The Scriptural Relationship between Faith, Belief and Salvation

Said to me by another hyperconservative Church of Christ preacher on a different internet site:

“I have no problem saying that according to the Scriptures you are not a Christian and you are in the wrong church.”

My response:

You won’t be the first hypercon to tell me that. I’ve also been told that by Muslims; JWs; and Mormons and others who believe we have to work for our salvation. And thankfully, I don’t receive my confidence in my standing before God from any of you – I receive my confidence from the Word. 

John 3:14-18
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.(v. 17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

John 1:12-13

“Yet to all who received Him [Christ], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God [lit. from above = born again]”

John 3:36
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,[but] whoever refuses to believe in] the Son will not see life for God’s wrath remains on Him.”

John 5:24
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him Who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; He has crossed over from death to life.”

John 6:27-29
“[Jesus said]’Do not work for food that spoil, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.’

Then they asked Him,’What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered,’The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.’ ”

John 6:47
“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.”

John 11:25-26
“Jesus said to her,’I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe in this?”

Acts 10:43
“All the prophets testify about him [Christ] that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

Acts 13:38-39
“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.”

Romans 1:16
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile.”

Romans 3:22-26
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith [in that atonement which was] in His blood. So as to be just and the One Who justifies those who have faith in Jesus”

Romans 4:1-5
“What shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about – but not before God.

What does the Scripture say?’Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift but as an obligation.

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God Who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

Romans 5:1 
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”

Romans 10:11-14
“As the Scripture says,’Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for,’Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?”

Ephesians 1:13-14
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – the praise of His glory.”

Eph 2:8-9
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it it the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

1 John 5:9-13
“We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son.

Galatians 3:6-9, 14
“Consider Abraham:’He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham:’All nations will be blessed through you.’

So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit”

2 Thessalonians 2:13 
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

2 Timothy 1:9
“Who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because if anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.”

Galatians 3:22 
“But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.” Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
So the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Philippians 3:9 
“And be found in Him,[Christ] not having a righteousness of my own that comes from law but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

1 Pet 1:3-5
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

As I said, I receive my confidence in my standing before God from His Word.

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135 thoughts on “The Scriptural Relationship between Faith, Belief and Salvation

  1. Man, I just love reading those verses!! They bring such hope to my soul!! 🙂

    It is amazing that I quoted many of those exact same scriptures from Romans clearly portraying how we are justified by the free gift of God’s grace to the same person you are referring to, yet he still told me that we are justified by works. I thought surely he could read those scriptures to see that it was true, but sadly I was wrong. It really opened my eyes to how much he has been led by a hard line loyalty to the doctrine of his institution instead of the incredibly Good News of Jesus and His free gift of grace and salvation.

    If we REALLY did have to work for our salvation, we would all be in trouble and would never attain it. Thankfully it is not true, and God promises us assurance with Him in heaven-and I am most definitely looking forward to putting all this behind me and joining Him FOREVER!!! 🙂

  2. I’m not trying to read God’s mind but seems to me if He wanted salvation to be hard, He wouldn’t have given us His son to bear the hard part for us. If He wanted to make it as hard I’ve been reading lately He could just give us an unpassable test? Food for thought.

  3. Good food, Dennis-I have been thinking that same thing. Why would he have sent His one and ONLY sinless Son to die such a cruel death on a cross as an innocent man if it were also going to be so difficult for us to accept His salvation? His desire is that we come to Him-He wants ALL men to be saved and come to the knowledge of Him. He does not want any person to ever perish, but have eternal life-when you harmonize all of those verses with the rest of the picture-it is clear that He has not made it as difficult as we tend to make it to come to Him and be saved.

    One of the first verses I think I ever learned as a child, and a beloved one really sums it up: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~John 3:16-17

  4. That’s the same one that keeps coming to my mind, too. Its the very first verse childern learn no matter the denomination they grow up in. I appreciate all of the scripture that’s been shared today to present the hardline. But in the end God is a jealous God and wants us with Him (all of us). Grace is a gift, not a hardship

  5. I like that Dennis “Grace is a gift, not a hardship”. So true and John 3:16-17 kept coming back to me too today.

  6. Since I studied some with these men, please allow me to play devils advocate. I truly believe every verse Nathn has above, but where they will come back is asking you about the verses about baptism. They will gladly agree that each verse above is true and then ask why you left the ones out about baptism. Thats where you must have an answer or they will eat you alive. Johnny and crew have heard these arguments before and I have several debates where people tried using the above verses and each time they ask “what about the verses that teach baptism” then they bring you back to thier arguments. Note, I do agree with yo guys, but please know that they will ask about the verses not stated above…such as Acts 2:38, Col. 2:12, Mark 16:16, Titus 3:5, John 3:5, and there are others. They will point out that baptism is stated 101 times and you failed to state them.

  7. If God’s grace is so wonderful (which I agree it is) why would you NOT want to work? Eph 2:10

    What is such a “hardship” about baptism? Baptists still baptize, but we disagree as to the reason for it. You make it out like its the most unbearable thing to have to do, but proclaim your thankfulness of His grace. Though I recognize you disagree that baptism is a requirement for salvation, the scripture does still mention it, as Randy pointed out. But even though you disagree, the principle still remains that a truely thankful servant would please his master any way he could – Lk 7:41-43

    Joey

  8. I think you misunderstand Baptist people if you believe that we see baptism as a hardship. ON the contrary, we view it as a joy in Christ. We rejoice in baptism and participate in baptism as a command of Christ. Baptism as a result of repentance, confession,belief and acceptance of Christ in our lives is a given of our faith and practice, not an option.

    The hardship comes from those who wish to force more out of this beautiful act and condemn us because we will not accept their “hardship”.

  9. Randy’s post reflects the great problem here.

    The logical question should be “the Bible not only has many passages on faith but many on baptism as well. Shouldn’t we try to follow every verse that pertains to our salvation?”

    That is not how it is being approached here. The attitude put forth by many here is “the Bible has many passages on baptism so how can I refute those passages when arguing with people like Norm & Johnny”.

    There seems to be so much effort being put into “writing off” Biblical commands simply because they don’t agree with the ideas about salvation that people already have and because the commands (despite their truth) are often being presented by individuals that don’t always act Christ-like.

    How shall we approach God’s word? To defend the ideas and actions that we already believe? Or to accept God’s commands even when they contradict what we currently hold to be true?

    Corey

  10. But Corey the key problem is that there is a difference of opinion as to the interpretation of the Scriptures. One little word in Acts 2:38, the word “for” in refrence to baptism for remission of sins can be interpreted to mean as a result of what has already taken place(ie repentance) or as what needs to take place (ie repentance through baptistm). A legalist view would go for the latter. You will never be able to convience a Baptist that his or her salvation was dependent upon an outward act of water baptism vs an inner act of God in our lives. The Bible when taken as a whole of It’s writings is very clear that God places more weight on what takes place in a man’s heart rather than what takes place outside his heart.

