How did we get here? Baptism. A topic so fundamental to the Jewish culture and first-century life before Jesus (aka John the Baptist). Seemingly so clear to the Jews of that day that converted to Christianity, like the twelve that had been baptized "into John's baptism" but hearing the truth from the Apostle Paul, immediately were baptized "into Christ" (Acts 19:3-7).
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.
Just as our bodies have many body parts that all together form one body, so it is with Christ’s body. Regardless of whether you are Jew or Greek, slave or free, we were all baptized in one Spirit into one body, drinking of the same Spirit.
Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth addresses many serious and difficult issues they were facing. Division among the body was a recurring theme – addressed in chapter 1 as following after certain prominent men (instead of Christ) – and here in chapter 12 as boasts in various spiritual gifts.
Water1,2,6,7 baptism (as opposed to being “baptized with the Holy Spirit”) is a burial in water1,2,3,4,7,8 that comes in response to hearing the word of God preached1,2,7. Additionally, we see metaphors used3,5 that perfectly align with submersion. And finally, as a footnote, the word for baptism that is consistently used in the New Testament means to submerge or overwhelm in water8.
Baptism is for, not because of, the forgiveness of sins1, and is consistent with the purpose of John’s baptism3 that prepared the way. Jesus’ blood fulfills the requirement10 and is the cleansing agent2,5,7,8,9 of sin. It is only through “death” (e.g. baptism) that an individual contacts His blood6,7. It’s just as Paul asked rhetorically, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”6 and why Peter directly linked baptism to what saves us4.
The purpose for baptism is profound and so much more than simply a symbolic act1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,14. John the Baptist prepared the way with “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”9. Peter says the same thing on the day of Pentecost – baptism (in connection with repentance) was the remedy for removing/forgiving sins1 – saving us3.
Salvation is a process beginning with God’s grace1 to all. However, it is only received by those that believe/accept Jesus Christ1,2 and live Godly lives1,2. Scripture is very consistent on the critical role of baptism4,6,7,8,9,10,12. Its requirement for salvation is stated emphatically3,6,13 and demonstrated over and over by new converts4,5,9 (Saul is another great case study). Specifically, it is the very first “work” of obedience4,6,9,12 and added to His church6,8,12. It is the moment we are cleansed and forgiven of sin and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit6,7,8 – exactly how Jesus appears to be defining being “born again” to Nicodemus11.
Prerequisite questions Your Content Goes Here What is the gift of tongues? What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? Do miracles still happen today? Many today teach that speaking in tongues is required for salvation. The notion [more]
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul makes a statement that deserves a closer look. When he says in 1 Timothy 2:153 that women should be saved through childbearing some immediate questions might arise. For example, is Paul saying that only women that have children can be saved? Or, is [more]
Jesus makes a statement about the hot and cold of Laodicea that apparently does not sit well with some. Dr. Chip Bennett is lead "pastor" for Grace Community Church in Sarasota, FL. In a recent video, he counsels his followers regarding a new revelation he has had regarding the hot [more]
The once saved always saved doctrine (e.g. OSAS) teaches that once someone has been saved they can never fall away or "fall from grace." This argument usually stems from an absolute position regarding God's sovereignty. The reasoning goes something like: If God is sovereign (which He is), and God wants [more]
Defining salvation according to the Bible is yet another instance in which simply getting out a dictionary or "going to the Greek" is useless. Knowing the Greek word for "salvation" ("soteria" - rescue or safety either physically or morally, deliverance, preservation) doesn't really help. Understanding salvation according to the Bible [more]
When it comes to Jesus and OSAS (the doctrine of "once saved, always saved"), we gathered our top four passages. Once saved, always saved teaches that once a person becomes in a "saved relationship" with God/Christ, there is nothing that can "unsave" them. It is vehemently upheld by many prominent [more]
A Christian's potential to fall from grace is a concept that runs contrary to many in the religious world today. Challenging certain pre-conceived doctrines (e.g Reformed/Calvinism), a fall from grace suggests that a person who had at one time believed and accepted the gospel of Christ, could 'fall from grace' [more]
