Is Baptism necessary for salvation?

Act 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1. Nothing man can do can save them, no works can help fulfill, complete or contribute to salvation. We are saved by grace through faith. By grace means that salvation is entirely a gift of God, not procured via water baptism (or any work!) (Act_10:43 [cf. Act_2:47]; Act_13:38-39; Act_2:48; Act_15:11; Act_16:30-31; Act_20:21; Act_26:18); (
Baptism is a work therefore it cannot save or complete salvation. I have tons of other Scriptures to back salvation as a gift and salvation is of grace and nothing man can do can save them.

2. What is the Gospel? How is one “saved” consistently through-out the Bible?
Rom. 10:13 and just a few verses before this one in Acts 2:22

3. Let’s take a deeper look at the verse in question:
Act 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
A. Only by Jesus are we forgiven, not by baptism
B. What they are receiving is the GIFT of the Holy Spirit. They have already received the Holy Spirit as a regenerator, that is they have already received the Holy Spirit when they called on the His Name in salvation. The gift of the Holy Spirit , is like the gift of teaching, the gift of speaking in tongues. God enables these gifts after baptism. It is the first command we are to be obedient too and He wants to empower us after we have made the public confession.
C. The verse is not to be understood as teaching that the gift of the Spirit was conditional upon baptism because in other places through-out Scripture we see that gift of the Spirit is not dependent on baptism. These are two clauses” “be baptized” and “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” that are separate statements.
D. Peter gives a promise that you will receive the GIFT OF THE SPIRIT. It is a promise not a conditional statement.
E. We see in Scripture that men were allowed to be saved without an immediate baptism: Acts 10, Cornelius’ prayers have been heard and he is saved yet they wait several days before baptism.

4. Finally Baptism is to be both Spiritual and physical. We are spiritually baptized when we accept Christ as Lord and call upon his name. Then we are commanded to make that a public statement with a physical baptism. It is a necessary commandment of obedience, but it is not required for salvation.

Sources:
John Gill
not that forgiveness of sin could be procured either by repentance, or by baptism; for this is only obtained by the blood of Christ; but the apostle advises these awakened, sensible, repenting, and believing souls, to submit to baptism, that by it their faith might be led to Christ, who suffered and died for their sins, who left them buried in his grave, and who rose again for their justification from them; all which is, in a most lively manner, represented in the ordinance of baptism by immersion: the encouragement to it follows,
grace of the Spirit, as a regenerator and sanctifier; for that they had already; and is necessary, as previous to baptism; unless it should mean confirmation of that grace, and stability in it, as it appears from Act_2:42 they afterwards had; but rather the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, particularly the gift of speaking with tongues, which Christ had received from the Father, and had now shed on his apostles; see Act_19:5.

Baker NT Commetary
What is this gift of the Spirit? Peter puts the noun gift in the singular, not in the plural. By contrast, Paul writes to the Corinthian church about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, among them wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, tongues, and interpretation (1Co_12:8-11, 1Co_12:28-31; 1Co_14:1-2). But to the people who were present at Pentecost Peter says that the baptized believer will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The expression gift appears in the passage about the outpouring of the Spirit on the Samaritans; Simon the sorcerer tried to buy this gift with money (Act_8:20). The term also occurs in the account of Peter’s visit to Cornelius, who with his household received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Act_10:45; see also Act_11:17). From these passages we are able to learn that this gift refers to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Notice, however, that in Act_2:38-41 Luke makes no mention of the converts speaking in tongues (Act_2:4) or of the apostles laying their hands on the converts so that they might receive the Spirit (Act_8:17). We assume, therefore, that “speaking in tongues and laying on of hands were not considered prerequisites for receiving the Spirit.”

