I had lunch on Friday with a friend from college.  He’s a minister now which is kind of funny when I think back to what we were doing in college but I digress.

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He still gets the question “Is baptism essential to salvation?”  He got it the other day from an SMU student while he was standing next to a preacher out of the Baptist background.  He said he and the other preacher looked at each other, chuckled and the other preacher said, “do you want this one or do you want me to take it?”  Now, some of you may not understand that but it’s funny to me coming from the Church of Christ background in two regards.  One, it’s funny because it’s one of those theological debates that pit people who love God against each other.  Maybe it’s more sad than funny.  Anyway, the other reason is because I think it’s the wrong question.

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I grew up under the “baptism essential to salvation” idea and defended it.  Then I went through a period where I didn’t agree with it.  Today, I feel baptism is the greatest thing a Christian could ever do.  Not because it’s commanded and not because it’s an act of obedience.  Again, those are answers that I believe are given in response to the wrong question. 

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Today, if someone asks me if I think baptism is essential to salvation, I simply ask, “do you want to be united to Jesus, the Savior?”  To me, that is the question because when I read Romans 6, I get excited about baptism.  I get chills reading it, knowing that my baptism united me with His death and my coming out of the water united me with His resurrection.  I think it’s the most incredible imagery of me being united to my Lord I could imagine.  A simple act yet, in my reading and understanding of the passage, an incredibly powerful act. 

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I don’t wrestle with baptism any longer, I celebrate it and what I believe it means for my life, this one and the life to come. 

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Grace and peace to you.
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