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Hansc

Is Water Baptism Essential to Salvation?

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Jesus told one of the thieves on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise. I doubt the thief had a chance to get baptized.

I love this point, well mainly hearing the point. "If Baptism is essential, then why didn't Jesus baptized anyone?"

Romans 6:4 says that we are "baptized into his death" .. How could anyone be baptized into his death if he was still alive?

I have to ask this question....Are you saying that Jesus is not alive?

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Baptism does not make you a believer but it shows you that you are a believer. It does not save a believer; it shows the believer has been saved. It is often done in the presence of family members, in front of the church a person is or has joined, and reflects an inward expression of an outward faith. --not mine

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesian 2:8-9

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What you are asking is an old question, I know. What I'm asking is why the issue of the necessity of baptism ever became questioned in the first place. When did people start asking if baptism is necessary or not. Was it asked in the first century?

Hello Nebula,

The Ethiopian ( non Hebrew ) seemed to understand the importance of immersion. Maybe Phillip taught him this.

Act 8:36-38 KJV And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

I think you are correct in suggesting baptism was so familiar a practice that no one questioned it.

So then baptisim could be considered more cultural than anything...right?

Just as cultural as memorizing the Torah, sacrificing, meeting in the Synagogue, etc. For them, culture and religion went hand in hand. This is one of the reasons the believing Jews had a hard time with believing Gentiles not becoming Jews. But if you notice, among the religious-cultural practices mentioned that Gentiles did not have to follow, baptism is not in the list. But rather, baptism went hand in hand with receiving Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Savior.

And they didn't wait days, weeks, or months between receiving Jesus and being baptized, nor did they take special classes on it. They just did it.

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Jesus told one of the thieves on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise. I doubt the thief had a chance to get baptized.

I love this point, well mainly hearing the point. "If Baptism is essential, then why didn't Jesus baptized anyone?"

Romans 6:4 says that we are "baptized into his death" .. How could anyone be baptized into his death if he was still alive?

I have to ask this question....Are you saying that Jesus is not alive?

Sorry, let me rephrase. What I meant by "still alive" was that in the flesh he had not yet been crucified and put to death. Of course he resurrected from the grave and is alive forever more.

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Well it seems that everyone here is following the same pattern of thought.

How would you explain what these verses say about baptism?

1 Peter 3:18-21

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

It says that just as Noah's family (eight souls) was saved by water, that baptism also saves us.

.

1. "Saved" here isn't talking about being saved from sin. The Greek word "saved" is used five different ways in the NT

2. The Greek says that Noah and his family were saved through the water. The water was not the intstrument of salvation. They water was the instrument of judgment. The ark they were in was the instrumnet of salvation. The ark, not the water, is the type of Christ who is our salvation. Here is a more accurate translation:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him

(1Pe 3:18-22)

As you can see, they were brought to safety through the water, not by the water itself. Thus the flood cannot be used a picture of salvation from sin. The flood was judgment upon sin. The ark is salvation in the midst of God's wrath.

3. Peter explains that he is not saying that the ceremony of baptism saves us. He is connecting baptism with having a good conscience before God which ties baptism, to the process of sanctification, not salvation from sin. We are saved from sin by finsished work on the cross and nothing else. Our conscience is what is being "saved" or sanctified until we die. Sanctification is the process by which we are being conformed more and more into the image of Christ on a daily basis. Sanctification is the second stage of salvation, if you will. Salvation occurs in three basic stages: Justification, Sanctification and Glorification. Baptism is tied to the inner work sanctification. It is not a mere symbol. It loses its sanctifying value if it is not joined with inner spiirtual grace. If one is not truly converted, the baptism is an empty exercise. But neither is it an agent of salvation from sin. It follows salvation from sin. IT is not the means of procuring it.

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Well it seems that everyone here is following the same pattern of thought.

How would you explain what these verses say about baptism?

