Friday, April 3, 2009

Takes More Than Just Baptizing and Believing

This is a subject that some may disagree on, but hopefully from the scripture you will see which is most important. In some religions, parents have their babies christened at birth, and this is the only form of baptism they receive. However this is not a baptism of Jesus, this is a baptism of that particular church, or religion. Let me explain.

When we read in scriptures about someone being baptized, it is after they believe in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God. In order for them to believe they must first be able to understand. A baby being christened can not understand at that age. A baby being christened is more like parents dedicating their baby to the service of the the LORD. In other words, the parents are saying that they will bring up their child in this church. Once the child is old enough to understand, then the child makes a decision as to whether or not they believe and want to follow the LORD.

Read in Acts 8, where an Angel of the LORD appeared to Philip and told him to go into the desert down this one path, and along the way he encountered an eunuch reading the prophet Isaiah, and when Philip appoached him, he asked him, who was this prophet speaking of, himself or another Man? Phillip began to preach Jesus to him, and then they came along side some water, and the eunuch asked what keeps him from being baptized, and Philip told him, you have only but to believe with all your heart. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And Philip baptized him. Then the Holy Spirit caught Philip away, and the enuch went about his way rejoicing. So you see first you have to be told about the LORD, then you have to decide whether or not you believe. You have to have that capability of understanding.

Acts 8 v 35-39....Then Phillip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the enuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Phillip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, " I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing........

Jesus tells us of the new birth. In John 3, Jesus explains that unless you are born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. He explains using the wind as an example. You can not see the wind but you know it is there. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. You can not see it but you know it is there when you have been born again.

John 3 v 5-8.....Jesus answered, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.".........

You have to be able to believe to receive the Holy Spirit, to be born again. And then you follow in believer's baptism. You are saying yes, I believe in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, and I would like to confess Him before men by being baptized in His name. I want to make Him Lord over my life. You see even Satan believes in Jesus as the Son of God, but he does not accept Him as his Lord.

You see baptism does not get us into heaven. Just believing does not get us into heaven. To go into the kingdom of God, we have to accept His Son as our Lord and Savior. First we have to believe, then we have to confess Him to be Lord, then we pray to receive Him into our hearts, then we follow with believer's baptism. And we don't stop there. Then we have to live for Him, and strive to be like Him in all things. This is not a one stop thing. No this is a life changing decision to be made with the right heart, and to follow through by studying His word, and working for His Kingdom.

In other words we die to ourselves, and are born again to live for Him. AMEN! Spring is the time for new birth. We see it everywhere. I pray that we will see it in more and more people being born again, and coming to know the LORD as their personal Savior and allowing Him to be LORD over their lives. We need to get ready for a Holy Ghost Revival of New Believers coming to the LORD. AMEN! The LORD says the harvest in plentiful but the laborers are few, how many will help grow the LORD's Kingdom today?

RTB....Acts 7-9
Sat. Acts. 10-12
Sun. Acts 13-15

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