Season 1, Episode 86
For Monday, May 11, 2015
“Baptism: What About Mark 16:16?”
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16).
I’m glad you’ve joined me on this Monday edition of The New You. This week on the program I’d like for us to talk about some frequently asked questions about baptism. We will focus on several passages throughout the week that are sometimes called into question when it comes to whether baptism is necessary for salvation. I think this will be a beneficial study.
Today, let’s look at Mark 16:16, the passage that I read a moment ago. Sometimes there are questions about this passage because of what might seem like an inconsistency in Jesus’ two statements in this verse. He says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Why didn’t He say, “He who does not believe and be baptized will be condemned”? Some people conclude from this that baptism must not be necessary for salvation because of that last phrase in Mark 16:16.
First, let’s make this observation: in the first phrase, Jesus clearly teaches what is necessary for salvation. He employs that coordinating conjunction “and,” which gives equal significance to the words on either side of it. Belief, or faith, is necessary for salvation, and baptism is necessary for salvation.
But why does Jesus only include belief in the last phrase of the verse? Here’s the answer: because belief is a prerequisite to baptism. Someone who does not believe will not be baptized. Someone who does not believe cannot be saved. Faith is fundamental to everything about Christianity and salvation.
Think of it this way. Let’s say that you are a high school senior applying to colleges. You have learned that, in order to be accepted to college, you must take the ACT and submit an application. We could even state it this way: whoever takes the ACT and submits an application will be accepted, but whoever does not take the ACT will not be accepted. Why didn’t I include the application part in the last phrase? Because if you don’t take the ACT then there’s no reason to submit an application. You won’t be accepted.
Someone who doesn’t believe isn’t going to be baptized. However, someone who truly believes the Lord will do what He says and submit to baptism (Mat. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).
Let’s wrap it up: We’re going to see all this week that baptism is necessary for salvation. On Friday, the Lord willing, we’ll notice eight reasons why baptism is so important. Today, however, we have clearly seen what Jesus has to say about it. Belief is essential to salvation, and baptism is essential to salvation.
Memory Verse: This week, let’s memorize Acts 22:16. This is a statement that Ananias made to Saul (who, of course, would later be called Paul).
And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16).
Thanks for listening to The New You. For more information about this show and the other work that we do on The Light Network, visit thelightnetwork.tv. You can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com/roberthatfield. For more information about the North Charleston church of Christ, just go to northcharlestonchurchofchrist.com.
Tomorrow I want us to look at Acts 2:38 and that phrase “for the remission of sins”. What does that mean? That’s next time on The New You.