Hi all, hope all is well.
So I understand that it says if you are not born again of water and of the Spirit you will not enter the kingdom of God. But my question is about people who does go to church, read there Bible. They believe and do good but never get baptized. So we understand that being a good person alone and good works can’t get you into heaven.but can they experience the fruits of the Holy Spirit like a person who is baptized,
Another why i would try and ask is. Can a Christian who never gets baptized recieve the same benifits or perks or promises than a Christian who is baptized, but in general he is also a good person, cares for the poor and goes to church and reads and prays and so on.
Hope all makes sense and apologies for the double questions
Thanks in advance.
Hi all, hope all is well.
Hey @FPPieterse. Great question. You have stated it on your first line, Jesus was not saying it would be nice if you could be born again, he said if you are not born again of water and the Spirit you will not enter the Kingdom of God. What is flesh is flesh, and a spirit is a spirit.
Here is my take in these kind of things. I dont like to think about the minimum of amount work that it gets me to be saved or enter the kingdom of God etc. I am all in. But I tell everyone, before you are all in, know exactly what you are getting into. I dont like it when people just accept Christ without really asking the right questions and building a strong foundation. Would you buy a car without investigating, would you attend a school and take loans to do such things, same thing we need to be concious of what we are doing and be purposeful. And I tell people if Christianity is not true dont believe in it. I have that much confidence in it and the confidence to dive in because I know who God is.
So to answer your question, while we are on earth all creations will get the benefits of the existence of God in this realm whether they are believers or not. Once we are separated from him in eternity though, that will all go away. So I would not advice on fooling myself just because I have 45% of the blessing or benefits, I should be okay or just live a certain way.
The goal is not about getting the benefits, it is having a relationship with God for eternity in heaven. If you cant enter the kingdom of heaven because you are not baptized, why does the rest matter?
I hope this helps
God Bless You.
Excellent question, @FPPieterse.
Jesus is explaining salvation to a Jewish rabbi named Nicodemus. In verse 10, Jesus makes it clear that Nicodemus, who has taught the Jewish scriptures for many years, has no excuse for misunderstanding what Jesus is telling him. It’s all spelled out right there in the Old Testament.
That’s very important to keep in mind as you seek to understand the statement about being born of water and of the Spirit. When the Old Testament said things like this, what was it talking about?
Some people think Jesus means being born of baptism and of the Spirit. At first glance, I can certainly see why someone living in the light of the New Testament might leap to that conclusion.
But there are three problems with this view.
First, how could a Jewish master of the Old Testament scriptures possibly associate water and the Spirit with baptism and the Spirit – since baptism is never mentioned in the Old Testament? Why would Jesus rebuke him (verse 10) for not making that connection when the Great Commission would not be spoken for two or three more years yet?
Nicodemus hearing Jesus talking about being born of water and the Spirit should have been thinking of passages like Ezekiel 36:25-26, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Being born of water and the Spirit simply means being cleansed inside by the Spiritual birth and made new by the Spirit’s continual abiding within you. That’s how the New Testament describes it also. Titus 3:5 says, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Second, baptism obviously wasn’t necessary for salvation. Consider the thief on the cross. Consider the conversion of Cornelius and his friends before their baptism in Acts 10:44-48.
And third, making baptism a condition for salvation is adding a religious ordinance to the gospel of salvation by faith alone. It corrupts the gospel message by turning it into a mixture of faith plus works.
The baptism by water on the outside is only a picture of the true Spiritual baptism that takes place on the inside at the moment of salvation by the grace of God through faith alone. So if you’re talking about being baptized through the Spirit into the body of Christ at salvation (I Corinthians 12:13), then yes – that baptism is exactly what saves every believer. But only God can see that Spiritual baptism take place in the heart. The baptism in water on the outside that men can see is how Christians publicly identify themselves with Christ. It isn’t what saves you – it’s what testifies to others that you are saved.
But then your question went on to ask about the spiritual growth of a person who was never baptized. Well, Jesus does command His followers to be baptized and to learn and observe all the things that He taught His disciples. It’s called the Great Commission, and it’s how His Church was to grow across the centuries. And all spiritual growth happens in tandem with our obedience to what Jesus taught.
So it follows that if one is serious about growing in their walk with Christ, they should willingly submit to baptism as an outward testimony of their inward transformation. Someone who knowingly refused to obey the Lord in the area of baptism would be undermining the credibility of their claim to be a follower of Christ.
