Monday, November 26, 2012

BAPTISM: THE THRESHOLD MOMENT OF SALVATION

Baptism is important, nay, necessary for salvation as the Scriptures make it clear that God's saving grace is given when an adult is buried with Christ in baptism. Take a look at the language used by Paul for this threshold moment of salvation.
"12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." Colossians 2:12
Paul says that in baptism a person is buried with Christ, and from that same baptism the sinner is raised (compare this with Colossians 3:1: "If you have been raised...") by his faith in the working of God. Yes it is clear that God's saving grace is working very powerfully at the moment a person of faith goes down into the water. On negative side of the threshold of Baptism men are "dead in their trespasses", and on good side they are "made alive together with Him", Col. 2:13.

Baptism is the threshold moment in the Colossians epistle where the domain of darkness is on one side and the kingdom of Jesus is on the other side, Col. 1:13. It is the threshold moment in the Colossians epistle where on one side men are "alienated and hostile in mind, engaging in evil deeds" and on the other side men are "holy, blameless and beyond reproach", Col. 1:21,22.

Let's be clear. Baptism is not said to recall or hearken back to the threshold moment when you said a prayer or when you first heard of Christ; baptism IS the threshold moment where the sinner goes from lost to saved. Acts shows us that Saul wasn't saved on the road to Damascus, but when he was baptized and washed away his sins is when he was saved. This is God's design and we MUST conclude that men who are not baptized and men who are baptized according to human teaching have not crossed the threshold given by God. 

The reason for being baptized is as important as the act itself. If an adult is immersed for the reason of world peace, that's not a valid reason for being baptized. The only scriptural reason to be baptized is to receive "remission of sins", Acts 2:38; 22:16. 

The reason is important, but the proper mode for the act must also be observed if one is to do it correctly according to the scriptures. Catholics sprinkle babies for the remission of sins though babies have no faith and they have no sin. Catholic baptism is of man and cannot be found in the Holy Scriptures. Same for Lutheran baptism. Baptist teach that the threshold moment of salvation is prior to baptism which is not the language Paul uses in Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 3:26,27, or Colossians 2:12. Denominations have adopted human teaching and have strayed from the Bible. 

Now we should proclaim the saving grace of God. And we should love souls and want them to know God's grace. But we can have no patience for false teachers. So if someone wishes to contradict this clear teaching that we see in the Colossians letter as well as the rest of the New Testament, then bring the book, chapter, and verse. No anonymous comments will be posted. Thank you and may God bless you. Dan Mayfield

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