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BAPTISM QUESTION 3:
How come there are so many different ideas about baptism. If you were to ask ten different ministers to explain baptism, you would most likely get ten different answers. Don't they all read the same Bible?
You are correct, there are many different ideas and answers, and yes, they all read from the same Bible. Many years ago several men were discussing baptism, and there were many differences amongst them. They decided to separate, they agreed to lay aside all of their preconceived notions, and before they researched the true meaning of baptism, they would first ask God to enlighten them to what He had intended the Scriptures to mean. In three weeks they all came back together again and they all came to the same conclusion. The problem here is that the preaching or teaching of some, is not based on what the Bible truly states. The Bible does not teach "infant baptism, household baptism, or the baptism of unbelievers." I suppose the most common error taught about this subject is its saving merits. Many teach that it washes away sin. Peter says, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 3:21. It is a "figure of speech, or a "photocopy" of salvation. It has no saving merit at all. When the question was asked, "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" ,Acts 16:30, The answer was given, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" Acts 16:30-31. It is Christ who saves. It is His blood which cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.
Baptism is a symbol of our identification with the death,burial, and resurrection of Christ. Romans 6:3-5. The second most common error is it is a testimony to the world. Like the jailer, in Acts 16, in verse 25, "at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, .."; and in verse 35, "He was baptized between (midnight) and daylight (Day), ..." The Eunuch of Acts 8 was baptized in the desert. One could hardly conceive of the world having any access to these baptisms. A believer's testimony to the world is oral and continual. The place of the scripture which he read was this, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth." Acts 8:26-38.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated September 23rd, 2013 by Sandra Felix