You’re saved by FAITH alone by accepting JESUS in your heart. BAPTISM is just an outward sign for an inward change and is not necessary for salvation. I live a good moral life so that’s all need to do for God to accept me. The people in the church are just a bunch of hypocrites. I’m ten times more holy than they are. All you have to do to join our church is to have this in common, that JESUS is the son of GOD and whatever else you want to believe is ok. Statements like these are very common today and they make me sad because it tells me that people today are more interested in what makes them comfortable instead of obeying Gods word. If you read the bible and study it you will find that the plan of salvation is very simple, but today by twisting Gods word and lack of study this once simple plan has became a very confusing one. I intend to show you beyond a reasonable doubt what this simple plan is. I hope that you read this with an open mind and not with your own preconceived ideas. People live in a box, which is their comfort zone. If you get outside of their box, even if it is correct, they become defensive. So, please don’t let your box blind you to the truth. I ask that you make sure what I am saying in true, by opening up your bible and looking at the material that I cover on this topic.
THE SIMPLE STEPS TO SALVATION
HEAR: You have to hear Gods plan of salvation.
FAITH: (BELIEF) After you have heard the word then you have to believe that is true. Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
REPENT: Acts 17: 30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: We have to repent of our past sins and turn away from our old way of thinking by living our lives for Christ.
CONFESS: Romans 10 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. You have to confess that Jesus is Lord.
BAPTISM: Acts 2: 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Mark 16 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Here we have baptism, the final step of entering into salvation. When we are lowered down into the water we are being buried with Christ. When we come up out of the water, it is by our Faith that we know, that like Jesus was raised from the dead, we also have been raised from the dead (our old way of life), made a new creature washing away our past sins and God remembering them no more. We have to live our life for Christ and stay away from those things that are not Christ like.
This is the simple plan of salvation in order to become a child of God and be in a SAVED condition. It doesn’t stop here. There is one last Step in order to stay in a SAVED condition and that is: Revelation 210Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
We have to be faithful until death. We have to live our lives for God by obeying his word and always putting him first. Of course we will fall short of his glory from time to time, but we need to try to keep our minds on the goal of pleasing God, by keeping his word. This was just an brief outline of the simple plan of salvation. Now we will break these down and study them in detail.
HEARING THE WORD:
Obviously, this one is the first step in salvation. Without hearing Gods word, how could you possible know what God expects from you? The apostles spoke the word of God on Pentecost in Act 2 and the people there gladly received the word. When we hear the word we should also gladly receive it. I don’t know of any greater hope than what you will hear from Gods word. John 831Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” If you turn away from Gods word you will be eternally lost. Matthew 721“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. All of God’s word is inspired by him. 2 Timothy 3 16All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
What is FAITH? Hebrews 111Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What should we have FAITH in?
(God) Hebrews 116But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Jesus) John 8 24“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
(The word of God) Mark 1 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
We have salvation through FAITH. Ephesians 2 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. If you look at this verse is basically saying that Grace is God’s part and Faith is mans part. When it says “not of yourselves it is the gift of god not of works”, it is referring to Grace. Without grace we cannot have salvation. We have to have faith to be saved also. John 3 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Ok, here is where a lot of people stop. You can take verses like these and take them out of the bible to prove just about anything. Yes you do have to have to have FAITH in order to obtain salvation and to keep your salvation, but there is more to FAITH than just believing. Obedience is produced through FAITH. Romans1 5Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, If you have FAITH in God and love him. You will then obey his word with obedience. So this means that you will repent, confess, be baptized and live faithfully till the end of your life. All of these work together to produce salvation, one by itself will not. Let me give you an example. A man who has fallen into the river screams for help. A man on the bank runs with a rope and throws it to the man in the river. He catches hold and is pulled to safety. What saved him? Was it his scream? Was it the rope? Was it the man on the bank? Did he save himself? Or was it all of these working together? We will cover the remaining steps of salvation in more detail later.