  11. Rick,

    That little word “for” which is “eis” is NEVER translated as “because of” in the Greek or Latin. You say a “legalist” would always go for the translation of “for”, meaning “in order to”. Actually, a literalist would go for that meaning, not a legalist. Who would translate it to mean “because of”? A person who didn’t want to accept the true meaning.

    You stated the heart of the matter when you said, “You will never be able to convience a Baptist that his or her salvation was dependent upon an outward act of water baptism vs an inner act of God in our lives.”

    That is true. The key word is [i]”Baptist”[/i]. A Baptist cannot be convinced of such because to do so would mean that they, and all other Baptists, have been taught and teaching incorrectly. I know how this feels because I was a Baptist for many years.

    Why is it that you have no problem with faith, repentance & confession in order to access salvation but you stop at baptism? Is it because the scriptures tell you to stop there or is it because you are a Baptist and to do so would mean changing teachings?

  12. Well Corey I’ll let my dad answer your questions
    I just want to add that my problem is not with the baptism doctrine in and of itself, not at all.

    I fully agree that baptism is important.

    What becomes a bit much in my humble opinion is when I am told that because I don’t follow strict rules and orders that I was not saved or baptized “right”. That’s ridiculous and is when the tune of the conversation changes for me.

  13. One says (scripturally)as long as I believe in Jesus I’m saved
    One says (scripturally)as long as I confess I’m saved
    One says (scripturally)as long as I repent I’m saved
    One says (scripturally)as long as I am baptized I’m

    These are all scriptural but only partial truth.
    When you combine the totallity of the scriptures on salvation then all make up a part of being forgiven.

    Paul had allready BCR but still did not have his sins washed away, why?
    It wasn’t until he was baptized that his sins were washed away.
    Can this be denied…

  14. Katie said: “I don’t follow strict rules and orders that I was not saved or baptized “right”.”

    What are “strict orders”?
    That you know what you are doing when you are baptized?

    If you don’t have to know why you are baptized to be saved, then we might as well baptize babies too…

  15. Katie,

    Let me follow your logic: we need to be baptized because it is “important”, but we don’t need to follow any “strict rules” to make it proper baptism. Our salvation doesn’t depend upon us getting baptism “right”. So I can call myself saved when I “enter into a relationship” with Jesus and be baptized some time later. Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe even a month later when some other people want to be baptized as well. We’ll just take care of everyone at one time (this is how it was done in the Baptist church I attended).

    Now let’s do the same thing with repentance. I will believe in Christ, confess Him, and be baptized to be obedient to Him. I will pray to Him for a personal relationship with Him and ask Him to be my savior. As far as repentance goes, maybe I’ll do that a day, a week or a month after I enter into this relationship. After all, there is a big keg party next week and I want to go party with my friends like I always have. I’ll repent later. Since I’m already “saved” there shouldn’t be any problem with it. And I certainly don’t want anyone telling me about some “strict” rules about needing to repent before being saved.

    Does that work for you? Or would you agree that scriptures teach I must repent BEFORE I’m saved? Don’t be too strict in your “interpretation”.

    Corey

  16. If I told someone on the street to “stop” it wouldn’t mean much…
    If I told someone to “STOP in the name of the Law” maybe it would hold weight…

    Just curious

    You can’t pray by the authority of Christ, if you are not in Christ.
    And you get in Christ by Baptism Gal 3:27 Romans 6:3…

    Where do you guys come up with the sinner’s prayer for salvation, since he can’t hear you until you get into Christ thru Baptism?

  17. JC and Corey,

    Not meaning this rudely-but it feels like you are both trying to build straw man arguments which do not pertain to what has been said.

    In my opinion, which I think is what Katie is also trying to say (correct me if I am wrong) is that when anyone continues to emphasize that we have to get bapism “exactly right” or it was not valid, it takes the power from God and places it in our shoulders-which is not the way it works. We are freely justified and saved by His grace, not by what we have done. Yes, we respond-but God is the one who saves, and He is the one who wants ALL men to come to salvation. He wouldn’t have made it as difficult as humans have tried to make it if he did not want us to easily come to Him. He made it easy for us when He sent Jesus to earth to die on a cross.

    Does that make more sense?

  18. Exactly Katherine, the “strict rules” I am referring to is exactly as she said it. Salvation is not up to anything we can or can’t do but what God has already done.

  19. You honestly believe that God does not hear any prayer of anyone who has not been baptized? Are you saying He doesn’t listen/answer or He cannot hear? He is God, after all…

  20. JC just copied and pasted a remark he made on the other post… that’s where the sinners prayer remark came from even though I have made it very clear that I do not adhere to the “sinners prayer” and don’t claim it anywhere in scripture NOR do I use it when counseling others.

  21. I know-that is why I was wondering how it ended up over here, since no one brought it up here and you had already stated you do not adhere to it!

  22. Beats me why it was brought over here, other than to discuss why it is that a person cannot pray to God until they have been baptized (according to JC and Corey)

  23. The thing is… that I see no scriptural basis for that thought… that God would not accept a prayer of REPENTANCE from a lost soul that is seeking salvation. “Listening” the hypercon description of God, if I were an unchurched/lost person I would assume that God is a mean old man who wants everyone to get all perfected up before trying to come and speak to him. When that is not the image of God that I read in my Bible.

  24. Katherine and Katie, I know exactly what you guys are saying. I just believe it’s wrong because you are leaving out all of the scriptures on how to get into christ(salvation).
    Or can you be saved outside of Christ?

  25. EXACTLY, Katie…I mean can you see God saying, “I’m not listening-I’m not listening…when you decide to be baptized just the right way…THEN I will hear your prayer”?! No, because that is not what God is like. Again, here is the verse that keeps resounding to me:

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Matthew 11:28-29

  26. Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

    Could you break this verse down for me with your interpretation Katie/Katherine…

  27. JC said:

    I just believe it’s wrong because you are leaving out all of the scriptures on how to get into Christ(salvation).

    Or can you be saved outside of Christ?

    I am confused, JC. What do you mean we are leaving out all of the scriptures on how to get into salvation? I haven’t given you a list of scriptures. Yes, salvation is found IN Christ-not in ME or YOU. I have never stated otherwise-that is exactly the point I have been trying to get across.

  28. I have not mentioned a “sinner’s prayer”, and I never said that either of you advocated such. Also, I have not built a “straw-man” argument. I am only applying the EXACT same logic in regards to repentance that you both are applying to baptism. So, I ask you again to respond to my question about needing to repent before salvation – must I do so or can I repent later?

