Alert! Below find Audio (MP3), PDF (Click Book Image), and Web studies, plus an Online Interactive Test Link on the One Hope.
Welcome, Rick David Introducing the One Hope of Christianity
There Is Great Hope for You, Lasting Hope!
take heart! Have courage. Do not give up hope of a better life! God
understands that our lives are filled with suffering, hopelessness,
and despair! Death, sickness and sorrow are everywhere. They affect
and overwhelm everyone, even the rich and famous! Conflict and strife
comes to everybody, even to the peaceful person! This lack of order
in our relationships is frustrating, in the home, in the city, in the
nation, and between the nations.
But, God understands all of this and wants to comfort and encourage our hearts by telling us something very important through the gospel of Jesus Christ: There is hope of a better life, everlasting hope! The story of Jesus proves it!
The Story of Jesus Is about Hope, Lasting Hope!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ Gives Us a Clear Hope in a New and Better Life!
The story of Jesus is about the hope of a better life. Not this life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about this life. Instead, it is mainly about the afterlife, the resurrection of the dead. It is about the glorious joy of being raised from the dead to everlasting life! For example, “Our Savior Christ Jesus... brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10).
So, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can see that there is life after death. For “God raised him from the dead” (Ac 13:30). This is how we know for sure that there is life after death. By raising Jesus from the dead, God proved to the whole world that there is an afterlife.
So, through telling the story of Jesus (whom God raised from the dead), all people everywhere are being called and encouraged by God to have confidence in one thing: the resurrection of the dead. Like Jesus, everyone will be raised from the grave. You and your family will also rise from the dead as well.
How Jesus Was Raised from Death
“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples” (Mt 28:1-8).
Jesus Gave His Friends Lasting Hope!
The Story of Lazarus Is a Message of Christian Hope!
Not only did God raise Jesus from the dead, Jesus also raised the dead. Consider how he raised his friend, Lazarus. Notice how Jesus promised to likewise raise us as well, if we believe in him. So, Jesus gives us a hope that lasts, beyond the grave.
Jesus said, “ ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.’ So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’
When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, ‘See how He loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?’
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Remove the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.’ When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go’ ” (Jn 11:14, 15, 17, 20-29, 32-44).
The “one hope” (the one confidence) of a Christian is to be raised from the dead!
The One Hope of Christianity Is the Resurrection of the Dead!
The gospel points everyone of us to the resurrection of the dead. For example, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, said, “I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead” (Ac 23:6).
For he and the other disciples “were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Ac 4:2).
For “God raised him up on the third day” (Ac 10:40).
So, Paul had “a hope in God,... that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked” (Ac 24:15).
For “God... has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pe 1:3).
So, as Christians, we confidently believe in the resurrection of the dead, “knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also” (2 Cor 4:14).
This Hope Is Alive, Not Dead!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pe 1:1-9).
Things we must know about the resurrection of the dead
What do the Scriptures say about the resurrection of the dead? Consider three key things related to this subject.
1. The hope it offers us of a better life
God said, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Re 21:5). “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Re 21:4).
So, at or in the resurrection, God promised to replace this temporary, painful life on earth with a new and better one, an everlasting one. A life without pain, sorrow, and death.
So, about physical death, “you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13). There are people without hope, Christian hope. They have no confidence in a better life after death, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Many only understand and hope in this life alone, which painfully ends. Others are misguided about the afterlife.
Yet, we believe that “God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power” (1 Cor 6:14).
So, about physical death, “We can confidently say, ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ ” (1 Cor 15:55).
For Christians, death and the grave are not the fatal, stinging, painful end of all things. Instead, it is the beginning of something glorious and alive.
Why make life so painful?
After considering the hope that Jesus offers us of a better life in heaven (a life without pain, death, and crying), like a lot of us, you might be wondering, “Why did God make life on earth (or my life on earth) so painful and difficult, and the idea of heaven so much better? Why do we have to suffer in this life? Why do we have to die? Why not have heaven now? Why let this painful order of things go on?”. In reply, consider the difficulty I experienced in my youth and how it seems to have led me to find lasting hope through Jesus.
