“What Prevents Me From Being Baptized?”

Standing by the Water

After leaving Samaria, Philip met a eunuch from Ethiopia traveling home from Jerusalem and reading from the prophet Isaiah (Acts 8:26-33). This man wanted to understand what he was reading so he asked Philip, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” (Acts 8:34). At this point, “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35).

Every conversion, whether recorded in the New Testament or those that occur today, will begin with this. The story of Jesus is the heart of the gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the cornerstone of the foundation upon which we are built (Ephesians 2:19-21). Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). So Philip preached Jesus, just as we must do today.

The text implies the inclusion of baptism in Philip’s teaching about Jesus. The first thing we see after Luke recorded Philip preaching Jesus is this: “As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?’” (Acts 8:36). This would be an odd question if Philip had not already been discussing baptism with the eunuch.
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For The Truth

Bible

For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8).

In this verse, Paul was not discussing what is or is not possible. Rather, he was speaking of the determination of faithful disciples of Christ. We must choose one of two sides – we can be for the truth or against the truth. As Christians who have committed to being on the side of truth, let us notice what we can do to benefit and support it.
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The Demons Also Believe

Ice Devil

The Scriptures plainly teach that we are saved by faith (John 8:24; Romans 5:1). But what kind of faith saves us? Is it simply a belief in Christ as the Savior? Is it an obedient faith? Sadly, the religious world is divided over the nature of faith, even though the Scriptures give us a clear answer regarding the type of faith that saves us.
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Hearers and Doers

James 1:22

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:21-22).

James made a contrast between those who are hearers only and those who are doers. When it comes to receiving the word of God, we must do more than just hear it; we must practice it. Our obedience is tied to the salvation of our souls (cf. 1 Peter 1:22).
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What Must One Believe to Be Saved?

Standing by a Mountain Lake

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Brethren have debated the meaning of this verse with those in denominations for years. The disagreement is over baptism. Brethren teach that Jesus’ words indicate that one must be baptized (in addition to believing) to be saved. Those in denominations teach that since baptism is not mentioned in the second clause, then one must only believe to be saved.

It is clear that belief is essential for salvation. If one does not believe, he will be condemned. But what exactly is it that one must believe to be saved? I would suggest that once we find the answer to this in the Bible, it will also settle the debate on baptism. So what does the Bible teach that one must believe to be saved?
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Start with the Right Foundation

Stone Wall

The Unitarian Universalist church is an interesting denomination. While it does share roots, historically, with Protestant churches, it is not really a “Christian” denomination. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that “Christianity” is only a part of its identity. This group welcomes and accepts various forms of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and even atheism. They simply ignore the things that most obviously divide these groups and focus on personal “spiritual” growth.

There is one of these churches that I pass on my way to and from work everyday. On their sign by the road, they have a message board they change once a week or so. They use this to provide concise messages to the public, reflecting their liberal religious (and even political) views. These messages sometimes say things that other churches/Christians do or believe, but will not admit. The most recent message is an example of this:
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How to Become a Christian

Paul before Agrippa

As Paul was provided time to make a defense before Agrippa, he took advantage of the opportunity to teach the king and all those who were present about the gospel. When Paul asked him if he believed the Prophets, Agrippa replied, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28). The wording of Agrippa’s response may be different in your Bible, depending on which translation you have. Another version says, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (KJV). Regardless of which translation you use, it is plain to see that Agrippa understood Paul’s intention. He was trying to persuade the king to become a Christian.

Paul replied to the king, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains” (Acts 26:29). Paul was a Christian. He wanted all those around him to also be Christians. But how does one become a Christian? We can look and see how Paul became one and learn what we must do to become such as he is.
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