Several years ago, while I was waiting for my turn into the doctor’s office in Baguio City, a visiting medical intern sat by me and we talked about salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. This medical intern told me that it was easy to accept Jesus Christ into one’s life. She invited me to pray with her and she opened her notebook and read a paragraph of supplication for the forgiveness of sin and told me to believe in Jesus. Then she declared: “You are now saved.”
I told the young medical intern: “That’s not the process that our Bible tells us.” And she went away. My name was called and I went into the doctor’s office.
In connection with the Baguio City Flower Festival, a religious worker during the first week of March this year distributed religious tracts along Session Road. I was given this small tract which contains the following:
“God is good. He loves you! Welcome to the Panagbenga City on its Centennial Year. The Love of God is so great that He gave Himself for us. He speaks to us in so many ways and everything that happens to us is known to Him. Make this event special for you and God by accepting this gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12) For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23). Do not miss this chance, Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart and He wants to come into your life. (Rev. 3:20)
SAMPLE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins and cleanse my heart from every sin. Come into my heart and take control of my life. Thank you.
Then believe God’s promise that He has cleansed your heart from all your sins and has given you Eternal Life. (Jn 1:12; 1 Jn. 5:11-13).”
The religious group in which the tract distributor belongs to has invented the “Sinner’s Prayer” process and it eliminates water baptism. This religious group considers baptism a non-essential action. But being baptized in water is a COMMAND AND REQUIREMENT given by Jesus Christ. Being baptized in water is a believing and repentant sinner’s physical drama of the gospel: Christ’s death, Christ’s burial, Christ’s resurrection. See 1 Cor. 15:1-5.
Being baptized is a believer’s drama; it is an act of incorporating oneself into the authority domain of the Godhead; the Apostle Peter says it is for the forgiveness of sins; it is an act that incorporates a repentant sinner into the death of Christ; it is an act that incorporates a repentant sinner into the resurrection of Christ; it is an act of the believing sinner as a means of putting on Christ giving the image of a white robe washed by the blood of Christ; it is an answer of a clear conscience. See Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-6; Gal. 3:27; 1 Peter 3:20-21.
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us of some blind teachers leading blind followers. A “Sample Prayer” is popularized by some religious teachers and yet they vehemently reject water baptism which is mentioned so many times in the New Testament. Let’s be careful on what we believe and follow. – Eusebio Tanicala