God's heavenly chain of command is made up of unbreakable intertwined links.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Make no mistake, there is a God who created all creation. The Bible contains many things that only an all powerful everlasting God would know and or could do. The Bible itself is proof of God's existence.
The Bible is a trilogy, a three part volume, Part 1.) "Someone Is Coming!" - (Genesis through Malachi), is the story of God creating man in His image to be in fellowship with Him only to have Satan come between Him and his creation. God immediately begins to bring those who desire to be in a relationship with Him back to Him. Part 2.) "Someone Is Here!" - (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), the story of Jesus, and Part 3.) "Someone Is Coming Again!" - (Acts through Revelation). The Bible begins with Satan coming between God and His creation and ends with God being totally victorious over Satan and all those who choose to be with him.
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. (Isaiah 59:2)
The entire Old Testament tells of God's efforts to restore His creation to Himself and then we have the Gospels that tell about the coming of Jesus who is God's last restoration effort.
The gospels end with Jesus gone to the cross and risen from the dead completing Part 2 and now and we come to the 3rd part of the Biblical trilogy "Someone Is Coming Again!"
Shortly after his resurrection Jesus speaks to his 11 disciples and gives them what is known as the "Great Commission"... It is not the "Great Suggestion, it is a chain of heavenly salvation that continually links back into itself.
Jesus himself says...
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
Jesus himself is saying those who hear the preached gospel AND believes it will be saved, those who don't believe it, or won't carry through with their belief, will be condemned.
What is the gospel that Jesus wants preached?
15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
The gospel is Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Both Jesus and Paul affirm the believed gospel saves. The gospel is so important Paul repeats, "according to the scriptures." It not only saves it protects.
The first recorded gospel sermon is preached in Acts 2 by Peter at Pentecost some 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead. In his sermon he tells the crowds that they murdered the very Messiah they and their ancestors wished for for so long and God raised him from the dead. They were "pricked in their heart" and asked, "What shall we do?"
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
They heard the gospel, and were told to change their thinking, repent, and many of them believed it, verse 47 tells what happened to them who believed and obeyed Peter's command in verse 38
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Here we see Jesus' words from The Great Commission of Mark 16:15-16 in action. Peter is preaching the gospel, people are believing it, and are being baptized for the remission of sins.
There were surely hearers on the Day of Pentecost who did not believe. If they had believed they would have obeyed the command of Jesus relayed by Peter, "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins."
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47)
And here we see the results of Mark 16:15-16, believing, baptized hearers being saved and added to the church by the Lord. The church is made up of the saved.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, (Colossians 1:24)
7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
The denominational world generally teaches that we are "saved by grace," "faith only" and nothing more. They stand on Ephesians 2:9 "not of works, lest anyone should boast." The ONLY place the words "faith only" appear in the New Testament is found in James 2:24 and it says NOT by faith only.
Ephesians 2:9 is talking about man's works and not God's ordained works of obedience.
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28-29)
Belief is a work men must do to be saved. (Mark 16:15-16)
I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3 and 13:15 verbatim)
Repentance, the changing of ones thinking about sin, is a work men must do to be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
In the Acts 8 passage about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch we see Mark 16:15-16. We read Philip preached to him Jesus, the eunuch saw the water and wanted to be obedient. Philip said "if you believe, you may. The eunuch then confessed his belief, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Then Philip and the eunuch came out of the water.
When we examine every one of the salvation examples found in the New Testament after Jesus rose from the dead we can see how each fits into Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:18-20 commands of Jesus. There is not one example of anyone being saved by any other method or form. Not one.
The Bible does not need to include every single facet of being baptized in gospel obedience of Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:18-20 with each New Testament example of Biblical salvation. When the New Testament says a condition was involved in an example, that one condition was involved in every example.
If you were baptized to join a church, for a public display or confession of your faith, because it just seemed like a good idea, as a baby or for ANY reason other than for the remission of sins by immersion in water in obedience to the gospel by the authority of the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, you have NOT been scripturally baptized.
Baptism for the remission of sins by immersion in water in obedience to the gospel is absolutely necessary for salvation. It is a teaching, a doctrine, a command of Christ Jesus. If anyone teaches otherwise...
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (II John 1:9)
If a church teaches any other form of salvation other than baptism by immersion in water for the remission of sins in obedience to the gospel that is a transgressing church.
If you aren’t absolutely sure you have been Biblically baptized for the remission of sins by immersion water in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:18-20, you need to correct that and be certain.
Baptism is the beginning of a new life where one is born again, John 3:3, John 3:5.
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
Your eternal future depends on it.
Marv Walker 706 816-7190
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