QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 67
What about the statement that Paul makes " All Israel will be saved" Does he not mean "Israel" the modern church and Christians?
Romans 11:26 ("And so all Israel shall be saved") is NOT a reference to the church, or to Christians. The rest of the verse, as well as the surrounding verses, makes that quite clear. The rest of the verse affirms the "Deliverer," who is Jesus, will "turn away ungodliness from Jacob." If "Israel" is the church, then this verse is promising that Jesus will turn ungodliness away from it, which thought is absurd. The church consists of those who have been washed, sanctified, and justified (1 Cor 6:11). How foolish to promise such a people, the Deliverer would turn away from them what they no longer have. Secondly, the church is NEVER referred to as "Jacob." That is a term exclusively applied to Israel, according to the flesh (Isa 10:20,21; 27:9; 41;14; Jer 31:11). Paul's statement (Romans 11:26), is a quotation from Isaiah 59:20, which is clearly speaking of the ancient people.
When Paul introduced Israel into his letter to the Romans, he declared he was speaking of "my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites" (10:3-4). The entirety of the eleventh chapter makes quite clear that he is speaking about the Jews, not the church. Paul sites himself as an example that Israel is not in a hopeless condition (10:1). He declares there is a remnant among them (11;6). He speaks of them being brought back to the Lord (11:11-25). Then he makes the statement to which you referred (verse 26). He is referring to the Jews, not the church.
Is it a sin, if an unbeliever divorces a believer and the believer remarries a person who hasn't been married before?
In my judgment, such a person has not sinned. The Scriptures inform us of a circumstance where the unbeliever is not pleased, or content, to dwell with the believer. If they depart, the believer "is not under bondage in such cases" (1 Cor 7:15). I understand "not under bondage" to mean they are free to marry. There are some who strongly disagree with this, believing it means the believer is not under bondage to live with the unbeliever. That, however, does not appear to be the sense of the text, as the only justification for living with someone is marriage itself.
This is a matter in which the individual must seek the Lord. God is merciful, and is not seeking to put His children in stressful situations. He will teach us to see the truth on this subject, and give us confidence to proceed to live for His glory. We must not allow another person to determine what we are to do in this area. I have shared my own perception with you.
Recently on another bible study list I'm on a discussion arose from a question "how is the bible only 6000 years old when earth is billions of years old." I suggested that the days in Genesis are not meant to be taken literally, because of the verse in psalm 90:4 and the other psalm verse which says "for a thousand years in your sight are like a day" (NIV. KJV does not read "day". Someone else replied that the days are literal 24 hr time because of a Hebrew word "yon." Then someone ELSE said in the bible times they counted one day from sunrise to sunset, then a second day from sunset to sunrise. So....what is the real day?
The real day is a 24 hour solar day. That is why the Scriptures carefully state, "the evening and the morning were the _____ day" (Gen 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). The attempt to assign long periods of time to the days of creation are a feeble effort to pacify the evolutionists. There is no solid support for the view that the world is billions of years old. That theory has been developed because no noticeable change can be observed in time that will support the evolutionary hypothesis. Therefore, the pseudo-scientists invent long periods of time to account for the evolution that cannot be demonstrated on any level, or in any specie of animal.
Peter refers to the Psalm 90:4 text, using the word "day" in the KJV: "beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet 3:8). The NIV reads, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." The expression "like a day," or "as one day," is not intended to define a period of time. Rather, the intent of the expression is to show us that God is not limited by time, and has no beginning or ending. A long time, such as that between Christ's promise that He will return, and 2,000 years later, is not to be considered a delay. That is Peter's point.
If the Spirit had intended for that expression to be applied to the days of creation, He would have done so. He does speaks of "ages to come," or "coming ages" (Eph 2:7). However, that word is never applied to the days of creation in the Scriptures.
If a person has difficulty believing God created the world in six evening-and-morning days, as the Scriptures affirm, I do not know how they could be persuaded He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all they ask or think (Eph 3:20).
Should we avoid all birth control methods? Doesn't the Bible say we are to multiply and replenish the earth? Please help me with your opinion?
