Understanding Baptism in this Age of Grace

     When one hears, reads or thinks of the word baptism, the natural tendency is to automatically link it to water.  In fact, there are at least twelve “baptisms” mentioned in the New Testament, and only five of them have anything to do with water.  All of the baptisms using water were used in the context of the Old Testament Law, the kingdom program and the nation of Israel.
The book of Hebrews gives us the context in chapter nine.  8The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, 9which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, 10since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.”  The word washings translated in the Greek is pronounced “baptismos”….baptism.  These “regulations”, although mandated by God, could not clear the conscience of the believer under the Old Covenant.  They only served to cleanse the outward body.  Notice that in verse nine the word “symbol” (same Greek word for parable) is used to describe the various aspects of the Law, of which water baptism was one.  The writer of Hebrews continues later that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses the heart.  11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  13For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  We see here the writer of Hebrews trying to wean these Jewish followers of Christ off of the Old Covenant traditions, and one of these was the many baptisms ordained by the Law.  1Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation ..2of instruction about washings (Hebrews 6:1-2).  Hebrews was written in the late 60’s A.D., and most commentators believe that the doctrine screams of the Apostle Paul.  By now all of the mysteries had been revealed to Paul, and the purpose of this letter to the Hebrews was to get these first century Jews to stop being “Jewish” and to enter into a more perfect way where God does it all through faith.  We must remember that the stewardship committed to Paul was different in many ways than the commission given to the twelve Apostles of Israel (Galatians 2:8).  One of these differences can be seen when comparing the instructions given in Matthew and Mark by the resurrected Lord to the Apostles to go and baptize, with the commission in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Paul said was given to him by Christ (Galatians 1:11-12).  17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”  Obviously, something had changed between the time the Apostles were sent out and when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians.  A new organism was being formed called The Body of Christ, and with this came new instructions “…a time of reformation.” (Hebrews 9:10).  No longer were believers to cleanse themselves outwardly, as was ordained by the Law.  Now, all the cleansing necessary is done by the work of God inwardly and applied by faith.  Let’s follow Paul through his epistles, and watch how he explains what it means to be truly “baptized”.

The first place to start is Ephesians 4:4-5. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”   What “one baptism” is Paul writing about.  Is it water baptism?  Is it the baptism of the Holy Spirit?  Is it a baptism of fire as spoken of by John the Baptist?  Which baptism does Paul mean?  1 Corinthians 12:13 says, 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”  It is this baptism that every believer experiences when they put their full trust in Christ as savior and believe the Gospel.  Everybody is placed, or baptized, into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit when they believe.  This is the one baptism which Paul writes about in Ephesians 4:4-5 and is required for salvation, for one is not saved today if one is not in the Body of Christ.  Once you have been “baptized” into the Body, a whole host of operations spiritually done by God take place.

Paul writes about this one baptism in several places in his letters to the Body of Christ.  With every Scripture he expounds more and more what this baptism does for the believer.  In Galatians 3:26-27 he writes, 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”   Here Paul shows first that through faith in Christ, every believer becomes a son of God.  This is not merely a relational standing, but it is a term of position, as we are now heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14-17 and Galatians 4:6).  The second working mentioned in this passage is the putting on of Christ.  Paul uses the analogy of clothing oneself as with a garment.  When does all this happen?  Paul answers it within the text, “….you who were baptized into Christ…”  When were these Galatians “baptized into Christ”?  1 Corinthians 12:13 tells us that this happens when they believed.

Romans chapter 6 is another Scripture that explains what happens when we are baptized into Christ.  3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,  6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.”  When a believer is baptized into Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), they are placed, spiritually, into His literal body.  Because of this, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, we rose with Christ, and we are now seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 2:6).  This passage in Romans is an incredible truth that extends beyond comprehension. The believer has been crucified with Christ, buried, risen and ascended all because one believes the gospel.  This being “united” with Christ is an operation done by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ Jesus.  Water can’t possibly do any of this.  This all happens when the “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5) is performed by the Holy Spirit on the believer, placing the believer into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Another result of being baptized into Christ is that our hearts are now circumcised by the Holy Spirit.  Col 2:11 and 12 explain further, 11and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”   This “circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit,” as Paul shows in Romans 2:28-29.  Notice who does the circumcising; it is “through faith in the working of God.  Paul, then, directly connects this operation of God to our being baptized into and buried with Christ (Romans 6:3-6).  Just one verse prior, we are told that we are “complete in Him”.  None of this is performed in the physical.  Our hearts being circumcised; our death, burial and raising with Christ, and our baptism into the Body of Christ are all done by the operation of the Holy Spirit.  There is no longer a need for the “symbol”.  Again, no water is used in the baptismal working of God in this age of grace.  Think of this, could water do any of these wonderful workings?  Only God can, and Paul tells us over and over again how it is appropriated…by faith.  When you go to a restaurant, you read the menu describing the food you are going to order.  When your food arrives, do you continue to read the menu, which only describes the reality, or do you set the menu aside in exchange for the real meal?

