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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baptism, Shmaptism?!?!?!

So many people today are stuck in the believing stage in their Christian walk that is very scary.  I had a conversation with a man about six months ago.  Where in, he told me he was saved.  We began to discuss salvation, what it takes to receive salvation, and what we are saved from.  At the end of our discussion the man said that all sounds great, but where I attend services we believe that Jn 3:16 says all we need to do is believe and will not perish.  I asked him how what he considered baptism to be used for.  He said, "That is only something you do do join the church, and show yourself obedient."  I asked what you receive at your baptism.  He replied, "Nothing really, well I guess you receve entrance into the church."  We discussed things for a while and debated back and forth.  It was very interesting.  As I taught my family this morning in Rev 20:11-15 this conversation was brought back into my thoughts.  I would like to quickly show what he Word of God says we receive at our baptism.

Acts 2:38  First, we receive the remission of sins.  We can not find in scripture where it is said that belief removes sin.  Jesus himself said it is his blood that does that.  Mt 26:28  Saul of Tarsus, who is the Apostle Paul, believed beyond a doubt he was righteous in his actions.  That was not enough for him to have his sin removed.  He personally encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus where he was blind and fasted for three days.  Acts 9:1-9  When Ananias got to Saul he baptized him.  Acts 9:18  The question is raised why was he baptized? Paul gives a little more detail about his baptism as he retells the story of his conversation to a Jerusalem mob.  In Acts 22:16 he says he was baptized to wash away his sins.  A personal encounter with Jesus, three days of fasting, three days of prayer wasn't enough to remove sin.  The removal of his sin happened at his baptism.
    Acts 2:38 also says we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This doesn't happen if we believe, repent, and confess Jesus to be deity.  We only receive the Holy Spirit at our baptism.  
     Rom 6:3,4 tells us through our baptism we are "in Christ."  Gal 3:27 echoes tghe same though.  Vs 4 lets us know we are a new creature and now walk in the "newness of life."  We do not get "into Christ" and born again as a new creature with mere belief.  That only happens at our baptism.  Jn 3:5

     Rev 20:15; 21:27  We are adopted into God's family and our name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

    Acts 2:47 KJV  Lastly, for this purpose, we are added to the Lord's Church.  We do not join a denomination with our baptism.  Denominations is exactly what Jesus prayed against the night before he laid his life down on the cross for us.  Jn 17:20,21
    I fell it must also be noted that these scriptures are not referencing different baptisms.  There is not a baptism to join a denomination, a baptism for remission of sins, and a baptism to eternal glory.  Eph 4:4,5 says there is only one baptism.  That is the baptism into Christ, immersed into a watery grave, and risen into a new life in the likeness of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

     It is plain to see that we receive many things at our baptism.  Those who have not been immersed for the remission of sins, to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and be "in Christ" have not had their names in the Lamb's Book of Life.  They are not a member of the Lord's Church, although they may be a nice person.  I urge you never think of the Blood of our savior as a "common thing" like many denominations to today. Heb 10:29

Have a red letter day,