There are some matters that are in the realm of conscience, and are to be settled between the individual and God. This is one of those things. God did not speak directly to this matter before the Law, during the Law, nor after the Law. The case of Oman involved a direct order from the Lord through Judah (Gen 38:7-10).
The New Covenant is not a system of directives imposed on the people by others, but one of reconciliation to God. In Scripture, women who had NO children, or were childless, were subjected to reproach, not those who only had a few.
I speak as a person who has eleven children. I did not allow a person other than God, whether ecclesiastically exalted or not, to dictate what I should do. Neither should you. You have not been reconciled to the church, but to God. Ask Him for wisdom on the matter. If you are in Christ, He will hear you.
I had a member ask me about the Hadean Empire and how if any was it associated with the Bible. I have heard about it but had no knowledge on what it was about.
So far as I know, there is no official expression "Hadean Empire" -- at least I cannot find it. There is a realm that may properly be called "hadean." It is the realm of the dead, and is taken from the word "Hades." It is never referred to as an empire of government.
There is also a period men call the "Hadean period," purported to have existed 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. The following are quotations concerning that thought (which I personally believe to be erroneous). This is a branch of evolutionism, and makes no provision for the existence of God or His creative activity. Some more information may be found on the following websites.
"Hadean time is not a geological period as such. No rocks on the Earth are this old - except for meteorites. During Hadean time, the Solar System was forming, probably within a large cloud of gas and dust around the sun, called an accretion disc. The relative abundance of heavier elements in the Solar System suggests that this gas and dust was derived from a supernova, or supernovas - the explosion of an old, massive star. Heavier elements are generated within stars by nuclear fusion of hydrogen, and are otherwise uncommon. We can see similar processes taking place today in so-called diffuse nebulae in this and other galaxies - such as the nebula M16, shown above left. The sun formed within such a cloud of gas and dust, shrinking in on itself by gravitational compaction until it began to undergo nuclear fusion and give off light and heat. Surrounding particles began to coalesce by gravity into larger lumps, or planetesimals, which continued to aggregate into planets. "Left-over" material formed asteroids and comets - like asteroid Ida, on the upper right. Because collisions between large planetesimals release a lot of heat, the Earth and other planets would have been molten at the beginning of their histories. Solidification of the molten material into rocks happened as the Earth cooled. The oldest meteorites and lunar rocks are about 4.5 billion years old, but the oldest Earth rocks currently known are 3.8 billion years old. Sometime during the first 800 million or so years of its history, the surface of the Earth changed from liquid to solid. Once solid rock formed on the Earth, its geological history began. This most likely happened prior to 3.8 billion years, but hard evidence for this is lacking. Erosion and plate tectonics has probably destroyed all of the solid rocks that were older than 3.8 billion years. The beginning of the rock record that is currently present on the Earth is the inception of a time known as the Archaean. "
If by "Hadean Empire," the person is referring to the realm dominated by Satan, the realm itself is not the emphasis of Scripture, but the personalities that inhabit it. Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2). The NIV reads, the "kingdom of the air." Members of this dark realm include "principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph 6:12). This is the domain against which those in Christ are aligned, and the personalities residing there are the focus of our militancy. Demons also belong to this domain, and, among other activities, they are busy promoting false doctrines among men (1 Tim 4:1).
Are there allusions to Jesus in every book of the Bible?
Yes there are. A number of people have developed their own listing of such references. Here is one I have developed.
