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A Baptist Sermon vs. The Bible

I hope that these pages have been an encouragement to you thus far. I now want to share with you a sermon that a Baptist preacher provided me when I questioned him concerning "confessing" and the "sinner's prayer". His sermon is what he believes is the way of salvation... what we must do to be saved. You can read his sermon below, exactly as it was laid out on paper when he provided it to me... it will be in between the asterisks.

Now you may be asking... just why would I want to share a Baptist preachers sermon with you? Fair question. The reason is because the sermon is not Scriptural. If people are allowed to follow this false teaching of how to be saved, they will not be saved. We should all be responsible and loving enough to correct those who are teaching the wrong plan of salvation. Our business is all about bringing people to Christ (The Great Commission)... if someone is attempting to bring people to Christ is a false way and those people follow the false way, then it is obvious that they still need to be taught the true way. If they follow the false way then they will not be saved... and the only way for them to be saved is to learn the truth. In order to learn the truth, sometimes we must start by showing how the false teachings are in fact false.

Consider what Paul and John wrote concerning those preaching things that were not true...

Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The Scriptures will do well enough in proving how this Baptist preacher is grossly mistaken in his way of salvation... as well as the Scriptures will show clear proof for what we must do to be saved. If you have been living or thinking along the same lines as this Baptist preacher, then you will definitely want to read this Scriptural proof that is provided below, which you can easily verify with your Bible, as well as visit the other pages on this website, if you have not already done so.

There is also an open challenge to any and all Baptist preachers (or anyone else that may be preaching a false plan of salvation like this sermon... or even similar to this one) to respond Scripturally to the proof that is provided. Anyone choosing to respond, may do so by using the Contact Us link at our forum, and I will publish the response on this page. I will keep names confidential if anyone so desires... however, this page is published on the worldwide Internet, therefore the response will be public. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I stand for because I do this out of love for God and all who may read it.

Anyone preaching and teaching a false plan of salvation such as this one, or any similar false plan, should be willing to defend their faith and respond. It is the only way that they could keep a clean conscience. After all, who is there to harm us if we prove zealous for what is good? If we suffer for the sake of righteousness then we are blessed. We should not fear intimidation, nor should we be troubled. Someone may be shamed... and if I am wrong then I am willing to admit that I am wrong. I hope others are willing to do the same.

1 Peter 3:13-17 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

His sermon...

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The Way Of Salvation

1 John 1:9-1:9

INTRO (illus ) - Dad driving the family to a speaking engagement one night and got lost. Mom kept saying, "Stop and ask somebody where the church is." But He was sure it was just around the next corner or the next or the next. So he just kept driving and time was getting more critical and mom was getting more insistent until he finally stopped and asked. We were about two blocks from the church and he had missed it by half a block about three times.

A lot of people are doing that about salvation. They are seeking the peace and security they have heard about but they are not finding it. And they will not ask the way. (illus.) -- Asking directions in the country "Go down this here road to the big oak tree and turn right. Go on till you come to where the old Adam's house was before it burned down and take the left fork. When you come to the barn with the spotted cow you are almost there."

The Bible gives three short, accurate and direct steps to salvation in this passage.

I. CONFESSION. "If we confess our sins..."

A Confession is necessary. (Rom. 10:10) -- "With the mouth confession made unto salvation."
1. In our text it says, "IF we confess." God is not obligated to forgive our sins if we fail to confess. And it must be a wholehearted and complete confession.
2. Not like the person who sent a note and a check to the IRS which read: "Dear sirs, my conscience is bothering me so here is $175 I owe in back taxes." At the bottom of the letter was a P.S. which said: "If my conscience continues to bother me I will send in the rest."

B. Confession must be genuine.
1. The word "confess" comes from two Greek words meaning to speak together. Means to acknowledge in agreement with another (Holy Spirit).
2. Many criminals give one confession at the time of their arrest but change their story many times in the course of their interrogation.
3. (illus.) - One criminal kept saying over and over again, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. The attorney asked, "You are sorry that you committed the crime?" "No, I'm sorry I got caught."
4. Such a flippant attitude will get you an eternity in hell if you try it with the Judge of Heaven.
5. Here is good, sound advice: Don't try to hide anything from God. Confess your sins now, today or don't expect sympathy from God at the Judgement Seat.

C. Confession must be complete.
1. Notice that John does not say, "If we confess our sin." He had been speaking of that in the 8th verse, but here he uses the plural, to include both sin in its essence and in its actual development in our life.
2. We are to confess both the inward sin and the outward fruit of it. We must say, Lord, I acknowledge with shame that my life is corrupt because my nature is corrupt. I am a sinner in both nature and practice."
3. We must confess the cause as well as the effect.
4. Many are at a loss as how to do this. To confess sin does not mean merely to repeat a catalogue of sins before God in private, or to recite a long list of your faults. It means a life-long acknowledgment of our sin. We are to always look to God as one who has transgressed the holiness of the Lord.
5. Confession of sin is best carried out when we deal with God as those who have offended Him, not as those who feel that they are innocent.
6. If you feel you are desperately bad, remember you are actually much worse than you think you are.

II. CONVERSION, "...he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins..."

A. Conversion is a three step event:
1. The first is when you confess your sins and ask God to save you through Jesus.
2. The second step occurs when God forgives your sins and saves your soul.
3. The third step is when God confirms your salvation by sealing your soul through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

B. Without all three steps there can be no salvation. If you don't confess your sins God will not forgive you and if God does not forgive your sins you can not be justified and without justification the Holy Spirit will not make His dwelling within your heart and without the Holy Spirit you will not be saved.

C. But when you confess your sins and ask God to save you, "...He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.."
1. So the question is not whether God will hold up His end of the contract but if you will confess your sins.
2. When you start to think about your life, your language, your habits, your associations, do you have a bad feeling? Not quite satisfied with who and what and how you are?
3. (illus.) - A mother was helping her son with his spelling. They came to 'conscious' and 'conscience' and she asked him if he knew the difference. "Sure. 'Conscious' is when you are aware of something and 'conscience' is when you wish you weren't."

D. (II Cor. 5:17) - "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
1. When we confess our sins and God cleanses us of our sins, then we become new creatures.
2. The saved Christian knows about his sins but he need not fear them because he knows that God has forgiven them.
3. And with the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we will know when sin has re-entered our lives. I Jn. 2:1.
4. But when we sin after salvation the steps are the same. You properly confess and God forgives.

III. CLEANSING, "...and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness."

A. The first thing that must be done for an open wound or injury is to clean the wounded area. Infection must be stopped before healing can begin.

B. So it is with our soul. God must cleanse us of all unrighteous before we can hope to live a life satisfying to ourselves and pleasing to our God.

C. Sinners want to put the cart before the horse. What we want to do is live a God-pleasing life before we are cleansed from our sin.
1. This puts salvation on our own works.
2. But when we confess our sins. God cleans us from all our sin by placing those sins on His own blessed Son.

CONCLU. Perhaps you have tried good works, baptism, church membership, obedience, etc only to find that nothing gives you the peace you are searching for. My Biblical advice to you is to try the blood of Jesus in simple faith. The blood will work when nothing else will.

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Now that we have concluded his sermon, let's be like the Bereans...

