I John 5:6-8 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. Matt 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized (water) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; (blood) and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Spirit). In Acts 2:38, we have the Spirit, water and blood all coming together and agreeing as one as stated in I Jn 5:6-8. It can also be noted that the same Greek phrase which is translated, “for the remission of sins”, is used in both Acts 2:38 and Matt 26:28. If one tries to say that we are baptized because we have already received forgiveness of sins is the same as saying that Christ’s blood was shed because peoples’ sins had already been forgiven, which we know is impossible. Since Jesus’ blood, that has the power to forgive sins, flowed at his death, how can we come in contact with his death? Romans 6:3-4 tells us, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The death, burial, and resurrection. This is the gospel according to I Cor 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”. Since this is the gospel, how do we “obey the gospel” (II Thes 1:8, I Pet 4:17)? Back to Romans 6, Paul said in verse 17, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (death, burial, and resurrection that he talked about in verses 3 and 4) to which you were delivered.” He had already stated in verses 2-4 that they were no longer slaves to sin because they had died to sin, were buried with him in baptism, and were raised to walk in newness of life, thus obeying that form of doctrine (death, burial, and resurrection) talked about in verse 17. This is how we obey the gospel. Baptism is how we come in contact with the blood of Christ that flowed at his death. This also shows the significance of John 19:34 that states, “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” Baptism is how we get INTO Christ, where all spiritual blessings are and where salvation is found (Rom 6:3-4, Gal 3:27, Eph 1:3, II Tim 2:10). This is why Paul was told to “…arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” in Acts 22:16. If we did not come in contact with the blood of Christ at baptism, this would not make any sense whatsoever, since only the blood of Christ has the power to wash away sins. This agrees with Eph 5:25-27, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. This also agrees with Col 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” and later in Col 2:12-13 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. Furthermore, it agrees with Gal 3:26-27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” They are what? Sons of God. How? Through faith. Where? In Christ. Why? Because they had been baptized into Christ. Peter, through inspiration, tells us of the importance of baptism, instructing the people on the day of Pentecost what they needed to do to receive the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). If you or I had been in the crowd on that glorious day, what would we have done to obtain the forgiveness of ours sins? The same thing that they did, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. Then at baptism, you would be added to the church according to verses 41 and 47, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” and “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Only those who received the word were baptized, saved, and added to the church. This is in total agreement with I Cor 12:13 which states, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…”. Later, he stated in I Pet 3:20-21 “…in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” Preaching the good news about Jesus, absolutely includes water baptism. This is clearly seen in Acts 8:35-39, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. How did the eunuch know about water baptism? Because Philip preached Jesus to him. Perhaps, our Lord, in his final instructions to his apostles, gave the easiest, most straight forward statement on the subject in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This verse tells us what to do to be saved and what to do to be condemned. Can water alone wash away sins? Certainly not, only the blood of Christ can do that. Water, by itself can no more wash away sins than it can cure leprosy. Yet, through Naaman’s obedience to God’s instructions, he did just that as recorded in 2 Kings 5. God’s grace has given us instruction on what is required to be pleasing to Him. Through faith, we submit to God in baptism, coming in contact with the blood of Christ, having our sins forgiven, and being added to the saved who are in Christ and in his Church, where every spiritual blessing exists. There is a wonderful Old Testament pattern given for our learning. It was a shadow of the good things to come. Heb 9:19-22, “For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Here we have water and blood being used to purify. God gave Moses specific instructions for the construction of the tabernacle, courtyard, and furnishings. Only the priests were allowed into the holy place. Today, Christians are a priesthood (I Pet 2:5,9) serving in the holy place or house of God/Church. Heb 10:19-22, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. We know the house of God is the Church (I Tim 3:15). We can enter the Church by the blood of Jesus. Here we have our hearts sprinkled with blood and our bodies washed in water. Where did God tell Moses to put the laver of water? Between the alter (blood) and the door of the tabernacle (holy place) – Ex 30:17-21, 40:7, 30. That fact alone should be enough to tell us the proper order, that baptism precedes salvation as is also stated in Mark 16:16. The penalty for trying to enter the holy place without washing in the laver was death! Yet how many people today teach that one is saved before he is baptized. Therefore, they could not enter the holy place without having come in contact with the blood and water. They did not come in contact with the blood and water after they were already in the holy place, but before! The priest of old had to continually offer sacrifices and wash. Just as Jesus, our High Priest, needed only once, for all time, to offer his blood sacrifice, we also only need once to wash in the waters of baptism to come in contact with His blood. When we are washed and have the blood applied to us, we can serve as His Priests in the holy place (church). Matt 26:28, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The two things listed are for the remission of sins, the blood and the water. It is no wonder or coincidence that blood and water flowed from the Savior’s side, at his death. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.