JESUS IS IN EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE
Genesis –"Seed" of the woman, Shiloh (3:15; 49:10)
Exodus –The Lawgiver, High Priest, Mediator (24:12; 31:10; 34:9-10)
Leviticus –The Lamb, Scapegoat , Bullock (14:12; 16:8-26; 16:14)
Numbers –Water and Manna (20:8; 11:6-9)
Deuteronomy –The prophet (18:15)
Joshua –Captain of the Lord's hosts (5:14-15)
Judges –The Judge (2:18)
Ruth –Kinsman Redeemer (3:9-13)
1 Samuel –His Anointed (2:10; 16:6)
2 Samuel –King with a house (7:11-16)
1 Kings –King that blesses (8:55)
2 Kings –One who dwells between the cherubims (19:15)
1 Chronicles –The Man of rest (22:9)
2 Chronicles –Cleanser of the temple (29:18)
Ezra –a ready Scribe (7:6)
Nehemiah –The Builder (7:1)
Esther –One bringing deliverance (4:14)
Job –The Daysman (9:33)
Psalms –Stone the builders rejected (118:22)
Proverbs –Wisdom (8:1-5)
Ecclesiastes –The Preacher (12:9-10)
Song of Solomon –Beloved, Chief of ten thousand, and Rose of sharon (2:10; 5:10; 2:1)
Isaiah –Covert, Emmanuel, Son, Servant (32:2; 7:14; 9:6; 42:1)
Jeremiah –The Lord our righteousness (23:6; 33:16)
Lamentations –My Portion (3:24)
Ezekiel –Plant of Renown (34:29)
Daniel –Ancient of days, Messiah (7:9,13,22; 9:25,26)
Hosea –My Son (11:1)
Joel –The Lord (2:31)
Amos –Tabernacle of David (9:11)
Obadiah –Savior (1:21)
Jonah –Sign of the Prophet Jonah (1:17)
Micah –Whose goings forth are from everlasting (5:2)
Nahum –Stronghold (1:7)
Habakkuk –Holy One (1:12)
Zephaniah –One who turns captivity (2:7; 3:20)
Haggai –Desire of all nations (2:7)
Zechariah –Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness (13:1)
Malachi –Sun of righteousness (4:2)
Matthew –The Christ, King (16:20; 21:5)
Mark –Holy One of God, Son of Man, Son of the Blessed (1:24; 2:28; 14:61)
Luke –The Chosen of God, Son of the Highest; Dayspring; Lord's Christ (23:35; 1:32,78; 2:26)
John –Word of God, Lamb of God, Bread of life, Light of the world, Good Shepherd, True Vine, Son of God (1:1; 1:29; 6:48; 8:12; 10:11; 15:1; 1:49)
Acts –Prince of life, Holy Child, Prince and Savior (3:15; 4:30; 5:31)
Romans –Propitiation, Firstborn among Many Brethren, the Deliverer (3:25; 8:29; 11:26)
1 Corinthians –Our Passover, Last Adam, Second Man (5:7; 15:45,47)
2 Corinthians –Unspeakable Gift, (9:15)
Galatians –Seed of Abraham (3:16)
Ephesians –The Beloved, Cornerstone, Head of the church, Savior of the body (1:6; 2:20; 5:23)
Philippians –Lord, He who humbled Himself (2:8,11)
Colossians –God's dear Son, Firstborn from the dead (1:13,18)
1 Thessalonians –Lord Jesus Christ (1:1)
2 Thessalonians –Coming Lord, Lord of peace (1:7-10; 3;16)
1 Timothy –Mediator between God and man, Ransom, God manifest in the flesh, Blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, Lord of lords (2:5,6; 3:16; 6:15)
2 Timothy –Our Savior, Righteous Judge, Seed of David, the Righteous Judge (1:10; 2:8; 4:8)
Philemon –Giver of grace and peace (1:3,25)
Hebrews –Brightness of God's glory, Express Image of God's Person, First begotten of God, Captain of Salvation, Testator, Apostle, High Priest, the Forerunner, Surety, Minister of the sanctuary, Author and Finisher of our faith, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (1:3,6; 2:10; 3:1; 6:20; 7:22; 8:2; 12:2; 13:20).
James –Lord of glory (2:1)
1 Peter –Chosen of God, Precious, Elect, Stone of Stumbling, Rock of Offense, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Chief Shepherd (2:4,6,8; 2:25; 5:4)
2 Peter –Day Star (1:19)
1 John –Word of Life, Eternal Life, Advocate, the Righteous, Propitiation, Savior of the World, (1:1,2; 2:1,2; 4;14).
2 John –Son of the Father (1:3)
3 John –Truth (1:3,4,8,12)
Revelation –Faithful Witness, First Begotten of the Dead, Prince of the kings of the earth, King of kings, Lord of lords, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, First and Last, the Amen, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David, the Lamb Slain, the Word of God (1:5,8,17; 3:14; 5;5; 13:8; 19:13)
Not a position but a Physician, not a doctrine but a Deliverer, not a movement but a Mover, not a sect but a Savior, not a routine but Righteousness, not a dead letter but a Living Hope.
