Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

07/01/2018 A.M.

 

The Place Of Water Baptism In Our Salvation

1 Peter 3.18-22  1 Corinthians 10.1-4   Galatians 3.26-27  

Romans 6.1-4   Isaiah 1.16-18

 

After our class Wednesday Evening on the history of baptism... Several asked if we would use some of the material this morning... So we’re gonna do that.

 

We’re going to notice four things...

• The controversial nature of baptism.

 

• How God has used water for... Saving... Delivering... Cleansing... and Healing...in Scripture.

 

• Where God has placed water baptism in... His scheme... His plan... of mankind’s Salvation...

 

• We’ll hear a warning from Scripture and from History.

 

• Then be given an opportunity to respond to God’s invitation and challenge.

 

Water baptism is one of the most misunderstood… Most controversial… issues in the religious world today.

 

Virtually every religious group claiming to follow Jesus Christ… Believes in… And practices some form of baptism.

 

But there’s widespread misunderstanding and disagreement on the subject... For instance…

 

• The Jews of John’s day didn’t totally understand his baptism.

 

• Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again of water and of spirit... Nicodemus didn’t understand.

 

• In Acts chapter nineteen there exists a misunderstanding over the difference between the baptism of John the Baptist and New Testament baptism in the name of Jesus.

 

• History tells us that not long after the close of the New Testament… People misunderstood who was a proper candidate for New Testament Baptism.

 

We find clinical or illness baptism… And infant baptism becoming popular…. And is still practiced today.

 

These people understood…And rightly so… That baptism was an essential element of their salvation… That it was necessary for a right relationship with God.

 

They didn’t want their loved ones dying without being baptized… So when they became terminally ill… They made arrangements for their baptism.

 

Later they begin baptizing their babies thinking it would guarantee their salvation.

 

• In their Preface... The King James translators acknowledged the fact that they didn’t translate the Greek word baptizo to immerse… Because of its controversial nature…  Because of the  ongoing controversy between... washing… sprinkling… and immersion.

 

But you see… It’s possible to settle controversial religious issues.

 

Just let the Bible speak... Not your favorite preacher... Certainly not this preacher.  We must listen only to the word of God to settle religious issues.  We must not try to rewrite the Bible to suit…

Our church traditions and doctrines…

• Or our own personal preferences and convictions.

 

So…This morning… What does the Bible say about baptism?

ABOUT Where God has placed Water BAPTISM in our salvation?

 

First… Let’s note how God has used water in both the Old & New Testament.

 

Noah and his family were saved by water.

When we think of Noah… We think of his salvation being from water... Not...By water. We usually think of the ark as being the agent of their salvation. You see… We’ve supposed something to be true for so long that we have accepted it as truth.

 

Listen to Peter as He says that water baptism was an instrument in their salvation… Christ died for sins once for all… The righteous for the unrighteous… To bring us to God. He was put to death in the body… But made alive by the Spirit… Through whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people… Eight in all… were saved through water… Our King James and NASV says… SAVED BY WATER.

 

The Bible says that the water of the flood was the instrument which delivered Noah and his family from sin and corruption… And gave them a new life in a new world.

 

The Children of Israel were delivered from Egyptian bondage by water.

Paul speaks of this in First Corinthians ten… He says Israel was delivered by water baptism…For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact… Brothers… That our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

Here God placed water between bondage and deliverance.

 

Naaman was cleansed by water.

This narrative is from Second Kings chapter five... Elisha told Naaman to go dip himself in the Jordan seven times and he would be cleansed of his leprosy.

 

It is interesting to note that in the Septuagint... The Greek translation of the Old Testament scripture… Started before Jesus came... The word translated dip is baptizo.

You see… God placed water between this man’s leprosy and his cleansing.

 

Jesus healed a blind man by the use of water.

John chapter nine… records Jesus spitting on the ground… Anointing a blind man’s eyes with this dirt and spittle… Telling him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.

 

The significant thing is that when he washed in the water he was healed...

• You see... Jesus could have healed him by just speaking the word… As he did Bartimaeus…

• Or by just touching the eyes as He did two blind men in Matthew chapter nine.

But this time He placed water between this man’s blindness and his seeing.

