What do you need faith in Jesus for, if you can be saved by being baptized in water? If I were you, I would let Scripture interpret Scripture.
The same Scripture that said faith without works is dead?
Believe AND be baptized. Salvation cannot be boiled down to a simplistic singularity. Your question should be “How do I understand without a preacher”.
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
There is the problem. But notice Jesus Christ says “DO”.
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Yes, the guidance of the Holy Spirit is only available to those people who God chooses, and only at His timing.
REally? So God discriminates…and there are those He loves and there are those He does not love!
The protestants churches disagree mostly over minor details, such as infant baptism, the degree of freedom of the will (in fallen sinners), predestination, the sequence of events leading to the return of Christ, etc.
What is minor to you may not be minor to another…so how do you determine what is minor and not?
This doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit leads people into error.
Then…can you explain the different interpretations on the Eucharist, the papacy, the need for baptism, the sacraments, confession…just to name a few…among different protestants?
The Holy Spirit guides both the individual and the church. By guiding many (but not all) of the individuals within the church, he guides the whole church.
Does the HS guide them the same way? Can you back this up with Scripture?
Or is it…the HS guides the teachings of the Church…and guides the individual to follow those teachings of the Church?
But it is grace received through baptism…
How do know that’s the correct way to interpret Scripture? Also, where is the list of teaching and practices that have no bearing on our salvation, and how can you be absolutely sure?
And why is Scripture so big when we just need 2 verses?
Because God doesn’t contradict Himself. And because there can be no higher authority than God.
You are still hoping to obtain absolute certainty regarding your salvation. God has chosen not to arrange it that way. Salvation will always be a matter of faith; not certain and provable knowledge.
I’ve noticed that Catholics here have been referring to what I call a “chain of infallibility.” Here is how it is alleged to operate:
We need an infallible church to lead us to infallible truth because we can’t trust in our own ability to correctly interpret God’s word.
God provides an infallible church to lead His people to salvation.
This infallible church has four “marks” by which we must identify His church.
Notice that fallible people will never find the infallible church without getting LUCKY. Does God operate on the basis of luck? How can fallible people correctly identify the four “marks” infallibly? You have an infallible chain until you get to number 3 above. At number 3, you are right back to relying on your own fallible reason. So much for your infallible certainty!
We don’t obtain the grace required for salvation by our works, the works of our parents, or the works of anyone other than Jesus. By saying that we receive the grace we need for salvation via baptism, you are still making salvation a human work. Grace, by definition, can’t be earned by things that we humans do. In Romans 11:6 we read: “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
I agree with both statements. My question is with so many contradictions within denominations, how can you discern who has correct doctrine and who does not? Those 2 statements do not answer the question of knowing who’s interpretation is correct and who’s contradicts God.
If you say some things are essential for salvation and some things are minor details left to the discretion of the individual Christian, I fully expect you to provide a concrete list of them. Show me where the Scriptures differentiate between essential and non-essential doctrines or practices. I’m not looking for aobslute certainty for my salvation, only asking for you to provide reasonable evidence for the claim you made.
There will usually be a few clues. For example, there are (these days) lots of protestant churches that have women doing the preaching on Sunday mornings. But since that is forbidden in the churches, you can be reasonably sure that churches with female preachers are not making a priority out of following the bible. Same thing on gay marriage, the acceptance of transgender identification, or an attitude of tolerance for abortion. But your question is a fair one. And it isn’t just a question that protestants have to deal with. Catholics are also under pressure from the social justice warriors, postmodernists, etc., to become “more tolerant”.
It seems like the point is that the Bible instructs the Church. So if you see a church teaching something contradictory to Scripture, you’d take that as evidence they aren’t teaching from the Bible.
Does the Bible contain explicit teaching about abortion? If a church were to teach that baptism saves based on 1 Peter 3:21, would that be a true doctrine? Or when Paul tells us that the Church is the pillar of truth?
Why not begin this inquiry with a question: are there certain truths that we MUST accept in order to be saved? If so, what things must be accepted, and how will we know them? I believe that God has given us a huge degree of freedom on most things. I also believe that differences on things like infant baptism are inevitable. The bible never claims to be an exhaustive reference for all of our beliefs and practices. So IMO, on matters such as infant baptism, the sequence of events leading to the second coming, the exact degree to which fallen humans have free will, and hundreds of other topics that are not fully addressed in the bible, we should be free to use our own imperfect reason, as long as we don’t look down on those who disagree with ourselves on the non-essentials. Keep in mind that Jesus didn’t accept everything that was being preached and practiced in the temple. He had issues with the “church” of His time.
It sounds like Christianity is quite a bit more subjective than objective. You’re saying it’s your own private opinion, which probably differs from other people’s, that decides matters. So ultimately you can’t know.
There’s a lot of things the church (at least once) accepted as subjective. They left open things like the afterlife, the nature of heaven and hell, etc… Church fathers often differed or debated about them. None of the Councils charted down exacting detail and I think it only creates problems if you try to do it. It’s healthy to appreciate mystery and simply converse about possibility with your Christian brothers… rather than being dogmatic and specific about every thing.
Let’s examine that verse:
“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
If water baptism saves people from hell, then why did he say, “It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”? ISTM that he’s saying that the water symbolizes the baptism that actually does save. What sort of baptism is it that saves us? To answer this, let’s look at John 3:1-15
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
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. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
Jesus seems to be suggesting that the first birth (after being immersed in water) isn’t enough. He then goes on to explain the second birth which involves being immersed in the Spirit. It isn’t clear from this passage whether or not Nicodemus understood the teaching of Jesus here.
The very meaning of “sacrament” (or Mystery in Greek) is that it’s a sign or symbol pointing to something else. So it is with Baptism.
But one shouldn’t negate baptism either. Even our Lord himself thought it appropriate to undergo John’s baptism. How much more so should we, for Christ’s baptism?