If you are wandering, He is a Shepherd. He you are ill, He is the great Physician. If you are deficient in wisdom, He is The Wisdom of God. If you are lost, He is the Savior. If you are weak, He is the Power of God. If you are in darkness, He is the Light of the world. If you need access to God, He is the Door. If you need nourishment, He is the Bread of life. If you need counseling, He is the Wonderful Counselor. If you need leading, He is the Captain of our salvation.
In my studies I hear a lot about a woman named Semiramis, the mother and wife of Nimrod. There is no mention of her is the Bible where do all these Bible teachers and authors find out about her? Where is she written of?
It is my understanding that Semiramis is a product of Grecian mythology. Some have referred to her record as "tradition," with some historical value. Most encyclopedias refer to her as someone famous in "ancient legend."
There is a tendency in professed Bible teachers (whether they be so or not really needs to be established) to attempt to blend Scripture with uninspired writings, such as secular history, religious tradition, etc. This is a fatal blunder, for Scripture is distinct. It is not simply the record of facts, but has a Divine reason for its existence: i.e. "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:17), "that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Rom 15:4), to make us "wise unto salvation" (2 Tim 3:15) . . . etc.
Such a purpose cannot blend with the traditions, myths, and legends of men. To attempt to harmonize such writings with Scripture will end in corruption, for they were not written for the same reason as Scripture, not being inspired by God. Whatever accuracy may happen to be in them has nothing whatsoever to do with what God has said or what God is doing.
God provides what He wants us to know about Nimrod. He was a mighty warrior in the earth, and a mighty hunter before the Lord. Babel, Erech, and Accad, (all in in Shinar) were the beginning of his kingdom. He went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen (Gen 10:9-12). The Lord makes no mention of Nimrod's wife. That should be sufficient to confirm there is no value in having such knowledge -- if, indeed, it is even possible.
Is it a sin for a Christian to kill if they are in the military during war time? When is it all right for a Christian to kill?
Throughout the centuries, serious Christians have been in disagreement on this issue. I conclude that it is a matter of conscience -- something that each believer must determine before the Lord, seeking His wisdom and strength. I could not consent to personally kill under any conditions. I realize there are difficulties related to this choice, and thus have prayed throughout the years that the Lord would not lead me into temptation, but deliver me from evil, as Jesus taught us to pray (Matt 6:13; Lk 11:4). Each believer is responsible for arriving at a conclusion that does not violate his own conscience on this matter. The reason for this is that God has not spoken directly to this issue.
<< Would it be a sin for America to retaliate after the terrorist attacks that happened Tuesday? >>
The Word of God established that God has ordained civil government for the punishment of evil doers. In fact, that is one of its primary roles, as outlined in Romans 13:2-4. In this case, it is not a matter of retaliation, but of punishing those who are a menace to society, and doers of base wickedness. Whether on a personal level, city, state, national, or international, rulers are to see to it that violent men do not prosper, and are put out of business. That is the teaching of the thirteenth chapter of Romans. God is greatly to be praised that this responsibility has not been given to individuals, or to the church, but to civil authorities.
Are you saying that when a person truly believes they have been reconciled to God and their sins have been atoned for, that when the Holy Spirit convicts that person of a sin they have committed, even if they don't ask for forgiveness, because of the faith God has given that person, they are still saved ?
Remember, we are children of God "by faith" (Gal 3:26). We ARE (not were) justified by faith (Rom 3:28; 5:2). We stand by faith (2 Cor 1:24), live by faith (Heb 10:38), and are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8). Salvation is never viewed independently of faith, and faith is never taken for granted. We have to fight to keep it (1 Tim 6:12). Faith will always move the believer to do the right thing -- always. There is such a thing as an evil heart of unbelief entering into one who has believed, constraining him to depart from the living God (Heb 3:12). God has declared He will not take pleasure in such a person (Heb 10:39).
