The Necessity of Baptism
By John Isaac Edwards
Many have been made to believe that baptism is not essential to salvation. Let’s look to the Bible to find out whether or not baptism is really necessary.
1) Baptism Saves. The Lord taught, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16). Notice the two “he’s.” Who is the “he” that shall be saved? “He that believeth and is baptized…” The Lord put salvation after baptism; not before. The word “and” couples baptized with believeth, making baptism equally necessary as faith. Peter declared, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…” (1 Pet. 3:21).
2) Baptism Is For the Remission of Sins. Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38). The remission of sins is the pardon or forgiveness of sins. Whatever repentance is for, baptism is for the same thing. Jesus shed His blood “…for the remission of sins” (Mt. 26:28). Baptism is as necessary for the remission of sins as the blood of Jesus.
3) Baptism Is Included in Every Case of New Testament Conversion. On Pentecost, “…they that gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41). In Samaria, “…they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12). Simon “…was baptized…” (Acts 8:13). Philip and the eunuch “…went down both into the water…and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38). Saul “…arose,
and was baptized” (Acts 9:18). Peter “…commanded them [the Gentiles] to be baptized…” (Acts 10:48). Lydia “…was baptized…” (Acts 16:15). The jailor “…was baptized…” (Acts 16:33). This took place “…at midnight…” by the way (Acts 16:25). “…many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). The Ephesians “…were baptized…” (Acts 19:5). If baptism is not necessary for salvation, why were all these baptized?
4) Baptism Is a Must. The Lord told Saul, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). Whatever Saul was told to do was not optional, but essential. What was Saul told to do? “…arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). This teaching shows the necessity of baptism.
5) Baptism Is Commanded. In the case of the Gentiles, it is recorded of Peter, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). When one says baptism is not necessary to salvation, he is really saying we can be saved without obedience. Baptism is an act of obedience required by the Lord to be saved (Heb. 5:9).
6) Baptism Washes Away Sins. Ananias said unto Saul, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins...” (Acts 22:16). Is it necessary for one to have his sins washed away? If so, then baptism is a necessity!
7) Baptism Is Involved in Calling on the Name of the Lord. It was promised, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21). A reading of Romans 10:13-17 reveals that calling on the name of the Lord involves hearing, believing, and obeying the gospel. Now go back to Ananias’ statement to Saul in Acts 22:16: “...arise, and be baptized...calling on the name of the Lord.” Can one be saved without calling on the name of the Lord? If not, then one must be baptized to be saved!
8) Baptism Puts One into the Death of Christ. The blood of Christ which has sin-remitting (Mt. 26:28), redeeming (Eph. 1:7), justifying (Rom. 5:9), nigh-making (Eph. 2:13), peace-making (Col. 1:20), conscience-purging (Heb.9:14), sanctifying (Heb. 10:29) and sin-washing power (Rev. 1:5) was shed in the death of Christ (Jn. 19:33-34). Thus, one must reach the death of Christ to come into contact with His blood. This is accomplished in baptism. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom. 6:3). Romans 6:17-18 shows the Romans were “...made free from sin...” when they “...obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”
9) Baptism Puts One into the One Body. There is one body (Eph. 4:4), which is the church (Col. 1:24). The one body is the circle of the called (Col. 3:15), the realm of the reconciled (Eph. 2:16), and the sphere of the saved (Eph. 5:23). Just how does one enter the one body? 1Corinthians 12:13 says, “...baptized into one body....”
10) Baptism Puts One into Christ. There are many advantages of being in Christ. This is where redemption (Rom. 3:24), all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3), salvation (2 Tim. 2:10), and the hope and promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 1 Jn. 2:25) are all found. Now the question is, “How does one get into Christ so all these advantages and benefits can be his?” The Bible says, “...baptized into Christ...” (Gal. 3:27).
Surely you can see from this simple study that Bible baptism is a necessity. – The Terre Haute Speaker, June 29, 2014.
The Cure For Indifference
By Donnie V. Rader
What can a church do when there are members who are indifferent? What can those who are indifferent do to overcome their problem? Let’s consider the Bible answer:
1. Preach and warn. Paul wrote, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). This verse mentions a goal and how it is to be accomplished.
The goal: “. . . that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” The one who is perfect is mature; not indifferent. How it is to be accomplished: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man . . .”
Preaching is God’s remedy. It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). We do not need gimmicks, fancy buildings, social programs, entertainment or activities for the whole family to interest those who are indifferent. We just need to preach and warn! Jesus said to the lukewarm church at Laodicea, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Rev. 3:19). Soft soap preaching won’t do it.
2. Repent. Churches that had a problem with indifference were told to repent. Ephesus was told, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works . . .” (Rev. 2:5). Laodicea was told, “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Repentance involves a change of mind. It is prompted by godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) and results in a change of life (Rom. 6). All of this is found in the letter to the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:5). (a) Godly sorrow: “remember therefore from where you have fallen,” (b) A change of mind: “repent,” (c) A change of life: “and do the first works.” If you recognize the signs of indifference in your life, you need to repent!
3. Study. Faith is based upon the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The more we study, the stronger our faith becomes (2 Thess. 1:3). The stronger our faith is, the more indifference fades. Study involves more than a casual or quick reading of a chapter or few verses. It consists of reading the text, meditating upon it, learning what it means, and seeing how it applies.
4. Be a doer of the word. It is not enough to learn what the Bible says, we must be doers of the word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:21-25). We must activate what faith we have (Jas. 2). One who is indifferent obviously has a weak faith. However, if he will use what faith he has, it will grow. It is like exercising a weak muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. The more we exercise our faith, the easier it is to continue in the practice.
Indifference, by its very nature, is a hard problem to battle. However, it can be overcome. – Truth Magazine, August 19, 1999.