Baptism: Why Do We Do It?

aheartredeemedWhat is the meaning of baptism? What is its purpose? Should Christians get baptized? Should we not? Are we saved because we get baptized, or is it just a add-on? These questions and more I hope to answer for you today as well as I can.

Baptism. We see it everywhere and in many different places. It is also done in many different ways. We see it in churches around the world. Some people do it in the ocean or sea or lake or pond or…..you know what I mean. Sometimes people are fully submerged and sometimes water is sprinkled on them. But what does the Bible say about all of this? Lets take a look.

Matthew 28:19

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

‭I think this verse takes out the question that we shouldn’t get baptized. Jesus, God’s Son calls us to! And if Jesus commands us to, well, then I think we should.

Now I’m going to step on some people’s toes here. I don’t mean to come across offensive, but some people just aren’t going to agree with me on this. So lets just get it over with and if you disagree you can tell me where in the Bible I’m wrong. I would love to hear what you think!

You do not have to get baptized to be saved. I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible where it says that you have to be baptized to be saved. There is even an example of it.

Luke 23:42-43

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

‭‭This happens right before Jesus dies on the cross. There were two criminals crucified on either side of him. One scoffed at him; the other asked to be remembered in Heaven. Did this man (we don’t even know his name) have a chance to get baptized? No, he didn’t. But Jesus told told him that they would meet in paradise (essentially Heaven).

If you get the chance to be baptized, you should. We are called to. But it is not a necessity for salvation. And not everyone is going to get the chance. So if you get that chance, take it.

How should someone get baptized? Well, I think the best thing to do it to follow Christ’s example.

Matthew 3:6

And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

John, known as John the Baptist, was baptizing in a river.

Matthew 3:16

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

John later baptized Jesus and from what I read here it seems that he was baptized through full immersion. That means totally submerged in water. I believe that’s what we should do too, since Christ did it that way. But I think this is one of those “open-handed” subjects, it doesn’t necessarily have to be followed and replicated.

There is one more thing that I would like to answer and I think that it is the most important question on baptism. What is the purpose or meaning of it? If there was no purpose, Christ wouldn’t have told us to baptize.

Baptism is an external expression of an internal change. It is like a declaration. By getting baptized you’re proclaiming to the world that you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior.

That’s why we baptize. It is an act of faith. I hope we can all take that step.

-G. Paige

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Heave Your Worries On Who You Really Need

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By the way, if anyone hasn’t noticed, I changed my blog and updated it a bit about a week ago. The “About Me” has more about me on it and I have a “Book Reviews” page so you can go directly to any of my reviews. Check it out!

On Monday and Tuesday I read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards for the first (I hope it is not the last). Anyways, it kind of hit me how much we need God. I mean physically, mentally, spiritually, and in every aspect of our lives. So that is what I want to talk about today: why we need God and why we should not worry and just trust Him.

“So…why do we need God?” Well, if you haven’t noticed, we are already relying on Him every millisecond of our lives from the start to the finish. He brought us into this world and He can take of out of it whenever He desires.

Every time I wake up to a new day, every breath I breathe, every single heartbeat has been given to me, to you, by God. He causes the food we need to survive to grow. He gives us water to drink. He is the one who gives us jobs to get money to buy things (like clothes). The most important thing He has given us though, is eternal life.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
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All we ever have to do is believe that Jesus is who he says he is. Once Jesus has come into our hearts, we are free from the bondage of sin. We will know where we are going after death: to Heaven for all eternity. But those who do not accept Christ as their Savior will spend an infinite amount of time in torture in Hell. That just about gives me chills to say that, but it’s true (by the way, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God talks mostly just about that). Still, has not God given us the most perfect gift anyone could ever ask for?

Another reason we need God is that there would be no purpose to life without Him. If there was no God, what would be the point of life? We live, we die, and that’s that. There would be no point or purpose to live for.

