Biblical Doctrine

Question about Baptism

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“Hello Brother... how are you? When we had baptism last Sunday, I badly wanted to be one of those being baptized, but I had the feeling that I was not ready for this. I also had the feeling that I don’t yet understand what baptism all encompasses. What do we need baptism for? Our soul is not saved through it. I know that Jesus wanted it. He has commanded us to be baptized, but why? We don’t need to be baptized to get into Heaven, do we? We aren’t lost if we aren’t baptized. I mean, if we love Jesus, have accepted Him, and confessed our sins, then we aren’t lost if we are just missing baptism, are we? I mean, I understand it, but I also don’t understand it! Many thanks!” (Email excerpt, used by permission)

Jesus is hanging on the cross. One of those being crucified with Him turns to Jesus and says: “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Jesus promises him that he will be in with Him in Paradise. Not baptized, yet still saved, one could say. He didn’t have the opportunity to be baptized. The saving element is always the redeeming faith in Jesus. Paul answered the prison officer’s question of being saved as follows: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Thus we can be saved through faith, even when we are all alone. We are not dependent on another person, which is the case with baptism.

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Divine Healing - How Can God Heal People?

In Jesus Christ we do not just have the promise of salvation of our souls, we also have the assurance of divine healing for the body! We read: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed”(Isaiah 53:4-5).

Jesus fulfilled this promise when He lived on earth. He healed people with fever (Matthew 8:14-17), paralysis (Mark 2:1-12), and leprosy (Luke 5:12-14). He healed the lame (John 5:5-9) and the blind (Mark 10:46-52). He even cast out demons (Matthew 8:28-34). This is a very small selection of Scripture passages where we can see the healing power of God. During His years of ministry, Jesus healed so many people that the Scripture cannot contain their names: “Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well” (Mark 6:56).

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The Doctrine of Sanctification

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When John the Baptist spoke about Jesus, he said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, ... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matthew 3:11). Here we see the promise of a baptism of Spirit and fire. Jesus also preached repentance (please read Matthew 4:17) and baptized with water (John 3:22, 26; 4:1-2). Just before He ascended into heaven, He said to His disciples: "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:5).

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Jesus Teaches Footwashing

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During their last evening together, Jesus revealed deep truths to His disciples. They would understand and experience the importance and far-reaching impact of these teachings only much later. One of these priceless truths was the ordinance of footwashing.

Once again, the Jews gathered to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus and His disciples met in a large upstairs room to eat the Passover meal. Just as He had done so often in the past few days, Jesus spoke of His suffering and death. It was, after all, the last Passover Jesus would spend with His disciples. Jesus shared many warnings and much good advice with His disciples on this occasion. He particularly emphasized the relative positions of the disciples.

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Christian Discipleship

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They are on the road to Damascus, determined to stand up for the truth, determined to fight the false prophets who deny the faith of their fathers with every available means. They have neared the city when suddenly a bright light from heaven surrounds them. And this is where Saul is converted to the faith he had tried to stamp out. You can read about it in Acts 9. While he is lying on the ground, he utters with fear and trembling the question that will dictate his life from that point forward: “Lord, what do You want me to do?” This is the central question of Christian discipleship.

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