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Monday, February 1, 2021

I Know I’m Saved

By Jim Faughn

     We had a very pleasant conversation. There was only one "glitch." That happened when I asked her where she worshiped and invited her to visit one of the worship services where I preach.
     It was at that point when she said, "I know I'm saved." The look on her face and the tone of her voice
added, "…and don't you dare question that."
     I've seen that look and heard that tone before. I wouldn't try to guess how many times.
My role in life does not include being anybody’s judge. Our Lord prohibited that in Matthew 7:1ff. Even
if He had not spoken those words, I would not want to be the judge of anybody.
     At the same time, I cannot help but make the observation that many who have assured me of their salvation have not complied with the Lord's requirements for salvation. I suppose there's nothing really new about that.
     Even the New Testament informs us of people who "thought they were all right" until somebody cared enough about them to teach them the truth.
Among those individuals, would be…
  • The Jews on the day of Pentecost, who asked what they needed to do to rid themselves of the guilt of sin (cf. Acts 2:37)
  • Saul of Tarsus, who was progressing greatly in the Jewish religion until he obeyed the command to “…Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins…” (Acts 22:16)
  • The people of Athens who were very religious, but lost (cf. Acts 17:22-34)
  • Apollos, who had to be taught “…the way of the Lord more perfectly” (Acts 18:26)
  • The twelve men who had only submitted to "John's baptism" and knew nothing of the baptism authorized by Jesus (cf. Acts 19:1-7).
     The real sticking point in discussions like this usually involves the mode and purpose of baptism. Very
few would question the necessity of believing in Jesus or repenting, or changing our beliefs and behaviour. Some would even admit to the importance of confessing that Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah.
     However, the religious world in general and many individuals in particular have missed, ignored, or deny what The Bible teaches about baptism.
     Please consider the following observations:
  • The definition of the Greek word baptizo is “to dip, plunge, overwhelm, or submerge.” Other “modes” are not included in the definition.
  • Those other “modes” are also unknown in the practice of the New Testament preachers and teachers. Possibly the best example of this is the account of Philip and the eunuch from Ethiopia about whom we read, “...they went down both into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38). (You may notice that the next verse informs us that “...they came up out of the water....”)
    The purpose of baptism is not what many people believe it to be. It is sad that many believe they are saved prior to, or in spite of, being baptized, but a careful reading of the New Testament will inform us that...
  • Baptism is “... for the remission of sins....” (Acts 2:38)
  • Baptism is the act that puts a person “into Christ.” (cf. Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27)
  • We are not a “new creature” unless and until we are in Christ. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17)
     I tried to kindly suggest that the lady might want to rethink her confidence. The religious group with which she said she is affiliated does not teach what I’ve presented here. Our conversation ended on a friendly note. She may not have thought about it since then, but I have, and I pray that she will obey God’s plan of salvation.
     I would appeal to anybody who reads these words to trust only God and His Holy Word concerning this, and all other, matters. He is the One “who desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4)
     I would also appeal to those of us who “...have come to a knowledge of the truth” to do what we can to teach that truth to others.
     Eternity is way too long to do otherwise.
- Jim Faughn, a retired preacher, serves as an elder for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org


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