Man has a sin problem. God says in Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” It is our sins that separate us from God. In the second chapter of Acts, Peter had convicted the people there of having killed the Son of God. In verse 37 their question was, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” In Acts 2:38 (KJV), “Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.” Here people were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Note that baptism comes before the remission of sins. The only baptism that may be performed “in the name of Jesus Christ”, that is by His authority, is an immersion “for the remission of sins”.
We are to repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. This is God’s instruction on how we solve our sin problem. In the above verse, when Peter told them to “Repent and be baptized…for the remission of sins”, whatever repentance is for in that verse, baptism is for the same reason. Repent and be baptized are joined by the coordinating conjunction and, which joins words of equal grammatical importance.
Certainly Acts 2:38 does not teach that lost people are to repent because their sins are already forgiven. Neither does it teach that lost people are to be baptized because their sins are already forgiven. Only when we submit to baptism as the Lord has commanded, that is for the remission of sins to be saved, do we show our faith in the Lord. Only then will He forgive and save us. Satan would like you to believe that baptism has nothing to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Have you been baptized for the remission of your sins? Again, the choice is yours; either you believe what God has said and be saved, or you believe what men say and you will continue to be lost. We only have two choices, and the choice we make will have eternal consequences. But please make the right choice so you can go to Heaven and not Hell.
In the book of Acts we have the account of the conversion of the apostle Paul. In Acts chapter 9, Paul is traveling on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians. The Lord appears to Paul on the road and strikes him blind. In verse 5 He tells Paul, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” In verse 6 Paul asks, “Lord what do you want me to do? Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.'” The Lord did not tell Paul what he must do, but that someone in the city would tell him what he must do. In Acts 9:9, after Paul went into the city, “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” Paul was worried sick and very upset. He had just found out that all the years in his zeal, while persecuting the Lord’s church, he had actually been persecuting the Lord. Paul was devastated and broken-hearted in finding out that he had been religiously wrong all these years.
Let’s see now what Paul was told he must do. In Acts chapter 22, a man named Ananias, who was sent by the Lord, came to Paul and miraculously restored Paul’s eyesight. Notice what Paul was told by Ananias what he must do. “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). Paul was not saved three days earlier while on the road to Damascus, as some people would like for us to believe. Paul up to this point was still lost, because he still had all his sins that needed to be washed away. Paul still had a sin problem. Paul’s baptism was for the reason of washing his sins away. Obedience to the Lord’s command to be baptized was necessary to wash away Paul’s sins.
Paul was not told “to pray the sinners prayer and ask Jesus to come into his heart in order to be saved.” This is completely foreign to the scripture. You cannot find anywhere in the Bible where anyone was ever told to do this. Since God in the Bible has never told anyone “To pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart in order to be saved”, who else but men could have come up with such an idea? Forgiveness occurs in the mind of God and not on the basis of man’s feeling in his heart. Only when we have done what God has said we MUST do, will God forgive our sins. We cannot devise our own plan as to how our sins are to be forgiven. To be baptized for any reason other than for the remission of sins so one can be saved is to reject Christ.
Today many people espouse the false doctrine, that in order to be saved, one must “accept Jesus as your personal Saviour” and say “the sinners prayer”. This teaching contradicts the Bible’s clear instruction as to what an alien sinner must do to obtain forgiveness and salvation. Nowhere in the New Testament is the alien sinner ever authorized to ask Jesus to come into his heart and to pray for forgiveness in order to be saved. I have yet to find anyone who can provide even one Biblical reference to substantiate this false claim. Many good honest people have been deluded by this false doctrine. Today just as it was in the apostle Paul’s day, “there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7).
At the point of baptism every sin that we have ever committed will be taken away, if it is done for that purpose. Most denominational churches encourage people to be baptized BECAUSE they have ALREADY been saved from sins. I cannot think of a more flagrant crime against both God and Man than to teach lost sinners, who want to be saved, something different than what God says in the Bible. To make an impression on them that they are already saved when God has not promised it is grievously wrong. Many people today have been baptized in order to be added to some denomination, but not for the remission of their sins. They still have every sin they have ever committed. Have you been baptized for the purpose of having your sins washed away? If you have not, then you still have a sin problem. You are still lost.
Satan wants people to “accept Jesus as their personal Saviour”, but he does not want them to be baptized (immersed Romans 6:4) for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38) so they can be saved (Mark 16:16). Satan knows that people are still lost until they are baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. Satan uses “accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour” to give people a false hope of salvation. Many people after they “accept Jesus as their personal Saviour” are usually baptized a week or two later to join that particular denomination, but not for the forgiveness of their sins so they can be saved because they think they are already saved. Since their baptism was not for the forgiveness of their sins in order to be saved, they still have every sin they have ever committed and are still lost. They have not done what God says, the way God says and for the reason God says for one to be saved. Satan has just won another soul to be with him in the eternal torments of Hell.
