God.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Romans 12: 2)
Reject the corrupt state of this world and let the Holy Spirit renew your mind.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness
(Ephesians 4: 22-24)
- Resurrection (Mind And Body Restored). The regeneration is the resurrection and change into our glorious bodies.
Put On Holiness.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
(Matthew 19: 28)
To escape the shackles of slavery we must bury the slave mentality that keeps us trapped in sin.
Raised To Perfection.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
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.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
(Romomans 6: 1-5)
Christ was killed because of our sins. When He rose up to life, He came with power to transform us. This is how we will conquer sin. Then sin no longer has the power of death over us.
Our bodies will be changed to an indestructible one. Our last enemy will be banished.
No More Death.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
(1 Corinthians 15: 54)
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation,
having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption, to the praise of His glory.
(Ephesians 1: 13-14)
|Power Of The Holy Spirit |
2 Peter 1: 3-4, 8 says that divine power is given to us so that we can be the following:
The Mark In The Head.
Fruitful (Fruit Of The Spirit). This part of the power is the baptism of the Spirit that cleanses us.
It meets all the definition of the word baptism.
It gives us the power to bear the character of God so that we are once again "in His image".
The Mark On The Hand.
Useful (Gifts Of The Spirit). The power to be useful. This part of the power does not cleanse or cause people to repent. It is not the baptism. It does not accomplish the work of baptism.
It gives us the power to work with the Spirit to accomplish the plans of God.
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit to signify that we are the possession of Christ.
This means that we are selected in this new adoption process where we are becoming sons of God.
Is there a sign that we are sealed?
- Fruit Of The Spirit: Changed Mind And Heart. The most important sign that we have the Holy Spirit is the emergence of the fruit.
However, this happens over a long time and may not be visible to other humans. The evidence we see can be subjective.
We might think that they are not perfect enough or showing slow progress.
In John 17, Jesus describes the true sign for which He is waiting. It is the love and unity that is demonstrated to the world by the church.
- Miracles. A less important sign is the spiritual gifts.
But some of these may not be spectacular signs and they may be mistaken for intelligence, education and superior ability.
These gifts are given to do the work of Christ and tongues is only one of the gifts.
Therefore, a person many not have tongues or other gifts of power that can immediately be recognized as the work of God.
People often overlook the gift of "helps". This is the backbone of many churches.
People consistently volunteer to do everything to make our church services operate.
- Fire From Heaven. The tongues of fire that the disciples saw were signs that are immediately visible.
The last two signs will be duplicated by the forces of evil in the last days.
Therefore, they cannot be signs of being baptized by the Holy Spirit.
For they are the spirit of demons performing signs ...
(Revelation 16: 14).
- Fire From Heaven.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to earth in the presence of men.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs ...
(Revelation 13: 13-14).
The only purpose they served was to immediately give the church supernatural credentials.
People would stop and listen just on the basis of what they saw.
Without this, the disciples would be just one more voice in a crowd of powerless beggars.
The only sign that will remain in heaven is the fruit of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit of Promise is given to fulfill the promise of the new covenant.
This gives us power to obey.
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:
"I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them."
He then says, "And their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no longer".
(Hebrews 10: 16).
So, is a particular gift or the tongues of fire necessary?
No. However, God used them in the early church to gain momentum and to quickly break down prejudice.
Peter would never have believed that the Gentiles were also part of the plan, if
he had not heard them speak in tongues. (Acts 10: 44)
But before they could do this, and even before they were baptized, they already had the Holy Spirit.
In their case, they believed and that was the only requirement needed to receive the Spirit.
In return for their faithfulness, God gave them the only thing that they needed for eternal life.
This was the Holy Spirit.
|Limited Transfer |
The wicked or unclean or the uninvited will be killed by this transfer of power.
Uzzah died when He touched the Ark of the Covenant.
The Philistines suffered a plague when they stole the Ark.
Even the Levites who were allowed to move the furniture were not allowed to see or touch the Ark.
The power of God can be passed from one person to another.
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John
who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
For He had not fallen on upon any of them yet; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostle's hands, he offered them money.
(Acts 8: 14-18).
- God Comes Personally. The Holy Spirit came in the form of flames of fire and rested on them. This was to keep a promise.
