Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blood, Redemption, Forgiveness, Remission & Baptism

On Tuesday evenings the Archdale church of Christ conducts Bible studies at the Mecklenburg County jail. We have, typically, a crowd of 16-22. We have an hour to share the Gospel as God allows us. Our opportunity is enhanced by the fact that our group is different each and every time. Very few of these men have the opportunity to hear the Gospel more than once and so we are burdened with the urgency.

Everything goes very well unti we arrive at the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins. We deal with the "sinners prayer," the thief on the cross and Romans 10:9-10 nearly every week. This last Tuesday, however, we had a man who objected to baptism on the grounds of Ephesians 1:7:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the richness of His grace... (NKJV)

The mans contention was that this verse spoke of redemption, forgiveness through grace without any mention of baptism. How then is baptism essential? Let's examine this question briefly.

The Word of God interacts back and forth with itself, Scripture interprets Scripture. For example, we lack the complete account of Pauls conversion if we look only at Acts 9 without also looking at Acts 22. Luke gives a 3rd party account of Pauls conversion in Acts 9, whereas Paul himself is quoted directly in Acts 22 regarding these same events. Therefore, when we look at the subject of redemption, forgiveness and grace, we need to look at more than just one entry regarding the subject.

In Ephesians 1:17 Paul essentially restates the same principle using different terminology. Examine:

In Him we have:

REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD
FORGIVENESS OF SINS

according to the richness of His grace.

By examining the structure of the language we quickly realize that words "redemption" and "forgiveness" are synonomous, they are one and the same. We therefore must conclude that neither can be acheived except "through His blood." Going back to Acts 2:38 we see that baptism is exclusively the time and the place where "remission [forgiveness/redemption] of sins" takes place! By examining these two scriptures together we must conclude the following:

REDEMPTION IS THROUGH HIS BLOOD
FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS THROUGH HIS BLOOD
REMISSION OF SINS TAKES PLACE ONLY AT THE TIME AND PLACE OF WATER BAPTISM
REDEMPTION, FORGIVENESS AND REMISSION OF SINS ARE SYNONOMOUS TERMS

THEREFORE:

WE MEET THE SAVING BLOOD OF JESUS CHIRST ONLY IN BAPTISM AND NO WHERE ELSE!


Ephesians 1:7 DOES speak of baptism for Christ shed His blood ONLY in His death and the ONLY way to participate with Him in His death is through water baptism. (See Romans 6:1f) We are baptized into His death where we meet and are cleansed by the saving blood of Christ that remitts us of our sins, forgives us of our sins and redeems us from our sins!

There is no "plan "B," the ONLY place where we find the blood of Christ is in the time and place of water baptism. Man may not like it, understand it, appreciate it or embrace it...BUT..."it is the way it is." The saving blood of Jesus Christ is NOT found in any mystical experience, at the end of any "sinners prayer," after "praying through," after being "voted in" or ANY other place or time outside of water baptism of the soul that has repented of every sin (Acts 2:38) and has confessed the Name of Jesus Christ before witnesses (Matthew 10:32).

Should you hesitate at the point of water baptism, dear friend, please consider once again the words of the servants of General Naaman, "...My father if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, "Wash and be clean?" - II Kings 5:13 (NKJV) "For whatever things written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might find hope." - Romans 15:4 (NKJV) General Naaman "got in the water." Now its your turn! Thank God for His unspeakable free gift of salvation through the saving shed blood of Jesus Christ found in the "watery grave" of baptism!

For a FREE Bible study, e-mail: rmcculls6@bellsouth.net!

More Blessed than the Apostles? - In One Way...YES!

Audio and Outline of a Sermon Rendered 3 June 2018, Morning Service, Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 by...