The Wages of Sin
The Bible clearly declares that we all sin (Romans 3:23). And our sin, causes sure destruction: “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it” (Isaiah 1:5, 6). And the Bible states that the consequence of wrongdoing is eternal damnation: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). No one can change his evil heart no matter how much he tries (Romans 7:24). Humans need divine assistance to help them do that (John 15:5).
Christ Redeemed Man From Eternal Death
Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), became “sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He “who knew no sin” and “who committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22) sacrificed Himself on the cross to redeem us. Thus, He “canceled the certificate of debt … against us” (Colossians 2:14). This means that we no longer have to die for our sins but are able instead to have a new eternal life with our heavenly Father (John 3:16).
God’s Gift of Victory Over Sin
Christ’s sacrifice is only the first phase of His plan of salvation. In addition to His gift of life, He offers us the power to “turn from … sin” (Ezekiel 33:14) which means to repent. If we ask Him, He “will put [His] law in [our] minds, and write it on [our] hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). As we “abide in [Him], and [His] words [will] abide in [us]” (John 15:7), our minds will become like Christ’s. And “we shall … bear the image of the heavenly Man” (1 Corinthians 15:49). So, we walk in that new life that Christ offered for us.
Thus, redeeming us from sin is not the ultimate end of our salvation. God planned to also give us the victory over sin. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1, 2).
This is what the Son of God has done for us: He has paid our debt and made certain that we would be freed from the bondage of sin. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). But it is up to us to accept God’s gift—or reject it. Man can exercise his freedom of choice to decide his own destiny.
Man’s Decision to Follow the Lord
When people accept God’s gift of love and decide to commit to Him in repentance, the following step is baptism. Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
A baptism is similar to a wedding service. When a couple decides to unite in marriage, the wedding ceremony is their public announcement of their commitment. Similarly, when a person decides to follow the Lord in baptism, he is making a public announcement of his commitment to the Lord. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).
As the wedding day is the beginning of a couple’s new life together; the day of baptism is the beginning of a believer’s walk with the Son of God. Jesus affirmed this truth to His followers, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
In His service,