And there appeared to them tongues of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
(Acts 2: 3).
- Consecration Service. God comes during an ordination service and makes the priest and altar holy (Exodus 29: 10,15, 19, 21, 24-30, 37, 42-44).
- Breathing. Jesus gave them the Spirit even before Pentecost.
He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit". (John 20: 22).
|Idolatry And Holy Objects |
An incorrect understanding of holy objects has caused people to worship inanimate objects and dead people.
These objects do not have perpetual power independent of God.
It is God who performs the miracle, not the object.
Point of Contact Ministry.
A misuse of this power causes crooks to sell vials of holy water, strips of cloth, blessed coins and objects
that will deliver wealth, healing, cars and romance.
This is idolatry in a bottle.
- Active Touching (Laying on of Hands). Those who have the Holy Spirit can transfer the gift to another by touching them.
This is not a mindless event. God is not forced to go where a person has not repented and become the friend of God.
Therefore, the apostles followed a procedure and applied wisdom. People must first be taught, baptized and show outward signs that they believe.
This principle of transferring holiness by touching a consecrated object or person was also in the Old testament.
The priests and their clothes became holy because they touched the holy altar which was consecrated at the inauguration service.
For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it;
then the altar shall be most holy, and whatever touches the altar shall be holy.
(Exodus 29: 37).
Afterwards, this holiness could be transmitted to the people through their clothes.
When they go out into the outer court ... they shall take off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them
in the holy chambers, then they shall put on other garments so that they will not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
(Ezekiel 44: 19).
The Holy Spirit made them holy on the day of Pentecost.
Therefore they were able to transfer power by touching, or "laying on of hands". (1 Timothy 4: 14)
- Passive Touching (Power Transfer through Faith).
A woman is healed and made clean by touching the blue tassel on Jesus.
While the "laying on of hands" is an active transfer of power from the one with the power, yet a passive transfer of power occurred because of the faith of this woman.
|| Objects (Clothes)
||Power to do miracles
| Laying on of Hands
| Objects (Altar)
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone,
came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
And Jesus said, 'Who is the one who touched Me?' And while they were all denying it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.'
But Jesus said, 'Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.'
And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace".
(Luke 8: 43-46, 48)
Jesus healed them all with a touch.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue [power] out of him, and healed them all.
(Luke 6: 19)
What came out of Jesus? The word virtue has been translated as power and moral excellence.
- Long Distance Active Touching (Power Transfer through Objects).
This was the same principle by which the priests transferred power through their clothes.
God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from His body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
(Acts 19: 11-12)
- Long Distance Passive Touching (Power Transfer through Faith).
Jesus healed the servant of the soldier from a long distance.
Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.
Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him".
But the centurion said, "Lord I am not worthy for you to come under my roof,
but just say the word and my servant will be healed.
Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following. "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel".
(Matthew 8: 6-8, 10)
Baptism By Fire (Glorification)
There is one other cleansing that occurs at the end of time.
After the millennium, the earth will be cleansed by fire.
At that time the holy people and the city of God will remain untouched within this fire.
It will not destroy them. It destroys the wicked.
Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?
He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity ...
(Isaiah 33: 14-15)
To prepare for this cleansing, the church has a little baptism by fire with the Holy Spirit.
As He cleanses us from within, our trials and problems make us mature Christians.
These problems are called our testing by fire before the Second Coming.
so that the proof of your faith being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 1: 7)
The Importance of Baptism
Blood baptism is a gift of God that justifies us.
Water baptism is a sign of the cleansing and sanctification work of the Holy Spirit.
Fire baptism perfects those who have been saved.
There are several steps in the process of salvation.
We repent and confess our sins, receive the Holy Spirit, study the Word of God, believe in Jesus Christ and get baptized.
This is how we become and remain a Christian.
||Repent ||Study ||Believe ||Baptized||Law ||Fruit ||Gifts
||Testing ||Perfection ||Gold
|Gift ||Our Reponse is Required ||God Examines
Everything else that we do is because we have become believers in Christ.
We continue in daily prayer and study, obey the Holy Spirit, take communion (eat bread and wine) and do missionary work to teach others and lead them to Jesus Christ.
- Saved By Baptism?.
Now, just like the issue of salvation by works, the question is "are we saved by baptism?"
