Christian Baptism

We can all learn a little more about baptism. Baptism is the culmination of our obedience to the gospel. Baptism without faith is useless (Hebrews 11:6), without repentance is futile (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), and without love is empty (Matthew 22:37-40). It does little good to baptize anyone who doesn’t understand what he is doing or why he is doing it. Baptism is a willful, knowledgeable act of faith and obedience toward God.
Christian baptism takes place by the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus has all authority and has authorized his followers to preach and to baptize (Matthew 28:18-20). When we are baptized, we act in the name of Jesus Christ, i.e., by his authority. Whatever we do in word or deed, Christians are to do everything in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; Colosians 3:17).
We are baptized into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). In Christian baptism one comes into the possession, protection, and blessing of God (Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthains 12:13; Galatians 3:27).
We are united with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. We are crucified with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:4-7) so that our body of sin may be done away with. We are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. Baptism is the time of transformation from death to life, from sin to salvation, from slavery to sin to slavery to righteousness (Romans 6:16-18).
Baptism is passive on the part of man and active on the part of God (Colosians 2:12,13). Baptism is an act of faith in the working of God. In baptism, God works on us to cleanse us from sin (Acts 22:16), to cause us to be born again (Titus 3:3-7), to add us to his church (Acts 2:41,47), and to raise us up to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Baptism is the time the blood of Christ looses us from sin (Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 1:7). There is no forgiveness without the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:22). Since we are baptized into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3), baptism (unlike anything else) unites us with him in his sacrifice on the cross.
The New Testament records show that people did not put off their baptism until a later date Acts 2:41; 8:12; 8:34-39; 16:33). They were baptized immediately because they knew their salvation depended upon obedience.
What is hindering you from baptism? What are you waiting for? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins (Acts 22:16).

7 thoughts on “Christian Baptism

  1. Phil,
    Thank you for your work on the “Christian Baptism” and all the hard work that you do for the Lord and his church. We all need to follow your lead in being servants like the Lord want us to.
    I need your and your reader’s input on a question that I am doing a personal Bible study on.
    If a repentant, confessing believer in Jesus Christ has fully committed himself/herself to being obedient to Christ Jesus in baptism, but dies unexpectedly prior to actually complying with that command (due to circumstances beyond his/her control), Will God’s grace cover that person, and they will receive the gift of eternal salvation, based on the genuine intent of their heart at the time of their death?
    Thanks,
    Thomas Edward
    “a student of the Word”

  2. This article by my beloved teacher Hugo McCord is appropriate here:
    Hugo McCord, ?What Will Happen to Good Unbaptized People,? in Fifty Years of Lectures, Vol. 2, pp. 252,253.
    A person of unquestioned sincerity, convinced she should be baptized, hesitated because she knew of many fine people who were not baptized. ?What will happen to good unbaptized people?? she asked. Certainly it is easy to understand her reasoning.
    That there are excellent moral people, fair to all men, merciful to the unfortunate, who have not been baptized into the Lord is a well-known fact. But if a good man touches a highly charged electric wire, God?s law about electricity is not changed. That good people have not been immersed does not change God?s law about immersion (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12). That many millions of people have were baptized (?) as infants does not change God?s law that baptism is for believers (Mark 16:15,16; Acts 8:36). That millions of people have been baptized into various sects and denominations does not change God?s law that baptism is into one body, one church (1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18). That many sincere Jews and upright Mohammedans have not confessed Jesus does not change God?s law about the deity of His Son (John 3:18; Mark 16:6; Acts 4:12). That some are moral and yet deny the existence of God does not change God?s law about faith in him (Heb. 11:6).
    But the laws of God also reveal that some people are better off in God?s sight unbaptized than some who have been immersed (2 Pet. 2:20-22). God?s laws also reveal that some heathen people, not being as stubborn as some who have heard the message of Jesus are going to have it easier in the day of judgment (Matt. 11:20-24). God?s word also reveals that some without a Bible have lived better before God than some knowing the Bible (Rom. 2:14-24).
    Certainly one should conclude that no matter what mercy some may have in the day of judgment, that mercy will not be extended to one who knows God?s law on baptism and who refuses to obey (James 4:17; 1 John 2:4).

