“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
When I was growing up my parents didn’t treat the Bible like more than anything but simply a book. I didn’t know that this book held so much history. Because I didn’t know about it, though, I wasn’t shown the right way to live. I had always thought that I was put on this Earth just to simply live. I didn’t really have purpose. I wrote music, I knew how to cook good food and I was socially awkward. I had assumed people were destined to just simply be great and I wasn’t one of those people. I had talents, sure, but that was about the extent of it. I thought my talents as just hobbies. I live out in the middle of nowhere and really no way to broadly express my talents, so my talents basically stuck with me or casually released through the internet. No opportunities opened up until I was saved. I have been to several churches in the past, including Jehovah’s Witness and Catholic, and they have all shown me how crazy religion can be. They didn’t encourage in anyway to learn on your own, but instead wanted you to come back every Sunday to have someone in the front of the Church explain it to you. You weren’t really authorized to open the word of God on your own. They didn’t give you any preparation for it so when you are new to the class you don’t really understand what you are doing. You just sit back and listen.
I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty boring to me. Most of the time I didn’t gather any information because there was no encouragement or excitement about the word of God. They had these crazy theories behind the steps of becoming part of the church. You had to be “accepted” into their “religion” in order to grasp the full concept (I assume). The Catholic church I went to wanted me to be baptized. They thought I was insane for not being baptized as a baby! They looked at me like I was the Devil and was hell bent on ruining their church. Now that I think back to it, it doesn’t make any sense at all what they wanted. Most religions think that the only way to get into Heaven is by following THEIR steps. You have these specific made up prayers (not even in the word of God) that you have to recite and memorize to say before everything you do. You are sprinkled with “Holy Water” as a form of “Baptizing” and then that is suppose to “protect” you from evil. So I did some studying to see where their information comes from and the way that God has written. Written above is a verse from 2 Corinthians that says that you should put your faith into Christ to be saved. It doesn’t say to “eat” the body of Christ and “drink” his “blood” (I still don’t understand where these came from).
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16
The order of events as far as I can see is to firstly believe (to be saved), then be baptized. Faith in Christ, then baptism. The order is the same throughout the Bible. I haven’t seen any other religion that does it in this order. Every time Baptism was mentioned in the past while attending these churches they never asked me to receive Christ as my saviour. They just simply “baptized” you. The reason I put quotations around baptized is because they don’t truly baptize. Sprinkling or pouring “Holy Water” isn’t what Baptism is. You are to SUBMERGE into water to be baptized. The reason this is, is to signify the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was either do this, or bury someone for three days without food and water and hope they are still alive when you bring them back out. I’m glad that God gave us a different way to identify with Christ. Being Baptized doesn’t protect you from evil, by the way. I don’t know where this idea came from but that seems to be the most believed insight about it. The bible also doesn’t talk about Holy Water so water isn’t holy unless God, himself, makes it holy for some reason.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
When I was younger and someone said they were “born again” it was like the worst kind of religious… person… that you could ever be. My mom and dad always thought that born again Christians were the most “hardcore” Christians out of all of them. But the more I learned and the more I read (especially about this topic) the more I realized that everyone who is saved is born again. You start anew! So technically any TRUE believer is born again. This is not a bad thing. Being born again doesn’t mean you are a HARDCORE Christian, it simply means you have a second chance to start over and try to live more like Christ, with the knowledge of the Word to show you how. This is a need to be accepted into the Kingdom.
“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.” John 3:3
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23
This also leads me to talk about Baptizing babies. Because you have to be saved first before being baptized, baptizing an infant won’t really do anything. Their soul is new, they are born sinners, and over time (without Christ) their soul begins to wither. My soul was damned for an eternity in Hell before I was saved. I deserved Hell, but because I put my faith in Christ I was born new. I didn’t do that as an infant. I did that as an adult.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:” Matthew 3:16
Even Jesus Christ HIMSELF was baptized as an adult. Not because he was sinful, but because he wanted to show how amazing and simple it was to do.
“(39)For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (40)And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. (41)Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:39–41
This says “unto you, and to your children” which people would stop there and assume that they should baptize their babies (for some reason) but if you read on it says “they that gladly received his word”. They had to “receive” and understand his word FIRST before being baptized. The decision had to be THEIRS. The decision wasn’t made for them. 3,000 people agreed to be baptized that day. 3,000 people were not FORCED to be baptized. The parents did not MAKE their children except Christ and become baptized. It was the children’s understanding and acceptance that got them baptized. I honestly think that’s where most lines get blurred for some people. You have to take the Word of God as a whole. You can’t just pick parts that fit your need or lifestyle. Every word and every punctuation mark means something. It was written in this way for a reason. This is not a message to bag on any religious belief. This is to show the correct way to become saved. I want to see people open the word and actually read the whole message instead of taking parts and pieces of it.
Even though I only take out a verse or two here and there to show you in the Bible where I get my information, I give the exact chapter and section you can find it yourself. This is a helpful study tool that you can use to progress further in your relationship with God and learn about why you are here on Earth. I want people to spend an eternity in Heaven. Why not start this year off getting to know God? Why not start opening his Word and finding out the truth for yourself?
As I always say at the end of every post, if there are any questions or complaints you may have, feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you or anyone who has something to add.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16