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

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Tall Timbers View Post
    I read from the bible and talk to my kids about surrendering their lives to Christ and living for Him regularly. Both my girls have said the sinner's prayer of redemption, they're currently 14 and 12, and did so about a year and a half ago. My boys are 10 and 8 right now and the 8 year old is asking about it. Just as with the girls, I don't jump right into guiding them through surrendering their life to Christ the moment they ask about it. I want them to truly understand what they're doing and I want them to live all of their life for Christ. I suspect that before this summer is out, my 8 year old will have surrendered his life to Christ. Even so, I continue to read to my daughters and share the salvation message, just in case.... and it's my job to raise them in Christ, of course. When we're older and accept Christ, in many but not all cases we've done plenty of screwing up and the salvation experience leaves a mark on us, whereas the younger person, though sinners, are relatively innocent, and aside from their surrender, not much is going to change, at least initially, and I should say that for most, but not all. What should occur of course, is the long term course of their lives, the choices they make, the things they do, and most importantly perhaps, when they're older and they fall or come upon hard times, they have that inner knowledge to turn to Jesus for help.
    I really like how you said all that, TT.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Tall Timbers View Post
      I read from the bible and talk to my kids about surrendering their lives to Christ and living for Him regularly. Both my girls have said the sinner's prayer of redemption, they're currently 14 and 12, and did so about a year and a half ago. My boys are 10 and 8 right now and the 8 year old is asking about it. Just as with the girls, I don't jump right into guiding them through surrendering their life to Christ the moment they ask about it. I want them to truly understand what they're doing and I want them to live all of their life for Christ. I suspect that before this summer is out, my 8 year old will have surrendered his life to Christ. Even so, I continue to read to my daughters and share the salvation message, just in case.... and it's my job to raise them in Christ, of course. When we're older and accept Christ, in many but not all cases we've done plenty of screwing up and the salvation experience leaves a mark on us, whereas the younger person, though sinners, are relatively innocent, and aside from their surrender, not much is going to change, at least initially, and I should say that for most, but not all. What should occur of course, is the long term course of their lives, the choices they make, the things they do, and most importantly perhaps, when they're older and they fall or come upon hard times, they have that inner knowledge to turn to Jesus for help.
      TallTimbers, I respect the way you are handling that with your children. I think it's important for children to understand as well as they are capable what it means. When our daughter was eleven she began asking more in depth questions and also saying she wanted to be baptized. We had her study the book of John with our youth pastor and us for a two or three weeks.

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      • #93
        My question to you is this: If baptism is "required" how do you explain the thief on the cross? Christ told him,"This day you will be with me in paradise." if they didn't take him off the cross, baptize him and put him back on the cross, how was he to be in paradise with Christ? i know this doesn't have any reference to the scriptures quoted above, but my husband was raised in a Church of Christ environment and this has been a past discussion of ours. He can't explain Jesus' comments away to me.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
          I hate to think about it, but yeah, there are concerns. Nothing major, but it's the little things. All of his best friends are unbelievers, gambling, smoking, dating adultresses with tongue rings and actually mistaking them for Christ followers, etc. . . He is a wonderful man in most ways and I admire him in a lot of ways. He's helped take care of his dying mother and his little brother. He prays with people at work, he treats everybody with the utmost respect. But I can't help but wonder if someone who'd had a true conversion would continue to smoke and gamble, etc. . . then I remember the scripture that says they claim to know God, but by their actions deny Him. I want to help him, but he always gets defensive and I think it stems from assuming he was saved his entire life. We're supposed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, right? And we're supposed to be open to Christian counsel? I dunno. I guess if he had "found Christ" as an adult, I'd think he was just backslidden or whatever. But now that he claims he accepted Christ as a child, I wonder if he truly accepted Him at all.
          faithandgrace, you raise some extremely strong red flags in this post. I hope that you plan to have a 'long' engagement with this person. It doesn't appear to me that the two of you are in strong agreement about the most important thing in life, our relationship with Jesus Christ and the transformation that results when we are genuinely born again. You say he gets 'defensive' and I'm thinking this negative behavior is going to be stronger after marriage, as most things are. While there is still time to do so, look carefully at what the two of you believe and how that translates into every day life (choice of leisure time activities, choice of friends, etc.) I see enough here in your post to suggest caution, because these are serious issues that could cause extreme unhappiness later on, once the knot's been tied.
          sigpic
          -Lynn

