Unlimited: Salvation and Condemnation
Jul 19, 2021 703
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16, NIV).
Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
And now he tells them why this is so important.
In this part of the Gospel of Mark, it is important to link Jesus’ affirmation here of the importance of belief for salvation with his rebuke to his disciples for their unbelief.
What this means is that Jesus’ reference to faith in the Great Commission doesn’t point to faith in a body of doctrinal truths as such, but instead it specifically points to belief in his resurrection: in other words, what Christ has achieved through the Cross.
The Cross stands at the very heart of the Gospel Commission that has been entrusted to followers of Jesus Christ.
Notice the order of what Jesus says here. First you believe, then you are baptised – you obey.
In other words, the reason and context for obeying Jesus is because of your trust relationship with him.
When Jesus says that “whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”, he isn’t saying that we are saved because of our faith, because that would make faith a work that we do in order to be saved.
Faith, Salvation & Condemnation
Instead, faith is the instrument of our salvation and not the agent of our salvation. It isn’t what saves us. Faith is what connects us with the Saviour so that he can save us from condemnation.
In the same way, baptism – or anything else we do - has no saving power itself. It is merely the outward sign of the saving faith within. It is the mark of God’s covenant with you.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: This begs the questions, “Have you responded to the great Gospel call?” “Have you believed?” “Have you been baptised?” What is your response to him today?