Kent Crumpler (21 Jan 2011)
"Reply to Kenneth Pelletier re: Baptism"

 
Kenneth, thank you for your input on this topic. I am also very glad you have received the Holy Ghost; there is no better gift!
 
It looks as though we will disagree on this topic of baptism, but respectfully of course. I would like to respond further.
 
Peter was given the keys to heaven by Jesus and he was told the church would be built upon him (Matthew 16:18, 19). Peter said in Acts 2:38 to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Paul the apostle washed away his sins in Acts 22:16 calling on the name of the Lord.
 
My Pastor and I talked about this and I asked the Lord about baptizing in the titles vs. the name of Jesus. First, my Pastor, and myself included, believe that you must be baptized, in the name of the Lord, to wash away your sins that you have committed up unto that point. And also to be covered under the blood of Jesus for future trip-ups, because you still have them, but not like you used to and the Spirit lets you know pretty quickly when you do mess up. When I asked the Lord about titles vs. his name, he gave me Acts 4:12 and at that time I was not really familiar with that scripture. I had only had the Holy Ghost a few months at this time, and when I asked him I heard the verse in my head, that still small voice.
 
What I understand about works is that they will not save you (before salvation), however, James, the brother of Jesus, writes in Chapter 2 of James that faith without works is dead. He also said that the devils believe and tremble. You know where the devils are going to end up. I believe that water baptism is a form of works through obedience to the word of the Lord.
 
Upon reading and studying about baptisms, baptisms occur in two ways, of the water and of the Spirit. Jesus said this in John 3:5, however he referred to it as a born again experience. The water baptism represents your burial with Christ as explained by Paul in Romans 6:4 and it accomplishes remission of sins if you have properly repented. That's why Jesus said in Mark 16:16 that those who believe (repent, obey, etc) and are baptized shall be saved, he did not say or baptized. When he says baptized, I believe he is referring to water & Spirit. The use of the word "and" in this scripture means both must be done to receive the outcome spoken of. Now he that believeth not, is damned of course. If you do not believe, repent, then you are just going to get wet in a water baptism. Neither will one receive the Holy Ghost if you do not believe & repent.
 
You said baptism (water) is always after salvation. You are sealed when you receive the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 1:12 & 4:30), whether the water baptism is before or after this is probably irrelevant since Jesus honors a repentant heart. I would say based on testimonies from brothers and sisters in Christ, that most have done the water baptism prior to the receiving of the Spirit, or Holy Ghost. I repented first, did the water baptism second and came up out of the water with stammering lips and speaking in tongues a couple of hours later. Praise God! You can be water baptized before complete salvation is achieved.
 
Kenneth, the bible has many more scriptures to justify baptizing in Jesus name and I will be glad to share them with you and the Doves. You stated that I used Acts 4:12 for that basis. When I was talking to the Lord about water baptizing in his name vs. the titles, this is the verse he gave me, so that tells me, and it should tell everyone reading this, that Acts 4:12 is referring to being water baptized in his name and having that covering name, Jesus, pronounced over you as you go down in the water. No, this is not the only step of salvation; there are three. But this one can not be left out.
 
Paul said in several scriptures to obey the gospel, not obey part of the gospel. The gospel is 3 parts: the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We obey the gospel through death (to sin by repentence), burial (water baptism, sometimes referred to as our watery graves) and resurrection (infilling of the Holy Ghost into a new creature). Acts 2:38 lines up perfectly with the gospel and how we accomplish salvation. The 2nd step of Acts 2:38 is the baptism in Jesus name and it lines up with the 2nd part of the gospel, the burial.
 
My points and conclusions are that water baptism must happen some time after repentance, before or after the Holy Ghost. It must be done in obedience to Jesus and the apostles' instructions and it must be done in the name of Jesus Christ. It also must be done by immersion, just like they did in biblical times, just like Jesus did, just like the Ethiopian eunuch, like Paul and the rest of the apostles and Cornelius, etc, etc.
 
Kenneth, my goal is not to prove you wrong; we agree on a couple of points. I want people to pray for understanding and search this out in scripture and decide for themselves. Also, I am not saying I am right about everything; these are my beliefs based on what I have read, experienced and what the Lord has told me &/or shown me.
 
Be blessd in Christ,
Kent