    Katherine (and others) keep saying that we’re making baptism “hard”. No, we’re not. Men have tried to make baptism “hard” to understand by years of abusing the scriptures to eliminate the necessity of baptism, but that doesn’t make it hard to understand when we read our Bibles. In Acts 2:38 Peter said “repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the remission of sins”. How hard is that to understand or teach?

    The only difficulty comes in when someone says that they don’t believe you need to be baptized for the remission of sins and they convince others to believe the same. Now there is confusion about a simple passage. Pointing out that there are false teachings doesn’t confuse things – it is the false teachings that make simple matters “hard”.

    Respectfully I ask again: must I repent before I am saved or can I do it later?

  29. Yes, salvation is found IN Christ-not in ME or YOU. I have never stated otherwise-that is exactly the point I have been trying to get across.

    OK, So how does one get into Christ according to Romans 6:3 and Gal 3:27 ???

  30. Rick,

    I didnt say baptism was a “hardship” for baptists. Dennis is implying that from one of his earlier posts. My point was that he considers it hard, but people who dont even believe its necessary to salvation still do it.

    Joey

  31. Corey said: The only difficulty comes in when someone says that they don’t believe you need to be baptized for the remission of sins and they convince others to believe the same. Now there is confusion about a simple passage.

    I am not trying to convince anyone of this-nor would I. What I have tried to get across is that if someone has already been baptized, and did not fully grasp this-it is wrong for us (mainly b/c we are not God) to tell them their baptism is invalid and they need a do-over…because God is the one who saves.

    I will say this again: It is one thing to outright reject Jesus, to choose not to obey, etc. than to be doing your best to follow and be faithful to Him while unknowingly not getting it perfect. The good news is, though-we don’t have to get it perfect, otherwise grace would be obselete. Am I saying we can ignore what God says because of grace? I will answer with one that comes from one of my favorite books of the Bible, Romans: By no means! But, His grace is sufficient when our fallible minds do not quite grasp all He has to offer. It is a journey-we will never “arrive” until we get to heaven with Him one day. Until then, we continue to learn and grow and be in Him.

  32. JC,

    I am not a huge fan of copy and pastes, but hopefully this answers your question better than I could:

    John 9:31 declares, “We know that God does not hear sinners, but those who worship Him and do His will, those He hears.” It has also been said that “the only prayer that God hears from a sinner is the prayer for salvation.” As a result of this Scripture, some believe that God does not hear and/or will never answer the prayers of an unbeliever. In context, though, the Scripture is saying that God does not perform miracles through an unbeliever. The following Scriptures describe God hearing and answering the prayers of an unbeliever. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us that God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will. This principle, perhaps, applies to unbelievers. If an unbeliever asks a prayer of God that is according to His will, nothing prevents God from answering such a prayer – according to His will.

    In examining the following passages, in most of these cases prayer was involved. In one or two, God responded to the cry of the heart (it is not stated whether that cry was directed toward God). In some of these cases, the prayer seems to be combined with repentance. But in other cases, the prayer was simply for an earthly need or blessing, and God responded either out of compassion or in response to the genuine seeking or faith of the person. Here are some passages dealing with prayer by an unbeliever:

    The people of Ninevah; Jonah 3:5-10; that Ninevah might be spared.

    Hagar and Ishmael; Genesis 21:14-19; not so much a prayer as a cry of the heart concerning her son who was close to death.

    Ahab; 1 Kings 21:17-29; esp. v. 27-29; Ahab fasts and mourns over Elijah’s prophecy concerning his posterity. God responds by not bringing about the calamity in Ahab’s time.

    The woman from the Tyre and Sidon area; Mark 7:24-30; that Jesus would deliver her daughter from a demon.

    Cornelius, the Roman centurion; Acts 10; the prayer request is not stated (Acts 10:30), but he is shown the way of salvation.

    God does make promises that are applicable for all (saved and unsaved alike) such as Jeremiah 29:13: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” This was the case for Cornelius in Acts 10:1-6. But there are many promises that, according to the context of the passages, are for Christians alone. Because Christians have received Christ, we are encouraged to come boldly unto the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). We are told that when we ask for anything according to God’s will, He hears and gives us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). There are many other promises for Christians concerning prayer as well (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13; John 15:7). So, yes, there are instances in which God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever. At the same time, in His grace and mercy, God can intervene in the lives of unbelievers in response to their prayers.

  33. I don’t have a lot of time and for that I apologize.
    But to answer you Corey about repenting before someone is saved. I like your analogy and I agree. I have known many people who walked that walk to the front of the church and who said they wanted to be saved but weeks/months/years later they seemed to be living a life of sin and it makes one wonder if they were ever saved to begin with. Or as you stated, maybe they decided to go and get saved but never repented. That is a sad situation and I refer to those people as having gotten “fire insurance” and never established a real saving relationship with Christ.

    I think the same scenario could happen at a CofC. Let’s say for a moment than individual comes forward and is baptized “for remission of sins” (as you guys have said) and they are baptized but then the next night they are out partying or years later they are living in an obviously sinful lifestyle. Were they saved? When did they repent?

    The repentance IS very much up to the indivdual. Christ has offered salvation through His death on the cross and His ressurection three days later. God has said that if we would Believe in Jesus Christ His Son, believe that Jesus paid the debts for our sins, and then rose again that we would be saved. And I agree… if you are truly saved and truly do believe in the power of the blood of Christ then that should make you or I or anyone else WANT to repent and turn from their wicked ways and WANT to be baptized and WANT to live a life devoted to Christ.

    I think the problem is how ALL Christians (you and myself included) have “sold” the Christian message. People have the wrong idea and have begun to view Christ as fire insurance and not a loving God who wants to commune with them and get to know them and who wants to be praised by them.

    THAT is where I find my biggest struggle. Baptism or not. Saying a prayer or not. NONE OF IT MEANS ANYTHING if a relationship with Christ is not begun a life is not devoted to Christ.

    As a good comedian Mark Lowry once said “It doesn’t matter if you’ve been sprinkled or been dunked. If you don’t know Jesus, you just got wet”.

    I know that I just said a lot and I apologize if it seems to have been a ramble or doesn’t seem to be very clear. The bulk of what I mean is very simple… ANYone can come to Jesus and He will save EVERYone. That is very clear in scripture. I believe that a person who is truly making a commitment and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord will repent then and there and be saved.

  34. Katherine Said:
    “What I have tried to get across is that if someone has already been baptized, and did not fully grasp this-it is wrong for us (mainly b/c we are not God) to tell them their baptism is invalid and they need a do-over…because God is the one who saves.”

