Baptism

Freedom from sin – before or after?

Read Exodus 14:9-31 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.

Now, when did Egypt lose their power over Israel? Before or after Israel was baptized into Moses?

When did Israel find their freedom from bondage? Before or after they were baptized into Moses?

How did Israel end up receiving their God-given freedom from slavery? By faith before being baptized into Moses, or by faith after being baptized into Moses?

Now think about those answers and exchange Egypt with Satan, Israel with your name and Moses with Jesus, then read Romans 6:1-18 and answer the same questions to figure out if freedom from sin comes before or after being baptized into Jesus. EA

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

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Washed or Wet?

When it comes to water baptism, intentions make a difference between getting washed and getting wet:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” (Matthew 3:7-9)

When it comes to water baptism, purpose makes a difference between getting washed and getting wet:

And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then 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.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:1-5)

When it comes to water baptism, the origin of the act makes a difference between getting washed and getting wet:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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,” (Matthew 28:18-19)

When it comes to water baptism, the result makes a difference between getting washed and getting wet:

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

You can be sprinkled over, poured on and even immersed – but there’s still a difference between getting washed and getting wet in the water baptism that we read about in the New Testament of the Bible. EA

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’” (Acts 22:16)

Did The Water Earn It For Them?

Read Exodus 14. Now, did the use of water earn the children of Israel their freedom from Egyptian slavery?

Read Exodus 30:17-21. Now, did the use of water earn the priests the right to serve within the Tabernacle?

Read 2 Kings 5:1-14. Now, did the use of water earn Naaman his cleansing from leprosy?

Read Acts 22:1-16. Now, if the grace of God could use water to free the children of Israel from their bondage, and the grace of God could use water to sanctify the Levites, and the grace of God could use water to cleanse Naaman from his impurities, then what makes a person today think that the use of water earns anything from God when it comes to his or her salvation? EA 

Now 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?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38)

Learn From the Thief – But Learn from the Rest of God’s Word Too!

Many times when the forgiveness of sins is discussed there are some who eventually use the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) as example of what people should do to be saved today. I am glad that the conversation of Jesus and the thief is recorded because it reveals the willingness and desire that Jesus had then, and still has today, to extend His mercy to the lost. But it saddens me when one tries to teach that “all a person has to do be saved” is believe like the thief did. This is simply not true. Let me quickly explain why with the scriptures:

First – the thief lived under a different covenant than we do today:

For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” (Hebrews 9:16-17)

Second – the thief did not have to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead like we do today:

[T]hat 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Third – the thief was not saved by faith alone; he reviled Jesus at first but then he repented:

Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.” (Matthew 27:41-44)

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”” (Luke 23:39-41)

Lastly – the thief found forgiveness because Jesus had the power to speak sins away while living on the Earth (Mark 2:10); Jesus gave the command for baptism for the remission of sins after the thief was dead:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

If a person wants to learn about salvation today, they can learn about God’s willingness to forgive from the thief, but they must also learn from the rest of God’s word too. EA

Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18:8)

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Is It Just A Coincidence?

Before ascending into Heaven, Jesus told His apostles that the person who believes in the gospel and is baptized will find salvation (Mark 16:16) – is it just a coincidence that baptism is placed before salvation?

After preaching Jesus as the crucified, buried and risen Savior, Peter told a crowd waiting anxiously to repent of their sins and submit to baptism under the authority of Jesus to find the mercy from God they desperately wanted (Acts 2:37-41) – is it just a coincidence that baptism is placed before salvation?

During a trip to Damascus, Saul (better known as Paul) witnessed with his own scale covered eyes the validity of the gospel, and was told after three days of praying and fasting to get up and get under the water to wash away his sins (Acts 22:6-16) – is it just a coincidence that baptism is placed before salvation?

How many times does a person have to read about something before they start believing that it is more than a coincidence and actually the will of God?  EA

Click here to watch a video about the truth about baptism.

Which Comes First???

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind.” (Genesis 1:21)

The “age-old” question, “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” that so many in the world quibble about is easy to answer when one reads what God’s word says about it. So what does it say? Right there in Genesis 1:21 you have it. First the bird, then the baby.

Another question that so many in the religious world quibble about is, “Which comes first? Baptism or salvation?” The answer to this question can be found just as easy as the answer to the previous question if we would only let God’s word give us the answer.

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

So what does God’s word say about it? Right there in Mark 16:16 you have it. First baptism, then salvation.

Now, why do so many in the religious world trust God’s word when it comes to Genesis 1:21, but they can’t trust it when it comes to Mark 16:16? It’s something to think about. EA

AND MEANS AND

Do you know what the word “and” means? From the elementary levels in school, kids are taught that the word “and” fulfills the role of a conjunction in a sentence. That means that the simple definition of “and” is, “along with; in addition too.

An example on how to use the word “and” would be: Go to the store and get a gallon of milk. When we want to tell someone to do two or more things in one sentence then we use the word “and.” I know all of that sounds like a “duh” statement, but I have a reason for speaking so plainly and simply, so please stick with me as I continue to explain.

Now, to be honest, English was really my least favorite subject in school, but I do remember some of the lessons that I was taught and the importance and meaning of “and” is one of them. Maybe one of the reasons I still remember it so well is because as a child I learned what the word “and” meant even before I started school. If my parents told me to do something by using the using the word “and,” then I knew whatever they were saying had better be done whether it was before or after the “and” was spoken.

It seems as if everyone completely understands what “and” means when it comes to everyday life. When someone gives us directions to a location we pay attention to every “and.” For example, if someone tells us to go straight and turn right at the second red light, then we look for the second red light so we can turn right. If you are cooking and the cookbook says to add one egg and a cup of flour, we don’t just add the egg; we add the egg and flour. Why? Because the cookbook said so when it used the word “and,” right?

You see, no person with a simple understanding of the English language will argue about what “and” means – that is until we start talking about what the Bible says about becoming a Christian. If the Bible uses the word “and,” why don’t we look at it the same way that we do any other time?

See if you can agree with the word “and” in all these scriptures. They are in order:

John 4:24; Romans 1:16; 1st John 1:8 “and” Mark 16:16.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

For 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.”

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Now here’s my whole reason for what I said in such plain language earlier. Does a person have to worship God in spirit and in truth? Can the gospel save Jews and Gentiles? If a person denies their sin, is the truth in them? Look at the verses and answer the questions. They are easy to answer because of the word “and.” Now, can a person be saved without being baptized? I guess it depends on what your definition of “and” is. Think about it. EA