After Baptism

Christian has no directive from God to celebrate any pagan-made-“holy” holiday, enjoying It is around the end of the year that people begin to celebrate a season of gift-giving. Whereas a family and goodwill are a pleasant shift from the cultural norm and welcomed by Christians who try to live that way year around. Besides that, if non-Christians enter their place of worship by the door, it does not mean that Christians are bound to enter through the windows; we should not cease doing right things because the misinformed practice them for the wrong reason.

So, have you ever received a gift? Did you earn it? No. But, was there any action on your part necessary to receive it? Yes, if it was in unwrapping a brightly colored surprise, walking with eyes covered into a discovery of joy or nothing more than extending your hands, you did something. This is the same simple principle involved in receiving “the gift of God” which “is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

It is sad that so many sincerely religious people are waiting for salvation to fall from the heavens like an off-course meteor when Paul explained this gift in this very context: “But…though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (6:17-18). One must obey (i.e., do something) from the heart (i.e., with an understanding of what you are doing in a sincere faith in the working of God) that form of doctrine (the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ figuratively represented in water baptism, 6:3-7). Your salvation can only happen after obedience in baptism, and not before.

It also follows that in doing something in order to receive salvation, one must likewise do something in order to maintain it. Therefore, we must be “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). Being “faithful” entails the continued effort on our part to follow God by faith (Romans 10:17). If we choose to “do our own thing,” we become “unfaithful” (Proverbs 2:22).

Jesus has all authority today (Matthew 28:18). We must obey Him in order to be saved and in order to remain saved (Romans 6:1-14). What happens after baptism is just as important as what happens before.

JDS