IS BAPTISM IMPORTANT?

April 28, 2007

There are those who think that baptism is of little importance. It is implied and sometimes said that baptism is only a symbol.

Let’s think about the importance of baptism for just a minute.

How important is baptism? Well, all of life on earth was destroyed as a symbol of baptism. 1 Pet 3:20&21 (NIV)(in part) AGod waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also‑‑not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ@. You can see that though baptism saves you it would have no power without the resurrection of Jesus.

I use to reverse this in my head. I use to think baptism was a symbol of the flood, instead of the flood symbolizing baptism. The symbol is of less importance than what it symbolizes, so destroying the whole world is of less importance than baptism. But anyway, anyone can see the Bible does say one is saved by baptism. Read it again Abaptism that now saves you also@.

God says you must be born of the water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God (1 John 3:5). In Mark 16:16 Jesus said, AWhoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.@ Some say, because He did not repeat baptism in the second part of the sentence only belief is important. If you think about it, if you don=t believe you will not be baptized, so it wasn=t necessary to say any more about baptism.

Look, if we were having a conversation about what was necessary for physical life (not spiritual life) and I said, Ayou must drink water and breathe air to live@ and later, in the same conversation, I said only that you must breathe air to live, not repeating the part about water, it would not change my first statement. How many times must God say something before it is true?

Baptism alone does not save, however salvation without baptism may not be possible. The man who is certain in his own mind that baptism is not necessary risks his eternal salvation for nothing more than his pride of being correct. The man who teaches that baptism is not necessary risks the eternal salvation of others for the same reason. But if I am wrong no one goes to hell because of it. One can only say that I am an idiot for saying what I have and do say. I would even agree with them, though I am not perfect and therefore not a perfect idiot (yes, I already know I should try harder).

Jesus said that among men there was none greater than John (Mat.11:11). Think about that for a second. He is greater than Abraham, the father of all who are faithful, Moses, who brought the law, and anyone who came before him (Jesus came after him). What do you think made him greater than any man before him? The way he dressed? What he ate? That he proclaimed the coming of the Lord? Had not many proclaimed this before John? If you still can not see it, he was greater than any man that came before him because he brought baptism.

Well, you can see that I believe that baptism is very important. Perhaps I will write another post on baptism; why you should be baptized.

astudent

If baptism seems important to you check out my post “What Baptism does”.


WHY WAS JESUS BAPTIZED?

April 27, 2007

If baptism is a baptism for repentance for the forgiveness of sin (Mark 1:4) and Jesus had no sin why was He baptized?  

That is a good question with a simple answer. Most questions have a simple answer. All we must do is ask God. The answer was written a long time before you, or I asked the question.  

The answer is in Matthew 3:15, (NIV)  Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.@ 

Sometimes (no usually) an answer will lead to another question. The next question for me was actually the same question, because I didn’t understand the answer given in the Bible. Anyway it was, “what did Jesus mean when He said to fulfill all righteousness”? The answer I believe I received from the Spirit is not stated “per se” in the Bible, however it fits so well and is so clear I accepted it.  

Baptism is to be buried with Jesus in the water (Rom 6:4). So it was necessary for Jesus to be buried in baptism also.  After Jesus was crucified He was buried in a tomb. If it is necessary for us to be buried with Christ in order for us to be raised with Him and if He was not buried in the water of baptism, we would have to go to his tomb and be buried with Him there. But He is not in the tomb. He has risen.  

Even if He was symbolically in the tomb it would create difficulties for many of the poor, and some who could not afford to go to Israel would be lost. But water is not far from anyone and free to all. 

If you have read any of my previous posts you probably think that I think I know everything. Well, I don’t. I am trying to do two things. One is to share what I believe God has revealed to me and the second is to get some new questions. Questions that I do not yet have answers for.  

If you have the Holy Spirit, the perfect teacher, all you need are the questions.  

Do you have any? 

astudent


I KNOW WHY WE ARE HERE!!!!

April 24, 2007

God has finally given me the answer. I have to admit that I’m not intelligent enough to figure it out myself: I really don’t think it could be figured out. I believe God gave me this answer. All I did was ask!

