"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is Baptism Necessary?

I recently tweeted, "What baptism does one cannot be saved without; therefore, baptism is essential to salvation."

I want to expand on that idea here on this blog.  What does baptism do?  Can a person be saved without what baptism does?

1. Baptism is for the remissions of sins (Acts 2:38): Can one be saved without the remissions of sins?

2. Baptism is a commandment (Acts 10:48): Can one be saved who refuses to obey the commands of God?

3. Baptism is when sin is washed away (Acts 22:16): Can one be saved if their sins are not washed away?

4. Baptism puts one into Christ and into his death (Romans 6:3): Can one be saved outside of Christ and his death?

5. Baptism is how one puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27): Can one be saved who has not put on Christ?

6. Baptism is the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11-12): Can one be saved having not put off the body of sin?


  1. First I'd have to say that I have a natural tendency to avoid anything other than being saved by grace. I believe Jesus fulfilled the law and released us from the shackles of self efficacy and works. We an beat all the pots and pans we'd like to, and it still will not produce salvation. Then I'll go a little deeper into the subject matter of your post.

  2. I find the subject matter quite interesting, and as you offered no commentary, I'd like to open with this verse as well;
    For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
    1 Corinthians 1:17

  3. Jesus himself was speaking on baptism and purification when he was speaking to Nicodemus on being born again. In fact, the entire chapter of John 3, as well as John 4 were devoted to the subject.
    Jesus claims to be the living water, and spells out the way to salvation. For the purposes of this post I especially like verse 14 of John 4: "But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life".
    John also proclaims in verse 27 that when it came to his baptism, it was insignificant..."A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven".
    Paul, a divinely appointed apostle states in 1 Corinthians that he is GLAD he didn't baptize any of them, as it was creating some division among them. He corroborates John 3 by saying that salvation is through the cross, and believing in Christ: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

  4. Thank your for your comments. I will respond in more detail as I get the time to sit down and give it time.

  5. Response to your June, 5, 9:57pm post: I agree that we are saved by grace, but not grace alone. We are save BY grace, THROUGH faith (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is God's offer of salvation that I do not deserve and cannot merit. Faith is my response to God's offer.

    Salvific faith is the divinely energized response to the gospel that flows synergistically through the will of man as obedience. True faith is obedient to the gospel (Romans 6:17; 16:26).

    Galatians 3:26-27 ESV
    26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
    27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    Verse 26 is the state of what makes us the sons of God, that is faith. But, verse 27 is when and how it happened. For (because)is the Greek word 'gar,' and it means "to assign cause."

    My Spanish translation translates it as "Porque."

    The water does not do anything, God is the one who by his grace remits sins when I am baptized. Baptism alone does not remit sins; faith in the death of Christ that is necessarily expressed by baptism is what effect remission of sins. He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16).

    No conflict between grace and baptism.

    Question: Does baptism do, or does God do at baptism, what the verses I listed say that it does?

    On to the next verse I get a chance.

  6. Your post from June 5, 10:05pm: You reference the following passage:

    1 Corinthians 1:17 ESV
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    1. Paul did baptize certain Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:14). Although he did not baptize most of them does not mean that they were not baptized, it just means that Paul did not personally do it. There were others that was doing the baptizing. He did not baptize them because of the personality based heresies that were rampant in the Corinthian church. Corinthians were still being baptized, just not by Paul. I could have much more to say about this, but I won't for now.

    2. When Paul says that he came to preach the gospel, not baptize, he did not mean to convey that being baptized was not the necessary response of the sinner to hearing the gospel. Being baptized is the faith response to hearing and believing the gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Preaching the gospel must precede baptism, but it by no means excludes it as the response to gospel. Hearing the gospel alone does not save, the gospel must be obeyed by faith.

  7. Sadly I disagree on some points. I know that the day of Pentecost was instrumental in ushering in the promise of a new dispensation, the phasing out of the law, and the promise of Christ(Acts 1:5). For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
    Concerning Pauls consternation with the Corinthians, it was precisely because Paul had grown, and had the knowledge revealed to him as he matured in God. Paul stopped water baptising (which had been practised throughout ancient history) and focused on preaching the gospel of Christ's redemption. I believe the ongoing debate over the necessity of water baptism would still raise the ire of Paul if he were alive today.

    Here is Peter on the matter
    Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    As much as I belive in oneness of the Godhead, I believe in one baptism, and that is the baptism into Christ. He washes away our sins. To reject this oneness of baptism Jesus spoke of, is to reject the message of Christ.

    I find it simple really, to make the leap of faith from water baptism which was practised before Calvary and shortly after and the baptism into Christ though the Holy Ghost.
    Let me read this to you in this context:
    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Read that statement carefully. Mere water baptism cannot garrantee one the Holy Ghost. Lets read it this way:
    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN WATER for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Now lets listen to the words and read it as he said it:
    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    In other words, baptize yourself in Jesus, and you will recieve the Holy Ghost.
    There are numerous sriptures that tell us this, and you know them well.
    This takes me back briefly to 1 Corinthians 1:17. The heresies exist today. The divisions and the factions and the followers of different men of faith preaching different interpretations of the gospels interpretations of the gospels.
    (baptised unto John, Apollos, and Cephas, and Paul, etc.) When if we really want to begin to find the truth, we believe in the teachings Christ gave us.
    One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

    Is baptism necessary to be saved? The answer is yes. The confusion is on our part.

    Acts 16:30-31 Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
    Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.