Do not misunderstand. We do not “earn” our salvation by being baptized. Salvation is a gift from God. Even though salvation is a free gift from God, God has laid down certain conditions upon which He will give it. One condition to receive His gift is faith: Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Another condition of His free gift is repentance: Luke 13:3, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Another condition is baptism: Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Still another condition is living a faithful Christian life: Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” The conditions include doing all “the will of the Father,” Matthew 7:21. These are God’s conditions. Believing in God and Christ with all our heart, repenting of all our sins, confessing Christ and being baptized are all equally important to our salvation. If any one of these is lacking, then we will not be saved. You can’t have one without the others.
There is nothing that we can do to merit our salvation. Whether it be believing in Jesus or being baptized, we can never “earn our salvation”. Our salvation is free, but it is not cheap. It cost the very own life of God’s Son. The only way we can show our faith in Christ is if we are willing to accept and obey all of what He says. We are only saved through faith when our faith has produced the works of obedience. If we really have faith in Christ, then we will do anything and everything He tells us. But if our faith is lacking we will balk at Christ’s commands such as being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins to be saved. Since we have sinned against God, it is for God to dictate the terms of our pardon. It is when one is baptized that God has chosen to impart His wonderful grace of salvation to us as a willing obedient believer, not before. God’s gift of salvation must be accepted on His terms, not ours.
According to the Bible, it is at the point of baptism, that we pass from an unsaved state into a saved state. In other words, at the time of baptism, we go from being unsaved to being saved. We read in I Peter 3:21 (KJV), “The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us.” The Bible says that “baptism does now also save us,” but men say “baptism does not save us.” Who are you going to accept, the word of men or the Word of God? We are told in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” On the Day of Judgment, the Bible will still say that “baptism does also now save us.” Again the choice is yours, but it is very serious. We dare not make the wrong choice which will have eternal consequences.
(Acts 2:38) What were these people in this verse told to do for the remission of their sins?
- WRONG, They were not told to pray the sinners prayer. They were told to repent and be baptized for the for the forgiveness of their sins.
- CORRECT, They were told to repent and be baptized for the for the forgiveness of their sins.
- WRONG, They were not told to accept Christ into their heart. They were told to repent and be baptized for the for the forgiveness of their sins.
Our sins are forgiven before we repent and are baptized.
- WRONG, Our sins are forgiven only after we repent and are baptized, not before.
- CORRECT, Our sins are forgiven only after we repent and are baptized, not before.
(Acts 22:16) What was Paul told to do to have his sins washed away?
- WRONG, Paul was told to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins. Paul was not told to accept Christ as his Personal Saviour to have his sins washed away.
- WRONG, Paul was told to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins. Paul was not told to believe to have his sins washed away.
- CORRECT, Paul was told to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins. Paul was not told to believe to have his sins washed away.
Until Paul was baptized he still had all his sins.
- CORRECT, Paul still had all of his sins until they were washed away when he was baptized.
- WRONG, Paul still had all of his sins until they were washed away when he was baptized.
Where can we find in the Bible that we are told to pray and ask Jesus to come into our heart in order to be saved?
- WRONG, Jude only has one chapter. Praying and asking Jesus to come into our heart in order to be saved is not in the Bible. This is a vain doctrine of men that will cause many people to be lost.
- WRONG, 2 John only has 13 verses. Praying and asking Jesus to come into our heart in order to be saved is not in the Bible. This is a vain doctrine of men that will cause many people to be lost.
- CORRECT, It is not in the Bible. Praying and asking Jesus to come into our heart in order to be saved is not in the Bible. This is a vain doctrine of men that will cause many people to be lost.
We cannot find in the Bible where anyone was ever told to accept Jesus into his heart in order to be saved.
- CORRECT, Being saved by only accepting Jesus into our heart is not in the Bible. Man has come up with this. Believing this false doctrine will cause many people to be lost.
- WRONG, Where?, Being saved by only accepting Jesus into our heart is not in the Bible. Man has come up with this. Believing this false doctrine will cause many people to be lost.
(1 Peter 3:21) What does the Bible say saves us?
- WRONG, The Bible says we are saved when we are baptized.
- CORRECT, The Bible says we are saved when we are baptized.
- WRONG, The Bible says we are saved when we are baptized.
When one is baptized God has chosen to impart His wonderful grace of salvation.
- CORRECT, When we are baptized God imparts His gift of salvation to us.
- WRONG, When we are baptized God imparts His gift of salvation to us.