But, didn’t Paul baptize?  Yes, at first he did.  Remember what dispensation Paul was saved under.  It was the same dispensation that the twelve Apostles operated under.  He had not had any of the mysteries revealed to him right away (Acts 22:14).  He preached and followed what he knew, and he only knew of the requirements of being under the Law.  Paul also spoke in tongues, cast demons out, worked miracles and healings.  All of these signs disappeared by the end of his ministry.  Why?  These signs belong to the program of the kingdom for Israel (1 Corinthians 1:22, etc.) and were fading away (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).  By the end of Paul’s life, the whole mystery was revealed to him (Colossians 1:25-26), and the requirements under this dispensation of grace excluded these signs, miracles and wonders, as well as the requirements under the Law; of which water baptism was one (Hebrews 9:8-14).

So why did John the Baptist and the Apostles baptize with water?  We have to remember what is written in the book of Hebrews.  The whole Jewish system was full of “various washings”  (Hebrews 9:10) or baptisms.  This is why nobody in all of Israel questioned what John the Baptist was doing.  They asked “why”, but not “what” because they were all very familiar with the ceremonial baptisms practiced along with the keeping of the Law.  When John the Baptist came preaching that “the kingdom was at hand”, he baptized the Jews for the remission of sins.  4John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  (Mark 1:4). The King was here and so John heralded this fact by baptizing.  19And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  20And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  21And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”  22They said then to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”  23He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, `MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”  24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.  25And they asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”  26John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, among you stands One whom you do not know.  27“He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”  28These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.  29The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  30“This is He on behalf of whom I said, `After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’  31And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”  32And John bore witness saying, “I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.  33“And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, `He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’  34″  And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”  (John 1:19-34).  “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” was the cry throughout the land of Israel.  This was the gospel of the kingdom that John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles preached.  23Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,”   Water baptism was directly connected with this message as is exemplified throughout the Gospels, including the commissions Jesus gave to the eleven Apostles of Israel (Galatians 2:8) during the kingdom program, and all under the Law (Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16).  Peter continues this same message into the early Acts period as is shown in Acts 2:36-38-36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.”  37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”   Nothing had changed in as much as the Jews still needed to be baptized with water as a sign of their faith for their sins to be forgiven.  Notice that this wasn’t optional under the kingdom program for Israel-compare Luke 7:29-30 with Mark 16:14-16 and Acts 2:22 and 37-38.  Israel was to be the Priests in the coming kingdom of Christ (Exodus 19:5-6 and Zechariah 8:20-23) and Priests are mandated by the Law to be “washed” (Exodus 30:17-19 and Lev. 8:1-6).  That promise to Israel by God will be carried out after the rapture of the church and subsequent tribulation-see Revelation.  This also explains why the Pharisees asked John “why” he was baptizing, for he was baptizing EVERYONE who came to him, and the Pharisees knew that only priests were to be “washed”.  So we see that along with the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom came water baptism as a requirement.  This is another reason why Christ himself was water baptized, for He is the High Priest.

We also need to recognize what water baptism isn’t.  First, it isn’t an outward showing of any inward working.  That is nowhere in the Bible.  It is not a picture of a burial and resurrection.  That, also, is nowhere in the Bible.  Water baptism never represented a burial.  Are people buried in water?  No, water baptism always represented a cleansing-compare John 3:22-25 with Acts 22:12-16 with Hebrews 9:8-10, and finally look at Mark 7:1-4.  In the Mark 7 passage, the Pharisees were washing, “baptismo” in the Greek, their pots, cups, pitchers, tables and even their couches (KJV).  Were they burying them?  Were they showing how these implements had an inward work done to them?  No, they were cleansing them.  Another reason that is often used to cajole the believer to partake of this ceremony is that they should “obey Jesus” and be baptized.  As a prominent Biblical scholar once wrote, “Make water baptism anything you wish.  Make baptism necessary to salvation, then Paul the Apostle thanked God he saved so few.  Make baptism essential to obedience, as some urge, the Apostle thanked God he made so few obedient.” (1 Corinthians 1:14).  These “traditions of men” (Colossians 2:8, Galatians 4:3 and 9 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) were to be done away with the advent of the “new order” (Hebrews 9:10, NIV).  Unfortunately, most of Christendom, for nearly 2000 years, has decided to pick and choose certain aspects from the Law and bring them into the Body of Christ.  Romans 6:14 clearly shows that we are not under the Law program, we are under the grace program.

In this dispensation of the grace of God given to Paul for the Body of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-9), we have a different gospel.  No longer do we preach “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”, but as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:23, 23but we preach Christ crucified”.  Paul adds to this that with this gospel, water baptism is not part of the message commissioned to Paul to preach in this dispensation.  17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”   Is Paul being disobedient to the commission given by Jesus to the Apostles of Israel (Galatians 2:8)?  Is this one of those “contradictions” that atheists point to in the Bible?  No, Paul received a different calling and message from the risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, to go to the Gentiles with the gospel of the grace of God (Romans 11:13 and 16:25, Galatians 1:11-12, Acts 20:24, Ephesians 3:1-9 and Colossians 1:25-26, etc.).  Why would God tell Paul that water baptism is no longer a part of the gospel message?  First of all, we in the Body of Christ are not priests, as some teach.  Israel, in the kingdom, will be God’s priests (Exodus 19:5-6 and Zechariah 8:20-23).  A priest is a go between God and man.  No unbeliever today needs a member of the Body to go to God for him; he only needs to go through the one and only mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).  No, we are not priests, we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Now, everything is done spiritually “through faith in the working of God(Colossians 2:11-12).  No more outward works done with hands (2 Corinthians 5:7).  Everything has been accomplished at the cross of Calvary by Christ.  All we need to do is believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and then we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:26-27 and Colossians 2:11-12)…No water required.