  3. First, I want to thank Phil for helping me with my study of the Bible (People use pieces of iron to sharpen iron knives. In the same way, people learn from other people, making each other sharp. Proverbs 27:17)and I also want to thank the owners of this website for the way this website is setup. May God bless every one of you.
    We learn in Acts 17:11 that the Bereans went home and study for themselves if Paul was telling them the truth. I try to have the Berean spirit. I also try to encourage others to have the Berean spirit by listing the scripture used.
    Scripture used by Brother Hugh McCord:
    Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ Jesus when we were baptized ? We shared his death in our baptism. So when we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. We were buried with Christ so that we could {be raised up and} live a new life. This happened the same as Christ was raised from death by the wonderful power of the Father. (Romans 6:3-4)
    When you were baptized, {your old self died and} you were buried with Christ. And in that baptism you were raised up with Christ because of your faith in God’s power. God’s power was shown when he raised Christ from death. (Colossians 2:12)
    Jesus said to the followers, “Go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News to every person. Any person that believes and is baptized will be saved. But the person that does not believe will be judged guilty. (Mark 16:15-16)
    While they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The officer said, “Look! Here is water! What is stopping me from being baptized ?” (Acts 8:36)
    Some of us are Jews and some of us are Greeks (non-Jews); some of us are slaves and some of us are free. But we were all baptized into one body through one Spirit. And we were all given the one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
    Christ is the head of the body. (The body is the church.) Everything comes from him. And he is the Lord who was raised from death. So in all things Jesus is most important. (Colossians 1:18)
    The person that believes in God’s Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God’s only Son. (John 3:18)
    But the man said, “Don’t be afraid. You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, the one that was killed on a cross. He has risen from death! He is not here. Look, here is the place they put him when he was dead. (Mark 16:6)
    Jesus is the only One who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. We must be saved through Jesus!” (Acts 4:12)
    Without faith, a person cannot please God. Any person who comes to God must believe that God is real. And any person who comes to God must believe that God rewards those people who truly want to find him. (Hebrews 11:6)
    Those people were made free from the evil things in the world. They were made free by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if those people go back into those evil things and those things control them, then it is worse for them than it was before. Yes, it would be better for those people to have never known the right way. That would be better than to know the right way and then to turn away from the holy teaching that was given to them. What those people did is like this true saying: “When a dog vomits (throws up), he comes back to his vomit.” And, “After a pig is washed, the pig goes back and rolls in the mud again.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)
    Then Jesus criticized the cities where he did most of his miracles. Jesus criticized those cities because the people there did not change their lives and stop sinning. (Matthew 11:20)
    Jesus said, “It will be bad for you Chorazin. It will be bad for you Bethsaida. I did many miracles in you. If those same miracles had happened in Tyre and Sidon, then those people in Tyre and Sidon would have changed their lives a long time ago. Those people would have worn sackcloth and put ashes on themselves to show that they were sorry for their sins. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be worse for you than for Tyre and Sidon. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No! You will be thrown down to the place of death. I did many miracles in you. If those same miracles had happened in Sodom, {the people of} Sodom {would have stopped sinning and it} would still be a city today. But I tell you it will be worse for you in the day of judgment than for Sodom.” (Matthew 11:20-24)
    (The non-Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do things that the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law. They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands. And those people also show this by the way they feel about right and wrong. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they did wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they did right, and this makes them not guilty.) All these things will happen on the day when God will judge the secret things inside of people. The Good News that I tell people says that God will judge people through Christ Jesus. What about you? You say you are a Jew. You trust in the law and boast that you are close to God. You know what God wants you to do. And you know the things that are important, because you have learned the law. You think you are a guide for people that don’t know the right way. You think you are a light for people that are in darkness (sin). You think you can show foolish people what is right. And you think you are a teacher for people that still need to learn. You have the law and so you think that you know everything and have all truth. You teach other people. So why don’t you teach yourself? You tell people not to steal. But you yourselves steal. You say that people must not do the sin of adultery. But you yourselves are guilty of that sin. You hate idols. But you steal from temples. You boast about God’s law. But you bring shame to God by breaking his law. It is written in the Scriptures : “The non-Jews say bad things about God because of you {Jews}.” (Romans 2:14-24)
    And when a person knows how to do good, but does not do good, then he is sinning. (James 4:17)
    A person says, “I know God!” But if that person does not obey God’s commands, then that person is a liar. The truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4)
    Brother Hugh answered the question of “Will mercy be extended to one who knows God’s law on baptism and who refuses to obey?”The Bible is clear on the answer to that question. However, that is not my question. My question is this.
    If a repentant, confessing believer in Jesus Christ has fully committed himself/herself to being obedient to Christ Jesus in baptism, but dies unexpectedly prior to actually complying with that command of baptism (due to circumstances beyond his/her control), Will God’s grace cover that person, and will they receive the gift of eternal salvation, based on the genuine intent of their heart at the time of their death? In other words, Will mercy be extended to one who knows God’s law on baptism, who is willing to obey God in baptism but dies before baptism takes place?
    Sense this is my own personal Bible study, I do not want this to be divisive. Right now, I remember reading in the Bible that we are supose to submit to each other but I forgot where in the Bible I read that but I want to follow the Bible in that regard. God also tells us to love each other. One of the ways to love each other is to submit to others.
    In other words, If anyone wants me to knock this off or if anyone have any advice for me, then please email me at procadgroup@hotmail.com. Owners of this website, This is your website which means that I must follow your guidelines. As parents tell their teenagers, “You are under my roof so you must follow my rules”.
    Thank you for your time, Thank God for brother Hugo McCord.
    Thomas Edward
    “in meekness and fear”

