I read your article, "Why I Am Not a Nazarene," as I have been researching the Wesleyan Nazarenes and was considering attending there as a member but I am having doubts. However, I read your article and where it says "No one is saved without being baptized with water" is not biblical. One is saved by faith in Jesus Christ and by the grace of God. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved ( Romans 10:9). Not by works OR baptism. Baptism is an outward symbol of your old life dying and being renewed again in Christ. The old has passed away. One of the criminals dying on one of the crosses with Jesus was not baptized but did confess Jesus is the Lord. Jesus told him "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."
I do appreciate the article written there about why you are not a Nazarene, however, unless I misunderstood what was written, one's salvation does NOT hinge on whether you have been baptized. Should we be? Yes. The Bible tells us so. It does not say that is where our salvation comes from and it is quite clear.
Please be careful when you are leading others.
What do you think being saved means? Saved from what?
"Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21).
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
"Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7).
"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13).
"'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
What Saves a Person?
What Must I Do to be Saved?
The Bible Puts Baptism Between the Sinner and His Salvation!
Objections to the Essentiality of Baptism for Salvation
What Saves Us From Sin?
What about the thief on the cross?
Thank you for responding. I am going to read all this information but it will take a minute. I just wanted to thank you for your response.
I know that Jesus was baptized and was not a sinner. I believe He did it as an example of what we should be doing. And again, that prisoner that was killed with him on the cross was not baptized. I have been doing some real searching and am going to read all your information now.
I never answered your question to me: I think saved means saved from our sins and eternal separation from God in hell.
I was raised Catholic and was baptized as a child then I attended a Baptist church and was saved on the altar by confession and baptized at a lake by immersion. The church I attended (the Baptist one) I loved but they went to being a "Purpose-Driven" church and a split took place. I was new at the time and didn't quite understand what was going on. I do now though and actually started searching for a church closer to my home which led me to First Church of the Nazarene. However, the more I learn about doctrine (and I don't want to obsess about it and let it hinder my walk but I think it IS important) I have been having doubts as to if the Nazarene is for me. I am leaning toward going to a different Baptist church near me that isn't "Purpose-Driven," which gives SOLE control to the Pastor. There is another church that is more nondenominational, but I didn't want to drive that far. I haven't tried it yet though but did learn some of their doctrine. Sometimes I think focusing strictly on doctrine is not good, but then again, how can you not when one is seeking.
Your article was a bit of an eye opener for me though and I have been trying to download their manual (I want to check out that page 33 you mentioned). God is not the author of confusion and me being so confused about being there should be a clue also. Something has been nagging at me and I just couldn't put my finger on the whole thing. I have been wondering if it's a "feel good, tickle my ears" church. How can they say they prefer to have you be baptized when you know what you're doing (believing Jesus is your Savior) but they said they won't "split hairs" with a parent who wants their infant baptized.
Even though I haven't agreed with everything in your article, it does help me to search more and to help confirm my feelings about the Nazarenes. It is a young denomination. I wish Christians were just Christians and everything wasn't identified with a denomination.
Just seeking and searching all the time. I am praying continually that my Father will lead me to where I belong in His Truth. I know He will if I don't give up!
There are many passages which speak to the importance of doctrine. Checking such things out should be foremost in evaluating a church that claims to follow Christ. Just look at what Paul told Timothy in one chapter:
"If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. ... Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. ... Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (I Timothy 4:6, 13, 16).
The churches of Christ are Christians who are nothing more than Christians without the divisions of denominationalism. See "We Are Simply Christians Without Being Members of Any Denomination, You Can be Too!"
Thank you. I even changed my religious status on Facebook a while back to just "Christian" (did have Baptist) -- funny you would direct me to that. I will check into the churches of Christ and see what I can find. This kind of opens up a newer avenue for me I haven't though of.
Maybe you could offer up a quick prayer for me even though you don't know me. I never underestimate the power of prayer.
Thank you very much for your time.
I like the article and am really considering checking out a church of Christ. I can't believe I didn't think of it before. Thanks to you for responding so quickly. (Who knew that would happen?) I hope I find a good church home soon. I love shopping, but church shopping not so much.