Baptism

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  • Baptism

    As a newer Christian (within the last 7-8 years) I have not had the opportunity to get baptized as of yet. I believe that it is more of a spiritual decision and not something absolutely necessary, because my acceptance of Jesus is in my heart no matter what, and that baptism is just a proclamation of that. But I have also heard that I will not go to heaven if I am not baptized...what is the right answer? Are there different beliefs within different denominations of Chrisitanity on this?

  • #2
    No matter which view you hold, should you not follow Jesus and the apostles teachings, namely be baptize?
    Comment>

    • #3
      There is a view that baptism is essential to salvation, and there is Scriptural support for that view. Although not all Christians believe that baptism is essential to salvation, the alternative view is that baptism represents the first act of obedience to God. In a sense then, it is a matter of semantics. If Jesus is truly in your heart, then I would think you would want to follow the example that He gave, and that of the early church, which is that whenever it was physically possible to do so, after a person believed, he was baptized. I grew up in a church that baptized the children of church members as infants, which I do not view as a Biblical baptism. Not knowing any better, however, I became a Christian at the age of thirteen, but it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I came to realize that I needed to be baptized as a believer. Had I died during the years after I asked Christ into my heart and the time that I was baptized, would God have accepted my ignorance as a legitimate excuse? I don't truly know, but I am pleased that I was finally baptized as a believer.
      Comment>

      • #4
        All you really need to do is look at the examples in the bible. Whenever someone was converted to Christianity they were baptized, and in many cases it was them and their entire household. The individual (the believer) was baptized because they were now a part of God's covenant and have accepted His salvation. No baptism does not facilitate salvation, but it is a sign of it. An outward showing that you are now set apart.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Lila View Post
          As a newer Christian (within the last 7-8 years) I have not had the opportunity to get baptized as of yet. I believe that it is more of a spiritual decision and not something absolutely necessary, because my acceptance of Jesus is in my heart no matter what, and that baptism is just a proclamation of that. But I have also heard that I will not go to heaven if I am not baptized...what is the right answer? Are there different beliefs within different denominations of Chrisitanity on this?
          Catholics, Orthodox and some Protestant denominations believe that Baptism is salvific. Other Christians do not.

          It is one of those disputes that goes on and on.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Hi Lila, there are many different beliefs concerning the efficacy and practice of baptism within the pale of Christendom, but there is at least one thing that we ALL believe, if you have never been baptized, you need to be!! I don't know how your church handles baptisms (we like to use an outdoor swimming pool, so this is "baptism season" for us right now ;)), but go to your pastor this Sunday, tell him you'd like to be baptized, and he'll take care of the rest.

            Yours and His,
            David


            Last edited by David Lee; 06-22-2016, 01:44 PM.
            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
            Comment>

            • #7
              I was baptized as an infant, and I hear time and time again, that this doesn't count, but I firmly believe that in the eyes of God, it does. I am His child, and everyone who knows me, knows that as well, not because they got to watch me get dunked but because they can see how I live in Him. I personally have witnessed very few actual baptisms, yet I know of a lot of born-again Christians and I don't need to have them prove it to me by getting wet. They prove it in a lot of other ways and I know beyond a doubt that they are members of the family of God. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit back in 1992, and that was good enough for me. I never bothered to get re-baptized since I feel it was good enough the first time around. Basically, it's your personal choice whether you do it after becoming a Christian or not. You will go to Heaven regardless, so rejoice in that. :)
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Novelangel View Post
                I was baptized as an infant, and I hear time and time again, that this doesn't count, but I firmly believe that in the eyes of God, it does. I am His child, and everyone who knows me, knows that as well, not because they got to watch me get dunked but because they can see how I live in Him. I personally have witnessed very few actual baptisms, yet I know of a lot of born-again Christians and I don't need to have them prove it to me by getting wet. They prove it in a lot of other ways and I know beyond a doubt that they are members of the family of God. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit back in 1992, and that was good enough for me. I never bothered to get re-baptized since I feel it was good enough the first time around. Basically, it's your personal choice whether you do it after becoming a Christian or not. You will go to Heaven regardless, so rejoice in that. :)
                I have come to understand that it depends on the denomination of the people that are saying this. My siblings and I were all baptized as infants as we grew up in the CRC, however, some of my siblings have since started attending more liberal churches who do not, necessarily, ascribe to Reformed theology. In one case one of my brothers had joined another church and was re-baptized. I tried to point out how unnecessary that was highlighting what Paul told the Jews about pretty much this very issue and used circumcision as an illustration of his point. Ok, so you were circumcised as an infant will you now have it done again when you become an adult and are able to choose for yourself that you will be a follower of God? Of course not, that would be tantamount to self-mutilation.

                One baptism is sufficient for anyone.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Knotical View Post
                  One baptism is sufficient for anyone.
                  Amen!!!

                  “And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

                  - Nicene Creed
                  God bless,
                  William
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Origen View Post
                    No matter which view you hold, should you not follow Jesus and the apostles teachings, namely be baptize?
                    Agreed. Baptism has often be called "the first act of obedience". I can't think of a good reason for a new Christian to not be baptized.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      You should be baptised because the Bible says that even Jesus was baptised. It costs nothing to be baptised, you also have to remember. By getting baptised, you come to fully accept God since it strengthens your faith. It has a spiritual meaning than just thinking about justifying your daily life. Think about it and be baptised as soon as possible.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        dirtfarmer here

                        This is my first post on this forum.

