What Did the First Baptist Teach?

Luke 3:1-14
by Pastor Mike Wilson

Salvation is not a prize given because of religious activity or racial connection.
The Pharisees thought they were shoo-ins on both counts. Because they were Jews, God’s chosen people, they thought that God owed them their salvation. And because they were the most religious Jews in the land, they thought their righteousness would buy them a 1st Class ticket into Heaven. John bursts both those balloons! No one gets into Heaven because of his race. Abraham was justified before God by faith, not by his works. And no one get into Heaven simply because of his religion, his sincerity, or the church he attends, despite what the Catholic Church has been teaching for centuries.

No one earns salvation through the rite of baptism.
Baptism is not an act that saves anyone, either as a child or as an adult. John never claimed that his baptism saved anyone. His message always was, “Repent, turn from your sins, place your faith in God, and begin to live in obedience to His Word.” John’s baptism was simply the outward public sign of a life that had been transformed by faith in God. The people who came down to the Jordan heard the message, believed, then acted upon that belief by giving public testimony of their new-found faith in the Messiah who was to come.

The Bible makes it clear that salvation is “by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, but it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So it is, and so it has always been.

Have you put your faith and trust in Christ? Have you been baptized as a testimony to others? Are you living for Him and displaying the true works of repentance?

To read Pastor Mike’s whole message on John the Baptist, click here.

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