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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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"The Divine Detergent"

"What can wash away my sin?" a favorite gospel song asks. And it preaches the truth by continuing, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus." It is the gospel truth that nothing can cleanse our sins but the blood of Jesus Christ. Steve Flatt hit the nail on the head when he said, "The blood of Jesus is the only detergent that can cleanse away a single sin (Gospel Advocate, 11/98, "The Necessity of Baptism," p 13). This agrees fully with the apostle Paul who said in Ephesians 1:7, "In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Those who insist that baptism is necessary "for the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 2:38) are sometimes accused of teaching a works salvation and "baptismal regeneration" and are often misquoted as insisting that the power to wash our sins away is in water. Let it be said emphatically that all the water in all the oceans in all the world cannot wash away even one of our sins. "With His own blood He entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12), and the Hebrew writer goes on to insist we now have "...boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (10:19). Our salvation from sin is Heaven sent and blood bought! To deny that would be to deny the most fundamental teaching of the gospel.

But some people are like the man who hit his first golf shot ever and made a hole in one. He threw his club down and said, "I quit. There's not much to this game." Some people insist there is not much to being saved. Just a one shot deal accomplished by professing faith in Jesus' blood and perhaps saying a "sinner's prayer." But a careful reading of the Bible reveals more to God's plan than that. As Flatt goes on to say in the aforementioned article, "But we must somehow, in the expression of our faith, come into contact with that saving blood. Scripture teaches that contact happens when we are baptized into His death." Specifically, Scripture says that in Romans 6:3 where Paul the apostle taught that "as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death." Baptism is the means whereby sinners access into the death of Jesus Christ and the blood He shed there to save us from sin.

The blood of Jesus is still the only detergent that can cleanse our sins. "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