The context of the Pentecost account indicates that the gift of the Spirit is not dependent on baptism. The two clauses “be baptized” and “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” are separate statements. In a detailed study of this point Ned B. Stonehouse observes, “One may conclude with confidence that Act_2:38 is not to be understood as teaching that the gift of the Spirit was conditional upon baptism.” A study in Acts on baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit reveals that these two are related but do not necessarily follow each other. Hence, in verse Act_2:38 Peter instructs the people to repent and to be baptized; then he adds the promise (in the future tense) that they “will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

2 other recommended articles :
Can I Be Saved without Getting Baptized? CRI
Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Matt Slick/CARM

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Frustrations at work

I started working at UPS Freight in Sept. of 2008. Through-out my first year, my family had to put up with me even when I was extremely frustrated because of work. I do not really like my job that much, it is easy but it comes with a lot of frustration especially when the managers are stressed. Then the loaders get stressed and then everyone takes out their stress on the unloaders. There a lot of other things at work that cause stress and frustration besides that though. The point is I would come home and complain about my job a lot.

Anyways, some of the things that cause frustration at work has not been effecting me a lot recently. Possibly I am getting better at my job, maybe I am becoming a better/patient person, but more likely I am getting used to the frustration and dealing with it properly.

Ever since Late December, I have been less frustrated. There have been three key things that helped me out:

1. Working 2 jobs in the month of November was a nightmare. I literally did not sleep. I worked on school in-between an 8-hour job and another 6-8 hour job. Having so much on my plate made me prioritize. I had to focus on just surviving so I did my best at work and tried not to worry about all the stress.

2. Friends at work telling my to “slow down” and relax. I work hard, they said ‘too hard’. They told me how it is not worth working really hard because then the company will ‘take advantage’ of you. Honestly I still do not agree with everything they are saying and I want to work hard to glorify God, not man, but I took some of their advice and it has actually has helped me. I am not as stressed out and frustrated.

3. My step-father, Jim, told me to think about the customer. Besides working hard for God and obeying authority as God commands. Another good motivation, for me, is to think about the customers. The mangers my not know what is best or know what they are doing completely but that is not my job to worry about. I do what they tell me to do and do it for the customer.

Ever since I came back form my “vacation,” (right after all three of the points just took place), I have felt more comfortable at work than ever. I still think that some people have no idea what they are doing but I do not have to worry about those things anymore. The work is easy. Most of the people are nice and I have developed a lot of relationships there. God is pointing out people he wants me to pray for and get to know better.

I am not sure why I am blogging this to be honest. I know that I still dislike my job but I am more relaxed there and not as frustrated as I have been.

What to do with the Intermediate state?

In Christian eschatology, the intermediate state or interim state refers to a person’s existence between one’s death and resurrection at Christ’s return. This period is “intermediate” between death and the last judgment. I am focuses on the Protestant responses. I personally do not see purgatory or limbo states as a Biblically acceptable responses.

This post by no means is going to be very detailed. I am mostly wanting to ask a question and she what my audience thinks about the topic. What I think many Protestant Christians like to believe in “foretaste of final state.” Basically this is the idea that when your body dies and returns to dust while the soul immediately separates from the dead body and goes to be in the presence of God while waiting for the resurrection, as is the explanation in the Westminster Confession. I personally grew up taught this way and never really challenged it or thought it through.

Although recently one of my good friends sat down with me and showed me some insightful Scriptures and shared some interesting thoughts on another possibility called Psychopannychism or “Soul sleep.” This is the idea that once the body dies the soul is in an unconsciousness sleep mode from the time of physical death till the time of the resurrection. Basically time is suspended for that soul until they are resurrected or in some rare cases “awoken.” A few examples of souls awakening are:

1. 1 Sam 28 – King Saul consults a medium. The medium awakens Samuel.
2. The Transfiguration scene where Elijah and Moses are “awoken.”
3. Jesus speaks of the physically dead: Lazarus (in Jn 11)and Jairus’s only daughter (in Lk. 8:52,53).
You see for Jesus they were not completely, entirely dead yet: not physically and spiritually. And so all those who have died since Adam sinned have been sleeping. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Noah, David, Daniel, Paul and the disciples, all the protestant reformers and martyrs have been asleep. They all are waiting for the voice of the Lord to come forth. John 3:13 says No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
And this theory fits in line with 1 Thes. 4:13-18’s explanation of the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead.

So this leaves the question of: how do we explain the passages that suggest that the dead are immediately with the Lord in Heaven? First off it has to do with time being suspended for the physically dead soul. For the soul that is sleeping the time between his/her body’s death and the resurrection of that body upon the Lord’s return seems immediate. There is no lapse in time.

