(4) ACCEPT HIS DEATH--BY BAPTISM
The death of Jesus Christ was necessary for us to be saved. Jesus died for the whole world (cf. Heb. 2:9; I John 2:2). And it is by His death that we are made free from Satan and his dominance of our lives (cf. Heb. 2:14).
The apostle Paul spelled it out beautifully - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood..." (Rom. 3:23-25). The Hebrews writer declared - "Without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). But how do we connect with His blood? Continue reading in Romans for the answer:
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Much more than, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved by wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:6-10).
There it is: by His death on the cross, Jesus shed His blood to cleanse us from sins. He died to reconcile us to God.
We read Romans 6:3,4 previously, where Paul explained how to connect with the death of Christ. We are baptized into His death and then raised to walk "in newness of life." Yes, we accept His death by being baptized or buried into His death. Many argue with the necessity of baptism but the Scriptures are clear (cf. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Pet. 3:21). [The interested student is encouraged to consider our "Evangelistic audio CD" on salvation and baptism for more information on this important theme. -- SRB]
Many ignore the fact that we are "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). There is no other way to unite with Christ. Notice Galatians 3:26,27 - "For you are all sons of God through the faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." According to the Bible, the only way to be "in Christ" is to be baptized into Him.
(5) ACCEPT HIS HEADSHIP--IN HIS CHURCH
"And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18). The church is His bride (cf. Eph. 5:22ff), and to accept Jesus is to accept His church. He built it (cf. Matt. 16:18), purchased it with His own blood (cf. Acts 20:28), and is Savior of it (cf. Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23). How can anyone accept Jesus as Savior while rejecting that which He saves? We must accept His authority and role of Savior in His church.
Friends, we exhort you to accept Jesus as your Savior, but do that as the Scriptures show you must.