Summary: To establish that in every great event where God has dealt with man in the bible; water was in His plan. This lesson will settle the question: “is baptism essential to salvation?"
1. The Creation of the Natural Man
2. The Creation of the New Naaman
3. The Creation of the New Man
1. In this lesson we will answer an aged long question, and that will be: “is there water in the plan?” In every great event where God has dealt with man, favorable or unfavorable; water was in the plan. Today, beloved we will be discussing one of the most heated and debated topic regarding the work of God in the bible! For the devout bible student or the casual reader, the bible unfolds with event after event where God has used water in his work to make, destroy, and save man; to cleanse him, to open his eyes and even to heal him, and lastly to redeem him. Notice:
a. To Noah God warned that he would destroy the world with water. Yet, with the same element, He preserved Noah and his house. The Lord preserved the nation of Israel with water; and destroyed their enemy, the nation of Egypt in the same water - the Red Sea.
b. To the blind man Jesus said: "Go wash in the pool of Siloam and he came back seeing."
c. And to the man afflicted with Palsy, he recognized that cleansing which could be had - "in the water." This man had an affliction for 38 years; and lying before the pool of Bethesda, "waiting for the troubling of the water." Which one of these I just mentioned would argue, "That there was nothing in the water?"
d. The bigger question before us today is simply this: “is baptism essential to salvation?” Many religious leaders and believers would answer that it is not! To answer this question we will begin with the first man, and that is Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45-47.
2. First, we will explore God’s use of water in the creation of the natural man - Adam. This was not completed without water. Science has proven that man's body is composed of nearly 70% water. Did this just happen? Or was this by design? Adam, the first Man was made by God. God fashioned him from water and dust; into His own image and likeness, Genesis 1:26-27. And water clearly, was in His plan.
3. Secondly, we will consider Naaman the Leper who was cleansed of his leprosy after dipping in the river Jordan 7 times. Naaman said: "Behold I thought, he (Elisha) will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper." But, the prophet did not; he only gave him instruction to go dip 7 times in the Jordan River. When Naaman washed 7 times, "His flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was cleansed of his leprosy,” 2 Kings 5:14.
4. Finally, we will investigate God’s work in the “new birth” or the “new man.” Jesus discussed with Nicodemus the necessity of a new man, by way of a new birth. And beloved, water was in the plan. No one would suggest that God could not have accomplished the new birth without water. Nor can anyone who is sincere argue that water is not a part of the new birth. It's in the waters of baptism we are forgiven of our sins. It's in the act of baptism man's faith and God’s grace comes together. If anyone can be saved without the new birth; he/she can be saved without the grace of God, Ephesians 2:4-10.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE CREATION OF THE NATURAL MAN
A. The creation of the natural man. "And God said; Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: ... God created in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," Genesis 1:26-27. Illustrate: Male and female. Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve! "Let us make man." Who is the “us” in this text? The phrase describes more than one person in the verse, (this affirms the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). Notice:
1. The Beginning: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him (the Word); and without him (the Word) was not anything made that was made," John 1:1-3.
2. The Word: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth," John 1:14. Jesus tabernacle among us! He pitched his tent, and was called: “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us,” Matthew 1:23.
3. The One God: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord,” Mark 12:29.