When I first decided that I wanted to start going to church again after living the prodigal life, I knew I didn’t want to go back to the Catholic Church. Something in my heart was telling me to go elsewhere — to seek the truth.
A new friend in Miami invited me to her Baptist church. However, I didn’t get why I needed to be baptized again. I explain who helped me finally understand baptism here in my testimony.
Being baptized as a baby in the Catholic tradition didn’t do me anything in regards to saving my life from sin and hell. It’s a false teaching of the Catholic church (among others which I won’t get into here.)
True Salvation is Through Jesus Only
The only way to be saved and be assured a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven is to…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
- Believe that Jesus died taking away your sins at the cross… defeating sin and then He rose from the grave defying death. Because He did this, as our redeemer, we are cleansed from our sin by His blood once and for all! It is the Gift of Grace that saves us — not our works.
- Repent of your sins. Do a complete 180 in your life and STOP SINNING! Surrender your whole life to Jesus and follow Him only.
- Be Baptized by immersion. This symbolizes that you’re dying to your old sinful self and you are rising to new life with Jesus.
- Receive the Holy Spirit. By inviting the Holy Spirit into your heart, you gain even more gifts to help you to strive to be Christlike.
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.Romans 6:4 NLT
My pastor, Church Foreman, of First Christian Church of Phoenix, explains baptism for the committed believer in this video.
In the Book of Acts, we read the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The eunuch was reading the Book of Isaiah and didn’t understand it. Philip explained it to him and the eunuch believed….
As they continued along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, “Look! Water! What forbids me from being baptized?” [Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”]Acts 8:36-37 AMP
Later on in Acts, we read of Peter at the home of Cornelius, a Roman officer…
The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.
Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.Acts 10:45-48 NLT
Do you need to be baptized to be saved?
No. When Jesus said to the criminal on the cross beside Him, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise,” there was no baptism involved — just as there is no Purgatory.
The way I see it, baptism by immersion is for those of us who still have to live in this sin-sick world. We have to show not just ourselves, but our friends and family that we have turned away from our old sin-filled lives and are now sin-free and walking with Jesus.
…Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.2 Corinthians 5:14-15
It’s not easy to leave the beliefs that have been ingrained in your head all your life. It took me many years to finally get it. I pray that your searching soul is stirred enough so you will at least start reading the Bible and seeking the truth for yourself.
Catholicism gypped me — deprived me — of knowing Jesus personally, as well as the truth of the Good News. I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit that kept at me until I finally surrendered my life fully to Jesus. I was a Halfway Christian for so long — walking around with a false sense of salvation. Now, I’ve got my 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and my place in God’s house that Jesus is there preparing for me (John 14). I’ve got the Holy Spirit guiding me daily and the confident hope that this world is not all there is.
If you want to reap all the benefits of salvation including the 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven then…
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Check out this awesome song … I love the line “I’m born again. Washed by the water. I’m clean.”
- From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College
- From Prodigal to Progressive: Surviving Hurricanes
- From Progressive to Born Again Christian: Surviving Unemployment
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!
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