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          • #95
            Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
            I hate to think about it, but yeah, there are concerns. Nothing major, but it's the little things. All of his best friends are unbelievers, gambling, smoking, dating adultresses with tongue rings and actually mistaking them for Christ followers, etc. OK, perhaps TMI. He is a wonderful man in most ways and I admire him in a lot of ways. He's helped take care of his dying mother and his little brother. He prays with people at work, he treats everybody with the utmost respect. But I can't help but wonder if someone who'd had a true conversion would continue to smoke and gamble, etc. I have no doubt that he'd never reject the name of Jesus Christ, even if it cost him his life. But then I remember the scripture that says they claim to know God, but by their actions deny Him. I want to help him, but he always get's defensive and I think it stems from assuming he was saved his entire life. We're supposed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, right? And we're supposed to be open to Christian counsel? I dunno. I guess if he had "found Christ" as an adult, I'd think he was just backslidden or whatever. But now that he claims he accepted Christ as a child, I wonder if he truly accepted Him at all.
            I'm in agreement with Lynn here... there are some really big red flags saying stop, stop. We are most easily deceived in our interpersonal relationships, especially with the one we lay our future hopes and dreams upon (until after the marriage). You've shared enough here to be counseled to use extreme caution when going forward. Only going by your pair of posts, there is at least the appearance that your fiance could be one of the multitudes, who, because he attends or belongs to a Christian church, believes he is a Christian, while never having met or surrendered their lives to our Lord Jesus.

            And if he is one who is not conforming himself to the Word, then, FaithandGrace, he is not ready to be a husband and father, and there is very likely a wonderful man out there, for you, who is.

            Be frank with him as the rest of your life will bear the results of your decisions in this matter. Never condescend, but say and ask whatever you must, and you will know him by his fruits.
            Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

            3 trees

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            • #96
              double post
              Tall Timbers, Imperfect but forgiven

              3 trees

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              • #97
                Thanks everyone for your input. What you say makes perfect sense.

                I need to pray incessantly for my fiance and this relationship.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by faithandgrace View Post
                  Thanks everyone for your input. What you say makes perfect sense.
                  I need to pray incessantly for my fiance and this relationship.
                  Glad that you are making it a serious priority in your prayers. Very young adults don't have the 'years' yet to see that when a marriage is undertaken, you are going to be 'in business' with this other person for LIFE. All of the many decisions that are faced in life (deciding which job to take & where to live, buying a house, raising children--how many, what kind of discipline to use, etc.) is STRONGLY impacted by the other person. Even if you are in agreement about the major issues of life already, marriage is what I refer to as God's 'school house' where He daily teaches us to become godly Christ-like people. On the other hand, if before marriage you already have some major concerns, the 'school house' can later become the 'wood shed'. Just take your time as you pray and evaluate this person as a potential life-time mate.
                  sigpic
                  -Lynn

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by ingel View Post
                    My question to you is this: If baptism is "required" how do you explain the thief on the cross? Christ told him,"This day you will be with me in paradise." if they didn't take him off the cross, baptize him and put him back on the cross, how was he to be in paradise with Christ? i know this doesn't have any reference to the scriptures quoted above, but my husband was raised in a Church of Christ environment and this has been a past discussion of ours. He can't explain Jesus' comments away to me.
                    Though that is a very good question, especially as it takes place in the previous dispensation, there is even a better one.

                    Acts 10

                    39"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosenóby us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
                    44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.
                    Then Peter said, 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
                    It is my belief that the Lord did this on purpose, to expressly and emphatically annul any teaching that regeneration comes from water baptism. But as men many times do, we ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts. God tells us that His word is living and active, and we don't ponder that enough. He has taken all contributions from man and removed them, and told us to preach the word, it has the power.
                    Last edited by HeIsEnough; April 20th, 2008, 09:22 AM.
                    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

                    Joel 3:2

                    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by HeIsEnough View Post
                      It is my belief that the Lord did this on purpose, to expressly and emphatically annul any teaching that regeneration comes from water baptism.
                      The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
                      Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
                      (Psa 19:1b-2)

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by HeIsEnough View Post
                        Though that is a very good question, especially as it takes place in the previous dispensation, there is even a better one.

                        It is my belief that the Lord did this on purpose, to expressly and emphatically annul any teaching that regeneration comes from water baptism. But as men many times do, we ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts. God tells us that His word is living and active, and we don't ponder that enough. He has taken all contributions from man and removed them, and told us to preach the word, it has the power.
                        Good link, HeIsEnough.
                        Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. - Charles H. Spurgeon

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                        • HeIsEnough said:

                          But as men many times do, we ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts.

