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Message - Re: Conversion Posted By B.D. Phillips on 11/21/2005 3:51:00 PM - Subscribe to this discussion here - Subscribe

Hello again Richard,
      Your question is good one. It is not uncommon for people to act on impulse; especially with regard to following peers. In my stint as a minister I have been approached on several occasions with similar questions.

The best answers always come from the Bible. In view of that let’s look at a very good example from God’s Word. In Acts 8:26-38 we read of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. In verse 35 we see Philip, after being invited by the eunuch to help him understand the reading from Isaiah 53, preaching Jesus to the eunuch. After Philip finished proclaiming Christ the eunuch asked a question in verse 36.    

“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”
(Acts 8:36)

Philip's response to the eunuch's question qualified who should be baptized.

“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37)  

Note the following answer to the eunuch’s question

         "If you believe...you may"

Proper “faith” is a necessary prerequisite to baptism, and is just as necessary in the plan of salvation. Jesus said,

“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
  
Through faith we can have life in His name…

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31)
  
You see baptism is an operation or working of God when a proper faith is present. Philip also allowed the Eunuch to know the response required a wholehearted faith. Philip said,

"If you believe with all your heart, you may"

Baptism without such faith renders one simply wet! God has always required a heart felt sincerity from anyone who responds in obedience to His commands. He required it from the children of Israel under the Law of Moses. Remember what Jesus said was the greatest commandment under the Law?
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37)  

That same type of heart felt sincerity in obeying God’s commands is required of those who will follow Christ today. This includes those who are responding to the gospel’s call, and those who have already responded.

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;” (Heb. 3:12-14)

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Col. 2:12-13)

I would never suggest that someone who is unsure about their salvation should take any chances. If the person you speak of is unsure then tell them it would be better to be safe than sorry.

His servant and yours,
B.D. Phillips

Current Replies -  Parent Post -  Main Board
Re: Conversion - Richard W. Thomas 11/21/2005 4:45:00 PM

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