The Bible associates salvation with numerous things – redemption (1 Cor. 1:30), sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30), forgiveness of sins(Eph. 1:7), eternal life (Rom. 6:23) and being IN CHRIST.
- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly placesIN CHRIST" (Eph. 1:3). Only those in Christ can enjoy these spiritual blessings.
- "Therefore if anyone is IN CHRIST, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new"(2 Cor. 5:17). A person becomes a new creation when he or she gets into Christ.
- "Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is IN CHRIST JESUS..."(2 Tim 2:10). Since salvation is found in Christ, one must get into Christ in order to be saved.
- "And this is the testimony, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON" (1 Jn. 5:11). Since eternal life is found in Christ, one must be in Christ in order to possess it.
I have yet to find anyone who will argue these points. At the same time, I have met many who have no idea what the Bible instructs us to do in order to get into Christ. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST JESUS were baptized into His death?” (Rom 6:3) "For as many of you as were BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:27)
Like it or not, baptism is the only scriptural way a person can get into Christ. You can search from the front to the back of your Bible, and you will find no other way. Why is it, then, that many denominations underrate the importance of baptism?
Truth be told, many denominations have a “love/hate” relationship with baptism. Although they teach and practice it, they minimize its importance, rationalizing that to do otherwise is tantamount to teaching salvation by works. But baptism is NOT a work. (How much WORK did you do when someone immersed you in the water?) Moreover, they typically insist that repentance and confession ARE necessary to salvation, yet BOTH require EFFORT or WORK. Interesting…
I want to be IN CHRIST, don’t you?
Jesus, always Jesus!