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Since Baptism is Essential, Which Baptism is Correct?
By answering the Baptist Preacher’s 13 questions since April (see AUDIO PAGE), we have seen that WATER BAPTISM is the ONLY entrance into God’s kingdom of Jesus Christ. BUT, there is an account where 12 people were baptized in water in Acts 19, and Paul asks TWO simple questions to find out if their baptism was correct:
1. DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?
We were not taught this part of the Gospel at all.
2. INTO WHAT THEN WERE YOU BAPTIZED?
(What was the ceremony for?) Notice: BELIEF = BAPTISM
What were you taught about your baptism?
WE WERE TAUGHT JOHN’S BAPTISM. Which is?
Mark 1:4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Repent & be immersed in water (cleansing) - to have your sins are forgiven.
PAUL’S ANSWER: No good! This water baptism does NOTHING to put one into a NEW Covenant. John's Baptism was ONLY for those already in a Covenant with God, ie. the Mosaic Covenant.
WHY DID PAUL HAVE THEM RE-BAPTIZED?
FIRST RESPONSE: Why did Paul have them re-baptized?
These 12 did not know about Jesus and His death & resurrection when they responded. But what matters is that I believe in Jesus and His sacrifice for me ACCURATELY and that's what counts!
Answer from Scripture:
Acts 18: 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
What did Apollos have wrong? His teaching on water baptism (see above)
Apollos was told that one must be taught the things concerning Jesus accurately, and must ALSO be taught what is promised in water baptism based on what Jesus has done.
Acts 2: 38 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. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."
CORRECT WATER BAPTISM CONSISTS OF:
1. Knowing you are dead in sin & trespasses and can do nothing! (faith can be in nothing you do in any way!)
2. GOD’S Promise says: Allow yourself to be immersed into water as a symbol of the helplessness of death & the grave, then be raised up and God will wash away all sin AND THEN place THE Gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling in your body, making you born again of water & Spirit, as you take on the NAME of Jesus in a covenant exactly like marriage.
SECOND RESPONSE: Why did Paul have them re-baptized:
What if they did not completely understand all of that, but their INTENT was to be joined to Christ in the baptism ceremony? Baptists - Mormons - Catholics - MOST of all the “Christian” faiths teach a form of Baptism. Which one is correct? Isn’t it what the person BEING baptized believes & intends that counts, rather than the beliefs of the Church that baptized them? Answer from Scripture: Genesis 29:25 So it came about in the morning (after Jacob believed & intended to marry Rachel) that, behold, it was Leah!
Was it Jacob’s INTENTIONS in his marriage ceremony or who he stood with during the ceremony that counted?
Since Jacob did all that work for Rachel, not Leah, was Rachel actually his wife when the sun rose? NO
Since Jacob Loved Rachel with all his heart, not Leah, was Rachel actually his wife at sunrise? NO
Since Jacob BELIEVED & INTENDED to be joined to Rachel, not Leah in the marriage ceremony, was Rachel really his wife? NO
WHAT DETERMINES the Bride that Jacob is actually joined with????
What Bride that he stood with at the marriage ceremony!!
Does the Father being a deceiver & Jacob believing his lie change who the Bride is? NO
What must Jacob do to be actually joined to the one he desires?
GO THROUGH THE CEREMONY AGAIN with the correct Bride this time!
How does the Deceiver & Father of lies try to keep people from being joined to Christ, today? Convinces them it does not matter which faith or denomination that they stood with in the ceremony which was intended to join them to Christ. What they believed & intended assures them that they were joined to the correct Bride. The deception upon Jacob with Leah by a father of lies should prove to them that they are wrong.
THIRD RESPONSE: Why did Paul have them re-baptized-
The CEREMONY does not really matter in God’s New Covenant!
If you work in servitude to be joined to Christ, then the covenant joins you!
If you love Jesus with all your heart, then the covenant joins you!
If you BELIEVE in faith that you are joined to Christ, then the covenant joins you!
If you complete the ceremony with a false Bride, the covenant still joins you to the True Bride!
Nonsense! If the correct ceremony is NOT essential, WHY did Paul insist in these 12 people being re-baptized at all? And why did God have Luke record it in the Scriptures?
God’s New Covenant Ceremony stands on what you are promised in the ceremony & who you are with during the ceremony.
If either is false, then when the son appears - Behold! It was Leah!!
How was Jacob finally joined to Rachel (lamb)?
When he saw that his Bride was NOT the correct one, he went through the ceremony again with the one he truly wanted to be joined to.
In the exact same way, when you realize that the denomination or faith that baptized you does not teach the Gospel, including baptism, correctly, you go through the ceremony again with the correct Bride.
Acts 19: 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
They were taught the correct promises.
They were standing with the correct Bride.
Revelation 1:6 He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father
Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride.
They were baptized by priests INTO the Name of Jesus Christ.
The Ceremony is authorized, the Bride is correct, the promises are fulfilled and the covenant that joins us to Christ as long as we both shall live is put into effect. That is truly the Good News!!
Stress - Physiology. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
STRESS = the inability to fulfill your obligations
the inability to meet other’s expectations
How much STRESS did God plan for us when we became His children?
Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
God’s Expectation = LOVE your neighbor! Beyond our ability?
Love is patient & kind - stressful? or relieves stress?
Love is not easily provoked nor keeps a grudge. - stressful? or relieves it?
Love forgives and shows self-control. - stressful?
Your Obligation = share only what you have Beyond our ability?
Math. 25: 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, `Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 `For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, `Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 `And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 `When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "The King will answer and say to them, `Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
ANY STRESS in a Christian’s life CANNOT BE because of what God expects of them!
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
Faith is the absolute certainty in God’s ability to succeed, not our own!
Eph. 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Salvation cannot be based on our ability to obey or serve or even believe! (where is any stress?)
Salvation must be based on our confidence in God’s ability to keep His Word, NOT our ability to keep it!
1 John 5: 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
What do they agree upon? What ONE THING is based on water & Blood & the Spirit?
... 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
ETERNAL LIFE is based on a covenant that uses WATER, BLOOD, & the SPIRIT!
OUR ABILITY & CHARACTER HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!
Should we ever feel stress or worry concerning if we are saved or not? NO!
1 John 5: 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
WHAT IS THIS TESTIMONY IN US that proves “THE LIFE” in us?
Stress free Christianity before others that shows Love, Joy, Peace, patience, forgiveness & self-control!
James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials
Hebrews 10:34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.
Philipp 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
Whatever stress or worry or tension you find in your life, it is because you have not fully believed that:
1. God is in control and that He does not make mistakes.
2. Your own mistakes are not completely forgiven & then used by God for your own good.
3. The mistakes & foolishness of others are a daily pathway that God uses to lead you into being a better person.
Where is any stress once we believe this?
SIFTED LIKE WHEAT
Jesus Says something very dramatic to Peter when Peter says that he will NEVER forsake Jesus. Jesus says, "Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat."
Satan has demanded permission! Greek = exaiteomai to demand for one’s self.
Why would God say yes to any demand of Satan? Because He LOVES us?
What is Satan demanding for himself? "To sift you like wheat! The word "you" is plural in the Greek and can be translated "all of you." What exactly does this mean?
SIFT = siniazo - to shake or sift as through a sieve to strain out the bad to be seen
Notice what had just happened:
Luke 22:23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing (betray Jesus). 24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
WHEN does God give Satan the permission he desires to “sift” each one of us?
WHEN WE SEE OURSELVES AS DESERVING OF GOD’S GIFTS.
How did Peter see himself as Jesus’ follower?
33 But he said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!"
WHY did Peter think that Jesus had appointed him as “first apostle” with the keys of the kingdom? Because of his dedication and selfless service to God’s Savior! Peter thinks, "I deserve it!"
WHY were they all disputing about who was to be regarded as the greatest? Because of their dedication and selfless service to God’s Savior! They ALL thought, "I deserve it!!" Jesus’ response?
25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called `Benefactors.' 26 "But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.
Since Jesus explained what to do, and since they were all dedicated & committed to Jesus, WHY did God give Satan permission to sift them all like wheat?
This is explained by Jesus using Peter’s ORIGINAL NAME TWICE, Simon, Simon.
Simon = to have heard / to have listened
WHEN God’s people see themselves as “good people”.
WHEN God’s people dispute about others being “good enough”
WHEN God’s people trust in their faith & their commitment to God as unshakable.
God allows Satan: “Shake them. Sift them like wheat.” WHY?
When a Christian sees themselves as “good” & others as “bad” and their service to God as showing their “strength of character”, WHO ARE THEY LISTENING TO???
Who have they heard and believed? The Spirit of God? Or the spirits from Satan?
The sifting of Peter consisted of the situation that moved him to deny even knowing Jesus. What is the sifting God allows? To allow Satan to show you that ALL THE LIES he and his evil spirits have told you about yourself are just that: LIES! (Did Satan enjoy Peter’s tears?)
WHAT DID JESUS DO after the resurrection concerning Peter?
Mark 16: 6 And (the angel) said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7 "But go, tell His disciples and Peter
1 Cor. 15: 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
GOD TAKES SPECIAL EFFORT to let Peter know that all that he has been promised is STILL BEING OFFERED, if you will listen to God’s Spirit now and turn away from Satan’s spirits. Did Peter always listen to God’s voice after being sifted by the Devil?
Galatians 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
IS THIS BECAUSE PETER WAS BASICALLY A BAD PERSON?
DID SAUL PERSECUTE THE CHURCH BECAUSE HE WAS A BAD PERSON?
WHEN HE BECAME PAUL, DID HE CHANGE INTO A GOOD PERSON?
WAS THE CHURCH OF CORINTH SO BAD BECAUSE IT WAS FULL OF BAD PEOPLE? WAS PAUL TRYING TO CHANGE THEM INTO GOOD PEOPLE?
Did you USED TO do the things you did because you were a BAD PERSON, but now you are a Christian & a GOOD PERSON? NO!!
IS ANYONE actually born as a good person or bad person?
WASN’T JESUS BORN AS A GOOD PERSON and example to us?