                          I believe we need to be more respectful of the sincerity of our fellow believers in Christ. Even if you disagree with baptismal regeneration (which I do), to dismiss the doctrine as the result of a deliberate disregard for what God has said is an unfairly harsh judgment on a belief which is clearly derived, even if erroneously so, from biblical material.

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                          • Originally posted by Obadiah View Post
                            HeIsEnough said:

                            But as men many times do, we ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts.

                            I believe we need to be more respectful of the sincerity of our fellow believers in Christ. Even if you disagree with baptismal regeneration (which I do), to dismiss the doctrine as the result of a deliberate disregard for what God has said is an unfairly harsh judgment on a belief which is clearly derived, even if erroneously so, from biblical material.
                            Actually, I meant it as a statement of fact towards this subject and basically all subjects, shaming us all and include myself. I'm an equal opportunity offender. If you don't agree, I think the scriptures say otherwise. In our favor though, God is extremely forgiving, Him knowing our frame and all, and Him gently and patiently leading us to the truth, as only He can.

                            In regards to the specifics comparison of Baptismal Regeneration and true regeneration of our spirit, I believe it falls under Paul's call of being in danger of being accursed, since its core teaching is devoid of the truth and replaced with a lie, is not a part of the gospel, and at best could be considered a perversion of the gospel. (no different than any other gospel of works) Indeed, many churches would state you or I are not saved because of variations of this doctrine.

                            Your implication, by my reading of your thoughts, is that sincere intentions over false beliefs can override a strong judgement over doctrine which perverts the gospel message. I disagree, though you can clarify if you so choose.

                            I would of course prefer not to be so emphatic and use such strong language. In today's day and age of churches which consider water baptism to be a necessary step in salvation, nice language is prohibitive in my opinion.
                            Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

                            Joel 3:2

                            I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Obadiah View Post
                              even if erroneously so


                              The last couple of days I have struggled coming back to this forum because of my own lack of discernment in speaking out too much on my own behalf on another thread a couple of days ago without doing enough proper homework first, but this just makes me cringe to the core.

                              I have come to realize that I need to learn from what others say here, and sometimes that is going to mean admitting I was wrong, removing pride and doing my best to learn, grow and move on that much wiser.

                              To encourage others to believe, even if erroneously so we are doing our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ a greater disservice. If it is the truth that sets us free and it was Christ's desire that we be unified, then we need to set aside pride, learn from one another and takes issues such as this and not be afraid to speak boldy in truth and in love.

                              It is ignorance and a lack of willingness to offend if we must that is killing our ability to learn from one another, to restore unity in the Body of Christ and to bring others to Christ.

                              I'm sorry to "hijack" this thread and I realize this is a sore subject for many but my heart is just broken that we would rather allow each other to believe, [B]even if erroneously so[B] rather than concerned with the consequences that can come from misguided beliefs - which is Christ's body divided and contentions that continuously drive unbelievers away. That should eat at our very hearts and souls to think that our lack of unity and inability to learn from one another could cost someone hell because they didn't want to deal with all the squabbling.

                              This is my heart. I don't write this to "chew you out" or to say that I have all the answers or that I know all there is to know - this is simply how God has burdened my heart.

                              May God bless you Obadiah, I know that we all have a long way to go but every measure to bring understanding to another brother or sister is one more step towards unity. Considering the times we are living in who knows how much time left, none of us knows. And this is why we should be more concerned than ever with bringing a hurting, dying and lost world to the truth. If we all give a little and bring the truth we have and know Biblically to the table - we all benefit.

                              Comment


                              • HeIsEnough:

                                Actually, I meant it as a statement of fact towards this subject and basically all subjects, shaming us all and include myself. I'm an equal opportunity offender.

                                With all due respect to your first-person pronoun, it seemed to me clearly implicit that the characterization of "ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts" applies in this case to people who believe baptism is a required aspect of the salvation experience.

                                If you don't agree, I think the scriptures say otherwise.

                                If I don't agree with your assessment that people "ignore what God has said and replace it with our own thoughts"? Well, no doubt some people do. But I believe it's a serious mistake for us to characterize everyone who disagrees with your (or my) theology that way.

                                In regards to the specifics comparison of Baptismal Regeneration and true regeneration of our spirit, I believe it falls under Paul's call of being in danger of being accursed...

                                I don't see Paul speaking of being "in danger of being accursed" -- he characterizes his opponents as quite definitely being under a curse (Galatians 1:7-9). We need to be careful when we cite this sort of text, though. Paul worked under direct divine inspiration and knew absolutely that he was 100% correct in his theology and that anyone who opposed him was ipso facto wrong. We enjoy no such luxury.