So my question is: how do you understand this idea of “intermediate state?” Does this bit on psychopannychism change your opinion on the matter at hand or do you think that souls go immediately to Heaven upon death?

Interesting shipping routes that work

Recently I worked as a seasonal shipper for a shipping/logistics team for a large company. Here are some interesting routes that the products went on a ride for before arriving at the final destination…and why/how it works

product manufactured/produced in cin was shipped/bought by the company I work for in Columbus the next stop is Covington, Ky back to cin (to a store)

Here is another similar one I thought was intersting: Cin – Columbus – Covington, Ky – Lexington, Ky.

Some backtracking occurs:
product from Il shipped to Columbus then back to In.

Here is the most interesting/ zig zagging one: product starts in nj is shipped to Columbus then to covington then to cin

Here is an explanation:

What happens is that the company I work for is huge. They buy product from several companies. And they buy a TON of product. Then my company has to decide how much of each product is going to one of its stores. So we have to place a shipping label on each box. Anyways, after all the product is labeled then they are sorted and shipped to the correct location. All I do is shipping. All I had to do was place the labeled box on a conveyor belt and let the machines do all the work. The conveyor belt has scanners to read the labels and shots the box to the correct door and then the loader loads each box off of the conveyor belt.

Anyways, since we buy a massive supply of product, the product comes to me on a skid with shipping labels going to all locations. So while it seems odd that a product made in Cin is going back to CIn. There are some good reasons. the product needed to be processed and shipped to a store. The manufacturer just produces the goods, they do not care where it goes. Secondly all I do is ship. The logistics have been thought through by someone who has more responsibilities. Finally, all the back-tracking actually makes some sense too. The reason why the product going to cin goes to pit first is because how the logistics are set up. The Columbus hub does not have a direct to Cin, but cov does. So we see a lot of routes like this. Depends on where the product is manufactured, where we have a shipping hub, and where the store that the product (final destination).

Living in the moment in worship

I recently attended a worship event that was a little more charismatic than I am used to but it really was a great event.

The event really opened my eyes a little more to different worship styles and helped me see just how limited my view of worship is. Of course I have been to charismatic churches and worship events before but this was just a small “community” worship event and there were people from all denominations there so it was not limited to or focused on any charismatic sect.

As a musician I have a bad habit of focusing on the performance aspects of worship: the music, beat, the musicians, etc and sometimes this makes me less focused on actually worshipping.

Another nasty aspect of me is that I am thinker/reflector type. So I enjoy dreaming up ways to do the same song a different way or arrange the stage a certain way…again side tracking me from true worship. I like to selfishly think about me.I am not one who lives in the moment. I like to think and plan things out.

At this event we had gone through almost an hour of straight worship nonstop…and my barriers were finally breaking down. It was just me worshiping God and not focusing on anything else. The worship leader was really feeling the the Lord’s presence and the mode of worship. He was playing more reflective and slower songs than before. He stopped one song and just laid on the floor in worship. He cried out “soak Him in….in this moment, worship Him.”

I had not really thought about this idea of just soaking in the Lord’s presence, just sitting there with God. I have done this before but I never really thought about it in a worship night setting before. It was delightful. My mind began to wonder as I worshipped God and I started praying. Then the leader said, “Just be with God in adoration and soak Him in. Do not worry about asking for requests, just worship God in this moment. Soak Him in.”

I stopped praying for the prayer request and went back to to trying to “soak Him in.” This was still new for me. I began to jot things down (these thoughts that I am not blogging) and remembered again that this is exactly the problem I (was writ ting about/now blogging about) – I am being all type A thinking and reflecting as all I am suppose to be doing is soaking in God.

Once I finally stopped and just focused on Him, it was a blissful, peaceful thing. I was just with God. Hanging out with Him. God loves simply to spend time with me. He just wanted me to love him and to be filled with Him. He wanted me to be still and listen.

It was simple yet hard to explain. It was surrender. I gave up my plans. I waited on the Lord. I remembered how good He is and How He has blessed me. I was living in the moment in worship.