In the mid 70s, I attended and graduated from Waynedale High School in Apple Creek, Ohio. Waynedale had great students and fantastic teachers. I credit the Lord with using Waynedale to give me the tools I needed to further my education and succeed in life. I was blessed to have the privilege of attending Waynedale. Sorry to say, in my younger days, I did not appreciate Waynedale as I should.
For a closer look at Waynedale HS visit their websites:
Waynedale’s mascot was a golden bear. Like any high school, you could see golden bears all over the walls of the school building. Why? Because the golden bear represented who we were. The minute anyone stepped into our building they knew they were in Golden Bear Country!
This is also why our school jackets had a golden bear on them… in the neighboring communities, at the sight of the bear on our coat the people immediately knew that we attended Waynedale. By simply wearing a golden bear on our clothing we were making a statement about ourselves.
Did you know that the Lord has given us the equivalent of a golden bear coat that we are to use to declare our relationship with Him? Lets look at what the Bible has to say about our public announcement that we are Christ’s.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:26-27)
In Galatians 3:26-27 – gives us a clear teaching on the role of faith and baptism in our salvation. If you notice, in verse 26 we can clearly see that faith is the entry way to adoption into the family of God. In other words, we must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven of our sins and to become a part of God’s family.
Our Galatians text does not stop there. It goes on in verse 27 to explain the role of baptism in our salvation. Baptism is the “putting on” of Christ. By the way, the term “put on” in Greek means “to put on a suit of clothes”. In other words, baptism is like putting on clothing that publicly declares that the work of Christ has been applied to our account and we are now dead to sin and alive to Christ.
Baptism is the equivalent to my Waynedale coat. I was a student of Waynedale whether I wore my coat or not. But, if I wanted others to know I was a Waynedale student, I would put my coat on. The same principle applies to our baptism. If we have God-given faith in Christ, we are saved. Baptism has no effect on that. However, if we want others to know of our salvation experience, we are to be immersed in water (baptized). By being baptized, we are associating ourselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; and, we are stating that we have died to sins and are raised to live a new life of submission to Him. (Roms 6:3-9) Once we are baptized, everyone knows we are a follower of Jesus Christ.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
For those who are saved, the most important next step in obedience to the Lord is to be immersed in water (baptism). This, in turn, pictures the work of Christ, our changed life, and our association with Him. By being baptized, we are saying to the world… “My Lord has saved me, I now commit myself to living my life for Him and I am so very grateful to be able to be called a child of the living God!”
Once we make this public declaration of our faith in Christ, we should strive to obey Him with our whole heart. For we know that our association with Him is known and we are being watched by others to see if our commitment to His service is genuine.
For those who have never been saved, first, it is vital to grasp the most important need of your life. Above all else, you are in need of the Lord’s intervention in your life and the faith He so graciously gives to those who seek His face.
By understanding the true nature of baptism, you will not be misled by those who will tell you that baptism is a necessary part of your receiving God’s salvation and adoption. Please allow me to repeat once again for clarity… faith alone is necessary for salvation. By trusting in Christ, your salvation is complete.
Baptism follows salvation and is necessary for a public declaration of your faith in Him. For a closer look at salvation and the need for faith please read my blog page on “forgiveness”.
“The name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth….neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:10-12)
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”
Wow what a great post! And the word picture of the jacket is a great example of baptism. I share the same view, that baptism is an outward thing to show what has happened inside and that it is best done publicly, like a marriage so that everyone knows and can hold you accountable for your decision. It is truly silly to think that baptism IS salvation, that physical water over your physical body will wash away the internal stain of sin on your inner being! In fact it’s quite old testament thinking and it looks like works-based salvation to say that baptism is salvation.
My favorite picture of baptism is the Israelite’s passing through the red sea.
Thanks for the comment…
I absolutely agree with you… to get baptism mixed with the receipt of salvation harkens back to OT and works salvation. Great point!