Come Now and Let Us
Reason Together
About:

Whether
Baptism
Makes
You a
Child
of God

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins
be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool."
  Isaiah 1:18

This is God's open invitation to anyone seeking a Bible answer to
questions concerning salvation.   In the following conversation we see
someone partaking of God's offer after having heard a Bible preacher's
sermon . . .

Preacher, I'd like to thank you for the sermon.   It's very important that people learn more about
Christianity.

Why thank you, sir, it's nice of you to say that.
Well, think nothing of it.   We Christians should always try to encourage one another and that includes
preachers.

Amen to that!   By the way, you say that you are a Christian yourself?
Why yes, of course I am!
Good!   Just when did you become a Christian?
When?   Oh, I guess that I've always been one.   Why do you ask?
Well, I'm always curious about a person's before and after.
Before and after?   What do you mean?
Here, let me show you what I mean.   The Bible says:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new."
  II Corinthians 5:17

The Bible says that a Christian is a new creature.   This means that a change has taken place.   The old
sinful lifestyle passes away and a new godly lifestyle replaces it.   That's what I meant by a before and
after.   Can you describe the changes that took place when you became a Christian?

The man had a perplexed look on his face.   He didn't quite know how to answer.

Here, let's see what has to take place in order for someone to become a new creature in Christ:

"Jesus answered and said unto him [Nicodemus], Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
  John 3:3

Jesus said that a spiritual birth is needed if one is to become a Christian.   This spiritual birth is the
transformation between the before and after that we have been talking about.

Preacher, with all due respect, I've never experienced this spiritual birth nor can I describe a before and
after.   Are you sure that all of this is necessary?

Why yes.   As you can see the Bible teaches it.
But my church taught me that I became a Christian when I was baptized and made a child of God.
Does your church go by God's Word, the Bible?
Sure, it's a Christian church!

Then it should have told you the same things that the Bible says.
But that's just it, I don't remember being shown any of this.   Are you sure that I didn't become a new creature
when I was baptized?

When were you baptized?
As an infant.
Well, first of all, the Bible clearly teaches that baptism does not save anyone.   You can't become a
Christian by being baptized.   You must be born again.   Baptism is simply an ordinance that pictures the
Gospel.

Okay, if not through baptism then how is a person born again?
By asking God to save them:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [born again]."   Romans 10:13

Sounds like you have to understand what's going on before you can get saved.
Exactly!   Let me explain what God wants you to understand.   Man is born into this world spiritually dead.
He has a sin nature.   He sins by nature and by choice.   God being holy must judge sin.   This means that man
is condemned as a sinner and destined to spend eternity in a Devil's Hell, but God also being a God of love
doesn't want to see man die lost:

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be
saved
, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
  I Timothy 2:3-4

The truth is that man, a lost Hell bound, spiritually dead sinner, needs to be saved - born again.   Salvation
cannot be earned by good deeds, baptism, or church membership (Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:16).   It
comes through:

"repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."   Acts 20:21

Jesus died in our place to save us.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

His sacrificial payment for our sins makes salvation available to us as a free gift.   We simply have to
accept it by faith.   God doesn't force salvation upon anyone.   A person must ask God to save them:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.   How then shall they call on
him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
Romans 10:13- 14

Now considering everything that we have talked about, you can see that a person is not a Christian until
they:

*   Admit they're a lost Hell bound sinner
*   Hear God's plan of salvation
*   Choose to trust Christ as Saviour
*   Asked God to save them in repentance and faith

I guess a baby can't do any of that, can they?
No, of course not.   Neither does a baby have a testimony of having been born again into a new creature
and thus experiencing a before and after in their life.

I guess that means I haven't always been a Christian.
No one has.   There has to be a time and place where the person willfully receives Christ as Saviour by
trusting in His payment for their sins.   We are saved through faith in Him.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God," John
1:12.

Remember, true Bible salvation results in a changed mind, heart and lifestyle of obedience to God
according to His Word.   There has to be a before and after.

The person wanted to know more about GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION so the preacher showed
him the following from God's Word.

FIRST THE BAD NEWS:
1.   We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."   Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."   John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."   John
3:6
2.   As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
[sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.
3.   Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath.   God demands death as payment for
sin.

* "Not of works, lest any man should boast."   Ephesians 2:8,9
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."   Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!
4.   God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place.   That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
  I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us."
  Romans 5:8
5.   Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not
of works, lest any man should boast."
  Ephesians 2:8,9

How does someone accept this gift?   Through
repentance and faith.

REPENTANCE:   means to change your mind
and adapt an attitude of not sinning against God.
FAITH:   means to simply take God at His word,
i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the
Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
  Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of
the Lord shall be saved."
  Romans 10:13
6.   Upon being saved and born again
spiritually, we become converted to a new
creature in Christ.

* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be
converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
  Matthew
18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."
  II
Corinthians 5:17

For more information please contact:

FARGO BAPTIST
CHURCH

3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
(701) 232-5500

Pastor T. C. Scheving

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]