Article written by Paul D. Pedro of Oakdale, Minnesota, Copyright 2014.

                                                                All Scripture references used in this article, except where noted, were taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Any underlining or extra emphasis added to the Scriptures was done by the author of this article.

36 Comments

  1. Posted May 30, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I like your way of thinking !! Great article.. I believe as well that there are different baptisms spoken of in the word of God, but I do however, believe that water baptism is still a part of N.T. symbolic representation of our death and life in Christ. The full context of the passage you quote from in 1 Cor. 1, Paul said, that he did baptized the whole house of Stephanas, but that (i believe) his calling as an apostle was to preach the Gentiles world… Paul also stated in verse 14 that he did also baptize Crispus and Gaius and that the “others” mentioned in that verse were also baptized, just not by him… I believe the context is found in verse 10-13 “that there be no divisions among you.” That there were “cliques” developing and some were saying that they belonged to Paul, while others were saying they belonged to Apollos… Paul (I believe) said, “he was glad that he didn’t baptize “them” (vs 14) because they were the ones trying to single him out by putting him on a pedestal.

    I have added you to my list of friends to follow, as I do feel you have a lot to offer.. And I love being involved with believers sites that give meaty content.. And this is one of them.. I highly respect and appreciate your hard work, as I understand the time and prayer that goes into every study.. Thank you for sharpening my iron today!!
    Proverbs 27:17
    Iron sharpens iron,So one man sharpens another.
    Many blessings
    Rev Deb
    Ps please drop by and say hi and tool around a bit, Perhaps I could be so blessed as to sharpen a little iron back..

  2. Posted May 30, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rev. Deb,

    Thank you for your interest in my article and the kind words that you sent. As to Paul’s comments about not baptizing many; I would agree whole heartily with you that Paul was stressing unity within the Body and that early on in his ministry he did baptize. But, as the “mystery” was more and more revealed to him, water baptism was set aside as Ephesians 4:5 clearly shows. Now, there is only ONE baptism and if it is with water, then the baptism done by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that places every believer into the Body of Christ is null and void. Remember, Paul also “thanked God” that he hardly baptized anyone. Now, we have to ask ourselves; if water baptism was part of the commission that all believers are given, then Paul “thanked God” that he didn’t follow God’s instructions. No, Paul had a different commission than the twelve and it is this recognition that will help you understand the special message given to Paul. Read Ephesians 3:1-3 very slowly. He was given a different message that was never before revealed to anyone. With these “mysteries” came the revelation that now we are NOT to participate in the types and shadows, of which water baptism was a part of. The letter to the Hebrews is crystal clear about this. We are to be in the substance, which is Christ, and not go back to the old way. I would also challenge your assumption that water baptism represents our death and resurrection in Christ. This is found NOWHERE in the Scriptures. Every place that water baptism is mentioned it represented a washing or cleansing or purging. This again was a shadow of what Christ would do for us with His blood. Water baptism pointed to the finished work of the cross. Now that Christ has cleansed every believer, water baptism has as much part in this dispensation as do sacrifices. Everything has been completed by God in the spiritual realm.

    Thank you for your interest and if you have any more questions or comments, feel free to write back. I will be taking a look at your website. I love discussing the Lord and the Scriptures, as long as they are our final authority.

    In Christ,

    Paul D. Pedro

  3. Posted March 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there is a deeper reason for water baptism with Israel. Certainly, Jews required a sign but I think the Old Covenant sheds some light on the reason for the water baptism.

    In Exodus 19:4-6, God tells Israel that He will make of them a “kingdom of priests.” As mentioned in this post above, ritual cleansings/washings were very much a part of the Law. Before the Levis could perform their priestly duties, they had to be “Levitically” cleansed. Therefore, when the repentant Jews were being baptized in water, they were being levitically washed so they could perform their kingdom priestly duties.

    What else is interesting is that in the Tabernacle, there was a laver that was used for such washings. When Ezekiel describes the “millennial tabernacle” there is one piece of furniture missing: the laver! What is this significant? Well, in my judgment, water baptism was a Jewish type of regeneration. Remember that in the kingdom, God will “sprinkle” clean water on Israel (Ezekiel 36:25). Regeneration will have happened to Israel, therefore, in the millennial tabernacle you don’t see the laver, but in the OT tabernacle, you did.