I hope these thoughts help with what you were wondering about.
The thief that repented on the cross with Jesus didn’t get a chance for baptism and Christ said to him today you will be with me in paradise. So there are some exceptions but Christ is our best example to follow and He was baptized.
I wanted to add something. Great replies from above, but I think as Christians we have to be very careful in not thinking that the exceptions that Jesus/God made are ways that are given for all of us as well. I get the the thief on the cross was not baptized or Cornelius and his family were not at first, but that is God. He is the creator and the law giver. He can make all the exceptions he wants. But if he tells us to go and baptize and make a followers of him, is it right to think “Oh the thief was saved so, let just go away with baptism.” We are not God. Sure and it is not up to us to make judgement to say who can and who cant enter the kingdom of God but it is our job to follow what he told us to do. Isnt it?
Another thing is also, why do people have to always rebel or want things done their way only. Oh why do I have to be baptized. Can I just do without it. Are we serving man or God? It feels as if the concept of individualism and the “customer is always right” always breeds into this as well. I am totally for freedom and choice but how far do we go. How far do we focus on ourselves only and what is convenient for us or benefits us etc. Humans. tsk tsk tsk. I wonder what church will look like 100 years from now.
Just food for thoughts.
Welcome @wsswan. Saw that you were new. Welcome again. Look forward to chatting you in other posts as well.
Well, thank you for your thoughts @wsswan and @Danageze. I hope I did not give you the impression that the Bible does not treat baptism as important. I tried to emphasize in my last two paragraphs that it is as important as the Great Commission, it’s integral to spiritual growth, and refusing to be baptized undermines the credibility of one’s claim to be a Christian.
But being important and being critical for salvation are not the same thing. Church membership is important, but it doesn’t save you. Giving charitably to those in need is important, but it doesn’t save you. Helping someone in trouble is important but it doesn’t save you.
And being baptized is certainly important - but were you really meaning to say that someone cannot enter heaven without it?
I Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel that one must believe to be saved as how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
And baptism certainly pictures this - but it cannot replace it.
I hope I have clarified any misunderstanding I may have left you with before.
+1 @jlyons GREAT explanation of John 3!!
@FPPieterse Sola Fide - justification by faith alone. This is a doctrine of the Reformation in which I believe wholeheartedly. Baptism is a work - an important one as we are commanded to do - but all the same a work. It is done after justification, so therefore not part of or a requirement for salvation. There’s the answer to your question from the Protestant view.
Now… Jesus was baptized and told us we should as well. This is the outward expression of the inward faith that saved us. If you truly understand the saving grace you received, even the most socially awkward or shy person should still have the desire to shout it from the rooftops!
Also - we don’t accept Christ to gain favor or “perks” or “benefits” in this life. Conversely, we are promised to be hated and suffer as Christ and that is our reward! And we rejoice for the opportunity! Our hope is in Christ who saved us and goes to prepare us a place in the New Kingdom where we will live with Him for eternity. Hallelujah! Perspective.
Hey @jlyons, thanks for the reply. I think you did explain it well. I have a follow up question. I am working through this myself as well in my head.
So my understanding is that everyone who would come for baptism would have done what is written in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 or does it at the moment of baptism. So it is not really separate from 1 Cor 15:1-4 or a replacement of it.
But my question is sure Jesus said to do it but what makes it important if it is not required for salvation (not saying it is but just asking). Why should we do it. No one wants to be drenched into a big pool of water? It does not mean I dont take Jesus as my Lord and savior. And to be honest, what is important is very relative. What is required is the only absolute important thing.
Also, when they baptize in the name of Jesus Christ together with the 1 Cor 15:1-4, does anything happen on the spiritual realm? For instance, when Peter, Paul healed people in the name of Jesus, the power in the name of Jesus is what is doing the work. Sure there are parts in the scripture where it says that your belief healed you, but there are times for instance Philip in Samaria where he healed one of the people. They knew nothing about Jesus or never thought to even believe or think for him to be healing them. How do we reconcile all of this.
Thanks, I am myself trying to process it.
That is an excellent follow up question, @Danageze.
You have mentioned that those who come for baptism are those who have believed the gospel as defined in I Corinthians 15. And generally speaking, that would be true. Acts 2:41 says they that gladly received his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. The Bible teaches that faith in the gospel transforms a believer’s mind, heart and will so that now he gladly does things that he would have previously been reluctant to do.