My answer is the same. We are not saved by our works, but we do works because we are saved. A life that is being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit will exhibit the fruits of the nature of God as a part of the natural process
Similarly, we are not saved by baptism, but we get baptized because we realise how we are being saved.
So how do we address statements like these?
- A Believer Will Be Baptized. I agree that anyone who claims to be a believer will not resist baptism.
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
(Mark 16: 16)
- Saved By Which Baptism?
1 Peter 3 is a lesson on the historic works of the Holy Spirit.
The same Holy Spirit who pleaded with people at the flood is the One Who raised Jesus and He can cleanse your conscience.
Although this text says that baptism saves, it went on to say that it is not the baptism that washes away dirt from the body (water baptism).
The type of baptism that saves is the one that washes sin from the heart and mind.
Baptism of the Conscience.
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 3: 21)
This is purely common sense. With water baptism you could be a wet sinner, no better than before you were baptised.
But if the Holy Spirit washes your mind, you will always be clean. You might fail by deliberately backsliding and resisting the Holy Spirit but His baptism cannot fail you.
» Gifts of the Spirit.
Normally, the gifts of the Spirit are given after baptism, but in one case the gifts were given before.
Peter was amazed by this but the fact is that the gifts could be given because the important baptism had already been done (Acts 10: 45 - 47). They had submitted to the Holy Spirit.
Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?
(Acts 10: 47)
- Baptism As A Sign.
So if water baptism is not the baptism that saves you then why do we have to do it if we are obeying the Holy Spirit?
Baptism is the sign that we escaped death through resurrection because of Jesus Christ. It is a powerful statement of the faith.
These signs are important because they point to the work of Jesus Christ. We honor Him when we do them.
Christ did it to fulfill all righteousness.
He did not use such arguments to resist baptism. He simply obeyed and followed all the steps laid out by God.
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.
But John tried to prevent Him saying, "I have need to tbe baptized by You, and do You come to me?"
But Jesus answering said to Him, " Permit it at this time, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all reghteousness." Then he permitted Him.
(Matthew 3: 13-15)
Sometimes the answer is, "because God says so". We should not be searching for exceptions because even in those cases God expects obedience.
So get baptized already!
- Signs Are Important. Some of you still want to know why. Here is my response. It is sin because you are interfering with the Plan of Salvation. Most of these signs are prophecies that reenforce the written prophecies. They are often times sealed until the generation that needs it understands it.
Those who reenact the prophecy while it is sealed will think that it is stupid to take part in crazy rituals.
The symbol cannot end until all the prophecies about it have been completed.
|Signs Before Christ||Christ||Signs After Christ||Signs After the Second Coming
|Death||Mikvah||Water Baptism||Law in the Heart ||Life
» Here's Mud in Your Eye Satan!
This is the baptism of death that Satan had prepared for us.
He wanted us to be degraded to the level of cannibals, then condemned to death when the law examined us, to be slaughtered by spilling our blood, and then to be sent to hell fire to be burned up so that we are cut off forever.
The baptisms of God help us survive this death and annhilation planned for us.
- Animal Sacrifice. They could not save, God hated it, yet Israel had to do it until the crucifixion (Hebrews 10: 8-9).
Participation in this ritual means that you have accepted the fact that in the future, God will send a Lamb Who will take away your sins.
Christ recognized His duties in those rituals. He is the Lamb of God. 2000 years later we are able to confirm that He was the Messiah because we have the record that identified Him.
- Circumcision. It is a symbol of joining the covenant which prophesies that a special male child in Israel would be cut off to fulfill the covenant.
- Communion (Seder). It is a symbol of the order of events that lead to the death and resurrection and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Participation in this ritual means that you have accepted the fact that the blood of Christ that was shed in the past brought salvation which will be fully realized at the Second Coming.
We will celebrate this fact forever in a feast with bread and wine.
For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till He comes.
(1 Corinthians 11: 26)
- Baptism. It is a physical symbol of our spiritual death, burial and resurrection in Christ. Since belief is required before baptism, it is an outward sign of our acceptance of the work of Christ that is being done in us through the Holy Spirit.
It is also a sign of the future perfection of our bodies in the resurrection.
Christ is washing away sin, burying the old, sinful man and raising a new creature.