  4. Paul Pedro
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Scott,

    It seems that you have done your homework. I didn’t mention the reason for the Jewish baptisms, because that was not the subject of the article, but it was good for you to point this out. Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized? I submit to you, Scott, that it may be for the very reason that the Jews were baptized. One of the offices of Christ is Priest. We see this in the letter to the Hebrews in at least eight different chapters. Christ came to fulfill every part of the law and this included the ceremonial washings for the priesthood, even though He is not of the Levitical line of priests. Something to think about…

  5. joe borg
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Is God the author of coonfusion then ? I am disgusted at how many different interpretation of our christianity we arrived at especially now in the internet age: No wonder outsiders look at us & wonder! But we are concerned at what God thinks not men. Re Baptism I understood that yes once Jesus Told to Baptise repentatnt believers – we should only ask : “who ordered Baptism”? then proceed to obey(in faith? ) how can there be both water & spirit (not to mention Fire that Jesus mentioned) and still called one? Yes: when we obey and go down into the symbolical watery grave to die & be buried with Him – He at that stage gives us His Holy Spirit as He promised : so with this one baptism we go down the symbolic watery grave & come up – resurected unto a new Spirit Filled life just as Christ told Nicodemus.
    I think we should do our best and let scriptures interpret scriptures and where we are not sure – just say so
    Please do not take this as critism but in brotherly love for the sake of unity

    God Bless us all

    Joe

  6. Paul Pedro
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Joe, I appreciate your enthusiasm for this subject, but I question your interpretation. First of all, your “watery grave” picture is nowhere in Scritpure. In fact, water baptism always referred to a cleansing, not a death. Secondly, Jesus did say to repent and be baptized, but He also said to the cleansed lepers to bring their law-prescribed sacrifices to the priest after Jesus healed them? When was the last time you knew anyone who did that? Everything Jesus did and taught was under the Law and as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5, we no longer know Christ in the flesh. Why? Because we are not under Law, we are under grace. I ask that you prayerfully reread the article with your Bible open and set aside any preconceived notion about baptism. Again, Thanks..Paul Pedro

  7. Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your comments Joe. There certainly is a lot of confusion concerning baptism. Who should be baptized, when should one be baptized and what is the proper way to be baptized? Each denomination has it’s own set of rules. All this confusion happens, I believe, because churches do not separate God’s dealings with Israel and His dealings with the Body of Christ—today’s church.

    When John was baptizing he did so to announce Jesus Christ to Israel. “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”(John 1:31). It was a baptism of purification (John 3:22—25). When Jesus was baptized it was done to fulfill all righteousness. He did not do so for our example but to fulfill all the Law. He identified Himself with sinners as one who needed to be baptized for purification even though He was pure.

    Our identificatin with Christ comes through our spiritual baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). There is no need to have the shadow of water baptism when we have the real thing. The idea that water baptism symbolizes our baptism into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is not supported by Scripture. Man has take certain verses out of context then forced them to fit their idea of water baptism.

    One last thought. When Jesus was on earth he came to minister to and save Israel (Matthew 1:21; 10:5). After Israel reject the offer of the Kingdom, Paul was raised up and revealed the Mystery directly from the risen Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11, 12). When we follow the Pauline epistles we are following the last words of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, through Paul, does not command us to be water baptized. It’s only when people try to mix together God’s dealings with Israel and His dealings with the Church that confusion reigns.

  8. Posted March 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The rite of water baptism served to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord ” so that they “might serve Him…in holiness and righteousness ” (Lk.1:17,74,75).

    The children of Israel could not serve The Lord Jesus in righteousness and holiness as long as they remained living a life that defiled them. Therefore,they were to “repent” (have a change of mind) in regard to the way that they were living.

    The baptism of repentance was not for salvation but instead it was for “a people already in the covenant of Abraham and covered by blood sacrifice, e.g. Passover Lamb, etc.” (The New Scofield Study Bible,” note at Exodus 19:1).

    In the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society David R. Anderson writes: “We are suggesting that John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter had dual ministries. One was to call the nation of Israel back into fellowship with Yahweh. The covenant relationship had long since been established. The nation of Israel did not need a new relationship with God. But they were sorely lacking in fellowship…John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter were all trying to persuade Israel to repentance and turning that would bring them back to a refreshing fellowship with God…Now as a nation they needed to repent and turn (Acts 3:19) in order to have fellowship with God” (Anderson, “The National Repentance of Israel”, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1998, Volume 11:21).

    Being in “fellowship” with the Lord is the same things as “abiding” in Him. The Lord Jesus said that a believer cannot “bear fruit” or effectively serve Him unless one abides in Him:

    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (Jn.15:4-5).

    In order to be a “people prepared for the Lord” so that they might serve Him the children of Israel were to change their sinful lifestyle and then submit to the rite of water baptism.

  9. John Fox
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    When water baptism was being practiced in the Gospels and early Acts, what was the mode? I have heard that it was sprinkling from at least one mid acts dispensational writer. What are your thoughts?

  10. Paul Pedro
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    According to most commentaries that I have on this subject, the original Hebrew and Greek both use words that indicate sprinkling, not submerging. In fact, the Acts 8 passage that is usually used to back up the immersion idea says that both Philip and the eunuch “came up” out of the water. Does this mean that Philip was dunked too? Of course not, this most likely means that they had to walk down into the pool of water wherever they were and when they were done, they both “came up” out of the water. I hope this helps.

  11. Posted August 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    after 40 years a baptist, i walked away from their teaching. need to know a about the lord supper.

  12. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Carlos, may I recommend a book by Cornelius Stam called, “The Lord’s Supper and the Bible”. It is available through the Berean Bible Society’s website. They have several helpful books about baptism and other topics that have been mistaught for almost 2000 years. May I also recommend signing up for their free monthly magazine called, “The Berean Searchlight”. Hope this helps.

