About baptism; It is my understanding that ONLY the Blood of Jesus can wash away my sins, and that Baptism is done in obedience to God after I have accepted Jesus as my Savior. In that, through our baptism it is symbolic to the death and resurection of Jesus Christ… After being Born Again we are “dead” to our old selves, and are to now “walk in the Newness of Life” through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is also a public confession of our Faith. Jesus stated to the theif on the cross that this day HE would see him in Paradise. I believe Christ has the Power to Save those that are on their “dying bed”. I am in no means disputing the command of Baptism. I believe this to be the True Word of God. I believe that the moment we call upon the name of Jesus our Salvation is Eternally secure for no one, or no thing, has the Power to take me from My Father which is in Heaven, nor the strength to overpower and defeat the Blood of Jesus.
Our disagreement comes from the fact of how we are to respond to the blood of Jesus and when, in our response, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins. Your view, as well as that of many others, says that the blood of Jesus cleans us when we ask (with repentance) Jesus to come into our hearts and become our Lord. You cite the thief on the cross to prove your point.
However, the Bible is clear. We are not forgiven (cleansed by the blood of Jesus) until we, after hearing the gospel, repent of our sins, confess His name before men and are baptized (in water) in His name. At that point, we are raised up to a new life having been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Note Romans 6:1-7 below.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
Romans 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; Romans 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
You say baptism is a mere symbol but Paul plainly t4ells us what happens when we engage in this “symbolic” action. We die, are buried and then are raised up to a new life, having been forgiven (by the blood of Jesus) of all our sins. This does not occur until we have been baptized. If it does happen before, then baptism makes no sense whatsoever. For example, if we are already alive in our new lives in Christ, then we are buried in baptism, what sense does that make?
As Paul was praying in Damascus, a disciple came and tole him what he must do to be saved.
Acts 22:16 ‘And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
What washed away his ins? Certainly, it was the blood of Jesus! But, without Paul’s responding by faith in being baptized, he would not have received the benefits of His blood. Rev. 1:5, Col. 2:11-14.
After we become Christians, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us as we continue to respond in obedient faith as God directs.
1 John 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
It is sad that people follow the misguided teachings of others instead of simply looking at the Bible and letting it determine what our actions should be in regard to salvation. Yes, we are saved by the blood of Jesus if we respond by obedient faith according to His Word! This include being baptized and to exclude it is just as sinful as to exclude repentance or anything else God has told us to do by faith in order to be saved. Please read carefully Acts 2 and consider these things. Your soul hangs in the balance.
By Gary Hunt