  4. Thomas,
    let me ask you this question. Let’s say that a young man was deeply in love with a young lady and asked her to marry him. The two lovingly set the date, made all the arrangements, rented the hall, secured the preacher, purchased the dress and rings, rented the tuxedo, and got the flowers. They even purchased the wedding license according to the law.
    On the day of the wedding, the groom was tragically killed on the way to the church.
    Question: could the young lady legally wear his name and inherit his estate?
    One is not married until one is married. One is not born again until one is born again.
    God bless,
    phil

  5. Phil,
    Thank you for your time to discuss the Bible with me. Also, thank you for you williness to discuss the Bible in detail with me. Those two thing are a big deal to me. Phil, it is my hope and prayer that you enjoy discussing the Bible with me. One day, I would like to go to lunch with you and discuss the Bible, face to face. Now, that would be good.
    Let me expand my question to make it easier to understand.
    “If a repentant, confessing believer in Jesus Christ has fully committed himself/herself to being obedient to Christ Jesus in baptism, but dies unexpectedly prior to actually complying with that command (due to circumstances beyond his/her control), Will God’s grace cover that person, and will they receive the gift of eternal salvation, based on the genuine intent of their heart at the time of their death???
    If one who has come to that point of conviction and faith in Jesus Christ which leads to a turning away from a life of sin and a turning toward a life of obedience and faithfulness to Jesus Christ, and an acknowledgement both verbally and visibly (in daily living) of the death, burial, resurrection, deity and lordship of Jesus as the Son of God, our Redeemer, has an inner conviction, and willingness of mind and heart, to comply completely and immediately with all, including baptism, the Lord Jesus has required of a person as specified in His inspired New Covenant writings, as best as personally understood, but dies unexpectedly prior to actually complying with that command of baptism (due to circumstances beyond his/her control), will God’s grace cover that person, and will they receive the gift of life everlasting (immortality) with our Lord in Heaven and the redeemed of all ages following the resurrection and judgment, based on the genuine intent of their heart at the time of their death? If a man had come to a deep belief/faith in Jesus Christ, had genuinely repented of his sins, had made the “good confession” before men, and was standing in the waters of the baptistery with the intent of being immersed into Christ Jesus, and this man died suddenly ONE SECOND before being baptized, would he go straight to hell? If that same man in the example was plunged beneath the waters of the baptistery and then suddenly died before his nose broke the surface of the water, would he still go straight to hell?
    About your question “could the young lady legally wear his name and inherit his estate?” This question deals with the law of the land, not the law of God. It is the law of God, not the law of the land, that is truth. It is the law of God, not the law of the land that is going to judge us in the last days.
    Phil, God’s truth is found in Scripture, the Word of God, the Bible.
    The Lord Jesus Christ, in His great high priestly prayer, declared clearly the truth of God?s Word. He said, ?Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.? Phil, Did it say to “sanctify them through the law of the land or thy truth”? God?s Word not only contains the truth but rather it is truth itself. This is consistent with the declarations throughout the Old Testament in which the Holy Spirit continually proclaimed that the revelation from God is truth, as for example Psalm 119:142, ?thy law is truth.? Whose law is truth? “Thy law, the word of God, is truth. The Lord Himself therefore identified truth with the Written Word. There is no source, other than written Scripture alone, to which the statement, ?thy word is truth? can apply. That source alone, the Holy Scripture, is the believer?s standard of truth.
    In the New Testament, it is the Written Word of God, and that alone, to which the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles refer as the final authority. In the temptation, the Lord Jesus three times resisted Satan, saying, ?It is written.? For example, in Matthew 4:4, ?he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.? In stating, ?It is written?, the Lord used the very phrase that is used in the Holy Bible eighty times. The prevalence of this repeated phrase underlines its importance. The Lord?s complete acceptance of the authority of the Written Word is evident in His words found in Matthew 5:17-18,
    ?Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.?
    The other sources of authority are condemned. Christ Jesus continually castigated and rebuked the Pharisees because they placed their tradition on a par with the Word of God. He condemned them because they were attempting to corrupt the very basis of truth by equating their traditions with the Word of God. He declared to them ?[You are] making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such things do ye? (Mark 7:13). These traditions of the Pharisees were precepts, ordinances, law of the land and rules of religious belief and practice that had been developed by learned religious teachers over time. They had been passed on by word of mouth and by selectively edited writings. These traditions, oral and written, formed a body of cultural material that became an official set of interpretations and guidelines for religious life. Even the clear teaching of the Holy Scripture was being sifted through them and modified to suit men?s tastes and preferences. Furthermore, in refuting the errors of the Sadducees, the Scripture records the Lord saying, ?Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God? (Matthew 22:29). Unlike the Pharisees, who mistakenly considered themselves the loyal followers of Moses, the Sadducees were a radical party of religious liberals who had appropriated the thinking of Greek agnostic philosophers. They manufactured beliefs on the basis of what seemed reasonable to them rather than what had been revealed by God in His Word. However, since Scripture alone is inspired, it alone is the ultimate authority, and it alone is the final judge of all human traditions and reasoning. The Word of the Lord says as a commandment in Proverbs 30:5, 6, ?Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.? God commands that we are not to add to His Word. This command shows emphatically that it is God?s Word, and God?s Word alone, not the law of the land, that is pure and uncontaminated.
    Aligned with Proverbs, the Lord?s strong, clear declaration in Isaiah 8:20 is: ?To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.? The truth is this: since God?s written word, not the law of the land, alone is breathed out by Him, it and it alone is the sole rule of faith. It cannot be otherwise.
    Phil, we need to be carefull on comparing the law of the land to the law of God. That would be like us trying to move God off His throne that we may occupy it ourselves.
    To answer your question. “could the young lady legally wear his name and inherit his estate?” It is my understanding that according to the law of the land, the answer is no. But does that answer my questions on God’s amazing grace and baptism? No, it does not.
    We sometimes sing the song “Amazing Grace” The words of the song “Amazing Grace” were written c. 1772 by John Newton; they form a part of the Olney Hymns that he worked on, with William Cowper and other hymnodists.
    This is the lyrics of the song. Listen to the words.
    Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now I’m found,
    Was blind, but now I see.
    ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear,
    The hour I first believed!
    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    We have already come;
    ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
    The Lord has promised good to me,
    His word my hope secures;
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.
    Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease;
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.
    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who call’d me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.”
    Phil, If God’s grace is not amazing, then why do we sing that song? If God’s grace is not amazing, then we are lying. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 12:22) Jehovah hates a lying tongue. (Proverbs 6:17) Lying lips do not become a prince. (Proverbs 17:7) Ananias became an abomination with his lie. (Acts 5:3) We put things that are abominable to us far away. So does God.(Rev. 21:8) Bottom line. If God’s grace is not amazing, then we should stop singing the song “Amazing Grace”, repent and pray to God for forgiveness.
    Phil, I have a lot more to say but my comment is long enough so I must stop.
    Thank you,
    Thomas Edward
    “In meekness and fear”

  6. Dear Thomas,
    Grace is not a magic pill that changes God’s laws to suit what we think they ought to say. Jesus said in John 3:5, ?Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Now the same Jesus you put your faith into for his grace is the same Lord who made this statement. The words “truly, truly” in the original Greek is “Amen, Amen.” Jesus actually amened himself twice before he made this statement. This is a strong indication that he meant what he said. Those not born of water and the Spirit cannot enter the kingdom.
    I might also point to the five foolish virgins of Matthew 25. They were dressed and intending to enter the wedding celebration of the master. When they were unprepared for the arrival of the wedding party, they left to go get some oil. They came back and knocked on the door, but the Lord would not let them in. He said, ?Truly I say to you, I do not know you.? Intention does not equal obedience. One who is unprepared is unprepared.
    If we wish to take the grace of God seriously, let us presume upon it but rather embrace it with our love and obedience.
    kindly,
    Phil

  7. The last line should read:
    If we wish to take the grace of God seriously, let us not presume upon it but rather embrace it with our love and obedience.
    Phil

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