Baptism is something we MUST do in the sense that we are commanded to be baptized, but not in the sense that if determines our salvation. It is like this. If your Mom tells you to clean your room, you must clean it, but that does not affect whether or not you are her son.
Are you saying you can choose not to be baptised and be saved? There are no consequences for choosing not to be baptised?
I would agree with you if it were not for John 3:5 and Acts 2:38 which say that you must be born of water and the spirit (i.e Holy Ghost0 and that you receive the Holy Ghost only AFTER baptims. There is an order of things. and you are putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Strait is the gate and few who find it. The gate is baptism and it opens salvation to us. Without it, we can hever have the Holy Ghost.
As far as John 3:5: It is my opinion that the water spoken of here means the water of the womb referring to the natural birth process. Jesus said in verse three that Nicodemus needed to be born "again." This meant that he had been born once--through his mother. Nicodemus responds with a statement about how he can't enter again into his mother's womb to be born. Then Jesus says that he must be born of water and the Spirit. Then in verse 6 He says that "flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.." The context seems to be discussing the contrast between the natural and the spiritual birth. Water, therefore, could easily be interpreted there to mean the natural birth process.
No, there are consequences for disobedience. it is just clear from scripture that baptism is not a prerequisite to salvation.
Sorry, but that just doesn't fly. You have taken three separate verses, and reinterpreted them to disallow baptism, but prior to the emergence of protestantism, and even before, baptism was so required it became an infant rite, and both Catholic and Orthodox churches, who made the rules of salvation said it was required for 1500 years. Given the history, and the Biblical record, it seems clear that Baptism was required, even for salvation. I think the most important verse however is Matt 3:15 where Jesus himself had to be baptized or else he would be in sin, and could not fulfill his mission. How much more then should we seek baptism?
So some Christians think it's required, others don't. How do we know which is right? Is it through study of the Bible? Do you think the Catholics don't study the Bible? Do they not know it better than you? No, we need clarification from God, through prophets.
Of course the Book of Mormon clarifies my point perfectly:
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world. 5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
Water, therefore, could easily be interpreted there to mean the natural birth process.
Interresting take on the subject. Here's how I see it. We are two part creatures--physical and spiritual. We are to become Christ's children through a rebirth of sorts--another water birth for the physical--then follows the spiritual rebirth--being born of the spirit. The latter (in my opinion) being the more critical of the two. It is easy to be born into the physical world--but our lives are then defined by the choices that we make from that moment on. Being born again of the water is the new beginning--being born of the spirit taps us into a greater ability to make good choices in our lives from then on if we desire to--it helps us to keep our hearts in that holy place continually. You can't make the choices if you were never born in the first place--that is what makes the baptism necessary for salvation--to become the children of Christ--His own--to be physically reborn--from that point on to learn to crawl, walk, run in the company of the Holy Ghost as a guide and constant companion--to be spiritually reborn.
That's my take on it anyway. I realize I didn't throw in any scriptures for support there--others will do or have done--I don't have the time to invest--sorry for that--just wanted to dive in here--I have been following this discussion and haven't had much of a moment to join in.
Hello by the way--and welcome. I tend to check in here a little sporadically--if you have questions for me specifically I will answer them at my earliest opportunity.
BYTE said; and both Catholic and Orthodox churches, who made the rules of salvation said it was required for 1500 years.
In 180 ad Irenaeus used the story of Naaman in the Old Testament as an example of being purified through water saying
“this was a symbol for us …. We are made clean from our old transgressions by means of the sacred water … just as the Lord has declared “Unless a man is born again through water and the Spirit, he will not into the kingdom of heaven”
I could give you quote after quote from the earliest apologist of Christianity who would shake their heads in disbelief at how you have distorted the Lord’s word.
BYTE said; There was also a lively debate on the Christian2Christian board over whether ordinances constituted a work
It isn’t work, where did that idea come from? One does not baptize himself. It’s a gift given. John the Baptist gave the gift of baptism to Christ.
In Matt 7 the Lord explains which works he’s not impressed with;
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
It’s those preachers on TV with all their showy rolling around on the floor and claims of healing. I was invited to a revival once, I can tell you that was not the Holy Spirit working there at all.
Christian; Jesus said in verse three that Nicodemus needed to be born "again." This meant that he had been born once--through his mother.
If he intended that he would have said so he would have said “born of a woman” he wasn’t trying to play a word game here.
Rain said; You can't make the choices if you were never born in the first place--that is what makes the baptism necessary for salvation--to become the children of Christ--His own--to be physically reborn--from that point on to learn to crawl, walk, run in the company of the Holy Ghost as a guide and constant companion--to be spiritually reborn.
I like that a lot!
The water according to Paul symbolizes a death of the old man and a rising or birth of the new man.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom 6