In the Likeness (Visual Example).
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
(Romans 6: 4-5)
The symbol of perfection promised by baptism are not totally fulfilled in you, so you must do it.
- Sabbath. The Sabbath is the permanent sign that God gives rest, even rest from sin.
Becoming A Christian
When does someone officially become a believer or a Christian?
What are the steps on becoming a Christian?
There are at least four general steps in becoming and learning about Christianity.
We repent, believe, study and then are baptized.
Will we be lost if we do not complete all these steps?
Which are necessary? Which saves us?
» The Roman Jailor. He followed all four steps.
» The Ethiopian Eunuch. Although the middle steps were reversed, He also followed all steps.
after he brought them in he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved."
(Acts 16: 30)
... "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
(Acts 16: 31)
- Learn About Jesus (Study).
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
(Acts 16: 32)
And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
(Acts 16: 33)
» The Thief on the Cross.
He did not complete all the steps.
He repented while He was on the cross and Jesus said that he will be saved. Yet he did not have the opportunity to be baptized with water after he had repented.
- Repent. Long before Philip met the man reading Isaiah 53, he had decided to come to Jerusalem to worship.
He did not fully understand what he was reading, but he had made a decision to come and worship. He recognized that he needed to change.
- Learn About Jesus (Study).
Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this scripture he preached Jesus to him.
(Acts 8: 35)
- Believe. This shows that belief in Jesus must precede baptism.
... "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?"
(Acts 8: 36)
And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart then you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God".
(Acts 8: 37)
- Baptized. This demonstrates baptism by immersion.
... and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch and he baptized him.
(Acts 8: 38)
This single example shows that heart felt, sincere repentance is all that is really important because it is the Holy Spirit in us that brings us to this point.
So a person can pray a sincere prayer of repentence, get hit by a bus in the next ten minutes and still be saved.
- Repent. He recognized that he was a sinner, deserving death.
But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong."
(Luke 23: 40-41)
- Believe. He expressed belief in the innocence and the powerful role of Jesus.
Believed Jesus. And he was saying, "Jesus, remember Me when You come into Your kingdom!"
Saved! And He said to him, "Truly I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise."
(Luke 23: 42-43)
» Other People.
There are other people who cannot possibly complete all steps through no fault of their own. Will God destroy them for this? Of course not!
- Young Children. Is a baby lost because they are too young to understand and are not baptized? No! Baptism requires that you must first be taught so that you can make an informed decision. Am I lost because I am unable to read or write or understand language? What would that say about a God Who claims to be more merciful than us?
- Mentally Handicapped. Some people are so mentally impaired that they cannot make a real, informed decision through Bible study which is a prerequisite of baptism. Surely the mercy of God is not so small that it cannot save these people because they have not been baptized?
- Premature Deaths. If someone dies while they are studying to be a Christian will they be lost? Of course not! Their current activities show that they were obeying the Spirit and were on the path to baptism.
We had nothing to do with our justification and blood cleansing. It is a universal gift, falling on the just and unjust like the sunshine and rain.
All we can do is accept it and respond by repenting.
We are babies in the faith at that moment, but we are believers.
I base this on the thief on the cross. He was saved only after repenting.
So continued obedience to the Holy Spirit, Bible study, daily prayer, communion, assembling with the brethren are part of the Plan of Salvation but they are steps done in the maintenance phase (sanctification).
If we do not continue with these activities we are in danger of being lost because Satan will be working very hard to make you fail.
What Is Absolutely Necessary For Salvation?
|Jesus ||Holy Spirit |
| Repent||Conscience |
|Clean Past ||New Body||Clean Mind|
There are several steps of salvation. I make a distinction between what is required for righteousness versus what the righteous will do (fruit).
In my definition, the things that are required for salvation are the things that all saved people must do and what has been done for them.
Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are required for salvation. Fortunately, they have been given as gifts.
Repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit are the two requirements that must be done by all Christians at all stages of their submission to God so that the cleansing by the blood and water can be effective.
As we grow in the Holy Spirit, we produce fruits.
- Two Streams (Blood and Water).
We have nothing to do with these, they are gifts.
Our salvation began with two streams from Christ that will cleanse us.
The stream of blood cleansed our guilty record and removed the penalty of death for sin and provides forgiveness from the great High Priest for ongoing sin.
