Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ye Must Be Born Again, Pt 4

In the next part of the series on salvation, we consider the topic of baptism. Need I be baptized to be saved?

Let us begin with the baptism of Christ, our example.

Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

(Mat 3:13-17)
Was Jesus baptized for the remission of sins? Obviously not: Jesus had no sins to remove (2 Cor. 5:21). Why then was Jesus baptized? He says Himself: "to fulfill all righteousness." The word righteousness means 'righteous ordinances' or 'righteous practices.' Christ did not find it sufficient to do no wrong - He also did all that was right. Missing baptism, we can then conclude, cannot be a sin, but it is a righteous deed. It must then play no part in salvation, except the kind of works  (discussed in part 3).

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