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Baptism Or Works Essential Or Not For Salvation?


pcarthew

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I have a question for the EV's could you please show me a scipture in the bible where it points out clearly that baptism is not required for entry into God's kingdom. If all we have to do is say a prayer and confess Jesus as our personal Savior could I see a scripture that actually in a qualified way says this is all I have to do to gain my salvation. ie the only thing that you need for salvation is to confess His name!

However here is a scripture that qualifies baptism from the Lord's own mouth John 3:5. The other scripture is Hebrews 10:24-26 those who are disciples who wilfully sin can lose there place--salvation is not permanent if we do not follow the commandments . As it says in James 2:17-26...essentially, faith without works is dead! To think that Christ suffered and did so much for us how is it that he would not expect anything back from us at all. The only thing we can give him is a willing heart and be obedient, the rest he owns.

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I'm not an EV but I do enjoy Christian theology thouroughly. First of all, John 3:5 does not say anything about baptism. When Jesus says "born of water" he is talking about... birth! If you actually look at the context, it should be obvious that Jesus is contrasting physical and spiritual birth. For example, verse 6 says "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." There is absolutely no reason to inject ideas of baptism into this passage that already has an obviuos meaning.

As for a passage that makes belief the only qualification for salvation, I may have one for you. 1 John 5:13 says "these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." He does not say "so that you may know that you will have eternal life". He is clear that those who believe have eternal life. Furthermore, if you want to see justification for EVs just asking for salvation, consider the following two verses.

Then, of course there is the problem that there are other parts of the Bible that say somethign different (like Hebrews, possibly). Please do not disregard my mention of 1 John by saying, "But Hebrews says..." What Hebrews says irrelevant except as (possible) cultural context (or maybe to get ideas about the forms in which God speaks). A different position being held in the letter to the Hebrews only means that the Bible is self-contradicting, not that 1 John does not say what I said it does.

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This is my first post in a long time, but I would like to add my two cents if i may.

I kinda agree with randyc, that the scripture doesnt strictly mention baptism, (the word) I believe obviously this is where it is left up to the individuals interpretation.

I'll quote th scripture saves me from having to stuff up.

" 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his motherâ??s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be aborn again. "

Randyc said

When Jesus says "born of water" he is talking about... birth! If you actually look at the context, it should be obvious that Jesus is contrasting physical and spiritual birth. For example, verse 6 says "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

there is part truth in what randyc was saying, he was talking about a spiritual birth, but also christ does mention something of a physical nature too in vs 5, "of water AND of the spirit,"

in my honest opinion, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand it.

V5 makes it very clear that there are two things its suggests, and one is that you need to be born of the water, and how can one be born of water??? only one can imagine, baptism.

The baptism of spirit is recieving the gift of the holy ghost, which is a two part process of being born again or that spiritual birth as randyc was saying, and that is what our church teaches.

Then to continue with regards about eternal salvation, God is sure of his promises, we do have eternal life until WE jepordise that, so if I were to die right now, if I lived faithfully and had faith then I do have eternal life, but if not then I have jepordised that salvation. But all judgement is left up to God. remember the bible also speaks about falling from grace.

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I have a question for the EV's could you please show me a scipture in the bible where it points out clearly that baptism is not required for entry into God's kingdom. ...

I am not an EV, but for what it's worth, below is a Mormon scripture that teaches that whoso repenteth and cometh unto Christ, the same is His church. And that, "whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them" (--thus will enter into God's kindgom.) It does not mention Baptism per se.

I would suspect that if someone truly repents and comes to Christ, He will lead them to His Rock (His Latter-day revelations) and thus to Baptism. Still, if it was absolutely necessary for "coming unto Christ" one would think it would be specifically mentioned.

D&C 10 Summer of 1828

57 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not.

58 I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

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67 Behold, this is my doctrine-- whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

70 And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God.

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If baptism is so important, how come you never find mention of it in the OT? Does the lack of proper documentation mean that early Jews did not believe or practice Baptism? If so, when and where did John pick up the practice as Christ would have not yet introduced the required ordinance?

