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Burying Bible Baptism

Did you hear about the two cannibals who were eating a clown? After a while one said to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?" Something funny is going on in the world of religion as regards the Bible's teaching about baptism and its place in the Lord's plan to save people from their sins. Not "funny" in the sense of something that makes you laugh, but "funny" in the sense of odd or puzzling. Many in the religious world continue to diminish or dismiss altogether the design, purpose, and mode of baptism as revealed in the New Testament. There are many occurrences of the words "baptize, baptized, baptism, baptisms" in the New Testament (82 times in 80 verses in the New King James Version). Not all these verses have to do with the design and purpose and place of baptism in being saved. But some clearly do. A careful study of baptism reveals the following important facts:

* It is a burial. (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12)

* It is in water. (Matthew 3:16-17; Acts 8:36-38; 10:47)

* It is for believers-not babies. (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 35-37; 18:18)

* It is for those who have repented of their sins. (Acts 2:38a)

* It is for the purpose of receiving forgiveness of past sins. (Acts 2:3 8b)

* It precedes newness of (spiritual) life. (Romans 6:3-4)

* It is the act by which we express faith in the operation/working of God as He excises and removes our sins from us with a (spiritual) circumcision made without hands! (Colossians 2:11-13)

* It is a command. (Acts 10:48)

It is puzzling why so many so strongly oppose what the New Testament so plainly commands as they continue to insist baptism has little or nothing to do with being saved. But Romans 6:3-4 describes baptism as that place where "as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death" and that "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." Baptism plays a vital role in the plan of God. We must not allow uninspired men to bury it under a pile of human traditions and teachings. Let us boldly and lovingly proclaim everything the Lord has commanded us to do!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