James 1:22 says: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It is not enough to merely study the bible as an intellectual exercise or as we would read a novel or some other work of man. We must study the bible with the necessity of applying what we learn to our lives, so that we may be doers of the word and not hearers only. We truly do deceive ourselves if we study the bible and listen to countless sermons thinking we are doing what we are required to do, yet not applying what we learn to our lives so that we may be led by the Spirit of God and our lives shaped and molded to be what God would have us be. Jesus put it another way when He said: ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). We may say Lord, Lord to our Savior by studying the Word of God, but if we do not apply it to out lives and thus do God’s will, we will not be saved in the end.
A perfect example of this is baptism and the plan of salvation. Mark 16:16 says: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” We may hear this plea from God and even believe in Jesus as the Son of God, but if we do not obey the command to be baptized we are not applying the scripture to our lives and thus cannot be saved.
We may hear it with our hearts and even believe it, but if we do not apply it our lives and obey it we are not doing the will of God. We may question why we would need to do so, but we should not. The scriptures tell us to do it and that should be enough. Read the book of Job and realize that we do not have the right to question God. He will tell us what we need to know and indeed does explain the mystery of baptism and the blood of Christ in many places in the New Testament.
We must do the will of God as found in His Word and not be hearers only. Whatever our human reasoning tells us, we cannot deny that the scriptures tell us to be baptized to be saved. If we will study with an open and honest heart what the word of God has to say on the subject we cannot reach any other conclusion. We deceive ourselves if we will not obey God in this matter.
We should have the attitude that if the scriptures say it and the Lord requires it, that settles the matter. We will do it. Of course we need to rightly divide the word of God and not be misled by what others would tell us they mean without our own consideration of every jot and tittle of it. (See category “Bible Study” for ways to do this) But if the Word requires it, there should be no further discussion or excuse, we must do it.
If you have heard or read the scriptures all your life but have never allowed it to shape your life by doing it, you need to begin right away. The first thing you must do is obey Him in baptism (see Plan of Salvation link above and category to the right). If you are ready to repent of your sins (turn away from them and strive not to do them any more) and confess your faith to others, you can become washed clean of your sins through baptism and begin a life molded and shaped by the Word of God. We will all be judged by that Word once this life is over,so we must conform to it while we yet live. I urge you to do so while you yet can.
May God bless and keep you until next time.