As for the whole faith and works... If our eye is single, we will radiate such qualities as charity in the things we say, do and how we live. Simply professing faith isn't the same thing as having faith, just cheap, meaningless lip service.

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I'm not an EV but I do enjoy Christian theology thouroughly. First of all, John 3:5 does not say anything about baptism. When Jesus says "born of water" he is talking about... birth! If you actually look at the context, it should be obvious that Jesus is contrasting physical and spiritual birth. For example, verse 6 says "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." There is absolutely no reason to inject ideas of baptism into this passage that already has an obviuos meaning.

As for a passage that makes belief the only qualification for salvation, I may have one for you. 1 John 5:13 says "these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." He does not say "so that you may know that you will have eternal life". He is clear that those who believe have eternal life. Furthermore, if you want to see justification for EVs just asking for salvation, consider the following two verses.

Then, of course there is the problem that there are other parts of the Bible that say somethign different (like Hebrews, possibly). Please do not disregard my mention of 1 John by saying, "But Hebrews says..." What Hebrews says irrelevant except as (possible) cultural context (or maybe to get ideas about the forms in which God speaks). A different position being held in the letter to the Hebrews only means that the Bible is self-contradicting, not that 1 John does not say what I said it does.

Randy, can you show me where one can be born of the Spirit and not do what Jesus commands? Did Jesus say to baptize disciples? Did Jesus teach we are to be righteous and holy in our lives and keep the commandments, precepts and judgments of God? I think many evangelicals misunderstand Paul's writtings in that they tend to exclude many teachings of Jesus in favor of Paul's writtings when Paul's writings were meant to complement further the teachings of Jesus Christ. For instance is when Paul himself said what matters most is keeping the commandments of God. Many EVs avoid that teaching.

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If baptism is so important, how come you never find mention of it in the OT? Does the lack of proper documentation mean that early Jews did not believe or practice Baptism? Is so, when and where did John pick up the practice as Christ would have not yet introduced the required ordinance?

As for the whole faith and works... If our eye is single, we will radiate such qualities as charity in the things we say, do and how we live. Simply professing faith isn't the same thing as having faith, just cheap, meaningless lip service.

It is mentioned in the OT. It is figured in the washing the priests had to have before service to God in the Temple. All priests had to be 'baptized'. Shouldn't the 'priesthood of believers' also do the same? It is true that Jesus often forgave sin without immersion of the forgivee first, but if it is not necessary, why did He give the command before returning to heaven? If it is not needed, why did Peter at Pentecost say to do it for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the promise of God to all generations? If it is not necessary, why were the gentiles who had received the evidence of the Spirit commanded to be baptized as well as those before had been? If it was not necessary, why does the verse that equates our contact with the forgiving blood of Jesus Christ equate it at the act of baptism?

Is it worse to teach against what Jesus commanded or to not believe who Jesus claimed to be?

Think about that one.

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It is mentioned in the OT. It is figured in the washing the priests had to have before service to God in the Temple. All priests had to be 'baptized'. Shouldn't the 'priesthood of believers' also do the same? It is true that Jesus often forgave sin without immersion of the forgivee first, but if it is not necessary, why did He give the command before returning to heaven? If it is not needed, why did Peter at Pentecost say to do it for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the promise of God to all generations? If it is not necessary, why were the gentiles who had received the evidence of the Spirit commanded to be baptized as well as those before had been? If it was not necessary, why does the verse that equates our contact with the forgiving blood of Jesus Christ equate it at the act of baptism?

Is it worse to teach against what Jesus commanded or to not believe who Jesus claimed to be?

Think about that one.

I have no issue with it, just being technical, if you do a search for baptism in the OT, you will find no reference to baptism. One may infer that it occurred, but it is never specifically mentioned. I'm just trying to relate the lack of reference in the OT doesn't mean that it wasn't a practice or never happened. Some seem so hell bent on specifics of scriptural passages that they overlook the plain truths.

