MAKING BAPTISM UNNECESSARY FOR FORGIVENESS
INTRO: I recall reading the outline of a sermon called What God Hath Joined Together. You would think it was a sermon on the subject of marriage. However, the writer/preach3r used the text from Mt 19:6 to show how God had joined certain things and that it was not permissible for anyone to rend those things apart. Among the things he noted was Gods joining of baptism and the remission of sins. While the denominational world has long said baptism is not joined to remission of sins, there are now those in the Lords church preaching this. I am concerned, because eternal destiny of souls is at stake.
I. HOW BAPTISM IS BEING COMPROMISED?
A. By declaring that salvation is by grace alone
1. there is no doubt that salvation is by grace
2. Eph 2:8 (note that alone is missing
3. salvation is possible only by Gods initiative and the efficacy of Jesus blood
4. I have no merit sufficient to claim anything (simply to thy cross I cling)
5. but salvation by grace and salvation by grace alone are tow very different things! (Calvin)
B. By declaring that salvation is by faith alone
1. there is no doubt that salvation is by faith
2. Rom 5:1 with Rom 10:9 (note that alone is missing)
3. salvation is possible only through ones faith in God and the power of redeeming blood of Jesus
4. salvation without faith is as impossible as life without blood
5. but salvation by faith and salvation by faith alone are two very different things! (Luther)
C. By declaring that man has no part in his salvation
1. let me ask you to read Mk 16:16 or Rom 10:10, etc.
2. saying that man has no part is the declaration of the absolute predestination/sovereign grace of John Calvin ... but it is far from Biblical truth
3. not John 6:29 man most certainly has a part
4. his part may be described in Acts 6:7b - Rom 1:5 - Rom 16:26 - 2 Thes 1:8
5. such a declaration can only be made by rejecting the scripture of truth!
II. WHY ARE SUCH DECLARATIONS BEING MADE?
A. I can only suggest from implications...
1. perhaps they think Gods love will overlook - 1 Jno 5:3
2. perhaps they feel truth offends - Acts 7:54
3. perhaps they want broad acceptance - Gal 1:10
4. perhaps they believe this will cause their congregations to grow - Gal 1:6-8
5. perhaps they are just ignorant of truth - Acts 17:30
6. perhaps they believe Biblical teaching about baptism excludes people from salvation and they dont want to suggest such a thing - Gal 3:27 ... fact: baptism does set apart the in Christ people from the out of Christ people ... but that is Gods truth
B. We must teach Gods truth (in love) to save souls
1. what the New Testament says about baptism is clear and unmistakable
2. if truth makes any difference, I cannot but teach that truth
3. certainly, salvation is by grace; it is by faith ... but neither fact removes baptism from scripture - so, 1 Pet 3:21
4. yes, I am concerned about the souls of people and anything which can compromise the Bibles teaching about the role of baptism in our salvation
CLOSE: Times, they are a changing. Ive heard that all my life. But Gods truth is not and will not change.
Cecil A. Hutson
30 January 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)