"The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and plentious
in mercy.  He will not always chide:  Neither will He keep His anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins;  Nor rewarded us according
to our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, So great is 
His mercy toward them that fear Him.  As far as the east is from the 
west, So far hath He removed our transgression from us."
Psalms 103:8-12


The Psalm of David that we have just referred reminds us of the great mercy of Yahweh and exhorts us to "forget not all His benefits" vs. 2.  We are told, among many things, that He "forgiveth all thine iniquities", He "redeemth thy life from destruction", He "crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies", He "hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor regardeth us according to our iniquities", and He "removed our transgressions from us."  Truly, the sentiment of David is most fitting when he states: "Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His dominion: Bless the LORD, O my soul."

But how do we gain such benefits as these?  There is a qualifying factor that allows us to be beneficiaries of the wonderful mercies that Yahweh has chosen to bestow upon those that "fear Him."  That qualifying factor (which must be preceded by faith and understanding in God's promises) is BAPTISM.  Baptism is not an optional exercise as many churches of the world now teach.  One of Jesus' last instructions to his disciples clearly states:  "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (or condemned)". (Mark 16:16).

Baptism is the only means by which we might find salvation and it represents the "death, burial, and resurrection" of Christ.  Romans 6 declares:  "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death".  And Colossians 2:12 tells us that we are "buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God who hath raised Him from the dead".  

Now what exactly does baptism do for us?  The answer given by most "that we are saved", though somewhat true, does not give us the complete picture.  "What are we saved from?" is an obvious question but one that few are prepared to fully answer.

We wish to take  the benefits that we gain from baptism point by point.  Many benefits are so closely intertwined with each other that they are difficult to separate, but for the purpose of clarification a brief outline is provided below followed by more detailed explanation.



THE BENEFITS OF BAPTISM   

  I.JUSTIFICATION FROM SIN
    A.  "Sin in the Flesh"
    B.  Personal Sins

 II.BROUGHT OUT OF ADAM INTO CHRIST

 III.FREED FROM ADAMIC CONDEMNATION
     "From the Law of Sin and Death, into the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus"

 IV.THE HOPE OF RESURRECTION

  V.FROM ALIENATION TO RECONCILIATION

 VI.WE BECOME ADOPTED JEWS AND HEIRS TO THE PROMISES MADE TO ABRAHAM

 VII.THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE

VIII.ACCESS TO GOD THROUGH A MEDIATOR




I.  JUSTIFICATION FROM SIN

The scriptures clearly state, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Because it results in death, Sin is the great problem of mankind, but yet a problem which is largely misunderstood- especially how Sin relates to baptism.  It seems logical to state that if sin is taken away then so is the problem of death.  But what exactly is Sin and how can it be removed so that death is no longer a concern?

Now there are two aspects of Sin used in the scriptures that first must be realized before we can understand how baptism can take away the problem of sin.
    1.  Sin in the Flesh
    2.  Personal Sin

Now it is the concept of "Sin in the Flesh" that breeds the most confusion, but is the aspect that is extremely vital to understand in that "Personal Sin" is the outward manifestation of the principle of Sin that dwells in our nature.  Simply put and which we wish to elaborate on further, "Sin in the Flesh" is a sinful condition inherited by our natural birth, while Personal Sin is the actual acts of transgression against God's laws that we ourselves commit and is a result of "Sin in the Flesh".  Personal Sin is a "missing of the mark" or "transgression of law"- wrongful deed that we ourselves have committed.  We are born with Sin in the Flesh, which is a result or unfortunate consequence of the "transgression of law" committed by Adam and Eve.

The Christian world at large, as well as a growing portion of those who call themselves Christadelphians, believe that there is only one kind of Sin, and that it is Personal acts of Sin or transgression.  As a result, they believe that baptism is only necessary for the removal of Personal Sin (if baptism is believed to be necessary at all).  Though there should be no question that we are in fact forgiven for our previous personal sins at baptism, to deny the fact that baptism also justifies us from another aspect of Sin is to totally miss the Truth concerning baptism and to put any hope of salvation in serious jeopardy.  Sin is sin in God's eyes and both aspects must be properly dealt with.  Now let us  consider the principle of "Sin in the Flesh" further.

