BAPTISM AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? BY STEVE FINNELL
The proponents of salvation by faith alone state that water baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. Is this a correct doctrine? Yes. The problem is in the explanation of that statement. Faith only advocates say that water baptism is simply a symbolic reenactment of forgiveness that occurred at the moment a person believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior. The Scriptures do not teach that as a fact.
DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? YES.
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Men are baptized into Christ Jesus. Men do not believe only into Jesus. Men are baptized into His death, they do not believe into His death.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,so we too might walk in newness of life.
We are buried with Christ in baptism so we can walk in newness of life. We walk in newness of life after water baptism not the moment we believe.
Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
We are united with Christ in baptism. We are not united with Christ the very minute we believe. Water baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 6:6-7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body, of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is free from sin.
You are baptized in water so the body of sin might be done away with and be free from sin. If men become believers in Christ and then wait one year before being baptized, they are spending that year not having their old self crucified with Christ. They spend a year not being free from sin.
Galatians 3:26-27 For you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
They were clothed with Christ when they were baptized into Him.They were not clothed with Christ the moment they had faith.
Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
You are raised up in baptism, in the faith of the working God. Men are raised up by a combination of faith and baptism. Men are not raised by "faith only" nor are they raised before they are baptized.
Colossians 2:12-13.....When you were dead in your transgression and uncircumcision of you flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
When are men dead in their transgressions? They are dead before they have faith and are baptized in water.
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter had already preached Jesus as Lord and Christ. Peter had already preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They were still in their sins. They were not saved the minute they believed. They needed to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Faith, confession, and repentance precede water baptism. Water baptism is the point of forgiveness of sins.
Water baptism is not an empty symbolic rite demonstrating what happen the very moment men believe.
WATER BAPTISM IS THE POINT OF FORGIVENESS FROM SIN.
WATER BAPTISM IS A BAPTISM INTO CHRIST.
WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST.
WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE RAISED TO WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.
WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN OUR TRANSGRESSIONS ARE FORGIVEN.
WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE FREED FROM THE CHAINS OF SIN.
WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE SYMBOLICALLY CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND PROMISED RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.
YES, WATER BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE! THAT GRACE OCCURS DURING BAPTISM NOT PRIOR TO IT.