Why? We’ve already seen this. 6:3–4, Col. 2:11–12). A common illustration that demonstrates the purpose of baptism is the wearing of a wedding ring – “ with this ring, I thee wed ”. This is the baptism which replaces that of the fountain, when it has not been received” (ibid., 16). “As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . We are saved by grace through faith alone, but saving faith is never alone. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized” (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; see CCC 1260–1, 1283). It encourages us to see the transforming power of the gospel. Important as baptism is, many people are confused about it. It was a dilemma, because if she married the man, she would be entering into marriage with an unbeliever, which is forbidden. Additionally, in Acts, Peter was preaching the gospel, people got saved, and then they were baptized. But, why was water baptism necessary in Israel’s program? “‘I have heard, sir,’ said I [to the Shepherd], ‘from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’” (The Shepherd 4:3:1–2 [A.D. 80]). A woman in my church in California wanted to be baptized, but she was living with a man out of wedlock. Her faith in Christ led her to make the difficult decision to obey Christ rather than to live in sin. The important thing to know is that just because a person is baptized as a baby doesn't mean that person is going to heaven. . presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. The idea of an unbaptized believer is foreign to the New Testament. If there is genuine spiritual life, there will be evidence of it. So yes, Andrew, all people need to be baptized because all people need to be saved. . C. H. Spurgeon put it (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, [Pilgrim Publications] 23:225), “But if you have a faith which never touches your heart, a faith which never causes you to rejoice or mourn, a faith which neither makes you hate sin nor love the Lord Jesus, I charge you shake off your faith as Paul shook the viper from his hand, for it is a deadly faith…. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament [Mark 16:16]” (CCC 1257). “Do not be surprised that I call martyrdom a baptism, for here too the Spirit comes in great haste and there is the taking away of sins and a wonderful and marvelous cleansing of the soul, and just as those being baptized are washed in water, so too those being martyred are washed in their own blood” (Panegyric on St. Lucian 2 [A.D. 387]). Frankly, that’s a bit surprising, because Jesus did not emphasize baptism during His earthly ministry. I’ve read through your post and about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Important and Benefits of this, The gift of Tongues as being part of the Baptism and it’s Importances too, Tithing and giving etc. Noah illustrates how we are saved. But you may wonder, “How long should it take for faith to result in obedience? A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). There will be a new hatred of sin and a desire to please the Lord in everything. 10:32-33), “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. Support with Scripture. In response to the question from the crowd, “What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; …” (For a more thorough treatment of these verses, see my sermon, “How to Receive God’s Forgiveness,” [11/12/2000].) For Christ also said, ‘Except you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:3]” (First Apology 61 [A.D. 151]). . . You believe that He paid the penalty which you deserve. What Scriptures would you use? What factors might warrant holding off after conversion on baptism for a time? If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul downplay it and even exclude it from the description of what is required for salvation? What does the Bible say to the church, and to the individual Christian, about the role of politics in the church? He adds, “It’s amazing how many people who proclaim Christ and confess Christ, have never been properly baptized.”, I confess that when you search for my sermons by topic on our church web site, only one on baptism pops up: “Why We Do Not Baptize Infants” (from Sept. 8, 1996). The only exception is the martyrs, who even without water will receive the kingdom. But the text says that those in the jailer’s household heard Paul speak the word of the Lord (which implies that they were old enough to understand it), and that not only the jailer, but also his whole household, believed the gospel. The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism. Rather, they are baptized with the most glorious and greatest baptism of blood, concerning which the Lord said that he had another baptism with which he himself was to be baptized [Luke 12:50]” (ibid., 72[73]:22). But because my normal method is to work through books of the Bible verse by verse, I have not preached any messages dealing exclusively with baptism, except for the one mentioned. It is because baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. If we die in our sins, we will spend eternity separated from God, paying the just penalty for our sins in conscious torment in hell. Let’s begin just before the Book of Acts with the Great Commission, which Jesus gave just before His ascension. 4. Certainly, because he sought it, he received it” (Sympathy at the Death of Valentinian [A.D. 392]). Note that it is impossible to obey the Great Commission and neglect baptism. permission to publish this work is hereby granted. Or is baptism a proper act of obedience after one is saved? The real issue is, has God changed their heart? 