The Need for Salvation by Faith CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Often, religious people confuse water baptism with salvation by faith. In this lesson, we examine some verses on salvation to clear up the difference between salvation by faith and baptism. We are teaching this lesson because we had a couple of people baptized today and we want to ensure that everybody understands that water baptism doesn’t save souls. Our study begins in Genesis.
Man was created a tri-part being – Gen 2:7 – God formed man of the dust of the ground [that’s our body]. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [that’s our spirit]. And man became a living soul [that’s our soul]. We match the likeness and image of God [Gen 1:26]. Our body matches Jesus Christ; our spirit matches the Holy Spirit; and our souls match God the Father.
Man was warned that he would die – Gen 2:17 – God commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God said that he would die that “day.”
Man died the day he ate the fruit – Gen 3:6 – Adam and Eve both ate the fruit. And both of them died that day. Their bodies didn’t die. Adam lived to be 930 years old [Gen 5:5] and this sin was committed at least 800 years before his physical death. Their souls didn’t die [Matt 10:28]. So, their spirits died. And all of their offspring are born in their image [Gen 5:3], with a spirit that dies when they sin against God and bodies that die. See Rom 5:12.
Therefore, we all die spiritually and physically – Eph 2:1 – our spiritual death is seen in this verse. Before salvation we are “dead in trespasses and sins.” Our physical death is seen in Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” 1 Cor 1:22 says, “For as in Adam all die.”
Christ died and rose again to remedy our spiritual and physical death – 1 Cor 15:3-4 – “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures.” By Christ’s death and burial he paid for our sins and by his resurrection he proved that the life he offers us is eternal. He is no longer in the grave; he arose!! When we are in him through salvation by faith, we live, [1 Cor 15:22].
Therefore, we must be born again by the Spirit – Jn 3:3-7 – Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be born again to see and enter the kingdom of God. Our first birth is a water birth. It is that which is born of the flesh. It is our birth in Adam. Our second birth, when we are born again, is our Spirit birth. It is that which is born of the Spirit. It is our birth in Christ. This Spirit birth happens when we receive Jesus Christ
We are born of God when we receive Jesus Christ – Jn 1:12-13 – when you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ by receiving him by faith you are born of God and become a son of God. You receive Jesus Christ as a gift by faith; not by any good works or religious works [Eph 2:8-9]. When you receive Jesus you “have” him and you “know” that you are saved and have eternal life [1 Jn 5:10-13]. This is salvation by faith.
Water baptism puts you in the water – Matt 28:19-20 – Jesus commanded that we baptize Christians in water. You see the new converts throughout the Acts of the Apostles getting baptized in water in fulfillment of this command. But water baptism doesn’t put you into Jesus Christ. Water baptism doesn’t make you born again. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can do these two things.
Spirit baptism puts you into Jesus Christ – 1 Cor 12:13 – Look at Rom 6:3-5. You are not reading about water baptism here; there is no water in the entire book of Romans. When you are baptized by the Spirit into Christ, you are baptized into his death, burial and resurrection. Hence you are able to walk in newness of life.
Water baptism, therefore, visibly portrays Spirit baptism – when a Christian is standing [or sitting] in the water, his body crosses the plane of the water and forms a cross. When he is submerged under the water, the posture of his body pictures his death and burial. When he is lifted out of the water, his body is “raised.” And when he leaves the water, he pictures a man walking in newness of life.
Conclusion: so if you have been baptized in water but you have not received the Lord Jesus Christ, you are not born again. And you must be born again [Jn 3:7]. If you are not born again but you would like to be born again by faith in Jesus Christ, you can receive him tonight and he will save your soul, bring your spirit to life and make you a child of God.