Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baptism


Simple water speaks of blood 
That becomes a crimson flood 
Washing all our sins away 
So we're clean for God's great Day. 

Water also speaks of death--
Burial, a lack of breath.
Dead to all our past and sin.
Washed for life to now begin.

This is nothing we can earn. 
Without Jesus, we'd all burn 
In the fiery depths of hell. 
Jesus rescues...saves us well. 

He removes the heart of stone; 
Makes us flesh for him alone. 
Nothing, nothing else will do: 
Jesus washes. Make us new.

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41 ESV)

People argue about the precise relationship between salvation and water baptism. If we affirm and believe what the Bible says, we'll be on safe ground. 
1 Peter 3:21 tells us that

  • There's a sense in which water baptism saves us. 
  • A water baptism that merely removes dirt from the flesh won't save us.
  • Water baptism that has value is connected with prayer for or from a clean conscience.
We also know from Luke 23:39-43 that
  • The thief on the cross who believed Jesus was saved, and there was no opportunity for water baptism for him.
And we know from Jude 12-13 that
  • There are shepherds (pastors) within the church who are going to utter darkness forever. We can presume that most of these evil shepherds have been baptized, but that their baptism did them no good.
I like to say that water baptism is a divinely-ordained way of expressing initial faith in Jesus who saves. 

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