In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Eph. 1:7
…the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1: 7 (b)
My nine-year old son is getting baptized this coming Sunday. Naturally, I was curious to ‘know’ his reason for wanting to do this, so we had a lengthy conversation on the subject.
Here’s pretty much how it went…
I said, “So…why do you want to get baptized this Sunday?”
He replied, “To make my Salvation permanent.”
Me: “You do know that being baptized has nothing to do with salvation…don’t you?”
Him: “Not really…”
This admission from him, led us to the account in Scripture about the thief on the cross – the one next to Jesus -who admitted his guilt and asked Jesus to ‘remember him’ when He came into His kingdom. Remember Jesus reply? He said ‘Today, you shall be with me in Paradise.’ I reminded my son that the thief died on the cross that day, and was buried. He never had a chance to get baptized. But Jesus said he could go to heaven because he asked for forgiveness.
Then I quoted John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” That verse led my son to ask the question, “If Jesus died for everyone, then why doesn’t everyone go to heaven when they die?” At this point, we had the discussion of free will and choice.
I then gave the following example. I said, “On Christmas morning, what if you woke up and saw a gift addressed to you under the tree? That gift has your name on it. Your dad and I sacrificed so that you could have it. It’s yours. It’s free to you, although it did cost us something. But that gift will do you no good until you accept it…take it…receive it.”
I went on to explain that everyone who was ever born, or ever would be born was offered this gift of Jesus, from God Almighty. The reason some folks will get to go to heaven is because they accepted “The Gift”, while others refused it…so they can’t come where Jesus is.
Then I quoted my dad. I heard him say many times, “If you go down into the baptismal waters without KNOWING Jesus as your personal Savior…you do down a dry sinner, and come up a wet one.” What he meant here was, if you are in bondage to sin, and have not been washed in the Blood of Jesus, being baptized will not change that because you are still in bondage! Only the Blood of Jesus can wash our sin away…break the chains that bind us!
We then talked about Assurity … Knowing that you are saved.
Me: “If someone asks you if your saved, or if you’re going to heaven…you can’t answer them with the words…”Well, I think so.” OR, “I sure hope so!” The Bible says we can KNOW for sure that if we have asked Jesus to save us, then we ARE going to heaven. The Bible says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” -John 5:13
It’s like me and your dad. When people ask us if we’re married…we can’t say, “Well I sure hope so!” OR, “I think so.” We KNOW we are, because we remember a time and a place where we made that commitment.
He understood. Water does NOT save you or wash your sins away….ONLY the BLOOD OF JESUS can do that!