Consider my story or example
In my youth, I suffered from a string of painful health, relationship, and sin problems. For example, when I was seventeen, while playing basketball, I hurt my left ankle so badly during a fast break dunk that it required emergency surgery to repair, stabilize, and bolt together certain bones. While a sophomore in college, I ruined my right rotator cuff pitching in a baseball game, and never had it repaired. So, I could no longer rely on my physical strengths and abilities.
I suffered the loss of a couple of close, but sinful relationships, one from high school and one after college.
And since I was participating in other sins, such as getting intoxicated, I suffered some of the painful consequences of doing so. For example, after a night of drinking together with my roommate and others, he physically attacked me. I then knew that this drinking business was not working out. So, after this, I reached out to God and also found the hope of a better life through Jesus and his gospel message.
Now, in my youth, my family was not religious, did not go to church, or read the Bible, or pray, and so on and so forth. So, I was not directly taught to believe in God, or told about the hope of a better life through the gospel.
Even so, I believe that experiencing all these disappointments and loses led me to find a better hope, a hope and a confidence that was not in my own abilities, relationships, or sin. Yet, I know that not all who suffer in life find lasting hope in Jesus, but turn to other things. Many simply do not believe in Jesus or his gospel. Indeed, many are forbidden to believe in him.
Notes: Even Paul (who was a Christian and a very close friend and apostle of Jesus Christ), along with his coworkers had to suffer a near death experience to teach them to not trust in themselves, their abilities, or in this life, but to instead more fully trust in God and the one hope of the Gospel. For example, Paul said, “we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:9). Likewise, even one of Paul’s own illnesses led others to know Jesus and the hope of a better life (SEE Gal 4:13). So, Christians, even powerful ones, must also suffer in this life to help them (and others) more fully and faithfully believe in God and his power to raise the dead, which is the one hope of Christianity. We all need more Christian hope. Therefore, we all have to face death. We all have to learn to more fully trust in God and his unlimited power, not in ourselves or our own limited power.
2. The judgment of all men and women!
Jesus said, “An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (Jn 5:28, 29).
So, we can see that everybody will be raised, both the good and the bad, to experience God’s justice system, the Judgment (also called “the day of judgment” Mt 10:15).
But, we can also see that not every one will be given the hope of a better life, everlasting life in heaven. Instead, many will be given everlasting condemnation in the lake of fire, hell, because their deeds are evil.
And so we will all be judged according to our behavior in this life, our deeds, whether they are good or evil in God’s sight (SEE Re 20:12, 13).
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Ac 17:30, 31).
Paul warned the church in Rome, saying, “We will all stand before the judgment seat of God.... each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro 14:10, 12). By saying “we” and “us,” Paul revealed that both he (a very close friend and an apostle of Jesus Christ) and this group of Christians would not be absent from the judgment.
So, the resurrection relates to the judgment and evaluation of all men (even Christians) for their suitability to either heaven or hell. “For all have sinned” (Ro 3:23), and so all must be judged. We are all sinners. We all have the potential to continue to sin, even Christians! Knowing these things, how then should we plan to live?
Notes: Indeed, there are many who profess to know and serve Jesus, yet will be rejected on that day, since they still are not doing the will of Jesus’ Father. They are still sinning in grievous ways (SEE Mt 7:21-23). Even Satan and his servants pretend to be ministers of the Gospel (2 Cor 11:14, 15). And if there are many false teachers (Mt 24:11) then there will be many more false worshipers who are misled by them. So, both will need judged.
3. Evidence that Jesus is the Son of God
Jesus “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Ro 1:4). For by his mighty power, miraculous power, God raised him from the dead.
Indeed, even the reason why Jesus did miracles was “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (Jn 20:30, 31).
So, if we believe in the name of the Son of God, we can have the hope of a better and lasting life. Next, consider how believing this, and that God raised him from the dead, are essential to having the one hope of a Christian.
“If you... believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” Ro 10:9
How to be saved by faith in Jesus
In this passage, notice three steps to have the hope of everlasting life with Jesus. For example, this is “the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you [Step 2] confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and [Step 1] believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for [Step 1] with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and [Step 2] with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation... for [Step 3] ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved’ ” (Ro 10:8-11, 13).