It would be worse to teach against Christ, because in order to teach against you would have to believe Christ is who he claimed to be. (order of Nehor) If Jesus was not the Christ his teachings are irrelevant and meaningless in any argument. The Jews donâ??t believe Jesus is the Christ, therefore they donâ??t need to waste there time refuting any of his teaching or doctrine as it doesnâ??t pertain to Jews. There are billions of people on this earth that may know the name Jesus but donâ??t really know who he claims to be, does this make them bad and unfit for the kingdom? They will get their chance to know who he is and participate in salvation.

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As an example, look at His teachings about marriage and heaven VS LDS teachings of the same matter.

If we are of Christ, we believe what He said.

Another example would be about our placement at death. Can the rich man repent and make it to where Abraham and Lazarus are?

What teaching of Jesus supports the LDS view?

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Regarding belief, even the devils believe and they tremble. Righteous belief is something entirely different. It is the Right use of God's principles. Which include baptism.

Regarding being born again. The qualifier is always ignored.

The wind bloweth where it listeth and you hear the sound thereof, but you know not whether it cometh or goeth. So is everyman that is born of the spirit.

One who is born again, is born into power, able to appear and disappear as Jesus did many times in his mission. It is where the quickening, the translation of the flesh is wrapped in the spirit, spiritual birth. This comes when ones faith is complete, and they are perfected in the love of Christ. They can then enter the kingdom of God, without going through the gates of death. They are born into the kingdom of God.

Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan, mainly sin, which brings forth death.

He said many times that you would not see death if you lived and believed in his commandments.

The jews try to stone him to death over this saying, and he disappeared from the multitude. All physical laws were subjected to him. The things He did we shall do and MORE, to those who believe.

Belief is a completeness of Christ like ness. Not some half hearted acceptance that Jesus did stuff for us. And we don't need to grow into his teachings. That would be unbelief.

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1.

Moro. 8: 5, 10-15, 20, 22, 25

5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

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10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teachâ??repentance and baptism unto those who are aaccountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little bchildren, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

11 And their little achildren need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the bremission of sins.

12 But little achildren are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a brespecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither afaith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

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20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the aatonement of him and the power of his redemption.

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22 For behold that all little children are aalive in Christ, and also all they that are without the blaw. For the power of credemption cometh on all them that have dno law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothingâ??

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25 And the first fruits of arepentance is bbaptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth cremission of sins;

2.

D&C 128: 1, 12-13, 16-18

1 As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the abaptism for the dead, as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.

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12 Herein is aglory and honor, and immortality and eternal lifeâ??The ordinance of baptism by water, to be bimmersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other; to be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead.

13 Consequently, the abaptismal font was instituted as a similitude of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to show forth the living and the dead, and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with anotherâ??that which is earthly conforming to that which is bheavenly, as Paul hath declared, 1 Corinthians 15:46, 47, and 48:

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16 And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?

17 And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the arestoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you bElijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

18 I might have rendered a aplainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a bcurse unless there is a welding clink of some kind or other between the fathers and the dchildren, upon some subject or otherâ??and behold what is that subject? It is the ebaptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the ffulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the gfoundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto hbabes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

3.

D&C 20: 37, 41, 68, 72-73

37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptismâ??All those who ahumble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and bcontrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the cname of Jesus Christ, having a ddetermination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their eworks that they have received of the fSpirit of Christ unto the gremission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

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41 And to aconfirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of bhands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures;

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68 The aduty of the members after they are received by bbaptism.â??The elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their cunderstanding, previous to their partaking of the dsacrament and being confirmed by the laying on of the ehands of the elders, so that all things may be done in forder.

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72 aBaptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repentâ??

73 The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

4.

D&C 124: 29, 31-33, 35-36, 39

29 For a abaptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be bbaptized for those who are deadâ??

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31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to abuild a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

33 For verily I say unto you, that aafter you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

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35 And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.

