One of the requirements one must do to be saved and be
added to the church/kingdom is that one must be baptized for the remission of
sins. However, much of the religious world rejects this command of God as being
essential to salvation. In this article, we shall “examine” the Scriptures to
see what is actually said about the command. The first thing that we should
make clear is that baptism is not a work of merit on man’s part. When man has
obeyed this command of God, he has not earned the remission of sins. When man
obeys any command of God, he has no reason to boast of such actions as though
he now had merited something, or that he had indebted God in some way.
That baptism is a command to the alien sinner no one
can rightly deny. Those on the day of Pentecost who asked Peter and the rest of
the apostles, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37), were told to “repent and be
baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). When Saul of Tarsus asked the
Lord, “What would you have me do?”, he was told to go into Damascus and there it would be told him what
he must do (Acts 9:6). In Acts 22,
Paul recounts his conversion. He tells of Ananias who came to him, being sent
by the Lord, and who told him to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy
sins” (verse 16). There are other accounts that can be given. In fact, in every
case in the Book of Acts that records a conversion, that person or persons were
baptized as the final act of becoming a Christian. It might be good at this
point to ask why this is so.
The Scriptures are plain and simple in their teaching
about the blood of Christ. One simply cannot be saved without the shedding of
His blood. Please turn to the following Scripture references in your Bible and
read in the order given: Matthew 26:28;
Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews
10:4; Hebrews 9:12.
There are many other such passages, but these will suffice to prove the point.
The question now is, “How does one come into contact with that blood so that he
may be redeemed—that he may be cleansed from his sins?
In John 19,
the Jews came to Pilate asking that those on the crosses be taken down before
the beginning of the Sabbath. Pilate sent the soldiers to break the legs of
those on the crosses to hasten their deaths. However, when the soldiers came to
Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. At this point, one of the soldiers
pierced the side of Jesus with his spear “and forthwith came there out blood
and water” (John 19:34). Please note that the blood was shed in His death. In
order for one to contact that blood, he must get into the death of Christ. Is
there any passage that tells us how this is accomplished? Yes. “Or do you not
know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into
His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we
also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 NKJV). Notice two things: One is baptized
into the death of Christ; he is then raised to walk in newness of life. He is
now a new creature in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17
Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old
things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Question: When is
one a “new creature?”—“in Christ”!
Another question: How does the passage say that one gets into Christ? He is
baptized into Christ. This same apostle wrote the Galatians: “For you are all
sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized
into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27). Paul states that they were
(present tense) children of God by faith in Christ, because they had (past tense)
been baptized into Christ.