Baptism Christ immersion

Baptism Christ immersion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After returning home from church today, I  was watching a sermon by the late Adrian Rogers. Right in the middle of the sermon, he told the congregation he was taking a detour from the main message to explain something about baptism: That some believe you don’t receive salvation until you are baptized. He explained the wording in the passage of Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized  every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive  the gift of the Holy Ghost.

He explained that in the phrase ‘for the remission of sins’, the word ‘for’ in both the Greek and in English has more than one meaning. One meaning is ‘to get, or obtain’ (the meaning inferred by those who say salvation only comes after baptism); and the other meaning is ‘because of’ or ‘as a result of’ . Eis is the Greek word translated in English as ‘for’ and carries the same meanings as the English. Dr. Rogers showed that they were to be baptized ‘as the result of’ the remission of their sins through God’s grace and Christ’s blood.

Why add another step to salvation? Christ suffered mightily that ALL would be saved through His death and resurrection. Why make it even more complicated for an unbeliever to come to Christ? The Greek translated as repent means ‘a change of mind’. It is a turning aside from one’s sinful life to one that serves the Lord. Why would someone tell the new believer, once they have taken that step, that they have to wait until a baptism is arranged ‘somewhere’ at ‘some’ church, to receive their forgiveness? In all likelihood, the new believer hasn’t been to church in a long time, if ever! Why put restrictions on it?

Before some get uptight about this, I must state that baptism IS important! Once one repents (and is saved), the regeneration is begun and one will have the desire to make it public. Therefore, they will want to find a church, pastor and congregation to attend and get baptized. Baptism is the ‘ultimate’ public confession and demonstration of one’s newfound belief in the saving grace of Christ’s death. If salvation wasn’t given until after one was baptized, the new believer might have quite a while until a baptism is arranged. Admittedly, in NT times, it likely was easier to speedily baptize soon after accepting Christ, as in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch encountered by Philip. In that passage, after presenting Christ to the eunuch, they traveled along until they happened upon some water. Philip hadn’t stressed that the Ethiopian wasn’t saved yet; it was the eunuch himself who proposed that he could be baptized there and Philip agreed. Indeed, John the Baptist practised his ministry near the Jordan. Nowadays, one must find a clergyman who can do it. I think even some churches want you to become a member first. (I could be wrong about that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.)

I’m afraid this may have become somewhat of an obsession with me, this ‘teaching’ that one isn’t saved until after baptism. As I stated in the other post, it smacks too much of legalism and ritual. One should be baptized and having received Christ shouldn’t have any objections to it. But there are many places in the New Testament that don’t give that order of salvation and having listed some in the earlier post, I won’t add to this one.

The forgiveness of one’s sins is a FREE GIFT! Through God’s unlimited Grace and the redemptive work of Christ’s crucifixion, the world’s sins have been forgiven! Christ is not going to stop you at the pearly gates and refuse your admittance because you weren’t baptized!

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