Today, water and fire baptism, practicing the sacraments of the church, and saying “I love you,” to GOD are in view. One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
THE GOLDEN ARROW: And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19: 1-7, King James Version, KJV)
THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Sign of Divine Love? (04/14/2016); Modern Communion? (08/11/2014); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014)
“Anonymous”, one could ask, Is saying “I love you” necessary? In accordance with covenant promises and the holy writings, many mature Christian believers argue that water baptism is commanded, non-negotiable, and required for every true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ. Others acknowledge the sacred practices of the church (e.g., confession, marriage, penance/repentance, prayer) are necessary events because they make visible otherwise unseen operations of the Holy Spirit among those within the full family of believers. More than simply a ceremony or symbolic rite to extend membership by a closed community and social group, baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and the replacement of their inherited of Adamic character and nature. In baptism, a sinner is “reborn” or “resurrected” through deposits of inseparable spirit substance from the makeup of GOD such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. It is this vital endowment that establishes the believer as a new creation, a son or daughter of GOD, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. At one time in the early church, water baptism was understood as only a cleansing from ones own sins, and receiving the Holy Spirit (fire baptism) was understood as a totally separate event as described by Pentecost and the Upper Room. Many now practice the model of baptism demonstrated by Jesus Christ that combined his “cleansing”, acknowledgment by the Father, and his anointing (as judge, king, prophet) along with his consecration to the eternal Melchisedec (not Levitical) Priesthood as High Priest. There continue to be many who hold that practicing the various sacraments is “optional”, like spouses saying “I love you” to one another. They argue it is a matter of conscience and personal preference, and even a matter of ones “private faith.” Just as parents who understand their child receives a divine inheritance through circumcision do not sin by establishing their children in covenant with GOD, parents are not at fault when they acknowledge their offspring as part of the household of GOD through baptism. Consider again the following:
(1.) Ezekiel 36: 24-26, King James Version (KJV): 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
(2.) Mark 16: 16, KJV: 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
(3.) Luke 3: 21-22, KJV: 21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) Romans 8: 5-9, KJV: 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.
THE BLACK PHOENIX