Working through how "works" are defined in Scripture isn't for the faint of heart. Where one comes down on works defined has led some to question the very inspiration of the Bible. After all, Paul said, "one is justified by faith apart from works" (Romans 3:28). James said, "faith [more]
What are the results of baptism? We've assembled a list of the top four results of baptism found in Scripture. Where does "it's an outward showing of an inward commitment" rank? Check out our top four results of baptism...and comment below. The top four results of baptism [more]
The writers of the New Testament present several images for baptism. Just as with the images of the church, a picture or image can really help to drive a point, and it is really no different with these top five images for baptism. Baptism has always been part of the [more]
Determining God's pattern of salvation could be a helpful tool in understanding what God requires of us today. Many talk about God's plan of salvation, but what about God's pattern of salvation? Obviously, the system under which man is accountable to God has changed since Creation, but God doesn't change, and [more]
We have assembled our top three salvation false doctrines. After tackling dozens of questions related to what the Bible (God) says about salvation and various false doctrines that are promoted by various denominations and [false] teachers, there are three especially that cut to the heart of one's saved condition [more]
When it comes to the thief on the cross, it's usually only raised as the "textbook" example of God's saving grace. Specifically, it's raised to counter the necessity of baptism. The popular response is something like, "What about the thief on the cross? Jesus declared him saved without having to [more]
"Saved by grace only" is a catchy phrase that permeates websites and papers discussing salvation. We can't prove it, but it seems to be "de facto" doctrine among most evangelicals. The grace only doctrine has its own Latin banner - sola gratia. It is the mantra for whole movements and [more]
There is a common belief among Christian's today that Saul was saved on the road to Damascus. The conversion account of Saul, later known as Paul the apostle, is well documented in Scripture. In fact, there are three accounts of his conversion that are candidates to consider if Saul was [more]
Baptism "for the forgiveness of sins" is a statement Peter makes in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38 ). The preposition "for" comes from the Greek word "eis" which is defined by Strong's to mean, "to or into (indicating the point reached [more]
God's plan for a savior is fundamental to His plan of salvation. Messiah, or "lit. 'the anointed one,' is a saviour or liberator of a group of people". We can read about the life of this Messiah, Jesus Christ, in the four Gospels. However, looking at God's plan for a savior [more]
Many today live as though they will never come before God in judgment. But Jesus said, "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Matthew 24:44) In the same context, he divulges that "concerning that day and hour [more]
The idea that we will be judged according to works is a remarkably contentious one. It would seem that the thought of being "judged according to works" requires that God's grace must be denied. In other words, to say that we are judged according to works is to say that [more]
What Christian's believe and how they have come to understand what the Bible teaches isn't always shaped purely by Scripture. The Ancient Greek influence of Gnosticism has had a profound and enduring effect on Christian thought. Indeed, that may be the case in needing to ask the question, "For [more]
God's irresistible grace, also referred to as the 'effectual call' in the Westminster Confession of Faith, is probably better known as "irresistible grace". It represents the "I" in "TULIP" - a broader collection of doctrines ascribed to John Calvin (even though he existed long before the acronym). This doctrine [more]
The seal of God or 'God's seal' is a term that comes up enough in Scripture to take note. In fact, based on much of the published material about God's seal, there is too often only one instance that seems to be taken as the primary or default passage. Unfortunately, [more]
Hearing the gospel is certainly one way for an individual to come to know about God's will. When somebody hears the "good news" they learn about Jesus, His mission on earth and God's plan for mankind's salvation. While hearing the gospel is one way, is it the only way [more]
Jesus' mission is something that can be confused with His actions. What Jesus came to this world to do (Jesus' mission) and what he did (Jesus' activities) are not necessarily the same thing. For example, one of the things He did was feed the hungry. But was that Jesus' [more]
It is such an important question. Can we lose our salvation? Or said another way: Can God's grace be rejected? Can someone actually squander, neglect, or even return, as it were, their free gift from God? There is a prevailing thought about this question among the Christian community. For example, [more]
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