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 (alive...free from their past sins as soon as they have been baptized). Notice Romans 6:1-4 and what the Bible teaches on this matter.
"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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