Today, when we get instructions on how to assemble a product we have purchased. We might look at the instructions and follow part of them and then try and figure out how to assemble it by ourselves. You get it completely assembled and you have this one part left over and realize that you will have to tear the whole thing back down to put it in its proper place. This is what we do with Gods word today. We read parts of it here and there but do not follow all the instructions. We should look at the whole counsel of God. Acts 20 27“For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Some believed but they would not confess Christ (Jn. 12: 42). Were they saved? According to Jesus' teaching, those who believed but would not confess him were not saved (Matt. 10: 32, 33).(See also Romans 10:9-10 ) Hence, there is more to saving faith than just believing in the reality of God.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
James wrote, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (Jas. 2: 19, 20). James calls the man vain who believes faith only saves. Beloved, a good, sound rule is when faith is mentioned in the climate of salvation, faith is always active, obedient, and comprehensive (see Heb. 11: 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 20, 24, 27, 28, 29). Paul wrote that faith that avails is faith that "works by love" (Gal. 5: 6). Is this to say man earns his salvation? The answer is an emphatic, no! (Tit. 3: 5.). However, Jesus became the "author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5: 9). God gives us food, but we must work for it. God gave Joshua the city of Jericho, but he was still commanded to march around the walls for seven days. (Josh. 6:2, 4). Likewise salvation is the free gift of God, but man must comply with the conditions.
What is repentance? Change of mind that results in a change of life. Who should repent? (All) Acts 17 30“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. Why should you repent? (If you don’t you will perish.) Luke 13 3“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
When you have heard the good news about Christ and how he died on the cross for our sins. We learn that we have forgiveness of sin through his blood and the hope of eternal life. When you believe this to be true, you have produced Faith within yourself. You now must repent of your old way of life, putting away those things you did that were contrary to Gods word. So, when you repent, you no longer do those things that you use to do. Instead you strive to do only what is pleasing to God.
You must also Confess Christ to be saved. Romans 10 9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I’m going to spend a great deal of time on this final step of salvation. I do not think that Baptism is any more important than the other steps. However, Baptism seems to be the step that people want to leave out. They claim that it’s just an outward sign for an inward change and isn’t part of salvation. Baptism is a part of salvation and it is the final step to enter into a saved condition. After you enter into this saved condition you have to live a life of righteousness till the day you die to stay in this saved condition. Let us begin on our study of Baptism.
BAPTISM ESTABLISHED AT THE FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY
Lets go back to the very beginning of when the church was first being established. In Acts 2 The Apostles were in Jerusalem when the received the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in different languages. The crowds were astonished to hear them preaching the good news to them in their own language. They tell them in Acts2 36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; They had faith that Christ was Lord but then they wanted to know what they should do. Peter tells them “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” Here we have the purpose for baptism, its for the remission of sins. Now lets see what happened to those that gladly received the good news. Acts 2 41Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Here you have a great example as the first foundation of the church is being established. What did these very first Christians do, they were baptized. What happened after they were baptized, about 3000 souls were added to them. When a subject in the bible is talked about many times, it does not have to say everything that goes with that subject because it is understood by other passages that it belongs with it. You can know everything that belongs to a subject by studying the whole word of God. Like the verse we are looking at now. It does not say that they confessed Christ, but we know that they did based on the verses you have seen on my topic of Confessing. Again, if you take verses here and there out of the bible you can prove just about anything. That’s why we must study all of Gods word.
There is a great example in the bible that shows how people can seem to be very Godly people, but they base everything on how it make them feel or what they are used to doing. They do not study the bible nor heed its message. They just do whatever makes them feel good, because they think if they are emotionally stirred up by whatever it is they are doing, then it has to be right. Then, they teach and practice this false doctrine they have dreamed up.
Romans 101Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
I hope that you can see from this verse how important it is to study and to gain knowledge of God’s word. So, don’t listen to a person’s ideas that might stir up your emotions leading you astray from the truth found in the bible. Always prove all things by God’s word, that man may tell you, because God’s word rightly divides the truth from fiction. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 1 Thessalonians 5 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Acts 812But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Here we have Philip preaching the good news to the city of Samaria. Again, we have both men and women being baptized. Here is our second account of the gospel being preached and the people being baptized. If baptism isn’t part of salvation why on earth are these people being baptized?