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

This sermon is truly an amazing example of how so many people are misled by false teachings in our society today. It is no wonder why Jesus said "broad" is the path to destruction and "many" will enter through it... while "small" and "narrow" is the path to life, and "few" will "find" it. Then in the very next verse Jesus gives us a reason why so "many" follow the broad path to destruction and so "few" will "find" eternal life.

Let's read what Jesus said...

Matthew 7:13-15 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

Jesus tells us that false teachers will come to us in sheep's clothing, appearing to be real teachers of Christ, but inside they are really ravenous wolves.

Paul wrote that they will deceive even the unsuspecting...

Romans 16:18 For such people are not serving Christ our Lord but their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

Paul wrote a good bit about these kinds of teachers...

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Sadly, Paul even wrote that many will follow these teachers...

2 Timothy 4:1-4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Jesus even said the "many" word again referring to these people who deceive themselves by following false teachings...

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

My prayer for you and myself is that we will not turn our ears from the truth, which is God's Word. God's Word is the only way we can know the truth. If we are unwilling to search for the truth, then it will be to our own destruction... as Jesus said, "for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

Please know that when you read the following prayer that Paul prayed, that I have prayed this same prayer for you and myself...

Ephesians 1:17-18 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and enlightenment in the knowledge of him. Having the eyes of your mind enlightened to know what is the hope of his calling, and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.

This Baptist preacher starts out his sermon with a story of a father who cannot seem to find the church and at first will not stop to ask directions. Eventually the father stops and finds that he had missed the church by a half block about three times. This is apparently intended to be an analogy to show how "a lot of people" are not "finding" the way of salvation. I agree, he got part of it right... "a lot of people" are in fact not "finding" the way of salvation. I certainly hope not too many people ask this Baptist preacher the way of salvation though, because they are going to get the wrong directions. He also believes the reason "a lot of people" do not find the way is because "they will not ask the way." I do not believe it is so much that they will not ask... instead, it is because they do not search for the truth. They do not "prove all things" and "hold fast that which is good".... they are not willing to "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."...

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This Baptist preacher claims (From his sermon:)"The Bible gives us three short, accurate and direct steps to salvation in this passage." and refers to the passage of 1 John 1:9.

Let's read this passage...

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The first of the three steps to salvation that the Baptist preacher claims is that we must confess our sins... (From his sermon:)I. CONFESSION. "If we confess our sins...".

Is John (the writer of this epistle) explaining to us that confessing our sins is necessary for salvation? Let's look at the passage in context...

1 John 1:6-10 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John is writing to Christians, not unsaved sinners. How do we know this... because we have evidence in the Scriptures that tell us this.

Even this Baptist preacher provides us with the evidence that refutes his own claims. He writes, (From his sermon:)"And with the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we will know when sin has re-entered our lives. I Jn. 2:1."

So let's read this passage...

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 2:1 picks up right where 1 John 1:10 stops... think about what John wrote... "My little children"... this references Christians everywhere. He wrote, "My little children, these things write I unto you"... and then he tells us why he is writing these things... "that ye sin not."

The only way we can interpret this passage is exactly how it reads... and nowhere does it indicate John is writing to "unsaved sinners". John is explaining to Christians everywhere that he does not want us to sin, this is why he wrote... "that ye sin not"... but he knows we will... when we do, we have "an advocate with the Father" that we can pray to (1 John 1:9) confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness.

Let's consider 1 John 1:6-10, which I quoted above... John raises a possible claim of some Christians when he wrote that "if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" Clearly he is referring to Christians because an "unsaved sinner" cannot "have fellowship with Him". John is explaining that if Christians claim to "have fellowship with him", but instead "walk in darkness" then we lie and the truth is not in us.

John wrote "if we walk in the light" that "we have fellowship with one another"... Christians fellowship with one another. This is one way for Christians to unify.

John wrote "the blood of Jesus" will cleanse us "from all sin." We have to be walking in the light already for this passage to be applied to us... which again would mean he is writing to Christians.

John raises another possible claim of some Christians when he wrote, "If we say that we have no sin,"... this would be someone who is saved claiming that they have no sin. If Christians claim this, then we do not know the truth as John wrote, "we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." What John is communicating to Christians is that we cannot go around claiming to be walking in the light and actually be walking in the dark... furthermore, we cannot claim to be without sin. Not even a "righteous man" can "continually" do good... there is not a righteous man "who never sins"...

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

After John explains that we cannot claim to be without sin, we then come to the verse that this Baptist preachers uses, "If we confess our sins"... and claims that this verse means the unsaved sinner must confess his sins to be saved. This Baptist preacher may believe this, as well as "many" others who may end up following the broad path to destruction, but this is clearly not what John is explaining. John is explaining to Christians who claim they have no sin, that they must realize that they do have sin, and continually confess their sins. Indeed this should cause Christians to think about the consequences of not confessing our sins... does the blood of Jesus continue to cleanse us? As Christians we should realize that we cannot simply get saved and continue sinning without confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness... no, we do not have a license to sin once we are saved.

John wrote, "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." and now he explains how it does this... by confessing our sins after we are saved, God "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." If we walk in the light (if we are saved), as John explains, then the blood of Jesus will continue to keep us clean from sin, provided we confess our sins to God.

This entire passage from John is in the present tense, which denotes a continuing action, not an initial action.

John's encouragement for Christians to walk in the light and continually confess our sins is very similar to Paul's warning for us not to fall...

1 Corinthians 10:1-12 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

We have further proof that John was writing to Christians when he read what he wrote towards the end of his first epistle...

1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Now, what I have explained is the truth based on God's Word... but obviously I am not a scholar or a theologian, although I do not believe it would take one to figure out these passages. I believe anyone that reads these passages in context can easily understand the truth. That's part of my point for all of these pages... read the Scripture for yourself... do not simply take a mans word for it... take God's Word to heart. Either way, I believe this Baptist preacher ought to know better than to take these passages and so grossly misapply them to initial salvation.

I am not one to rely too heavily on most commentaries due to their bias towards particular denominations and man-made doctrines... however, with this passage, it appears most commentators understand this passage better than this Baptist preacher. Let's look at a few of the major commentaries on this passage of 1 John 1:9...

Matthew Henry's Commentary...

The Christian religion is the religion of sinners, of such as have sinned, and in whom sin in some measure still dwells. The Christian life is a life of continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin, of continual faith in, thankfulness for, and love to the Redeemer, and hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption, in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted, and sin abolished for ever.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary...

All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice.

David Guzik Commentary...

Confess is a verb in the present tense; the meaning is that we should keep on confessing our sin - instead of referring to a "once-for-all" confession of sin at our conversion. You don't have to go to a confessional to confess your sin. When you are baptized, you are confessing your sin by saying you needed to be cleansed and reborn. Our sins are not forgiven because we confess; if this were the case - if forgiveness for a sin could only come where there was confession - then we would all be damned, because it would be impossible for us to confess every sin we ever commit. We are forgiven because our punishment was put upon Jesus, we are cleansed by His blood. However, confession is still vital to maintain relationship with God, and this is the context John speaks from. As God convicts us of sin that is hindering our fellowship with Him, we must confess it and receive forgiveness and cleansing for our relationship with God to continue without hindrance.

InterVarsity Press New Testament Commentaries...

