Being Succinct!

Succinct. It is an adjective. It has the following meaning.

“(especially of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed.)”

People need to be succinct when speaking. Say what they mean and not be wishy washy. Now you might be asking where this is going. Well lately it seems that people want to be wishy washy. Beat around the bush. Not be succinct. Part of being Succinct is being able to back up what you are saying. If you are talking the Bible then you better have chapter and verse when you talk to me.

So where I am going with this. It seems that lately people have been whisy washy about what Jesus said. They add things that are not there or take what as he said as a suggestion. They try to make it mean something that it is not or try to reword it so it says what they want it to say. People want to take parts of what Jesus said or what the Bible says and make it wishy washy.

Let me set something straight right now. GOD is not wishy washy. He does not mince words. He is very succinct and as Jesus is God, He is very Succinct as well. He never says what he doesn’t mean. When it comes to commands he is direct. Case in point.

Matthew 23:8-9

8“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9“Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

You will notice that there is no “Maybe or I suggest or Well you could if you want or not!” He is very succinct with what he says. It is not a suggestion it is a command.

Some denominations will have you believe that such words are not commands but hyperbole. Not to be taken literally. If they were not to be taken literally, then Jesus would not have put them the way he did.

Oh by the way, Jesus does not mean your earthly father. He means your Heavenly Father.

Well am I done, nope. My pen is still full of ink, metaphorically speaking. Cause well I have a lot to say.

I read somewhere that being baptized could save you. Ummmm…NO! Being baptized does not save you in any way! If that were true then Jesus would not have had to die. But you see, you have to take Christ as your Saviour before baptism. It doesn’t work any other way, no matter what anyone says.

There is a wave of people lately that have said they are Christians because they were baptized but did they take Christ as their own. I don’t know but I suspect that they forgot that little detail.

John 14:6

“I Am The Way The Truth and The Life, NO Man comes unto the Father but through me.”

I know I seem to drone on about this but it is important to remember, “Without Jesus, we can do nothing.” John 15:5c. Without taking Christ, our Christianity is empty and hollow, even if you do get baptized. Jesus is the glue that binds us together as Christians. We all bear the same name. We might have our birth name, Mine is William James, but I also have His name of William James Christian. I took Jesus as my own and I was adopted as a child of God and given a new name. Christian.

When I was baptized, I received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some get the gift when they come to Christ. Some get it some days later and sometimes it comes when you are Baptized. It is not up to us but it is up to God. He gives you the gift when you are ready for it and not beforehand.

But I digress, the fact of the matter is, is that you can not be saved through baptism. You take Christ then baptized.

Acts 8:26-40

26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” ([a]This is a desert road.) 27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his [b]chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [c]chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:

He was led as a sheep to slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 In humiliation His judgment was taken away;
Who will [d]relate His [e]generation?
For His life is removed from the earth.”

34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 [[f]And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the [g]chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, [h]but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip [i]found himself at [j]Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea.

You see the way it went. Christ first then the Eunuch was baptized. Acceptance of Christ is always first.

Nope Not Done Yet!

I got into a discussion today about the existence of Jesus. He said that he didn’t believe in him and that it was fiction. Now I get it. There are people that don’t believe in God or Jesus or any of the gods of this world. They come out against them and they spout out a few lines of this and that but when pressed to back up what they are saying, they all of a sudden, get tired or need to go for some reason. They will go at you with what they want you to hear, and yet when they are pressed to prove it of give evidence of their stance, they run.

Here’s the thing, most people will tell you that if you argue, then you get your point across. That is not true! Sometimes the easiest way to get your point across is to be calm and succinct! Being succinct doesn’t mean using foul language. If you have to swear to get your point across then you should stay away from conversations that might get heated.

Jesus never once argued, He gave facts. He had scripture to back him up. He had the word of God not the words of man. God is God. He is perfect. Jesus is God made flesh. Man is flawed..period. They say that science is perfect but truth be told it is not perfect. It is a product of man and man is not perfect. We make mistakes so who is to say that their science is not flawed.

The science of the Bible is not flawed. Yes I said it. Here is the thing, there is a lot of difference sciences in the Bible. Biology and a lot of other ologies. All you have to do is read it. When we read the Bible we find that God is succinct. He never minces words. “If You , I Will.” He always says what he means. God never cuts corners.

So be succinct. Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. Let the Lord speak through you not the other way around. Let him fight your battle and you will never loose.

 

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming is Nigh!!

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Baptism..Does It Save You!

What is Spiritual Baptism? Is it different than Water Baptism? Will it save your soul? Well let’s break each question down. Try to understand the difference and how it works for a Christian. Let’s start with something easy. Who is the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. The three in One. The Spirit was with God when He created the world and the universe. (Let Us). Now some will say that is not what it means. That it means it was only God and no one else. Now if that were true then it would read “I will” but it doesn’t say that. It says “Let Us” meaning more than one.

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So there we have it. Let US make man in OUR image. Pretty simple. See God put into place the Trinity way back then. It was always the Three. Nothing was done without the Three.

The Spirit is the same Spirit that came down upon the disciples when they were all up in the upper room. The same Spirit that came upon Christ when he was baptized by John. The same Spirit that came down and struck all the Assyrians when Sennacherib mocked the Lord. (2 kings 18-25). The Spirit is through out the bible. Not always called the Spirit but is nonetheless.

BAPTISM!

God instituted Baptism for one reason and one reason only. An outward sign for cleansing of sin. Even when John roamed the earth, it was two system thing. “Repent and be baptized.”