15:3-4), “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Or, as he gives his own testimony (1 Tim. I could have gotten married without a ring, or I could wear a ring, but not be married. If the person has no desire to obey God, his faith was not genuine saving faith. It pictures that you are totally identified with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. That’s the note that must be struck first. It’s not the water that effects our justification or union with Christ. Why is baptism important? Some Protestants like to use 1 Corinthians 1:17 to claim that this teaching contradicts the Bible. the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal. The necessity of baptism is an issue that has been debated for centuries. While verse 37 [in brackets] is missing from the earliest Greek manuscripts, its insertion in later manuscripts shows what the church held to be the necessary qualification for baptism. “It is not possible to receive forgiveness of sins without baptism” (Exhortation to the Martyrs 30 [A.D. 235]). She asked me what she should do. John 1:12 tells us what is necessary to become a Christian. Did he, then, not have the grace which he desired? 1 Peter 3:21 -- Baptism Saves Us. Q. But if she left him, she would be breaking up what in effect was a family, removing her daughter from her father. It tells the Lord that you love Him and are willing to obey Him. 3:27–28]” (Letters 15:10[11] [A.D. 445]). I can go back to Him again and He will welcome me, because I belong to Him.”. . Being fully human, His death could atone for human sins. 6:3-6) and that He has washed you from your sins (Acts 22:16). I believe in it wholeheartedly. When Paul told them about Jesus, their response was (19:5), “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”. But the man would not agree to this. With all of the false professions of being born again in our culture, perhaps it is advisable to make sure that a person really understands what it means to be saved. There are exceptions to water baptism: It is possible to be saved through “baptism of blood” (martyrdom for Christ) or through “baptism of desire” (that is, an explicit or even implicit desire for baptism). She did and then I baptized her. Since the earliest days, baptism has been consistently practiced by Christians to confirm their faith and … “I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. He lived a perfectly righteous life, so that He had no sin of His own to atone for. Let's take a look at how infant baptism began and why it's important for adults to take the symbolic step of baptism. It is the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a … “But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God.” The word “believe” in that verse is … They think that being baptized insures that the child will go to heaven. But you can look back to your baptism and say, “I knew then the reality of Christ. The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism. For our purposes, the point is that Paul’s instruction included Jesus’ command to be baptized, which they obeyed. . You really trust the pilot and the plane only when you get on board. The apostles were following the pattern that the Lord gave them in the Great Commission: make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe all that He commanded them. The water is a picture of the cleansing, but the faith in the heart, the call on the Lord from faith, is what unites us and forgives us. James 2:26 puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” If someone claims to have believed in Christ, but there is no change in his heart so that he wants to obey Christ, he needs to go back and examine his heart, to see if he is truly saved. What prevents me from being baptized?” [And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.”. Then I’ll tie everything together in outline form. Should baptism by immersion be a requirement for church membership? So they assure them that they are now eternally secure in Christ. . “It would tend to the ruin of our souls if, from our refusal of the saving font of baptism to those who seek it, any of them should depart this life and lose the kingdom and eternal life” (Letter to Himerius 3 [A.D. 385]). So why do modern churches teach that it's not important or necessary? 1:15), “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” The point is, Christ didn’t die to help us have better self-esteem! Note Acts 2:38, the conclusion of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost. It is the outward confession of the inward reality of saving faith. In fact, water baptism first appears in the so-called “Old Testament” Scriptures. . “And because of the transgression of the first man, the whole stock of the human race was tainted; no one can be set free from the state of the old Adam save through Christ’s sacrament of baptism, in which there are no distinctions between the reborn, as the apostle [Paul] says, ‘For as many of you as were baptized in Christ did put on Christ; there is neither Jew nor Greek . . Your love for Christ may grow cold. The Church must never neglect the duty to proclaim the Gospel, and … He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More. Baptism is important! It is our contention that baptism is an important step of obedience for a Christian, but we adamantly reject baptism as being required for salvation. Jesus made it very clear here that one needs