Are we saved by baptism? Part 4
10) The focus of our Lord’s ministry and the Apostle Paul’s ministry was not baptism, but the preaching of the Gospel of the cross.
John 4:1-2 “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)”
I Corinthians 1:12-18 “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
11) The laver in the Tabernacle was never designed to be a type of the doctrine that baptism washes away a man’s sins and brings salvation.
- There is nothing in the Old Testament text that hints that it was a picture of baptism.
- There is nothing in the New Testament that hints that it is a type of baptism.
- Practically, it was placed between the brazen alter and the Holy place because the priests would get dusty and bloody in the work of sacrificing animals in the outer court.
- If it were a type, it would be an incomplete picture, because it was not a bath tub to wash the whole body, but it was a basin used to wash the face, hands and feet.
12) To teach that baptism is a type of circumcision and that both served as means of salvation under different dispensations is not only Scripturally wrong, but it forms the foundation for the false doctrine of infant baptism, and it was clearly condemned as a means of salvation by Paul in the book of Romans and Galatians.
Romans 2:25-28 “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Romans 4:8-13 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
Galatians 5:1-6 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”
- Abraham was justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
- Abraham was justified by God before he was circumcised.
- If circumcision saved, then women could not be saved.
- Paul points out that some who are circumcised in the flesh are not in the heart, because the issue of salvation is not an issue of the flesh or the physical, but it is an issue of the spiritual.
- It is clear that if baptism is truly a type of circumcision, then it cannot be a means of salvation.
- A man can be baptized in the name of Jesus and still be as lost as when he went under the water, or a man could for some reason never be baptized in the name of Jesus and still be a child of God.