Mike Novotny - Does Baptism Save You?
Does baptism save you? The other day in church I was talking about the blessings of baptism, reading certain Bible passages. And someone texted me the question, I want to get it word for word, they said, "Salvation comes through your relationship with Jesus not through baptism, correct"? And my answer is, no and yes and yes and no which I probably have to explain. Let me start with an analogy. Let's say you have a smart phone. I would say, "How does that smart phone have power? How is it not just a really expensive, plastic technological brick? Like, what saves it from being dead? Is it the power source in the wall? The electricity running into that plug? Or is it the cord that connects the phone to the wall? What keeps the phone alive"? You'd say, "Well, both".
Like just having that connector cord, if there was no power source, it wouldn't do any good. It would be super inconvenient that that thing would swing around as you're trying to talk to your friend. But if you had the power source and there was no way to connect it to the device itself, well then that wouldn't do much good either. And I think that's what Jesus and baptism and you are like. Is Jesus the only way to be saved? Absolutely. In John 14, verse six, Jesus said, There's nothing you could do in church, there's no bath you could take in the Jordan River, there is no ritual you could go through. Spiritually, none of that will save you without Jesus. Acts 4, verse 12 says Can you be saved without Jesus? No. Can you be saved without faith in Jesus? No. Can you be saved without a relationship with Jesus? No. He is the only way, the only name that gets you into the presence of God. And... And how do you get connected to Jesus?
I've learned that the Bible is very comfortable talking about the things that get us connected to Jesus as instruments or ways or means that God can save us. So in James, chapter one. Give me a second to find that passage really quickly. James is talking about the Word of God, not just Jesus, but the Word of God and he says this. Did you catch that? Accept the Word which can save you. And you want to object, wait, wait, wait. A book doesn't save you. Jesus saves you. And the answer is yes and yes. Right? Jesus is the source of salvation and its the book, the message, that connects us to Jesus. We hear it from our parents or from our pastor or from a friend and that's the thing that God uses to connect us to the good news of salvation.
And there are a number of passages that make baptism the same thing. 1 Peter, chapter three is my favorite on this topic. Uh, Peter was talking about Noah and the ark and then in verse 21 he says, This water, from Noah's day, symbolizes baptism that now saves you also. You want to say wait, baptism saves us? Jesus saves us. The cross saves us. The answer is yes. And baptism, just like the Word of God, is a promise of sins washed away that connects you to Jesus. And it's so important, Peter says it again. Baptism saves you, here's my favorite part, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's not just some random, magical spell. Baptism is connected to the name of Jesus, who he is and what he's done. The blood that he shed, the life that he gave, he's putting his name on you when you are baptized, marking you as his own. He's giving, strengthening the gift of faith, so that you get plugged into him and you don't lose it.
So let me leave you with two quick application points. Number one. If you're one of those families or you know one of those families that get baptized and then disconnect from Jesus, be careful. Right? If I plugged in my phone to the power source 20 years ago and then unplugged it, I would not be powered up. You know, you can drift from your faith, you can unplug from that relationship and connection with Jesus, and how many people, especially in the churches that I grew up with, you know they got baptized, they got confirmed and then they lost their relationship with Jesus. There was no connection. So Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them and, and teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you".
Stay connected to Jesus. Number two. Celebrate your baptism. If these passages are true, baptism saves you by the resurrection of Jesus, then really you shouldn't have a birthday party, you should have a baptism day party. The day that I was born, I was born in sin. I was outside the family of God. Let's have a cake. Ha! Doesn't seem like something to celebrate. But the day I was baptized, when I got plugged into Jesus, when I had this personal connection with him and he washed all of my sins away, when he saved me, gave me a clean cut, that is something that deserves a cake and some candles and some music and some worship. Can baptism save you? Through Jesus, yes. Repent, be baptized, stay connected because Jesus is the only name that saves.