    What about the 12 ephesians in Acts chapter 19 who are baptized with the baptist baptism, but had to have be baptized again? Would you make these accusations of “playing God” to the Apostle Paul?

  35. Let’s just say that I agree with this for a moment (and I don’t):

    Katherine said: I am not trying to convince anyone of this-nor would I. What I have tried to get across is that if someone has already been baptized, and did not fully grasp this-it is wrong for us (mainly b/c we are not God) to tell them their baptism is invalid and they need a do-over…because God is the one who saves.

    Is is still acceptable for them to continue to teach that baptism isn’t essential once they know the truth? Should we do nothing to correct the teaching and let them continue on? Let’s pretend there is nothing wrong with that person’s baptism because they were doing the best they could. If we leave them alone won’t they teach others the same thing? Why not make sure that people hear the Biblical truth about baptism?

  36. In all seriousness, I want to thank you all. Ever since having these discussion here and over at Topix I have been studying, praying and contemplating a return to the Catholic Church. Sola Scriptura does not make sense, we have thousands of denominations claiming truth on doctrinal issues. One says it’s faith only, the other says baptism also! Both can not be right and one is heresy….its that simple. What authority do we have to privately interpret scripture? How can we know if we are even remotely correct? The bible does not interpret itself so we can not know with full knowledge what is true. Something is wrong with that picture.

  37. Why not make sure that people hear the truth about the grace of salvation that is found in the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of His ressurection??

    I guess I feel that placing the bulk of the emphasis on the “truth about baptism”, the remarkable miracle of the shed blood of Christ is made to seem minuscule and that is a huge issue to me.

  38. JC, I think I understand what you are saying-and let me say this: I don’t think anyone on here is trying to take away the importance or significance of baptism and the way that it connects us with the death and resurrection of Jesus. I am thankful that God has given us that opportunity to be so connected with Him and it is beautiful. I think what many of us have tried to point out is that way before we were born, even thought about the idea of following Jesus-God sent Him to die on a cross for us which assured us of salvation when we respond. But, when we start saying “You didn’t believe this” or “say that right” or “your big toe didn’t make it” (I know you have not said that, but some people actually believe it) then it did not take-and you need to do it again. It is not an ACT or WATER that saves us-but God’s gift and our hearts. We then respond out of that call and desire to be united with Him-not because we believe that specific act or moment saves us, but because God has saved us and has given us this wonderful example to follow and be united with Him. Then, it is a constant journey of walking with Him and following Him.

  39. Katie said”I guess I feel that placing the bulk of the emphasis on the “truth about baptism”, the remarkable miracle of the shed blood of Christ is made to seem minuscule and that is a huge issue to me.”

    It’s really just your perception, and a wrong one that in baptism we minimize the blood of Christ. The fact is we are saying by are actions, “hardship according to some”, that we are willing to be obedient to accept the blood. It’s not forced on any one. It is free for the taking. Will we take it or leave it?

  40. Katie wrote: I think the same scenario could happen at a CofC. Let’s say for a moment than individual comes forward and is baptized “for remission of sins” (as you guys have said) and they are baptized but then the next night they are out partying or years later they are living in an obviously sinful lifestyle. Were they saved? When did they repent?

    Let me answer your questions since you answered mine (in a way). No they weren’t saved and no they didn’t repent. All they did was get wet. You see, I believe in all of the things the Bible says we must do to accept the grace of God; belief, repentance, confession, baptism and a faithful life thereafter.

    Katie wrote: if you are truly saved and truly do believe in the power of the blood of Christ then that should make you or I or anyone else WANT to repent and turn from their wicked ways and WANT to be baptized and WANT to live a life devoted to Christ.

    Your response is full of “shoulds”. The person “should” want to repent. They “should” want to be baptized. There are no “shoulds” in scripture. We are TO believe, TO repent, TO confess, TO be baptized and TO live a faithful life. Your response seems to indicate that all of these are optional. Actually, to be accurate, you seem to indicate that if a person does not do those things they may not have been saved in the first place. The Bible is clear that those things (with the exception of living a faithful life) come BEFORE salvation.

    Grace is not a magic blanket to be thrown over disobedience. Grace is a gift that we can’t ever earn. There is a huge difference between doing something to ACCESS that grace (believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized) and doing something to EARN that grace.

  41. I have taken it which I believe I have said to you personally many times on this site.
    I am saved by the blood of Christ.

  42. Katherine said: “I think what many of us have tried to point out is that way before we were born, even thought about the idea of following Jesus-God sent Him to die on a cross for us which assured us of salvation when we respond”

    When we respond is right. How we respond is where we differ. That’s what we need to figure out.
    How does the bible teach that we respond?
    I disagree with JP on the issue of the bible not interpreting itself. I believe the bible is it’s own best comentary, and that’s why we need to consider all the scriptures on salvation in order to come up with “How to be saved”..

  43. I agree fully Corey with this statement of yours “There is a huge difference between doing something to ACCESS that grace (believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized) and doing something to EARN that grace.”

    I am sorry that I put the word “should” in there and perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I intended. I believe that those things are all things we are TO do also.

    You asked me about repentance and in light of the analogy that you used (speaking to Corey) I was responding by saying that a person who says they are or were “saved” but does not repent has missed on something so vital and of that I believe we are in agreeance. I think.

  44. Katie said: “I was responding by saying that a person who says they are or were “saved” but does not repent has missed on something so vital and of that I believe we are in agreeance. I think.”

    Would you say that person is “saved” according to scripture?

  45. “When we respond is right. How we respond is where we differ. That’s what we need to figure out.
    How does the bible teach that we respond?”

    I don’t really think we differ that much.
    I mean you believe that you must Believe, repent, confess and I believe the same.
    I believe that a person is baptized to signify that believe.
    You believe that a person is not truly accepting the blood of Christ until they are immersed in water.

    Both ways we are coming to belief in Christ. And that is what John 14:6 says that Jesus Christ is THE way. Now I do not believe that “all roads lead to Christ” by any means. I believe that other religions that claim to lead to heaven but make no reference to or belief in Christ are in fact lost people. But JC, I believe we are brothers/sisters in Christ because we have both accepted the free gift of salvation. You believe that salvation was not bestowed on you until you were baptized for the remission of sins and I believe that the salvation was bestowed on me when I confessed Christ as Lord. But we are both saved. That’s the point… we are both free!! Let’s act like it!

  46. I said “I was responding by saying that a person who says they are or were “saved” but does not repent has missed on something so vital and of that I believe we are in agreeance. I think.”

    JC said “Would you say that person is “saved” according to scripture?”

    You know honestly JC I have struggled with that question before. Because I have had a hard time coming to terms how someone could truly know and understand the power of Christ’s death and the debt that was paid but still in essence be using that grace as a way of continuing to sin. I love the verses where Paul says “may I keep sinning so that His grace can increase, no of course not”.