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
Since every person is born neither GOOD nor BAD, what makes all the difference?
WHO YOU LISTEN TO! (My people do not know My voice!) Why are kids getting in trouble? They listen to the wrong people!
Why is so easy for Satan’s spirits to take your ear and tell you lies that you believe?
They are pleasing lies that we ALL want to be true!
PETER? “You are worthy to lead!” Once believed, we cannot see ourselves anymore! Think of all who teach given a “stricter judgment.” (they should be like me, their leader!)
SAUL? “You are worthy to Love!” Once believed, we cannot see others anymore!
WHY does Christ say, “LOVE & forgive your worst enemy?”(we think they’re not worthy of our love)
What happened to BOTH of these people?
They were sifted, shaken & broken down utterly so they could see the Truth.
Denied & wept bitterly - confronted to his face = who was Peter listening to?
Knocked down & humbled - given a thorn in his flesh = who was Paul listening to?
Is Satan shouting YOUR NAME & begging God to sift, shake & reduce you to bitter tears of helpless frustration & hopeless despair? Every day! When will God say “Yes”?
IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHO YOU CHOOSE TO LISTEN TO!!
Who tells you all the reasons & justifications on why you do not HAVE TO be at church Sunday tonight. Or Wednesday night? Or Sunday morning?
WHO are you listening to when you find reasons to skip assembly?
WHO would you be listening to if you came to assembly?
THINK of all the reasons & justifications on why you JUST CAN’T do what you said you would.
WHO are you listening to?
WHO tells you to stop, turn around & do what you know is right?
THINK of all the reasons & justifications on why you DON’T HAVE TIME to do what you know you should.
WHO are you listening to?
WHO tells you give your time away to others freely?
Who are you listening to when:
1. You don’t pick up the phone after checking caller ID?
2. You hide what your doing from your wife or your kids?
3. You repeat the story you said you would not repeat?
4. You go ahead, because it is easier to get forgiveness than permission? 5. You smile when someone gets what is coming to them?
6. You trust what you feel in your heart to be true?
7. You know you’re not a BAD person & it would be unfair for God to send you to hell.
8. My church is just as good as anyone else’s church!
9. You are a spiritual person and do not need an organized church to worship God.
10. You’re confident you KNOW what Scripture says; no need to study or question your own beliefs!
11. You’re confident others do not KNOW what Scriptures says and MOCK their beliefs!
12. You trust your own unshakable faith to be the power of God’s salvation!
13. You trust your own consistent service to be the source of God’s blessings!
14. You are justified in being angry when others point out the Truth about you, those hypocrites!
Will you LISTEN to God’s voice and be humbled?
Or to Satan’s voice & be humiliated?
Jeremiah 11:7 `For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, "Listen to My voice."
Back in April, I started a series in which I was going to clearly answer 13 questions put forward by a preacher at the Solid Rock Baptist Church. The website where he gives these questions is here:
I have answered 13 of these questions and have posted them all to the AUDIO page. The written notes for each lesson were all erased by the hacker that vandalized our website, so I will start with question 12 and try to put back all the written notes that go with each sermon audio.
Let's begin with the notes to Clearly Answered Question #12 & #13:
CLEARLY ANSWERED QUESTION #12
This 12th Question is trying to establish an apparent contradiction between basing salvation upon being Baptized in water and Grace NEVER being given on the basis of deeds of righteousness we have done. His question:
12. If salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, and baptism is a work of "righteousness," then how can water baptism be a part of salvation? (Titus 3:5; Matt. 3:16) In the Bible, we are SAVED BY GRACE, and grace does not involve human effort or merit - grace is grace and work is work! (Just read Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 11:6.)
His apparent contradiction that is the basis of his beliefs is this:
1. Salvation is NOT by works of righteousness which we have done.
Example - Titus 3: 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
2. Baptism is a work of righteousness.
Example - Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
3. THEREFORE, Baptism cannot be a part of God’s salvation.
But, he has very serious problems in this attempt at a "logical contradiction" between water baptism & salvation by Grace.
Problem 1: How can Jesus’ Baptism be a work or deed He has done when Jesus had to ask JOHN TO DO IT! (permit it at this time) All righteousness was fulfilled by the deed John did to Jesus, ie., immersing Jesus’ body in water. Being baptized, or immersed in water, is NOT a work or deed that one does, but an action which is done to them, therefore it DOES NOT contradict the verse "on the basis of deeds which we have done."
Problem 2: The verse used says salvation is by the washing of regeneration, NOT by anything a person does.
washing = (Gr.) loutron-the act of bathing a body in water.
(root) (louo = bathe a dead body)
regeneration = (Gr.) paliggenesia - two Greek words combined:
palin = to do again
genesis = birth/beginning
Paul uses two Greek words which mean "washing a body in water to be born again" when explaining the means of salvation!
Problem 3: The verse also says salvation is by the renewing from the Holy Spirit, NOT by a person doing anything.
renewing = (Gr.) anakainōsis - a complete change for the better
Holy Spirit = (Gr.) pneumatos hagiou = by means of the Holy Spirit
Compare this "washing" and "renewing" to:
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.
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