36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for arefuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.

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39 Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your aanointings, and your washings, and your bbaptisms for the dead, and your csolemn assemblies, and your dmemorials for your esacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your foracles in your most gholy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.

5.

2 Ne. 31: 13-14, 17

13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall afollow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no bhypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real cintent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are dwilling to take upon you the ename of Christ, by fbaptismâ??yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the gbaptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the htongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should adeny me, it would have been bbetter for you that ye had not known me.

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17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and abaptism by water; and then cometh a bremission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

6.

Moro. 6: 1-4

1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth afruit meet that they were bworthy of it.

2 Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a abroken bheart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins.

3 And none were received unto baptism save they atook upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.

4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and acleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the bchurch of Christ; and their cnames were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually dwatchful unto prayer, erelying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

7.

D&C 127: 5-6, 10

5 And again, I give unto you a word in relation to the abaptism for your dead.

6 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are abaptized for your dead, let there be a brecorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord;

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10 I will say to all the saints, that I desired, with exceedingly great desire, to have addressed them from the stand on the subject of baptism for the dead, on the following Sabbath. But inasmuch as it is out of my power to do so, I will write the word of the Lord from time to time, on that subject, and send it to you by mail, as well as many other things.

8.

Matt. 20: 22-23

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my aFather.

9.

Mark 10: 38-39

38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the abaptism that I am baptized with?

39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

10.

Acts 19: 3-4

3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto aJohnâ??s baptism.

4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of arepentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

11.

D&C 39: 6

6 And this is my agospelâ??repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the bbaptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and cteacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom.

12.

JS-H 1: 68-69

68 We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting abaptism for the bremission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a ccloud of light, and having laid his dhands upon us, he eordained us, saying:

69 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the aPriesthood of bAaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of cbaptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of dLevi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in erighteousness.

13.

Matt. 3: 7

7

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It is interesting to note that the original text of the Bible did not read what it did at Jesusâ?? baptism. After Christ was baptized, God said to him in the earliest copy â??Thou art my son, today I have begotten theeâ?. That means that Christ was spiritually born at His baptism, he was born-again. This is re-iterated by many early Christian leaders as well.

A prominent scholar of the second century gave the early Christian Church view of this scripture in his book â??First Apology of Justinâ?. It says: â??For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heavenâ? (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:183, chap. 61, First Apology of Justin)

There is a fragment of writing attributed to Irenaeus which says â??â??And dipped himself,â?? says [the Scripture], "seven times in Jordan." It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: â??Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.â??â? (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:574)

The Clementine Homilies read â??And do not think, though you were more pious than all the pious that ever were, but if you be unbaptized, that you shall ever obtain hope. For all the more, on this account, you] shall endure the greater punishment, because you have done excellent works not excellently. For well-doing is excellent when it is done as God has commanded. But if you will not be baptized according to His pleasure, you serve your own will and oppose His counsel. But perhaps some one will say, What does it contribute to piety to be baptized with water? In the first place, because you do that which is pleasing to God; and in the second place, being born again to God of water, by reason of fear you change your first generation, which is of lust, and thus you are able to obtain salvation. But otherwise it is impossible. For thus the prophet has sworn to us, saying, "Verily I say to you, Unless ye be regenerated by living water into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.â? (Clementine Homilies 11:25-26, Ante-Nicene Fathers 8:289-290)

And also in the Apostolic Constitutions says â??Nay, he that, out of contempt, will not be baptized, shall be condemned as an unbeliever, and shall be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says: "Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven." And again: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.â? (Apostolic Constitutions 6:15, Ante-Nicene Fathers 7:456-457)

I have dozens of examples of what the early Christians thought about this, and it all agrees that Christ was speaking about baptism.

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It is interesting to note that the original text of the Bible did not read what it did at Jesusâ?? baptism. After Christ was baptized, God said to him in the earliest copy â??Thou art my son, today I have begotten theeâ?. That means that Christ was spiritually born at His baptism, he was born-again. This is re-iterated by many early Christian leaders as well.