What exactly is "Sin in the Flesh"?  Quoting from John Thomas in his book Elpis Israel:

The word sin is is used in two principal acceptations in the Scriptures.  It signifies, in the first place, "transgression of law" and in the next, it represents that physical principle of the animal nature, which is the cause of its diseases, death, and resolution into dust.  It is that in the flesh "which has the power of death", and it is called sin because the development, or fixation, of this evil in the flesh was the result of transgression.  Inasmuch as this evil principle pervades every part of the flesh, the animal nature is styled "sinful flesh", that is "flesh of sin"; so that sin, in the sacred style, came to stand for the substance called man.  In human flesh "dwells no good thing;" and all the evil a man does is the result of this principle dwelling in him."

He continues:

Sin, I say, is a synonym for human nature.  Hence the flesh is invariably regarded as unclean.
 pp.126, 127

Also from "The Blood of the Covenant" written by J.J. Andrew, we read:

Lust, which leads to sin is necessarily evil, and is the prevailing characteristic of the human
race; for "all that is in the world" consists of "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life" (I John 2:16).  Lust, or the desire to do evil, is the offspring of the first sin and 
the cause of all subsequent sin.  On this account it is denominated "sin in the flesh" (Romans
8:3), and, as a consequence, is the subject of divine reprobation.  SIN HAS THUS TWO ASPECTS,
MORAL AND PHYSICAL, AND "THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT" IS REQUIRED TO
TAKE AWAY THE ONE AS WELL AS THE OTHER.  (p. 3) (Caps added) 


Now where does "Sin in the Flesh" come from?  We know that in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were given a law, a law to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Article V of our Statement of Faith explains "That Adam broke this law, and was sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken- a sentence which in effect defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity."  This "defiled" condition is the result of Adam's sin and is the primary or root problem of mankind.  But due to the sin of Adam and the condemnation that God pronounced upon him, all mankind inherit a defiled (or unclean) physical condition.  We are born in a state or condition of Sin; even though when we are born we personally have had nothing to do with the actual transgression that took place in the Garden, we still inherit the results of the Sin of Adam in our physical makeup.

Now this physical state we are born under, due to no fault of our own but because of the Sin of Adam, and our relationship to him, created problems for us.  From out birth, before we ever have the chance to commit our own acts of sin, we fall under a condemnation to death ("The Law of Sin and Death" Romans 8) and are alienated from God.  And if this natural, inherited condition of "Sin in the Flesh" is not controlled it influences us to commit our own acts of transgression.

Where do we find the principle of Sin in the Flesh in the scriptures?

Job 14:4"Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one"

Job 25:4"how can he be clean that is born of a woman?"

Psalms 51:5-  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."

Romans 3:9"for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin."

Romans 6:6- Concerning one of the things that baptism accomplishes for us Paul states:
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might
be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."

Romans 7- Paul recognized the principle of sin that dwelt in his own flesh, for in the 18th verse of Romans 7 he states:  "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing."  In verses 17, and 20 he refers to this condition as "sin that dwelleth in me" and in verse 23 he refers to it as the "law of sin which is in my members"


From the 15th verse  to the end of Romans chapter 7, Paul recognizes that there is an unclean, sinful element within his very flesh that prompts him to do that which is against God's commandments.  John refers to this obvious principle by calling it "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life".  This is an inherited condition in human flesh, which was introduced into human nature by Adam and Eve, and in God's eyes- even before it ever bears fruit in actual transgression- is viewed by God as a sinful condition or state and itself is in need of justification.  Before we ever commit a single act of sin, in God's eyes and according to His laws we are considered to be sinners.  BY OUR VERY NATURE WE ARE UNCLEAN APART FROM ANY PERSONAL SIN.  The unclean condition of our flesh, due to the lust associated with it is considered to be sin or "Sin in the Flesh".

