THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 3-21-10
LESSON TITLE: “EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: BAPTISM DOES ALSO NOW SAVE US!”
“In the beginning - God - created the heavens and the earth!” This morning, it is before this awesome, great and mighty God which we assemble - to praise, laud and magnify His wondrous name! As we begin our homage to Him this morning, will you bow with me and approach His Almighty throne in prayer!
What a beautiful time of the year it is as we are finally enjoying some Spring-like weather. After a cold winter, it is nice to finally be able to get out and enjoy the beauties of God’s Creation. We certainly are a blessed people as the children of God. I hope we all make the most of every day and enjoy this most special time of the year, as things are coming to life again.
With this in mind, I want you to think of a day when things will be even great. A place of perfection, goodness and peace. Won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together a song that speaks of a land we will enjoy? The name of the hymn, “Just Over In The Glory Land!”
(SONG # 1)
Don’t you just love the song we just sang? It certainly reminds us all of why we should love God. The reality is, He has done so much for us and He has offered a great reward for the faithful at the end of time! In fact, our God was willing to go so far as to pay the ultimate price - Jesus death on the cross. No doubt this is what Jesus was thinking about when He told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends,” John 15:13!
However, what I would like to focus on for a moment this morning is our response to this great love of God! How should we react and what should we do to show God that we truly love Him and appreciate what He has done.
I think we can find our answer clarified in one short statement by Jesus which is found as well in John, but in chapter 14:15. There we read, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Did you catch that? This surely is not hard to understand! Jesus said that we show our true love to Him by obeying what He has commanded. So why is it that so many have such a hard time simply doing things Jesus way? I wish I knew or had the answer, but I can tell you that mankind of all ages has had this same problem. And even today, we still have a hard time just obeying God, thus proving our love to Him.
A final verse I would like to consider at this time is found in 1 John 3:16. This passage helps us to understand how far we must be willing to go in our service for God! There we read, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” You see the ultimate love we can demonstrate to God is a willingness to obey Him even unto death. But not only a willingness to die for His sake, but even a willingness to die for the sake of our brethren. Oh, how many of us need to learn the true love and care we must have for one another as brethren. We must love each other, just as much as we love our God. And by this, not only are we known as disciples of Christ, but as those who truly love others!
This morning, we are glad to have brother Darin Chappell with us as our guest speaker of the day. Brother Darin is the minister for the Mountain Grove Church of Christ in Mountain Grove, Missouri. We thank him for being with us this morning.
As far as our main study of the day, we will continue our discussion entitled, “Exceedingly Great And Precious Promises.” Our specific message of the morning will deal with the statement, “Baptism Does Also Now Save Us!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Chappell will be lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.”
(SONG # 2)
By Darin Chappell
Good morning, and welcome to our study this morning concerning the great promises of the New Testament that are given to us by the Word of God and how it is that we can keep these promises, those things that are given to us as God’s children whereby we can know not only how it is that we should live in this life, but how it is that we are to prepare ourselves for the life that is to come.
Whenever we approach the Word of God, we need to do so with the appropriate mindset. That mindset is exemplified for us there in 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15 wherein we are told that we need “to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The word there that is translated as “study” is one that means “to give diligence; to use an effort.” It requires work for us to be able to understand and to correctly apply the Word of God to our lives. There is no book in the New Testament or in the Old Testament that is written specifically to you as an individual. There is no “Book of Darin” for example. Therefore, we have a responsibility as individuals to be able to go to the scriptures, understand it as it was originally intended for it to be understood, understand it as it was written, and not as some would like for it to have been written, and then be able to draw principles from that text and be able to apply those principles to our lives efficiently and effectively so that we don’t make any mistakes by adding in our biases and in the process thereby be able to understand what it is that God would have us to do in our lives today in the modern world. We have this responsibility because, “It is the Word by which we shall all be judged when this life is over,” John chapter 12 and verse 48. “And we shall all have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for the things that we have done in this life whether they be good or bad, 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 10.
