What does it mean to be a Christian today? What is a “disciple”? What is the rebirth? If you ask these questions to any two Christians, you will most likely get two different answers. To be a “Christian” looks different for a Pentecostal, than it does for a Baptist. It looks different for an Evangelical, than it does for a Catholic. It looks different for a Lutheran than it does for a Methodist. You get the idea? How can all of these different belief systems/doctrines differ so drastically, yet believe in the same Jesus? Common sense sets in eventually to reveal that all of these opposing doctrines cannot be right, and cannot be truth. We know from scripture that there is ONE TRUTH and ONE WAY. In looking at the doctrines of many divisions of Christianity today, we can see a historic record of ‘change’. Doctrines are changed over and over again in the history of these different churches, all dependent on the view of the leaders of these groups of worshipers. Does the Word of God change? Of course not! Did Jesus intend for there to be hundreds of different divisions of Christians, all with different doctrines and belief systems? Of course not! The question poses itself- ‘Why is there such division today among Christians?’
Over hundreds of years, countless man-made belief systems have been created, catechisms have been written, and believers have become more and more divided. There is one thing that has not changed through all of this- and that is the unchanging Word of God. The commands of Jesus himself have never changed. Christianity began when Jesus sent out the first disciples/Apostles. His command was clear and echoes throughout the centuries:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20
First, He commands them to baptize in three ways- in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Apostles and disciples then went out preaching Repentance, and baptizing with water, and with the Holy Spirit. Here lies the key to the rebirth:
#1- Repent for your Sin/Disobedience to God’s law (Be baptized in the name of the Father)
#2- Bury your Flesh/Body in the water baptism/immersion (Be baptized in the name of the Son) for the “Remission Of Your Sins”/Forgiveness
#3- Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Be baptized in the Holy Spirit) either by someone who has it, or by asking the Father for it (See Luke 11)
#4- Walk in the Spirit FREE FROM SIN, You are no longer a sinner, but a SAINT
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” ~ Luke 11:9-13
“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
Here lies the key to the rebirth- repentance, baptism with water by immersion in the name of Jesus, and baptism in the Holy Spirit. Please note, it doesn’t have to be in that order! In the Bible, it wasn’t always in that order either. Please also note, a baby cannot make the choice to repent for sin and become baptized, contrary to the practices of many man-made traditions. There isn’t a single example of a baby receiving the rebirth in all of the Bible. This is a choice made by a human being that is old enough to understand what they are doing. It is the beginning of a relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit. I can’t count how many people I’ve met that were baptized as a baby, and today have little to no relationship with the Savior. Why would they, as they have never made that choice and have never truly come to a point in life of repentance for sin. The condition of the reborn new creation is not that they continue in their sin- rather they walk free from sin in obedience to the creator! They are called saints in the Bible, no longer sinners. That doesn’t mean that those reborn are perfect in the flesh, rather they are no longer slaves or prisoners to sin. They are free from sin! They seek to obey God in all things. So many man-made traditions teach Christians that they are sinners unable to overcome their sin. This keeps many in a condition of perpetual sin and they are lost. If we are reborn, we become FREE from SIN, and it no longer has a hold over us. We become free to obey God! We are also given the Holy Spirit- the teacher and comforter, that will teach us who God is! You will no longer have to rely on man to teach you, as God will live in you and teach you using His Word!
Matthew 28 also gives the instruction: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” ~ Matthew 28:20. We are taught to teach ALL NATIONS to observe what He commanded the original disciples. He is our King, our Leader, and now He commands that His wishes are carried out. Where can we find His wishes? Of course in the Bible! His teachings are in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the New Testament. His commands are simple in comparison to those of the divided churches today. He commanded that we repent, become baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, feed the hungry, care for and heal the sick, take in the stranger, give to the poor, visit the prisoner, love our neighbor as ourselves, love God above all things, and observe the laws of Moses among many other things. These are His commands:
“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” ~ Jesus- Matthew 23:1-3
Remember His command is to TEACH ALL NATIONS to OBSERVE WHAT HE COMMANDED. Many say that the law of Moses is only for the Jewish people, or only for the nation of Israel. If that was the case why would he command that observing these things was to be taught to ALL NATIONS? There is no exclusion in His statement. The gospel is simple. Repent for your disobedience to God and His commandments (baptism in the name of the Father), be baptized with water FOR THE REMISSION OF YOUR SINS (baptism in the name of the Son Jesus), be baptized with the Holy Ghost by someone who has it or by asking the Father to receive it (baptism in the name of the Holy Ghost), and when you experience this rebirth, walk free from sin in obedience to God’s commandments which can be found in the law of Moses. It is that simple.
Again, honest people must be willing to admit the error of man. Christianity today is divided by so many things. Religion has separated the flock. There is one body of Christ, one baptism, one rebirth, one truth, and one way. This one way can be found only in one place- the unchanging Word of God. If you choose to read it and follow it, your life will look more like the lives of those that followed Christ in the Bible. You will see the power of God at work wherever you go. He will walk with you and talk with you through the Holy Spirit that lives in you. Jesus commanded His will to be done even to the end of the world, revealing that nothing was going to change. We encourage all people to examine their doctrines in the light of the unchanging Word of God and the specific commands of Jesus. Seek truth today!