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Old 07-11-2009, 11:34 PM
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Jassy Jassy is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 299

I believe from the Bible teachings BEFORE Paul, that water baptism was a ritual that started with John the Baptist. It was an outward showing of an inward conversion. And it was taught to be necessary. Indeed, even Jesus Christ was baptized (although He, of course, had no need of it!).

It was primarily the JEWS that were initially the early converts and they were baptized because Jesus and the original apostles were preaching primarily to these Jews. So baptism for the Jews was FOR the purpose of repentance and washing away of sins. It was actually symbolic of that and the death and resurrection of Christ.

In Paul's writings, he did not show water baptism to be vital or necessary for salvation. Sure, there is nothing wrong with baptism - it's perfectly fine if a believer wishes to be baptized. I see nothing wrong with that from the Bible. Yet Paul did not make baptism a requirement. Additionally, the Bible talks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost). This is what I believe happens to EVERY believer, at the moment they have faith an believe in Jesus Christ's death, burial, resurrection and ascension. When they truly believe that, then they are "baptized" by the Holy Spirit, into the Body of Christ.

I don't believe that anyone can point to any Scriptures after the NEW teachings of Paul (salvation by GRACE and not by LAW or WORKS), that make water baptism MANDATORY for any believer.

Again, I am not against baptism - I myself was baptized by immersion. I think that many church denominations today teach it as a required ritual. It's not.