Progress Toward Salvation: Baptism
Friends, our next step toward our salvation involves somewhat a controversial subject. But consider what God says in the Bible, as our articles are titled.
Thus far, we’ve learned the importance of hearing God’s Word (the Bible), believing it to establish faith, then changing our thinking and life by repenting, confessing our faith in Christ as the Son of God. But we have noted none of these activities, according to the Bible, were able to remove of forgive a person of their sins. So having done all of these things, which we MUST do, it leaves a person knowing how to live, and living the life God approves, but still guilty of the life I have lived in sin. I’m still guilty before God, unworthy to be in His presence, and lost. So what would a person do?
I know many religions downplay the importance of “Baptism” for salvation. Many say baptism is just to join a religious organization/church. My point is that there has been much talk about it and many have their opinions about it, but again, what does the Bible say?
There are 3 different uses of the term in the New Testament. The greek word is “baptidzo” which would be translated as “a burial”. (1) There was the baptism of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to His apostles, John 14 and 16, which enabled them to preach and prove their speech was from God. This would end when the truth was all delivered and made perfect, 1 Corinthians 13. This was not the baptism to remove sin obviously since it was not for every sinner. (2) There was the baptism of John, which was a baptism of repentance, not removing sin. Those who were baptized of John’s were to be baptized again “for the remission of sins”, of Jesus’ baptism, Acts 19:4,5. (3) Lastly, there is the baptism of Jesus. In Matthew 28:18-20 , Jesus was given full authority by the Father. He commanded the apostles to go and preach His gospel, and follow it up with baptism. Mark refers to the same conversation, Mark 16:15-16, but this baptism couple with the faith, granted salvation. When the disciples started their work in Acts, after the Lord’s death, they waited in Jerusalem for the aforementioned power. In Acts 2, they received that power and were thus guided by the Spirit promised. After the sermon, certain men were convinced of their sin and death of Christ. They sought help, and in verse 38 were told what to do, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sin”, in chapter 3:19, these were to “repent and be converted (baptized), blotting out their sin.” In every case of conversion that followed the same facts were seen, faith, repentance, and baptism for remission of sin. Romans 6:3,4 explains that by faith we contact the Lord’s blood sacrifice, and vs. 16 talks about Christians having obeyed the form of doctrine. We put on Christ, Galatians 3:26-27, and walk in newness of life, knowing how to live now.
I know some have said there isn’t a passage saying baptism says, but there is: 1 Peter 3:21. “Baptism doth also now save us, not...” . It isn’t a bath, but it cleans our soul, our conscience, AND it does save, but when fulfilling the other aforementioned actions also.
Next we will consider our next step toward salvation. Now as a Christian, and knowing how God feels about sin, what if I do commit sin?