Almost 50 years ago, I was a long-haired, dope smoking, pill popping hippie when I wandered into the back of a church on a Wednesday night. At the end of the service, I went forward to let someone show me from the Bible how to receive Christ, and my life was transformed from the inside out. A spiritual baptism took place inside me as the old hippie I used to be was dead and buried, and a new Spirit was simultaneously born (or resurrected - the Bible uses both expressions) on the inside.
This is the real baptism that God sees take place inside a believer - the one described in Romans 6:3-6 - the one that I Corinthians 12:13 is talking about - the one explained in Ephesians 4:21-24. This is the Spiritual baptism that happens on the inside at the moment of salvation. The baptism you act out afterwards in a pool of water is simply showing men who can only see the outside a picture of what God already saw inside when you trusted Christ’s death to pay for your sins - you trusted His resurrection to raise you to new life. But between the Spiritual baptism on the inside, and the picture of it on the outside, which one do you think really saves a person?
And the new man who looks out through your eyes will pursue new desires, will walk a new path, will think and speak as differently from the old man as day and night.
That Wednesday night, when I rose from the altar, someone told me that the first step of obedience that I should follow through on was to be baptized. They said that was how believers in the New Testament took their new faith out of the closet and showed the world what God had done inside them. They said I could do it that coming Sunday - that I should just bring a change of clothes. I said, “Okay, I’ll do it.”
Sunday came, and I showed up at church, but I hadn’t remembered to bring a change of clothes. I went down the aisle and told someone at the front that I hadn’t brought anything to change into. They smiled and said that was okay - I could just do it the next Sunday. I hesitated, then said, “Well, could I just do it in these?” They were a little surprised, but they assured me that if I wanted to be baptized in my old hippie rags, that would be just fine!
You see, when a person is genuinely born again, the Spirit that now lives inside Him as a result of that inner baptism truly desires to follow what he believes the Bible says. If he doesn’t want to, then it raises a question as to the reality of his faith. The changes that salvation brings into his life are evidences of the new man now living inside him.
But what if a man genuinely experienced that inner baptism of conversion, but he didn’t act it out in a pool of water afterwards? For example, suppose he was in a North Korean gulag where anything that gave you away as a Christian could you get you tortured to reveal who the other Christians were so you could all be shot together?
And suppose he didn’t survive the winter. Would he miss heaven because he wasn’t baptized?
Or suppose someone experienced that death of his old self and a resurrection of his new self, but he was saved in a denomination that told him his infant sprinkling already counted for baptism, so he didn’t need to repeat it in a pool of water now? If he never submitted to baptism - not out of rebellion against what the Bible said, but out of misinformation about it - would that cost him heaven, even though he had genuinely believed the gospel?
The Spirit or the picture - which one really counts?
Or someone saved on a deathbed, or in a foxhole, or saved listening to a radio sermon who didn’t hear about the next step of obedience?
A genuinely born again person will truly want to obey what he believes the Bible says - but there are things that could hinder his understanding or prevent his ability to act.
But the baptism that transforms the inner sinner to a saint is ultimately the one that counts.
You also asked something about Philip in Samaria healing someone who knew nothing about Jesus. Well, I can see in Acts 8 where Philip preaches Christ in Samaria, and the people with one accord gave heed to what he said, seeing and hearing the miracles that he did (verses 5-7). But I don’t see anyone in that story that would not have heard about Jesus and known what Philip was preaching about Him. I think it would be safe to say that all of the people healed in that passage understood what Philip was saying about Jesus.
I hope this helps you sort things in your mind. If I’ve overlooked anything, or you have more questions, feel free to let me know, and I’ll answer as best I can.
Hi @jlyons, thank you for the reply. So I was doing some reading on this. So it looks like there is a decent amount of division in the church whether one takes it as a sacrament over an ordinance.
I want to actually apologize to @FPPieterse. From the discussion, I have learned that our job as Christians when replying to a question is to give the questioner the information s/he needs to make a decision instead of just telling them what I believe. Because there are so many schools of thoughts. Not saying I know for sure or I’m decided on whether I believe Baptism is a sacrament or just a symbolic gesture, I have attached the link to give you some more material to work with.