first, however, to believe and be baptized. He too had just now this desire, and after he came into Italy it was begun, and a short time ago he signified that he wished to be baptized by me. Very simply, baptism is an outward testimony of the inward change in a believer’s life. Has He raised them from spiritual death to spiritual life through the power of the Holy Spirit? So I thought it would be warranted, in light of the baptism today, to speak on, “Why Baptism Matters.” The main idea that I want you to understand is that…. As the following passages from the works of the Church Fathers illustrate, Christians have always believed in the normative necessity of water baptism, while also acknowledging the legitimacy of baptism by desire or blood. Q. James 2:26puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” If someone claims to have believed in Christ, but there is no change in his heart so that he wants to obey Christ, he needs to go back and examine his heart, to see if he is truly saved. Baptism matters in your relationship to God. But are they? . The most important question from today’s message is, “Have you truly repented of your sins and trusted in Christ alone to save you from God’s judgment?” If not, why not? Rather than complaining about helping around the house, he looks for ways to help. But we, little fishes after the example of our [Great] Fish, Jesus Christ, are born in water, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. If you take sin out of the picture (as many popular TV preachers do), then Christ didn’t have to die. And, you do not have any good news. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. In the case of children who want to be baptized, the child should give some clear evidence of being truly born again, both in terms of understanding and behavior. . These professing Christians may have “invited Jesus into their hearts” or gone forward in response to an evangelistic appeal. It is an integral part of Jesus’ final command to His disciples. But saving faith is distinct from baptism, and it is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves, not baptism. I’ve gone through all of these references to show that there was a clear pattern on the part of those who responded to the preaching of the gospel in the Book of Acts, namely belief followed by baptism. Water baptism is like a ring of identification. There should be some evidence of the new birth. He died for our sins. Baptism is distinct from saving faith. As always, we let the Bible speak for itself. It greatly encourages others in the church to see you make a public confession of your faith in Christ. Baptism matters to those outside the church. Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved” (Large Catechism 4:6). Baptism is the outward act that demonstrates the inward faith. Christians have always interpreted the Bible literally when it declares, “Baptism . Christian baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord after salvation; although baptism is closely associated with salvation, it is not a requirement to be saved. Peter was not saying that baptism brings forgiveness of sins. Faith in Christ brings forgiveness of sins. Only Jesus saves! Many verses (e.g., Acts 10:43; 16:31) show that our sins are forgiven through faith (or repentance), apart from baptism. He wrote: “Baptism is no human plaything but is instituted by God himself. Why/why not? But altar calls are not in the Bible. What exactly is baptism and why is it important? The Church recognizes the validity of Baptism in other Christian Churches as long as the rite involved the pouring of or immersion in water, a … . No, it is only those who believe the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection on their behalf who are saved. The interest in baptism has sort of gone away—sad to say, in many cases. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Basics for Christians, Christian Life, Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Faith, Soteriology (Salvation), Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. . . But my wedding ring is an appropriate symbol of the unseen truth that I am married to Marla. “We have, indeed, a second [baptismal] font which is one with the former [water baptism]: namely, that of blood, of which the Lord says: ‘I am to be baptized with a baptism’ [Luke 12:50], when he had already been baptized. Jesus Himself submitted to baptism, in obedience to His Father. If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul exclude it? Paul summarizes the gospel message (1 Cor. . themselves generally do live in arid and waterless places. Acts 10:44, 46b, 47, 48a, which records Peter’s experience with the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house: “While Peter was still speaking these words [the gospel], the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message…. As Paul put it (2 Cor. Does baptism save us? . My marriage is based on the commitment which Marla and I made to each other. “That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by suffering is supported by a substantial argument which the same blessed Cyprian draws from the circumstance of the thief, to whom, although not baptized, it was said, ‘Today you shall be with me in paradise’ [Luke 23:43]. . It tells the women of the world, “I am not available! Instead, you entrust your eternal destiny entirely to what Jesus did on the cross for you. Baptism is a public declaration of faith in Christ. 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