What does God want of me? What does God want of us? Probably every Christian has asked these very questions. They are asked in times of anguish, during crisis and decision making and, implicitly and explicitly, on a day-to-day basis. What does God require of those who want to offer their sincere allegiance and devotion? The next section of 1 John (1:5--2:27) tackles this question, for the church to which John was writing debated this very issue. What does God ask of us? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? What does it mean to be a faithful Christian? To address this issue, John uses the image of "walking in the light." And he lays out certain expectations of those who desire to walk in the light. We can summarize these expectations briefly: imitation of God's character (1:5-7); dependence upon the cleansing from sin provided by Jesus' death (1:7, 9; 2:1-2); obedience to the commands of God (2:3-6), especially the command to love (2:7-11); and steadfast resistance to the lure of the ways of the world (2:15-17) and to false teaching (2:18-27).

Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)...

To walk in the light is to live in fellowship with the Father and the Son. Sin interrupts, but confession restores that fellowship. Immediate confession keeps the fellowship unbroken.

Now let's read what a Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary wrote...

Commentary by W. Hall Harris III , Th.M., Ph.D....

Does the author of 1 John refer here to an initial confession of sins at conversion (when a person becomes a believer), or to ongoing confession of sins in the life of the believer? The author is not worried about the initial justification of the people to whom he is writing: he regards the members of the community who have "remained" and not "gone out" (1 John 2:19) as genuine believers. The author points out that if Christians confess the sins they are aware of, they may be sure that God will forgive their sins and cleanse them not only from those sins they confess but from all unrighteousness.

Even a Professor (Th.M., Ph.D.) agrees that confessing sins is not what cleanses the unsaved sinner from his sins in order to be saved.

Let's consider the scripture that proves how an unsaved persons sins are cleansed...

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Having been justified by His blood we shall be saved "through Him"... through Christ's blood we are saved.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

"In Him" we have redemption "through His blood" we have forgiveness of sins... through Christ's blood we have forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we may serve the living God!

Through Christ's blood we cleanse our consciences.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Without Christ's blood there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Christ's blood purchased us for God.

The truth, through the proof of God's Word, is that the "blood of Christ" is what cleanses us of our sins... NOT confessing our sins. We have forgiveness of sins through Christ's blood. The question would then be how do we come in contact with the "blood of Christ" so that we can be cleansed from our sins?

We must cleanse our consciences of sin by dying with Christ. How do we die with Christ? Let's read what the Scriptures tell us...

1 Peter 3:20-21 Who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

"Baptism now saves you" because it is "an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ".

Let's look at more proof...

Romans 6:3-11 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. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul tells us the "all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death" and "therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death".

For what reason did Paul write this... "so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Remember what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:21... "an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"...

Now read what Paul wrote in Romans 6:5... "if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection".

The next verse Paul wrote is crucial... "our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with".

Very clearly we are "crucified" with Christ, "buried" with Christ, "raised" with Christ, "baptized into Christ", in order that our "body of sin" is done away with... therefore we walk in "newness of life".

Sin is not confessed away for salvation... our sin is cleansed from us through baptism.

Paul continues to provide us with more proof... "for he who has died is freed from sin." How did we die? Paul already answered that question earlier... "buried with Him through baptism into death..."

How much clearer can it be? Slice it, dice it, cover it, smother it... distort it, twist it... wrestle with it all you want... when you come back to God's Word it will still read the same way and it will still mean the same thing... it's the truth!

Now this Baptist preacher indicates in his conclusion that "baptism" is not necessary for salvation...

(From his sermon:)"CONCLU. Perhaps you have tried good works, baptism, church membership, obedience, etc only to find that nothing gives you the peace you are searching for."

Is he reading the same Bible as you have? My King James Bible clearly tells me that baptism is necessary. Every translation I own tells me baptism is necessary. Consider all the passages above... what do they tell us? They tell us that baptism is necessary to be "in Christ" and unless we are "in Christ" we are not saved.

It is overwhelmingly clear that through baptism we are crucified with Christ and die to sin, therefore we are "freed from sin"... we are forgiven of sin. But maybe these passages are not enough to prove to this Baptist preacher that baptism is what cleanses us from our sins. So let's read a few more passages...

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

There is no doubt that these passages prove how we are cleansed from sin. Baptism clearly washes away our sins. The word "washing" and "baptize" both come from the Greek word "baptizo" and mean to immerse, overwhelm with water... this is known to us as "baptism".

Now this Baptist preacher does prove that confession is necessary by referring to Romans 10:10... (From his sermon:)"Confession is necessary. (Rom. 10:10) -- With the mouth confession made unto salvation."

However, his explanation of this passage as it relates to confessing sins has no Scriptural support... it is simply a human philosophical attempt to apply it to confession of sins. Let's consider the passage...

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If this Baptist preacher included verse 9 along with verse 10, it would put somewhat of a kink in his sermon. Let's now consider the passage in context...

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Wow... this sheds a whole new light on "confessing". Clearly Paul is not referencing confession of sins in this passage.

Notice Paul wrote... "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus".

Paul did not write "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth thy sins".

Confessing "Jesus is Lord" is what Jesus commanded during His ministry...

Matthew 10:32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

Jesus very clearly says "everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven." Now if we do not confess "Jesus is Lord", He is not going to confess us before God... and we will obviously not be saved.

This Baptist preacher has not even mentioned this in his entire sermon. Does he even intend on telling us that Jesus says we must confess Him before other men?

Remember this Baptist preacher claims (From his sermon:)"The Bible gives us three short, accurate and direct steps to salvation in this passage." and he refers to the passage of 1 John 1:9.

Apparently he has no intentions of bringing up the subject of confessing "Jesus as Lord" because nowhere in the passage of 1 John 1:9 does it mention confessing "Jesus as Lord", and it is not one of his three steps for salvation.

It is clear that he intended on incorrectly teaching that the confession in Romans 10 is referring to sins, and he does not even have Matthew 10:32 in his written sermon.

This Baptist preacher did not even bring up the one perfect example in the Bible of how we confess "Jesus is Lord"...

Acts 8:35-37 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

What did John write about confessing?

1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Without any doubt the evidence is very clear that we must confess Jesus is Lord (the Son of God) "unto" (in the direction of) salvation, which brings us closer to salvation, but it does not bring us "into Christ". Baptism is what brings us "into Christ"... "into His death"... ultimately bringing us to the complete point of salvation.

Here we have a Baptist preacher with all these notes in his sermon on "The Way Of Salvation", and not one mention of confessing "Jesus is Lord", nor does he mention "baptism".

This Baptist preacher claims the following...

(From his sermon:)"A. Conversion is a three step event:
1. The first is when you confess your sins and ask God to save you through Jesus.
2. The second step occurs when God forgives your sins and saves your soul.
3. The third step is when God confirms your salvation by sealing your soul through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

B. Without all three steps there can be no salvation."

This Baptist preacher further wrote,(From his sermon:)"We must say, 'Lord, I acknowledge with shame that my life is corrupt because my nature is corrupt. I am a sinner in both nature and practice.'"

Now I must ask... where in the Bible does it say this... or even elude to it, for salvation?

Now we have already proven that we do not confess our sins to be saved, instead we confess "Jesus as Lord", which he does not even mention.

