Baptism

Jess Whitlock

In Ephesians 4:5 we read, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Almost the entire religious world will agree that there is one LORD. It is amazing that virtually the entire denominational and interdenominational world disagree with the simple statement that there is one faith and one baptism. The apostle Paul wrote those inspired words circa A.D. 62. The one baptism of which he wrote is the baptism of the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why should one be baptized into Christ? Baptism cleanses our sin by the washing of water (Eph. 5:26). We are baptized into the name of the Godhead (Matt. 28:19.) Because it is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Baptism does now save us (1 Pet. 3:21). To have all past sins washed away (Acts 22:16). We must be baptized into the name of Christ (Acts 10:48). Then, we can walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Baptism is essential for one to be saved from sin (Mark 16:16). Baptism is the only way to get into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4 and Gal. 3:27).

Regarding that latter point, I recall my first public debate. I had signed to affirm the proposition that, “The Scriptures teach that water baptism to the penitent believer is for (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.” One of my charts reflected the fact that in New Testament baptism that we are baptized into Christ. To support that statement I had printed in large and bold letters: Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27. The arguments presented, in the words of the late brother J.T. Marlin, were “ungetoverable.” My Baptist opponent, Mr. Ballard, contended that I had only used two Scripture references in proving that point. He further argued that the reason that I did not use more than those two cited references, was because I did not have more! You know something, he was absolutely right. In my next rebuttal speech I asked my opponent, “How many times does God have to utter a statement to make that statement true?” We had a brief discussion about the term “gopher wood” which is found one time, and only one time in the entire Bible! Then I reminded my opponent that we were still waiting for just one Scripture reference from him that would demonstrate that the one baptism of the New Testament is not for the remission of sins! On that point, he remained as silent as the proverbial tomb!

One is not saved until after he has been baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. One hundred forty nine of the ripest scholars the world has ever known (KJV and ASV of 1901) affirm this Truth.

In Matthew 26:28 We notice that Christ Jesus shed His blood “for the remission of sins…” Then, in Acts 2:38 we take note that one must repent and be baptized in His name “for the remission of sins…” If one argues, as my opponent did, that the English word “for” in Acts 2:38 means: “because of, or on account of, or in order to declare…” then it must mean the very same thing in Matthew 26:28, and if not, then why not?

In 1 Peter 3:21 the inspired Peter states, “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.” On the first night of that debate I placed a portion of that Scripture on a blackboard, i.e. “baptism doth also [now/not] save us…” I challenged my opponent to erase the word that did not belong in that inspired statement. I pressed him on that in every speech delivered. He continually ignored the blackboard and its message. In his final speech on the final night of that debate, he finally walked over to the blackboard and erased the word “not.” As he walked away he muttered that he did not see what all the big deal was about that. Also, as he walked away from the board this message glared at him: “Baptism doth now also save us…” In my closing speech I told the audience what the big deal was about my opponent’s actions. I re-read the proposition that he was affirming: “The Scriptures teach that water baptism to the penitent believer is not for (in order to obtain) the remission of sins” (emphasis mine—JW). I explained to the audience that when Mr. Ballard erased the word “not” he had given up his proposition and indeed, he had!

How many today still try to pervert the reading of 1 Peter 3:21 to make Peter seem to say, “Baptism doth also not save us…”? Have you obeyed the teaching of Christ and His holy apostles by being baptized into the name of Christ for the remission of sins? If not, “…now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

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Author: Editor

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