Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (August 8, 2022)

Today, I want to share the first part of an article written by Elder Buddy Abernathy regarding the issue of baptism, and its role in our lives. Is water baptism necessary for our eternal salvation, or is there some other salvation under consideration in regard to baptism? In the first part of this article, which I am posting today, Bro. Buddy accurately sets forth the different types of salvation taught in the word of God. Next week, I will post the rest of the article, which will show us that baptism is a version of that timely salvation, not eternal salvation, taught in the word of God!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor


by Elder Buddy Abernathy

And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mar 16:15-16 KJV)

If I approached you in distress and exclaimed, “I just saved your child!”; you would probably reply, “Saved him from what?”. You may think to yourself, “Was he drowning in our swimming pool?” “Was he almost hit by a car?” “Was he about to be abducted?” When we read the word “save” in the Bible, we ought to ask ourselves the same question, “Saved from what?”. I have observed that some people almost always associate the word “save” with being delivered from hell and obtaining eternal life in heaven. This predisposition is usually the result of having been taught that eternal salvation is based upon our works. If our home in heaven is dependent on our works, other biblical applications of “save” would seem insignificant. Once our minds have been programmed to think this way, it may be difficult to change our perspective. It reminds me of the difficulty I have changing the melody of a hymn once I have associated the lyrics of a hymn with a particular melody. My mind has merged the lyrics with the melody, and it is difficult to disassociate the two. Such is the case for some when they have been taught to always associate the word “save” with eternal salvation.

The words “save”, “saved”, and “salvation” collectively, are used over 500 times in the King James Translation of the Bible. In the Gospel of Mark, “save” and “saved” are used fourteen times and “salvation” is never used. Ten times it means “deliver” (3:4; 8:35; 10:26; 13:13,20; 15:30-31; 16:16) and four times it means “except” (5:37; 6:5, 8; 9:8). The passage we referenced (Mark 16:15-16) does not specifically identify what we will be saved from through belief and baptism. We must consider the context carefully to get a correct interpretation.

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mar 16:916 KJV)

Notice the terminology used by Luke: “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.” (Luke 24:11 KJV) “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:” (Luke 24:25 KJV)

The theme of this portion of scripture is unbelief, as illustrated by the words I have emboldened. The unbelievers under consideration are described as “them that had been with him”, “the residue” (those that remained), and “the eleven”. Ironically, the unbelievers were those that had been followers of Jesus, including the apostles! He told them he would rise from the dead (Mark 8:31, 10:34), yet they did not believe the reports of his resurrection. Did the apostles need to be saved from their sins? The apostles, as well as all of God’s children, are saved from their sins by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not by believing the report of his resurrection. This assertion is supported by multiple scriptures.*

Believing the report of the resurrection saves us from sorrow (Mark 16:10, 1 Cor. 15:1719), brings comfort (Isa. 40:1-2, Luke 2:2532), and restores our hope (1 Pet. 1:3). Believing that Jesus rose from the dead saves us from bondage (Acts 15:10-11, Rom. 10:34). Knowing that “Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1) enables us to feel free from sin and experience joy in the Holy Ghost (1 Thes. 1:5-6). Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17 KJV). The gospel reveals the righteousness of God.

What a great deliverance (salvation) is experienced by the mourning child of God when he learns that Jesus is his righteousness. He can now live life in peace as he places his confidence in Christ alone for salvation. He can now rest, “in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Tit 1:2 KJV). The Bible describes this kind salvation as “…the gift of the Holy Ghost…” (Acts 2:38, 10:45, 11:17; Rom. 1:11), “…the answer of a good conscience toward God…” (1 Pet. 3:21), “the joy of thy salvation” (Psa. 51:12), etc.

*Job 19:25-27; Isa. 40:1-2; Isa. 53:3-6 (1 Pet. 2:24-25); Mat. 1:18-21; Luke 1:68, 19:1-10; John 1:29, 6:37-40, 10:25-30; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:23-24, 5:6-21, 8:28-39; 1 Cor. 15:20-24; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Gal. 3:13-14, 4:4-5, 5:1; Eph. 1:3-12; Col. 1:13-14; 1 Thes. 5:911; 2 Tim. 1:8-11; Heb. 1:1-4, 9:23-28, & 10:5-18; 1 Pet. 1:18-21; Jude 1:1-2; Rev. 5:8-10)

To be continued. . . .