A prominent scholar of the second century gave the early Christian Church view of this scripture in his book â??First Apology of Justinâ?. It says: â??For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heavenâ? (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:183, chap. 61, First Apology of Justin)

There is a fragment of writing attributed to Irenaeus which says â??â??And dipped himself,â?? says [the Scripture], "seven times in Jordan." It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: â??Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.â??â? (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:574)

The Clementine Homilies read â??And do not think, though you were more pious than all the pious that ever were, but if you be unbaptized, that you shall ever obtain hope. For all the more, on this account, you] shall endure the greater punishment, because you have done excellent works not excellently. For well-doing is excellent when it is done as God has commanded. But if you will not be baptized according to His pleasure, you serve your own will and oppose His counsel. But perhaps some one will say, What does it contribute to piety to be baptized with water? In the first place, because you do that which is pleasing to God; and in the second place, being born again to God of water, by reason of fear you change your first generation, which is of lust, and thus you are able to obtain salvation. But otherwise it is impossible. For thus the prophet has sworn to us, saying, "Verily I say to you, Unless ye be regenerated by living water into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.â? (Clementine Homilies 11:25-26, Ante-Nicene Fathers 8:289-290)

And also in the Apostolic Constitutions says â??Nay, he that, out of contempt, will not be baptized, shall be condemned as an unbeliever, and shall be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says: "Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven." And again: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.â? (Apostolic Constitutions 6:15, Ante-Nicene Fathers 7:456-457)

I have dozens of examples of what the early Christians thought about this, and it all agrees that Christ was speaking about baptism.

He was! born again at His baptism, he was carried away by the spirit- of himself, in order to be tried and tested by Satan, then his mission began in earnest, healing, feeding, manipulating matter, raising the dead, correcting the paths of unrighteous dominion by the jewish high seats. He always sets the perfect example of what we are to be.

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there is part truth in what randyc was saying, he was talking about a spiritual birth, but also christ does mention something of a physical nature too in vs 5, "of water AND of the spirit,"

in my honest opinion, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand it.

V5 makes it very clear that there are two things its suggests, and one is that you need to be born of the water, and how can one be born of water??? only one can imagine, baptism.

The baptism of spirit is recieving the gift of the holy ghost, which is a two part process of being born again or that spiritual birth as randyc was saying, and that is what our church teaches.

The only reason people believe that "born of water" refers to baptism is that that is what they have heard (obviously there had to be someone who originally believed it, of course, or else set out to dupe others). If Jesus is busy contrasting the physical and the spiritual, and Nicodemus is asking how someone can be physically born again, then Jesus is definitely implying "not only must someone be born physically, but he must also be born spiritually." Jesus is not setting "birth by water" (also called "the breaking of the waters" elsewhere) as a condition of Eternal Life; he is simply using it for contrast.

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A thought: in "the Great Commision" Jesus tells his disciples to baptize "them in the name of the Father," etc. Although prepositions are always a pain to translate, this one in particular may have been done poorly. There is every indication that the word should be "into" instead of "in". This would, of course, imply a quite central role for baptism. However, I do not labor under the need to believe that the Bible is consistent.

Anyway, no one addressed the 1 John passage I put up in the second post.

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Agape greetings to our Evangelical Friends that are posting this day [Also a shout to my LDS JEDI KNIGHT Brethren as well]. Once again I am late to this thread but I am here now and hope I can share some thoughts, material and information for everyone to ponder. Are you all aware that there are 41 reasons to be Baptized to see and enter The Kingdom of GOD ?. May Grace Rain on you all. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan-LDS JEDI KNIGHT.

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AS to 1 John 5:13 Many people base there Salvation assurance on 1 Jn 5:13 are unaware that it refers only to those who have a present-tense belief in JESUS. Please notice verse 13 from Youngs Literal Translation: These things I did write unto you "who are believing" in the name of the Son of GOD, that ye may "know" that life ye have age-during, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan.