    I believe that a truly saved person repents of their sings and turns from their wicked ways. I do not believe any Christian is perfect and doesn’t encounter stumbling blocks along the way and have to ask for forgiveness. But in regards to your question. I believe a person who says they were saved but have yet to repent at all is not saved. I believe that the repentance of sin and the commitment to making Jesus Christ LORD of their lives is salvation.

  47. Katie said:

    “THAT is where I find my biggest struggle. Baptism or not. Saying a prayer or not. NONE OF IT MEANS ANYTHING if a relationship with Christ is not begun a life is not devoted to Christ.”

    Amen.

  48. Katie – do you then agree that we must repent before we are saved?

    I believe that is what Romans 10 is saying. When it says that we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, that to me means that I’m no longer living for myself or my own selfish wants/desires. Satan is no longer the lord of my life, sin is no longer the lord of my life, I have repented (turned away) from that sin and am now clinging to Jesus Christ as Lord.

    So yes I believe that repentance comes before being saved.

  49. Katie said:”That’s the point… we are both free!! Let’s act like it!”

    I don’t mean to “act in a distastful way”.
    But, Katie I don’t believe you are free if you have not been baptized for the forgiveness of sins to recieve the blood. It’s that simple, we can’t be in agreement and teach different ways to call on the lord.

  50. Then maybe you and I should refrain from discussing this together. Because I don’t believe that you “hear” a word I say.

  51. Katie wrote: I believe a person who says they were saved but have yet to repent at all is not saved. I believe that the repentance of sin and the commitment to making Jesus Christ LORD of their lives is salvation.

    Then you agree that some things must be done BEFORE salvation. If repentance must come before salvation, then why ignore the scriptures that say baptism comes BEFORE salvation?

    Katie wrote: You believe that salvation was not bestowed on you until you were baptized for the remission of sins and I believe that the salvation was bestowed on me when I confessed Christ as Lord. But we are both saved. That’s the point… we are both free!! Let’s act like it!

    These two positions cannot both be true. One is true and one is false. Considering that we cannot all be free in Christ. Since you acknowledge that repentance comes before salvation I encourage you to re-think your position on baptism.

    Thank you for your honest answers!
    Corey

  52. No problem Corey, thanks for really listening to what I have written and responding.

    I respect your position, I really and truly do.
    And honestly if I only read the scriptures that you guys have given in support of your POV I would agree that baptism is the key to salvation. But when I read it all in context I don’t see that. I see that belief in Jesus is the central theme, not baptism.

  53. I echo Katie’s sentiments-and I don’t see that taking away at all from the importance and significance of baptism, but placing the focus more on Jesus than what I can do in a single moment.

  54. JC, let’s boil this down:

    I think it would be safe to say that all 4 of us have put our belief in action and have been baptized. I know that Katie nor I would bring someone to Christ, and say “Just believe” and leave them there-I then teach them about the importance and awesomeness of baptism and help lead them into a lifetime relationship found in Christ. That is called discipleship. Baptism is not an end all-it is not the ONE thing that will save, but it is important. It all comes together with Jesus and His blood.

  55. JC Said “Put belief into action!!!”

    That’s why I have tried hundreds of times to say.
    I HAVE put that belief into action.

    I repented
    I confessed
    I was baptized
    I live a daily life devoted to Him
    I do my best to use my talents for Him
    I serve Him
    I worship Him

    those are all ways that I have put my faith into action… so tell me Jc where is my action missing?

  56. Katie,

    I also respect your position, as I once held to the same beliefs.

    To say that we have scriptures from “our” POV is like saying that the scriptures Nathan gives in the article above are from “your” POV. I believe in all of the scriptures he posted, I also believe in all of the scriptures regarding the necessity of baptism. There is no verse in the Bible that I don’t believe.

    The “central theme” of the NT is Jesus and not baptism. Baptism is only important in that it puts us into the “central theme”, Jesus. The only verses in the NT that tell us how to get “into” Jesus (and certainly we must be in Christ to be saved) tell us to be baptized into Christ. Baptism is only important to me in that so many people want to reject it as the means by which we get into Christ. I think to ignore all of the specifics and try to only find a “big picture” is to neglect the very words of God. Jesus said that if we love Him we’ll keep his commandments and that is what I strive to do. The “central theme” has many specific points.

    Corey

  57. Katherine said “I think it would be safe to say that all 4 of us have put our belief in action and have been baptized. I know that Katie nor I would bring someone to Christ, and say “Just believe” and leave them there-I then teach them about the importance and awesomeness of baptism and help lead them into a lifetime relationship found in Christ. That is called discipleship. Baptism is not an end all-it is not the ONE thing that will save, but it is important. It all comes together with Jesus and His blood.”

    Amen.. agree 100%

  58. I didn’t mean to leave anyone out by saying the 4 of us-I just meant those of us-JC, Corey, Katie, and myself who have been discussing this within the last few hours. Just wanted to clarify! 🙂

  59. Corey I completely agree that the central them of the NT is Jesus and I agree that we are to be baptized. I am sorry that I gave you the impression that I didn’t feel your “POV” wasn’t scriptural. I have read the verses and I understand them. I have read the verses Nathan posted and I understand them. And when you put the verses together, the overall theme is still Jesus not baptism.

  60. My question never was answered here or at least I didn’t see it…

    Since we seem to agree that you can’t be saved outside of Christ,
    According to Gal 3:27 and Romans 6:3 How does one get in Christ?

  61. sorry guys but I have to leave the discussion for awhile

    time for me to get the kids and myself ready for an evening at church— I am sure I’ll be back later.

    I’m addicted to debating… I must be a glutton for self-punishemtn (lol)

  62. Corey said:

    The “central theme” of the NT is Jesus and not baptism. Baptism is only important in that it puts us into the “central theme”, Jesus. The only verses in the NT that tell us how to get “into” Jesus (and certainly we must be in Christ to be saved) tell us to be baptized into Christ. Baptism is only important to me in that so many people want to reject it as the means by which we get into Christ. I think to ignore all of the specifics and try to only find a “big picture” is to neglect the very words of God. Jesus said that if we love Him we’ll keep his commandments and that is what I strive to do. The “central theme” has many specific points.”

    Corey, I mostly agree with you here. I don’t really understand how people can ignore the baptism verses, especially since Jesus Himself was the utmost example. I could never tell someone about His message without leaving baptism out. I don’t understand why someone would not WANT to do it to be so united with Him and would want to follow His commands and examples. I think baptisms are some of the most incredible and beautiful times we share with believers and rejoice in their decision to place Christ on in baptism. But I still cannot say from scripture that IT is what saves you. But, once one has been shown the way of baptism-I don’t know why they would not want to obey, and have that unification with Him through His death and resurrection.

