I gave a eulogy in which I laid out how the Bible says one is saved from sin and it is not by saying any form of the Sinner’s Prayer. One of the funeral directors stood up after and said Jesus said to love God first and to love your neighbor second and “you’ll be all right.” He was paraphrasing “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40 NKJV)
Jesus was never a Christian. He was a Jew who lived and died under the Law of Moses. He was explaining the basis of the Law to the religious leaders of the day who should have known that every part of the Law was based on loving God and loving your neighbor.
The funeral director was using the passage where Jesus was summing up the essence of the law as a salvation process.
The Law of Moses was never able to remove sin, or to save, even though that is what it would do if one kept the Law, no one was saved by it because no one could keep the Law and all its many commandments until Jesus kept it. The Law led to Christ, and once Christ came, the Law of Moses was no longer in effect.
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:24-25 NKJV)
Now we are under the law of liberty.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25 NKJV)
So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:12 NKJV)
When Jesus rose from the dead he gave his disciples the “Great Commission...
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 NKJV)
From that moment on the gospel, and the gospel only, is what saves. In Romans 1:16 Paul says the gospel is the way God saves. He saves no other way.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16 NKJV)
In I Corinthians 15:1-4 Paul declares the gospel, “by which you are saved,” is the death, burial, and resurrection “according to the scriptures.” He says it twice.
1 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, (I Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV)
II Thessalonians 1:8-9 says that when Jesus comes he will take vengeance on those who “obey not the gospel” of Jesus.
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, (II Thessalonians 1:8-9 NKJV)
If the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and one MUST obey it, how does one literally obey the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ?
Let’s look at Romans 6:3-6...
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:3-6 NKJV)
Do you see the “death” of the gospel in the passage? Do you see the “burial” of the gospel in the passage? Do you see the “resurrection” in the passage?
In John 3 Jesus twice tells Nicodemus “you must be born again.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John3:3-7 NKJV)
Do you see “born again” in Romans 3:5?
In Acts 2 we read of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost where he convicts the Jews of murdering the very Messiah they, their fathers, their father’s fathers, all of their ancestors based their hopes on.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36 NKJV)
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36 NKJV)
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 NKJV)
Peter continues telling them to be saved and those who obeyed, who were baptized were added to the church, the saved.
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 NKJV)
In Romans 8:1 it says there is “now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
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 NKJV)
How does one get into Christ?
Romans 6:3, says one is “baptized into Christ Jesus.”
Nowhere in scripture was anyone told to say any form of a prayer or to do anything else to be saved other than Mark 16:15-16 after Jesus rose from the dead.
It is not there. Not one time.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” (John 14:15) We are now under the law of Christ. One of his commandments is found in Mark 16:15-16...
If you have not been baptized in obedience for the remission of sins or if you have been baptized for any other reason, to join a church, as an “outward sign” of accepting Jesus as your savior, or any other reason than for "the remission of sins," the Bible says you are still in your sins.
There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (I Peter 3:21 NKJV)
Do you see any "born again" connection here as well?
Read the Word! Don’t listen to me or anyone else, read it for your self. Make your calling and election sure.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (II Peter 1:10 NKJV)
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)
Friends, baptism is an absolutely necessary part of salvation.
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