A. A PLAIN STATEMENT, RARELY ADDRESSED BY DENOMINATIONS.
B. CONTROVERSIAL, THEY FEEL THE NEED TO EXPLAIN AWAY.
C. LET'S LOOK AT FOUR VIEWS AS TAUGHT BY MEN, AND CONTRAST WITH WHAT THE PASSAGE ACTUALLY SAYS.
A. TWO SEPARATE GROUPS HOLD THIS VIEW.
1. ATHEISTS - who don't believe in God, heaven, hell, or salvation anyway.
2. JEWS, MUSLIMS, HINDUS, etc., WHO BELIEVE IN GOD.
a. But who do not believe that salvation is to be found in Jesus.
b. And that to believe and/or be baptized is contrary to the will of God.
B. BUT WE REJECT SUCH A VIEW.
1. There IS a God who offers salvation ( 1 Tim. 2:3-4 ).
2. Salvation DOES come only through Jesus ( 1 Tim. 2:5-6; John 14:6 ).
A. THIS VIEW IS HELD BY "UNIVERSALISTS."
1. Who believe that God will save everyone eventually
2. To support their view, they will isolate some verses like 1 Tim. 2:6.
B. BUT WE REJECT SUCH A VIEW.
1. Jesus told that there would be few who would be saved ( Matt. 7:13-14 ).
2. Paul warned of those who would not be saved( Eph. 5:5-6; 2 Thess. 1:7-9 ).
A. THIS VIEW IS HELD BY MOST WHO PRACTICE "INFANT BAPTISM."
1. By "baptizing" (actually sprinkling, not immersing) infants incapable of faith.
a. Some indicate that faith is not essential to salvation.
b. Some say that God imparts faith to the infant so baptism can still save.
2. By sprinkling or pouring they fail at doing what Jesus commanded anyway.
B. BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE MUST POINT OUT
1. Faith a prerequisite for baptism and salvation( Acts 8:35-37; Rom.10:9-10 ).
2. That sprinkling or pouring is NOT Bible baptism
a. The Greek word is "baptizo", and it means "to immerse"
b. Baptism is described in the Bible as a "burial"( Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12 ).
c. Sprinkling or pouring was first practiced 250 A.D., first legalized 753
by Pope Stephan for emergeny cases, declared indifferent in 1311 by
the council of Ravenna.
d. Keeping the "tradition of men" do we fail to keep the "command of
God" concerning baptism?( Matt. 15:3-9 ).
3. Since the prerequisites of faith ( Mark 16:16 ) and repentance ( Acts 2:38 )
are beyond the infant's capability, they are not suitable candidates for baptism.
A. HELD BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY FAITH "ONLY," BEFORE BAPTISM, THEREFORE, BAPTISM IS NOT ESSENTIAL.
B. BUT JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES CLEARLY TAUGHT DIFFERENTLY.
1. That faith "alone" cannot save.
a. Jesus( Matt. 7:21; Luke 6:46 ).
b. Apostles( Rom. 6:17-18; Heb. 5:9; Jas. 2:14-26; 1 John 2:3-5 ).
2. That baptism IS essential to salvation
a. Jesus( John 3:5; Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:18-20 ).
b. Apostles( Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 3:21 ).
A. THIS VIEW TAKES THE WORDS OF JESUS AT FACE VALUE.
B. WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN PREVIOUSLY THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES.
1. One must "believe"( Acts 8:36-37 ).
2. One must be "baptized" to enjoy the forgiveness of sins( Acts 2:38; 22:16 ).
A. WHICH OF THE FIVE VIEWS OF Mark 16:16 DO YOU HOLD?
B. ONLY BY ACTING IN HARMONY WITH JESUS' TEACHINGS CAN WE HAVE THE
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION( Acts 2:38; 22:16 ).