Acts 8 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Just a little further down in the chapter we have Philip preaching the good news to a eunuch. It seems very apparent that Philip told him the same thing that Peter said in Act 2:38. He had to repent and be baptized for the remission of his sins. That’s why eunuch says. “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” He wanted to be baptized because he knew that it was a necessary step of salvation. This was just preached to him and he wanted make sure there wasn’t anything else to prevent him from being baptized into Christ. This passage also teaches us that baptism is being dipped in the water and not sprinkling. They went down into the water. Baptism is symbolic of being buried with Christ. When you are buried you are fully covered. Please notice the urgency of the eunuch, he did not wait till some day in the future to be baptized. No, they were going down the road and he saw some water and he wanted to be baptized right then and there. If Baptism isn’t part of salvation, then why was the eunuch in such a hurry to be baptized and wanting to make sure there wasn’t anything hindering him from being baptized.
Acts 1047“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Peter preached the good news to the house of Cornelius, which were gentiles. This was the first time the gentiles had the gospel preached to them. The Jews had been the chosen people before, but under the new covenant put into effect by Jesus blood, all are equal in the site of God when it comes to salvation. Cornelius family had received the gift of the Holy Ghost so that it would be known that God counted them equal with the Jew and that they are heirs of eternal salvation. What does Peter ask, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” The answer would be no, because God poured his Spirit out the Gentiles to show that they could be saved through baptism also. Then what happens? Peter an apostle, who has authority, commands them to be baptized in the name of the lord. Here we have baptism as being a commandment, set forth by an apostle, an ambassador of Christ. Again, if baptism is’nt part of salvation then why would Peter command it?
Acts 16 14Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Here we have another conversion. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. The things he spoke was the good news of Christ and what she had to do to become a Christian. It was the same message spoken to those who first believed. What did she do after her and household heard this message? They were baptized.
Acts 1630And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Paul and Silas had been put into prison for casting out a demon from a slave girl that her owner had made money by her fortune telling. The jailer was keeping watch over them, but fell asleep. When he woke up saw all the cell doors open and thought that the prisoners had escaped. He was going to kill himself, but Paul cried out to him, telling him they were still there. Then the jailer asked them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Just for fun lets take this verse out of context and use it to prove a false point. We could say see all you have to do is have one person in your household believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and the whole household will be saved. See how easy it is to take one verse, pluck it out, and make it mean something it doesn’t. All we have to do, is go to the next verse. 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. You see there statement was true. If he or his household will believe the good news of Christ, they can be saved. In verse 32 they tell the jailers whole household the good news and how to become a Christian. Again, it does not have to state every step of salvation every time it is mentioned. In this account we are told that they heard the word and were immediately baptized. We know since Baptism is the final step to becoming a Christian,(which washes away our sins) that they also believed, repented and confessed even though it does not directly say it.
Acts 194Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Here Paul is in Ephesus and he comes upon some disciples that had only been baptized by John the Baptist. John’s Baptism was temporary and was only for repentance. Being Baptized into Christ however, means the final step of obtaining salvation. These disciples understood this after Paul talked to them and they immediately were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t wait for a set time or date to be baptized. They knew how important it was and were baptized immediately.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Those who have heard the word (Rom. 10:17), received the word (Acts 2:41), believed in Christ (Mark 16:15-16), convicted of their sin (Acts 2:37), willing to confess Christ (Rom. 10:9-10) and willing to repent (Acts 2:38). This rules out infants, because they cannot believe, confess or repent. They have nothing to repent of. Young children would also fall under this, because they lack understanding and it would be impossible for a young child to truly understand the plan of salvation. There is no set age of a person that would be considered the age of accountability. Children mental mature at different ages, having the ability to discern right from wrong. They will know when they are ready to obey the gospel. They will understand, that they are sinners and be pricked in their heart and they will repent. They will understand, that when they are baptized, they will crucify their old body, become a new creature and live their lives for Christ. Infants and young children that have not reached the age of accountability are in a saved condition, due to their purity of innocence. Luke 1814But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” This verse shows that young children are pure of heart. We have to be like them in order to enter into heaven. Therefore, they are in a saved condition until they reach the age of accountability.
