This is a really core question where most Christians miss the mark.
We have these things to do. A laundry list of what it takes to be saved. We normally do them all and baptism is one of them. It is all very biblical and somewhat transforming.
A concept of "must dos". I am all capable and so I have done them. It is good.
But here is where most people miss the mark. They think you have to in order for God to act. Somehow folks have got the notion that rules for us are rules for God. They just jump to that conclusion. It is not proper thinking. God is not restrained by our understanding. God can save an unrepentant leper adulterer sinner who has never heard of God. We really do not have to do anything in order for God to save us -- that is up to God. It takes our judgment completely out of the equation.
Sure you better go get baptized. Sure you better try and do all the things that the Bible tells you to. But do not think for a second that God is restricted from loving you based on your actions. God can love and accept anyone, He is not bound by our understanding.
I am a father and head of a household. By shear size and dominance I could restrict a family member from eating our meals. Totally my choice by force and will. Act wrong and do not eat at my table. But I choose to let whoever is hungry to eat. I am the boss.
God can save whoever God wants to save.
To answer any biblical question I usually refer to Paul's epistle to the Galatians. Circumcision was a covenant between the Jews and God. It applies to Abraham and his seed. This is how God identifies his chosen people. Circumcision is a delicate process, and if not done right could cause problems for the individual in the long run. Therefore, if a person was not circumcised in biblical days, then God automatically knows that person is not among the chosen.
Paul (a Jew) is persecuting anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Paul was called by Jesus Christ to preach to the Non-Jews. His message to the Gentiles in Galatia is that circumcision is not necessary for the Gentiles. The argument that is put forward to the Galatians, is that nowhere in the scriptures was the covenant of circumcision made null and void by God. How can Paul declare that this practice is not necessary?
Similarly, Jesus Christ was asked what must we do to gain eternal life. The answer you must be born again - of water and the spirit. The argument that most Christians will put forward today is that nowhere in the bible is the born again statement made null and void, and thus water baptism is still necessary in order to be saved.
I need to add that Jesus made the comment to Peter, that on this rock will I build my church. Then Paul was called in Acts, and John, was spoken to in Revelation.
No Phoenix, but those who use water may be helped. There is no hard and fast rule. In the Spiritual life, one has to do the work; to make the effort. It is the way of the Cross, meaning that life's perfection-road is very long and full of struggles.
Still, the whole of the Spiritual life is an inner journey. Later on it manifests in the outer life, but for the purposes of this conversation, let us say it begins within. Motive is necessary: Purity of Intent; Sincerity of Purpose. There should be a seeking, a knocking, a longing to love or find God.
A 'why?' 'what?' etc. Without Aspiration, that burning inner cry, it is impossible, and with the inner fire, one may be blessed by water, yes. In my case, my transformation came simply from reading a spiritual book.
Still, the significance lies in being born of the Spirit; of being born again; of inner purity, not a bath and change of clothing and a carrying on with the same old life. If and when it happens, one will know.
"O Bible, the Saviour has taken away my sins. Will you not take away, my little, little, worries at least?"- Sri Chinmoy. Higher blessings, my friend.
by PhoenixV19 months ago
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