With those serious thoughts in mind, we come to our responsibility of the morning to examine a promise that is given to us in 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21. In the passage or the context of the passage, I should say, we have the record of Noah and the flood in which he was allowed to survive by the grace of God telling him before time that he was to build the ark, how it was to be built, and that he and his family were to be brought in. We are told there in verse 20 of the passage that which sometimes speaking of those individuals who had been taught the Word of God in times past and some had obeyed and some hadn’t, but which were sometimes disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, where in queue, that is eight souls were saved by water. Now it’s interesting because we don’t often think of the flood as a saving factor. We often times think about the flood, those of us who believe and study and believe the Word of God, we think of the flood as being a period of a destructive force, one that came through and destroyed all flesh, but saving those that were on the ark, those individuals as well as the animals that were brought upon the ark to be saved as well. But all the rest of the world, those that did not live in the water and those that could not survive the flood itself were destroyed. We think of it as being a very destructive thing. Well God literally wiped the face of the earth clean and started anew. But it was also a saving factor as well because those flood waters didn’t just destroy, they took away from Noah and his seven family members, his wife and his three sons and their wives. It took away from all of them the influence and the destructive influence of those who were sinful all about them. In so doing, Noah and his family were saved by the flood. The very same factor that washed away those that were in error according to the Will of God saved those who were willing to be righteous according to that same Will of God. And that water is that by which they were saved through the preparing of the ark and their following of the commands of God whatever they might be. In the beginning, that very likely seemed to be unreasonable when God told Noah to build an ark and he was going to be saved from a flood which would come upon them. That didn’t seem like that would be something that would be possible to Noah and his family. Undoubtedly they were chastised and mocked by individuals all around them while the ark was being prepared. But when the raindrops fell, when the flood waters rose and individuals began to realize that Noah had been right and it was unfortunate for them and far too late.
People can’t judge what is reasonable by their own standards. Instead we must only and always apply ourselves to hear the Word of God and apply those things that He has given us in our lives and do that which we are commanded to do. It is in that same train of thought that we find that Noah and the ark and the flood being the source of comparison we read there in verse 21 of 1 Peter chapter 3. He said, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.”
I am going to pause there for just a second, because we are going to come back to the rest of the verse as we continue our study this morning, but let’s be clear about what they said. The like figure in the same way that Noah was saved by the water of the flood, in that which the water washed away that which was unacceptable, that which was corrupted before God and reserved those who were willing to be faithful to God the same figure, the same concept is applied to us in the waters of baptism today. “The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us.” Now that concept is one that is foreign to many individuals. There are people all over the world around us, right here in our own community who would argue with this very (inaudible) if we would put it in a matter of opinion and we could sit here and talk about opinions back and forth all day long as to what ought to be when it regards baptism. But if we are going “to study to show ourselves approved unto God a worker who does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth,” then we have to take that which is written, not as we would have liked for it to have been written perhaps, but as it is written. “Thus sayeth the Lord, Baptism does also now save us in the same way that the ark and the flood saved Noah from the constraints of the sinfulness in which they were also living, so also is an individual removed from their sinfulness when they are obedient to the Will of God by news of the commandments that He has given including, but not limited to, the waters of baptism,” as we are told here in 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21.
Someone would say, “Now wait a minute right there. Nowhere in the scriptures are we commanded to be baptized so that we can be saved from our sins.” Well, let’s take a look real quick and just make sure that that is absolutely correct before we just assume that that’s the case. There in the Day of Pentecost when the apostles were gathered together there in Jerusalem on the first Day of Pentecost after the resurrection of our Lord, there were several individuals that were gathered around them and they were here concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and how He lived His life and how it was that He had been put to death and that He was proven to be the Son of God because He was standing at the right hand of God and approved by Him in the miracles that were being set forth there on the Day of Pentecost. Those individuals that were gathered around, many of them were faithful Jews and they asked whether the rest of the apostles we find there in verse 37, that when they heard this concerning they were accountable for their sins and actions that had been taken against the Lord Jesus Christ, when they heard this they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? What can we do?” They just realized that they along with others were responsible for calling for the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. What can we do? Peter said unto them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” That “for” there is not because of. That “for” there is so that you can obtain the remission of sins. It is (inaudible), the end result being… Now what we have here is the apostle Peter telling them that they need to be baptized so that they can be forgiven. The needed to repent as well. They had already heard that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and they were willing to confess Him as such because of their very actions. They were willing to repent because they asked, “What can we do?” The only thing they needed to be told was that they needed to be baptized for the remission of their sins. They needed to do that as well.
Now we have other evidence as well. We also have in Galatians chapter 3 and verses 26 and 27 the apostle Paul said, “For you are all,” and he is speaking to the Galatian brethren, those Christians of the 1st century, “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for,” and not because, “for we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” You are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus because if you have been baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ.