 

Notice now where God has placed water baptism in our salvation.

Yes… God could have saved us some other way… If He had chosen to do so.

But he didn’t... He chose water baptism to be an essential

part of our salvation. For instance...

 

He has placed baptism between being In Christ and being Out of Christ.

There are at least thirty-four New Testament references to being IN CHRIST.

 

In fact… We are told that all spiritual blessing are... IN CHRIST...

• Ephesians 1.7 says… In Christ… We have redemption and forgiveness of sins through His blood.

• Romans 8.1… There is now… No condemnation to those who are in Christ.

• 2 Corinthians 5.17 says… If any man be in Christ… He is a new creature…

• 1 John 5.11 reads… God has given us eternal life… And this life is in his Son.

• 2 Timothy 2.10 tells us… Salvation is in Christ Jesus.

 

We all want to be IN CHRIST?... Because…

• This is where all spiritual blessings are to be found…

• There’s redemption….

forgiveness….

No condemnation…

• In Christ... We become new creatures….

Eternal life is in Him…

Our salvation is in Jesus.

Who would not want to be in Christ?

 

Listen to these two verses which tell us how to get INTO CHRIST.

 

First…Romans 6.3… Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

 

When does the Bible say we obtain the blessing made possible for us by the death of God’s Son on the cross?... In water baptism.... As many as have been baptized into Christ… Have been baptized into His death.

• Baptism is the time when the sinner receives the benefits of the cross.

• Baptism is the means God chose by which we have access to the death of Jesus.

• Baptism is the way God chose to appropriate the blood of Jesus to cover our sins.

According to Romans 8.4... Baptism is a reenactment of the... Death... Burial... and Resurrection of Jesus... It’s where we bury the old man of sin... Where we are raised to walk a new life.

 

Our second scripture is Galatians 3.26-27… You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ… Have been clothed with Christ.

      • How do we put on Christ?

• How do we get into Christ?

• How are we clothed with Christ?

Paul says…In the act of New Testament baptism.

• Verse 26 tells us how we are saved... By faith…

 

It’s always been this way… Salvation is by faith… Abraham was saved by faith and we are said to be Abraham’s children, descendants, when we have a faith that follows God wherever He leads.

 

The Hebrews’ Writer tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

• Then verse 27 tells us when we are saved... In the act of Baptism.

 

Here...God has placed water baptism between our being IN CHRIST and out of Christ.

 

If these Scriptures are true... And we must believe they are...

• Before baptism… God sees us as we are… Sinners… Lost… Undone… Unforgiving.

• After baptism… He sees… Not our sins… But the righteousness of His Son.

Because we’ve been clothed with Christ... God see His righteousness instead of our sins... That’s what forgiveness is about... God not seeing our sins!

 

Secondly…God has placed baptism between guilt and forgiveness.

In Acts 2.38… Peter told his Pentecostian audience… Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus... WHY?... What for?... Two things...

• the remission of sins…

• And the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

This passage teaches baptism stands between sin and forgiveness... But this is not the only one... Acts 22.16 is another.

 

Here...Ananias tells Saul… Arise… Be baptized… And...  Wash away your sins.

Paul had seen the Lord on the Damascus Road…

• He believed…

• He confessed Jesus…

• He spent three days in remorseful repentance and prayer… But NOTE THAT HE STILL HAD HIS SIN… Arise… And be baptized… And wash away your sins.

 

If his sins had been forgiven… Back on the road… At his instance of his…believing and confession… Then there would have been no need for this command.

 

You see… If we take these two Scriptures at face value… They tell us that God has placed baptism between guilt and forgiveness.

 

Baptism stands between… Being DEAD IN SIN and being ALIVE IN CHRIST.

Listen carefully to Colossians 2.12-13… In BAPTISM… We were buried with Him and raised with Him through our faith in the power of God… Who raised Him from the dead. When we were dead in our sins God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.

• When were we made alive in Christ?

• When did He forgive us all our sins?

Paul says… It was in the act of New Testament baptism.

Roman six tells us... In baptism... We are buried with Christ... And raised to a new life.

 

Jesus places baptism between our... being saved… And being lost.

In Mark 16.16 Jesus says… He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Baptism is placed before salvation in this passage.