Besides the many plain references in the scriptures that we have to prove the point, many types under the Law  delivered to Moses could be used to prove that God views Sin apart from actual acts of transgression and requires that it be atoned for.  We could talk about the Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1 and 6) which represented the complete burning up of the defiled flesh nature.  We could discuss leprosy, which required the one stricken with the disease to offer up a sin offering, though the leper had done no act of sin- their physical fleshly condition was defiled in God's eyes apart from any personal acts of wrong doing and needed atonement (Leviticus 13).  We also know that the furniture and instruments used in the service of the Tabernacle in the wilderness needed to be sprinkled with blood as a cleansing for sin before they were allowed to be used.  But what personal sin can inanimate objects be guilty of that they require cleansing through the shedding of blood?

We also see the principle of mankind being born into an unclean sinful condition in that under the Law of Moses the birth of a child defiled the mother and required a purification process (Leviticus 12, Luke 2:22).  Why?  Because the child, as a descendant of Adam also inherited the defiling effects of Adam's sin.  Jesus' mother Mary also had to go through this very same purification process because she, like all other women, was defiled by the birth of her child.  This also teaches a very important lesson concerning the nature of the child she bore- Jesus.

Now let us move on to Romans 5:19, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." 

The phrase "made sinners" is better rendered "constituted sinners" and has reference to the fact that because of our relationship to Adam we are born into a state of Sin.  Though we did not commit the same sin that Adam did and are not personally guilty for it, we still inherit the evil effects of that first sin.  We were all in the "loins of Adam" and in a sense partakers of that sin just as Paul teaches in Hebrews 7:5-10 that Levi paid tithes to Melchisidec through Abraham when in reality Levi was not even born yet.  Remember that "a clean thing cannot come out of that which is unclean", so when we hear it stated that "we are constituted sinners by birth" it has reference to the State of Sin in which we are born into as it is directly related to the Sin of Adam.  We are from birth, as the scriptures teach and John Thomas further elaborates on, under the Constitution of Sin.  That is our condition or state before baptism.

But just as we are born, apart from any personal guilt of our own, into a state or "constitution of sin", we just as easily can be reborn (spiritually speaking) through the water of baptism into a state or "constitution of righteousness", apart from any righteousness of our own.  Romans 5:19 continues to tell us that, "by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous".  The "One" is Christ, and when we are baptized we are symbolically clothed with His righteousness, which represents the perfect obedience of Christ and the shedding of His blood which acts as a covering for Sin and justifies us from the defilement that comes from our inherited and condemned Sin Nature, as well forgiving us of our personal transgressions.  The scriptures clearly teach that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.  Whose blood? Christ's blood!  How do we come in contact with that blood?- Through baptism.

We all understand that Christ himself never committed an act of transgression, but we must also realize that as far as Jesus' physical nature, as being born of a woman, he was born into the very same relationship to Sin as we are born.  He also was born with Sin in the Flesh, under the constitution of Sin inherited from Adam as we are.  This is how Jesus was related to Sin (through his nature and not by actual transgression).  And in order for Jesus to be able to destroy Sin and help others to come out of the "constitution of sin" it would be necessary that he be born into the exact same condition or born in the same state of sin as the rest of the human race- related to the effects of Adam's Sin by birth.

Hebrews 2:14- "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Gr. diabolis, or Sin Nature).

II Corinthians 5:21"For He (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, Who know no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 

Romans 8:3"God sending His son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."       

Christ was born into a state of Sin, with sinful flesh, a "constituted sinner" as being in Adam.  And as a "constituted sinner" he would inherit the same condemnation, the same alienation (physically) from God as the entire human race.  But unlike all others he did not give in to the wicked impulses that Sin in the Flesh creates, and by the righteousness he perfectly manifested through his obedient life and sacrificial death, his own blood became a covering for sin, first for himself to redeem him from his sin flesh nature and condemnation to a permanent death, and then for al others who came in contact with that blood symbolically through the waters of baptism.

