Getting Out of the Pit

G. Campbell Morgan was once approached by a miner who said he would give anything to believe that God would forgive sins, “but I cannot believe he will forgive me if I just turn to him. It is too cheap.” Dr. Morgan said to him: “You were working in the mine today. How did you get out of the pit?” He answered, “The way I usually do; I got into the cage and was pulled to the top.” “How much did you pay to come out of the pit?” “I didn’t pay anything.” “Weren’t you afraid to trust yourself to that cage? Was it not too cheap?” The man replied, “Oh, no! It was cheap for me, but it cost the company a lot of money to sink that shaft.” Jesus pays the price for our salvation. You and I contribute nothing to the cost. We simply have a required response.

         There are many people today who are not saved because they refuse to believe God can forgive them so easily. But as the above story illustrates, God doesn’t forgive easily. But he does forgive willingly. Salvation comes cheaply to no one. The sinless Son of God essentially offers a trade of his sinlessness for your sinfulness (2 Corinthians 5:21) because of what he did on the cross. Cheap? I don’t think so.

         But the story also illustrates another important point. If the miner doesn’t get into the cage, he stays in the pit. Just today miners in Chile are being rescued from a pit that has been their would-be tomb for 69 days. Rescuers are pulling them up in a cage which has been lowered into the pit. If they don’t get into that cage, they stay put in the pit. The point is simple—if you don’t step into the place of deliverance, you perish. All the faith in the world that the miner has in the crew above will not save him until he gets into the cage. To get out of the pit of sin Jesus declares that we must believe and be baptized and that when we do so we will be saved (Mark 16:16).

         That biblical truth about baptism should be able to be presented with no further need for persuasion. Unfortunately there is much misinformation and misunderstanding about the subject. Look at it this way. We will hear nothing about any debate among the miners as to whether it’s necessary to get into the cage. They just do it. Baptism is “stepping into the cage” so to speak. No one would think that those miners saved themselves by stepping into the cage. It was clearly the work of “those above” who saved them. The same thing is true when one submits to God in baptism. It is the work of God that effects salvation (Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:26,27; Romans 6:3-7). But he requires that we respond.

         God wants you out of the pit. He has made your rescue possible. Whether you respond is up to you.

Brad Fry

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 11:08 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Was it the cage that saved the miners? Was the cage the only way or was it possible that there could be other ways to be saved? To relate the stories doesn’t completely tell a picture for me. I struggle with baptism being the cage. I say that the miners were saved when they got the pipe that housed the cage down to the bottom. The miners getting in just completed the mission.

    • Thanks for reading the post and commenting. And thanks for the opportunity to discuss this further.
      It’s true that baptism doesn’t fit as the “cage”—the place of salvation, but as “stepping into the cage”. The place of deliverance is Christ himself. How do we get into Christ? Romans 6:3 says we are “baptized into Christ Jesus” and “baptized into his death”. Galatians 3:27 says “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”.

  2. I totally agree with you Brad. People need to see Christ as their savior. Just looking at the “cage” and doing nothing will not save you. We need to get into the “cage” (being baptized into Christ) so we can have our sins washed away and be saved!
    As for the miners, the pipe didn’t save them or couldn’t save them, because they would still be in the same state (in the bottom of a pit). The only way out is to get into the device (cage)that would pull them out of the pit. See the “cage” saved them and brought them out of darkness into the light.

    • Thanks, Denise. Good points.

  3. thanks for the new articles. they make these problems understandable to me and i know to others.
    in Christian Love.

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