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AS to 1 John 5:13 Many people base there Salvation assurance on 1 Jn 5:13 are unaware that it refers only to those who have a present-tense belief in JESUS. Please notice verse 13 from Youngs Literal Translation: These things I did write unto you "who are believing" in the name of the Son of GOD, that ye may "know" that life ye have age-during, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan.

So, then, the point is that those who currently believe have eternal life. You seem to be implying that this means that those who do not currently believe do not have eternal life, but the basis for that claim is just not there. My point is that, if eternal life is eternal, then anyone who believes at some point will always have eternal life. That is, believe and you WILL be saved (even if you continue to sin or whatever). Now I am pretty sure that whoever responds to this will say something like, "But this other passage says that you can't keep sinning." Once again, this is irrelevant. I am talking about what 1 John says. If it says something different from the other passage, then the Bible is inconsistent.

edited to remove nonsense

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So, then, the point is that those who currently believe have eternal life. You seem to be implying that this means that those who do not currently believe do not have eternal life, but the basis for that claim is just not there. My point is that, if eternal life is eternal, then anyone who believes at some point will always have eternal life. That is, believe and you WILL be saved (even if you continue to sin or whatever). Now I am pretty sure that whoever responds to this will say something like, "But this other passage says that you can't keep sinning." Once again, this is irrelevant. I am talking about what 1 John says. If it says something different from the other passage, then the Bible is inconsistent.

edited to remove nonsense

Those who already believe have probably already been baptized. Why is that so difficult for you to connect the dots. It is what happened in ancient times and all throughout Christianity's history. The notion that someone could be saved without baptism didn't exist among Christians until 1500 years after. This is a simple point on which every ancient Church (both Catholics and Orthdox), many Protestant Churches, and all Restorationist/LDS Churches agree. It is clearly scriptural and to deny it is to imply a hidden meaning and deny the obvious. On what basis do you insist that you know better than the entirety of what is actually Traditional Christianity as well as those who have claimed to Restore it?

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randyc, Grace to you my Brother, thanks for sharing. A little about myself- I am a Former Methodist [baptized as an infant], Accepted Christ in Lincoln Park in Pomona C.A and attended a Fundamentalist Independant Baptist Church in the early 70's [KJV ONLY] in my early teens. Became LDS as a later teen 10/5/75. I have friends who are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Reformed. I attend a Weslyan Church sometimes before my LDS services. I attend a Southern Baptist Bible study on Wed evenings when I can. I currently work for the Pomona Valley council of Churches in there Food Bank Distribution Program to feed the hungry.

As to the 1Jn 5:13 text from my understanding is that the words believe, believing are continueos acts in the greek. Grace to you and yours. Tanyan LDSJK.

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I don't know... I'm smarter?

Anyway, I was going to bring up the point that it was likely that all those who believed (to whom John was writing) had been baptized, but I figured someone else would (your ad hominem attack was just too fun to miss).You are talking about all of "traditional" Christianity, but you are basing your observation on time periods not relevant to John's writing. Reformation and restorationist churches have no bearing on the issue. Also, eastern and western Catholic doctrines are not necessarily that important either. The Bible is not consistent, and they already had a faulty system in place. In other words, I am an atheist. I don't care what Christians say. We are talking about what a particular part of the Bible says. Christians have a need to mold the Bible to make it seem consistent. Your criticism that "Everyone is doing it" and I couldn't possibly know better than the millions of great minds before me is a worthless, anti-intellectual assault (but maybe I should go get my humours checked out). If we are just going to assume that Christians are right, then there is no reason to criticize EVs for believing that baptism is not necessary. Are you smarter than all of the EVs who have come before you?

It is also possible that some were not baptized. On the other hand, whether or not they were all baptized may not matter. If you read that entire chapter (maybe skipping the part about witnesses), you will see that, in terms of having eternal life, it focuses ONLY on belief and its DIRECT power to the exclusion of ALL other explanations.

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