Highway 9 church of Christ
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|Lesson 21: Man Is Not To Change What God Says|
Man does not have the authority to change the will of God on any subject. We have been given severe warnings in several places in the Bible concerning any changes that we try to make to Godís word. As we have already seen in Galatians 1:6-9, if we pervert the gospel by changing it, we will be accursed.
Another such warning comes in the closing verses of the Bible. Revelation 22:18-19 says, "For I testify unto everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." These are very stern warnings that should get our undivided attention. How much stronger warnings could God give to those who try to make changes to His will when they change immersion into sprinkling, or to change the necessity of baptism for one to receive forgiveness of sins and be saved to their saying that baptism is not necessary for salvation. God has said plainly that it is necessary.
They also say that oneís sins are forgiven and that one is saved when he accepts Christ as his personal savior. He can be baptized later if he wants to in order to join that particular denomination; but as we have already seen this contradicts what God has said and will cause many people to be lost eternally. If you were baptized for some reason other than for forgiveness of sins in order to be saved then you do not have salvation and you are still lost. Who are you going to follow: God or man? As our Lord warns us in Matthew 15:14, "And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch." Donít allow someone, who has added to and taken away from Godís word, to lead you. Open your eyes and read Godís word for yourself. Those who have added to and taken away from Godís word will be lost. If you continue to follow them, then you too will be lost.
What You Need to Do
In Acts 19:1-5 we have an example of twelve men, that the Apostle Paul met at Ephesus. They had something wrong with their baptism. In verses 3-5 we read, "And he said to them, into what then were you baptized? So they said, into John's baptism. Then Paul said, John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." When these twelve men found out that there was something wrong with their baptism, they made it right. They were then baptized for the right purpose.
Please refer back to how you answered the questions in Lesson 8 concerning your prior conversion. If you thought you were saved and your sins forgiven when you accepted Christ as your personal savior and you were later baptized, then the purpose of your baptism was not for the forgiveness of your sins so that you could be saved. But now you have learned the truth about the purpose of baptism from the scriptures that have been pointed out. Please don't rationalize away what you actually did to be saved and now say that you were actually baptized for the forgiveness of sins in order to be saved. Many people end up doing this. Your soul's salvation depends on your being right with God.
Is there something wrong with your baptism? You may say no, but if there is, we cannot fool God. He knows for sure and you will suffer the eternal consequences. It will be a sad day if you stand before the Lord on the day of judgment and find out that there is something wrong with your baptism. Baptism, that is done according to scripture, for the right reason and purpose, is such an easy thing to do. It is not difficult, at all, to make sure that it is done right.