"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Work Out Your Own Salvation

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13 ESV).”

Here Paul says, “work out your own salvation,” but then goes on to clarify how we work out our own salvation: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”As Christians we do the work, but the will and the work are worked in us by God. We actually work as He works in us. We work as God synergistically works in us through our will. It is like a man working a backhoe tractor: “For it is the operator who works in the tractor, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” The tractor is actually what is digging the hole.  The man operating the tractor never actually touches the ground himself, but he does dig the hole because he is in the tractor working the controls and willing it where, when and how to work. So we actually work out the salvation, digging the hole as it were, but God is the one in us at the controls willing us when, where and how to work. Both the operator and the tractor are working. The tractor operator does not work alone, and the tractor cannot work alone; it is a cooperative effort.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is Baptism Necessary?

I recently tweeted, "What baptism does one cannot be saved without; therefore, baptism is essential to salvation."

I want to expand on that idea here on this blog.  What does baptism do?  Can a person be saved without what baptism does?

1. Baptism is for the remissions of sins (Acts 2:38): Can one be saved without the remissions of sins?

2. Baptism is a commandment (Acts 10:48): Can one be saved who refuses to obey the commands of God?

3. Baptism is when sin is washed away (Acts 22:16): Can one be saved if their sins are not washed away?

4. Baptism puts one into Christ and into his death (Romans 6:3): Can one be saved outside of Christ and his death?

5. Baptism is how one puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27): Can one be saved who has not put on Christ?

6. Baptism is the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11-12): Can one be saved having not put off the body of sin?