1 Peter 3:18-21

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

It says that just as Noah's family (eight souls) was saved by water, that baptism also saves us.

I am hoping brother, that the many responses here clearly answer your question. If you have more, please share. I was saved for ten years before I was baptized. This is not something I am bragging about by any means, but I certainly do know I would of been with Jesus if I would of died before that time. This hope was given to me when I first accepted Jesus. ANY WORKS BEYOND SALVATION is adding to the gift of Jesus Christ. However, we will know those who belong because with a truly changed heart we will want to follow Jesus and His commandments. Jesus judges on our heart and the knowledge in which He has given us and our response according to such. Not one person alive was ever able to keep all the commandments and none ever will, but we are made holy through the blood of Jesus Christ.

This does not mean we live in a depressed state thinking we can never become perfect, as living perfect is being holy before God without having a heart that condemns us, but means instead of focusing on ourselves, as in we could ever do something to repay our dept to Christ, to always focus on Jesus and His love for all man kind. As we grow in Christ and His love we will share more and more of His love and always want to do as He commands or wants us to do. Once we know what Jesus wants is what is always best for our eternity, it is then we can truly hold on His love and share it around the world.

God laid baptism on my heart, and in time, I obeyed. All should be baptized. Sooner the better. However, not at all how we get to heaven. However, grieving the Holy Spirit can lead to separation. I guess that, however, is a different topic. :)

God bless

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Baptism does not make you a believer but it shows you that you are a believer. It does not save a believer; it shows the believer has been saved. It is often done in the presence of family members, in front of the church a person is or has joined, and reflects an inward expression of an outward faith. --not mine

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesian 2:8-9

Beautifully explained, whoever explained it! I believe that the "one baptism" discussed in Ephesians 4 is the one of the Holy Spirit, not the one of water. Just like in Mark 1:8, there is a distinction between Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism. So no, I don't believe that water baptism is essential to salvation, nor does a person get "saved" by a water baptism ; Jesus Christ is essential, and is the definition to, our salvation. Water baptism is an outflow of that salvation, an act of obedience.

My understanding of this is based on the knowledge that Christ is my Messiah, and His sacrifice is what enables me to have a relationship with God. Talking of salvation through Christ, the bible references faith and confession of that faith (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9, etc), but it does not specifically say that water baptism is salvation.

I believe as I do because not too long ago, I was a member of a Church of Christ, and was taught something far different. I was challenged by my future husband to study in depth why I believe this. After studying, I came to the conclusion that it is Jesus that saved me, not my act of being baptized by water.

Thank you all for the great posts! I look forward to reading more :mgcheerful:

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Beautifully explained, whoever explained it! I believe that the "one baptism" discussed in Ephesians 4 is the one of the Holy Spirit, not the one of water. Just like in Mark 1:8, there is a distinction between Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism.

I believe you are referring to the "second blessing", so-called, but I am talking about God sealing us with the Holy Spirit at the time we are justified and regenerated. Yes I believe that one can receive an infilling some time after salvation, but the later infilling is not the baptism, I don believe, the sealing and the Holy Spirit coming to reside in the heart of every believer is, it's the initial not the latter benefit.
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Thought I replied to this one too. {scratching head}

Water Baptism is a beautiful expression, an outward testimony of an inward transformation.

But, it is not essential for salvation.

John the (water) Baptist said as much.

Matthew 3:11 (KJV)

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Speaking to a wide audience he stated that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost (salvation) or with fire (judgment). It is his version of John 3:16-18.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

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Ephesians 4:5 (KJV)

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

1 Corinthians 12:13 (KJV)

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Matthew 3:11 (KJV)

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Now which are YOU baptized with, friend? Water? or the Holy Ghost?

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Water baptism is not essentia to salvation. Baptism IS essential as an act of obedience, but it has no bearing on how a person is saved.. Being obedient to the commandment to be baptized in water is an evidence that one has truly committed their heart to the Lord and seek to serve Him with a sincere heart.