Now when we are baptized there is no physical change in us.  In a physical sense we still have sin in the flesh, as Paul makes us aware in the 7th chapter of Romans by informing us of his own struggles against the impulses that came out of his flesh.  A baptized individual is just as capable of sinning a one who is not baptized.  The change in us is not physical, it is not something we can see or feel.  The term we use is "legal".  There is a "legal" change in us, or in other words according to God's laws of redemption we are no longer considered "constituted sinners".  Just as God used coats of skins to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness through the shedding of blood, God symbolically uses the blood of His Son to cover our nakedness (both the defilement in our physical nature as well as personal sin).  God (by the laws He has established) no longer views us as "sinners" but as "righteous".  Now we understand that by our nature and individual works we are not righteous, so whose righteousness is it?  It is the righteousness of Christ that is imputed (or counted) to us, though there is nothing in us that is deserving of it.  So though one might say that it is unjust for God to consider us sinners based upon something we did not do but was the fault of Adam, just as equally it cannot be said that we deserve to be considered righteous based upon the actions of someone else and it is only by God's grace that Christ's righteousness is counted to us

God physically destroyed "sin in the flesh" in and through His Son when Christ was crucified.  We through God's law symbolically have it destroyed through our baptism, which is a representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.  As we said before, the effects are not physical but legal.  We undergo a change of status or relationship in God's eyes that we will further consider under headings #2 and #5.

Our baptism is to be followed by a moral change (or how we conduct ourselves), which is known as our probationary period.  Since God has by law freed us from the defilement that comes from our Sin's flesh nature we are expected to act as if we are no longer under its influence (Romans 6:10-13).

If we live our baptized life in a manner that is well pleasing to God by not giving into the impulses that the flesh creates (and seeking forgiveness when we do), we are promised that upon acceptance at the judgment seat that we will then enjoy the "redemption of our bodies".  The change is for the time being "legal", accompanied by a moral change to following the commands of Christ, then physical upon our hopeful acceptance at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

As a side note, there are many that admit that Christ and ourselves inherit something called "sin in the flesh" but they view it as merely a "proneness to sin" and nothing more.  They admit that there is something in us that causes us to sin but they do not think that is is considered to be sin by God until it actually bears fruit in actual transgression.  They do not consider it to be something that defiles us, or makes us unclean and as a result they do not think that we need to be justified from it.  This is very subtle error but error just the same and something that we should not let fool us.


II.  OUT OF ADAM AND INTO CHRIST

In Galatians 3:27, 28 we read, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Upon baptism there is a change of relationship, which we have already made some reference.  No longer are we considered to be related to Adam and Sin that came by our natural birth as under the "constitution of sin", but we are considered (in the eyes of God) to be related to Christ and His righteousness.  We are either considered to be "In Adam" or "In Christ", but according to God's laws we cannot be in both at the same time.

Again, we must repeat that the change is not physical until Christ returns, but those baptized into the Truth of the Saving Name of Jesus Christ enjoy a change of status in that such a one is no longer related to Adam and Sin- but Christ and Righteousness.



III.  WE ARE FREED FROM THE CONDEMNATION INHERITED FROM ADAM

"From the Law of Sin and Death into the Law of the Spirit of Life"

The apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 8:1,2: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

We have a direct relationship between the subject of sin we have considered and that of Condemnation.  You cannot speak of one without referring to the other.  It all goes back to the Sin of Adam.  Paul refers to the condemnation we here speak of as "the law of sin and death", also termed due to its relationship to Adam's Sin as "Adamic Condemnation".  Sin is Sin, whether it is that which is inherited from Adam or sin of our own doing, and if not taken care of according to the means provided by God, the reward is always death, "for the wages of sin is death".  The law here being specifically spoken of is the Condemnation of Death that we inherit from Adam do to his Sin.  It is a divine decree, a legal pronouncement.  It does not refer to mortality, which is nothing more then the natural course of decay.  It is a decree of death,  a permanent cutting off or perishing that all men have inherited from the Sin of Adam.  