                                Indeed, many churches would state you or I are not saved because of variations of this doctrine.

                                This is terribly regrettable, but my attitude is that of Paul: I don't care a whit what anyone else thinks of my eternal state besides the only One whose opinion matters.

                                Your implication, by my reading of your thoughts, is that sincere intentions over false beliefs can override a strong judgement over doctrine which perverts the gospel message.

                                Not at all. I'm not saying it's OK to be wrong as long as you're sincere. Nor am I disagreeing with your assessment that the notion of baptism being required for salvation is erroneous. My issue with your previous post was the judgment that those who believe thus choose to "ignore what God has said and replace it with [their] own thoughts." By all means, engage in judgment over their doctrine, to the extent that you can do so biblically. But extending that to a judgment on their motives is inappropriate.

                                In today's day and age of churches which consider water baptism to be a necessary step in salvation, nice language is prohibitive in my opinion.

                                It's prohibitive to say "you're wrong" without also saying "you're wrong because you ignore what God has said and replace it with [your] own thoughts"? Let us always bear in mind Paul's command, "let your speech be ever gracious, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6). I'm not challenging your assessment that the doctrine is wrong, or your right (indeed, responsibility) to label it wrong. I'm simply challenging your motive judgment on fellow believers.

                                Or do you believe that belief in baptism as a requirement for salvation disqualifies a person from being saved?

                                (Please note: the following responses to Mopsie's post are addressed generally and are not meant to characterize Mopsie or HeIsEnough.)

                                Mopsie:

                                This just makes me cringe to the core.

                                Well, honestly, I don't mean to make anyone cringe on the surface, much less to the core!

                                To encourage others to believe, even if erroneously so...

                                Since you never quite finished that sentence fragment, I'm not entirely sure how to respond. But, if you're taking me to task for encouraging someone to believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, please show me from my post above where I've done so.

                                It is ignorance and a lack of willingness to offend if we must that is killing our ability to learn from one another, to restore unity in the Body of Christ and to bring others to Christ.

                                Actually, I think there are a lot of factors killing our ability to learn from one another, but I doubt an unwillingness to offend is the primary culprit. I think what most inhibits "our ability to learn from one another" is not our unwillingness to offend but our unwillingness to reconsider our own beliefs and our unwillingness to recognize that those who disagree with us, in many cases, have substantial biblical support for their ideas. If everything in Scripture were utterly clear, we wouldn't have the diversity of belief within the Christian community we have today. We wouldn't have theology boards like Rapture Ready because all of us -- or most of us, at least -- would be on the same page. The biggest problem I see in theological debate is the incredible sense of rectitude with which most Christians hold their specific doctrinal beliefs. They're so utterly convinced they're right, they simply cannot imagine their brethren who disagree with them could possibly have a leg to stand on. No productive interchange will ever stem from two parties who approach it with that attitude.

                                My heart is just broken that we would rather allow each other to believe, even if erroneously so, rather than concerned with the consequences that can come from misguided beliefs...

                                Mopsie, where did I advocate that we should "allow each other to believe" error? I'm not advocating that. I'm advocating that we recognize that our theological opponents are not just making up fairy tales out of thin air but are deriving their doctrine, albeit incorrectly in our reading, from the same Bible we cite as the source of our doctrine. Again, what I'm opposing is that bloated sense of rectitude that leads to Christians viewing one another with contempt instead of charity.

                                And the other advantage of being willing to put your belief on the table and honestly consider the opposing belief is that, if in the end your belief holds, you come away from that process not only with a greater respect for your brother who believes differently but a greater appreciation of your own belief. It's like a refiner's fire.

                                ...which is Christ's body divided and contentions that continuously drive unbelievers away.

                                But don't you think unbelievers would be impressed if the body of Christ were a community in which people genuinely loved and respected those with whom they disagree? Don't you think what turns off prospective Christians is not that Christians disagree with one another but that they do so with such thinly veiled contempt?

                                There's simply no hope at this point that the entire body of Christ on earth will resolve our many theological controversies prior to the return of Christ. While we can certainly attempt on an individual level to enlighten (and be enlightened by) our brethren, I think we need to recognize that such differences of belief exist and will continue to exist and resolve to treat each other with genuine love and respect in the face of such unresolved issues. Jesus didn't say that people will know we're His disciples because we agree on theology; He said people will see Him in us because we love each other.

                                I don't write this to "chew you out" or to say that I have all the answers or that I know all there is to know...

                                Well, thanks for saying that. And I truly hope you can receive my response in the same spirit.

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