Only the person who IS believing is secure. However, we must assure our hearts that this is the case. No one who is trusting in the Lord will be abandoned by Him. God has nowhere pledged, or remotely suggested, that anyone else is saved. He has only pledged Himself to keep and save those who ARE believing -- and that is a matter requiring our diligence, for which God will supply us with an abundance of grace.
Also I'm beginning a series of studies in the book of Genesis and was hoping you could help me get started with Genesis Chapter's 1 and 2. Perhaps you already have something prepared like a commentary, or can simply give me an overview of those difficult passages, particularly Chapter 1 verses 1-10, 26, 27 and Chapter 2: 1-17, 23.
In approaching these texts, faith must be the primary thing, not understanding. Remember, God knows the difficulty men have with words and understanding. Thus, He has spoken with the greatest clarity. We simply take Him at His word.
"The beginning" refers to origin the realm in which we reside. The Word of God, being written to us, not angels, starts with the realm created for us. The days are regular twenty-four hour days -- each one consisting of an evening and a morning, just as it is written. Adam and Eve were real people, not myths. Eve was the "mother of all living" (Gen 3:20). Adam is the one person from whom all nations were made (Acts 17:26). He is the head of the natural order, with the whole human race, and its tendency to sinfulness, being traced back to him (Rom 5:12-19). He is the "first man," with Christ being the 'second," or second order of, man (1 Cor 15:45,47).
Jesus taught that those who did not believe Moses' writings, could not believe what He said (John 5:46).
I am sure you can take it from there. Review what Jesus said about the record of creation and the formation of man and woman. Read what the apostles said about those texts. Our responsibility is to say the same thing they did. it is really just that simple.
In the book of John it says "In the beginning was the word and the WORD was with God and the word was GOD-" now --------does this mean that Jesus was- and is -the word of God??--the Holy Bible?? that we read down here is Jesus?? . . . and He came down here in human flesh I understand this -but-was HE the Written word of God---and that's why we cannot take away anything from the word of God -out of His book. Thanks for explaining this ahead of time.
Jesus is not the Bible. He is the Living Word, as compared to the Bible being the written Word. The "Word" of John 1:14 existed long before a single Word of the Bible was written -- even before the world was created, as you already know.
When Scripture says the Word became flesh, it means God was expressed in a human form, like a human word is expressed in something than can be seen, like an apple, tree, etc. As the Word, Jesus was the means through which God expressed Himself. An example is that God made the world through the Lord Jesus (Heb 1:2). When He became "flesh," God was expressing Himself to humanity.
Jesus is still 'the Word of God," as declared in Revelation 19:13. That does not mean He is the Bible, but that he is God's expression to us. The focus of the Bible is Jesus, as He Himself said in John 5:39. You might say the Bible is a Word picture of Jesus, and Jesus is the fulfillment of the Bible.
I have never been baptized with water. I have been born again with the Holy Spirit. I'd been taught that water baptism isn't necessary for salvation, because it is Christ that saved not getting baptized with water. So I took that belief and was never baptized in church. (BTW do any churches even baptise correctly?) My first question is, is baptism of the Holy Spirit and baptism of water have the same meaning in the bible? Second question is, is it necessary for salvation to be baptized with water? I see it's significance--to die to sin, as a sign to other christians--but how does water bring salvation?
First, all of the varied views of baptism have originated with men. None of them have been prompted by what the Lord has said about baptism. It is never questioned in Scripture. Its validity is never doubted. No one ever rejected baptism but the Pharisees and Lawyers of Jesus' day. Scripture says in so doing, they "rejected God's purpose for themselves" (Luke 7:30). Jesus was baptized, He said, "to fulfill all righteousness" (Matt 3:15-17). Jesus said those who believed and were baptized would be saved (Mark 16:16). He did not say those who believed and were saved should be baptized. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told those who asked what they should do, to "Repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38). Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:38). Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul the apostle) was told to arise, be baptized, and wash away his sins (Acts 22:16). Peter commanded those of Cornelius’ house to be baptized (Acts 10:48). The Philippian jailer was baptized "the same hour of the night" (Acts 16:33). Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:15). Cripus, a ruler of the synagogue, and his household were baptized (Acts 18:8). Upon hearing certain Ephesian disciples had not received the Holy Spirit since they believed, Paul had them baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:4-5).