The stream of water administered by the Holy Spirit writes the laws into our hearts so that we will never sin again.
Washing the Past.
but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins, for all time, sat down on the right hand of God.
Washing the Mind.
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them.
And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.
(Hebrews 10: 12, 16-17)
The cross merely formalized what God had already made available.
The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament and Jesus was slain from the "foundation of the world" (Revelation 13: 8). This is why He could forgive sin before the cross and this is how all people from Adam to Christ received real forgiveness.
» A Nation of Priests Enter the Holy Place.
The two streams changed our status as common people and helped us to move from the outer court to the Holy Place where only priests could enter.
The blood was sprinkled at the altar of sacrifice and the priests washed at the laver.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
... let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
(Hebrews 10: 19, 22)
The Jordan river is muddy. It is not pure. So the pure water that gives the true washing that cleanses the body and mind is the spiritual washing by the Holy Spirit that has been made available by the blood of Jesus Christ.
If this step is not done, the next steps are irrelevant. This step is the crucial step that is needed by all true believers because the wicked might do the other steps but not this one.
We can also say with confidence that if you have made this decision that you already have the Holy Spirit working for you, because even our need to repent has not been left to chance.
It is God Who seeks you out and leads you to repentance and submission to Him.
God Woos Us.
And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted from the Father."
(John 6: 65)
» Water for Repentance.
Before knowledge of Christ, all previous baptisms could only acknowledge repentence, the one basic response capable by all sinners with the help of the Holy Spirit.
» When Are We Responsible for Sin?
There is an intriguing text that suggests that whatever you have been convinced is wrong is sin for you and you are responsible (Romans 14: 14; James 4:17).
The reason is that this reveals your attitude towards sin. For example, if you believe that eating chocolate icecream is a sin and you continue to do it, then there is no reason to trust that you will stop stealing office supplies when God reveals this sin to you.
Therefore, babies and mentally handicapped people are not responsible for their sins so that they are led to repentance because they do not yet understand that they are sinning!
So repentance is required when your conscience convinces you.
- Learn About Jesus (Study).
True repentance will always get you to heaven, and Bible study will help these people. But Bible study is not a guarantee of salvation for practical reasons. Some are illiterate, handicapped and some study with the intention of resisting the Holy Spirit.
An atheist can study and become a biblical expert, but he never repents or submits to God. Satan knows the Bible.
Religion departments in many universities are churning out atheists, agnostics and pastors who are nothing more than social workers or motivational speakers because they study and teach religion, criticise and cast doubt on it but never intend to believe or obey.
Religion is treated as a study of social myths and their impact on modern society. So the new pastors are the new sociologists who are guiding the ignorant into the modern truths of science.
- Believe In Jesus.
Jesus is a requirement of salvation. Satan knows religion and He knows the truth about Jesus but that fact will not save him because he will not repent and confess.
You believe that God is one, you do well. The devils also believe and tremble.
(James 2: 19)
So if you believe in Jesus you are doing well, but that will not save you. The devils believe, but will be lost. Many believers who claim to do great works for Jesus will be lost.
Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven will enter.
Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?"
And I will declare to them, "I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness".
(Matthew 7: 21-23)
Belief in Jesus is not enough. You must obey Him. Again, we are pointed back to the work of the Holy Spirit.
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
(James 2: 20)
» Blasphemy Against Jesus. Here is another shocking statement.
I know that many people teach that anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ will be lost. This is not true.
The Gift of Jesus.
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
(Acts 4: 12)
What is true is that everyone who is saved will be saved because of Jesus whether they know Him or not. This requirement of salvation is a gift.
Paul says that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 38-39).
Apparently, not even blasphemy against Him can separate us.
Here lies the problem. You cannot know about Jesus unless you are told and this knowledge is not naturally attained. It is acquired externally, through hearing and understanding.
You cannot be expected to be responsible for what you do not know.
So God makes provision for this and that is why this blasphemy against Jesus is forgiven and this requirement of salvation is a gift.
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.
(Luke 12: 10)
» Believe In Jesus. John seems to suggest that belief in Jesus Christ is required for eternal life.
He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
(John 3: 36)
This text is not aimed at the person who never heard about Christ or Christians. It is warning believers that they must be obedient.