He also includes here that we must ask God to save us through Jesus (From his sermon:)"ask God to save you through Jesus".

Again, I must ask where does the Bible tell us we must do this? He has obviously left some Scripture out of his sermon... but wait... there is no Scripture that tells us to ask God to save us through Jesus... thus it is impossible for him to include Scriptural support for this in his sermon.

In order to "ask God" to do something for us, we have to already be saved. God does not respond to the alien (unsaved) sinner. The Bible is very clear on this...

John 9:31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but he does listen to anyone who worships him and does his will.

We can read the proof... those who worship Him and do His will are who He listens to... not the alien sinner. There are a host of passages that prove to us that God only responds to the prayers of the righteous, and does not respond to the alien sinner.

Proverbs 15:8-9 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

Psalms 34:15-16 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God can hear all prayers because He is all-knowing and all-present, but Isaiah clearly tells us that the alien sinner's "iniquities have separated" him from God... his "sins have hid His face". The apostle Peter wrote a similar statement as those of the Old Testament writers...

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Again, I would ask this Baptist preacher, where in the Bible is just one example of a person praying to God for salvation? Where in the Bible is just one example of confessing our sins to God for salvation? Can an unsaved sinner pray to God and receive anything?

Can an unsaved sinner pray to God for faith? Not according to the Bible...

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Can an unsaved sinner pray to God to be born again? Not according to the Bible...

1 Peter 1:22-23 Now that you have obeyed the truth and have purified your souls to love your brothers sincerely, you must love one another intensely and with a pure heart. For you have been born again, not by a seed that perishes but by one that cannot perish-by the living and everlasting word of God.

Can an unsaved sinner pray to God to be converted? Not according to the Bible...

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Can an unsaved sinner pray to God for salvation? Not according to the Bible...

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

So what exactly is an unsaved sinner supposed to be praying for? According to the Bible there are no instructions anywhere that tell us to pray to be saved. I would surely believe that if Jesus wanted us to be saved through prayer that He would have given us an example or at very least He would have instructed us to pray for salvation. Jesus nor any of the apostles ever taught or wrote that we must pray to be saved.

What many preachers claim, including this one, is that we must pray the "sinner's prayer" in order to be saved. A prayer similar to the "sinner's prayer" was first started around 500 years ago. The actual "sinner's prayer" started in the Billy Sunday era (he died around 1935) and the prayer was later formalized during Billy Graham's ministry.

C.S. Lewis used the term "a great cataract of nonsense" to describe how people use a modern idea to construe Bible theology...

"Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age." (Learning in Wartime, 1939)

Understand that no one in the Bible, not the first person, ever prayed the sinner's prayer to be saved. This preacher did tell my wife that every word of the sinner's prayer is in the Bible. Yep, he got that much right. It's all there... and we could create a host of prayers from words in the Bible... I think you can figure that one out for yourself.

Salvation comes through obedience to the faith...

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Romans 16:25-26 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

The apostles were commissioned (made apostles) to bring about "obedience to the faith". The gospel which is preached is to bring about obedience to the faith to all nations. We are saved by "hearing" God's Word and obeying what God's will is for us to be saved... "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Only those who do the will of God will enter heaven...

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Why does this Baptist preacher not even outline that we must "do the will of the Father" and that those who "heareth these sayings" of Jesus, "and doeth them" will be the ones who enter heaven?

Now let's consider what else this Baptist preacher claims for salvation. Let's consider his second and third steps along with what he writes later...

(From his sermon:)"A. Conversion is a three step event:
1. The first is when you confess your sins and ask God to save you through Jesus.
2. The second step occurs when God forgives your sins and saves your soul.
3. The third step is when God confirms your salvation by sealing your soul through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

B. Without all three steps there can be no salvation."

Then later he writes...

(From his sermon:)"D. (II Cor. 5:17) - "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 1. When we confess our sins and God cleanses us of our sins, then we become new creatures."

His way of salvation tells us that God forgives us of our sins and saves our souls after we have confessed our sins and ask God to save us through Jesus.

Scripture has already proven that this is not the correct way of salvation.

Now he attempts to interpret 2 Corinthians 5:17 as follows... (From his sermon:)"When we confess our sins and God cleanses us of our sins, then we become new creatures."

Let's read this passage again...

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Now I do not know about you, but when I read this passage, I clearly understand that it tells me that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:" because that is exactly how it reads.

This passage clearly does not read that "if any man confesses his sins, he is a new creature:"

It is undeniable that we must be "in Christ" to be a new creature. This Baptist preacher claims that we are "a new creature" when we confess our sins. He has again twisted and distorted the Scriptures in an attempt to teach his false doctrine of salvation. In his interpretation he manages to get two matching words... "new" and "creature"... but he interprets the remaining part of the passage worse than any paraphrased translation ever has and probably ever will.

Let's consider in detail how the Bible clearly explains to us how we become "in Christ".

Since he has quoted a passage from the apostle Paul... let's look at what Paul wrote...

Galatians 3:26-27 For ye are all the children of God by the faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Now let's understand what Paul wrote... "For ye are all the children of God" would obvious be referring to Christians, those who are saved already. Paul wrote that we are Christians "by the faith in Christ Jesus."

Paul also tells us how we became Christians... "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." I do not believe this would be hard for anyone to understand.

Remember Paul wrote in Romans that they were made apostles "for obedience to the faith" and here we learn that Christians are saved "through the faith in Christ Jesus". We are saved because we have been obedient to the faith by being baptized into Christ. It is exactly what the Scriptures tell us.

Paul actually tells us in this passage in Galatians exactly who God's children are. Look at the passage again... "For as many as of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ". Note he wrote... "For as many as of you"... so, if we are not "baptized into Christ" we are not one of the "For as many as of you" and we have not "put on Christ".

There is no way to find Scriptural proof that "confessing our sins" puts us "in Christ".

Are we going to believe this Baptist preacher, who is an uninspired man, or are we going to believe the apostle Paul, who was an inspired man of God?

Even the Baptist preacher has to agree that we must be "in Christ" to be saved... he just gives us the wrong instructions on how to get "in Christ". Only "baptism" puts us "in Christ".

Let's consider some other passages that tell us how we become "in Christ"...

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Again, Paul clearly tells us that "so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death".

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Paul tells us in this passage that "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body". The "one body" is Christ...

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Paul explains in the above passages that when we are saved we become members of Christ... He is the body and we make up the body... we are the body of Christ. Paul further explains that we are "buried with Him in baptism" and we are "risen with Him through the faith"...

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

According to Scripture... there is no way to be "in Christ" other than to be "baptized into Christ". We cannot "confess" our way into Christ... we cannot "pray" our way into Christ. This Baptist preacher is going to have to call Jesus and Paul liars in order to continue to preach what he preaches. Whoa to him!

This Baptist preacher also indicates in his conclusion that we do not have to be a member of a church to be saved. I would agree that we do not have to be a member of a physical church building... such as the "Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian Church", but clearly we must be a member of "the church" because "the church" is "Christ"... and clearly we must be "in Christ" to be saved, therefore we must be in "the church" to be saved. Christ's body is "the church"...

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Note "for his body's sake, which is the church"... "the church" is composed of all the saved... all those who are "in Christ".

