Who is Right, Man or God?
Rom. 6:3-6 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
This passage is very familiar to members of the church. In the denominational world, it is not given much attention because it goes against every thing most people believe about salvation. If we look at the verses very carefully, we can see that they have everything to do with salvation.
Verse 3 tells us that we are baptized into Christ. Baptism is the only way mentioned in the entire bible to get into Christ. Next, the verses tell us that we were buried with him (Christ) through baptism so that we can be raised up just as He was raised up. It tells us that we are raised up to walk in newness of life. Next it explains that baptism is acting out the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We are dead in sin (we have died spiritually) and then we being dead are buried in a watery grave (baptized) , and then resurrected. Then the verses say that if we have been united together (buried, baptized) in the likeness of his death (Christ’s) then we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection (new man) knowing that our old man was crucified with Him and that the body of sin is done away with. If the body of sin is done away with during this burial and resurrection, how then can one be saved without being baptized? If you are saved before baptism, where is the old man who is to be crucified with Christ? If you can be saved without baptism, where is the body of sin that gets destroyed during baptism? If you can be saved outside of Christ, who is doing the saving? It certainly cannot be Christ. Christ only saves inside of Christ. We are baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3, Gal 3:27), we put on Christ in baptism, (if you put on your coat, you are in your coat) all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Eph 1:3) , so we have to be in Christ to have any spiritual blessings. Salvation is a spiritual blessing.
If one is saved before baptism, he is buried alive. If one is saved before baptism, why is he baptized? If one is saved without baptism, why did Christ and the Holy Spirit tell us that we need to be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Matt 28:19, and especially 1 Peter 3:21 which tells us that baptism now saves us and it is not a washing of the outer body. It is a cleansing of the inner body by being obedient to God. (act of good conscience) If your conscience is clear and you want to please God, you will do what God commands. God commands baptism. Mark 16:16 states that he who believes AND is baptized shall be saved. You cannot separate the believes and the is baptized because Christ said that those were the ones who will be saved! Mark wrote it but Christ said it! To say that one does not have to be baptized is to say that the bible is wrong. If we have any faith at all, we know that the bible cannot be wrong. So, if the bible is not wrong, who is? – Donald Boice
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