Originally Posted by lazy gardener
An other thought re: baptism: If we look at Jesus on the cross. One of the men also hanging there mocked Him. But, the other recognized Him for who He was. He repented, and Jesus told him that he would walk with Jesus in paradise. Did that man come down off his cross to be baptized? Also, as He was dying, Jesus stated: "It is finished." He completed the work of redemption at that moment. He did not say, "It is finished, and oh by the way, you have to get baptized in order to claim the prize." If baptism becomes a requisite for salvation, it minimizes the completed work of Christ. It places burden on us to complete an act to "make us worthy" of salvation.
Baptism is an act of obedience for the new believer. In essence, it is an outward symbol of the death and burial of the old life, and a resurrection to the new life in Christ. It is also a public demonstration of the decision to follow and be obedient to Christ.
I just wanted to add, that Jesus said this to the theif under the old covenant, as Jesus was still alive, so the new covenant had not yet been established.
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
First, old covenant law didn't recognize baptism as essential, as mentioned, since Jesus' death hadn't occurred yet when he made this promise, so baptism would not have been needed.
Second, "paradise" is not heaven. It's translated from the word "tartarus" which simply means "a resting place". So, essentially, he was going to die and go to a " resting place" with Jesus. Not be judged for heaven OR hell. Resting. (Sleep of death)
Third, Jesus didn't go to heaven the first day. He went to a resting place, and then straight to hell. He didn't reach heaven until days later. So if he took the theif anywhere, it was to a resting place, or hell. Those were the only options on the day Jesus died.
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
4th there was no place in heaven yet.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
*Oh, no judgement yet, means the theif is still waiting there in paradise until Jesus comes to judge the dead
And.... I lost my train of thought
I'll be back when I find it Edited by shortgrass - 12/19/16 at 7:35am