All spiritual blessings are "in Christ"... we cannot receive spiritual blessings "outside" of Christ...

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Salvation is a spiritual blessing!

At the time we are baptized into Christ is when we are sealed with an earnest measure of the Holy Spirit and thereby the Holy Spirit dwells in us...

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

This passage may be easier to understand in another translation...

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 For all God's promises are "Yes" in him. And so through him we can say "Amen," to the glory of God. Now the one who makes us -and you as well- secure in union with Christ and has anointed us is God, who has placed his seal on us and has given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.

Again... notice that "all the promises of God" are "in Him"... "in Christ"... we must be "in Christ" to receive God's promise of salvation. Once we are "in Christ" we receive "his seal on us" and he gives us "the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment".... or "the earnest of the Spirit".

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Christ obviously cannot physically dwell in us... Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. Once we become "in Christ" through baptism, He then will dwell in us. The apostles received the full measure of the Holy Spirit and we receive an earnest measure. We must obey God in order for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us...

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.

1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.

2 John 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

Jesus says we must be "born again" by being "born of water and of the Spirit" to enter heaven. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus...

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus did not understand Jesus when he first said we must be "born again", but Jesus continued and explained to him that being born again was by being "born of water and of the Spirit". We are baptized in water... we are immersed into the water and when we are raised up out of the water we receive the Holy Spirit. This is the same way Jesus received the Holy Spirit...

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Nicodemus understood being "born of water" because John was baptizing people throughout all of Judaea and Jerusalem, as well as he would have probably known of Jesus being baptized by water.

Paul also explains being born again...

Titus 3:5-7 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of generation and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The "washing of generation" is "baptism"... "washing" is from the Greek word "baptizo", which is defined as baptism... while "generation" or "regeneration" is from the Greek word "paliggenesia", which is defined as "new birth" or "born again".

Notice how Jesus explains being "born again" as the same as being "born of water and the Spirit"... while Paul explains being "born again" as "washing of generation and renewing by the Holy Spirit". The three terms "born of water", "washing of generation", and "baptism", are synonymous... as well as are "born of the spirit" and "renewing by the Holy Spirit".

Peter also explained that we are born again by the Word of God... and not by confessing our sins or praying to God. The Word of God is able to save our souls and is what gives us the instructions on how to be saved...

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

We cannot initially be saved by confessing our sins and/or praying to God. The only way we can be free of sin is to be "in Christ" and "Christ be in" us through the Holy Spirit. When we are buried with Him in baptism we are buried into His death. When we are raised up out of the water we then "walk in newness of life" because we have the "Spirit of life".

Romans 6:4 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.

Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

This Baptist preacher indicates in his conclusion that "(From his sermon:)obedience" is not required for salvation. His claim clearly contradicts the Bible...

Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

My question to anyone claiming obedience is not required for salvation is who is their source for eternal salvation? Clearly it is not Jesus Christ who is the "He" in the above passage, because the only way that "He" can be their source for eternal salvation is if they "obey Him". Read the passage! It is extremely clear!

The Bible teaches that we are saved by being obedient to "the faith"... but exactly what is "the faith"? "The faith" is "the gospel". How do we know this? Because the apostles were commanded by Jesus to preach and teach the gospel. This was the Great Commission. The apostles were commissioned to bring about obedience to "the faith"... just as Paul wrote in Romans 1:5. The Great Commission is addressed by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul. Let's look at all of these passages...

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Luke 24:46-48 And he said to them, Thus it is written, that Christ should suffer and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Now let's look at what Paul wrote about not being "obedient to the faith" or "not obeying the gospel"...

Romans 10:16-17 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Paul makes is pretty clear what will happen to those who "obey not the gospel". There is obviously something we must obey. To "obey the gospel" we must obey the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If "obedience" (the act of obeying) has nothing to do with salvation then what about those people who do not obey the gospel? If they do not obey (which is to carry out or fulfill the command, order, or instruction of) the gospel, then they will have "vengeance" taken on them.

On the day of Pentecost, right after Jesus was crucified, the apostle Peter began to preach the very first gospel message to those who had just crucified Jesus. He quotes Joel 2:32 during his preaching...

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Later during Peter's preaching he explains how we "call on the name of the Lord"...

Acts 2:36-38 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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.

My question to you would be which instructions are you going to obey... this Baptist preacher's instructions or an apostle of Jesus Christ who was commanded by Jesus to preach these instructions?

These people heard the message of the gospel... they were "pricked in their heart" and they ask Peter and the apostles... "what shall we do?" Peter explained to them what they needed to do to "call on the name of the Lord".... "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." Clearly they had to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins before they could receive the gift of salvation.

Now let's read what happened to those people in Acts after they believed what Peter preached...

Acts 2:40-41 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Once they were baptized they were "added to the church". They were added to Christ, therefore they were then "in Christ". Notice also how Paul tells us we are added to the church...

Colossians 1:13-14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

"He rescued us from the domain of darkness" clearly tells us that He saved us. He also "transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son", which tells us that we are in the kingdom, the church. Then Paul tells us "in whom" (in His beloved Son... in Christ), "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Clearly it is "in Christ", which is in "the church" where we have forgiveness of sins... just as Luke wrote in Acts... "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Later in Acts we learn how Paul "called on the name of the Lord" when he obeyed...

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Calling on the name of the Lord is obeying God's appointed plan of salvation... not the plan of this Baptist preacher.

God gives us clear instructions and examples on what we must do to be saved in His Word... they include hearing the gospel, believing in Jesus, repenting of our old ways and turning to a life for God, confessing that Jesus is Lord, and being baptized into Christ.

At the beginning of this page I stated that the Scriptures show clear proof of what we must do to be saved. Let's nail it down from the beginning...

WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS US WE MUST DO TO BE SAVED

Jesus said that many will follow the broad way to destruction, but few will find the narrow way into heaven...

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.

Yes... Jesus tells us clearly that "many" will follow that "broad" path and only a "few" will "find" eternal life.

The Greek word for "many" is "polus" or "polos" (many, much, largely, mostly)... while the Greek word for "few" is "oligos" (few, puny, little, small).

With only a "few" finding the right way, it makes practical sense that the majority of people are going to follow the wrong way. Whether it makes practical sense or not, it is exactly what Jesus says. This is one reason it is so important to know the truth... the truth will set us free! I pray that you will be one of those "few" who will search for the truth and "find" the way to heaven.

Now think about what Jesus said again... to "find" something you must look for it, right? If someone simply tells you that you are saved and you do not find out (verify) for yourself through God's Word that you are truly saved, have you really found eternal life? You did not look for it did you? So, how do we actually find eternal life? How can we know without any doubt we are saved?

The absolute only way we can know without any shadow of doubt that we are truly and surely saved is to look for ourself to the one and only source that gives us the answer... the inspired and infallible Word of God!

Consider this next passage very carefully... it clearly tells us that the Bible... the Holy Scriptures... is what will make us "wise unto salvation"... and give us "instruction in righteousness"...

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We must believe and have faith that what we read in the Holy Scriptures is in fact the truth. If you do not believe what is written in the Bible, then this study is probably not going to do you much good.

The Holy Scriptures are intended to deliver the same message to everyone. God created only one way for salvation before creation and in order for us to know the truth, we must "find" out what that one way is.

