Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 10, 1968

Snake Salvation

J. Edward Nowlin

In Numbers 21, Moses prescribed a remedy for snake-bite the like of which the world has never seen before nor since, although some wacky remedies have been suggested, including whiskey. God had sent fiery serpents among Israel as a punishment for their sins. When they repented, Moses interceded for them and God instructed Moses to make a brass snake and put it up on a pole in the midst of the camp. He promised that any person who suffered snake-bite and would look at the brass snake should be healed. Was this a snake salvation? Was it a looking salvation? Certainly not!

No reasonable explanation could be found for this healing, and every person who looked upon the brass snake and was healed, demonstrated the greatest faith. Faith would not have been required if they could have seen a connection between the looking at a brass snake and the healing of snakebite.

What then becomes of the contention of those who argue that water baptism is not necessary unto salvation because they cannot see any reason in it? The Lord has never submitted his will to the wisdom of men. He does not ask man to see reason in water baptism, and baptism is not "water salvation" as some would have you to believe. The fact that one cannot see any reason in it automatically puts it in the realm of faith. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). The person who, though unable to see any reason in baptism, humbly submits to this command, is demonstrating the greatest faith.

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