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Doesn't John 3:5 require baptism for salvation?

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  • It is a symbolic gesture, as was stated. But is it giving more people a false sense of "accomplishment" (security) than giving true Christians a sense of unity? Should this water dunking be the thing that unifies us or should it be the same spirit that unifies. Scripture is clear on that, it is the same spirit that unifies. We are told to grow in unity through the maturity of our understanding, not water dunking. The need for us to have fellowship, from what I see, is addressed more in Christ's command at the last supper, "Do this in memory of me" than in water dunking. The meals Christians have together in Paul's letters seem to be fulfilling the call for fellowship. None of the water dunking in Acts were used for the purpose of unity or fellowship. They were used to show to a dangerous, Jesus hating world, that this thing they had found was worth dying for. It was real and it had changed their minds so completely that they didn't care if they lost everything for it. They were absolutely convinced it was the only truth. This was necessary to start laying foundations of the church out in the open.

    Water dunking no longer is a symbol of the Jewish ceremonial law of washing away sin. That was helpful in the Jewish community and carried over because everybody, even the Romans and other gentiles, were familiar with it's meaning. When Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 baptising them into the Name...teaching them... I think He meant exactly that. Change their identity from ownership of sin to ownership of Christ Jesus through teaching them what Jesus taught. To me it seems we have supplanted that command to make true disciples by teaching, with "show you are Christian by water dunking". That is never called for in scripture.

    I want to stress again that I am not saying water dunking is a sin. But there is something far more worthwhile which should be emphasised as far greater than water dunking. True discipleship has to be made more important. Water dunking should be deemphasized, and pastors should think twice before holding these ceremonies. We should encourage each other to the better thing which is to know God through His Word. Many might be thinking why not do both? But if water dunking is a symbol which makes us feel like we belong or have crossed a certain line into the Christian faith then it is actually DISCOURAGING the higher calling which is to be unified in the maturity of our understanding.

    We are not baptised (immersed in Him -into His identity\name) by water dunking, that's not what Jesus was telling us to do. We are baptised (Immersed into Him) through His Word (teaching them to...).
    Mthw 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you;

    Through His teachings we are cleansed and learn to bear fruit. That is when our behavior will change and we will truly show our Christianity. This is what we need to focus on when somebody gets saved. Not water dunking.

    John 15:2
    2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you].

    I'm not sure how legalism would be at play in any of this.

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    • I see where you're coming from.

      But as long as it's perfectly clear the act doesn't grant one salvation or any other merit with God in and of itself, it is a tradition that many good brothers and sisters in Christ willingly choose to do as an expression of their faith. Jesus Christ Himself was baptized physically.

      It's not some new or out there thing. It's frankly as mundane a thing as diet choices or observation of holy days IMO. A believer in Christ is free to follow their convictions one way or the other.

      I don't pretend to understand everyone's heart and mind. I'm a strange duck myself, yet here I am in the family of God by Christ's grace to me. But I can certainly understand why a good church leader wouldn't want to promote someone in the ministry who refuses baptism without a good reason for it.

      That's just being prudent and something the church desperately needs to be, considering the infestation of false doctrine and teachings/teachers in these last days. Assuming you argued the issue as ardently as you have here, I'm fairly certain no good pastor or teacher would force the issue on you.

      Must worry about the logs before moving onto the specks.

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      • Originally posted by TimothyK View Post
        I see where you're coming from.

        But as long as it's perfectly clear the act doesn't grant one salvation or any other merit with God in and of itself, it is a tradition that many good brothers and sisters in Christ willingly choose to do as an expression of their faith. Jesus Christ Himself was baptized physically.

        It's not some new or out there thing. It's frankly as mundane a thing as diet choices or observation of holy days IMO. A believer in Christ is free to follow their convictions one way or the other.

        I don't pretend to understand everyone's heart and mind. I'm a strange duck myself, yet here I am in the family of God by Christ's grace to me. But I can certainly understand why a good church leader wouldn't want to promote someone in the ministry who refuses baptism without a good reason for it.

        That's just being prudent and something the church desperately needs to be, considering the infestation of false doctrine and teachings/teachers in these last days. Assuming you argued the issue as ardently as you have here, I'm fairly certain no good pastor or teacher would force the issue on you.

        Must worry about the logs before moving onto the specks.
        Thanks for your kindness Timothy K. It is just important to me that we put first things first and leave ceremonial stuff further down the list. Growing up Catholic maybe I'm a little sensitive to blindly following customs and sacraments that mean something to man but aren't actually prescribed for us biblically.

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        • Perhaps another way to look at it is that Jesus [and all the others too] was baptised prior to His crucifixion, therefore since he had not yet completed his mission and paid the price for sin, then baptism definitely didn't save anyone.

          It didn't save anyone then and it doesn't save anyone now, its purely symbolic of the new 'you' dead to your sin and 'born again' anew in Christ.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by triedbyfire View Post
            Thanks for your kindness Timothy K. It is just important to me that we put first things first and leave ceremonial stuff further down the list. Growing up Catholic maybe I'm a little sensitive to blindly following customs and sacraments that mean something to man but aren't actually prescribed for us biblically.
            Same here. Ex-catholic. Not a fan of the extra religious stuff at all, but the freedom in Christ also permits people to express themselves in Christ within reason. Baptism is one of those things.

            Some people are sensitive about foods. One worships on a particularly special day and another considers all days the same. As long as they understand who and what exactly it is that saves and keeps them, they're our brothers and sisters.

            Should these acceptable minor differences between us all (is in of itself natural, we're all different people) become a work + grace, when someone supposes something they do or do not do adds more to what God has already accomplished for us in Jesus Christ, that's when it becomes a problem.

            Moving away from grace through faith to works is a great folly. Taking away from or adding to God's finished work in Jesus Christ is utterly ruinous. Being different people is natural and in Jesus Christ we're all likewise children of God.

            As long as it's not doing the first two (and it's good to be zealous and on the look out for it because it is no less than the salvation of the individual in question), you can chalk it up to the third one and be at peace.

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