Now the question is, is baptism merely man to man ceremony or is there a third component to it where God or the Holy-spirit is part of. The good analogy that I got from reading above is seal vs sign. A diploma is not just a sign as an “exit” sign is. You cant forge a diploma, it given by an authority that can. So is God saying or doing anything when we get baptized. Yes it is the decision to take our Christ as Lord and savior that is important but does anything happen at baptism?
What I was mentioning also was when the apostles healed the sick and blind, there was nothing more than their words that the crowd heard as they say the name of Jesus Christ but I am thinking there is a lot more that is happening than what we are seeing @jlyons? So is there anything more than a man’s act at Baptism? Can we even know or have a way to know?
Also, as generations change people will like to do things differently, they may never understand the context of 1st century and many not even see it necessary to do baptism. Is it really a rebellion act if one did not want to do it? Does it really question ones trust in the Lord. Afterall, it is between the person and God. There is no need to show it to people by being baptized in a water. What if you are introvert and dont want that attention or is that really disobedience.
Thanks. Good discussion.
Hi Everyone. I have read through the questions and answers. I found them to be sincere and full of wisdom on the subject of baptism. I would like to add to the discussion with both some concepts of Jewish Culture and the Early Church. It is important to understand that these concepts only add context to Baptism and are not canonical/doctrine.
On John 3: Jesus in John 3 is speaking to a Jewish Pharisee who is truly knowledgeable of The Jewish Scriptures and Jewish Customs. The interpretation that Born of Water and Born of The Spirit means Baptism of Water and Baptism of The Spirit is a relatively new interpretation that has been popularized in the last 200 years. Prior to 1800 this statement of Jesus to Nicodemus was interpreted as physical birth and spiritual birth. The water referred by Jesus was considered to be anatomical fluid present in the womb (We still refer to this fluid as water today). I believe this interpretation is more consistent with both verse 5 and verse 6 put together as shown here. John 3:5-6 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. I believe verse 6 strongly supports that Jesus is speaking of Natural and Spiritual Birth in Verse 5.
On Jewish Custom of Baptism: It was Jewish Custom going back at least 300 years (and probably back to the time of David) to practice Baptism by emersion to symbolize the putting off of sin. So much so, that Baptism by Emersion was mandatory for a Non-Jew becoming a Jew at the time of Jesus. Additionally, it was a common practice for Jews by birth to be baptized by water when rededicating their lives. This is what John the Baptist was doing at the Jordan. It should be noted it was NOT common practice among Pharisees as they believed they did not need to rededicate their lives. Knowing this puts so many Scriptures into better context. As an example: Jesus being baptized to The Pharisees was an admission by Jesus that His Life needed rededication and that Jesus saw Himself as a sinner. This of course was not so. Jesus was being baptized out of obedience to The Father to establish that He was now entering His Ministry for which He was born. I will also point out to my Pentecostal/Charismatic brothers and sisters that it was at the Baptism by John that Jesus had the Spirit descend upon Him and to be filled with The Spirit to do His Ministry. I know this statement may cause a lot of angst, but the it is the first time in the adult life of Jesus that The Spirit appears and it is immediately after His Baptism that Jesus is led into the wilderness By The Spirit for 40 days and nights (Mat 4).
On Christian Baptism: Christian Baptism is done following the example of Our Lord Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan. It should be noted that it is here that the Father speaks: This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased (Mat 3:17). This clearly shows Jesus was doing the Will of The Father and thus The Church has always believed we can do nothing less. Consequently, all Christian Traditions from Pentecost forward practice Water Baptism in some form. (sprinkling or emersion is a different subject, but there is substantial evidence that the early Church practiced both though emersion in a river was the preferred practice). The practice of Water Baptism for believers is one of the physical signs that a Tradition is Christian. Group Claimants to be Christian that do not practice Water Baptism in some form are de-facto not Christian. Note that Baptism is only one of the signs and a group that practices baptism is not necessarily Christian. What happens at Baptism spiritually has been a discussion that dates back to 100AD with the Patristic Writings. I believe it is similar to the Lord’s Supper; that is the discussion is a matter of Iron sharpening Iron. The important fact, like the Lord’s Supper, is that you do it because it is a good and holy thing to do and it is commanded (not suggested). The early Church considered baptism was a public declaration of your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior along with all that statement means. The Rite of Baptism included both Fasting and the Reciting of the Apostles Creed to affirm that you were being baptized with full knowledge of its meaning. I believe in my personal theology that Baptism provides a special infusion of Grace and Power to the Baptized in order that the Baptized person walk with Christ. It is similar to the difference between making a personal commitment to being Truthful and swearing in public that you will be Truthful. Making a personal commitment is holding yourself accountable; swearing in public is letting everyone hold you accountable. I can say from personal experience that I am much more careful in a Court of Law about what I say and do than I am in the privacy of my home. There should be no difference but to deny this difference is to be untruthful.
