As a child, I heard many sermons on the subject of baptism. As a matter of fact, I am sure I never attended any service where nothing was mentioned about it. When we had a gospel meeting, the speaker would always present at least one lesson about baptism, and the gospel invitation was always given.
I also remember many people being baptized into Christ as a result of that kind of preaching. We were not ashamed of baptism although, at that time, we were still being called “water-dogs” and “works-oriented.” I guess we were content to stand with the apostle Paul who said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Rom. 1:16.
I also remember having many discussions on the subject with my denominational friends. Often they made the “faith-only” and “grace only” arguments in an effort to pull baptism from God’s plan to save man. Do you remember the “thief on the cross” argument? What about the “What if they die on the way to the baptistry” argument? These still come up every so often.
It is obvious to me that we must reaffirm baptism! Not only as we evangelize the world but also among our own brethren. I have dealt with several brethren who will not say categorically, “One must be baptized in order to be saved.”
I never thought I would see the day! However, sadly, it is here. What has happened? How could it be that members of the Lord’s church could have drifted this far from the truth? Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Gal. 1:6, 7.
I am also mindful of what the Hebrews writer penned: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” Heb. 5:12.
The scriptures are plain and to the point. Baptism is a necessity! Baptism saves! One who hears and believes the word of God (Heb. 11:6) and is willing to repent of past sins (Luke 13:3), confess the precious name of Jesus (Rom. 10:9, 10), and be immersed, will have remission of sins. (Acts 2:38).
I thank God for the revelation of what man must do to be saved – including baptism. What a fitting way to reenact the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord (Rom 6:3-5). Then it can truly be said, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves to sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered, and having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Rom. 6:17, 18. –1120 Yauger Rd., Mount Vernon, OH 43050. (740) 392-4438.
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