God gives us purpose and meaning. We were made to glorify Him. We (Christians) are His children. We have been given a mission to teach and lead others to accepting God’s free gift. We’re valuable to Him.

Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

This leads us to another point: we need to rely on Him, to trust Him. He has our very lives in His hands already. So why don’t we just stop clinging to our worries and let God take care of it and lead us through it.

Matthew‬ ‭6:27

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
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What’s the point of worrying anyways? It only gets you stressed out and gives you gray hairs (Hahaha…). You can’t really enjoy life by worrying.

Proverbs‬ ‭12:25‬

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

God is perfect, holy, sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, and many other things. We can totally trust Him. He has been with us always, in every moment. He can do no wrong. Lets trust Him!

Some of you might be saying “But it is so hard to hand over our worries to Him!” I know, I still am working on it (we’re not perfect). But I think the reason why it is hard is because usually we are scared or maybe we want to have control of our own lives (as our sinful nature is prone to want). Either way, we need to let go of our worries. God has a plan for us (as I said in an earlier post), so lets let Him lead us through it. Because whatever plan He has, it will be for God’s glory and that, my friend, is what we’re supposed to do.

-G. Paige
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My Worldview (An Essay)

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Today, I’m posting something a little different than what I normally do. This is a essay I wrote last week for school and I thought I would share it with ya’ll. Enjoy!

Over a trillion people are living in the world today. Each person has his/her own unique and distinct worldview. Many worldviews maybe similar, but none are exactly alike. Today I will be sharing my worldview: my view of God and how he works and interacts in our world, the basis on which I determine right and wrong, and what has influenced my view. Also, I will present my perspective on a historical event. Some things are just my opinion and need not be accepted; others should be taken to heart by all.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. I believe that there is only one true God. He interacts with us intimately and with those who believe in Him everyday. He is with us always. He is holy, sovereign, and above all, loves us. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John‬ ‭3:16‬. The Bible, God’s written word and inspired by him, is wholly true. Since the Bible is true, I understand that mankind’s purpose is to glorify God. To do this, we must learn about God through the Bible, submit to his will and follow his commands.

The Bible is the basis for my faith. Accordingly, what God deems wrong I believe wrong, the same can be said for what is right. The Bible is full of laws and commandments, but because of what Jesus did on the cross we are set free from the law. “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬. So how am I to act? This next verse explains it well. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23.‬ I strive to be all these things at all times, but no one is perfect. The Bible has taught me what is right and wrong.

To have a worldview it must come from somewhere, it must have been influenced and affected by things. My worldview can be summed up in my faith, Christianity. My parents have had a great impact on my worldview, who knows where I’d be without them. Among others, R.C. Sproul’s books that I’ve read have helped deepen my faith and worldview.

Let me tell you what I think about the Civil War, so you get a chance to see my perspective in action. The Civil War was a major changing point in American history. If the North had lost the war, our country might be split in two right now. To contradict what most people think, the South was not just fighting to keep slavery; they were fighting for their way of life. The North was fighting for unity and then the freedom of slaves, that wasn’t their main priority. I know to have slaves is wrong, but the way the North dealt with slavery wasn’t right either. I think we should have followed the example of Paul in the book Philemon. In it, Paul tells a runaway slave to go back to his master. Then he pleads with the master in such a way that he would want to free his slaves. You see, instead of going about like the abolitionists did, we should’ve taught the slave owners the true Gospel and the let God convince them that slavery is wrong. The North’s fight for unity I think is right and honorable as long as they had tried every peaceable way to resolve the conflict first.

As you have read above, I believe in the God of the Bible. My view of God coincides with the Bible and is the foundation of how I determine right and wrong. God, and my parents are two major influences in my life, physically and spiritually. What I would like you to take from this is that God is the only true God. As long as we follow Him (through the Bible), I think we’ll be on the right path.