In order to obey a law, one must be aware that it exists and there are consequences.
In order to believe in something, one has to know it exists. One must see it, hear it or be told about it to know it exists.
- Choosing To Believe The Testimony. This text is aimed at those who know about Jesus. You cannot choose to believe in Jesus or choose not to believe in Jesus if you have never heard about Him.
He who has received His testimony has set his seal on this, that God is true.
(John 3: 33)
- Disobedient Believers. John says that it is not enough to believe Jesus. You must obey Him.
Jesus gives you the gift of eternal life just for believing.
However, if these believers do not obey Jesus then they will not see this gift of life because they have thrown it away.
Believers Must Be Taught.
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
(Romans 10: 14)
If our eternal life or damnation is dependent on any important knowledge, then one must be taught.
So I ask, how are they responsible for believing in Jesus Christ if they have never heard about Him?
Millions have died who have never heard about Jesus. This includes Abraham, Isaac, Moses, king David and all the native American tribes before the arrival of Columbus.
If belief in Jesus is an absolute requirement, then God must make sure that all people have a chance to hear about Him and reject Him before they die.
This is not the case, and if so, it is neither fair nor just.
» Human Standards Of Fairness And Justice.
I am not simply applying human wisdom to analyze the problem. God Himself says in Isaiah 45: 20-25 that even when we judge Him with our standards we will acknowledge that He was correct.
So I acknowledge that even the sins we do in ignorance are still sin and still require atonement. This is why there is a process called justification.
So I say that it is unjust and unreasonable to condemn a person to death for an action that they did not know was required and cannot naturally acquire by reasoning.
We can naturally come to learn that murder, rape and robbery are wrong, but we cannot naturally come to the conclusion that we need salvation through the death of a Man named Jesus Christ and that He is God.
- Obey The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is also a gift. But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. Why? This gift is internal, given at birth and works with your conscience.
... think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
(Romans 12: 3)
Therefore submission to Him is crucial and is an absolute requirement for salvation.
Anyone who repents has already received and obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit Who has begun the task of permanently washing away the desire to sin and planting the desire to be obedient.
Many good people will be in heaven who have never heard about Christianity or Jesus Christ!
Jesus said that blasphemy against Him can be forgiven, but not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit!
Those who enter heaven without hearing about Christ did not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Consequently, they have demonstrated the working of the Spirit in their hearts by their obedience.
Law Written in The Heart.
For when Gentiles who do not have the law do instinctively the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.
(Romans 2: 14-15)
The Holy Spirit is responsible for everything related to your perfection. He woos. He teaches us and He writes the laws in our heart.
Taught By The Spirit.
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
(1 John 2: 27)
» Two or Three Witnesses (After Christ).
The two streams are also from the two witnesses of God who will testify about whether we deserve salvation or not.
According to the law we can only be condemned based on the testimony of two witnesses who agree.
Incredibly, this means that if we do not know about Jesus Christ but the Holy Spirit can testify that we responded to the pleas of our conscience, then we cannot be condemned to death!
- Jesus Christ (Word Of God). He is the written witness in the law and the prophets whose testimony must be made available by learning, hearing and reading.
- Holy Spirit (Conscience). He is the internal witness.
- Satan (Accuser). He always tempted and condemned us.
Therefore, it takes both the vote of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to condemn us.
This means that one possibility is also impossible.
It is impossible for the Holy Spirit to testify that we disobeyed Him and yet Jesus testifies that we obeyed Him (#3).
However, it is possible for Jesus to say we never knew Him (not that He never knew us), yet the Spirit testifies that we obeyed Him.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit speaking to our conscience is only possible if we resist all other authority.
If we resist the Spirit we will resist Jesus. Then our own conscience will accuse us in the judgment. We will testify against ourselves!
» Two Witnesses (Before Christ).
The laws did not box God into a corner of injustice.
Two witnesses had to agree to pass the death sentence. One vote saves us.
So Jesus gives us a warning, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit because His vote is the most important.
- Satan (Accuser). Before Jesus, Satan our representative condemned us to death.
- Holy Spirit (Conscience). He was the internal witness.
Although Satan votes "no" every time, his vote for execution will not count unless the Holy Spirit also agrees.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4: 30)
» The Vote.
