Hello Dave! Nice to see you again. Looks like we agree on everything here. If I may ask, what Denomination (or non-Denomination) are you affiliated with? You sound to be from the Alexander Campbell movement, i.e. Christian Church/Church of Christ. That is the Church I grew up in. I no longer attend those Churches, but if I had to choose, I'd probably go with Church of Christ, despite their dislike for musical instruments.
Originally Posted by David M
Yes, Baptism is necessary but only because it was commanded; to me it is a salvation issue. Those who refuse baptism do so out of ignorance, as though water were the saving means of our salvation. Actually, water is the tool we use to be buried, and it is the Spiritual water that resurrects us. Physical water is just a symbol use to denote our burial into the ground. When our baptism is accomplished in Jesus name (as the Apostles taught), and by your belief in the resurrection, Baptism thus becomes our source of salvation. Peter states, "it saves you not by the removal of filth of the flesh, but by the answer/response/pledge of a good conscious towards God". Peter used the flood of Noah as the "type" prefiguring baptism. Water destroyed sin in the world, and buried them into the ground; in the same way, water saved the 8. So too with Baptism; we are buried in Jesus name denoting the destruction of our old self, and are raised in Jesus name with His Spirit lifting us out from death and into life. Paul states in Colossians 2 that Baptism saves us through our belief in the Resurrection (see also Romans 10:10). Thus in summary, Baptism is a total act of obedience and testimony of our faith (in action) proving our belief in the resurrection; Baptism is a burial and a resurrection, and in this way, saves us from sin.
Israel is more than just a race; it is more than just a nation; it is the people of God, from faith, by faith, and only faith. Those who assemble in the name of Christ Jesus, embrance Israel because they are Israel