Throwing Out the ???? with the Bathwater?

It may be because I do it too often, but I just enjoy hearing when others take a rather well known expression and get confused about the precise wording. Most have heard the expression about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It probably originated many years ago when a baby would be bathed in a basin and after bathing the baby, the parents literally would take that water and through it outside. The obvious meaning is that one should not ignore the value of any cherished item and get rid of of it because of the “bathwater” that surrounds it.

Recently I heard someone change this expression in a prayer when he said, “Lord, help us not to throw out the word with the bathwater.” At first I was confused, but then I saw precisely what the brother meant it in the prayer he prayed so fervently. How often has our religious world failed to examine truth because all they could see was the “bathwater.”

Some throw out baptism with the “bathwater of works.” How anyone fails to see the emphasis the Bible places on baptism is beyond my comprehension. How could God make it any simpler as to the “he . . . who will be saved” than He did in Mark 16:16? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” How could those who read Acts 2 fail to see the instructions given about salvation to those who had crucified Jesus? When they cried out seeking forgiveness, they were told, “Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). How could one ever conclude that baptism has nothing to do with salvation when Peter said that as Noah was saved by water, “Baptism now saves us” (1 Pet. 3:20-21).

Yet some dismiss the force of these verses by saying, “Baptism cannot necessary for salvation for we are not saved by works.” Have they never considered that since these verses affirm the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation and the remission of sins, the problem may lie in their misunderstanding of the kind of works the Bible forbids. The misunderstanding of one truth has allowed them to “throw out the word with the bathwater.”

There are so many other illustrations of this principle. Some dismissed the church because of “bathwater of hypocrites” who attend. Some dismiss truth because they do not like the one who is teaching it. Truth is too valuable to dismiss it when God has made it so plain.

At the end of the brother’s prayer I said, “Amen.” God help us to never throw out the word with the bathwater!

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