Stopped Reading Too Soon
Recently I read a short piece by a very good writer who related a problem he helped a friend solve. The friend said he was confused about what some good church going people were telling him. These good churchgoers advised the man to join a particular church and others told him to be baptized to be saved.
The confused person stated very clearly stated his desire, “I don’t want to read any pamphlets or tracts. Show me straight from the Bible how I can be saved.”
The writer said he accepted this challenge and the two began looking at passages in the Roman letter. When they got to Romans chapter 5 the seeker evidently said, “It’s clear to me now. All I need to do is place my trust in Jesus Christ.” The writer of this piece concluded, “He did, and found peace.” I thought of a passage in Jeremiah, “They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14).
Had the two read the next chapter they would have come to Paul’s testimony about baptism. “Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus we re baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). It is a “false peace” when one stops reading too soon. In the very next chapter (ch. 6) inspiration tells us that before entering the “new life,” the penitent believer must be baptized into the death of Christ to have any benefit from the shed blood of Jesus. They stopped reading too soon.
Had the two read through chapter 12 in Romans they would have seen the importance of being in the right church, the body of Christ, made up of those who walk in the newness of life. “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another” (Rom. 12:5). They stopped reading too soon.
It is truly a shame when folks looking for salvation are misled by letting them think all they need to do is have faith in Christ and are saved before and without baptism and can have a peace of mind outside the body of Jesus Christ. DRS
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