It is a matter of the heart
As you can see from this passage, to have the hope of eternal salvation, heaven, it starts with a heartfelt belief in the good news about Jesus Christ, especially that God raised him from the dead (and in like manner will raise you from the dead 1 Cor 6:14). This is the “one hope of your calling” (Eph 4:4). Next, consider all three steps you must take or experience to have the one hope of a Christian.
Step 1 - “Believe in your heart that God raised Him”
For “If you... believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Ro 10:9).
So, consider your own heart!
Do you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead? Of this one thing are you confident and sure? Through or because of Jesus, do you believe in the resurrection of the dead?
Step 2 - “Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord”
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord... you will be saved” (Ro 10:9).
“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” 1 Cor 12:3
What does it mean to confess with your mouth Jesus as or is Lord?
Before you consider your own answer to this question “who is Jesus,” I want to first make sure that you understand what it means to “confess Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor 12:3). Now, “Lord” first and foremost refers to his Deity, meaning him being God, specifically the Son of God (not God the Father, but God the Son). For he was “declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Ro 1:4). And being the Son of God, meaning Deity, he is worthy of our worship.
So, when one confesses that Jesus is Lord, he is admitting or agreeing that he is God, meaning Deity, but more specifically the Son of God, the Christ. For when asked by Jesus who is he, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). Then, Jesus blessed him for admitting this in public, in front of the other disciples. Among Christians, this has come to be called “the good confession” (SEE 1 Tim 6:12, 13).
How did others confess Jesus is Lord?
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”
-- Peter Mt 16:16
“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”
-- The Treasurer Ac 8:37
“He is the Son of God”
-- Paul Ac 9:20
“I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God”
-- Martha Jn 11:27
“It is as you say”
-- Jesus Mt 27:11
“Lord, I believe”
-- The Blind Man Jn 9:38
“We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God”
-- Peter on behalf of all the apostles Jn 6:69
Consider your own confession!
Has God enabled you to make the good confession? Who is Jesus? Do you believe that he is Christ, the Son of God? Do you agree that he is Lord, meaning Deity? For this is what the gospel pictures him as (SEE Jn 10:33, 36; 20:28).
Step 3 - “Call on the name of the Lord”
“For ‘whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved’ ” (Ro 10:13). How then do we do this? How do the Scriptures teach us to do this?
Note: For truly, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Ac 4:12). For “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). So, to be saved, God wants everyone to call on the saving name of His Son, whom He Himself named Jesus, meaning Savior. For the power of salvation is in the name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
1. How did Jesus teach us to call on his name to be saved?
Jesus said, “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). So, clearly, Jesus taught us to call on his name in Christian baptism.
For as Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mk 16:16), without a doubt by calling on the name of the Lord in water baptism.
For salvation is in his name (Ac 4:12). In Christian baptism, we trust in the name of the Lord to save us.
2. How did his apostles teach us to call on His name to be saved?
In the very first example of making disciples of Christ, approximately 3,000 people responded to the message, and asked, “What shall we do” (Ac 2:37). Peter replied, “Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of the Lord for the forgiveness of your sins” (Ac 2:38).
And so we can clearly see that, in Christian baptism, Peter told the people to call on the name of the Lord to be forgiven.
Likewise, when Paul was getting saved, Jesus told him (through Ananias) to “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Ac 22:16). Notice here that Jesus directed Paul to wash away his sins by calling on his name in Christian baptism, not in prayer.
Consider calling on his name!
Did you call on the name of the Lord to be saved in Christian baptism? Do you need to do so?
Notes: This may seem confusing or shocking! Clearly, many in Christendom teach others to call on the name of the Lord in prayer for salvation, forgiveness, and discipleship. Yet, as you can clearly see and witness from the Scriptures you have just studied (both what the Lord Jesus and his apostles taught), it is to be done in Christian baptism, not in personal prayer. Why do so many teach prayer for salvation? Perhaps they are not reading the Bible, or not searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so (even their teachers), or they do not understand how grace and faith include baptism. Even so, I exhort everyone of you who have been misled to pray for salvation and discipleship to instead obey the truth. Be baptized (or rebaptized) for the right reason, to call on the name of the Lord for your salvation, forgiveness, and discipleship. We can be sure that following the Lord’s ways are always the right ways. So, about this, will you follow the teaching of Jesus and his apostles, or will you be satisfied to follow the error of what men are saying?
