Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Essentials I - Baptism

Baptism for remission of sins by immersion is required for salvation.

For me, this one is a "no-brainer" and right at the top of the list. The New Testament is full of references to baptisms and tells us that we must be baptized to be saved. There is no getting around it and no getting into heaven without it. (Please, spare me the wild, extreme "what if's" that seem to come after a statement such as this).

Let's start with Mark 16:16
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not
believe will be condemned."
After Peter preached to the multitude at Pentecost in Acts 2, Acts 2:37-39 tells us that the people there asked "what shall we do?" and the answer was clear "Repent and be baptized". Paul went on to say that this was for "...you and your children and for all who are far off..." telling US that this commandment was for us.

Some might use the passage about Paul and Silas in prison in Acts to prove otherwise. Acts 16:29-34 asks the question "what must I do to be saved?" Paul says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved", but what happens next? "...then immediately he and all his family were baptized..." Paul took them at that "late hour" and baptized them, they were baptized as part of their step toward salvation.

Enough said here, this is really basic. God requires us to be baptized, to die to our old self and come up new.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The disagreement between 'dippers' and 'sprinklers' is reminiscent of the Pharisee's of Jesus' time. Being more interested in the form of the law, than in its meaning, they claimed spiritual superiority over everyone else, maintaining that their method was the only one acceptable. Any reader of the Bible knows what Jesus said about them and their actions. The important thing about baptism is, 'what it is symbolic of, not if it is done by immersion in water or sprinkling with water.'

"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18