INTRO: There is a wide sentiment in the religious world which says essentially, If you are sincere, you are o.k. While I do not question the necessity of sincerity, I do believe that this philosophy of religion has no Biblical basis. This philosophy of religion promotes ignorance of the word of God while deceiving one into a confidence without any foundation. Please note Romans 10:1,2. Having fervent zeal, thorough sincerity without knowledge of the word has no eternal benefits.
I. INSTRUCTION FROM THE WORD OF GOD
A. The problem of sin
1.Rom 5:12 declared dead because of sin
2. Rom 3:23 sin - at some point in a persons life - enters his life ... and he is dead
3. Ezek 28:15 explains that innocence is lost when sin enters our lives ... but our human journey began in innocence
4. Eph 2:1 dead in sins ... this is a problem
B. The desire of God
1. 2 Pet 3:9 He desires the eternal death on none
2. so, Jno 3:16 He chose to provide for our redemption, our salvation
3. Titus 2:11,12 the grace of God makes known both the provision and the how of this salvation!
C. The place of Gods word, scripture, gospel
1. 2 Tim 1:8,9 with 2 Tim 3:15
2. Rom 10:13-17
3. God chose to use the gospel, the scriptures, words to reveal everything we need to know, must know in order to be acceptable, pleasing to Him
D. We know that faith is a must to please Him
1. faith in God (Heb 11:6) - faith in Jesus (Jno 8:24)
2. we know that this faith is knowledge based ... in the word of God (according to Rom 10:17)
3. we often hear saved by faith alone - is that Biblical? or is it sincerity without knowledge?
4. compare Rom 4:1-3 with Jas 2:21-23
a. not by works of the law of Moses
b. but note how James joins faith with trusting obedience at v.21 (from Gen 22:15-18) ...note, too, Heb 11:17-19
c. Acts 6:7 and Rom 1:5 obedient faith
d. faith which saves is clearly faith which obeys the will of God trusting that he will do exactly what He has promised (so, Abraham)
e. and this entire idea will come into play as we consider baptism
E. We also know that repentance is absolutely essential
1. go back to 1 Pet 3:9 ... what part does the repentance play in Gods desire?
2. Acts 17:30 commandeth ... not suggests!
3. repentance says a person is sorrowful toward God because of his sins ... and that he resolves to change!
4. note Ezek 18:30,31 ... clearly, we are instructed to make life changing decisions in repentance
II. WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH OUR SUBJECT?
1. without all that we have said today baptism makes very little sense
2. indeed, could there even be baptism?
B. So, when I say, You must be baptized ...
1. I say it assuming each of the points mentioned
2. so, for example, Mk 16:15,16 - Acts 2:37,38
CLOSE: Now, next Lords day we will come to the subject of baptism and why it is a must.
Cecil A. Hutson
01 April 2001
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)