Article - Baptism: For the Forgiveness of Sins
In the New Testament, the act of baptism is the point one’s sins are washed away or removed (Acts 22:16, 2:38). It is a biblical fact that all men have sinned, been separated from God and are lost (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Isaiah said that “your sins have separated you from your God and your iniquities have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Here is the problem: God is too holy to look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). Man is stained grossly with sin (Genesis 3). Therefore, sin must be removed from man’s conscience before he can have a relationship with God. When is this stain of sin removed from my spirit?
If we can find in the New Testament at what point a person’s sins are washed away, we can know of a surety that is the point of salvation and reconciliation to God. Dear Friend, the Bible does tell us very clearly when that our sins are washed away. In Acts 9:6 the blinded Apostle Paul cried out to God, “Lord what would you have me to do?” The answer to Paul’s question is found in Acts 22:16, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” This text very clearly teaches that the point where a man’s sins are washed away is baptism, not a moment before or a moment after.
I really wonder how people can say that they were saved when they prayed Jesus into their heart, and then they were baptized two weeks later. Why would anyone say baptism is just an outward sign that you have already been saved? I do not know what they were saved from (i.e. from knowing the truth, going to heaven, obeying God) but it sure was not the salvation from sin and a devil’s hell. We need to wake up and reexamine our “conversion experiences” according to the word of God and not according to what our catechism, confession of faith, discipline book, or “Pastor” says. I want to encourage you to stop right now and think back to your own conversion. Would you say you were saved before or after baptism? If you said before, then friend, we would kindly but firmly say to you that after reading the New Testament teaching on baptism (See Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; John 3:1-5) you were not correctly baptized and desperately need to obey the gospel as the Bible teaches.
Why don’t you get started doing that today? If you would like to study more about this subject or have questions concerning baptism, please contact us.
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