Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How I Know I was Baptized Correctly

One day as I was sitting at my desk, I began to think, "How do I know for sure I was baptized correctly?" By "correctly," I mean, the Bible way, that is, how the apostles did it in the New Testament church.

Now, I've heard some say that baptism isn't even necessary at all to be saved because it's a "work" (see Ephesians 2:8-9). This sounds good until we get to the part where Jesus said,
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
If one wants to be saved, Jesus made it clear that he/she must be baptized! With that being said, we ask the question, "Which way is the correct way to be baptized?"

I have heard of numerous ways and formulas for baptism by different groups of people, but Jesus gave only one way in which it should be conducted, which we find him giving his 12 disciples soon before his ascension into heaven:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: " (Matthew 28:19)
The obvious first question that would naturally begin to form in one's mind is, "What is the name?" Naturally, we understand that "Father", "Son", and "Holy Ghost" are not names, but titles; and as we know that water baptism is imperative for salvation, it would only make sense to diligently search for the name each of these titles represent.

While reading from the prophet Isaiah one day, I stumbled onto a rather interesting passage:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
More study revealed that this was speaking about a coming Messiah who would save his people from their sins, namely, Jesus Christ of the New Testament, of whom the angel proclaimed as "Christ the Lord." Isaiah the prophet called this holy child which was to come, "The everlasting Father."
Jesus Christ, while here on Earth, also proclaimed himself as the Father on many occasions written throughout the Gospel of John, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah. Here are just a few such occasions:
"I am come in my Father's name,and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." (John 5:43)
"If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."(John 14:7)
"I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)
From these scriptures, along with a multitude of others, one can deduce that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the Father in human flesh. Then we find another scripture, which further helps to prove this theory:
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (I Timothy 3:16)
Why? Read 2 Corinthians 5:19 for the answer.

Dealing, now, with the identity of the Son, it's common knowledge that the Bible calls Jesus Christ the Son of God. This part can sometimes be confusing, because I had often heard of Jesus Christ being called "God the Son." However, after intense search I discovered that nowhere in the Bible is Jesus called, "God the Son." In fact, the term "God the Son" doesn't even exist in the Bible! Not in any of the Old Testament prophesies, not in the Gospel of John, not even in the epistle of 1st John, from which many have drawn this theory! The only term I found, however, that's even close is the "Son of God," which is found 47 times in the scripture. Here's one for the sake of remembrance:
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" (Mark 1:1)
Simple, no?

Let us proceed to the name of the Holy Ghost: Who is the Holy Ghost? The 14th chapter of the Gospel of John 14 is one of my favorites of the entire Bible, because it speaks of Jesus as the coming Holy Ghost. Here are a few such examples:
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:17-18)
"At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." (John 14:20)
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)
Clearly, this speaks of the Holy Ghost purely as the divine Spirit of Jesus Christ, not a separate being or personality. This can also be further proven when we read:
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1:27)
When we receive the Holy Ghost, (see Acts 2:38) we are filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and that is the force which will propel us through the air, one day, to a place far beyond the sky where Jesus has prepared for his saints.
Without a doubt, the Holy Ghost is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Now, when Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the disciples, who were already familiar with the divine nature of Jesus, by this time knew exactly who he was talking about, because we find the commandment being fulfilled specifically, 10 days later, on the Day of the annual Jewish festival called, Pentecost.
On that day, Jesus initially poured out his own Spirit (prophesy concerning this in Joel 2:28-29) upon 120 people, including Mary the mother of Jesus, who were all gathered in an upstairs room of an house in Jerusalem, Israel. (Refer to Acts of the Apostles chapter 2.) One thing led to another, and Peter began to preach the New Birth message for the first time ever. This can be found in verse 38 of the same chapter. It reads like this in the King James Version of the Bible:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)
Now, after studying all those previously mentioned scriptures, if there was any doubt left at all in my mind about who Jesus was talking about in Matthew 28:19, this scripture completely removed it at once.
Why did Peter command it to be done “in the name of Jesus Christ”, and not in the titles which Jesus mentioned? Because Peter knew that Jesus was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Now, Acts 2:38 isn't the only place in scripture where Jesus' baptismal formula was carried out or referred to. Since the Bible says, "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established," (2 Corinthians 13:1) I went ahead and found 9 witnesses which attest to this precious Bible truth:

