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« on: January 30, 2007, 03:25:45 PM »

    Hi Ray i'm Steve, I'm 19 and my whole life i've been raised in "The Church of Christ". For years i've been showed and taught about the bible. How ever, i'm begining to think second thoughts about what i've learned and if you would please help answer a  question for me it would mean a lot. The question i have is about baptism. I've been taught that in order to make it to heaven you have to not only accept jesus into your life, but also be baptized (for the forgiveness of sins) at an age of accountability, for which you'll be entered into the book of life.
    That would mean that a HELL of a lot of people are going to hell. I've been baptized twice now, fearing i wasn't at an age of accountability the last time i was baptized. Forgive me for not busting out scriptures to show what i was reading from, but i think that it would be pointless because i know your a lot smarter than me and you probably have them memorized. All i want to know is once in for all what jesus was saying about baptism.Is it another symbol? Is the word baptism derived from the word "Baptitso" which means "emersion", which i read on a site when i searched "church of christ" on google. Please help. All this stuff is confusing the crap out of me and making me want to just say screw it and live a party life. If you think i'm stupid, yes i am. I've done a lot of drugs, i'm bipolar, and i have an anxiety disorder. Sorry if i'm wasting your time by reading this. You probably have more important smart questions to deal with anyway.I wish you the best.You have a great gift of teaching, and i hope you write back and help me out.
    thanks, Steve.

    Dear Steve:

    And am painfully aware of anxiety disorders and bipolarism in some that are very close to me.

    Yes, baptism is a symbol. How in the world could being immersed into water be anything but a symbol OF SOMETHING ELSE.  People are immersed in water every time they go swimming. What does THAT accomplish in their spiritual life?  Immersion in water SYMBOLIZED a persons desire to bury his old self and be washed clean of sin. Just performing the ritual of being baptized in water will not, however, accomplish this. Only if you are baptized IN HEART AND SPIRIT is it of any value. All the males of Israel were circumcised the 8th day for centuries. Did that ritual convert a single Jew?  No, of course not. It SYMBOLIZED something that can only be accomplished in one's heart and mind and spirit.

    Baptism pictures something: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO we also should walk in NEWNESS OF LIFE" (Rom. 6:1-4).  Baptism is OF THE HEART AND SPIRIT, or it is worthless and is no baptism at all.  Hope this helps your understanding.

    God be with you,


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