Summary: Sin, Surrender, New Life, Baptism
ONE CHURCH - One Baptism
Romans 6:1-4 (p. 785) July 24, 2016
Jack Cottrell taught at Cincinnati Bible College for 40+ years and he shared this quote on faith and baptism:
“Both faith and baptism are conditions for salvation, but faith is the means and baptism is the time.”
He then shares this illustration to show what he meant:
The MEANS of bringing something about is not the same as the TIME when it happens. My favorite is the simple process of getting light out of a lamp. Here we can distinguish three things, all of which are “conditions.” First, the SOURCE of the light is the electric power that comes through the wiring of the house. Second, the MEANS of transferring this power to the lamp is the insertions of the lamp’s plug into a socket. Third, the TIME when the light actually comes on is when you flip the switch on the wall (or on the lamp). As applied to salvation, the source is grace; the means is faith; and the time is baptism.
Most of us are familiar with Eph. 2:8 which says “We are saved by grace through faith - and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Grace is the source of salvation’s power…faith is how we plug into it, and the time it occurs is our baptism…when we unite ourselves with His death, burial and resurrection. We receive His Spirit.
You have often heard me say, “you cannot be saved until you realize you are lost.”
This has a great deal to do with the means of our salvation. GRACE.
This amazing gift involves us coming to the realization of our need for forgiveness…and that God has provided the resources for that forgiveness.
[For many years I had an understanding of what was right and what was wrong. In a legal sense I knew that stealing was illegal…that driving fast or recklessly was wrong…but I really didn’t care…It really didn’t bother me until I got caught…The consequences of my sin was what I didn’t like…the sin itself wasn’t that big a deal.
That is until God’s Spirit began to do what He was left here on earth to do in my life…and in yours…and in everyone’s.]
The reason there is “one baptism” that saves us and unites us is because of this Spirit influenced conviction.
I. DYING TO OUR SIN REQUIRES A DEATH BURIAL AND RESURRECTION
Jesus said something really important about “the grace” part of every person’s salvation. Remember God’s grace is the source of salvation’s power…Here’s what Jesus said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
Our salvation requires a heart change when it comes to sin. Sin is what separates every single one of us from a holy and perfect God…It’s a separation that exists for every person. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
It’s not a separation we can close…and because of that…we are dead people walking around in a temporary body. Most of our choices and pursuits are about our comfort…our pursuits are mostly pride and preference driven…This is what we inherited from Adam and Eve…a nature…a heart that seeks selfishness…and that means “Sin.” Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires…the mind governed by the flesh is death…the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God…and it does not submit to God…nor can it do so…those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
So how can God change minds that are selfish…How does God wake us up to our hostility and rebellion? How does God, in His amazing grace enter this realm of the flesh to save people “dead in their sins?”
Jesus says, “I will send my advocate (my representative…it’s a legal term). When He comes He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.” (Jn. 18:7-8)
The only catalyst powerful enough to wake up dead people…is the same Spirit that raised Jesus to life…and His wake up call has to do with our sin…that we are all unrighteous…and because of that we stand in judgment before a perfect holy God…and the verdict for us all is “guilty.” Separated from God in danger of an eternal separation.
We would never change on our own…In fact its impossible to understand our lostness because of our sin apart from God’s pursuing us…This is grace…it’s His gift…“At just the right time, when we were still powerless…Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrated His own love for us in this…while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)