[forthright] Saved by Baptism?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 11:27:27 -0700 (PDT)
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Saved by baptism?
 by John E. Werhan
http://tinyurl.com/blrwodq

As one seeks God's inspired truth, we must understand
the root of our beliefs as well as our misconceptions.
There have been times when considering the importance
of baptism with those who hold to Huldrych Zwingli's
1525 doctrine of "Believer's Baptism" who have asked
me; "where in the Bible does it say baptism saved
anyone?"

It is evident that the majority of those individuals do
not know the root of their belief or that this doctrine
is only 484 years old. This is why it is important for
those truly seeking God's truth to turn from such man-
made doctrines and seek truth from the inspired word of
God (written in the first century).

Peter compared the salvation of Noah and his family,
through the waters of the flood, with the salvation
offered by God's grace in the Christian age. Peter had
just written: 

   "...God kept waiting in the days of Noah,
   during the construction of the ark, in which
   a few, that is, eight persons, were brought
   safely through the water" (1 Peter 3:20).

Then he goes on to write, "Corresponding to that,
baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21).

For one seeking God's truth, it should be evident that
God saved Noah and his family "through water" and
people today are saved "through water baptism." God
sent the great flood upon the earth because humankind
had become so evil that they had turned away from him
(Genesis 6 & 7).

In essence, God cleansed the world of all the evil
corruption by the use of the medium of water. It was
because of God's grace that he commanded Noah to build
the Ark.

Noah kept the commandments exactly as God instructed.
And because of their righteousness and their obedience,
they were the only individuals to be saved through the
flood and walk out of the Ark into a clean new world
(Genesis 8).

Peter tells us that when a person is baptized in water,
he come forth into a clean new life. Paul writing to
the Ephesians and Colossians commends them for becoming
Christians and lying "aside the old self with its evil
practices, and have put on the new self."(Ephesians 4;
Colossians 3). It is when one is "baptized" that they
are raised to "walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4).

Peter writing by the inspiration of God in the first
century explains, "...baptism now saves you..." (1 Peter
3:21a). Like unto the salvation through the flood for
Noah and his family it is through the medium of water
baptism that one receives salvation today. He notes
that baptism is not the washing of the external body
but the washing of the spiritual soul (Acts 22:16).

The qualifying phrases and clauses of this context
merely explain what water baptism is and is not.

Peter is not stating that baptism "alone" saves us. Nor
does he state that the good conscience saves or that
baptism is a symbol of our salvation. He simply states,
"...baptism now saves you." 

When one obeys the inspired commanded "to be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 10:48), one
demonstrates to God that we have fulfilled a condition
of salvation, and thus can "appeal to God for a good
conscience" by fulfilling his command (Matthew 7:21).

The inspired teaching concerning "baptism" was well-
known in the first century as explained by Peter in
this passage. It was not until 1500 years later that
man changed what the inspired word taught. The question
is, are you following a 484-year-old man-made doctrine
or the ancient truth found in the inspired word of God?

Your eternal salvation is dependent on your choice.
___________ 
John preachers for the The Northeast church
of Christ in Sentinel, Oklahoma.

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