Quoting from Robert Roberts in the 1910 edition of the Law of Moses "The position of men was that they were under condemnation to die because of sin, and that not their own sin, in the first instance, but ancestral sin at the beginning".  p. 173

Are we personally guilty for the Sin of Adam?  Again, no we are not.  But we still inherit the effects of that sin, and condemnation to a permanent death is one of those effects.  Consider Romans chapter 5:

verse 12"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  (all have sinned constitutionally in Adam).  

verse 14"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression".

verse 15"Through the offence of one many be dead"

verse 16"for the judgment was by one to condemnation"

verse 17"by one man's offence death reigned by one" 

And verse 18:
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;"

And finishing the verse and the point being made by the entire passage:

"even so by the righteousness of One (the free gift came) upon all men unto justification of life."

The teaching is clear.  All those "in Adam" (and due to his transgression in the Garden) are "constituted sinners" and are under condemnation (Gr.- katakrima) to death, all those in Christ are "constituted righteous" and have the hope of life.

Paul continues teaching this thought in Romans 8, that those in Christ are no longer under condemnation being freed from the "law of sin and death" and are now under "the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus".  But the reader may ask, "how come those who are 'in Christ still die', we even know that the Apostle Paul himself died?"  The answer to this is found in what we have already considered.   The change of relationship that we have to free us from sin and the resulting condemnation to death is not physical but "legal".  Physically speaking we still have sin in our flesh and are still mortal creatures.  The taking away of "inherited condemnation" does not release us from the natural laws of decay that eventually lead to the grave.  But, as a matter of Divine Law we are no longer condemned to an eternal death.  The death of one who has been baptized into Christ is quite different from one who has never been baptized.  The death of one "in Christ" is nothing more then a "sleep" (I Thessalonians 4:13-18), while the death of one who dies under the curse inherited from Adam is a perishing- it is permanent!  It states in Proverbs 21:16 that "Man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead", and Isaiah states in 26:14, "they are dead, they shall not live, they are deceased, they shall not rise." 

This all leads us directly into the next benefit of baptism and our next heading:



IV.  THE HOPE OF RESURRECTION

I Corinthians 15: 21,22: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."   The teaching is simple.   Those who remain in Adam, under "the law of sin and death", perish.  But for those in Christ, the Adamic curse is lifted and a resurrection from the grave is made possible.  Remembering that just as Jesus rose from the dead "through the blood of the everlasting covenant", and that our baptism is directly related to that event, so is it our hope to again rise from the dead through the operation of that blood if Christ does not return during our lifetime.

I Thessalonians 4:14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. . .For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first". 

From this passage, the arguments found in I Corinthians 15, and many other passages it should be realized and appreciated that our deliverance from the grave is directly associated to and can only come through baptism.  Without such a relationship to Christ ever being entered upon (covenant making) a person is in Adam, under condemnation to death, their fate is sealed and eternal death the reward- period.  We are told in Acts 4:2 that the apostles "preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead."  To try to connect resurrection from the grave to any other way outside of the ONLY WAY that God has revealed to us, which is through covenant making, is a very fruitless and dangerous exercise that only breeds confusion and introduces false doctrines to support an assumption.



V.  FROM ALIENATION TO RECONCILIATION

We have already made mentioned of our change of relationship that takes place from going from being "in Adam" to being "in Christ", and the state of sin and condemnation that comes by being in Adam, and the freedom of sin and the hope of life that comes from being in Christ.  But this change of relationship goes even further then the two titles or classifications we have just mentioned.

Due to the Sin of Adam there can be no question that a breach was created between God and man.  Man was cast out of the Garden of Eden and denied the communion with the Elohim he once had.  All men inherit this state of alienation from God in that all men are born outside of the "very good" state that existed in Eden.  Outside of covenant relationship there is no relationship with Deity, there is no mercy, there is no forgiveness of sins, there is no hope of life.  In this condition one is separated from a relationship with God, and outside of the eternal benefits He has promised.

In Ephesians chapter 2, referring to what we are in our natural condition before being "in Christ", we are told that we "were by nature the children of wrath".  And continuing further down to verse 12 it goes on to explain, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."  But the following verse tells us that "now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (proper translation is "once") were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ".