    Paul

  13. Posted August 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    If I remember correctly Cornelius Stam taught that those who believed could not be saved unless they submitted to the rite of baptism. However, that idea is proven wrong when we see that as soon as a person believed he was already born of God.

    We do know that before a person could be baptized with water that person must first believe, as witnessed by the following exchange between Philip and the eunuch:

    “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).

    Before the eunuch was baptized with water he was already “born of God” because he believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God:

    “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn.5:1,4-5).

    There can be no doubt that the eunuch received eternal life and was “born of God” before he was baptized with water so we can know that being baptized with water does not contribute in any way to anyone being saved.

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  14. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Jerry,

    It is clear from the gospel record and the early part of the book of Acts that water baptism was required of the Jew for salvation. Yes, it is faith that saves, but what is faith? It is taking God at His word, and when God instructed the Jews to be water baptized, then only those with saving faith would comply with God’s demands (Mark 1:4, 16:16 and Acts 2:38). Could a Jew under the Law say that he had faith, but then refused to follow the Law? Could a Jew say that he had faith, but then refuse to be water baptized? The Pharisees refusal to be water baptized is a perfect example of that segment of Israel who did not have saving faith and therefore did not obey God and submit to water baptism (Luke 7:30) . So, you are right in a way to say that only those that believed were baptized, but it is also correct to say that it was required. See the many examples of Scripture that are listed in the above article.

    Paul

  15. Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Paul,

    Why did you just ignore the verses which I quoted?

    When the Lord Jesus walked the earth those who believed received eternal life apart from works of any kind, as witnessed by the words of the Lord Jesus here:

    “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (Jn.5:24; NIV).

    In this verse the Greek word translated “believeth” and the Greek word translated “have” are both in the “present” tense.

    In The Blue Letter Bible we read the following meaning of the present tense:

    “The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense.”

    Therefore, John 5:24 is saying that those who were believing at the time the Lord Jesus spoke those words had already received eternal life. That is what is meant as something being “viewed as occuring in actual time.”

    So once a person believes he receives everlasting life. Anything which happens to anyone after he believes cannot contribute in any way to that person’s receiving eternal life. Since a believer receives eternal life before a drop of water ever touches him then we can know that submitting to the rite of water baptism contributes nothing to anyone’s salvation.

    The Lord Jesus also said:

    “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn.6:63).

    The gospel comes in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess.1:5; 1 Pet.1:12) and that gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes:

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Ro.1:16).

    You just cannot ignore all of these verses, can you?

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  16. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    I didn’t ignore any verses. You seem to be mixing up two programs though. The program that Jesus brought to Israel in His earthly ministry is different from the program that He brings to the Body of Christ as Head of the Body from heaven. Your quote from John 5:24 says that anyone who believed His words had eternal life. Ask yourself, what were those words? Did they include submitting to water baptism (Luke 7:30)? Did they include following the Law (Matthew 23:1-3)? We cannot mix up God’s program for Israel, under the law, with God’s program for us in the Body of Christ. Yes, all people from all ages have been saved by grace through faith, but then we have to ask ourselves…faith in what? The Jews had to believe that Jesus was the Christ, and then they HAD TO exemplify their faith by submitting to water baptism, it is what Jesus told them to do (Luke 7:30, Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38). If they didn’t submit to this, it would show that they didn’t have faith. We, on the other hand, are not required to submit to water baptism as Paul points out in his letters. Today, their is only one baptism (Eph. 4:4-5) and this baptism is done by the Holy Spirit, not by man with water (1 Corinthians 12:13 and Col. 2:9-12, etc.). That’s the whole point of this article. When you go to Paul’s letters, i.e. Romans 1:16, like you did and then read those back into the gospel period, you are mixing up two different programs. God has a program for Israel and He has one for the Body of Christ. We must make sure that we study both to understand not only what is in common, but to understand what is different. I hope this helps.

    Paul Pedro

  17. Posted August 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Paul,you said:

    “I didn’t ignore any verses.”

    You completely ignored 1 John 5:1-5 which demonstrates that the eunuch was “born of God” before a drop of water even touched him. If he wasn’t baptized with water could he become unborn? You also said:

    “Your quote from John 5:24 says that anyone who believed His words had eternal life.”

    That is right and the Lord Jesus said the following about those to whom He gave eternal life:

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jn.10:28).

    Those who lived under the law received eternal life the moment when they believed and they shall never perish. That means that no works were required in regard to the salvation of those who believed. And the same can be said for the following woman to whom the Lord Jesus addressed the following words:

    “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven…And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Lk.7:48,50).

    She was saved by faith alone and here is what the Lord Jesus says about those who come to Him:

    “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn.6:37).

    The woman was saved by faith alone and we can know that no matter what follows she will not be cast out!

    These verses completely destroy your argument that those who lived under the law could not be saved apart from works of one kind or another. Paul says the following about David, who lived under the law:

    “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Ro.4:6-8).

    Cornelius Stasm made a huge mistake when he departed from the sound teachings of the giants of Mid Acts dispensationalism (Sir Robert Anderson and J.C. O’Hair)and began to teach that in other dispensations works were required for salvation.

