“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” [1Cor 1:17]
Many will cite the above verse as proof that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. Does it really mean that? Not if you understand the context of the passage and the problem of sectarianism that existed in the church at Corinth.
Another point can be drawn out of this passage; preaching the gospel of Christ out of order. Because denominations reject baptism so vehemently, we often place baptism at the front of preaching of the Gospel.
It reminds me of a preacher trying to reach a denominational group. He said, “I think I’m only making them better Lutherans.”
We often preach against certain sins and unscriptural practices of denominationalism. (ie. instrumental music, social gospel, false worship etc.) While we are preaching the truth, there are preeminent truths.
Here’s an illustration of what I am saying. Before a child can run, they must first build strength to crawl, then stand, and then walk.
Another illustration is the building a house. We never begin to build with the roof! We begin with pouring a foundation, then the walls, and then the roof.
Much of our preaching emphasizes baptism without laying first the foundation of the Authority of Christ. We rightfully understand that the ‘steps’ of salvation are; Hear, then Believe, then Repent, then Confess, and then be Baptized. Once we become Christians we Grow and Endure. Unfortunately, we get caught up cramming faithfulness and baptism verses down the throats of those who haven’t truly yet believed in the Preeminence of Christ. [Col 1:18]
Jesus gave us the order when He gave what is commonly called “the Great Commission.” “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” [Matt 28:18-20]
An evangelist named Philip met up with a Eunuch where we read that he “preached unto him Jesus.” [Acts 8:35]. While nothing else is revealed about his preaching, we can necessarily infer that ‘preaching Jesus’ included submission to His authority.
How can we preach Jesus?
Philip…preached unto him…
JESUS, Acts 8:35; Matt 28:18-20 ‘Go ye…’
We begin with showing that…
JESUS is the Christ, and He has all authority.
Mat 28:18 “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.”
Hebrews 1; Mark 9:7 ‘Hear ye Him.’
Hearing is first, and hearing leads to Believing. [Rom 10:17; John 20:30-31]
Preaching Jesus must include the…
EXAMPLE of His life leading to His Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
This is the GOSPEL. 1Cor 15:1-4
Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must…
SUBMIT to His will,
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Mat 7:21-23; John 14:15; 15:14; 1John 5:3]
“And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” [Col 3:17]
This teaches us about Repentance from sins and Confessing Him.
Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must go…
UNDER the water to come in contact with His blood,
The Eunuch, upon hearing the preaching of Jesus, concluded baptism was necessary for Salvation. [Acts 8:35-38]
Matt 26:28; Rom 6:3-4
Only after laying the foundation of Hearing, Believing, Repenting, Confessing, will we have laid the foundation for scriptural Baptism. Mat 28:19
With a foundation in the Authority of Jesus, they’ll also believe they’re…
SAVED if they Grow and Endure until the end.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2Peter 3:18
“But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 24:13
Matt 28:20; Rev 2:10