The Golden Isles church of Christ

Weekly Bulletin

Volume 2, Number 28

December 15, 2002

Is Baptism for the Remission of Sins?

by Mark J. Ward

One of the biggest lies that Satan tells mankind today is that water baptism is for people who are already children of God. This false idea is taught in many of the churches that claim to be a part of "Christianity" today. Most every "Protestant denomination" teaches that people become Christians before and without water baptism. Do you accept the word of your preacher without question? What does the Bible really say about this important subject? Will we accept what God teaches in His Word? What if you are not really a Christian? Please read on.

In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, "He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved..." On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, Peter taught by inspiration, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR the remission of your sins.." Jesus, Paul and Peter taught the essentiality of belief, repentance, confession and water baptism (See Matthew 10:32, 33; Luke 13:3; Matthew 28:18-20; Galatians 3:26,27; I Peter 3:21). The Bible clearly teaches that water baptism is for the remission of sins. Those being baptized today for the wrong reasons are not truly Christians.

Most denominationalists teach that Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, before and without water baptism. Does the Bible support this teaching? The careful Bible student will notice that Acts 22:16 teaches that Paul still had his sins after believing on Christ and praying and fasting for three days! He was told by the preacher sent to him by God, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Does that sound like what a preacher would say to a person who was already saved from their sins? Of course not. Paul didn’t become a Christian until he was baptized.

God’s truth on the matter is that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God..." (Rom. 10:17). People who believe are then ready to repent, confess Christ and submit to water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12). That is how folks truly become Christians. How do we know? Because God says so in His Word. Don’t be deceived by the creed books of uninspired denominationalists that teach salvation by faith only! If you would like to study the Bible further, please contact us.

Thanks for reading! - Mark J. Ward

If we were on trial for being a Christian,would there be enough evidence to convict us?

Bury a "Live" Man?

by Mark J. Ward

Baptism in the New Testament is a burial. This is immersion, as opposed to sprinkling or pouring. In the case of non-Christians becoming Christians, New Testament accounts teach us that people believed the gospel, were willing to repent of their sins, confessed Christ as the Son of God with their mouths, and submitted to water baptism for the remission of their past sins (Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9,10; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12).

Most religious folks today claim that they became Christians before and without water baptism. While they might know the truth that baptism is a burial, that is immersion, they falsely believe and teach that people can become a Christian before and without water baptism. This is a damnable doctrine that will have many souls lost for eternity (Gal. 1:6-9; Mark 16:16)! This false teaching contradicts the instruction in the New Testament on the subject.

Notice what this false doctrine teaches, in part. This doctrine teaches that a person who is dead in sin (a non-Christian who is lost is dead in their sins) becomes a "Christian" (thus making them alive and NOT dead in sin) and THEN is buried in baptism (buried "alive" as a child of God)! This doesn't make sense. We bury people who are "dead"...whether speaking of folks who are dead physically or whether speaking of folks who are dead spiritually. So, in a proper conversion (one going from being an alien to becoming a Christian, as outlined in the NT) a person who was in the process of coming to Christ would be dead in their sins and be buried (as a dead person) to rise out of the watery grave of baptism a new creature ( from their past sins as soon as they have been baptized). Notice Romans 6:1-4 and what the Bible teaches on this matter.

1 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 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."

Don't believe the false doctrine that people become Christians and then are baptized in water! That is NOT the scriptural order. Note the order as found in Mark 16:16:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

The scriptural order places scriptural water baptism BEFORE salvation! Notice a similar passage in 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."

Again, for those not yet Christians, the Biblical account puts scriptural water baptism PRIOR TO one's receiving the remission of sins (i.e. becoming a Christian).

What about you? Did you think you were a "Christian" before you were baptized? If you did, can you see how that conflicts with the Bible teaching on the subject? You can't do something wrong and have it be "right". If you were baptized thinking you were already a Christian, I urge you to study these passages carefully and once you come to the conclusion that you are not a Christian, then be baptized for the reasons mentioned in the Bible. Only then are you truly a child of the King!

Thanks for reading. -- Mark J. Ward

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