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  18. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    I agree that once saved, always saved, but can you deny that the Jews under the dispensation of the Law had to obey the Law (Matthew 23:1-3) and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4, 16:16 and Acts 2:38)? That is what John the Baptizer, Jesus and Peter all taught. What do you do with that? Also, have you ever read Romans 11:5-6? What did Paul mean that it is “no LONGER on the basis of works”? Doesn’t that mean that it once was? Could a Jew say under the dispensation of Law that he had faith, but that he wasn’t going to follow the Law anymore? Could a Jew in the gospel period or in the early part of Acts say that they had saving faith, but this water baptism thing, well, I’ll skip that? No, a believing Jew HAD TO express their faith by what God told them to do, i.e. the works of the Law and water baptism. Had they not done that, it showed that they did not have saving faith. These works were required. Anything less would be disobedience to what God had said to do, and this would exemplify that the person claiming to have saving faith, really didn’t. These works of the Law and water baptism all pointed to what Christ would do in the spiritual realm on the cross. That’s why God demanded the works of the Law for the Jew…they pointed to their Messiah. Noah is a perfect example of this. Could Noah say that he believed God, therefore he had saving faith, but building an ark? No, I’ll just rest in my faith. No, Noah had to do the works that God required in order to be saved from His judgment. The whole account of Noah is a picture of salvation-see 1 Peter 3:20-21. The 11th chapter of Hebrews is filled with a list of people who had faith and then acted on that faith with works in order to be saved. Could Rahab had been spared if she didn’t put up the scarlet cloth? This, again, points to the blood of Christ and being saved by it. We, on the other hand, rest in what Christ has already done, no works involved at all.

    And as to Sir Robert Anderson being a pillar of the mid-Acts movement, he started out that way, but then fell right back into the Acts 2 position with his stance on water baptism.

    I’m not here to defend Cornelius Stam, but I do believe that he had more right than most expositors of Scripture, and his book on the Lord’s supper is a wonderful resource for the believer to understand just what the Lord’s supper is to the believer in the Body of Christ. Have you read it Jerry?

    Paul Pedro

  19. Posted August 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    You said:

    “I agree that once saved, always saved, but can you deny that the Jews under the dispensation of the Law had to obey the Law (Matthew 23:1-3) and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4, 16:16 and Acts 2:38)?”

    The verses which I quoted demonstrate that those living under the law were saved when they believed and from that point on they enjoyed eternal security. But you failed to address that.

    You asked:

    “What did Paul mean that it is “no LONGER on the basis of works”?”

    From the beginning of life we are all judged on the basis of works. It is only after we sin that we are entirely dependent on the grace of God.

    In the second chapter of the book of Romans Paul reveals that a man can theoretically obtain eternal life by his “deeds” or by his “works”:

    “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (Ro.2:5-9).

    Those who continue in well doing will be given eternal life. That is what Paul was referring to when he said that it no more of works. And that is what Paul is referring to here:

    “For Christ is the end of law for righteousness to every one that believes: (Ro.10:4).

    The category “every one that believes” must include the Jewish believers so they were no longer under the law when it came to righteousness. They received the imputed righteousness of God which comes unto all who believe.

    Next, I see you repeating the same arguments put forth by Stam concerning works being necessary for salvation in other dispensations. But let us look closely at his arguments.

    He writes:

    “We have no illusions as to man’s utter inability to please God by works as such in any age. Man has always been saved essentially by the grace of God, through faith. There could be no other way to be saved” (Stam, Things That Differ, [Berean Literature Foundation, Twelfth Printing, 1985], p.15).

    In other words, according to him the only thing that is “essential” in order to be saved is faith. But then he says:

    “Note carefully that while God refuses works for salvation today, He required them under other dispensations” (Ibid., p.21).

    The word “require” means “to demand as necessary or essential” (Merriam-Webster Online).

    Therefore Stam is saying that in other dispensations works were “essential” in order to be saved. That idea directly contradicts what he said earlier, that only “faith” is essential for salvation.

    The whole basis for Stam’s argument is found to be in error. So at this point you have not answered the verses which I quoted at John 5:24 and John 10:28.

    So I will await your explanation as why you think that works were required under the law since it is clear that once a Jew under the law believed he received eternal life and at that point he will never perish.

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  20. Posted August 12, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Paul, you said:

    “I agree that once saved, always saved, but can you deny that the Jews under the dispensation of the Law had to obey the Law (Matthew 23:1-3) and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4, 16:16 and Acts 2:38)? That is what John the Baptizer, Jesus and Peter all taught. What do you do with that?”

    As far as water baptism is concerned go to my writings here and you will understand that it was not in regard to salvation:

    http://twonewcovenants.com/baptism/baptism2.html

  21. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    I see that you have had this debate with people on the internet including with Gary from this website, so at the risk of too much repetition, I’m going to bow out of this discussion. It looks like any further verse trading would not convince either one of us anyway. Thanks for the iron sharpening.

    Paul Pedro

  22. Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    You said:

    “It looks like any further verse trading would not convince either one of us anyway.”

    I answered your verses but you just ran from mine. It that your usual way of dealing with verses which do not match your ideas?

