Monday, November 21, 2016
Being wrong can be devastating! Self preservation kicks in and a plausible defense is offered to “save face.” Sometimes correction is not viewed as positive.
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden, Satan approached them with, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” Eve’s response was almost correct, but a few words caused it to be misleading. Her reply was, “God did say . . . you must not touch it.’” He didn’t say that! Actually he stated, “when you eat of it you will surely die.”
In studying the subject of baptism, some make statements that seem to be true, but are misleading! I realize the person is honest in making the statement, but may not understood that it leaves the wrong impression. This causes the person being taught to focus on the misdirected statement and believe the teacher is in error, not himself.
Some will quote Acts 22:16 where Paul tells about his conversion. Ananias finds and tells him, “Receive your sight” (Acts 22:13). Then he stated, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” The teacher announces. “This plainly teaches that baptism washes your sins away!” His statement is misleading. The student hears him say, “Your sins are washed away with water.” The student doesn’t believe that and neither does God! It is the blood of Jesus that accomplishes that blessing, not the water (1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14, 19-20, 29)! We sing, “There is power in the blood,” not “Power in the water.” It is true that when folks heard the good news, they responded by being immersed but it is God who does the addition because Jesus’ blood does the cleansing (Acts 2:41). Some will also partially quote 1 Peter 3:21 to prove baptism saves us. They digress by leaving out the true origin of our forgiveness, which is: “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Baptism (immersion in water) pictures our death to sin, our old man being buried with Jesus into his death, and our resurrection with him (Romans 6). Jesus shed his blood so our sins would be erased (Hebrews 10:17). We submit to that death, burial and resurrection to be buried and raised with him. God adds us to the saved.
Immersion is essential or necessary, but it is not the cleansing agent. Jesus’ blood is! First century folks heard the Good News, gladly received it, were immersed, and God added them to the saved (Acts 2:40-41, 47 ASV, NASV). We can do no less.
“If any one preaches, let him always preach as one who utters God’s truth” (1 Peter 4:11 (Montgomery NT).