Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DO INTENTIONS MATTER? Dan Mayfield

I was asked, "Good morning. I saw a post with a question, if a person got baptized without good intentions. Should that person be rebaptized? Your thoughts."
God cares for intentions as much as He cares for anything. The intention goes to the thinking or imagination of the heart.
In Genesis before the flood it says, " Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the
earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.", Genesis 5:6. The world doesn't become evil without there first being evil intent.
Jesus said to people who put more premium on appearances than on the heart, "what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.", Mt 15:8.
See, what a person intends to do is the impetus or spark behind the doing. When a person's intentions aren't good, the actions are defiled. The intention is the "what comes out of the heart". Actions can conceal, but God knows the heart and the intention. And so God is not going to be pleased with the sacrifice whatever it is.
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.", Hebrews 4:12. The inspired writer goes on from this to say that nothing is hidden to Him, who is the Word of God, v13. So when men are looking at the outward man, as God said to Samuel in the selection of David, but God said, "but the LORD looks at the heart", 1 Samuel 16:7.
If God didn't care so much about the intention, he wouldn't be investigate it so closely.
Outward obedience to God does not please God. A baptism not done with good intention is not pleasing to God. God wants the heart. God cares why the man is doing.
Good intentions are necessary, but it's also important to obey God. Samuel said to Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice.", 1 Samuel 15:22. To this point, there are many religions in the world that practice some form of immersion. But they are not obedience to God. If the obedience is to a man-made intentions or purpose, then the obedience is not to God but is to man. The purpose for baptism is clearly given in scripture.
1. to be saved, Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet 3:21
2. for remission of sins, Acts 2:38; Mk. 1:4
3. to wash sins away, Acts 22:16
4. to be buried with Christ, Romans 6:3-5
5. to be raised by faith in God's working, Col. 2:12-13
6. to be clothed with Christ, Gal. 3:27
When God has said you must be baptized, only a repentant, faith response is pleasing to God. For example, if someone gets immersed to show people you are saved already and to pave the way for church membership is a person whose intentions might be right, but still the person is not obeying God but man. So to get immersed with something less than good intentions is to do it with something less than heart and sincere faith.
The very best thing to do is sweep away negative and evil intentions and then seek the will of God. Look for what God intends and then do that.

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