I hope this adds value to the discussion
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions. So I want to start by saying how I came to question, I was discussing with my wife of some friends and family members who we know to claim to be Christian. My mother being one of them currently spent alot of time reading and spent time in church but hasn’t been baptized yet. But there is still alot of things in her life that is struggling with, wich made me come to the conclusion or theory that if she was batised her walk with christ welould be alot more difrent because ones you do the baptism you get to have the Holy spirit come into and then transform you from the inside. I know the mention that baptism is symbolic of dying to the old self and being resurected in Christ. Billy Graham and @jlyons also puts it like this.,The Holy Spirit batize us into the body of Christ upon accepting him by faith.
But also what i think is the reason why she hasnt recieved the peace on joy and all of the fruits or even the understanding of the scripture maybe is because she hasn’t been baptized. Makes me think of the story in acts8 vs36 of the guy who recieved the joy after being baptized., wich also makes me believe that the baptism must have a very big role in part of the salvation process maybe. I know for me, I accepted Christ recieved the baptism but nothing really changed untill I truly started my journey into reading and praying and fully surrendered To the will of the Lord, so baptism is then part of the surrendering process.
It also brings up the question about, does it really just stop at rpecieving Christ by faith or is there more to it. I read that God will just us all by according to our deeds or works, revelation 20vs12. But in John 6vs 28to 29 it say That the works is to believe in him who sent you, so is there then difrent levels of belief, cause we have many people who believe but dont obey everything and then there is those who believe and obey and then those who doesn’t believe at all…
So those who believe but don’t obey will also enter into the kingdom of God?
Also know of people who has done the sinners prayer and hasn’t changed, because that is where it stop and didn’t go any further with it. Makes me think of all those people at all of the great revival that accept Jesus by faith but never gets baptized will they enter into the Kingdom of heaven. But I do also agree with, if the Holy spirit convicts you, you will do what the Lord commands, thanks for the resources will read into it. And I hope it all makes sense and hope to continue the conversation
God bless you all.
I am so moved by the heart, compassion, and concern you have for your Mother and all who are not baptized.
I think that resistance to baptism in a Christian is because there is so much focus on coming to Jesus and not enough on walking with Jesus. The people who I speak with that have come to the Lord and have not been baptized generally fall into one of 2 groups. (both of which have the wrong idea about baptism)
- They feel that going through baptism is a work that is being pushed on them as part of their salvation experience. This in turn goes against their understanding of that salvation is by Grace and Works are not required for salvation.
- Or they feel that Baptism is an action of joining a Church and they do not want to join the Church that is offering to baptize them.
In both cases the person involved does not understand that Baptism is part of our Walking with The Lord not of our Salvation experience. It is meant to be our first physical act of obedience to God. I have found that when unbaptized Christians become much more open to being baptized when they understand that Baptism is an Act of Love and Submission to God before all mankind.
I will add here a 3rd case that is part of this general discussion. A person who was baptized as an infant many times does not believe they need to be rebaptized. In fact, they believe strongly that if they were to be rebaptized it would be an offense to God. They are perfectly willing to make a public statement of Faith to join a Church but draw the line at being rebaptized. My late wife and I were both baptized as infants and later went through confirmation. She was Anglican and I was Catholic. When we choose to join a Baptist affiliated Church we were told we had to be baptized by emersion to join the Church. She took great offense at this requirement and I did not. She said she had been baptized already and had confirmed her baptismal vows as an adult and she was not going to offend God by saying that He had not accepted her commitment the first time. I, being more affable, believed that if I was joining a Church that was taught baptism by emersion then I needed to get dunked - no big deal. You can imagine the dinner talk over this subject. Dan
I think you have put your finger on the issue, @FPPieterse, when you talk about different levels of belief. Not all faith qualifies as saving faith. Notice how Jesus says in John 8:31 to those Jews who believed on Him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. A belief that does not continue in His word is not the faith of a true disciple - a true follower of Christ.