At a person’s Christian baptism, both the baptizer and the one being baptized is to go down into much water. Then, standing there together, the baptizer is to call on the name of the Lord, by saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of your sins”. Then, the baptizer is to quickly bury and raise the person up out of the water. For we are to be “buried with him through baptism” (Ro 6:4), not sprinkled or poured. Note that it is the baptizer, not the one being baptized, who is to verbally call on all three person’s of God on behalf of the one being baptized, acknowledging and honoring all three.
More Examples of Calling on the Name of the Lord
Besides the examples of the first 3,000 disciples of Christ and Paul, look at all of the other examples in the book of Acts. These clearly demonstrate how one is to call on the name of the Lord to be saved.
1. The Samaritans called on his name in baptism
“But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike” (Ac 8:12).
2. The Treasurer of Ethiopia called on his name in baptism
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Ac 8:35-38).
Questions: Did you see how this man was first required to believe in his heart? Did you see how he then responded and admitted who is Jesus? Do you see how this then led to him being permitted to be baptized in the name of the Lord? Indeed, Romans 10:8-13 lists this specific sequence to saving faith in Jesus.
3. The Centurion, Cornelius called on his name in baptism
What did Peter do when Cornelius and the others believed? “He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Ac 10:48).
4. The Business Woman, Lydia called on his name in baptism
“A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay’ ” (Ac 16:14, 15).
5. The Jailor called on his name in baptism
Paul’s jailor said, “ ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household” (Ac 16:30-33).
1. When you believe!
As recorded in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, water baptisms happened “when they believed” (Ac 8:12), and “immediately” (Ac 16:33) upon belief and repentance. So, when you believe, do not wait to call on the name of the Lord to be saved in Christian baptism. For salvation is in his name. So, in Christian baptism, you are trusting in the name of the Lord to save you.
2. Without delay!
For those who believed, but were not yet baptized, we read this questioning admonition: “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Ac 22:16). So, there should be no “delay” or hesitation in your calling on his name in baptism. In so doing, like Paul, the name of Jesus, upon whom you are calling in your baptism, will wash away your sins (Ac 22:16).
3. Specifically, when you believe God raised Jesus, and he is Lord!
As this Bible study points out concerning the resurrection, before you are baptized, you must first believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (SEE Ro 10:9). You must also be willing and able to agree or admit to others, especially to the one baptizing you (and to any other disciples who are witnessing your baptism), that Jesus Christ is Lord (Ro 10:9). Like Peter, you must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Mt 16:16), and therefore Deity.
4. When you begin to repent!
Peter not only told the first 3,000 who believed in Jesus to call on his name to be saved, but also to repent. For example, Peter said, “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Ac 2:38). So, the story of Jesus is not only about believing in him and calling on his name to be saved. It is also about repentance of sin. For without repentance, no one will be saved (SEE Lk 13:1-5). “For all have sinned and fall short” (Ro 3:23). And “repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations” (Lk 24:47). So, to be forgiven, you must also repent of your evil ways. You cannot continue in them and still be saved. You must search the Scriptures to learn in what ways you are sinning, for the purpose of from now on abstaining or separating from sin. You must not continue in the habit of sinning (Ro 6:1).
After being baptized, what then did they do?
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized... They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Ac 2:41-47).
To what are you continually devoting yourselves? Is it to the things that these new converts were in doing? Let us intentionally purpose to be in the habit of doing what they were doing, and more! For, together, they were fulfilling Christ’s command on what to do after one is baptized (Mt 28:19). They were learning to do all things Christ commanded (SEE Mt 28:20).