Acts 22: 6“Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.  7“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8“So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10“So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11“And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12“Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13“came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14“Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15‘For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16‘And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
This section of scripture had several different messages. First, Paul was doing everything in his power to kill Christians and anything that was associated with Christianity. This passage shows us that it doesn’t matter how bad a person you have been, God will forgive you and give you eternal salvation, if you turn to him and seek righteousness. The Lord had great plans for Paul. After the Lord came upon Paul as a great light and spoke to him, telling him, that he was Jesus, who he had been persecuting. Paul at this point realized that what he had been doing was wrong, because the Lord appeared to him and spoke to him. He now knows that Jesus is Lord. So now he ask the question. ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ So Paul was lead to Damascus, because he was blinded from the light. Then Ananias puts his hands on him and heals him of his blindness, then tells Paul what he is to do. 14“Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15‘For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. What does Paul do next? He is baptized (Acts 9:18) Again, we see the urgency of baptism in verse 16, and we see what the purpose of baptism is (wash away your sins).
Some try to twist these verses, saying that Paul was saved before he was baptized because Ananias calls him brother, before he was baptized. First of all, it was customary for Jews to address one another as brother. Secondly, Paul addressed the Jewish leaders in Rome as men and brethren, and they were not Christians. They thought that the teaching of Jesus was just some sect of the time. They wanted Paul to tell them about this sect. (Acts 28:17-23) Thirdly, he was not a brother in Christ, because his sins had not been washed away through baptism.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Romans 61What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Lets take a look at this very clear and detailed description of what Baptism is. When you are baptized, you are baptized into his death. You are buried with him in Baptism. The word Baptism means to immerse or submerge. This rules out sprinkling for 3 reasons. First, sprinkling cannot immerse you. Second, if you are buried with him in his death, this alone should tell you that sprinkling is not a burial. Whenever you die, you are buried being fully covered with dirt. They don’t sprinkle some dirt on you, leaving you uncovered. Thirdly, you cannot be raised up from this death, if you are sprinkled with water. Just like the text says, “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” When we are baptized, we are united into Christ death. We are crucifying our old way of life that it may be done away with. We are emulating the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus when we are baptized. When we are raised from the water we know by our faith in God that our sins have been washed away. We are no longer a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness. If you would, please read the verses above again. These verses plainly teach what Baptism is and that it is the final step of salvation. Their should be no doubt in your mind after reading these verses that baptism is one of the steps of salvation.
Galatians 3 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
This is just another example what Baptism is. When you are baptized you are clothed with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12 12For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
The church of Corinth had many problems and was having problems with division. The purpose of this scripture was to teach them unity. Notice that is says there is suppose to be one body. We know from other scriptures that Jesus is the head of the church and that the church is his body. Now, notice that it says, by one spirit we were ALL baptized into one body. When you are baptized you are baptized INTO the body, which is Christ and the church. So, this means that you become a member of the body though Baptism.
Ephesians 44There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Here we have yet another verse talking about unity. Notice baptism is part of this verse. Therefore it must be important that there is only one type of baptism and that is being baptized into Christ by immersion in water.
PAUL NOT SENT TO BAPTIZE
1 Corinthians 1:10Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
Here we have another favorite verse that people like to pluck out and make it teach something that it doesn’t. The verse I’m referring to is 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. They say, “See, Paul wasn’t sent to Baptize, therefore Baptism is not part of salvation”. They leave out verses 1-16 so they can try and prove their point. Yes, Paul primary function was to preach the gospel, but this does not prove that Baptism is not part of salvation. He had baptized some, but there were other Christians that could take care of baptizing, while he focused on preaching Gods word, that he had received by direct revelation from God. Paul also states in verse 14, that he was glad that he had not baptized any of them except for a few. There is a very good reason for this statement. Again, the Corinth church had a lot of problems with division and some were saying they were of Paul or Apollos. He tells them, that Christ was crucified for them, not anybody else. I think one of the biggest problems were people saw Paul and others performing miracles and signs when they preached Gods word, which was to prove that what they were teaching was from God. Some of the people would start thinking of Paul as a God, instead of understanding that he was just a man.That the Holy Spirit was the one confirming the word through these miracles and signs. If he had been the one baptizing them, some of them would have no doubt thought they were being baptized into him instead of Christ.
THE THIEF ON THE CROSS
Let’s examine the thief on the cross. He was forgiven his sins and Jesus tells him he will be in paradise with him. He wasn’t baptized therefore baptism isn’t necessary. I have heard this statement before. First of all, the bible doesn’t state weather this thief had been baptized or not before he was crucified. It is possible either way. Second, Christ had not died yet. His covenant did not come into effect until he died. While he was still alive no one could be baptized into his death. When Jesus did die, the curtain that separated man from God was torn from top to bottom. Third, Jesus had the authority to forgive sins on earth. Mark 210“But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” Therefore, whether this thief was baptized or not, Jesus had the authority to forgive him of his sins and tell him that he would be in paradise with him.
