GOD IS NOT RUNNING A DRY CLEANING BUSINESS.
To have something dry cleaned is to clean it some other way than to put it into water. In reading my Bible I notice that when a person is cleansed he is saved or viceversa, so we can as well say that God is not running a dry saving business. The majority of the religious world today believe and teach that baptism is not essential to salvation. Those that go through a form called baptism only do so to show that they are already saved. By teaching and practicing that baptism is not essential to salvation, they automatically put God into the dry cleaning business.
First, we might notice what the word baptism means: the word comes from the word "bapto" in the Greek, it has not been translated but transliterated. This word was of the Koine Greek that died out shortly after the writing of the New Testament in the Koine, therefore the Greek in which the New Testament was written had no changes in meaning to take place as active and ongoing languages do. So, whatever the meaning of "bapto" was at the writing of the New Testament, it still has the same meaning today. The word "bapto" meant to dip, to immerse, to plunge, and according to the teaching of Paul in the New Testament it meant to bury or a burial, Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12, so, it means the same today. Since this word was transliterated and not translated there could be no chance of error on the part of the translators as to its meaning. To transliterate means to spell out of one alphabet into another, therefore the word in Koine Greek, "bapto or baptidzo" even sounds like our word baptize.
There is no such thing as a mode or modes of baptism, baptism can only be carried out one way and that is to dip, immerse, overwhelm, or plunge. Some one is ready to say, "Well, what about sprinkling and/or pouring water upon someone for baptism?" Sprinkling does not come from the Koine Greek for baptism. It comes from an altogether different word "rantidzo" meaning a pouring on or over. Never is this word in the Greek associated with baptism. Pouring comes from another Koine Greek word also. The word "cheo" this word connected with "ek" means to pour out, and connected with "kata" means pour down, and with "epi" means to pour upon. If you will notice, there are three different Greek words that are used for baptism, pouring, and sprinkling. The word for baptism cannot and has never meant sprinkling or pouring, neither has the words for sprinkling and pouring ever meant baptism. So let us refrain from talking about the modes of baptism.
I was rather amused the other day, during the watermelon festival here in Chiefland, I noticed that the Methodist Men's Club had set up a dunking booth where you could purchase some balls and throw at a trip-lever and upon hitting the lever you would dunk the person in the tank of water below him. A little colored boy was sitting on the perch above the water, waiting to be dunked into the water when someone would hit the lever. I watched while someone threw a ball and hit the lever thereby dropping the seat out from under the boy. But, when the boy begin to fall into the tank of water he would grab on to the sides of the contraption and just let his feet and legs go down into the water. One of the outstanding boosters of the Methodist Men's Club that was running the game, called out to the boy and said, "Hey, Snowball drop on down into that water and really get baptized." I felt like saying, "Why, he likes the Methodist way of baptizing, just a little water on the head or somewhere else." At least this Methodist man that was running the game knew what real baptism was whether he practices such or not.
Seeing that the New Testament teaches that baptism, a burial in water, is essential to our soul salvation then I am here to say that God is not running a dry cleaning business. In Mt. 28:18-20, Jesus says, "And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Again in Mk. 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." Again in Acts 2:38, "And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall received the gift of the Holy Spirit." And again in Acts 22:16, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name." And finally in 1 Pet. 3:21, "Which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good consicience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Many other scriptures could be brought to bear upon this discussion but these will suffice for the honest man. For one to be cleansed from his past sins, for one to be saved, he must be plunged into the waters of baptism to arise to walk in newness of life. There will not be one dry cleaned person that has lived during the Christian age or will live during that age that will be found in heaven. Why not obey the command of the Lord to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins?
By Jim Sasser
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