On Pentecost… Peter told his audience that faith and repentance must precede baptism.

 

A proper candidate for baptism is one who believes in Jesus… And is willing to repent…change His life… Making Jesus both His Savior and Lord.

 

God Has placed baptism between being IN THE BODY and being OUT OF THE BODY…

Paul writes… For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.

If we are baptized into the body… Then it stands to reason that we are not in that body before baptism.. Right?... But we are in that body after baptism.

 

So what is the body?...

 

Ephesians 1.22 & 23… Along with Colossians 1.18 & 24 plainly tell us that the body is the church... Of which Christ is both the Head and the Savior.

So the question becomes... Is anyone in...

• The body…

• The church…

• The Kingdom of God…

• The family of God…

• The household of God… Until he is baptized into that Body?

 

Jesus told Nicodemus… Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit… He cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

 

In Acts 2.41-47… Luke says… Those accepting the message were baptized and the Lord ADDED to their number… To the church… To the body… Those being saved.

 

Baptism stands between an individual being IN or OUT of the body of Christ… The Kingdom of God… The Church… The body of the saved… God’s household… His family.

 

Now... Allow me to give us a warning...

 

We must be careful lest we think that JUST the ceremony of baptism will save us.

Sometimes in our zeal to baptize folk... We’ve placed such an emphasis on baptism... To the point that we leave the impression that baptism alone saves us... It does Not.

 

Baptism is only meant for those...

• Who believe in God...

• Have professed a faith in Jesus...

• Have acknowledged an intent to change the way they live life daily... Biblical repentance.

 

Genuine Bible conversion is not just being immersed in water... Biblical conversion must include a change of heart.

 

If a simple baptismal ceremony could save...

• We could stop the cars on the interstate...

• Pull folks out of their cars...

• Immerse them in water… And they would be saved... would that work?... NO!

This way we could baptize babies... And dying people… Whether they wanted it or not.

 

Let me give you two examples of

conversion versus just…  a ceremony... A ritual…

One from the Old Testament and one from Jewish History.

 

The first is from Isaiah chapter one...

Verse 18 has God saying... Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 

But before that verse... God is heard saying... Wash and make yourselves clean... Take your evil deeds out of My sight... Stop doing wrong... Learn to do right... Seek justice... Defend the oppressed... Take up the cause of the widows.

 

You see… Before we seek God’s forgiveness… In Baptism... In Ritual… We must decide to live differently... Repent... Stop doing wrong... Learn to do right... Change our life... Especially in how we treat others.

 

The companion verse in the New Testament is James 4.8-9... Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.

 

Scripture teaches that Sins are not forgiven in ceremony & Ritual alone... But rather in genuine conversion... Amen?

 

The second example is from the Jewish Essene Community who practiced a form of baptism.  We find these words written in their Manual of Discipline... Found among the Dead Sea Scrolls... "No one is to go into the water in order to attain the purity of holiness. For men cannot be purified except they repent OF their evil. A man who persists in walking in the stubbornness of his heart is not to be admitted to the community of God's truth. For he cannot be cleared by mere ceremonies of atonement, nor cleansed by any waters of baptism."

 

These two examples tell us that… A ceremony… A rite… A religious ritual… Without any heart involvement is useless to save.

 

It was Jesus who said… Our worship is to be in spirit and in truth…. With heart and truth.

 

No…There is nothing in the water that saves… That takes away our sins.

Salvation is not in the water… But is in our obedience to God.

Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God.

Baptism is doing what God asks us to do without questioning why.

 

Question... Have you been baptized... Immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit?

 

Don’t say NO to God this morning…

 

Surrender to God’s conversion formula... Be clothed with Christ... Raised to walk in a new life by… Faith… Repentance… Confession… and New Testament Baptism…Immersion in water for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Let God add you to… The church… The Kingdom… His family… To the body of the saved…As we sing this invitation song.

 

 

I want to do something a little different this morning.

• If you have questions on baptism…

• If you are thinking about being baptized… But feel you need more information...

• Perhaps you’re questioning your previous baptism for some reason…

Come talk about it this afternoon… I’ll be here at the building from 2:30 until 5:30...And we’ll do whatever it takes to guarantee your IN CHRIST relationship with God.