BAPTISM NOT A WORK OF MAN
Colossians 2 11In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses
If you take the view that baptism is a work of man, this verse shows that it is not. Everywhere you see baptism mentioned, a Christian always administers it. Now I ask you to look at this verse closely. It talks about how you are buried with Christ into his death, when you are raised out of the water, it is not by the man that is baptizing you, it is through faith in the working of God. If you do not have faith and are baptized, then all that you have done is gotten wet. When you come up out of that watery grave of baptism, you died to your old way of life and became a new creature. You now live your life for Christ. When you are baptized, the man dipping you under is not baptizing you in his name. He is baptizing you in the name of Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. When you are being raised up from the water, it is through faith in the working God. The water itself is not magic, its your obedience through faith in the working of God that you know that your sins have been washed away. You have been born again to walk life anew.
Lets take a look at how people were saved or healed by water
through obedience of faith.
First, we have Noah and his family. They had faith in God and they obeyed him. They built an ark and gathered two of every kind of animal and were saved from the wicked people around them by water. 1 Peter 320who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
Second, we have Moses leading the people out of Egypt. They make it to the Red Sea. Moses parts the Red Sea and the Israelites follow Moses through this Sea with water up on both sides of them. Then, they are saved from Pharaohs army by water. Exodus 14 28Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.30So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. This was also a form of Baptism. 1 Corinthians 101Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
Third, we have Naahma, which has leprosy. He is told what he can do to be rid of his leprosy. He is told to dip 7 times in the Jordan River. He was hesitant at first, but through his obedience through faith, he did it. He was healed of his leprosy after he dipped himself the 7th time. If he had only dipped 6 times he would still have is leprosy.
2 Kings 5 14Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Fourth, we have Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. Even though Jesus had nothing to repent for he did out of obedience, so that all things would be fulfilled. When he did this Gods spirit descended on him and God Spoke saying “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 19It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
In all of these examples, the water itself wasn’t magic. It was the obedience through faith that made these things happen. It is this same obedience through faith that makes our baptism in water save us by washing away our sins.
1 Peter 3 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Here we have yet another very clear statement that Baptism saves us. How much clearer can it be said? Here Peter talks about the days of Noah and how there were 8 souls saved through water. Now he states that there is an antitype (like, representative, counterpart) that saves us, and that is Baptism. Now he explains that baptism is not removal of dirt from the body but that you are being buried with Christ and you can now have a clear conscience toward God. When you come up out of the water, your past sins have been washed away, because you have died to your old way of life. You have been raised a new creature to live for Christ. Since you have been obedient through your faith, you now have a good conscience toward God, because your sins have been washed away and you will live your life for Christ.
JESUS COMMANDS BAPTISM
Matthew 28:19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
Here we have Jesus commanding the apostles to make disciples of all the nations. How? Teaching them about Christ and the plan of salvation. What is the final step of salvation? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So now we have Baptism commanded twice, once by Jesus and once by Peter. Again, if Baptism is commanded, we have to do it in order to be saved.
JESUS TALKS ABOUT BAPTISM
Jhon 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
First Jesus is explaining Nicodemus what born again means. The water, Jesus is talking about here is baptism and you can’t enter into the kingdom of God without it. I would say that Baptism is very important if you can’t enter the kingdom of God without it, wouldn’t you.
OTHER WAYS TO BE SAVED
I want to show you how you can be saved multiple ways by plucking verses out of the bible. Just take each one of these verses and a say, see I can be saved this way, I don’t care what you say, the bible says I’m saved this way. Unfortunately this is exactly what people do to God’s word. They don’t apply all of what it says about salvation, they just pick and choose what makes them comfortable.
The word saves you.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Grace saves you
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Hope saves you.
Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Belief saves you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Belief and confession saves you.
Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Baptism saves you.