We absolutely must believe that the Word of God tells us the truth, that God does not lie. Therefore, there is no reason not to believe what the Bible tells us. If you believe this, then you will surely believe what Jesus says is the truth.

It is important for us to remember that Jesus tells us the words which He spoke will judge those that do not believe...

John 12:47-48 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV)

John 12:47-48 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save it. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has something to judge him: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (ISV)

Before we get into exactly what we must do to be saved... let's answer the question, "What actually saves us?"

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news...

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (KJV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth... He was crucified for our sins, His blood was shed for us, He was buried, and he rose again on the third day.

The most wonderful sacrifice ever made for us... let's read it one more time in another translation...

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now I'm making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you-unless, of course, your faith was worthless. For I passed on to you the most important points of what I received: Christ died for our sins in keeping with the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day in keeping with the Scriptures - and is still alive! (ISV)

Jesus is the "propitiation" for our sins... He "satisfied" the punishment for our sins...

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Why did Jesus have to die for for us? Because we are sinners...

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

What happens if there is no sacrifice for our sins...

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Although we are sinners, God still loves us enough that He gave His only Son to die for our sins...

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes... Christ suffered a painful death on that cross... pain and suffering that we cannot fathom. He died, He was buried, and He was raised from the grave... this is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation...

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

So is the gospel what saves us? No, the gospel is not what saves us. Notice that Paul wrote that "the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation".

A very important word we should learn and understand is "unto"... the Greek word that "unto" is translated from is "eis" which means "towards" or "in the direction of" or "in order to obtain". So the gospel of Jesus Christ gets us going in the direction of salvation... towards salvation.

So "WHAT" actually saves us... how can we have our sins forgiven?

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.

"In Him" we have redemption "through His blood" we have forgiveness of sins... through Christ's blood we have forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we may serve the living God!

Through Christ's blood we cleanse our consciences.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Without Christ's blood there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation."

Christ's blood purchased us for God.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Jesus Christ "washed us from our sins in His own blood,"

The truth, through the proof of God's Word, is that the "blood of Christ" is "WHAT" actually cleanses us of our sins.

However Jesus Christ is no longer here on earth, He is in heaven... how can we possibly come in contact with the "blood of Chirst" so that we can have our sins washed away?

How and "WHEN" do we come in contact with the blood of Jesus Christ?

Again... the Bible will give us the clear and precise answers better than any man can ever do.

So... what does the Bible tell us we must do to be saved?

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

1 John 1:1-3 What existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we observed and touched with our own hands - this is the Word of life! This life was revealed to us, and we have seen it and testify about it. We declare to you this eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. What we have seen and heard we declare to you so that you, too, can have fellowship with us. Now this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

The "Word" was manifested as Christ... Christ was the "revealed" Word when the Word became "flesh", so the Word of God is where we will "find" life and learn how to come in contact with the "blood of Christ".

Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

We must "hear" the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to "learn" about God...

John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Jesus said "Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

Clearly we must "hear", but also we must "learn" of the Father...

To "learn" is to "know and understand"...

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

As Jesus says... "eternal life" is to "know" God and Jesus Christ... Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life"...

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Clearly we must "hear and learn" of Christ to be saved.

We must also "believe" in the Son of God...

1 John 5:10-12 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

John wrote that "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son"... we must be "in Him" ... "in Christ" to have eternal life.

Jesus said that unless we believe who He is, we will surely die in our sins... John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."

One of the most quoted verses in the Bible is John 3:16...

John 3:16 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.

So is that it... do we simply "believe He exist" and we will not perish, but have eternal life? Does believing in Christ get us "in Christ"?

We need to know because John has already wrote that "in Him" is where eternal life is. Salvation is "in Christ".

Believing alone cannot put us "in Christ" therefore we can not be saved by simply believing that Jesus exist.

The passage does not tell us that "whosoever believeth He exist should not perish"... NO, this is where "many" go wrong and follow that "broad" path to destruction. If this is all we have to do then we could simply throw our Bibles away and forget the rest of what Jesus said. How much sense would that make?

We MUST understand what "believing in him" means.

We must believe in the Son, "in Christ".

So what does believing "in Christ" mean?

Believing is not simply a mental assent, as in "I believe that Christ is Jesus and He is the Son of God" or "I believe that Christ died for my sins".

Believing "in Christ" is not only believing that He is indeed the Son of God... it is also believing in what He did for us... it is believing in ALL of what He said... it is believing in ALL of His words... it is trusting in Him for the way of salvation.

Jesus clearly said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not... the same shall judge him in the last day."

Obviously Jesus wants us to hear His words and believe them, which is part of "believing in Him".

So we know that believing "in him" is not simply saying that we believe that He exist.

Let's consider the Greek word for "believe"...

The Greek word "pisteuo" is translated today in most Bible translations as "believe" or "believeth".

Now let's consider the definition for the word "pisteuo" (not "believe" as we translate it, but the actual Greek word "pisteuo", which is the word John used when he was inspired by God to write what he wrote)...

Strong's Definition for "pisteuo":
to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit;
by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well being to Christ):
- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Thayer Definition for "pisteuo":
1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
1a) of the thing believed
1a1) to credit, have confidence
1b) in a moral or religious reference
1b1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
1b2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
2a) to be intrusted with a thing

"Pisteuo" means "to have faith in, commit, to trust, to be persuaded of, place confidence in, and to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith"

So to "pisteuo eis autos" or "believe in Him", per our translation of what John wrote in John 3:16, would mean that we should put our faith in Him, commit to Him, believe what He said, and that we should trust in Him to help us obtain salvation. Clearly it is more than simply saying that we believe or simply believing He exist or even simply saying that we have faith.

This is why it is so very important that we study God's Word and learn what words mean. If we truly study we can learn that the word was not really "believe" but rather "pisteuo" and it was translated by men as "believe". The word "pisteuo" really has much more meaning that simply to "believe" as what we think of it in today's society. You should understand that John, the writer of the Gospel of John, did not use the word "believe"... this was not his word, but rather our word... it is the word uninspired men decided to use to translate John's word or God's word.

We should even carry the thought of our English word "believe" to a level of "trust" as well. If you believe me, what does that mean? It means you trust I am telling you the truth, right? So... if you believe in Christ or "believeth in Him", as John wrote, you would be "trusting in Him"... so clearly you should see that this is not merely a mental assent to the existence of Christ.

Many people have long thought that John 3:16 was it... just believe that Christ exist and you can be saved... NO, NO, NO! That is absolutely not what the Bible teaches. Let me give you an example so you can clearly understand what John means... Jesus said in Luke 13:3 that unless you repent you will surely perish... now do you believe Him? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you "believeth in Him" as John wrote? Now do you understand the difference in "believing that He exist" and "believing in Him"? Again... believing in Him includes believing He exist, believing in what He did, believing in what He said, believing in what he taught, and trusting in Him for the way of salvation.

Knowing that we must believe in Him and trust in Him and what He said... let's consider a few statements Jesus made when He walked this earth...

During the beginning of Jesus' ministry here on earth He gave us the first instructions on what we must do to enter heaven...

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Now hold on just a minute... "Not every one that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;"... well now... if we call Jesus "Lord, Lord" would we not be confessing that He exist? Would be not be "believing" that He exist? Why else would we be calling Him "Lord, Lord"? Yet, He clearly says that not everyone who calls Him "Lord, Lord" will enter into heaven. This is undisputable proof that "believing" does not simply mean acknowledging His existence. It is also undeniable and undisputable proof that having "faith" is not all that is required for salvation.

Jesus clearly explains "he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" will be the one that enters into heaven.

We must do the will of God, the "Father". Do you believe in Him? Do you believe what Jesus says? If you "believeth in Him", as John wrote in John 3:16, then you will have to believe that we must do the will of Father in heaven, just as Jesus stated.

Therefore, we should ask what is the will of God for us to be saved?

Let's consider a few more passages that prove we must "believe" (have faith)...

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Remember Jesus also said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not... the same shall judge him in the last day."

We should surely listen to His words and believe what He said.

We have "learned" thus far that we must "hear the gospel of Christ" and we must "believe in Him".

Lets consider what else Jesus said we must do...

Matthew 4:16-17 The people living in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land and shadow of death, a light has risen." From then on, Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!"

Luke 13:3, 5 I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

The "people living in darkness" are the unsaved sinners of the world. Jesus said that they had seen the light, which is Jesus. Jesus then preached that they should "repent".

Jesus made a clear statement that if we do not "repent" we shall likewise perish.

Jesus said it and we should not doubt what Jesus says... we must "believeth in Him".

Now... how could you possibly believe that all you have to do is "believe He exist"... that all you have to do is have "faith"? Especially since Jesus Himself tells us that we must "repent" or we will "perish".

Repentance is also part of what Jesus commanded the apostles to preach...

Luke 24:46-47 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

God also commands everyone, everywhere, to "repent"...

Acts 17:30 Though God has overlooked those times of ignorance, he now commands everyone everywhere to repent, for he has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice through a man he has appointed, and he has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."

God commands and wants "everyone to come to repentance"... and He is patient with us...

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some people understand slowness, but is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance.

So what exactly is "repentance"?

Repentance is turning away from a habitual life of ungodliness and sin, turning to God, and living a life for God... it is acknowledging that you are a sinner and making a decision to seek what God desires for you... and then putting it into practice...

Acts 26:20 Instead, I first told the people in Damascus and Jerusalem, then the whole countryside of Judea, and then the gentiles to repent, turn to God, and practice works that are consistent with such repentance.

Let's consider the Greek word for "repent", which is "metanoia"

Strong's Definition for "metanoia":
(subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation);
by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): - repentance.

Thayer's Definition for "metanoia":
1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

Okay... so you repent and turn to God... does this mean we will never sin again? Not according to God's Word...

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

The blood of Christ keeps us cleansed of sin provided we continue to repent of our sins and confess them to God... notice John wrote to Christians that we should "make it our habit to confess our sins,"...

1 John 1:6-9 If we claim that we have fellowship with him but keep living in the darkness, we are lying and the truth is not in us. But if we keep living in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we make it our habit to confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Repentance brings forth conversion...

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Clearly we must "repent" to be saved, and we must continue to repent of sin after we are saved.

We have "learned" thus far that we must "hear the gospel of Christ" and we must "believe in Him" and we must "repent of our old ways of sin and turn to God."

Jesus also tells us more that we must do...

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

We must "confess" Jesus before other men... we cannot be ashamed of Jesus nor can we be ashamed of His words...

Luke 9:23-26 Then he said to all of them, "If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross every day, and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world, but destroys himself or is lost? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

In the following passage, the apostle Paul confirms what Jesus taught concerning believing and confessing...

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (ISV)

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (KJV)

It is certainly clear that if do not "confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord", and "before men", then Jesus will not confess us before His Father (God).

We can read of a good example of how we confess within the story of the apostle Phillip and the eunuch...

Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.

After Phillip preached Jesus to the eunuch and as they were traveling down the road, notice the first words the eunuch spoke... "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?"

It appears the eunuch was overjoyed that he could obey and be baptized. Phillip explained to him that nothing would hinder him as long as he believed with all of his heart.

Now notice how the eunuch confessed Jesus as he answered Phillip... "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Then the eunuch was immediately baptized.

The eunuch heard the gospel, he believed it, he confessed Jesus, and he was baptized.

The eunuch made the "good confession" which Jesus testified of and Paul confirmed...

1 Timothy 6:12-13 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

In order for us to abide in God we must "confess" Jesus in the Son of God...

1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Now it becomes even more clear that "believing He exists" cannot be all we have to do.

We have "learned" thus far that we must "hear the gospel of Christ" and we must "believe in Him" and we must "repent of our old ways of sin and turn to God" and we must "confess Jesus is the Son of God".

Let's continue to read what else Jesus said...

Mark 16:16 "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who doesn't believe will be condemned." (ISV)

Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (KJV)

Mark 16:16 "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." (NASB)

Jesus said, "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved".

I am not sure how much clearer this could be. Jesus said it Himself.

We must "BELIEVE" and be "BAPTIZED" in order to be saved.

I have no reason to doubt anything Jesus said and I hope no one else would either because clearly Jesus also said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not... the same shall judge him in the last day."

We know what "believe" means, but what exactly does it mean to be "baptized"?

Let's look at the Greek word for "baptize", which is "baptizo".

Strong's Definition for "baptizo":
to make whelmed (that is, fully wet);
used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:
- baptist, baptize, wash.

Thayer's Definition for "baptizo":
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe
3) to overwhelm

To "baptize" is to "make whelmed, fully wet, immerse".

Notice how Thayer's defines it "of vessels sunk". If we study secular history that covers hundreds of years surrounding the life of Christ and in the early first century, we learn that the word “baptizo” was used to describe ships that sank at sea. These ships were completely under water... at the bottom of the ocean. These ships were not sprinkled with water, they were overwhelmed with water. In the early days, "baptism" never had a meaning of "sprinkling". The apostles would have been perplexed had someone suggested sprinkling for baptism in their day. This change in the method of baptism was first brought about by the Roman Catholic Church in approximately 606 A.D., and has been carried forward as traditions of men to this day. The change was never authorized by God, although it is evident that some people are not concerned with what God desires. In fact, to emphasize this point, there is already a Greek work for being "sprinkled", which is "rhantizo". So had Jesus meant that we only needed to be sprinkled for baptism, He could have easily used the Greek word "rhantizo" instead of "baptizo".

If we "believe" what Jesus says, then we must believe that what He says in Mark 16:16 is true. The ones who will be saved are the ones who "believe" and are "baptized".

We "believe" in Christ and we are "baptized" into Christ, then we are "in Christ".

Not only do we have to believe "in Christ"... we must also be "in Christ" to be saved.

Jesus also commanded the apostles to teach all that He taught and to baptize...

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and 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; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Jesus tells us in the above passage how disciples are made... "baptizing them" and "teaching them". These two actions will make a disciple.

And what is a disciple?

Acts 11:26c And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

A disciple is a Christian!

Doing the will of God includes believing and being baptized. If we do not believe, we "shall be damned."

