How can we know when it is time to request Baptism? To have studied this far into these Baptism Bible Studies is an indication of God’s calling. The question naturally arises, “When should one be baptized?” There was a time when we did not know any of the Truth of God. Much of what people in the world about us accept and believe is not Godly truth. When something sounds right to us – when all the evidence points to a certain conclusion – we say “It strikes a chord with us,” “It rings true.” When the doctrines of Jesus Christ, “ring true,” it is time to request baptism.
In this study, we will look at each of the doctrines of Jesus Christ to see if each one resonates loud and clear. Truth that resonates can be accepted, received and understood as true. Jesus said that His true followers would be able to discern between His Truth and false ways. He put it this way:
“I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and am known by my sheep… for they know [My] voice... they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:14, 4) Wrong doctrine does not ring true for those in whom God is not working. But when God is calling us, His eternal Truth resonates within us like the reverberating clarity of a pure crystal bell.
Why do some things ring true to us, but seem to be foolishness to others? It is what we believe, and what we act on that makes us who we are!
“The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) The true doctrines of God do not ring true to the world. It is true doctrine that defines “Who” we are, and “What” we are becoming.
What is it that defines our Godly relationship? First and foremost, we are the Children Of God – in the Family of God. We want to think like God thinks. We want to be like God is. We accomplish this – with the help of God’s Spirit in us – when we live the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Only God can open our eyes and ears to see and hear His Truth. God opens our minds so that we might know and understand the doctrines of our Savior as He inspired them. No longer do we change their meanings to conform to the deceptions of this confused world.
Believing in Jesus Christ is not enough! That surprises many people when they first hear it, but it is true.
“You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19) Notice how the Jews of Jesus’ day believed, but still came short:
“Jesus to those Jews that believed on Him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham's seed.” (John 8:31-33) They thought they had it made because they were a part of the right group – descendants of Abraham.
Jesus answered those Jews and said, “Because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me.”
(John 8:45) The Truth did not ring true for them because God was not calling them at that time. Does God’s Truth ring true for us?
God is not working with everyone right now. (Request the free literature: Is This the Only Day of Salvation.) Those of this world have the traditions of men, rather than the Truth of God. It is tougher now to qualify for the Kingdom of God. We are being called to a “Better Resurrection.”
“Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35)
Jesus deliberately spoke in parables so that most would not receive His message:
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, who said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall
not understand; [it does not ring true] and seeing you shall see, and shall
not perceive.” (Matthew 13:13-14) However, Jesus says that when the Father is drawing us to Jesus, we are able to see and hear Him clearly:
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:16)
What are the doctrines, the major beliefs, the tenets, and the basic principles of our faith? Exactly what is it that rings so true to those people now being called? It is the doctrines of the Church of God that ring true – the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Please do not have the unrealistic expectation of knowing all the Bible’s wisdom all at once. It is necessary to begin with the first principles of the oracles of God (Hebrews 5:12). Paul said that it would take study, practice and experience to appreciate some of the harder concepts.
“Strong meat [spiritual food] belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)
What is the resounding truth of the doctrines of Jesus Christ? We will look at each principle. The Bible lists seven basic principles of the doctrine of Christ. Interestingly, there is a warning not to take this process for granted. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us [#7]
go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of [#1]
repentance from dead works, and of [#2] faith toward God, Of the doctrine of [#3]
baptisms, and of [#4] laying on of hands, and of [#5]
resurrection of the dead, and of eternal [#6] judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)
Doctrine #1: Repentance from Dead Works.
Repentance is a change away from sin, worldly thinking and wrong desires to seeing things as God does. God grants us repentance (Acts 11:18). We do not work it up ourselves. It is not just a regret that our lives were not right, but it includes a resolute desire to become like Jesus. We not only accept the fact that our hearts are desperately wicked, and that we have been fighting against God (Jeremiah 17:9), but we begin to put on the righteousness of Christ – a life-long process.
Doctrine #2: Faith toward God.
Faith has to do with believing God enough to do His will. It is the gift of knowing that we are saved from eternal death only by our Savior – Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8).
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that [God exists], and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews
Here is another definition of faith: “Being fully persuaded that, what [God has] promised, He is able also to perform.”
Doctrine #3: Baptisms
Notice the three baptisms mentioned by John the Baptist. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with
Holy Spirit, and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11) Water baptism is unto repentance – the burial of the old man of sin (Romans 6:4). Baptism of God’s Holy Spirit is unto life in God (see our Literature page, and Laying on of Hands below). Christians are baptized only with these two – not the third (John 3:5). Baptism with fire is the second death which is for the incorrigibly wicked – He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12, Revelation 21:8).
Doctrine #4: The Laying on of Hands
The Church of God follows the Biblical practice of the Laying on of Hands by ordained elders of Jesus Christ for bestowing Godly blessings, for anointing and setting apart, and for ordinations.
“When the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17) (Compare also: Acts 19:4-6)
Doctrine #5: Resurrection of the Dead.
Physical death is not the end - our hope and the promise of the Father is the resurrection of the dead. God promises eternal spirit life in the Kingdom of God to His Children who go on to the perfection of Christ (see #7, John 3:5).
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6) We will be like God in the better resurrection.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear [our change at the resurrection] what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1John 3:2) (Compare also: 1 Corinthians 15:44) There are other Biblical resurrections… see “The Resurrections” on our Literature page.
Doctrine #6: Eternal Judgment
The world believes wrongly in heaven and hell as the eternal reward or punishment of men.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Since Christians “die and are buried in Christ” at baptism, and are led by God’s Holy Spirit, we are now being judged. “The time is come that judgment must first begin at the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) There are other times of judgment (Revelation 20:4-14). The last one is at the end of the one thousand year reign of Christ. The Great White Throne Judgment is for all those who were not led by God’s Holy Spirit when they first lived.
“The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection… And I saw a
great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were
judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were
judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:5, 11-13)
Doctrine #7: Going on to Perfection
“Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” Christians live a life of continuously going on to perfection. We know that we never will arrive at perfection in the flesh, but with God’s help we put on the fruits of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 5:9). Jesus Christ, who never sinned, is our role model. We are to strive for perfection, as He is perfect.
“For the perfecting of the saints… until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph 4:12-13)
If the doctrines of Jesus Christ ring true to you, it is time for you to consider baptism. Read the last article in this Baptism Bible Study series, “Kingdom of God,” and let the
resounding truth of God’s promises and prophecies reveal to you the tremendous future in store for the saints of God. Baptism is the most important decision a person can make. If you think that you may be ready for baptism, you can get in touch with an ordained elder of Jesus Christ by going to “Contact Us” on the left-hand sidebar of our Home page.