 

I’ll attempt to explain it to you, but in doing so I will tell you many things you already know so please bear with me as the end result will be worth it. To only tell you the answer wouldn’t work. You have to walk with me to the answer.

 

We know that God made everything that was made: the universe with all of the galaxies, nebulas, stars, planets, moons, everything. That includes man and then He put us right where He wanted us. He gave us the intelligence, physiques, wealth, and He even chose our parents that He wanted us to have.

 

Why did God create everything? Well, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8 & 16). Love needs someone or something to love, or love is not complete. Don’t think that I am claiming that God needs me to be complete, but know this I am, and will be eternally grateful that He made, and chose me to love.

 

It is common knowledge, by those who have thought about it, that God would not make robots to love Him. He could have made man and made man love him, but that is not true love.

 

If you made a robot and made it love you, you would need some psychological help.

 

God wanted those who He loves to love Him back. Just as we want whoever we love to love us in return. Would you want to live with a wife, or husband that did not love you?

 

You could say that God made everything as a test for us. A true test would demand that there could be absolutely no proof, either way that might bias the results. One might say that we are born with a scale of belief, a balance with “God” on one side and “no God” on the other. It is up to the person to place his beliefs on either side of the balance. If the person doesn’t care enough to place beliefs on either side, he is attesting to the fact that he doesn’t even care about God, so he shows no love.

 

This would explain why there is no proof of God and of course no proof that there is no God.

 

It should be apparent that we have to have the power to reject God and not believe Him. So He made everything to determine who really would love Him, right? Well, not really!

 

We know because the Bible tells us that God knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10) therefor we know that God already knows who will turn to Him. God could have made us all and immediately sorted us out (judgement), but because we had to be made with the power to disbelieve, we would not have believed Him if we were among the damned. For all of eternity we would think that God was unfair to us.

 

So there is the answer to the question that has plagued man kind since the beginning of time.   

               

               EVERYTHING THAT WAS MADE WAS MADE FOR THE UNBELIEVER.

 

God didn’t need time and all that happened, because He already knew the outcome. We don’t really need this, because we would have, and will believe God at judgment, and because man is free to sin, we have all suffered from sin (sin always hurts others) and even worse we have all sinned. Which is why we need a covering for our sin.

 

The unbeliever will know that he is guilty, because he actually lived and committed all of the offenses that God knew he would. The unbeliever will know and have to admit that God’s way is right and can not blame God for sending him away.

 

It bears repeating, EVERYTHING THAT WAS MADE WAS MADE FOR THE UNBELIEVER.   

                  (except for Jesus of course, but then Jesus was not made)

 

astudent


WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

April 23, 2007

It seems that both believers and unbelievers ask this question all the time. It is a hard question for unbelievers, but it should not be hard for believers.

 

The truth is that there are no Agood people@. The question, though it sounds like a valid question, is not. It is the same kind of question as, AWhat is the sound of one hand clapping@. When a ruler ask Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life and addressed Him as Agood teacher@, Jesus answered first, AWhy do you call me good? No one is good: except God alone.@(Luke 18:18&19 NIV)

 

The question really should be, AWhy do bad things happen to believers”. The question, when asked this way, does have an answer. Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, AAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.@ The answer to the question, when asked this way, is Athere are no bad things@. Things which seem bad are allowed by God for the good of the believer. What seems bad at the time is only temporary. Something like an operation. When a doctor cuts out a tumor there is pain and suffering for a time, but it is for the good of the patient.

 

I don=t want to make too much of the importance of the believer. Actually we should be more interested in the good of God and less interested in the good of the believer. Our emphases should be on God and not on ourselves.

 

It seems to me that blessings naturally flow to us when we put God first. There is little need to ask for blessings when they are flowing to us naturally.

 

astudent


I’M A CHRISTIAN AND I CAN NOT FORGIVE MR. CHO

April 21, 2007

It’s really not possible for me to forgive Mr. Cho, nor is it possible for you. You see, he didn’t do anything to me, or to you. How could I forgive anyone for an attack that was not an assault on me? How could you?