  63. Since we seem to agree that you can’t be saved outside of Christ,
    According to Gal 3:27 and Romans 6:3 How does one get in Christ?

  64. Katherine said: “I don’t really understand how people can ignore the baptism verses,”

    Since we are not ignoring baptism verses:
    and
    Since we seem to agree that you can’t be saved outside of Christ,
    According to Gal 3:27 and Romans 6:3 How does one get in Christ?

  65. “I disagree with JP on the issue of the bible not interpreting itself.”

    Thats makes no sense, everything you read is interpreted. The bible is not a human mind and can not interpret itself…..come on JC.

  66. Katherine said: “I don’t really understand how people can ignore the baptism verses,”

    Since we are not ignoring baptism verses:
    and
    Since we seem to agree that you can’t be saved outside of Christ,
    According to Gal 3:27 and Romans 6:3 How does one get in Christ?

    Katherine? Katie? Rick? JP?

  67. JC,

    Not trying to discredit or take away from those verses, because they are beautiful portrayals of what I was referring to-being united with Him in His ressurection and His death and being clothed with Him…the whole Bible has to harmonize together. Yes, you are baptized INTO Christ-absolutely, but it is still Jesus who saves.

  68. I don’t believe JC, myself, Norm Fields, Johnny Robertson or anyone else is saying that baptism saves you from sins. We all know that it is the blood of Jesus that saves us from sins. However, if it is through baptism that we are put into the Jesus, and thereby contacting his saving blood, baptism is:

    1. Essential to salvation
    2. Occurs prior to salvation

    If we could all agree on those things there would be no problem (at least on this topic).

  69. In response to my post earlier today about the use of the word “for” in Acts 2:38 Corey wrote: “That little word “for” which is “eis” is NEVER translated as “because of” in the Greek or Latin”.

    In response let me say that according to “ A manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament” by Dana and Mantey in their chapter dealing with Greek syntax, “because of” is listed as a remote meaning or translation of “eis”.

    Thanks for the correction, I did mean to use the term “literalist” instead of “legalist” in that same earlier post.

  70. “Just keep reading JP…”

    Thousands upon thousands of denominations do that JC, using sola scriptura believing that we can KNOW the essentials, yet, we all come to different conclusions, many contradicting. Since, I no longer believe in sola scriptura, simply me reading scripture must be backed by the authority that produced that cannon of scripture, the Catholic Church.

    As far as your question JC, I agree, we enter our journey of faith and become apart of His Church through baptism.

  71. Catherine said: “Yes, you are baptized INTO Christ-absolutely, but it is still Jesus who saves.”

    Isn’t that what we have been saying all along…
    Since we agree you can’t be saved and not be INTO Christ and we agree We are Baptized Into Christ, How can one have recieved salvation before Baptism?

  72. “Since we agree you can’t be saved and not be INTO Christ and we agree We are Baptized Into Christ, How can one have recieved salvation before Baptism?”

    This is where I will disagree with you. That is placing God in a narrow box. Though we do not know all the answers, our hope should be that his grace is bigger then our knowledge.

  73. 1 Corinthians 1:17 says “I didn’t come to Baptize.” You see Baptism is an act of obedience but not necessary for salvation

  74. Paul said He didn’t come to baptize. But he didn’t say baptism is not necessary for salvation.
    If you’ll read the whole chapter he explains why he was Glad he didn’t personally baptize all of them.

  75. Also Ephesians 2:8 plain as day says we aren’t saved by our works. It is Grace that saves us. These Campbellites aren’t following this 100% as they say they are. I am a Christian regardless if I am Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, or whatever. You see, it is He that saves us, Without Him we are all filthy rags. But when we accept the blood of Jesus we are Saints in the eyes of the Lord.

  76. Where does the Bible say that Denomenations are all hell bound, and Campbelites are the only true church. Tell me that JC

  77. “Since we agree you can’t be saved and not be INTO Christ and we agree We are Baptized Into Christ, How can one have recieved salvation before Baptism?”

    How is this placing God in a Box?

    Are you saying you can be saved and not be INTO Christ?

  78. It is not Grace that saves us It is BY GRACE we are saved thru Faith.

    Lets not forget about faith
    Dead faith? faith without works is dead…

  79. Alexander Campbell was Baptized in the Presbyterian church. Is he in Hell. and he is your leader. The founder of your denomonation.

  80. Actually, I am a Christian only not a Campbellite..

    You come from out of the Blue and start calling names. WoW.

    Granny always said eat your first biscuit before you ask for another one.

    How about coming to an agreement that One has to be INTO Christ to be saved and according to Romans 6 and Galations 3:27 one gets INTO Christ By submitting to Baptism for remmission of sins…

  81. Actually Dane, I can see where you might think that, and we can trace our history back to Campbell and those involved in the Restoration movement, but Alexander Campbell never wanted us to associate ourselves with him or take on his name-he refuted this idea over and over because he did not want anyone to take on the name “Campbellite”. In fact, that is exactly what he was trying to get away from:

    “He founded no new sect or denomination. He said in The Christian Baptist of 1826: “I have no idea of adding to the catalogue of new sects. I labor to see sectarianism abolished and all Christians of every name united upon the one foundation upon which the apostolic church was founded. To bring Baptists and Pedobaptists to this is my supreme end.” It is contrary to fact and contrary to all reliable history to state that Alexander Campbell founded the “Campbellite Church” or any other church. He did no such thing, and those who so state contradict the facts and truthful history. He simply called upon people to take the New Testament as their guide and the church of the New Testament as the only church which is authorized by the word of God.”

    I know some in our heritage will completely deny any role they played in our history claiming we are the “one true church”, but I know that is not true. However, the plea was to be “Christians only, not the only Christians”. Just thought I would share that information…

  82. Rick wrote: In response let me say that according to “ A manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament” by Dana and Mantey in their chapter dealing with Greek syntax, “because of” is listed as a remote meaning or translation of “eis”.

    Thanks for the correction, I did mean to use the term “literalist” instead of “legalist” in that same earlier post

    I guess by “remote meaning” they mean VERY remote. So remote it is never used in scripture. If you understand that the literal meaning is “in order to” why wouldn’t you want to follow the literal meaning?

    Dane wrote: Romans 10.13 Says “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”

    So, how do we call upon the name of the Lord? Just say the word “Lord”? Ananias told Paul that it was in BAPTISM that we call upon the name of the Lord. Jesus said that not everyone who calls him Lord will be saved, so obviously it is more than a verbal confession.