Being then brought nigh through the blood of Christ, Romans 8:16,17 tells us that then we are considered to be "the children God, and if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."  As aliens we are considered to be dead, but in Christ (as Sons of God) we are made alive.  Also consider Galatians 4:4.5 that explains, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."          



VI.  WE BECOME ADOPTED JEWS AND HEIRS TO THE PROMISES MADE TO ABRAHAM

Galatians 3:27,29:  "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ......And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise".

When we are baptized into Christ, we are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise".  But as the exhortation given by the Apostle Paul in the second chapter of Ephesians continues, we are told that we are considered to be "fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

We did not list the Promises made to Abraham sixth on our outline as regards to importance but as it flows out of the present consideration.  The implications of being considered "Abraham's seed" and "heirs according to the promise"   is of the supreme importance and the cornerstone of our Faith.  In the Promises made to Abraham by God as is outlined in Genesis 12:1-7; 13:14-17; 15 (entire chapter); 17:1-8; 22:16-18 we have a eternal future inheritance of land, a seed of great multitude, a blessing, and the promise of the redemptive work of Christ.  But Abraham "died in faith not having received the promises", so what good does that for us.  The Abrahamic covenant was more then just a promise of an eternal inheritance of land or of a blessing (which in and of themselves are no small matters) but was a covenant, confirmed through the shedding of Christ's blood that gave the opportunity of resurrection and eternal life.  If there is no means provided for deliverance from sin and death then the promises that God made to Abraham and all others who share his faith are without merit.  The promise was not only to Abraham but to all those who share his Faith, both Jew and Gentile through the work of the promised "seed" (Christ) who Abraham understood would provide deliverance from death.

If we are baptized without an understanding of the Promises made to Abraham (as well as a knowledge of the Promise made in Eden [Genesis 3:15] and the Covenant made with David [II Samuel 7]) and the relationship it has with the work of Christ and our future reward, can such a baptism be valid in God's eyes?  We think not.


VII.  THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE  

Titus 3:5-7- "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration.......Through Jesus Christ our Saviour,  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Though we are not given eternal life upon our baptism, baptism puts us in the position (legally no longer under sin and its condemnation) as having the hope of life eternal, through Christ and the Abrahamic Promises, if we live our lives according to God's commands.  We have been commanded to live our life "in Christ" free from sin and will be rewarded with eternal life if that be the case.  In verse eight of Titus chapter three, we are exhorted "that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."    This will be the purpose of Christ's judgment seat upon His return, to judge those of His household, to see whether their works are "good or bad".  If good, then finally comes the change of the physical body into immortality (already having been preceded by a legal change upon baptism followed by a moral change in the righteous servants walk).  If bad, then cast out into darkness to forever perish- "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"  

Though the evil servant went through a "legal" change at baptism and was "constituted righteous" through the blood of Christ, they did not uphold their calling to live a righteous life.  As Christ stated "If you love me keep my commandments".   Such evil servants will be condemned to die, not because of the Sin of Adam for which they had already been justified at baptism, but for their own sins against the "Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus." 


VIII.  ACCESS TO GOD THROUGH A MEDIATOR

"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16

Knowing that the impulses of sin still dwells in our physical makeup after our baptism, we have a mediator in Christ for when we allow the impulses of the flesh to get the better of us by committing transgression against God's laws.  In Christ, we have one who once shared the same ability to sin as us and will plead for our forgiveness before God.  He is our High Priest.  As the Apostle John states:  "For if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."



CONCLUSIONS

These Divine benefits we gain through baptism are worthy of our constant and undivided attention; realizing that without the sacrifice of Christ (the condemning of Sin in the Flesh in His own corruptible and condemned body) we are without benefit, without hope.  Our whole outlook of this present life should be changed when through the eyes of Faith we realize and understand God's promises and the way we have to be connected to those promises through the waters of baptism.  These benefits come by the grace of God and not by anything that we deserve or have earned.  Truly God has "not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities."


A. Thomas



  

  

    



  






BAPTISM
     Purpose, Necessity, and Benefits

CHRISTADELPHIANS   
CHRISTADELPHIANS   
Republic, Missouri


"But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD."  
Numbers 14:21