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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: In conversation recently, the idea was expressed once again that baptism (immersion) is “an outward sign of an inward grace.” (Look for a more detailed article on this subject soon.) The question arises, does the Bible make this statement, or a similar statement, anywhere in its pages? Just as those who believe that all that is required is “faith only” cannot find that phrase within the pages save for a contradicting statement in James 2:24, there are no such ideas regarding baptism such as “outward sign” or “inward grace”. We must realize that not all ideas are expressed in the Bible in the exact words we use. We are expressing concepts; maybe the concept of outward sign of inward grace is expressed as it pertains to baptism. If so, where? Various ideas are expressed about baptism in the scriptures, and none of them is that it is merely a sign or that it is a sign of such a thing as an inward grace. In this case, man has invented a phrase to express a concept that is not directly found in the scripture because they want, for some reason, to resist the simplicity of the cleansing God gives us through the simple act of baptism, the answer of a good conscience to God, 1 Peter 3:21, where Peter says baptism “saves us”. Jesus said baptism was necessary, Mark 16:16. Peter says in Acts 2:38 that baptism is for remission of sins. Paul says we are baptized “into Christ”, Galatians 3:27, into the likeness of His death, Romans 6:5. How can these plain scriptures be ignored for the sake of a catchy phrase of men?
If you are not a Christian (see the ABOUT YOU page), becoming a follower of Christ is the most important decision you will ever make. The Susquehanna church of Christ is a group of individuals who seek to worship God together according to His will, revealed to us in His word, the Bible. We believe that Bible study will lead us into greater understanding of what God wants of us. Though lots of denominations will tell you they teach the truth of God’s word, they cannot all be right when they teach doctrines that contradict each other. We invite you to consider the material you find here, and most importantly, weigh it against what is found in the scriptures. Our hope and prayer is that you will find the information here to be not only of benefit but also of truth. If we can be of help in any way in your search, please contact me. One more thing. Susquehanna church of Christ is a non-denominational church. You will notice that the “c” in church is not capitalized. The reason is that it is a description not a title or proper name. We are simply members of the church which Jesus built, Matthew 16:18. If you are a Christian, we hope the material here will be of benefit to you and will stimulate your thinking. If there is any way in which we may be of help, please contact me. Sincerely, Scott Long firstname.lastname@example.org