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  23. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    I did answer your John 5:24 verse in my first reply. No, I didn’t answer them all, because I found that we were not going to get anywhere by just trading verses. I call this “verse theology” and I don’t subscribe to that way of exegesis of the Bible. You have to look at the whole of Scripture and not just a verse here and a verse there. Anyway, thanks for the debate.

    Paul Pedro

  24. Posted August 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    You said:

    “I did answer your John 5:24 verse in my first reply.”

    You did not answer that verse when combined with the Lord Jesus’ words at John 10:28.

    So I will summarize the teaching of the Lord Jesus in those verses:

    The Lord Jesus told the Jews living under the law that when they believed they possessed eternal life. And the Lord Jesus also said that those to whom He gives eternal life will never perish.

    Therefore, those who lived under the law received eternal life when they believed and from that moment they were eternally secure.

    So tell me, Paul, in what way did “works” play a part in their salvation?

    Since you continue to believe that they could not be saved apart from works you must have an answer to that. So why not share your answer?

    In his grace,

    Jerry

  25. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The link below is where anyone can find this debate about works and salvation for the dispensation of Law. That was not the point of this article, though, and so I will refer all, including Jerry, to the link below to read more.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13451

  26. Posted August 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    If anyone is really interested in the debate go to my last response on this page:

    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13451&page=2

    There you will see that I answered every single point raised by my opponent and he answered none of mine. And we see the some thing in regard to Paul. He has no answer to what I said here:

    The Lord Jesus told the Jews living under the law that when they believed they possessed eternal life (Jn.5:24). And the Lord Jesus also said that those to whom He gives eternal life will never perish (Jn.10:28).

    Therefore, those who lived under the law received eternal life when they believed and from that moment they were eternally secure.

    With those facts in view it is not surprising that Paul does not even attempt to answer my question:

    “In what way did “works” play a part in their salvation?”

    Since he continues to believe that they could not be saved apart from works then he must have an answer to that. So why does he not share his answer?

  27. Paul Pedro
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Jerry

    I have several reasons why I have chosen not to engage you in this debate.

    First, this article has nothing to do with a salvation by faith/works discussion.

    Second, it is clear by your comments that you don’t want to recognize any other point of view. In fact, you saying that Jeremy didn’t respond to any of your comments is not true and anyone can see this when they read your debate with him. Your insinuations about me avoiding answering you border on character assassination. Indeed, I have responded to you, just not with verse after verse ripped out of their context.

    An example of this is your last response. You combine John 5:24 with John 10:28 and try to make your point with two verses that have little to do with one another. I could do the same thing with John 5:24 and Matthew 19 when Jesus told the rich young ruler to keep the commandments for eternal life. This is not only sloppy, it is dangerous, as anybody can twist the Scripture to say whatever they want it to say.

    I would respectfully request you to refrain from any more of this exchange on this article.

    Thank you,

    Paul

  28. Posted August 15, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Paul,

    You said:

    “First, this article has nothing to do with a salvation by faith/works discussion.”

    So in your opinion what you said here in your OP has nothing to do with salvation?:

    “Nothing had changed in as much as the Jews still needed to be baptized with water as a sign of their faith for their sins to be forgiven. So we see that along with the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom came water baptism as a requirement.”

    Since the title of your article is “Understanding Baptism” why should we not explore if submitting to the rite of water baptism was a necessary work required for salvation?

    In His grace,

    Jerry

  29. Posted July 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    A motivating disacussion is worth comment.
    I believe that you should write more about this issue, it
    may not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t talk about these issues.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

  30. Grace Receiver
    Posted February 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Great article!
    Question: Do you think that baptism will once again be required for Israel during the Tribulation and possibly the Millennium? I see that many mid-Acts teachers believe this, but I’m having trouble understanding it.

  31. Paul
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Grace Believer,

    First of all, great question!

    Second of all, what “I think” really doesn’t matter. All I can do is search the Scriptures to seek out answers to our inquiries (Romans 4:3a). I have done so in response to your question, and I have posted a new article entitled, “Will Water Baptism Be Practiced During the Tribulation?”. It should appear toward the top of the blog list. I hope it is enlightening. Again, thank you for your question.

    Paul

  32. Oscar jibaja
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Awesome stuff!! K, so I understand the whole baptism now, but will the last supper have the same effect as the baptism? Many churches do it once a month, some everother week, etc. Jesus told the disciples to do this. Do we need continued with this remembrance or not? Since we are now under Grace alone.

  33. Paul
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Under grace, we are not obligated to observe anything. We are free to celebrate a remembrance, as long as that is all it is. Be careful, though, not to get bogged down with the traditions of men—Colossians 2:8.

    Paul

  34. Oscar
    Posted November 17, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks Paul, someone said to me if we are not under the law, then does that mean we are not to follow the first comments such us: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” How do I answer someone with this question? Also what really happens if people are still baptized in the church? It’s there a big problem spiritual with this? Can people loose their salvation over this? People like the baptism church said that is just a public act and only symbolic to show our commitment with the Lord. How do I address this with people that have been baptizing for years??? Please let me know since I am coming into great opposition from friends and family over this mid act or dispensational point of view of Paul’s mystery program.