So the votes can be seen not just as "Y/N" they obeyed, it is also "Y/N" I know and love them.
It is not "Y/N" they know and love me.
So Satan is always voting that we are disobedient and he hates us.
- Keep The Commandments. Since people will be saved who never kept all the commandments, they are not required for salvation.
If you do not know by law or experience or example that something is wrong, then you are not responsible.
Ignorance Is An Excuse.
Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.
(Acts 17: 30)
» No More Excuses. However, after Christ, God will remove all excuses. At some point all men will be convinced to repent.
Those who are being led by the Holy Spirit will be convinced that they must obey the law.
Knowing that the righteous must demonstrate obedience to the law, God was also proactive in this area. He did not leave this up to our consciences only, otherwise every man who do what seems right in his own eyes.
So God gave a printed copy of the law on stone and He promised to write it on our hearts with the Holy Spirit.
So this response comes as a consequence of the works of the Holy Spirit.
» God Expects Repentance. This is an ominous warning. God expects belief.
Since choice and belief are necessary, God must dispatch the Holy Spirit in a more convincing way at first contact with information about Jesus.
Therefore, no matter how poorly Christians represent their God, the Holy Spirit makes up for it through inner conviction which will condemn our sins and introduce us to Christ.
My objection to the statement that, "you must be baptized to be saved" is based on the fact that this means that anyone who is not baptized by water will be lost.
I totally disagree. Since there are examples of people who died without being baptized, then water baptism is not absolutely necessary to be saved.
Forgiveness Of Sins.
Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
(Acts 2: 38)
Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.
(Acts 22: 16)
After reading these texts you would think that baptism forgives sin by washing away sin. The Old Testament made the same claims about animal sacrifices which were also symbols that could not accomplish the task.
Common sense says that washing the outer body with water cannot remove sin or change the heart and mind just as killing a lamb cannot remove sins.
You need to understand what is the real process that saves.
Only one type of water baptism saves and that is baptism by the Holy Spirit.
Labeling baptism as a symbol does not diminish its importance or function or the fact that we are commanded to do it.
But it is still a symbol of the real death to sin, the real circumcision from sin, the real cleansing and the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ that is accomplished when the Holy Spirit, as the real agent of change, transforms the heart.
The Wicked Will Never Repent Or Obey.
At the final judgment, everyone will have the greatest Bible study ever presented by the greatest Rabbi who ever lived. Everyone will acknowledge that Jesus is God. Every knee will bow and confess that God is righteous (Philippians 2: 9-11). They will admit that they were wrong.
Yet the wicked will attack God soon after this great revelation. Knowledge or truth or common sense did not save them. They refused to repent and obey and submit to God.
Repentence involves acknowledging that you are wrong and turning away from what you are doing by ceasing hostilities with God and submitting to Him.
They did not cease their hostilities.
|Salvation By Baptism? |
A misunderstanding of the significance of water baptism has led to forced baptisms, infant baptism, the belief in limbo and the belief that only Christians can be saved because all savages will be lost if they do not become Christians.
Surely the Plan of Salvation has found a way to reconcile all people in all circumstances.
The internal baptism of the Holy Spirit is the solution.
You will become a friend of God at the moment you cease your hostilities. This is when you are saved. Water baptism is the formal signing of the peace declaration.
The gift of the blood of Christ, repenting and obeying the Holy Spirit will save you.
Every saved person will have these in common. Every lost person will not submit to them.
Studying, believing in Jesus, keeping the commandments, working for God, belonging to a particular church and being baptized with water do not save you. However, the person who is being saved will do these things because the Holy Spirit will convince you to do them.
So the process of salvation will include all those steps, but God does not wait until you are finished or graduated to save you.
You can die anywhere along the steps and still be saved because you have already received the Holy Spirit as a gift and repented of what you are convinced is wrong.
You have submitted to God, an action that the wicked will never do.
» A Great Salvation.
The incredible news about this wonderful salvation is that the two absolute requirements have been given to us as a gift! They are Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
All we need to do is to accept and submit. Repentance and obedience are our response when we have the knowledge, opportunity and the mental capacity to do so.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God.
(Ephesians 2: 8)
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 60 minutes
Print: 14 pages
Updated : August 25, 2004. 2009.
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)