The Land Called Beulah

Where God Turns Ashes into Beauty

Month: September 2013

Baptism: An Open Dialogue

Last year at the fair a church had a stand where if you took their one-minute Bible quiz you would get a dollar. Now the only thing I like more than free money is talking about God so this was a winner. I stepped up to the tent where two older teens greeted me. I believe their names were Jessica and Benjamin. 

They started by asking me a few trick Bible questions like, “How many of each animal did Moses take on the Ark?” And “how many commandments did Noah have?” etc. 

They then asked me to name the Ten Commandments. I started singing the Ten Commandment Boogie by GoFish (we just taught it to the kids at VBS two weeks prior so I had this one down!)

They  then asked, “Do you think you’ve done what you need to do to be saved?”

“Yes,” I said.

“You got this one wrong,” they said. “Jesus dying on the cross saved you. Nothing you could do saves you.”

“You’re right. Jesus dying on the cross is the only thing that saved me. However, salvation is a covenant God wants to make with us. Not everyone has agreed to that. The Bible specifically says there are things you must do to be saved, like get the Holy Spirit and be baptized in Jesus’ name. I’ve done what the Bible says is required to be saved.”

“Baptism doesn’t save you, it’s just a way to publicly profess your faith,” said Jessica.

“Then why did Jesus say that unless a man is born of the water and Spirit he will not enter into the kingdom of God? Or why, when the people in Acts asked what they had to do in response to the preaching on Jesus Peter told them to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and that they would be filled with the Holy Ghost?”

“God wants us to do those things but they aren’t necessary for salvation,” Jessica replied.

Benjamin got up and went to go talk to one of the adults on the other side of the tent.

“Jessica,” I said, “Do you think that once someone is saved then they’ll be saved forever?”

“Um,” she started.

“Like, if someone gives their life to God and then decides one day I don’t want to follow the Bible anymore and goes out and lives however he wants, maybe does drugs, kills someone, etc. Is he still saved?”

“No.”

“Okay, so you do agree that we have to try our best to follow the Bible to be saved.”

“Yeah.”

“So would you say that if the Bible clearly tells us to do something and we don’t do it, then we are sinning?”

“Well, yeah.”

“So if the Bible says to be baptized in the name of Jesus and we don’t do that, then we are sinning?”

“Yes.”

“And you said that you didn’t think that if someone was deliberately disobeying the Bible that they would be saved, right? Because they’re deliberately sinning?”

“Mhm.”

“So if someone doesn’t get baptized and they know the Bible says to, then they are purposefully sinning. And that means they’re not saved?”

“Yeah.”

“So would you say someone has to be baptized to be saved, like Jesus told Nicodemus and like Peter preached to the crowds in Acts?”

“Yeah, I guess you do.”

Is Your God ONE or THREE?

-Isaiah prophesied of the Jesus’ birth:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6

So Jesus would be called “The mighty God” and He would be called “The everlasting Father”. If Jesus and the Father are separate Gods, how can Jesus be called the “Everlasting Father”?

-Matthews tells of the conception of the baby Jesus:

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” -Matthew 1:18

Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost. But if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are separate, doesn’t that make the Holy Ghost the father and not the Father the father? Clearly, the Father and the Holy Ghost are the same.

-Paul explains the omnipresence of God:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” -I Timothy 3:16

God was manifest in the flesh. God became man. Self explanatory.

-Paul also explains:

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:…For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” -Colossians 2:6,9

Most people say Jesus is the second in the Godhead…the BIBLE says the Godhead is in Jesus (“Jesus” means “Jehovah has become our Savior”)

-Jesus commands His followers to:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” -Matthew 28:19

What is the name (singular) of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Given that every account of baptism in the Bible since this verse was done in the name of Jesus, and the Bible says Jesus shall be called the “Everlasting Father”, it is clear that “the name” is “Jesus”.

-Furthermore, Luke writes:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” -Acts 4:12 (4:10 specifies this verse speaks of Jesus)

Is salvation is found only in the name of Jesus, again, it is clear that “the name” is “Jesus”

-When Saul/Paul had his conversion experience:

“And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” -Acts 9:5

Paul asked God who He was and He responded, “I am Jesus”

-In Isaiah God said:

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” -Isaiah 44:6

“Beside me there is no God”. This statement implies that there are not two other Gods or equals, thus, God is One.

-He also says:

“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” -Isaiah 45:21

-Moses states:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:” -Deuteronomy 6:4

-Moses also states:

“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” -Deutonomy 4:39

-Paul states:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” -Ephesians 4:4-6

-James states:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” -James 2:19

-Jesus states:

“I and my Father are one.” -John 10:30

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” -Revelation 22:13

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” -Revelation 1:7-8

10 Reminders that God will Not Forsake Us

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” -Hebrews 13:5c

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” -II Corinthians 4:8-9

“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” -Psalm 9:10

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” -Psalm 37:25

“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” -Isaiah 62:4

“And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” -Isaiah 62:12

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” -Joshua 1:5

“…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” -Matthew 28:20b