But again, we are told in Romans chapter 6 beginning in verse 3, again the apostle Paul this time writing to the brethren at Rome, he says, “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, for if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.”
Now there are only two places in the entirety of the New Testament where we are told how it is that an individual can get into Christ Jesus. Into Christ! Only two places! Romans chapter 6 verse 3 and Galatians chapter 3 and verse 27. And in both of those instances, an individual who is obedient to the Lord God and who is willing to be faithful to all that he is commanded to do, he is told that he must be baptized into Christ. Notice also that it says, “If we are buried with Him in baptism, if we are planted in the likeness of His death, if we have access to His death through baptism, we will also have access to the resurrection as He did.” “If we have been baptized into Christ, we have put on Christ.”
Now there are those who balk at the idea of needing to be baptized for the remission of their sins in order for them to be saved from the sinfulness of our lives. I understand because as an individual who has spent a great deal of time with many of my friends and family and loved ones who are in various denominational doctrines of various bodies and they believe that very strongly, and I don’t doubt their sincerity of their belief whatsoever. But when Peter said that, “Baptism does also now save us,” and when the faithful Jews on the Day of Pentecost said, “What shall we do?” and Peter says among other things, “Be baptized for the remission of your sins.” And when Paul tells the brethren at Rome that they could have access to the resurrection of Christ if they have been baptized into His death, and he also tells the brethren there at Galatia that in order for them to have put on Christ they must have been baptized into Christ, well it begins to become difficult to ignore the obvious, doesn’t it?
How can we say that we have salvation if we are not into Christ Jesus? How can we say we have salvation if we have not been buried with Him in His death? How can we say that we have access to the resurrection if we have not been planted with Him in His death? How can we say that we will be His children if we have not put Him on in baptism?
Now let’s turn back there to 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 21 because we do need to take a look at the rest of that verse. He says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us,” and then he explains what it is he is saying because this phrase is very important. He said, “Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”
There are individuals who have suggested whenever I or others of the Lord’s church teach that baptism is necessary for an individual to be rid of his sin, they’ll say, “Well you’re a water Salvationist. You’re an individual who believes that water baptism washes away your sins because of the water and rejected the grace of Jesus Christ.” I am sorry but I deny that wholeheartedly. That is not the case at all. It is not the water that saves anyone. It is instead a willingness to be obedient to the commandments of God regardless of what they might be.
Again, in John chapter 13 and verse 15 Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” The love that He is talking about there is agape love where you are willing to put Him and His Will ahead of your own physical comforts, desires and will. If you want something to be so, that’s fine. But when God says that it is to be another way, if we love Him we need to do it His way. It doesn’t make any difference what He says we are to do. If He said in order for you to be saved you need to stand on your head in the corner and say your ABC’s backwards 47 times, then as unbelievable as that might seem to some, and they might think, “Well I don’t think that way at all,” but it doesn’t matter what we think. What does the Lord require of us? He says we must be baptized, not for the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but because of answer of a good conscience toward God because if we are willing to do what He tells us to do then we are obedient to Him. So He says, “The like figure whereunto baptism does also now save us.” Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s the basis of our salvation. Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was buried and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead never to die again, and to live and live for us continually as a mediator between God and man. We have access to the Father through Him and included in all of our blessings that we have in Christ Jesus is salvation. “All spiritual blessings are found only in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3. The only way that the scriptures tell us that we can get into Christ is through baptism into Christ Jesus. (Galatians chapter 3 verse 27 and Romans chapter 6 and verse 3)
Now again, I understand how true it is that people balk. I really do get it. But if you disagree, you are not disagreeing with me. You’re disagreeing with the scripture. “Thus sayeth the Lord, Baptism doth also now save us.” Now that’s not all there is to it. We are told that we must hear the word of God (Romans 10 verse 17). We must be willing to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John chapter 8 verse 24). We must be willing to confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God before others (Romans chapter 10 verses 9-10). We must be willing to repent of our sins so that we no longer live the ways of the world (Acts chapter 17 verse 30). And we must indeed be willing to be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38) so that we can be added to the church that Jesus built and purchased with His own blood (Acts 2:47 and Acts chapter 20 verse 28).
The only question that remains is: Have you done those things required of you?
Thank you very much for your time.
(SONG # 3 - “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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Thank God that He has given us this great and wondrous promise. For salvation is ours if we obey His Will and do all that He commands. Have you been baptized as Jesus requires?