Salvation is Jesus plus nothing. People seek to add baptism to the work of the cross and they are theoloically mistaken for doing so.

I agree

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No, you are not saved by baptism, you are saved by the blood of Jesus and a faith in Christ. God forgives our sins, and we are saved because of God's grace. I do believe however we should be baptized out of obedience to Jesus and to make an outward statement to the world.

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Act 19:17 ¶ And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

I will never be so bold as to come out and say that something is required for salvation outside of believing what God has revealed unto you and seeking to follow that which is of God.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

If God through Christ is leading one to be baptized and the spirit of Antichrist is leading away from baptism and one believes the spirit of Antichrist over Christ then who is he being led by? Whose son is he? May God have mercy upon the truly ignorant.

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I suppose one could or might ask "must I declare Jesus Lord to be saved or just declare Him my Savior" just as well as ask this question regarding

baptism

But the answer to that question always takes care of itself in obedience, yet, faith is still the mark of salvation...obedience ALWAYS comes after

as how shall we be obedient to that which is not even a consideration

Accepting Christ is not obedience. God has not commanded that we accept His Son. He offers salvation and we choose.

Salvation is simply choosing what God offers and says is our salvation.

Obedience is the choice we make when we follow the One who saved us.

Stating one must obey an ordinance as part of salvation is demonstrating that one needs security within their own actions

as a physical 'proof' of their salvation when really, the entire arrangement is spiritual and the physical represents what

we cannot see as a demonstration of the faith we have and as a witness to that faith

God does not lead one to be baptized that I am aware of or that I have ever read, heard or had demonstrated and I have been

kicking around the planet for some time now and been well taught since the age of 5. God TELLS us to be baptized by

both demonstration of Christ and that of those who wrote the New Testament.

We are also told to put off sin and many other things.

However, the only active ingredient that we supply to be saved is our faith in Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins......

it pleased the Lord to bruise Him...all we like sheep have gone astray and behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

and so on

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While water baptism does not save as I mentioned before and as all commands from the Lord it is expected to be obeyed. It is the blood of Christ and being placed in Him by faith that saves. John 14:15 If you love Me, keep my commandments. And as Paul said, his servant you are to whom you obey.

Matt 3:2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Matt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

Matt 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Edited by allofgrace
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I love this point, well mainly hearing the point. "If Baptism is essential, then why didn't Jesus baptized anyone?"

Romans 6:4 says that we are "baptized into his death" .. How could anyone be baptized into his death if he was still alive?

It is essential for those who wish to be obedient, but not for salvation. That earlier wedding ring analogy was pretty good, as a sybol of what has occured, not a a means to an end. As far as Jesus not baptising, that is true (or at least if He did, it was not mentioned). However, Jesus Himself was baptisted, and I think we want to be like Him. In anycase, Jesus' diciples baptised people during Jesus earthly ministry. Paul only baptised a few, put never indicated that it was not important. So, what I would ask, is why would any beleiver who does not have a phobia of water, avoid baptism? To Nebula's point about Hebrew and immersion, I do not know about that, but the Greek Baptizo, does mean immersion. If translators of the Bible, wanted to be literal, they would have called John the baptist: "John the immerser". To render baptizo as baptism, is not a translation, it is a transliteration. My guess is that most bibles use the word batism, becuase they do not want to lose sales among denominations that sprinkle and pour. :laughing:

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Act 19:17 ¶ And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

I will never be so bold as to come out and say that something is required for salvation outside of believing what God has revealed unto you and seeking to follow that which is of God.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

If God through Christ is leading one to be baptized and the spirit of Antichrist is leading away from baptism and one believes the spirit of Antichrist over Christ then who is he being led by? Whose son is he? May God have mercy upon the truly ignorant.

All that is required for salvation is faith in Christ. Baptism is an act of obedience to a commandment and is for believers. Unbelievers are never commnded to be baptized in Scripture. Only those who are believers are commanded to be baptized.

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