Following in the footprints of Jesus


I am a good person, therefore I will have eternal life.

This is a popular idea, but the Scriptures teach that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", Romans 3:23.  Also, "there is none righteous, no, not one", Romans 3:10.

Jesus taught, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;  but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity", Matthew 7:21-23.

Even "good people" who think they have been living a good life will be disappointed on the Day of Judgement.  As Jesus said, only those who do His Father's will can expect to have eternal life.


I was baptised as a baby, therefore I am a follower of Jesus and have eternal life.

Many religious groups today observe "infant baptism", yet the practice was completely foreign to the early church and is actually contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures.

In the New Testament, water baptism (from the Greek word "to immerse or bury") was the result of people listening to and believing the gospel message, recognising that they were sinners before God, and choosing to repent or change the direction of their lives.  This is not something a young child can do, or needs to do.

On the day of Pentecost following the crucifixion of Jesus, His disciples stood up and preached the gospel for the first time in Jerusalem.  The people gathered that day from many different nations, being "pricked in their heart" (Acts 2:37), were told by Peter that they needed to "repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (verse 38).

Later we are told, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers", (verses 41-42).

All of these activities imply an age of understanding beyond that of a child.  Choosing to follow Christ, is a very individual and personal decision and requires commitment and a belief or faith in Jesus on our own part, and is not something that can be done for us by our family or by a church.

© Bevan Collingwood 2016