The Blood Of Christ And Baptism

Introduction

Although many people dismiss the importance of baptism for salvation, the Bible clearly says otherwise. Jesus commanded it, Matthew 28:19-20 / Mark 16:16.

Peter plainly tells us that baptism saves, 1 Peter 3:21, and every conversion recorded in the Book of Acts tells us that people were baptised in order to be saved, Acts 2:37-41 / Acts 8:8:36-38 / Acts 10:47-48 / Acts 16:13-15 / Acts 16:27-34 / Acts 18:5-8 / Acts 19:1-5 / Acts 22:14-17.

Objections To Baptism

Many people say what is called ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’ in which they think they will be saved by confessing their sins and inviting Jesus into their hearts.

The many variations of this prayer are more like a prayer of repentance but more importantly, you won’t find a single example anywhere in the New Testament where people were asked to say a ‘sinners’ prayer’ to be saved.

Some people point to the thief on the cross and rightly say that he wasn’t baptised and yet he was saved. Yes, it’s true he wasn’t baptised, but how could he obey the command to be baptised if it wasn’t yet given? The command for baptism wasn’t given by Jesus until AFTER Jesus rose from the grave, Matthew 28:19-20 / Mark 16:16.

Then there are those who argue that baptism is a work, and once again they are right. However, Paul tells us that baptism ‘is a work of God’, Colossians 2:12. Is faith a work? Yes, but again faith is the work of God, not man, John 6:29. The expression ‘work of God’ means the works required and approved by God.

Repentance is something that a person has to do on their own because nobody else can repent for them, Acts 2:38 / Acts 3:19. Confessing Jesus as Lord is something that a person has to do on their own because nobody else can confess for them, Romans 10:9. And yet when it comes to ‘baptism’ this is something which has to be done for you, 1 Corinthians 12:13.

The Blood Of Christ And Baptism

Many people dismiss baptism as necessary for salvation because they don’t understand the connection between the ‘water’ used in baptism and the ‘blood of Christ’. Many Christians, as I once did, struggle to understand how they are connected.

To see and understand the connection between the water and the blood of Christ, we need to go back to Jesus’ words when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. The text tells us the reason why Christ shed His blood; He says it was for ‘the forgiveness of sins’. Matthew 26:27-28.

We know that if there was no blood shed, there would be no forgiveness of sins available to anyone, Hebrews 9:22. To this very day, all sinners need the blood of Christ in order to be forgiven for their sins, Hebrews 9:13-14.

When we read Acts 2:38, we learn that people were baptised in the Name of Christ ‘for the forgiveness of their sins’. This demonstrates that Christ’s blood is connected to baptism in water.

John tells us that it is Christ’s blood that ‘washes our sins away’, Revelation 1:5. When Paul met Ananias, Ananias told Paul to ‘be baptised to wash away his sins’, Acts 22:16. This also demonstrates that Christ’s blood is connected to baptism in water.

Paul tells us that it is ‘in Christ’, that Christians have ‘redemption, through the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins’, Ephesians 1:7.

The word ‘redeem’ carries with it the idea of being bought out of slavery. Christians have been bought out of slavery by the blood of Christ and when they are baptised, they have the forgiveness of sins, 1 Peter 1:18-19.

The Hebrew writer tells us, ‘having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water’. Hebrews 10:22.

The sprinkling is a clear reference to the blood of Christ, 1 Peter 1:22, and the water is a clear reference to baptism, Ephesians 5:25-26. Peter speaks of our baptism as a pledge of a clear conscience toward God, 1 Peter 3:21. This again demonstrates that Christ’s blood is connected to baptism in water.

It’s the blood of Christ that reconciles people into a relationship with God, Ephesians 2:13 / Ephesians 2:16. For a person to be reconciled to God, they need the blood of Christ and they come into contact with the blood of Christ at baptism.

Christians have been justified by the blood of Christ and because they have been justified by His blood, the result is salvation, Romans 5:8-9.

The word ‘justify’ means simply means to make righteous (right before God, just as if one has never sinned). Yes, everyone has sinned, but it’s only Christians who can appear before God as though they haven’t sinned. Christians are justified by the blood of Jesus when they have their sins washed away in the waters of baptism.

The Connection

1. Jesus shed His blood in His death on the cross, John 19:33-34, sinners are baptised into His death, Romans 6:3.

2. Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins, Matthew 26:28, sinners are baptised for the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38.

3. Jesus shed His blood to clean our conscience, Hebrews 9:13-14, sinners are baptised as a pledge for a clear conscience, 1 Peter 1:21.

4. Jesus shed His blood so that we can be washed of our sins in it, Revelation 1:5, sinners are baptised to have their sins washed away, Acts 22:16.

Conclusion

The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus’ blood saves us, but the Bible also tells us that His blood can only be accessed by being baptised in water for the forgiveness of our sins, Acts 2:38 / Acts 22:16.

It’s through the waters of baptism that God washes us clean from our sins, Colossians 2:11-13, and gives us a pledge of a clear conscience towards Him, 1 Peter 3:21.

We come into contact with the blood of Christ in the waters of baptism, it’s then that we become ‘in Christ’ and all of our past sins are forgiven, and we receive a new life, Romans 6:1-5.

After we’ve been baptised, His blood will continue to cleanse us and purify us from all unrighteousness, if we remain faithful to Him and confess our sins to Him, 1 John 1:6-9.

Have you been baptised for the forgiveness of your sins? If not, why not?

‘And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ Acts 22:16

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