Our text in leads us to our first question:
I. How does Baptism save us?
Here we can clearly see that God has not made this difficult. Therefore, we must wonder why there is so much confusion over the eroneous interjection of the concept of “Baptismal Regeneration”.
The parenthetical part of the verse clearly states, that baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh, but provides a clear conscience before God.
So we see that there is something more connected to “saved”, than the simple act of being baptized !
Also, there is something more to “saved” than commonly thought!
Salvation, among evangelicals, is normally thought of as a one time thing. A point in time when one believed but somehow does not relate to the present!
This form of thinking, though prevelent in our church culture today, is quite foreign to the New Testament!
It proceeds from an ignorance of good Biblical Hermenuetics .
Reading on in our text, we immediately understand that the salvation is associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Putting it all together, we come to the understanding that, the antitype (baptism, the right or ordinance practiced in the church) is a complete picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The acknowledgment of this understanding and faith in it, is what brings salvation which is the presence of a new life in Christ, not mere freedom from condemnation.
The commital of oneself to this practice or ordinance, is the first step in living out this new life, thus the understanding of a “clear conscience toward God”.
We now come to the second question:
II. Why is this important?
Some may say, “if I’ve already trusted Christ for my salvation, why then do I need to do anything more?”
We immediately find a fault in this thinking. One that has crept into the church over time, and quite possibly derived by satanic influences.
You might be surprised by my statement, but I will not apologize for it!
I have grappled with this for many years, and have never quite understood why it is that so many so called Christians struggle with the simplest of spiritual exercises, such as attending church regularly, or reading their Bibles, or praying. Not to mention the absence of any fruit in their life!
What’s wrong with this picture?
Have never quite understood why it is that so many so called Christians struggle so much with the simplest of
We have failed to make true disciples of Christ, and have made “converts”!
And it’s here in this term “convert” that we have cheaponed the gospel, and the true meaning of salvation, because in making a convert, we try only to move a person from one place lost to a different place saved!
And, it’s usually accomplished by giving the individual some pre-determined Bible verses, while making an emotional plea for a decision to believe in Jesus, or pray a prayer to the acknowledgment thereof!
Do me a favor! Find an example of this in the Bible!
You won’t, because it does not exist.
The 3000 on the day of Pentacost were not led in a prayer. They were told to repent (turn from this present evil world to God) because they were convicted that Jesus was who He said He was, and that they had Crucified Him!
The Philipian Jailor was convicted by the non-sensical act of Paul , Silas and all the prisoners , who did not run away when their shackes had fallen off, and he saw in this act the very proof of what they had been singing and speaking about. He was already convicted when he asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?”
But, we know better today, and have thus derived better ways of bringing in the sheaves so to speak. We lead people in the sinners prayer, tell them they are now going to Heaven, but then wonder why they later have no real desire for the things of God!
A. Baptism Demonstrates Committment.
The very word “Baptize”, means to submerge.
The word “baptism” is a completely N.T. word which had no understanding amongst the heathen nations. We find it being used in a completely new way, for the purpose of identifying the participatory act of being submerged in Christ, that is, in His Death, Burial, and Resurrection!
I believe we have someone who is being baptized today who was previously baptized, because they desire to demonstrate their new life in Jesus. This is not the first time this has happened, and probably won’t be the last.
And this is the real meaning behind the ordinace of Baptism, that we are showing everyone, and thereby committing ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Not just committing to being baptized, but committing to a life of following Jesus and allowing Him to be Lord over us.
A life of discipleship!
B. Baptism Frees the Soul.
Because it is the first step, it frees us to do the next things.
You see, baptism reflects a new life in Jesus, that separates itself willingly from the old life and the old ways.
Not presipitated by a prayer, but a desire to live my life in the reign of the Godhead.
I respond to the grace of God extended to me, willingly following Jesus as my example of what I should be and how to live.
This is a conscious decision on my part that justifies me before God by faith, so that i can walk or conduct my life in and by that faith!
Jesus said, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ()
But free for what?
To be free to do my own thing?
To live my life without any accountability to God?
To continue living in sin?
To have no desire to change anything in my life or give up the things of the world?
But to be free to live my life for Jesus!
To put to death sin!
To be accountable to God in all things!
To be in the world butnot of the world!
Are you truly born again?
Are you living out the abundant life in Christ and putting to death the deeds of the body?
Are you convinced that jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life?
Well, I guess we shall see!