Obviously if we do not believe, we will not care to be baptized either... this would reason without even needing to be said. Think about it... did Jesus need to say "but he that believeth not and is baptized not will be damned"? No, of course not! Jesus knows that if you do not believe then you obviously are not going to be baptized. No one is claiming that baptism alone saves us and I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be baptized who does not believe... how ridiculous would that be. It is an ignorant argument to claim that just because Jesus only said that he who does not believe will be damned means as long as we believe we do not have to be baptized. That is not how the passage reads. Remember what "believeth in Him" means. If all we had to do was believe there would be no reason for Jesus to have mentioned baptism.

When Peter preached the first gospel message on the day of Pentecost he commanded the people to "repent" and be "baptized" for the forgiveness of sins...

Acts 2:37-38 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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.

Paul's conversion proves to us "WHEN" our sins are washed away...

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

If baptism is not important, as some claim, then when are our sins washed away? If it is at some other point in time such as believing, then why were Paul's sins not washed away when he first believed, or when he repented, or when he confessed, or even when he was praying before he was instructed to be baptized (Acts 9)? The Bible clearly teaches us that Paul's sins were not washed away (forgiven) until he was baptized. The full story is in Acts chapter 9 and chapter 22.

Paul later explains that we are "baptized" so that we can "walk in newness of life"...

Romans 6:4 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.

Remember "WHAT" saves us... the "blood of Christ". Now we learn how we come in contact with His blood, the "WHEN" is when we are "buried with Him by baptism into death".

Paul also wrote that we who have been "baptized into Christ" have "put on Christ"...

Galatians 3:26-27 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Are you one of the "For as many as have been baptized"? If you are not then you have not "put on Christ".

Is there someway to "put on Christ" other than through baptism? If there is, God forgot to inspire someone to write it in the Bible.

Paul wrote again that we are "buried with Christ in baptism" and "raised" with Christ through baptism...

Colossians 2:12 Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Peter wrote that "baptism does also now save us"...

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Jesus said unless we are "born of water and of the Spirit" we cannot enter the kingdom...

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "

Clearly the evidence is overwhelming that we must be "baptized" to complete our salvation.

So why do so many people (including many preachers) say that baptism is not that important, and/or that baptism is simply obedience after we are already saved, and/or that baptism is an outward expression of an inward change? You know, I have searched the Bible for the answer to these questions, I have asked a many a person (including many preachers), and I have yet to find the answer. I will not ever find it in the Bible, neither will you, neither will any preacher, because it is simply not there. The concept is not even mentioned in the Bible, there is simply no Scriptural proof for these human philosophical opinions. The only logical answer I can come up with is that they believe this because Jesus said they would... they are among the "many" and Jesus said many will follow the "broad" path to destruction, while "few" find eternal life.

You may be thinking right now that what I say is cruel and unloving towards these people... how can so many people be wrong... what about all those great evangelist on TV, etc., etc.? I cannot apologize because I am not the one who is saying it... the Bible says it... you will have to take it up with God. He is the one who inspired the writers, not me.

Ask yourself how so "many" were wrong when God only saved eight souls in the days of Noah, after Noah preached for 120 years and people laughed at him. Ask yourself why Jesus said only a "few" will "find" eternal life. There is no way that "few" can possibly constitute the "majority"? I do not believe I want to be on the side of the "majority" because Jesus has clearly stated that they will follow the "broad" path to destruction.

I hope you will continue to read more Scriptural proof concerning these things. I encourage you to simply get your Bible out and start studying... you will learn the truth for yourself if you truly study and seek God. Why risk your soul?

We have "learned" thus far that we must "hear the gospel of Christ" and we must "believe in Him" and we must "repent of our old ways of sin and turn to God" and we must "confess Jesus is the Son of God" and we must be "baptized into Christ for the remission of sins".

It is crystal clear what we must do to be saved...

We must HEAR the gospel of Jesus Christ and learn about God...

We must BELIEVE in Christ and ALL of what He said...

We must CONFESS that Jesus is Lord and the Son of God...

We must REPENT from our old way of living in sin and live for God...

We must BE BAPTIZED for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus tells us all these things for a reason, because He came "to save the world" and God "...desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."...

John 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

You have now come to the knowledge of the truth for what we must do to be saved. Why do you delay, go now and be baptized, washing away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord!

Why does this Baptist preacher fail to include these very important passages relating to salvation? How could anyone possibly believe that these passages that God provides have nothing to do with salvation? You would have to completely IGNORE them to believe they have nothing to do with salvation. Why would anyone not want to preach the TRUTH? Why would anyone not want to learn the TRUTH?

Remember this Baptist preacher's claim... (From his sermon:)"The Bible gives us three short, accurate and direct steps to salvation in this passage." and refers to the passage of 1 John 1:9. There is no mistake about it... he clearly does not include any of the passages that prove what we must do to be saved within his "three step" process. In his conclusion he indicates that "baptism" is not necessary, which clearly contradicts the Bible... he indicates that "obedience" is not necessary, which again clearly contradicts the Bible... he even indicates that we do not have to be a member of "the church", which the Bible very clearly tells us is the "body of Christ". His advise is absolutely NOT Biblical.

This Baptist preacher has attempted to create a new way to be saved which is clearly not Biblical. What gives him the authority to change the way we are saved? The way of salvation was created by God before the beginning of time and was taught by Jesus and the apostles... it was written down by inspired men of God. No man today is authorized by God to change the way of salvation. This Baptist preacher is just plain WRONG! Anyone teaching this NEW MAN-MADE doctrine of salvation is WRONG and will give an account for his false teachings on the day of judgment unless he repents and seeks salvation for his soul.

In this Baptist preacher's conclusion he wrote... (From his sermon:)"CONCLU. Perhaps you have tried good works, baptism, church membership, obedience, etc only to find that nothing gives you the peace you are searching for. My Biblical advice to you is to try the blood of Jesus in simple faith. The blood will work when nothing else will."

In my conclusion I would ask you have you tried "simple faith" according to the Baptist preacher's plan? If you have, then according to the Bible, you are not saved. The Bible is very clear that "faith only" does not save us. There is no "feeling" to being saved... there is no "emotionalism" to being saved... there is no "prayer" involved in being saved. You will NOT find it in the Bible... plain and simple!

We know we are saved when we have obeyed what God has commanded us to do to be saved. The Bible clearly proves that we are saved when we are "in Him" (in Christ) and the Bible very clearly tells us how we know we are saved...

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

To "know" God is to be saved... and how do we "know" that we "know" Him... again the Bible clearly tells us...

1 John 2:3-5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

We must keep His commandments... if we say that we know Him and do not keep His commandments then we are considered a liar and the truth is not in us. Only when we keep His Word is the love of God perfected and therefore we are "in Him" (in Christ). It is not what I say... it is what the Bible clearly says!

Are we going to believe what this Baptist preacher preaches or are we going to believe what the Bible teaches? I know one thing for sure... I did what the Bible tells me I must do to be saved. I put my faith in God, not in man.

We clearly have two different ways of salvation here... we have this Baptist preacher's way and we have God's way. Which way will you choose? Choose today who you will serve.



If you attend a Baptist Church, I encourage you to read a lecture by Grover Stevens, a former Baptist preacher... Mr. Stevens tells it like it is, and does not hold back. If the truth is to ever slap you in the face, this will no doubt make you wake up and smell the coffee. It is absolutely awesome! Here is the link for his lecture written in 1948...

WHY I LEFT THE BAPTIST CHURCH




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