Thank you to my Dad, Randy Gardner, for helping with this blog post.
I love you Dad!ElGardner
Faith and Baptism are binding preconditions to salvation.
Christ made it clear enough that salvation is the result, not of merely believing but of believing and being baptized.
The reasons underlying this are as profound as the New Testament itself.
Salvation depends upon the absolute and perfect righteousness of the individual saved, there being nothing that a sinner can either believe or do that could endow him with any degree of righteousness approaching what is required for salvation.
Let it be recalled that God’s Spirit is not given to sinners, but to sons (that is, persons in Christ), as stated in Galatians 4:6.
There is a way that God makes people righteous.
What is that?
He transfers the sinner into Christ WHO IS RIGHTEOUS; and thus the sinner is saved in Christ and as Christ. (See Galatians 2:16,20).
God’s plan of salvation is not that of imputing righteousness into sinners, but the transference of sinners INTO Christ.
The preconditions upon which Christ promised to transfer sinners into himself are here stated as faith and baptism.
GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
To listen with a firm purpose to obey His Commands.
- Acts 10:33
- Deuteronomy 18:18+19
- Luke 8:18
- John 6:45
“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”Luke 10:16 RSV
FAITH CHANGES THE PRESENT
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:8-10 RSV
Obedient belief that acts, NOT idle belief that does nothing!
- John 8:24
- Hebrews 11:16
- James 2:18+19
- Romans 10:17
“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.John 14:1 RSV
To be sorry for sins and turn away from them. (A change of mind that results in a change of life.)
- Luke 13:3
- Acts 17:30
- 2 Peter 3:9
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”Matthew 3:2 RSV
REPENTANCE CHANGES THE FUTURE
To speak with your mouth what you believe in your heart.
- Matt. 10:32+33
- 1 Timothy 6:12
- Acts 8:37
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9 RSV
A burial in water for the forgiveness of your sins.
- Mark 16:16
- John 3:3-5
- Acts 2:38
- Acts 22:16
- 1 Peter 3:20+21
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.Ephesians 4:4-6 RSV
BAPTISM CHANGES THE PAST
Faith and baptism are joined as preconditions of salvation (Mark 16:16)
Glorifying God is to be “in the church and in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:21), joining Jesus and his spiritual body the church.
The expression “in Christ” is, in some ways, the most important in all the Pauline writings, where this expression, or its equivalent, “in whom,” “in him,” etc., is used no less than 169 times.
What does it mean to be “in Christ”?
It means to be in his spiritual body, called the church, the body of which Christ is the head, of which he is declared to be the Saviour, and which means having a spiritual relationship to Christ, a relationship of intimate union and identification with him.
Right here is that device contrived by God himself by which a man might truly and legitimately be justified; and it might be looked upon as a divine corporation.