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Edward O’Hara Tue 9/29/2020 4:05 PM…
Paul taught concerning the baptism for the New Testament believer,
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom.6:3-11.
Do you see what Paul did here? He said the baptism he preached represents our being dead with Christ. And risen with Him. The significance of this is that when we are dead we are free from sin. The sin of unbelief. Not just washed from sins under the law as John’s baptism accomplished. For Jews it is from the sins under the law by replacing that covenant with a new one. And for Jews and Gentiles it is from the sin of unbelief (John16:9). Something Paul continued to expound on in Rom.7 also regarding Israel. This is true because when we believe that we are dead with Christ and have risen with Him we are now alive in Christ. And to be alive in Christ is to believe in and know Him. This eliminates the sin of the world the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to reprove it of. The sin of “They believe not on me”. John16:9. So this is how Jesus is the lamb of God that John spoke of that “taketh away the sin of the world”. Not just the cleansing from sins Israel received under the law.
When we look at John’s baptism we see only a cleansing from sins for Israel under the law. For it was said of John’s baptism: “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” A baptism that is representative of the work the sacrifices under the law did for Israel. The work we see in Heb.9:13 that says “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh”. So John’s baptism was confirmation of the work the law did for Israel. This is the same baptism that Peter preached in Acts2:36-38. Because here Peter was speaking only to the Jew just as John was of the baptism into Jesus for remission of sins under the law. This would lead to the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Paul’s baptism speaks of. But, was not responsible in and of itself for that baptism.
But, we see in the baptism Paul preached a confirmation of the gift that Jesus provided by giving Himself for us. And this is confirmed in what is stated in Heb.9:14 which says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” These dead works Paul speaks of that Israel is purged from are the works of the law done by Israelites for the cleansing John’s baptism also represented. These are purged because the baptism Paul preached is predicated upon the baptism in the Holy Spirit of which John said “I have indeed baptized you in water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit”.
So the baptism Paul preached is not the same as John’s baptism. Because John’s baptism is for the cleansing of sins under the law that the sacrifices also accomplished. It was a baptism for those who are under the law that included a belief in Jesus as their Messiah. Just as Jesus taught the rich young ruler in Mt.19:16-22. But, the baptism Paul preached is to purge them from the dead works the law commanded them to perform so that they would no longer think in terms of works as the means of entering into their covenant with God. And their consciences would be purged from thinking in terms of sins under the law. But, would now think in terms of the gift of grace that faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection has provided to all mankind. Made possible by their faith in Jesus that takes away the sin of the world the Holy Spirit was sent to reprove it of. The sin of “They believe not on me”.
God does not change our behavior so that we can be saved. He deals with our behavior after we are saved. This is a very crucial point because it shows us that He indeed died for us as the scripture says, while we were dead and in sins and trespasses. And that it is not only those who have been cleansed from sins under the law that are eligible for salvation. Because God does not condemn men for being bad. Men are condemned because they choose of their own free will to refuse the gift of eternal life when it is offered to them freely through the preaching of the cross. Jesus said it like this in John3:16-18:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Now that we have seen there is a difference between the purpose of John’s and Paul’s baptism, we can now see why water baptism is not necessary for one to be saved. Because the baptism Paul preached is man joining with Jesus in death to put to death the natural man through the leading of the Holy Spirit. And raising with Jesus in resurrection to make him free from the power of death. So that the man who has put to death the natural man no longer lives by the desires of the flesh or salvation by works. But, lives by the faith of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Which is to believe in Him as He believed the Father. Shown when He said “Nevertheless not my will but thy will be done”.
This is what believing in Jesus as He believed the Father does. This makes being dunked in water only representative of that belief. An outward show of something that has already taken place inside the man who has believed. And does nothing for the actual death and resurrection of the person who has that death and resurrection by faith without works. In this case the work of being dunked in water. If we make baptism a requirement for salvation we have made salvation dependent on works.
To be baptized in water then is not necessary for salvation. Even though it is something the believer should do because it makes an outward statement to all that we have believed in Jesus. And have identified with Him in death, and that we have joined with Him in His eternal life by faith in His resurrection.
This is why making baptism a requirement for salvation is a belief in salvation by works. A very dangerous notion when Paul plainly taught that salvation comes only to those who by grace through faith, and not of works, receive the gift of eternal life. So when we teach Paul’s baptism it is not so that men can be saved. But, is to show that we have already been saved. Much like James’ teaching when he said in James 2:17,18- “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”
Neither James nor Paul taught that works were needed for salvation. Both taught that salvation is by faith without works. But, that after salvation our works, whether they be baptism or feeding and clothing someone, show that we do them because we have believed and are saved.
If you have not believed in Jesus and His resurrection, but now want to trust in Him for eternal life, then please pray with me now.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for joining with me in my death. So that I can join with you in your eternal life. Signified in the baptism that Paul preached. I believe you are Lord. And I believe that you have conquered death by your resurrection. Thank you for saving me from the power of death so that I can have your gift of eternal life. Help me now to always live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed with me PRAISE GOD! Welcome to our family. The family of God. Now begin to study God’s word and believe what it plainly says. Because only by doing this will you grow in your relationship with Him to become the man or woman that God always intended you to be. Because faith that pleases God comes by hearing the word of God. So study the Bible and come back here often to hear the word of God.
See you there or in the air!
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