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Baptism: An Open Dialogue

27 Sep

Last year at the fair a church had a stand where if you took their one-minute Bible quiz you would get a dollar. Now the only thing I like more than free money is talking about God so this was a winner. I stepped up to the tent where two older teens greeted me. I believe their names were Jessica and Benjamin. 

They started by asking me a few trick Bible questions like, “How many of each animal did Moses take on the Ark?” And “how many commandments did Noah have?” etc. 

They then asked me to name the Ten Commandments. I started singing the Ten Commandment Boogie by GoFish (we just taught it to the kids at VBS two weeks prior so I had this one down!)

They  then asked, “Do you think you’ve done what you need to do to be saved?”

“Yes,” I said.

“You got this one wrong,” they said. “Jesus dying on the cross saved you. Nothing you could do saves you.”

“You’re right. Jesus dying on the cross is the only thing that saved me. However, salvation is a covenant God wants to make with us. Not everyone has agreed to that. The Bible specifically says there are things you must do to be saved, like get the Holy Spirit and be baptized in Jesus’ name. I’ve done what the Bible says is required to be saved.”

“Baptism doesn’t save you, it’s just a way to publicly profess your faith,” said Jessica.

“Then why did Jesus say that unless a man is born of the water and Spirit he will not enter into the kingdom of God? Or why, when the people in Acts asked what they had to do in response to the preaching on Jesus Peter told them to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and that they would be filled with the Holy Ghost?”

“God wants us to do those things but they aren’t necessary for salvation,” Jessica replied.

Benjamin got up and went to go talk to one of the adults on the other side of the tent.

“Jessica,” I said, “Do you think that once someone is saved then they’ll be saved forever?”

“Um,” she started.

“Like, if someone gives their life to God and then decides one day I don’t want to follow the Bible anymore and goes out and lives however he wants, maybe does drugs, kills someone, etc. Is he still saved?”

“No.”

“Okay, so you do agree that we have to try our best to follow the Bible to be saved.”

“Yeah.”

“So would you say that if the Bible clearly tells us to do something and we don’t do it, then we are sinning?”

“Well, yeah.”

“So if the Bible says to be baptized in the name of Jesus and we don’t do that, then we are sinning?”

“Yes.”

“And you said that you didn’t think that if someone was deliberately disobeying the Bible that they would be saved, right? Because they’re deliberately sinning?”

“Mhm.”

“So if someone doesn’t get baptized and they know the Bible says to, then they are purposefully sinning. And that means they’re not saved?”

“Yeah.”

“So would you say someone has to be baptized to be saved, like Jesus told Nicodemus and like Peter preached to the crowds in Acts?”

“Yeah, I guess you do.”

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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