    Dane, you seem to enjoy throwing around the name “Campbellite”. I don’t follow Campbell and neither does JC, Norm or Johnny. I only follow the Bible. Do me a favor and point out a teaching of Alexander Campbell that isn’t found in the Bible that we follow.

    As far as being saved by grace, that is true. We are saved by grace…THROUGH faith, as JC already pointed out. I have already explained the difference between accepting grace and earning grace. You’re failure to accept it doesn’t make it any less true.

  83. Corey and JC,

    In a conversation with another person who preaches the same doctrine as Johnny and the rest, the other person said:

    “I’m working my way to heaven. I’m earning nothing by doing so. The only thing I deserve is to burn in hell for all eternity.”

    I understand that you don’t know the context of this quote, but I wonder what you guys think of this quote, just as it is – knowing that it came from “one of your own”.

    Just FYI – here was my response to his quote:

    “What do you mean “I’m earning nothing by doing so”? Aren’t you earning heaven? If not, then what do you mean you are “working [your] way to heaven”? The last sentence I agree with – but not just you – it is what we all deserve. Thank God for His grace which pulls our feet from the fire.”

    Nathan

  84. Nathan,

    I can’t answer for the teachings and words of other men that I don’t know. I really don’t know exactly what he means, but I would assume he means the following:

    I’m working my way to heaven:
    In Titus 2:14 we are told that God’s people should be zealous (actively seeking to do) good works. Maybe this man means he is trying to do the good works of God in anticipation of being a good servant while upon God’s earth.

    I’m earning nothing by doing so:
    In Ephesians 2:9 we see that no matter how many works we do it will never earn God’s grace. While that doesn’t exclude our obedience it means that our obedience can’t EARN that grace. Perhaps this man is acknowledging that even by doing the good works of God they will never merit his salvation.

    The only thing I deserve is to burn in hell for all eternity:
    Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Perhaps this man is saying that since he has fallen short & sinned he knows he deserves to be punished but he knows that God is able to save him from that punishment through His great mercy.

    Again, I can’t tell you exactly what he meant, because I don’t know him or even the exact context in which it was spoken. I can only conjecture, and in the end, that man’s thoughts and beliefs only matter as much as they agree with the word of God.

    Corey

  85. Answering COC,
    I’m not totally sure what the person you are talking about meant, but I have to say Corey is probably right on.

    Since you are Answering COC,
    1. Do you believe one can be saved outside of Christ?
    2. What do Gal 3:27 and Romans 6:3 say put’s one into Christ?

  86. JC,

    The problem with your view is that you are making it sound like a car engine repair manual that God himself must strictly follow. Its too simple to state “We are baptized INTO Christ”, if not baptized “we are not in Christ and not saved”

    Though we can, at face value, agree with that. We must allow God the opportunity to be bigger then we can fathom. That he is not bound by what we believe and that His grace could extend further then the box we have him in.

  87. Re: my last post, yeah, I didn’t think you’d get much out of that without context. Just thought I’d give it a shot.

    JC:

    1. No, at least not as far as I can tell from Scripture – Acts 4:12. But, God “is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” Ps. 103:8, so who knows how far God’s mercy may extend at the end of the day? But again, I believe that we are called to teach Christ as the only way to salvation (John 14:6), and that’s what I do when given the opportunity.

    2. Neither verse says anything “puts one into Christ”. Gal 3:27 says “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Romans 6:3 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

    Hope this was helpful.

    Nathan

  88. Alright
    First in response to Galations 3:27, which says 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    There is a WHOLE chapter before that verse that does a lot of self-clarification.

    1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

    Hmmm… interesting

    And 6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    Now the definition of righteousness is this: 1. The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude

    so Abraham was “made right” through belief. very interesting that baptism is not mentioned here.

    I do not believe that scripture contradicts itself but clearly the first part of Galations 3 is referring to faith that happens by belief in Jesus Christ and not by human works.

    Follow me to my next response because I have a very interesting thought.

  89. Now… Romans 6:3- 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

    My first thought when I was reading this.. was very simple
    Hmmm… I wonder what “baptism” really means. Because we look to the symbolic act of Jesus Christ being baptized in the river by John the Baptist and that was a baptism of water. However every verse that you have posted about baptism makes no mention of water.

    Which leads me to an interesting thought… could not this baptism that the passage you have read be referring to a baptism of the Holy Spirit. The part in a believer’s life when the Holy Spirit comes into their life and “immerses them?”.

    Let me give some verses that might support this interesting thought.
    1 Corinthians 12:13- For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

    Acts 1:4-5 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

    So in Acts 1, that’s Jesus Christ Himself speaking to the Apostles. And he says very clearly that John baptized with water but the apostles are about to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

    So could not this baptism of the Holy Spirit be the “baptism” that are in each verse that follows in the rest of the New Testament?

    Which would mean that upon belief, confession, repentance that a person is spiritually baptized with the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean that a physical baptism in water is unimportant as it becomes a physical representation of what has already occured spiritually.

  90. So my question to you JC and anyone else.

    were in all your verses that quote baptism does it include the word “water”?

  91. In regards to Abraham, what did he do with his belief? Did he say, “God, I believe you” and God said, “Good enough”?

    No, Abraham’s belief was supported by action. He left his home for a land he had never seen. He prepared to sacrifice his son because of his belief. James says that faith (belief) without works is dead. If Abraham’s belief wasn’t followed by obedience to God it would have been a dead and worthless belief and therefore not acceptable to God.

    Regarding your second post, Ephesians 4:5 says there is ONE baptism. That means for us today there is only one baptism. Even in the baptist church you immerse in water because you recognize that Jesus commanded that everyone be immersed in water. You can’t say we are to have Holy Spirit baptism & water baptism and then say there is ONE baptism. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is different from the GIFT of the Holy Spirit that all Christians receive as promised in Acts 2. John the Baptizer also said that Jesus would baptize with fire, but that is the fire of Hell in which he will immerse the wicked on the day of judgment. Again, that is not the ONE baptism for those who would be Christians.

    As you pointed out, Jesus promised His APOSTLES that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and when you read Acts 2 you will see that promise coming true. The only other time we see anyone being baptized with the Holy Spirit was with Cornelius and his household as a sign that the Gentiles were to be accepted into the church. I am glad that you acknowledged that the promise was to the Apostles.

  92. So in the way of our friend JC I ask again.

    were in all your verses does it say that baptism is specifically with water?

  93. Paul preached ONE baptism, you are correct, the ONE baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    In fact in 1 corinthians Paul emphasizes that he was thankful he had NOT baptized anyone but the two mentioned because then people would claim they were baptized into the name of Paul. The outward act is not the ONE baptism because that becomes the efforts of man and God is seeking the credit Himself which happens when it is His Holy Spirit that does the baptizing not a man or any body of water.