#1 "(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)" (Acts 8:16)
#2 "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:48)
#3 "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:5)
#4 "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)
#5 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (Romans 6:3)
#6 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)
(I threw the next one in just for good measure!)
#7 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17)
Not forgetting those previously mentioned:
#8 Matthew 28:19
#9 Acts 2:38

Why is "the name" so important? Because,
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
When I was baptized having the name of the Jesus Christ called over me, I know I did it the Bible way; and I can't find any other way in which the Lord Jesus will accept as method for salvation. I want to be obedient to God's Word, in order to make heaven my home, how about you?
Would you like your sins to be washed away completely, just like I did mine? Ask your pastor to do it the Bible way, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins! There's no feeling like knowing you were baptized correctly!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Is What Happens When Mothers Let Their Children Play With Food...

I named him Spotted Orange Guy on Cabbage

I made sure to catch him looking my way

I regret not being able to play with my food as a child

(I named him Orange Guy with 2 Black Eyes)

I am now an active member of the ALOCPWFBIMMTROD, the "America Let Our Children Play With Food, Because It May Make Them Rich One Day" club.

flowers & tulips

more flowers & tulips

To me it sort of resembled a swan.

The cake. Before the accident... it wasn't my fault.

The bride and groom and I (not in that order)

God bless,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

My First Encounter with a Giant Man-eating Pea-pod

J/k. Actually it's called Pacay. It's a fruit grown here in South America. This is apparently what it looks like while it's still on the tree (I don't know, I didn't take the picture). It's a weird looking fruit but the taste is divine. I like to think of it as nature's own cotton candy.

As we were grocery shopping last week we came across one. I guess they're starting to come into season. Before I came to Peru my dad told me I should try it out. I'm glad I did, as it has now replaced whatever my previous favorite fruit was as my current favorite fruit. Below are some pictures of this recent life-changing experience. Sorry to disappoint all you pea-pod lovers.

My pacay in its original condition

After Teo showed me how to open it... revealing the precious jewels inside

The (what I call) "cotton part" covers the great big ugly seeds.

Me holding the pacay in my left hand and the "cotton part" (refer to previous picture for meaning) in my right hand. It was soon after devoured.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Parques, Cultos, y Comida


My first bus ride in Peru

BTW, Mama & Kim, I was completely (relatively) safe since I was with a group of kids and a few adults from the church.

We did arrive safely that evening at La Parque de las Aguas. One of the most beautiful parks I'd ever been to.

Myself and some buddies from church

Yes, once in a while a big drop would land on your head. It was fun nonetheless.

Another big fountain

That would've been a great shot if that sign hadn't been in the way.

This was part of the grand finale.

It's incredible how they make the water dance and do all other sorts of nifty things.

I'm hidden in there, try to spot me.

Youth service the following night.

Heliot being usher on Sunday morning. He's holding little "welcome" gifts and paraphernalia in the box.

Some of the boys seeking for the Holy Ghost

One of the most awesome baptisms I'd ever witnessed.

On to school...

Can't remember exactly why they were all holding out they're arms to me.

I can't believe Pablo thought I was going to spill it...


I can't believe I spilled it.

Yes, that's octopus. No, I haven't tried it.

Of course, Teo could probably make it delicious. She's good... Real good.

For example,

One day as I was telling Teo (our maid) about the food back home, I mentioned a popular dish that people eat called "taco's" (which led, of course, to burritos and tostadas). I then went on to explain what they consisted of.

She said she'd never done it before, but she'd try.

Better than home.

BTW, avocados here are delicious.

When I ran out of tortillas, I threw the rest of the taco stuff into one pile and made a "taco salad."

Needless to say...

I'm a happy camper. :D

Be watching for pictures of my recent encounter with a 2-foot giant pea pod.

Until then,

Hasta luego!