  35. Paul
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your questions.

    The first thing I want to address is the notion that we in the body of Christ do not have to obey God’s laws anymore, because we are not under the Law, we are under grace. We have to remember that Paul confirms all (including honoring your mother and father—Ephesians 6:2),but one of the Ten Commandments for the body of Christ. The only one he does not reaffirm is the keeping of the Sabbath, which was specifically for Israel. See Exodus 31:12-17. The Sabbath is a picture of the millennial kingdom that God has prepared for Israel for here on earth. When Paul writes that the body of Christ is not under Law anymore, he is speaking of two aspects of being “under” the Law. First, the believer is not under the penalty of the Law. If one is “under” the Law, one is under a curse as Galatians 3:10 so clearly lays out. The WHOLE Law must be kept, and as James writes, if one breaks one of the Laws, they have broken the whole thing. This curse meant death. God, in His grace, provided a system of substitution whereby Israel could bring the prescribed animals to be killed instead of God executing judgment on His people, He would pour out His wrath on sin through the deaths of animals instead. This was a picture of what Christ would come to do on the cross, not only for Israel, but as was later revealed through the Apostle Paul, for the whole world. Therefore, as Paul writes in Romans 6:1-7, the person who believes the gospel, that Christ has died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead, has fulfilled the penalty of the Law already by being unified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection—Galatians 2:20, etc. You can only die once, so that penalty has been paid by Christ and the believer has paid it as well…in Christ, see Romans 8:1-2 and 10:4, etc.

    The second aspect of not being under Law is that the body of Christ is not under the POWER of the Law/sin anymore. When Paul writes about not being “under Law, but under grace” in Romans 6:14, he is specifically speaking of the connection of the Law to sin, “for sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under Law…” Romans 7 along with 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 tell us that it is the Law that incites people to sin. Tell someone not to do something, and they will not only be more tempted to do it, they probably will. Does anybody really obey the speed limit signs? Christ has saved the believer from this by giving the Holy Spirit as the power source to resist sin. No longer does the believer obey God for fear of being punished, now the believer obeys God because of gratitude as now the believer should “live for the one who died and rose again on their behalf”— 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. It is not that Christians don’t sin, but now, in Christ, they have the power not to. This is something that Israel never experienced while under the Law. Now that grace reigns, the believer is expected to keep God’s commandments because they have the Holy Spirit living in them. And whereby the Law brought death, see Romans 7 and 2 Corinthians 3, etc, the Holy Spirit guarantees life for the believer, even though the believer still sins. That, my friend, is the abundance of the grace of God!

    As to answering your friends and family about water baptism. I do believe that placing so much emphasis on water baptism has distracted the church from the realities of being “in Christ”. People are more interested in the types and shadows of what Christ did for the believer, rather than the reality, as my article explains. This has prevented people from growing into the “mature man” of God that He intended for people in the body of Christ to be. People in the church are still on the milk of the baby bottle, which is the Law—Hebrews 5:11-6:2, and are not being able to understand the deep riches of wisdom and grace that God has for the mature believer (1 Corinthians 2:6), as your reference to your family and friends being in opposition to the mystery confirms. NOBODY CAN LOSE THEIR SALVATION. I can’t stress this point enough, hence the all caps. Once one is a true believer in the gospel, they are placed “in Christ” and cannot get out. This is guaranteed by God. He has sealed the believer with the Holy Spirit in the vault known as Christ. This is another aspect of the deep wisdom of God’s grace that most believers don’t grasp, because most are more interested in prophecy, baptisms and rituals that can only retard the growth and understanding of the believer. BUT, in this age of grace, if one believes that by being baptized in water is in any way a part of their salvation, they have added works to their faith, and thereby have cancelled the work of the cross. Jesus exclaimed from the cross that the work of paying for the sins of the world was complete, “It is finished”. Paul explained to the Galatians that by adding circumcision or any part of the Law, which water baptism is part of, for justification, Christ will profit them nothing, and they are not saved. But, if the true believer is being deceived by a Pastor who doesn’t recognize Paul’s special calling and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery and therefore is baptized in water, their salvation is secure, but they will be ashamed at the judgment seat of Christ for not rightly dividing the Word of truth—2 Timothy 2:15.

    I hope this helps. I would recommend that you have your friends and family, if they are open to it, read my article with their Bible open and the many other articles that are posted in the archive section of “midactstruths.com” and also the “bereanbiblesociety.com”, and then pray for their understanding. I know someone that I spoke to often about this, and it took twelve years for them to finally see the separation between the kingdom church in Jerusalem and the body of Christ church who only Paul wrote to and about.

    Lastly, I exhort you to pray daily to be prepared to be gentle when discussing these matters with believers, especially with your family and friends. The reason it took the aforementioned person twelve years to come around is because of my heavy handed brashness when I first understood the mystery. Winning debate points in a harsh manner never converted anyone to anything. It took years for me to understand that it is God who changes the heart ( 2 Timothy 2:24-26) and not my debating techniques.

    Paul

  36. Tyler
    Posted December 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Hebrews 3:14 for if we are faithful to the end trusting God just as firmly as when we first trusted (GOD) we will share all that belongs to Christ. this verse makes it clear that the gospel of the Kingdom believer had to continue in the faith in order to be saved I guess Jerry forgot about this verse

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