Thursday, December 30, 2010
Have you noticed that when God saves people throughout the Bible, water always seems to be in the plan?
In Genesis 6 - 8, Noah and his family were saved, not BY water, but through water. The waters of the flood literally separated the ark of safety from the wickedness of the drowning world. Salvation was from God but the agency was the water. Noah and his family were not saved BY water but were saved through water. Peter tells us in I Peter 3:18 - 22 that our baptism corresponds to Noah's and that "likewise baptism now saves us" as well.
In Exodus 14, Moses and the people of Israel were saved, not BY water, but through water. God rolled back the deep water of the Red Sea, the people passed through the water and reached salvation on the other side. The Egyptians, on the other hand, were all drowned in the sea as the waters collasped after Israel's crossing. Through water, Israel passed from slavery into freedom, from no possession towards possession of a land "flowing with milk and honey" and from sin towards righteousness. Moses and the people of Israel were not saved BY water but were saved through water. Paul tells us that Israel was "baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" in I Corinthians 10:1 - 4.
In Joshua 3 and 4, Joshua and the people of Israel were saved, not BY water but through water. Once again, God rolled back the deep water of the Jordan allowing the people to cross in safety on dry land. They thus escaped the wilderness and entered into the Land of Promise. They then happily errected two Ebenezers - one of 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan where the priests had stood with the Ark of the Covenant and one of 12 stones where the people stopped for the night at Gilgal. Joshua and the people of Israel were saved, not BY water but through water.
The New Testament builds on this history of water "agency" for God's work of salvation. John baptizes at Aenon near Salim "for there was much water there." (John 3:23) Jesus Christ was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15) Jesus stipulates baptism as a requirement for salvation. (Mark 16:15 - 16) Jesus commands the apostles to "make disciples, baptize and teach all things whatsoever I have commanded." (Matthew 28:18 - 20) The same command passes to each Christian through out all time. The apostles commanded baptism for "everyone" in Acts 2:37 - 38 "in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."
The fact that almost everyone in so-called "Christedom" misses the point regarding baptism is perhaps Satan's greatest victory in our time. Calvin, Luther et al falsely taught that baptism is a "work of man" and, therefore, not a requirement of salvation. Baptism is not a work of man BUT it IS a work of God! Colossians 2:11 -12 very clearly tells us that God does His "powerful work" of salvation in baptism. God does all the work! Man does no work in baptism.
God does not save us BY water, He saves us IN water! Baptism is the TIME AND THE PLACE where God does His powerful work of salvation. There are many way to "join" many denominations (divisions from the original and therefore false) but there is absolutely NO WAY to "join" the church of Christ. One can only be added to His church by the Lord. Who therefore, can be added? Only those who "gladly receive His Word" through the water of baptism "in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" after repentance. The same way they were added to the church of Christ then is the same way people are added to the church of Christ today! There is no other plan of salvation! God does NOT save us BY water but He most certianlly saves us IN water!
Have YOU been baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins?
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