Holding the Line on Baptism

There are certain topics and passages in the Bible that are difficult for us as the people of God to fully understand.  There are subjects that even sincere lovers of truth and followers of Christ might disagree on, and sometimes we have to agree to disagree while we continue to study and ask God for His insight.  But there are other topics and passages that the people of God must believe and agree upon.  These are topics that are so foundational to our faith that to hold a different opinion than the one clearly taught in scripture will put a person outside of the faith.  Yes, we should show the grace and kindness of Christ to those who hold other opinions, but on these foundational topics, we must be ready to hold the line.

I believe that baptism is one of these foundational topics.  It is crucial that we understand what the Lord has said about baptism and then hold firmly to the truth.  Why does baptism qualify as a foundational topic?  Because the scriptures teach that baptism is the point in time at which, by faith in Christ, our sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38, 22:16).  Baptism is the point in time at which, by faith, we die with Christ, are buried with Him, and are raised up to newness of life (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:11-12).  Baptism is the point in time at which, by faith, we are freed from the power of sin (Romans 6:6-7).  It is the point in time at which, by faith, we die to the law so that we can live to Christ (Romans 6:2-3, 7:6).  Baptism is the time at which, in reaching out to Christ in faith, we are clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).  We could go on, but in short, it is the moment in time at which, by faith in Jesus, we are saved! (Mark 16:15-16).

Looking at the above list, it is clear that baptism is a moment of utmost importance.  It is the moment that one begins their walk with Christ.  Therefore, how important is it that we hold the line on this topic?  How important is it that we stand on this truth and share it with others who are seeking the Lord?  We would do our Lord and the lost world around us a grave disservice by failing to show them this great truth.  If we fail to hold to this truth, we could lead people to believe they are in a right relationship with God when in truth, they have never been united with Christ and have never received the free gift of salvation in the way that Christ has commanded.

May God help us hold to His truth in all humility and gentleness.   

—Scott Colvin

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