 

That is not to say there is no one that was hurt. If you were one of those who were shot by Mr. Cho you might try to forgive him, but he isn’t here to be forgiven.

 

Will God forgive Mr. Cho?

 

If He would we would have to discard most of the Bible. Mr. Cho destroyed thirty three examples of the handicraft of God. He didn’t give any of them life and he had no right to take their lives. That includes his own life.

 

Mr. Cho’s sins were only against God as not one of the thirty three gave themselves life.

Every time something like this happens I hear much about how we must forgive. Well, it just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think it makes any sense to the people of the world either.

 

Would you do something that God would not do? Would you forgive Mr. Cho?

God went to great pains to give mankind a way to cover our sins. Mr. Cho did not listen to God. We know that he knew about Christianity because he mentioned us in his video.

One of the most wonderful things about God is He will give you the desires of your heart. One of the most frightening things about God is He will give you the desires of your heart.

If you want to live with God and enjoy Him forever He will grant you your wishes and if you do not want to, if you want to try to be your own god, He will also grant you that wish, but because there is room for only one God in Heaven you will have to leave.

 

Mr. Cho chose to destroy the work of God and sealed his fate when he pointed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger.

 

Do you really want me to forgive that?

astudent


LET’S THINK ABOUT WINE.

April 18, 2007

The Bible says (Rom 14:20-22 NIV) Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. (21) It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. (22) So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 

It doesn’t say that if you believe that it is unacceptable to drink wine you have the right to disregard verse 22. The verse says whatever you believe about these things. Those who believe wine to be evil in some way have rolled obstacles in the way of many, even though much that they preach is true.

I’m going to attempt to dance around the subject a little without revealing what I believe about wine. 

Once when it seemed as though I was defending drinking the leader of a Bible study asked me “What good is wine?”. I have to admit that I was not prepared for that question and I could not answer. Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me a question that I don’t know an answer for I rejoice, because I know I have something more to learn, and I know God will give me an answer. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; if you have the perfect Teacher all you need are the questions. 

Because we can not talk (openly) about wine let’s think about yeast and Communion.

Yeast is used in the Bible as a symbol of sin (malice and wickedness- 1 Cor 5:8). The symbolism of bread without yeast is that Jesus came to this earth in bodily form with out any malice or wickedness.  In fully fermented wine all of the yeast is destroyed, so God chose wine to represent the blood of Jesus; which destroyed the power of sin.

Grape juice is not the symbol that God gave us; it is the symbol that those who have a knee jerk reaction to wine, and have chosen not to obey verse 22, have given us. Anytime we change anything God instituted, for any reason, we error. Even if our motives are good (remember Moses and divorce).

Think about this and perhaps you will see other problems preaching against wine has caused. I could list a few, if you so desire. I did not include those who preach wine is good, because I don’t know anyone who does so: but if there are any, I mean them also.

I had to edit this post as it could be construed as if I meant we should change the “emblem of the Blood” back to wine. I think this would create great riffs between my weaker brothers, so please understand that I did not mean this and please do not try to change the emblem without considering your brothers.

astudent


HOW TO REDUCE TERRORISM!!!

April 17, 2007

Terrorism has no power without the “News”. There would be no reason to kill innocent people if it were not reported as acts of terrorism. If those who constitute the business of “news” would only report a disaster and not add that it was an act of terrorism we certainly have less killing of the innocent. It could be said that the “NEWS” is at least 50% responsible for terrorism.

Here is my question to those who control the news media, “What is more important to the American people, that they know all of the details, or that you do what you can to stop terrorism?”

After all the news is only recent history. It’s already happened, you can not stop it, and if you know of it you still can not stop future events. Those who might be able to stop future events should know the news, but the average person is not going to stop anything.

The “NEWS” only serves to promote terrorism.

The Bible says (Phil 4:8 NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

The “NEWS” is anything but what we should be thinking about. Because we do not listen to, or obey God, we have big problems.

astudent