Mark 1:8 “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
In the scripture, John preached that his baptism in water was only preparatory for the baptism that Jesus would bring. Modern theologians agree that John’s baptism was also a precursor to the baptisms given by the disciples after the resurrection. However, while they admit that baptism of water and Spirit was experienced by the early church, they now argue that the intention of the heart is more important than the actions of the person. Meaning the intention to follow Christ is more important than conversion by baptisms. In highly contested forums the vast majority of denominational scholars conclude that if a person simply confesses, “Jesus is Lord” they are then converted. This admission, they say, by virtue of its utterance, contains both repentance and baptism. Thus according to a modern theologian, there is no need to repent with tears or sorrow, nor is there any need to be submerged in water or seek for the baptism of the Holy Ghost because the declaration is sufficient in and of itself. Their entire conclusion is based upon the intent of the heart. However, the Bible does not offer salvation by intention. In fact Jesus said in John 3:5 “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John the Baptist himself decried this idea of salvation without the action of repentance. John said in Luke 3:8 “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance.” Paul wrote a similar thought: 2 Cor. 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” Peter said that just as Noah was saved by water, “baptism doth now also save us.” Irrespective of modern commentaries, intentions will not save us. Only obedience to the Word of God can bring us into communion with the Lord. Marvel not, You must be born again!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole