Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Today we once again are reminded of a verse which we have covered before. We also continue on the subject of being in the world yet not of it, simply because of the fact that these things are what our Lord tells us to teach and preach while in this world, yet never becoming OF the world.
Today’s verse, which we have covered (a while back, not recently), speaks on how we are saved, and it mentions being baptized. Some may believe that baptism is something that saves us, or rather forgives our sins. This terrible belief is called Baptismal Regeneration, and it must be understood what the Word of God teaches about such a thing. Those who believe in baptismal regeneration, may look at today’s verse and say that it proves the belief. Yet note how our Lord words this. He says that whosoever believes and is baptized shall be saved, and yet He does NOT say “but he that believeth not and IS NOT BAPTIZED” shall be damned to hell. Baptism is not required for our sins to be forgiven, nor is it required for salvation. If someone isn’t baptized, it also doesn’t mean they will go to hell. If any of that were true, then the Thief on the cross would be in hell despite the fact that he proclaimed his faith in the Lord Jesus, and our Lord Jesus told him that very day he would be with Him in paradise.
Our Lord says that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, because He wants us to be baptized. Baptism is a type of outward proclamation of our Faith in the Lord Jesus. It signifies our spiritual death and resurrection, as Jesus died and rose again. However, Our Lord Jesus shows that baptism is not what saves us or condemns us to hell, rather is the believing in Him that saves us. As our Lord says in John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
We are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast! However, some believe that we ourselves can do something to get forgiveness of our sins: be baptized. Yet this is not true, as there is only one way of forgiveness of sins and that is by the Precious Blood of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) A verse which our Lord recently reminded me of, speaks of baptism well. 1 Peter 3:21 “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:” Some may exclaim that this verse “proves” that baptism saves us. However, look at what is said in the parenthesis, “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God” NOT the putting away of the filth of the flesh; NOT the literal washing of our flesh with water; But it is the answer of a good conscience toward God . . . the part that saves us is simply our faithfulness to God and our actual confessing outwardly that we believe and will follow and be obedient to the Lord Jesus, God our Saviour (just as Romans 10:9-10 says for us to confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus)! If you notice the verse before, 1 Peter 3:20, there is mentioned how Noah and his family were “saved by water” and then begins the verse by saying “the like figure,” which is to relate the two . . . if you think about it, did Noah save himself? Did Noah save his family? No, it was God, was it not? All Noah did, was obey God. God warned Noah of the coming flood (Jesus warned us of our eternal damnation) and told him how to escape it by building the ark, and he even told Noah HOW to build the ark (Jesus told us how to escape hell by believing on Him, and even told us exactly HOW to believe on Him and follow Him), and Noah simply obeyed and did that which God told him to do (We simply obey our Lord and believe that of a Truth, we go to Him for Salvation . . .). In that, did Noah save himself? No, God did everything, all Noah did was allow God to work through him, by his faithful obedience to God’s every word! Just the same, baptism isn’t what saves us, it is our faithfulness to our Lord and our seeking to obey Him. This is what is meant by 1 Peter 3:21 where it says baptism now saves us . . . not that the actual submersion in water is what saves us, but merely our faith in the Lord and our decision to obey Him and do what He has said!
In each case where a person is baptized in the Word of God, a person is already saved and believes that Jesus is the Son of God and God has raised Him from the dead. Take for example a very clear presentation of it, the conversation between Philip and the eunuch: Acts 8:35-38 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” This also refutes the belief of infant baptism. As I mentioned more than once in past studies: baptism is a proclamation of our faith in the Lord Jesus. How can baptism do any good to an infant, who doesn’t even know of Jesus yet? Of what use is baptism to ANYONE, who doesn’t know Jesus as his or her Lord and Saviour? It serves as vanity and fleshly glory, so that one may boast that they were baptized, and it serves also as a yoke of bondage that some say you MUST be baptized in order to be saved, just as the Jews claimed that the Gentiles HAD to obey the Law of Moses and be circumcised in order to be saved!
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” This is what we should say, while we Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, as our Lord commands we do. We need to teach and preach that all must Believe on the Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God, in order to escape the flames of hell, and in order to be saved and get into Heaven to have Life Eternal! We need to teach them that in addition to believing our Lord, though it will not save us, one should be baptized in the name of the Lord, as a sign that they truly do believe on the Lord. (Afterall, if a person says they believe on the Lord, yet is ashamed to obey something as simple as “Be Baptized” then how is it they have loved the Lord to follow Him? Mark 8:38 “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.“)
Let’s believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and let’s obey Him to be baptized in His Holy Name. If you do believe on the Lord Jesus and have believed with all your heart that He is the Son of God, and that God has raised Him from the dead, and you’ve yet to be baptized, then seek a Bible-believing, Bible-adhering church and seek a way to be baptized in the name of the Lord, as a proclamation of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your obedience to Him that you have died (your old man, the flesh) and have been submersed (as though in the blood of Jesus), to be raised again from that death and have been resurrected (in Christ, putting on the New Man and New Life)! Praise God, let’s follow Jesus, and let’s teach others for them to Follow Jesus!
May God Bless you abundantly, as I know He does and will continue to do so. I love you so much with brotherly love and I do continue to pray for you! May God teach us according to His Word, may He guide us according to His Word and Will, and may He help us to walk in His Spirit in all things, as He so graciously provides a very present help in time of need! Have a wonderful day in the Lord today!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 139:1 “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.”