We weren’t saved in spots so why should we be baptized in spots. Some people say that we should be sprinkled. Ever noticed that in the Bible, baptism is full immersion rather than sprinkled.

Baptism is a commanded by Jesus.

Matthew 28 :19 -20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Notice that Jesus says make disciples of all nation (bring them to Jesus) and then baptize them. Yup, dunk em!

What does this all mean. You need to be baptized in water after you get saved. There is no other choice. Becoming a Christian is a two fold process. Taking Christ, being washed in the blood. You get baptized in water to be cleansed of your sin.

SPIRITUAL BAPTISM!

1 Cor 12:13

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

So what is Spiritual Baptism. Well it was predicted by John The Baptist.

Mark 1:8

“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

John baptized in water. He knew that you have to be cleansed before anything else could happen. Jesus himself predicted Spiritual Baptism.

Acts 1:5

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So here we see Jesus say the same thing. After baptism in water, then baptism in the spirit.

But still what is Spiritual Baptism? Well basically it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (in a nutshell). It happens after we have been saved and baptized. When does it happen? Well that is up for debate. Some get it when they get baptized in water, some get a a day or two later and some, like the apostles, some 50 days after Christ’s ascension, were baptized in the Spirit.

Do you need to be baptized in water to be baptized in the Spirit. No you don’t. There are many examples in the bible when they were filled with the Spirit and they were not baptized.

Luke 1:5

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”

Luke 1:41

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

There are many more. So many more that I will just put the Book, Chapter and Verse down.

Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 9:37, Acts 13:9, Acts 13:52 and Eph 5:8

Being baptized or baptized in the Spirit will not save you. The only way to be saved is through the Acceptance of Jesus and taking Him as your Personal Lord and Saviour.

 

“Keep Looking Up!”

 

Baptism, Does It Save You!

Sorry to tell you but no! The act of baptism does not save you in the least. To be baptized first you have to take Jesus as your own. The act of taking Jesus saves you, the baptism, seals the deal.

After taking Christ, you are baptized so that you may receive the Holy Spirit. Yup believe it or not the Holy Spirit does not indwell till you are baptized. Some put it off and some never get it but the Bible is very clear. Baptism should be done right after taking the Lord.

Now some will tell you that baby baptism is okay, but there is no Biblical scripture to back it up. No where in the Bible does it say that. Beside, to be baptized is a personal thing and the last time I checked, a baby didn’t say yes or no. The baby has no idea what is going on. To it, it is getting wet, that is about all the baby knows. But we are not talking child baptism which is a whole other question altogether.

Is the act of the baptism enough to save your soul. Well if it was the only thing needed at the time sure but it doesn’t work like that. The simple act of being dunked under water is not enough. 1st Peter reads thus.

1 Peter 3:21

21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [b]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

So what does this mean. Simply put, the baptism is of no use unless you are saved by The Blood Of The Lamb! Jesus died then he rose again. Through his resurrection, you are saved by the baptism. The two go hand in hand.

Let me give you an example.

Acts 8:26-40

26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” ([a]This is a desert road.) 27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his [b]chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [c]chariot.”30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:

He was led as a sheep to slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 In humiliation His judgment was taken away;
Who will [d]relate His [e]generation?
For His life is removed from the earth.”

34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 [[f]And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the [g]chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, [h]but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip [i]found himself at [j]Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea.

Notice in 36 it reads that the eunuch listens then sees the water. He jumps out of the  chariot and wants to be baptized but Philip responded with . “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

With that the eunuch is baptized but not before taking Jesus as his own.

Even Jesus was baptized but that was a different kind of baptism. As Jesus was sinless, it was not a baptism to cleanse. His was a baptism of announcement. The minute Jesus came up out of the water, God himself spoke.

Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and [a]he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and[b]lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is[c]My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

John 1:29-34

29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [a]has a higher rank than I,for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize [b]Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing [c]in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [d]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [e]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [f]in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Mark 1:9-11

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens [a]opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Luke 3:21-23

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

I asked my best friend and brother John Howard about Jesus’ baptism. It was not a baptism to cleanse sin and he responded with.

 “You’re right – it wasn’t for cleansing from sin. And because Jesus never sinned, he didn’t need John’s baptism (which was to show that people repented of their sins (Mt 3:11). When John didn’t want to baptize Jesus, Jesus said to do it “to fulfil all righteousness” or “to carry out all that God requires”. We see in Mk 16:16 that baptism is a sign of belief, and according to John 3:16-18, only believing in Jesus is necessary for salvation. Once we believe ( and are baptized as a sign of our belief) we learn to follow Him and be His disciple, as our Saviour and Lord.”

 

Jesus is perfect. He can be nothing else for He is the Son of God. God made flesh so that we might, by way of salvation through the lamb, enter into heaven. The sacrifice made, for us, on our behalf, even though we did not deserve the sacrifice made.  We are washed in His blood.

So does baptism, in itself actually save you. No. You can be drowned, dunked, sprinkled and sprayed and guess what. It is not going to save you. Just like sitting your fanny in a church pew every Sunday is not going to save you. You can do it til the day you die and you will still not get to dwell with the Father.

Salvation is a two fold (simple) thing.

1 You come to know the Jesus I know. The holy Son of God. The one who died for you. Taking him as your own. Accepting Him as you Lord and Saviour.  Letting Him into your heart. Letting Him guide you in your walk. Oh and you have to mean it.

2 Being baptized. Take Jesus, be dunked in His name.

Very simple. Sure there are ministers out there that are going to say that it is a little more complicated than that. Well in fact it’s not. Look back at the Eunuch. Accept Jesus..be baptized. Simple!