It seems rather sad that so many in the religious
world wish to discount as necessary what God has deemed is important. Take, for example, the question of
baptism. Many are still teaching that it
is not a necessary component of salvation.
Is this true? Let's see what the
word of God has to say about baptism in His plan of salvation.
"And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them,
saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ They then that received his word were
baptized: And there were added unto them in that day about three thousand
souls. And the Lord added to them day by
day those that were saved." (Acts
2:40-41; 47b) This passage clearly shows
how the hearers were not added to those numbered among the saved until
they had been baptized.
Ananias told Paul, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy
sins, calling on His name." (Acts 22:16) This passage clearly states that our sins are
not washed away until we are baptized. If our sins were already removed, there would
be no need to have them washed away further.
Peter wrote, "…that aforetime were
disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while
the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through
water: Which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not
the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good
conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…." (1 Peter 3:20-21) This passage unequivocally says we are saved
at the point of baptism. It is the
response of our good conscience to do as we have been commanded.
At the conclusion of the conversion of the Ethiopian
eunuch, we have the following: "And when they came up out of the water, the
Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, for he
went on his way rejoicing." (Acts 8:39) The Ethiopian eunuch did not go on his way
rejoicing until he had come up out of the water. Why was he not rejoicing earlier if he had
already been saved? Why didn't the
Spirit take Philip away before baptism if it was not necessary for the
completion of God's saving power? The
answer: He was not saved until he submitted to baptism.
Paul wrote to the Galatians, "For as many
of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27) If we were already saved before
baptism, we would already be clothed in Christ.
"Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ
Jesus were baptized into His death? We
were buried therefore with Him through baptism unto death: That like as Christ
was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk
in newness of life. For if we have
become united with Him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with
Him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in
bondage to sin…." (Romans
6:3-6) Paul tells us that baptism is the
reenactment of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. We must crucify our old self, and we do not
die to crucify our old self until we have been buried in the
watery grave of baptism.
May God bless you today!