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 amazingly amazing that the vast denominational world disagrees with Paul’s writing that there is “one faith” and “one baptism.” That “one baptism” of which Paul wrote in AD 62 is the baptism of the great commission of Jesus Christ.
Why should one be baptized into Christ? Baptism cleanses one of sin by the washing in water (Eph. 5:26). We are baptized into the name of the Godhead (Matt. 28:19). Baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
In my first public debate I signed to affirm this proposition: “The Scriptures teach that water baptism to the penitent believer is for (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.” One of my charts used demonstrated that in New Testament baptism we are baptized into Christ. That chart emphasized two Scriptures: Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27. My opponent, Mr. Ballard, contended that I had only used two Scriptures to make my point. He proceeded to push the point that I used those two passages, because I did not have any others to use, only those two! He was absolutely right! In my rebuttal speech I asked Mr. Ballard this question: “How many times does God have to make a statement to make that statement true?” Then we had a brief discussion about the term “gopher wood” that is found only one time in the entire Bible! Then I continued, “Mr. Ballard, we are still waiting for just one Scripture from you to show that the one baptism of the New Testament is not for the remission of sins.” He remained as silent as the proverbial tomb on that point.
One is not saved until after that one has been baptized into Christ for the remission of sins! One-hundred forty-nine of the ripest scholars this world has ever known (translators of King James and American Standard Versions) affirm this truth in Acts 2:38. In Matthew 26:28 we note again that Jesus Christ shed His blood “for the remission of sins…” Some will argue, as did my opponent in the aforementioned debate, that the English word for can mean: “because of, or on account of, or in order to declare…” I responded that if it means that in Acts 2:38 it would have to mean that also in Matthew 26:28; and if not, then why not? Remember that proverbial tomb?
On the first night of that debate I placed the words of 1 Peter 3:21 on my blackboard. I did make one notable change in this manner: “the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…” At the word now I put it in parenthesis in this fashion: (NOW/NOT). I then challenged my opponent that one of those words did not belong and asked him to erase that word. He ignored the blackboard as long as he could. I pressed him in each speech to erase the word that was in error. In his final speech on the last night, he finally went to the blackboard and erased the word not. He threw the eraser down and walked away muttering “I don’t see what all the big deal was about that!” As he walked away those words: “Baptism Doth Also Now Save Us…” glared at his back. In my final speech I read the proposition he had signed to defend: “The Scriptures teach that water baptism to the penitent believer is not for (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.” I explained to my opponent and the audience that when Mr. Ballard erased the word not he had given up his proposition, and indeed he had!
Yet, many in the religious world of our day are still trying to re-write the apostle Peter in his words recorded in 1 Peter 3:21. Many still try to have him say that “baptism doth also not save us….”? Have you been baptized into Christ for the remission of sins? If not, why not now? “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).