Today is August 12, 2019

Verse of the Day — Matthew 25:36

I was in prison, and you came to me.


Who was the last person you visited in jail?


Matthew 25:31-46 is a rich passage dealing with the Judgment of the Nations (Gentiles). The Verse of the Day, in context, encourages all to go out of their way to help the Jews during the tribulation. In a New Testament application, Jesus also equated visiting those in prison to actually visiting Himself.

V. 39-40 “When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you?” . . . to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Despite this scriptural encouragement, there are a lot of lonely people in jail, waiting to be visited. Just about everyone, at one time or another, has a family member or friend who does time in prison. The reason we don’t hear much about them is that pride usually keeps us quiet. But, except by the grace of God, we would be there instead of them.


Dear Compass,

After reading a recent GML question on baptism, I have a question. My husband was also baptized as an infant. When he was a teenager, he trusted Christ and became a Christian. After becoming a Christian, this church had people give a public profession of faith as opposed to a public baptism. Is there any reason he should be baptized again as an adult—even though he’s given a public profession of faith?


Public profession of faith is called for in scripture (Matthew 10:32), but it is not a substitute for water baptism (see comments below). As far as “re-baptism” is concerned, in Acts 19:1-5, twelve men who had been baptized by John the Baptist were rebaptized by Paul after they believed the Christian message. This also shows the reason infant baptism is unnecessary—because later, if you become a Christian, you should be baptized again.

Another wrote: Can you go to heaven if you “trust” Jesus as your Lord and Savior but you are not yet baptized?

Answer: Yes. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation—think “thief on the cross” (Luke 23:42-43).

Another wrote: Paul said he came not to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17). And under the dispensation of today (grace), for the Church, the Body of Christ, there is only “ONE baptism” (Ephesians 4:5), which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which unites the believer with Christ. This ONE baptism is WITHOUT WATER! In other words we are baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our salvation experience.

Answer: We believe Ephesians 4:5 IS talking about water baptism since it was not listed in the preceding verse (relating to the Spirit) but rather listed in the following verse relating to Christ. Read all three verses (4-6) to make more sense out of that passage. It is saying that by this single act of baptism, believers demonstrate their spiritual unity.

But even if you hold that there is no water in Ephesians 4:5, that doesn’t mean water baptism is not taught in the New Testament! Baptism is an ordinance instituted by Christ until the end of the age (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16). Clearly this command was not only for the apostles who heard it but for His followers throughout the entire age (He promised His presence to the end of the age). His apostles practiced water baptism (Acts 2:38), as did members of NT churches (Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:11-12).

The writer of Hebrews, probably Paul, termed baptism a foundational truth (6:1-2). Jesus approved of His disciples baptizing (John 4:1-2) and the early church gave an important place to baptism (Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12-13, 36, 38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5). And the NT used the ordinance of water baptism to symbolize important theological truths (Romans 6:1-10; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21).


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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

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