It reminds me of the series “Friends”, where Ross’ character is a bit of a spineless one when Joe starts dating Rachel.
The “Believer’s Baptism” is when a person is baptized on the basis of his or her profession of faith in Jesus Christ and as admission into a local church. They believe they are saved when they do the sinners prayer, which happens mostly after an altar call. The motivation is, that babies cannot hear or believe the gospel, they cannot repent nor believe Jesus as the Son of God.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is not taking into account the whole Bible, but using scriptures out of context.
Let’s have a look at the scriptures they don’t believe in:
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” – Jn 3:5
We all believe that we have to be born again, but what does the water and spirit means in this verse?
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38
To repent you do need to know what you need to repent of what sin, that seems like a process in itself. Then get baptized, why? Oh yes, for the forgiveness of your sin. Ah, so your sins get forgiven at baptism. Not when you do the sinners prayer!
20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God 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, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. – 1 Peter 3:20-22 | NIV
The water that saved Noah from the flood waters is the symbol here. So just as the water saved him, your baptism for the forgiveness of your sin (Acts 2:38) and to receive the Holy Spirit will save you. It says baptism saves you. It says it is not like taking a bath, but a pledge of a good conscience towards God. Baptism saves you by your faith (Col 2:12) in the resurection of Jesus on the cross.
Now let’s see what people base their forgiveness of sin theology on:
- You have to receive Jesus as your saviour. (Jn 1:12, Rev 3:20)
- Your sins gets forgiven when you confess it. (1 Jn 1:9)
- You have to confess Jesus as Lord. (Rom 10:9-10)
- You have to believe in Jesus. (Jn 3:16)
The answer to the theology above:
- Jn 1:12 – If you receive and believe in Jesus name you have a right, a right to become a child of God. So that means you are not yet a child of God, you are still to become one. Rev 3:20 – I have to open the door of my heart to receive Jesus. This was written to a church who has become lukewarm (v.14). Members of a church are already Christians. So this is not a verse for non Christians but for Christians who has become lukewarm.
- 1 Jn 1:9 – You cannot just get forgiveness of sins by just confessing it. All my sins first have to be forgiven at baptism, past and future. This is not written for non Christians but for Christians. They claim to have fellowship with Jesus already. (v.6) They have to keep on confessing their sin to have a clear conscience. If they do not confess their sin, their hearts will get hard and they will fall away from God. (Heb 3:12)
- Rom 10:9-10 – It is true that you have to confess Jesus as Lord to be saved; but where does it happen? (Acts 22:16) At baptism of course. In Romans chapter six Paul talks about that when you get baptized you partake in Jesus death, buriel and resurrection. (Rom 6:1-5) It is not merely a sign.
- Jn 3:16 – It is true that you have to believe in Jesus, but is that all you have to do? The deamons also believe in Jesus and they are not going to heaven. Is that all that you have to do just to believe? It’s like you believe you have a new job but you never pitch up.
“Believers baptism” is baptism as an adult, but is not done in conjunction with the understanding that one is being saved at this point in time (John 3:5, Acts 2:38).
“Retroactive understanding” is not sufficient for salvation.
It is like “Chandler being sorry about dating Joe’s girlfriend“. He would not even have been involved with her if he really appreciated his friend.
Prayer for Today:
Lord I want to do what is right in Your eyes! I can follow what my preacher say or I can follow what You say Lord. Help me to be humble and accept that you know what is best; not people. Help me to study things out if I do not understand them properly. I know that if I did not have faith at my baptism that it is there that I get saved (My sins are forgiven and I receive the Holy Spirit) that it was only a swim and I am not saved according to what God says in the Bible. Help me to make the right choice spiritually even thought it might upset my pastor and friends around me. Amen.
Next Study – How to get Saved and go to Heaven – Page 1 of 6