A Little Bible Q & A For Your Day
Posted by: Eddie Ingram
Date: Jan 06 2017 2:50 PM
I hope your week is going well. I also hope that you are able to stay safe and warm during the cold weather that is here.
I still have a few copies of the book "Receiving the Gift of Salvation" if you are interested. It is free to you and I will cover the shipping. Just send me an email with your information and I will get one to you soon. We have given several away, and are down to a handful.
For today, here is a little Bible Q & A.
Dear Sir: The Bible speaks of salvation being free (Rom. 3:24; 6:23). Then why do you insist that we must “do” something, such as being baptized, in order to be saved? And in Mark 16:15-18, why do you require baptism and not the signs to follow?
This is a good question, and I am happy to answer it. First, let's read the latter passage, in which the Lord Jesus is speaking with the apostles: "And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."(Mark 16:15-18).
Please notice that there cannot be a question as to what Jesus required for salvation: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." This is what the apostles were to preach, and that is what they DID preach (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:30-33; 18:8; 22:16; etc.). But what of the argument that baptism is a work and salvation is free? Let us look at the other two passages: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ... For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 3:23-24; 6:23).
Salvation is certainly free, and there is not a thing we can do to earn it. It is a gift. But does that mean there is nothing for us to do in order to receive it? Is there no "work" required to receive this gift? Look at John 6:29, "Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’" If all "work" is ruled out, then faith is ruled out!! The truth is that believing in the Christ as our Savior does not earn us salvation, but it is necessary in order to receive His gift of salvation. The exact same thing is true with the act of baptism. Baptism doesn't earn us salvation, but it is necessary in order to receive His gift of salvation. It is, as Paul put it, "Faith working through love"(Gal. 5:6).
Why require belief and baptism (Mark 16:16), but not require "the signs that follow" (v. 17-18)? The answer to that is simple. "Believe and be baptized" is commanded by the Lord. This is what man is to do. We cannot please Him without doing His will. But "the signs that follow" were not commanded! These signs were the result of the promise of the Lord to the apostles. "These signs" were not the work of men, but were the work of God, as promised. You cannot obey a promise. And besides all that, this promise was never given to all the believers. It was given only to the apostles, to enable them to "confirm the word" which they were to preach (Mark 16:20).
I hope this helps.
Have a great weekend! Come See Us Sometime, We'd Love To Have You!
Enon Church of Christ
1366 Enon Rd.
Webb, AL 36376
Jesus Died For You. Live For Him!