Romans 6:3-4 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The doctrine of salvation in the Word of God is clear – Jesus saves. Plus nothing. Minus nothing. You cannot add to the perfect work of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection; though many religions often do. Some say, “Yes, trust Jesus. But, if you do not have the ‘gift’, you are not saved.
Others will add any number of works (baptism) to saving faith to prove to them you are saved. I call them Fruit Inpsectors. If you are saved, then, a transformation took place. Your spirit is no longer dead in trepasses and sin. It has been made alive through Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Romans chapter 6 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It speaks of our life after placing our faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is an outward sign of that very transformation that took place – but it is more than that.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:”
Buried… into what? Death? What died? Baptism is a physical representation of the committment of the believer to say ‘Goodbye’ to the old life and to the flesh. It is a witness to a body of believers that “I am not ashamed of Who it is I have trusted” and by immersing myself into the waters of baptism, I signify that I am a new creature in Jesus Christ.
“that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
That newness has been misconstrued, misinterpreted and has mislead others into thinking there is some act; some ‘work’ they must do to be saved. I am alive today as a believer in Jesus Christ because of the faith I placed in Him. He saved me – it was not by any work on my part.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:4-7 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
If Jesus; the pure, perfect Lamb of God could not finish the work of salvation and needed man to add his contribution, wouldn’t my very touch taint His perfect sacrifice? What arrogance to think I could add to such holiness. What prideful, self-exalting, pompous behavior!
Not only is baptism a show of my departure from my old life, but it is also an act of obedience to the One who saved me.
Mark 16:15 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
It is here that many say that even Jesus Himself proclaimed that it is baptism that saves, yet, they misinterpret the scriptures. Logic tells us that IF salvation is truly by baptism and not completing that final work needed that one would be damned… right? Christ meant what He said and said what He meant.
“he that believeth not shall be damned.”
It is belief alone. Otherwise, other parts of scripture would be null and void.
John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
My dear reader, I am strong in this truth because God is zealous over what it is He provided for our salvation! There are no words or work that you or I could ever add to what the pure, perfect, Son of God did on the cross.
Saving Baptism is only true in this regard. The life that you and I will live after we trust Jesus Christ as Savior is what becomes salvaged. Submission and obedience to the act of baptism is a line of demarkation. For me, it was a renouncing of my religious beliefs and acceptance of Biblical salvation.
I left my denominational religion because they did not teach the truth about salvation. Their very history included the persecution of Bible believers. That part of me had to die because I would be living a lie to stay.
Throughout history, there have been those who, because they chose to be baptized, lost their lives. The Dark Ages and the Crusades are filled with the blood of believers who publicly declared they faith and because of it, were burned at the stake, beheaded, and martyred in some cruel fashion.
Today in Muslim countries, if you publicly declare Christianity, you are marked for death as a heathen and a heretic and publicly executed if caught.
Something happens to a person when they stand for truth. There is a resolve; a confidence that rises. Courage becomes action and however God chooses to use it, will be glorious. Some have stood knowing that it meant running from those who would seek their life. They stood knowing that it would put their whole family in jeopardy.
In my country of America, we cast God out of our public schools decades ago. Since that time, we have raised generations of children without the knowledge of God. There are those who seek to erase any of our godly heritage that built our nation and made it strong. That very decision is coming to fruition in the immorality, corruption and violence we see today.
It is high time that we, who are saved, stand boldly for the truth. Baptism is the first step of obedience and submission to God’s way above our own. I shall never regret taking that step. It truly saved my life.