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April 8, 2001 AM

Acts 22:12-16

INTRO: Last Lords day morning we took the entire lesson time to lay the Biblical groundwork for this mornings thoughts. The problem is sin; Gods desire that none should perish; the role of scripture; the necessity of obedient faith, the necessity of real repentance which turns a person away from His self-will to Gods will were all part of those introductory thoughts. This morning, then, we are going to examine the why of New Testament baptism ... especially in view of the fact that so many do not see it as essential to salvation.


A. In order for your sins to be remitted

1. remember, without Gods redemption you are dead

2. Acts 2:37,38 repent + baptize = remission

3. as essential as repentance is, is baptism!

4. the idea that baptism is a symbol of remission already granted at the point one believes would have God remitting the sins of impenitent people!

5. so, if you desire remission of sins, you must be baptized

B. In order for your sins to be washed away

1. Acts 22:16

2. we note, too, Rev 1:5b ... washed us ... in His own blood

3. the washing away of sins is possibly only because of the cleansing power of Jesus blood

4. to effect this cleansing, God chose baptism as the place at which the cleansing agent is applied

5. so, if you desire to have your sins washed away, you must be baptized

C. In order to be alive again

1. Col 2:12,13

2. I mentioned last Lords day the need for belief that God could/would do as promised ... faith of the operation of God

3. v.13 is a beautiful commentary on v.12"

4. dead in sins; buried in baptism; made alive again with Jesus; raised with Him ... forgiven of all trespasses

5. if you desire to have no fear of the second death, you must be baptized (ie, partake of the first resurrection)

D. In order to receive benefits of Jesus death

1. Rom 6:3-6

2. we hear so much about the cross of Jesus - and should

3. but the question this passage answers is one most are not asking - where, how do I gain the benefits of His sacrifice

4. clearly, baptism is into His death - in uniting with His death the sacrifice becomes ours ... and we are raised to walk in newness of life

5. if you desire the benefits of the cross, you must be baptized

E. In order to be in Christ

1. Gal 3:26,27

2. most would agree we cannot be saved out of Christ!

3. this text clearly places baptism as point of entry

4. consider: if we are not in Christ, we are still in the world ... question of how one enters should be so important to you

5. if you desire to be in Christ, you must be baptized

F. In order to be saved

1. 1 Pet 3:21 with Mk 16:16

2. does baptism have anything to do with eternal salvation? if scripture means what it says, if words have meaning, then, the answer is, absolutely, yes

3. as necessary as faith and repentance are, so is baptism

4. if you desire to be saved, you must be baptized

CLOSE: Acts 8:35-37 with Rom 10:10b. Just prior to this mans baptism, the preacher sought a critical piece of information - did he believe? Upon hearing his confession of belief, the preacher baptized the man. Do you need to confess your faith and be baptized in to Christ today?

Cecil A. Hutson

08 April 2001

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)