Note: For more encouragement on what to do after baptism, read Acts 4:32-37, and Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Notes on Salvation
1. Again, you must stop sinning, you must repent!
Believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, confessing with your own mouth that Jesus is Lord and Christ, and calling on the name of the Lord in Christian baptism is not enough. You still must repent or your evil ways. Read Luke 24:47, John 5:14, John 8:11. Repent of these kinds of sins: Read Revelations 21:8 and 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.
2. On the so called “sinners’ prayer”
Beware! In truth, this has not been commanded by Jesus for salvation. Instead it is simply an opinion of men (the imagination of men). Search the Scriptures (Acts) and you will not find anyone praying in Jesus’ name to be saved, or being led to pray in Jesus’ name to become a disciple, a Christian. As Jesus himself said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mk 16:16), not he who has believed and has prayed shall be saved. So, prayer and baptism are two different things.
Note: Now, in the Christian faith, concerning baptism and other commandments of Jesus, you must learn to know the difference between truth (commandment) and opinion (guessing). So, I recommend that you get a copy of my book called: The Seven Masks of Hypocrisy. How the Christian faith has become a theater for pretenders. The imaginations (opinions) of men are canceling out the commands of Christ. For on the day of judgment, to be found by God to be authentic Christians, and to be saved, not lost, we must unmask hypocrisy in our lives and the church.
3. The true definition of grace and faith includes obedience to Christ’s commands
We cannot earn salvation, but we must obey the gospel to receive it. Read Hebrews 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9, Romans 1:5, and 1 Peter 3:21; 5:12. God does not favor (grace) or save rebels! Many proclaim a faith and grace which excludes obedience to the commands of Christ, such as baptism or even repentance. This is simply called unbelief (SEE He 3:18, 19). Fear unbelief, meaning disobedience.
4. On sprinkling or pouring for baptism
These words, sprinkle (Gk. raino) and pour (Gk. cheo), are not in the original context of any water baptism passages, but only the word immerse (Gk. baptizo). For the original copies of the New Testament were first written in the Greek language of Jesus’ day. So, again “raino” and “cheo” for water baptism are the imaginations of men (opinion, guessing), not the command of Jesus (truth, fact). Indeed, the Scripture calls water baptism a “burial,” not a sprinkle or a pour (READ Ro 6:4: Col 2:12).
5. Only after people can believe should they be baptized, not before
For example, “But when they believed Phillip preaching the good news about... the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike” (Ac 8:12). Notice that “when they believed,” not before, Phillip baptized men and women (not babies, infants or those who could not yet believe or unbelievers). So, one must be of full enough age to comprehend and believe and do Jesus’s basic will. This includes believing in one’s heart (regarding the resurrection), confessing or speaking to others who is Jesus, and repentance of one’s sins.
6. The thief did not need to be baptized to be saved!
When the thief believed in the Lord, he was being crucified next to Jesus (Lk 23:39-43). So, he could not be baptized. Even so, and more importantly, no one could yet be baptized into Christ’s death (even the thief), that is “buried with him in baptism,” (as the Scriptures say that we are now suppose to be, SEE Ro 6:4; Col 2:12). For at this time, Jesus had not yet died, was not yet buried, and was not yet raised from the dead.
So, the good things about Jesus Christ, such as his death for our sins and how God raised him from the dead, could not yet be fully preached or believed. This is why Jesus did not command Christian baptism in his name until after he arose from the dead (SEE Mt 28:6, 18, 19). This makes perfect sense, timing wise, in the story of his life on earth. Do you now understand why the thief was not baptized?
There Is Great Hope for You, Lasting Hope!
For example, “ The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved’ ” (Ro 10:8-13).
subject of this passage is how to have the great hope of a
better life, everlasting life and salvation by faith in Jesus. Notice
that it requires three things. (1) A heartfelt belief in how
God raised Jesus from the dead (Ro 10:9). (2) Being enabled to
admit that Jesus is Lord (Ro 10:9). (3) Calling on the name of
the Lord to be saved (Ro 10:13). For with my ears I have heard, the
story of Jesus. With my heart I believe, that God raised him from the
dead. With my mouth, I confess Jesus is Lord. In my Christian
baptism, I call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, to have the
hope of a better life, lasting hope.