-G. Paige

We Need To Remember

My mom reminded me that today is September 11, 2015, exactly fourteen years ago those attacks on the North and South towers of the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon killed almost three thousand people. People are still dying from inhaling the fumes and dust from all the destruction that was brought about fourteen years ago. There even was a fourth plane headed to Washington, D.C. but ended up crashing into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s sad how we forget such important things. Things, that we should remember so we can learn to not make the same mistake. But we forget so easily.

So today I would like to point out some truths that all of us always need to remember.

1. Everything written in the Bible is true and trustworthy.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

We can’t just believe a part of the Bible. We must believe all of it or none of it.

2. God is sovereign.

God is in control of everything. He is omnipresent. Meaning, He is in the present, in the past, and in the future, all at the same time. He is perfect. He can do nothing wrong.

3. God loves you.

1 John‬ ‭4:8‬

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

John 3:16

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

I think these verses speak for themselves, don’t you think? God loves you, me, and well…everyone. He loved us so much that he sent His one and only Son to die a torturous death so that we might have a chance to be saved. This is such an amazing gift that is given so freely to us. We must not take it for granted. Would you let your only child go into another world where he would be tortured then killed so that the people would have a chance be saved?

John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

4. Just because God loves you does not mean that you will live a long and prosperous life.

John 15:18-20

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.

John‬ ‭16:1-2‬ ‭

I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.

Now this does not mean that every Christian will be hated, persecuted, tortured, or killed. But this also doesn’t mean that God will give us everything we want and that we will be rich and happy all the days of our lives. That is a lie. God gives us what He thinks we need and what glorifies Him and that may or may not be what we want. We were made to glorify God. If to glorify God means being mocked, hated, persecuted, tortured, or death, then we need to learn to accept that.

5. Everyone, I mean everyone, sins. No one is perfect.

Romans 3:23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

We all have sinned. Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered into this world. We are all born into sin and we can not deny it.

1 John‬ ‭1:8

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 

‭‭6. God can (and will) forgive you of your sins if you ask.

If Jesus hadn’t come into this world, we would’ve been left in hopelessness with only the sacrifices of animals to purge us of our sin until we sinned again.

1 John 1:9-10

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Because Jesus did come, we just have to confess our sins and he will forgive us. That is all we have to do: confess.

7. We (as Christians) have a mission.

Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We have been given a task: to make disciples of all nations which just means converting people to Christianity. All of us are called to do this, not just some chosen few.

-G. Paige



Was Jesus Fully Man, Fully God, or Both?

The idea for this blog post came up as I was reading the gospel of John. I was thinking about what to post about and it just popped into my head. I know it doesn’t really connect (or make sense, for that matter), but it is how I came up with this.

So… “Why this???”  some of you might be asking. Well, I don’t really have an answer for you. I just came up with it and I’m going with it. Here is some history on this question: in the early Christian church the answer to this question was the difference between Christianity and heresy (it still is), and there was much controversy over it. I’m thinking it’s worth taking a little of time to delve into it and find out what we truly believe, why, and how important it is to us. Don’t you agree?

First, lets see what the Bible says about Jesus.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:20

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Okay, so we know that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is at least part God, if not all.

Mark‬ ‭1:11‬

And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:36

‭‭”why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.”

From these two verses we see that God identifies Jesus as his Son, while Jesus identifies God as his Father.

‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.

If what the Bible says is true, than Jesus must be fully God. If he was only part God, he would still sin. So he must be fully God. Just look at the miracles and wonders he performed. He did more than anyone ever before him. He even raised up people from the dead!

John‬ ‭19:1-2‬

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him.

‭John‬ ‭19:17-18

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha ). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

Jesus also was made of flesh. He could be hurt (he was flogged actually). He was beaten, bruised until no one could recognize him. Nails pierced his hands and feet. A sword pierced his side. So this must also mean that he was fully man.

‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-27

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Jesus must be both fully man and fully God. He couldn’t even have been a god in human form. Our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it, but look at it this way. To save us (everyone) from our sins Jesus had to be the perfect sacrifice, the unblemished lamb. He had to be perfect, if he had sinned, he death would not have done anything. Only God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) does not sin, that means that he was fully and undeniably God. But if Jesus had just been God, how would his death have saved all of mankind? So you see, he had to be a man to save mankind.

Here is the short version: Jesus had to be God to be the perfect sacrifice to wipe out all our sins; he also had to be a man (a human) to save to human race from eternal condemnation. Isn’t it beautiful how God works?

I’d just like to end with one more verse.

Romans‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭

“The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.”‭

This is major important subject for our belief system. We can’t just believe Jesus was a man or God, because that would mean we didn’t believe something in Bible and we are to take the whole of Scripture as true. Then (as I said before) his death and resurrection wouldn’t mean anything to us. In reality, his death and resurrection mean everything to us.

-G. Paige

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John 3:1-21

Two blog posts in one day. “Are you crazy???” you might be asking. “Well, yes, I probably am,” I would reply. The real reason for this second post today is I’ve been doing a lot of book reviews (well, I do read a lot). That is good and all (I know), but I would like to do a post about the Bible, essentially Christ. He is one of the main reasons I started this blog so I can share my faith in Christ.

So, on to the central subject for this blog post. A little backstory first, though. Just a few days ago I joined a group on Goodreads. Anyways, we started going through the gospel of John, reading a chapter a day. Today being chapter three I decided I would talk about it more in-depth on my blog. Here we go.

John 3:1-2

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

First let’s find out what a “Pharisee” is. Pharisees were usually middle-class businessmen. They were held in higher regard by common man than the Sadducees. They believed the Bible (which was only the Old Testament at the time) was inspired by God, but the same authority given to the Bible was given to oral traditions they had.

Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:2‬

“Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you.”

So these Pharisees were directly disobeying the Word of God they believed in and followed! This man, Nicodemus, was a Pharisee and that means he most likely believed in these things too (at that time, maybe not so much later). Anyways, back to the verses above. Nicodemus came to Christ after dark one evening, which probably means he didn’t want anyone to know where he was going or no one to recognize him on his way to where Jesus was staying. We can only guess, but John did take the time to mention it so it might have some importance. Now, to move on:

‭John‬ ‭3:3-8‬ ‭

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Here, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to see the Kingdom of God you must be born again. Now, lets think for a moment. We (those of us who have been Christians for awhile) have probably heard the words “born again” so many times that it doesn’t sound strange to us. But for people (like Nicodemus) hearing those words for the first time, imagine how strange that must sound. Born again. I like how Nicodemus is not afraid to ask what “born again” means. The Jesus answers and gives us this simile of how you know the wind is there but you can’t tell where it came from or where it is going, so you can’t tell how people are reborn of the Spirit.

John‬ ‭3:9-15

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.”

Though Nicodemus is a Pharisee and probably understands the Old Testament so very well, he can’t understand what Jesus is saying. Jesus assures him that he is telling the truth but Nicodemus just won’t believe. If he can’t believe what Jesus says about earthly things, how can he believe what he says about heavenly things? Yes, if he can’t believe the stuff that is proved right in front of him, how much harder it would be for him to believe in things he cannot see. Next, Jesus says no one has gone to Heaven and returned, but the Son of Man has come from Heaven and must be lifted up (like Moses lifted up the bronze pole) so everyone who believes can have eternal life. The Son of Man is an interesting title to use in this context, don’t you think? Man is from the earth and quite frankly, of the earth. The Son of Man must come from Heaven, but to say the “Son of Man” is almost like saying the “Son of Earth”. Just something to think about.

John 3:16

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I think this sums up the New Testament pretty nicely.

John‬ ‭3:17-21‬

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants‭‭.”

This is an interesting section. Jesus came to save the world not to judge it, but those who do not believe in Him will be judged. This is the short version.

Well, that’s all for now. I did not realize how long of a post this has turned out to be (I hope I have not been too boring). 🙂

-G. Paige