Notice also how Paul explains this in II Timothy 1:12 saying, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. The kind of belief that Paul is describing is a belief that rises to the level of commmitment. But if one’s faith makes no difference in his life, well - then it just makes no difference!
A faith that doesn’t change your direction will not change your destination.
A faith that doesn’t change your life will not change your afterlife.
A faith without works is a dead faith - James 2:17.
The Bible does not teach that people are saved by faith plus works - but they are saved by a faith that works! Any faith that doesn’t work in your life is essentially a “broken” faith. Like any broken thing, it won’t accomplish what it’s meant to do in you.
You also wondered if being baptized would help your mother grow in her walk with Christ. I would say that the kind of commitment that would move her to be baptized is also the kind of commitment that would move her to grow in every other area as well.
It also sounded as if you were wondering whether something supernatural happens inside a person when they’re baptized. I would say that since the soul of man comes from the breath of God, then something supernatural happens for the better every time we take a step of obedience, and something supernatural happens for the worse every time we fail to obey.
And baptism after salvation is the first step of obedience for the new child of God.
I hope this addresses what you were wondering about.
Well put Brother.
Yes, well said @jlyons.
One question, if a person is baptized because they believed in Christ but then did not have the works, is that because of our fallen nature and temptations or that we just did not have a true faith to begin with, aka the non-saving faith? Also where does sanctification play a role?
Hey @FPPieterse. I found another great reply about baptism that was well constructed. I thought I’d share.
Hi all thank you so much for all your replies, it’s all very insightful and exciting to hear how many people view or understand baptism. Human reasoning why not to get baptized and all the smart theologians interpretation of it is also very interesting. There is alot that makes sense but also alot that raise more questions.
One thing that keeps playing on my mind is Jesus’s statement where he says, verily I tell you if you are not born again of water and of spirit you will not inherit the kingdom of God,
My understanding and theory of everything that was said and what I’ve read.
let’s go back to John 3 vs 5 why would Jesus make such a big claim if it didn’t have any impact on the salvation that you will recieve in Jesus. From the few Scriptures that @danageze shared and all of the other we also know that baptism is a sign of obedience cause it is what Jesus did but its also a sign of repentance, acts2vs38 says repent so that your sins maybe for forgiven. The baptism is then also referred to us dying to tour old self and being resurrected in Christ. Once resseretucted in Christ, Christ can then abide in you abide in you and thus complete the salvation process by clothing you in the robe of crighteousness and also complete the work that he has started in you at the time of you accepting him to come into your life. There is many people like @jlyons says that accept n Christ but doesn’t change but i believe there is people who gets baptized but never has any faith cause just doing it out of obedience to the church or believe that’s what will save them.
I expecially agree with what is said in that passagse and mostly why I also feel the baptism is important for salvation purposes also is. Once Jesus recieved his baptism the Holy Spirit came upon him and then after was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, so for me we can recieve the Spirit untill we have repented of our sins. But even then it will still not be a complete change because like Jesus said also we cannot live on bread alone but by the word of God and i find that expecially true for me cause things didn’t change untill I spent time in the bible or word of God feeding the Spirit everyday that he was able to lead me out of all that was not right. Faith without works is dead… But we also know that faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God., Jesus also says come to me all who are thirsty and drink of me and thirst no more, feeding the Holy Spirit, we also know that Jesus refers to himself is the bread of life. so to me also has to go hand in hand.
We need to recieve Christ so that he can start the work.
Get baptized so he can complete the work
And then feed The Holy Spirit so that we can do the work of Christ,
Please forgive me if I’m talking in circles I am still very new at all of this and trying to talk as I feel directed or even understand all of this. I know it’s a learning process all the time just glad to have found this platform to discuss these things and grow in understanding and in relationships with Christ…
Thank you all everything is very helpful.
I like how you pointed out the thief on the cross. Surely, he did not have time to be born again. He simply asked Jesus to remember him. God keeps things simple, thus salvation is made simple, just repent and receive Jesus; those that truly seek God will find him, it regardless of color, creed etc. All throughout the Bible we see how God meets us where we are at. He wants for us to be saved
Let’s just start walking with him and the rest will fall into place as His Holy Spirit teaches us.