Reach Christians Effectively by -David Young- 11 Para

Basis for Christian Belief: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (mrk 16:16) (16:1) see

1. The full verse states: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." [the penalty is for "not believing". No penalty is given for not being baptized with water] (16:2)

2."John answered that a mightier One was coming to baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire" (luk 3:16) [clearly not a literal meaning] (16:3) see

3. Peter and John prayed for people who had only been baptized, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. (act 8:14-16) [Baptism does not automatically bestow the Holy Spirit. It is a physical gesture or symbol] (16:4) see

4. "Then Peter declared, "Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" (act 10:47) [again, baptizing with water is an independent event and receiving the Holy Spirit occurs without baptism] (16:5) see

5. "..the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, "John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (act 11:15-16) [the Holy Spirit came without water baptism, and Christ makes no requirement for it] (16:6) see

6. "If the dead will not come back to life again then what point is there in people being baptized for those who are gone?" [baptizing by proxy for the dead clearly demonstrates the symbolic nature of baptism] (16:7) see

7. "For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body" (1co 12:13)[the "Spirit" does the baptizing] (16:8) see

8. "When you came to Christ, He set you free from your evil desires, not by a bodily operation of circumcision but a spiritual operation, the baptism of your souls." [baptism is a "spiritual" operation] (16:9)

9. "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise." (luk 23:43) [the criminal on the cross with Jesus went to heaven without a physical baptism] (16:10) see

10. "Man cannot free himself from the rage of the carnal passions except by the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why He says baptism with the spirit, with water and with fire is necessary, and that is essential - that is to say, the spirit of divine bounty, the water of knowledge and life, and the fire of the love of God. Man must be baptized with this spirit, this water, and this fire so as to become filled with the eternal bounty. Otherwise, what is the use of baptizing with material water? No, this baptism with water was a symbol of repentance, and of seeking forgiveness of sins. But in the cycle of Baha'u'llah there is no longer need of this symbol; for its reality, which is to be baptized with the spirit and love of God, is understood and established." (saq 92) (16:11)

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