Believers are told they are baptized into Christ’s death, and raised by the glory of the Father to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3-4). Their baptism is a reference point that testifies of their identity with Christ, and is called "the form of the doctrine," which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom 6:17). They are told "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Gal 3:27). Peter, speaking of water, says, "baptism doth also now save us" (1 Pet 3:21). The circumcision of Christ, where He cuts away the whole nature of sin from our persons, is specifically related to baptism (Col 2:11-12).
Whatever question has arisen about baptism, it certainly is not from the Word of God. Baptism is always commended, never questioned, and never spoken of lightly -- never. The word of God never speaks of believers who were NOT baptized. It frequently speaks of those who were.
Ponder the things with which the Holy Spirit has related baptism. See how great they are, and ask yourself how the knowledge of them could move anyone to question baptism in any sense.
1. Repentance (Acts 2:38).
2. The remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
3. The gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
4. Believing (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12; 18:8).
5. Salvation (mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
6. Being buried with Christ (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12).
7. Being raised with Christ (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12).
8. Being identified with Christ's death (Rom 6:3).
9. Becoming dead to sin (Rom 6:2-3).
10. Becoming alive to God (Rom 6:3-11).
11. The circumcision of Christ, in which the whole body of sin is cut away (Col 2:11-12).
12. Faith in the operation, or working, of God (Col 2:12).
13. Coming into Christ (Gal 3:27).
14. Putting on Christ (Gal 3:27).
15. A commandment (Acts 10:48).
16. The confession of Christ (Acts 8:36-37).
17. Gladly receiving the Word of God (Acts 2:41).
18. Washing away our sins (Acts 22:16).
19. Coming into one body through the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).
All of these things are related to salvation. None of them relate to anything optional.
Dear sister, you should be baptized. Jesus was, and you should be. The people on the day of Pentecost were, and you should be. The Ethiopian eunuch was, and you should be. Saul of Tarsus was, and you should be. Cornelius and his household were, and you should be. Lydia was, and you should be. The Philippian jailer was, and you should be . . . etc., etc., etc.
As to HOW a person should be baptized, the Word of God is too clear on this for anyone to have a question about it. We are "BURIED" with Christ in baptism, which is called the "form" of the doctrine, or the outward display of it (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12). Jesus went down into the water to be baptized, and came up out of it (Matt 3:16). That is the precise moment when God the Father confessed Jesus was His beloved Son (Matt 3:17). The Ethiopian eunuch went down into the water when he was baptized, and came out of it (Acts 3:38-39).
Being baptized WITH the Holy spirit and being baptized IN water are not the same thing, but they are two sides of the same coin. Jesus called it being born "of the water and of the Spirit" (John 3:5). There is an "operation" of God that occurs within us by the Spirit, when we are baptized in water (Col 2:12).
To say there is no need to be baptized is like telling Naaman the leper he did not have to dip in the River Jordan seven times to be healed, as the prophet Elisha said (1 Kings 5:10-14). It would be like telling the blind man he did not have to go and wash in the pool of Siloam in order to see, after Jesus put clay on his eyes (John 9:6-11). God has associated baptism with salvatgion, like He did dipping in Jordan to Naaman beoimng healed, and washing in the pool of Siloam to the healing of the blind man. Neither Naamon nor the blind man would have been healed if they had balked at doing what they were told. What possible reason can be adduced for not being baptized -- particularly since the Word of God has taught so much on the subject, and so many examples are provided for us. After knowing what God has said about baptism, precisely what is there that would move a person to think it was unimportant, optional, or unrelated to salvation?
It simply is foolish for anyone, however sincere they may be, to say you do not have to do something Jesus said, Jesus commanded, Peter commanded, and believers consistently did. If you can find no other reason for being baptized (and there are many of them), do it because your Lord did -- even after John the Baptist tried to talk Him out of it (Matt 3:14-15). I have every confidence you will do the right thing. If Jesus' being baptized pleased God, you may be sure he will also be pleased with you being baptized. That, after all, if what you really want, regardless of the teachings of men.
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