Board the Bus & Take a Seat…Or Not

32450372_sIn spite of the clarity of Jesus’ words, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16), there are some who still deny the necessity of baptism.

Some affirm that one is saved at the point of faith without further acts of obedience (i.e. baptism). In an effort to sustain such an affirmation, an illustration is offered as a parallel to Mark 16:16.  It goes like this…

“He who gets on a bus, and sits down, will arrive at his destination.”  But don’t we all know that all that is really necessary to arrive at the destination is simply “getting on the bus?” Whether one sits or stands, he will still arrive at his destination. Sitting might bring him more comfort while on his journey, but it isn’t necessary in order to arrive at his destination.

Likewise, when Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” we are told that all that is necessary to receive salvation is to believe in Jesus. Being baptized is like “taking a seat on the bus.” It might aid your comfort, but it isn’t necessary in order to arrive at your destination.

On the surface, one may be deceived by this “parallel” illustration. But a little examination will demonstrate that the “parallel” isn’t parallel at all.

Consider: If when one believes in Jesus (i.e. gets on the bus per the illustration) he is saved at that very moment, then according to the “parallel” when one gets on the bus, at that very moment, he is already at his destination! You see, the alleged parallel isn’t parallel at all. It breaks down.

Friends, the best thing we can do is simply teach and obey the words of Jesus rather than looking for loopholes whereby we may ignore half of what he said.

“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16).

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