The Truth About Water Baptism
Now, let us turn to Ephesians 2:8-9:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
We believe in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we must take the whole word of God. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26):
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Thus your faith must be in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not goodness that saves a person but obedience to the word of God. We must take the Bible for what it says because, if we cannot, what can we believe? Baptism in Jesus' name is as much a necessary part of the plan of salvation today as it was nearly 2,000 years ago, when Jesus first commanded it. Turn to Titus 3:5:
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Your salvation must be scripturally based or you will have no more than a form of religion, not true redemption. The world's largest denomination can be summed up in the decrees of the Council of Trent. The Council sat at intervals from 1545 to 1563 A.D. These decrees are not scripturally based yet have become a basic foundation for many denominations today. Is your religion based upon man or God?
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11`h Edition (Volume VII, Pg. 400)
Finally the decisions of the council were promulgated in a declaration of XII articles, usually called the Creed of Pius IV which reaffirmed the Nicene Creed, and dealt with the preservation of the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions, the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures "according to the sense which our Holy Mother Church has held," the seven sacraments, the offering of the mass, transubstantiation, purgatory, the supremacy of the Roman Church and of the bishop of Rome as vicar of Christ. To this summary of
doctrine should be added the dogmas of the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin declared in 1854, and of papal infallibility decreed by the Vatican council of 1870.
After reading this Bible study and the word of God from your Bible, and looking at the scriptures about baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, Jesus being God, what He really meant by His words in Matthew 28:19:
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
as well as the scriptures concerning infant baptism and sprinkling, I hope and pray you will come to one conclusion (Romans 3:4):
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Many people have put their trust in the philosophies, ideas, or religions of man, which have no saving power. If we want to be saved, we must accept the Lord Jesus Christ on His terms. When I look at the scriptures and the history I have shared with you today concerning water baptism in the name of Jesus as it was performed by the early church, I cannot imagine why you would not want to be an "old time" Christian in heart and obey the word of God rather than follow a denomination contrary to the word of God.
A lot of people think that as long as they believe in something they are saved. But my Bible (St. John 10:9) teaches me that Jesus is the door to salvation.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
You cannot even get through the door unless you obey the word of God. The Bible, in James 1:22, teaches us to be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
If we are to be a "doer" of the word, then we must do it as the word of God has commanded us. So, if you are not doing it the way the word of God teaches, then you must be doing it according to the denomination you belong to. Let us take a good look at the word of God, then take a good look at ourselves and see if we fit into the pattern God left for us to obey.
Do not argue the scriptures. Let the word of God be right. If the word of God is not right, then what can we believe? Many people say, "I know that as long as I'm a good person, I'll be saved." Goodness never saved anybody. If we could be saved by being good, then why even go to church? The Bible teaches us (Romans 3:12) there is none good, no not one.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
So, I pray, right now, as you have studied the word of God through this Bible study, that you will purpose in your heart right now to do it according to the
word of God. You see, when Jesus comes for a church, He is coming for those that wear His name. If you are not wearing His name, then how in the world can you be a bride united with the groom? The Bible said that the trump of God is going to sound, and the dead in Christ will arise first, then we that are living and remain shall be changed in a moment of a twinkling of an eye and shall be caught up into the sky to be with the Lord (I Thessalonians 4:15-17):
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Therefore, if we are to be united with Him, we must wear His name.
If you believe, then you will obey what the word of God teaches. Do not let somebody fool you by telling you that all you have to do is say "I believe." There are many people that believe in different reljgions including Buddhists, Hindus and Moslems, but each bypass Christ Jesus. So, in other words, if you cannot believe and do anything you want to do about baptism in Jesus' name, why be critical of all these other people who do not even go through the name of Jesus for salvation? The Bible said there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved: it is only through the name of Jesus.
May you join in the ranks of the army of God and put on His armor (Ephesians 6:13). If you do not have on the armor of God, you are lost.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Nobody goes out to war in the natural world without having their armor on. If you go to war on God's side, you are going to have to put on His whole armor. Please read that scripture above.
Something else in this Bible study. I am in this to be saved. I want to hear Jesus say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." This kind of message is not popular in the eyes of the world, nor is it popular in the eyes of people who
have studied to change the word of God and who have changed the word of God in a day and hour when people have changed it in so many ways.
The Bible tells us in II Timothy 4:3-4, that in the last days people would have itching ears, not enduring sound doctrine, heaping fables to themselves because all they want is a form of religion.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The Bible said, in II Timothy 3:5, that they would have a form of godliness, but would deny the power thereof. The power is in the name of Jesus.
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Let me remind you again, according to the book of Luke, that the Bible says remission of sin should be preached in His name, beginning at Jerusalem. So, what happened in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost? Acts 2:37-38, following Christ's resurrection and ascension, is plainly the record of the fulfillment of these very words. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be the first place in which remission of sins would be preached, and what happened? Peter said "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In verse 41 we find that three thousand people were added to the church, baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The Bible did not say Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized part of you, or some of you, or be sprinkled if you want to." Never forget what the word baptism really means. If the word baptism means to be overwhelmed with a liquid, or to be totally immersed, I wonder how in the world you can work around and try to substitute something for the word of God. You might do it here on this earth, but you will not do it at judgment day. You say, "Pastor, you're a doomsday preacher." The Bible said that after death, we face the judgment. That means we will stand before the judgment seat of God to be judged according to the deeds that are done in our bodies. I pray that you will listen to and obey the word of God as it speaks to you through this Bible study.
I would like to call your attention to the time when Jesus was being baptized by John. In Matthew 3:15-17, the Bible says:
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
A lot of people will ask the question, if you must be born of the water and of the Spirit, when does the Spirit enter you? When does the Spirit of God become yours to live in your temple? I would like to call your attention to the fact that the Spirit of God descended and lit upon Jesus when He was baptized; not before He went under the water, but when He came up straightway out of the water. Many times people try to say that they do not believe water is essential unto salvation. If there was only a spiritual baptism, why did John baptize Jesus in water? He baptized Him in water to set our example for us. He did not baptize Him in water just to say he had had somebody to baptize that day. If it is a spiritual baptism by which we are saved and not a water baptism, the dove could have lit upon His shoulder before His baptism. For a fact, the dove could have lit upon His shoulder without any baptism, but He did not do that. Jesus said, "Suffer to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." If you want to do the right thing and the righteous thing, you will do according to what God has commanded us to do, by His word.
Let us look a little further. In St. John 3:3-5, Jesus said we must be born again, of the water and of the Spirit. Nowhere did the Bible say that the water was referring to the natural birth. He is talking about water baptism, because the Bible teaches us that, when they pierced His side while He was on the cross, both blood and water issued forth. Water alone will not save you, nor can you baptize a nonbeliever. A person must be a believer to be baptized. But if Jesus Christ came up straightway out of the water and the dove then lit upon His shoulder, then it must signify something. It does: it means that the faith in operation, because of your believing, the Holy Spirit of truth, the righteous truth, lives in your heart and life.
TRUTH ABOUT WATER BAPTISM A Bible Study
by L.R. Davis, General Pastor
Christian Fellowship Church Ministries International
621 Belvidere Road
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.