Jesus stated that Salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ home, for the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. How could Salvation come to the home of Zacchaeus? Christ had not been offered up for us yet. Was it the physical house Zacchaeus lived in, or the inward temple/house of Zacchaeus that Christ was talking about? What did Christ mean when He said to all those present “Today salvation has come to this house"? Zacchaeus did not go offer up a sacrifice while Jesus visited with him, so it wasn't the O.T Law that Jesus was talking about.
There was an inward change in Zacchaeus: Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore to him fourfold.” Sounds like a Acts 2:45 brother to me. Who do you know that would give half of his belongings to the poor? Truly, Salvation had come to Zacchaeus, His name is Jesus the Christ.
The Thief on the Cross
The thief on the cross was not afforded time to be baptized, yet he was saved. Some say that he was under the Old Testament laws and that’s how he was saved. How could this be true? He had been in prison and was not able to make atonement for his sins. He wasn’t able to bring a clean animal to the priest. The Law was strict and had to be obeyed to the letter. The Law could not save him because he was unable to obey it: no sacrifice, no forgiveness. Jesus said: Today you will be with me in Paradise. No animal was sacrificed, no baptism took place. Jesus alone saved this man.
Noah Saved by Water?
Scripture says: The long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the Ark was being prepared, wherein a few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. KJV. The new NKJV says it this way: When once the Divine long suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the Ark was being prepared, which were a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water. 1 Peter 3:20. How could they have been saved by water? Had it not been for the Ark they would have drowned in the water. They were saved by being able to go through the water on the Ark. The Ark is a wonderful picture of Jesus saving us from spiritual death. When the flood came, it destroyed the wicked, Jesus came to save the wicked.
So if we conclude that water saves us or has part in salvation, then we conclude that no one can be saved outside the walls of a church or they would have to be near a creek, river or lake at the moment God dealt with our hearts. There would also have to be a Christian there to baptize us in the name of Jesus, would it be suitable for the lost to baptize the redeemed?
Yes, we need to be baptized as Jesus said, if there is time. Obey the Word and get baptized as soon as possible so that you will have a clear conscience towards God. 1 Peter 3:21.
If you find yourself in a place where you want to make a decision for Christ and there is no water or person present to baptize you, then receive Christ as your personal Savior by all means, for we are under the law of grace through Christ Jesus, not through water.
***The church that believes that water is a part of salvation is a member of the body of Christ. They believe that Jesus is the Savior, that He died for them and that He was raised from the dead, when they confess this with their mouths and believe in their hearts these truths, they are joined together to the body of Christ.
Romans 10: 9 If you confess (admit) with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. v. 13 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by ME.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast...Baptism is a work of man, not an act of God. We are to obey and get baptized, but this is a work, we are saved through faith in Christ alone.
John 1:12 But as many received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
John 3:36 He that believes in the Son has everlasting life.
John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say unto you, he that believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 11: 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life, those that believe in Me shall never die, they shall live.
Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.
Acts 16:30-33 And he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? So they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all in his house. They preached the Words of Christ to him so that he would believe in Christ because faith comes through hearing the Word. Romans 10:17. After this man and his family believed on Jesus and received Him as their personal Savior then it says they were baptized. Scripture does not say that baptism saved them but belief in Christ Jesus would save them.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel (truth) of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes...
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ...
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Lord tells us to be baptized, therefore we should obey. Why do you call me Lord but do not the things that I say? Baptism also shows we are not ashamed to be identified with Christ. I firmly believe that baptism should follow the conversion to faith in Christ Jesus as Savior. If you find yourself in a car wreak, hospital death bed, etc., your faith in Christ Jesus will save you. This was the case of the thief on the cross.
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