  94. So any other time in the 4 gospels when Jesus is speaking we can assume that His words are not meant for us Corey? Because He spoke to the crowds and the disciples so I guess all of Jesus’ words become null and void since they weren’t directed directly to Corey, Katie, Jc, etc?

  95. Keeping in mind that we were told in Ephesians that there is ONE baptism, here are some verses that show that the ONE baptism is a water baptism:

    1 Peter 3: 20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21Corresponding 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,

    John 3: 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Acts 8: 35 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! WATER! What prevents me from being baptized?”

  96. right the Eunuch was looking to the water but in the scripture that mandates that salvation is received in baptism, the mention of water is not there

    of course the eunuch and others were looking to the water because when John the Baptist was preaching, that’s what he was doing and the scripture in John by Jesus, gains further clarification in the verse I already mentioned in Acts where Jesus is clear that though they were once baptized with water they would now be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

  97. So, when Jesus said one would betray Him, He was talking about one of us, right? Or was He talking about Judas? When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit baptism He was talking about the event that we read about in Acts 2 where the Holy Spirit fell upon the Apostles and they spoke in languages they had never studied.

    No, not all of Jesus’ words are null and void, but there is a difference between a specific promise to a specific group and a generic command for all people for all time. Had His words not been fulfilled on Pentecost with the Apostles I would see your point that it is for everyone for all time, but it was fulfilled and therefore not for us all.

  98. And as to the scripture in 1 Peter he is speaking of Noahs’ family being saved by the water but then it clearly says that baptism is not what saves you now at all, not for the removal of dirt which would happen if baptism occured in water.

  99. The Eunuch didn’t know John the Baptist since he was from Ethiopia. Even if he did, he was taught CHRIST by Philip who was a CHRISTIAN. It says that Philip preached to him CHRIST and interestingly enough the first thing he says after being taught CHRIST is “Look! WATER! What keeps me from being baptized?” From there, they went down into the WATER and the eunuch was baptized and THEN he went on his way rejoicing.

  100. Reading that verse I would say that of course he wanted to be baptized to signify the spiritual event that had just occured.

    I think Katherine has mentioned many times the beauty that we find in the act of baptism as it relates the whole picture of old life becoming new. I know that when I was saved I WANTED to be baptized and I want all that I counsel to be baptized after they have made the life-changing commitment and felt the Holy Spirit in their lives.

    I just obviously disagree and I am afraid that there is nothing that anyone on this planet could say that would cause me doubt my salvation and my relationship with the Lord.

  101. Katie wrote: And as to the scripture in 1 Peter he is speaking of Noahs’ family being saved by the water but then it clearly says that baptism is not what saves you now at all, not for the removal of dirt which would happen if baptism occured in water.

    Actually, Peter clearly says that baptism DOES now save you. It doesn’t wash away dirt it puts us INTO Christ as the verses JC posted clearly state and in Christ His blood cleanses us from sin. Peter is saying that the effect of baptism isn’t an outward effect (physical cleansing) it is an inward effect (giving us access to the blood that cleanses from sin).

  102. At the time that Jesus was walking the earth, salvation did not happen as you and I know it today. He had not yet died for the sins of the world and been resurrected.

    That would be my best explanation.

  103. I knew you would say that! LOL

    and I thought I would say back “but you said there are specific and generic times”… lol

  104. no I don’t think so… were you?

    honestly you know what I am coming to understand?

    scripture IS complicated and it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to help us interpret and even then we are subject to human agendas and intentions (me included), no matter how much we try to interpret it “correctly”.

    Like I said. I have no doubts in my salvation and my relationship. You (or JC) may feel I was not baptized “right” or for the right reasons. And I respect that. I think the verses are easy to interpret both to support your view and mine. But regardless I am thankful for the truth that is Jesus and that none of us can argue that He is the centrality of it all.

    So I think I’ll sign off of this argument not because I cannot hang with the discussion anymore or because I’m “giving up” but because I don’t want things to get unfriendly and I forsee us running in a million circles which will accomplish nothing for the kingdom of God.

  105. No, I don’t believe I was wrong. Jesus told Nicodemus that if “one” wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven he must be born of the water and the spirit. He told the Apostles “you” will receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My position has not changed. “One” is everyone. “You” were the Apostles.

    I also disagree that we need anything other than the word itself to understand the word of God. Paul said that when we “read” we will understand. He told Timothy to “study” to show himself approved. Never are we told that we need the intervention of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s word. What we need is to cast off our preconceived notions and beliefs and not allow our consciences to be “seared as with a hot iron” to the point that we can’t acknowledge that what we’ve been taught may be incorrect.

    Jesus is the central focus of our faith, I do not deny it. But He said if we love Him we would keep His commandments. He didn’t say, “if you love me you’ll look for the big picture and not worry about the details of my commandments”.

    I appreciate the discussion we’ve had and I know that sometimes these discussions will not lead to anyone having a change of mind or heart. But I do pray that we will all consider it worth our while to defend our faith and beliefs and hopefully make changes when we see they are needed.

  106. Corey said “I appreciate the discussion we’ve had and I know that sometimes these discussions will not lead to anyone having a change of mind or heart. But I do pray that we will all consider it worth our while to defend our faith and beliefs and hopefully make changes when we see they are needed.”

    I agree and I feel that I have defended my position as best I could. I feel changes necessary in regards to my salvation. I have received my salvation in full.

    Thank you for the interesting conversations.
    God bless.

  107. I think you meant “I fell no changes necessary in regards to my salvation” 😉

    I have enjoyed your input on here, too and hope we can talk further. Blessings~

  108. Ok, going back through the discussion…I wanted to get something clarified-Corey, I’m not sure what you are saying-are you stating that only those on Pentecost received the Holy Spirit today, and that we do not receive the same today when we are baptized? Or do you believe we do receive it?

  109. Katherine – Jesus promised only the Apostles that they would be BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit. Meaning that they would have the miraculous gifts of the Spirit and the ability to pass those gifts to others by laying their hands on them.

    ALL Christians are promised the GIFT of the Holy Spirit as we read in Acts 2:38. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives us the Holy Spirit in our lives. The scriptures say that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer and says those things for which we cannot find the words. I know that this is part of that gift.

    The Spirit is the same, but the way He works in and on us is very different from the way He worked on the Apostles. So yes, all Christians receive the Holy Spirit, but no, not in the exact same way as the Apostles.

    Have I been clear enough?

  110. I am not sure why we are still arguing baptism here. If you look at the history of the faith, the church fathers, early christian writings, Church teachings, scripture, there is 0 indication that baptism was a mere symbol, an outward expression of inward change. The only way many honest folks come to that conclusion is because accepting it goes against another abiblical / unorthodox doctrine…..faith alone.

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