1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
If you don’t use all of God’s word, you can base your whole salvation on one of these verses. We have to do ALL those things that save us. You have to have Grace, the word, faith (belief), Repent of your sins, Confess Jesus as Lord, Baptism (washing away your sins) and be faithful until you die. There is only one way to the father and that’s through Jesus. John 13:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
FINAL REMARKS ON BAPTISM.
Surely, if you have studied all these passages on Baptism, you should now know that Baptism is part of Salvation and the point at which we enter into a saved condition. You can look at the plan of salvation as standard contract that many of us have signed today. First the legal contract is written up with the rules and regulations that must be followed. Once you carefully read over the contract and agree with it you then sign it to make it binding. If you never sign the contract it doesn’t matter what you do because the contract is not binding until you sign it. Then after you have signed it you still have to follow the rules of the contract or it can become broken. In the same manner you have to examine Gods word and agree to it, which produces faith. You then repent of your sins and confess Christ as Lord. These are all things you have done before the contract has been signed. You have to have all these steps in place, but until you sign the contract it is null and void. Baptism is the signature and the point at which the contract is binding. Baptism is the point when you die with Christ and your sins are washed away. When you are raised up out of the water, you are a new creature and your past sins have been forgiven and forgotten by God. You have to keep this contract binding by living a life of righteousness by obeying God’s word. Fortunately, our contract with God is drawn up by grace. We are going to fall short of the contract from time to time because all have sinned. After we have stumbled, all we have to do is repent and turn back to God. He will honor our contract once again. I hope that this has been helpful in someway and made you realize the importance of Baptism. Thank God for his Grace, because if we didn’t have it we could never be saved. So we need hear the word, believe that Jesus died for or sins and was raised from the dead on the third day and that we have eternal salvation thorough him. We have to repent of our past sins and confess Jesus is Lord. Then we have to be baptized into his death washing away our sins.
REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE END
The Last thing that you have to do is live a life of righteousness by obeying God’s Word. You have to study God’s word to know what it is you have to do. You become a slave of righteousness instead of a slave of sin.
In Romans 6:16-18 tells us that we are slaves of sin or of righteousness. If we claim to be a Christian, then we are slaves of righteousness and God is our Master. If you were a Master and you had a slave would you expect them to do nothing? Absolutely not, you would expect them to due their duty. If they didn’t you would warn them of their punishment and if they still didn’t do their duty you would punish them severely or get rid of them. Your faith and actions are required to stay in a saved condition or you can fall from grace. Galatians 5: 4You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Here is example that Christ gave about the Master slave relationship.
Luke 17: 7“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8“But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9“Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
We have to share God’s word with other people.(Luke 8:16-18) We all have to plant seeds and hope that they grow. (Luke 8:11-15). Yes, everybody can’t plant seeds. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to go out and preach to someone. There are different ways of planting seeds. You can plant a seed by being kind to people and conducting yourself as a Christian. I know of a lady that is confined to a wheelchair. The only way she can move around is by blowing on this device that makes her chair go one way or the other. You might say how could this woman possible plant a seed. She plants her seed by her faithfulness. She never misses a church service. This shows people how important God is to her. See, even she can plant a seed. If we love God we will keep his commandments.
Luke 6:46“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? 47“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49“But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
We have to be doers of the word. This means we have to have faith and actions in order to keep eternal life. I tell you this to make you as safe as possible according to God’s word, because you will be judged by your works.
Revelation 20: 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Here are ten different things a faithful Christian does.
1. Studies God’s word II Tim.2:15
2. Follows God’s instructions Matt 7:21
3. Not forsaking the assembling of the saints Heb. 10:24-25
4. Prays frequently/fervently Col. 4:2
5. Represents Christ Phil. 2:15
6. Loves righteousness Matt. 5:6
7. Opposes evil and error Eph.5:11
8. Controls his tongue James 3
9. Cares for the lost Rom. 10:1
10. Remain steadfast – faithful 1 Cor.15:58
There are many things that you must do as Christian. It isn’t an easy path, but if you keep pressing on to the goal to the end, you will have eternal life and be able to enter heaven. Oh, what a wonderful hope this is. This has just been a brief outline of what you can do to live a faithful life. In fact, I have just barely scratched the surface. You will have to study your bible to see all that is required of being a Christian because it is beyond the scope of this study of entering into salvation. Thank you for considering God’s word.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.