Monday, August 20, 2012

"Into what then were you baptized?"

If I were walking along the beach and found a lamp and rubbed it and a genie popped out and gave me three wishes, I know for certain what one of them would be. Oh, how I wish that there were no denominations, varying doctrines, and differing baptisms within our current day religious world!

I am always very excited when a person wants to discuss the plan of salvation. I would rather talk about this topic than anything else. As these opportunities arrive I often find that an individual's exposure to innacurate teachings has become a hinderance to their proper, Biblical view of baptism.

But I should not feel discouraged, because even the apostle Paul encountered such challenges. In Acts 19, while in the city of Ephesus, he had a discussion with several men who had been not baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. They had been baptized, just not with the proper teaching and understanding - therefore, the question Paul asked them in Acts 19:3 was very timely - "Into what then were you baptized?"

Perhaps we need to ask people this very same question as we discuss with others what the Bible actually does teach about baptism. There are so many people who have submitted to some form of baptism, who have NOT been Biblically baptized. The Bible simply teaches:
  • Baptism makes one a disciple of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20).
  • Baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
  • Baptism brings a person into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
  • Baptism entitles a person to wear the name, "Christian" (Gal. 3:27).
  • Baptism is something we do in order to be saved (Mark 16:16).
  • Baptism is something that no believing person should delay (Acts 22:16).
The Bible does NOT teach that we are to be baptized into a denomination. It does NOT teach that baptism is non-essential, or simply just a good idea. The Bible does NOT teach that it is an outward sign of an inward grace. The Bible does NOT teach that baptism is something you do in order to show others what you already have received.

Friend, I want you to go to heaven. And just like the men in Acts 19, you may have submitted to some form of baptism in the past. I recognize that to this point, you have probably done all that you have known to do in order to be right with God. May God bless you, for your willingness to do all that you have ever known to do may be the very thing that will save you now. So please, let me ask, "Have you been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, to be added by God to the church that Jesus built, in order to be a "Christian" and to receive the blessing of salvation?"

If not, into what then were you baptized?

"When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." ~ Acts 19:5

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