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BAPTISM  5'?m2f Is baptism needed for salvation?

LIZ -- (enters cautiously, carrying Bible, looking around) 
Hello? Hello?

AMY -- (enters opposite) Hello. Are you looking for the church 
office? 

LIZ -- No really.

AMY -- Well, there aren't any church services in here on 
Tuesdays.

LIZ -- I wasn't really looking for a church service. I just 
wanted to get baptized.

AMY -- Baptized. I see. Well, we happen to be having a baptism 
coming up next Sunday. (points back to exit) If you come over to 
the church office, I'll sign you up.

LIZ -- I can't wait that long!

AMY -- You can't? Are you leaving town?

LIZ -- No. But, what if I die before Sunday?

AMY -- I'm sorry. I don't understand the question. Are you ill?

LIZ -- No. I'm in perfect health. But I could still die.

AMY -- Listen, I don't know how to ask this, but... You're not 
considering.... committing... suicide...

LIZ -- Oh, no! I suppose you think I'm a nut case just coming in 
here and talking about dying.

AMY -- Well....

LIZ -- Let me tell you why I need to get baptized. I was at the 
bus depot (points back to exit) this morning and this woman came 
up to me and handed me one of those... pamphlets.

AMY -- You mean a Bible tract?

LIZ -- Yes. One of those.

AMY -- Oh! So, you want to commit your life to Christ. Well, I 
can...

LIZ -- No. I already did that... months ago.

AMY -- You committed you life to the Lord?

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- A no kidding commitment? You're not just paying him lips 
service?

LIZ -- Oh, no. I read my Bible every day. I spend a lot of time 
in prayer....

AMY -- But you were never baptized?

LIZ -- No. I moved away right after I accepted Jesus and I 
haven't found a new church home yet. Say, I don't have to be a 
member here in order to be baptized, do I?

AMY -- Oh, no. Of course not. (scratches head) But, I guess I 
don't see what all the urgency is about. 

LIZ -- According to the this Bible tract I was reading, belief 
in Jesus isn't enough to save me. If I died before I was 
baptized, I still go to straight to hell.

AMY -- Oh! I see!

LIZ -- So, when can I be baptized?

AMY -- Well, if you insist, I suppose I could find a pastor and 
arrange a baptism today, but that really won't be necessary.

LIZ -- Sure it will! It says so in the Bible. (opens Bible) I 
marked the verses here. 

AMY -- (approaches) Listen, I'm familiar with the verses on 
Baptism but...

LIZ -- (points to Bible) This one here, for instance. It says in 
Mark 16:16 "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but 
whoever does not believe will be condemned."

AMY -- (points to Bible) Look again at that end verse. It says 
"whoever does not believe will be condemned."

LIZ -- Yeah, so?

AMY -- Does it say that if you're not baptized, you will be 
condemned?

LIZ -- Well, no. I guess not. 

AMY -- Jesus said in John 3:16 that "whoever believes in him 
shall not perish but have eternal life." Jesus himself didn't 
mention baptism at all. Only BELIEF.

LIZ -- So, why does Mark 16:16 mention baptism at all?

AMY -- Actually, that verse is probably not talking about WATER 
baptism.

LIZ -- What other kind of baptism is there?

AMY -- The Greek word that we get our word BAPTISM from means 
IMMERSION. It can mean physical immersion in water. But it can 
also mean emotional immersion, which means being overwhelmed. It 
can also mean spiritual immersion. Jesus even used the word
baptism to mean being immersed in torture and death.

LIZ -- Don't tell me I have to DIE to be a Christian?!

AMY -- (laughs) No. When Jesus commanded us to believe and be 
baptized he was talking about spiritual immersion. (points to
Bible) Earlier in the Book of Mark, Mark 1:8, John the Baptist 
said, "I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with 
the Holy Spirit."

LIZ -- The Holy Spirit?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- How do I get immersed in the Holy Spirit?

AMY -- The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for service to others. 
Immersion in the Holy Spirit means allowing yourself to be used 
by the Holy Spirit to serve others.

LIZ -- You mean, like, a ministry?

AMY -- Exactly.

LIZ -- I can do that. But what about water baptism? Why get 
baptized at all?

AMY -- Water baptism is a symbol of your cleansing by Jesus' 
death and your immersion in the Holy Spirit.

LIZ -- You say there's a baptism next Sunday?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- (turns hurries to exit) Good. 

AMY -- Where are you going in such a hurry?

LIZ -- (stops) I've got to go find a ministry, so I can get 
immersed before I get immersed. (exits)

AMY -- (scratches head, exits) I think I understand.

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