David's Deliberations . . .
Baptism Now Saves You!
Here is a recent post on Facebook containing some of the false teaching concerning baptism among those influenced by Calvinism:
From End Times:
Sadly, water baptism without repentance and a transformed heart will only produce a wet sinner! The baptism of water is an outward expression of an inward transformation. Baptism alone does not and has never saved anyone.
The thief on the cross was invited to enter paradise with Christ that very day and never had an opportunity to be baptized but only believe on the Lord.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” - Romans? ?10:10?
While John the Baptist was baptizing in the river Jordan he told many that were coming from the surrounding region to be baptized to “bear fruits worthy of repentance,”
While, I would never discourage anyone from being baptized, and in fact, I would urge them to do so, we must not forget that we are saved by the blood and not water baptism alone.
- Ricky Scaparo
Of course, water baptism without the blood of Christ, and without our faith, repentance, and confessing Christ never saved anyone, but baptism (along with faith, repentance and confession of Christ) is a required part of the process of becoming saved: "...baptism now saves you..." (1 Peter 3:21), "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..." (Acts 2:38)
The thief on the cross was forgiven by Christ, as was the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12, where baptism, repentance, and confession were not required, nor had Christ yet shed his blood for the remission of sins. However, Jesus had authority to forgive anyone their sins and had not yet died to establish the New Covenant which would include what we call the Great Commission: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16
As for John's baptism, it was simply "of repentance," not "into the name of the Lord Jesus," (See Acts 19:1-5) as required under the New Testament. John's baptism was not part of the New Covenant, and is therefore not relevant today.
Christ's New Testament teaches that one is baptized
- "into the name of the Lord Jesus" Acts 19:5
- "into Christ" and "into His death" Romans 6:3
- "into Christ" and to be "clothed with Christ" Galatians 3:26
- to "wash away your sins, calling on His name" Act 22:16
God, through Paul, shows us that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:1-4), and we must obey the gospel to be saved (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 1 Peter 4:17). Baptism is the point at which we obey (participate in) His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:11-13):
"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4
"...and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions...." Colossians 2:11-13
We are not just to urge people to be baptized we are to teach it as a command of Christ: "...make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you...." Matthew 28:19-20
No one today is subject to John's baptism; no one today is a thief on a cross, but all today are subject to Jesus' command to repent and be baptized into His name and for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
"Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name." Acts 22:16
—David Carl Swanson