                        1 Corinthians 12:13 states " For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

                        In Matthew 3:11 John said; " I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire:"

                        Ephesians 4:5 " One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"

                        If Jesus Christ baptizes with the Spirit and there is one baptism, where does water baptism fit. Some say it is our witness to the world that we have salvation. Was the world present at your water baptism? It is the Spirit baptism that creates us in Christ Jesus. Being baptized by the Spirit is what makes us a new creation in Christ Jesus and by that baptism we have died with Christ, been resurrected with him and walk in newness of life. It is by the new creation in Christ that a lost and dying world sees the change that has happened in us and we are not the same person that we once was.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dirtfarmer View Post
                          dirtfarmer here

                          This is my first post on this forum.
                          G'day dirtfarmer, and welcome to CF.org!

                          Originally posted by dirtfarmer View Post
                          1 Corinthians 12:13 states " For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

                          In Matthew 3:11 John said; " I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire:"

                          Ephesians 4:5 " One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"

                          If Jesus Christ baptizes with the Spirit and there is one baptism, where does water baptism fit. Some say it is our witness to the world that we have salvation. Was the world present at your water baptism? It is the Spirit baptism that creates us in Christ Jesus. Being baptized by the Spirit is what makes us a new creation in Christ Jesus and by that baptism we have died with Christ, been resurrected with him and walk in newness of life. It is by the new creation in Christ that a lost and dying world sees the change that has happened in us and we are not the same person that we once was.
                          Your conditional statement is both false, but true. Lemme explain, please read John 3:
                          • 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).24


                          Now read John 4:
                          • 4 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples),

                          Baptism is physically done with water and commissioned to the disciples, all believers have this in common, that is, one baptism.... in John 4 we can infer from the Scriptures that Jesus was probably preaching the word while the disciples baptized with water. John clarifies John chapter 3. The baptism is as though done by Jesus when performed by Jesus' disciples.

                          Originally posted by dirtfarmer View Post
                          Being baptized by the Spirit is what makes us a new creation in Christ Jesus and by that baptism
                          I believe you are blending or confusing two theological terms, to just be sure I am including an article for you to read: Regeneration differs from Baptism: What does "Rebirth", "Born Again", "Born from Above" or "Regeneration" Mean? -Christforums

                          In Matthew 3:11 John was a minister of the outward sign of water baptism, and Christ was the author of the spiritual baptism. I think it also worthwhile to understand this point as written in the Westminster Confession of Faith:

                          V. Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

                          [13] LUK 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. EXO 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

                          [14] ROM 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. ACT 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

                          [15] ACT 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
                          Hope this helps!

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            hello William, dirtfarmer here

                            If I understand what the Westminster confession is saying, unless one is baptized (water) then they are not and cannot be saved(regenerated). Scripture states "that without the shedding of blood there is no remission"(Hebrews 9:22 "Without the shedding of Blood is no remission). The thing that most people don't or can't understand is that "sins" are the fruit of the nature that we receive from Adam, which is the sin nature. Can you supply scripture that states that anything but unbelief at the time of death is what condemns a person to eternal separation from God?

                            As to the circumcision of Moses' son, was that before or after Abraham? If I understand scripture, it was some 400 years after Abraham. Also, during the wilderness journey there was no circumcisions performed( Joshua 5:2-6). It was 11 days journey from Horeb by way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea, but it took them about 40 years wandering and the death of all the males that were circumcised in Egypt before they passed into the land of promise. Why did all those that left Egypt die in the wilderness, even though they were circumcised, and not enter the land of promise? We find the answer in Hebrews 3:19; "So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief."

                            Have you studied Cornelius in Acts 10? He was a devout man and one the feared God: study about God fearers. They were Gentiles during the time of law that lived according to the Abrahamic covenant. The had access to and worshipped in the Jewish synagogues.

                            As to Simon, in Acts 8:21 it is stated " Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God." In verse 13 it is stated the he believed and was baptized, but he was not saved according to verse 21. Simon was still thinking in terms of magical powers and had not repented in his heart. When Peter and John came he wanted to buy what they had.

                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dirtfarmer View Post
                              If I understand what the Westminster confession is saying, unless one is baptized (water) then they are not and cannot be saved(regenerated).
                              Hi Dirtframer, while the WCF speaks of baptism in a most serious manner, I believe it actually says quite the opposite of your stated understanding of it, at least where regeneration is concerned (see below, particularly the parts in bold):


                              Westminster Confession of Faith
                              Chapter XXVIII


                              Of Baptism




                              I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[1] not only for the solemnadmission of the party baptizedinto the visibleChurch;[2] but also to be unto him A SIGN AND A SEAL of the covenant of grace,[3] of his ingrafting into Christ,[4] of regeneration,[5]of remission of sins,[6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life.[7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.[8]

                              II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

                              III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.[10]

                              IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[11] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[12]

                              V.Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are NOT so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

                              VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[16] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.[17]

                              VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[18]


                              Hope that helps!

                              In Christ,
                              David
                              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                              "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                              Comment>
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