Naaman & Baptism

Baptism is perhaps the most debated topic of the Bible. The question is always this: Is baptism necessary for salvation? Are my sins washed away in baptism? Am I saved before or after I am baptized into Christ? The answer is simple. The answer is plain. The Bible tells us exactly what the answer is in several different places. Mark 16:15-16 says to preach the gospel and that the one who believes and is baptized will be saved. Acts 2:38 says that we are to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Romans 6 tells us that we are united with Jesus in His death and raised to life with Him through baptism. 1 Peter 3:21 says that just as the water saved Noah in the ark, baptism now saves us in Christ. There is no plainer speech that could be made. There is no debate. There is nothing complicated or hard to understand. All of those passages and the rest of Scripture teaches us the simplicity of God’s plan to save us. He has told us what to do. We have to believe what He has told us to do. In faith we must repent of our sins, confess our faith in Christ, and be baptized in water to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16). Then we are to follow and obey the rest of His commandments for us in life as we walk in His grace.

This is the easiest subject of the Bible. Yet so many reject what it plainly says. Many make it harder than it really is. Many do not like what the Bible says about it. They want to do it a different way because it doesn’t fit their thoughts and opinions. It baffles me. God could be no plainer in His Word.

It reminds me of Naaman. We find Naaman’s story in 2 Kings 5. He had leprosy. He was told to go see Elisha the prophet of God and he would be healed. Naaman went to Elisha. Elisha told him plain and simple the way God would grant him healing. He was simply told to go wash in the Jordan 7 times. Go get wet 7 times. Go dunk yourself 7 times. Go get in the water. Count out 7 times. Does that seem like it would be hard? Absolutely not. That is one of the easiest things God has ever had someone do to get a blessing from God. But Naaman got upset! He didn’t like that idea. He didn’t like that way. He thought that Elisha would have done it a different way. He wanted it a different way. So he left. But Naaman’s servants told him that if he had been asked to do something hard to be healed he would have done it. But Elisha wasn’t even asking anything hard. It was easy. So Naaman went and did what Elisha said. And he was healed.

Elisha told Naaman plain and simple something easy to do in which he would be healed by God’s power and grace. Have we not been told something easy to do to obtain by God’s power and grace the forgiveness of our sins? It’s not hard. God says He loves us. He’ll save us. Believe and be baptized. Your sins will be forgiven. We should jump for joy and rejoice that God has told us what to do! And it’s easy! Would we want it to be harder? Maybe some want it even easier than that! But God didn’t make it easier or harder. He told us exactly how He wants us to do it. So why do people fuss about it? Why do folks change what God has told us? Why can some people not see what is plainly given by God? If God told us to stand on our head for 3 minutes to have our sins forgiven, would we do it? Or would we try to change it? Would we say that it shouldn’t be done that way? Or would we be happy to do something so simple to receive the awesome grace of God?

It’s all very simple. Believe God. Have faith in His promises. He tells us that if we will be baptized through water into Christ then our sins will be forgiven. Trust Him! He’s the one that told us to do it. God said it. God wants it. God uses it. So let’s not reject Him. Let’s not change His Word. Let’s see what He plainly tells us. Believe Him. Then do it. Isn’t it great that God has made it so simple for us? God did all the hard work. He sent Jesus to die. Jesus died for us on the cross. Jesus was raised from the dead. All by the power of God. God has given us a simple plan. Let’s follow it.

Kevin Heaton (


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