Does Acts 2:38 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?


Acts 2:38

ESV - 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

1614527828.966302 Jeff jolly

Example of the Ethiopian being baptized by Phillip (acts:8;26) also read all of acts 8.

December 29 2013 Report

Mini joyce whaley

Baptism to me is an outward showing of an inward going of the Lord Jesus coming into our lives. Then it is a command of God, so if it the Commander / Our Chief Executive Officer says be baptize then we should all say Yes Captain and be baptize Amen.

April 04 2014 Report

Mini Baldwin Church

To believe is to obey (John 3:36, Hebrews 3:18, 19 and 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9).

June 16 2014 Report

Stringio Bruce Morgan

I agree, Baptism (literally a ritual washing) and the Lord's Supper are only outward signs of an inward grace, not mandatory for salvation.

A person who has repented and now believes should determine to be publicly baptised when this can be arranged, and participate in the Lord's Supper from then on (in consultation with their local church, purely out of respect).

If, for any reason, there is a delay then surely this could not compromise or invalidate their conversion?

July 25 2014 Report

Mini Ed Smith

Follow this closely: In Matt. 26:28, Jesus tells us that He shed His blood for the remission of sins. In Acts 2:38, Peter tells us to be baptized for the remission of sins. Look at Jesus' statement: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." The word "for" is used three times in this verse. But they each came from different words in the Greek. Why is this important? Because many preachers will tell you that we are baptized "because of" remission of sins. They have the wrong word "for!" These preachers would have Peter saying, "repent and be baptized 'because of' the remission of sins." If "for" means "because of" remissions of sins here, it means that Jesus' blood was shed "because of" remission of sins in Matthew twenty-six because the same "for" (meaning in order to) is used in both places.
The first word "for" in Jesus' statement does mean "because of." It is the Greek word, "yap." The word "for" before "remission of sins" means "in order to." It is the Greek word, "eis." Now, the same word meaning "in order to" (eis) is used by Peter in Acts 2:38. He was telling people to be baptized 'in order to" the remission of sins. Preachers should know that. But if they preached it, they would lose a lot of friends. (The middle "for," in Matt. 26:28, before the word "many," is defined as "concerning" or "as touching.") By the way, the American Standard Version of the Bible says "unto the remission of sins."

September 09 2014 Report

Open uri20150410 15325 7wvq44 Krista Caswell

Baptism is more than just than a statement that we are Christ Believers. It is more than a confession of belief in God, and His Salvation plan for us. It is about taking on a new identiy, Christ Jesus, and laying down the old lifestyle for God's expectation in our lives. It is cleaning and annointing the body of the believer to recieve the Holy Spirit in our temple of flesh. It is dedicating our lives to His work.

When one is obedient in baptism, it is not a work of the flesh, but a work of God. We cannot remit sin, but God can, and does in the waters of baptism.

We cannot make ourselves holy and acceptable to God, but God can, and does when we are baptized under the authority of Jesus name.

Furthermore, when we are baptized, we rise up out of the waters a new creature with a new name in Jesus. Our flesh, who we used to be, is buried with Jesus, and His name is applied to our hearts and lives so that we are new in Him.

Those who are not obedient in baptism do not have this experience. Whether by their own choosing, or by the misdirection of nonbaptism believers, they are missing out on God's plan of salvation. This is not a teaching of man, but a teaching of Jesus Christ, that was first obeyed by the Apostles, and then the Church. We should not be so hasty in tossing baptism out just because a few people don't like the wording in Acts.

September 24 2014 Report

Mini Ed Smith

Excellent -- very well said. Thank you.

September 24 2014 Report

Mini Billy P Eldred

Here is my take. You do have too be Baptized to be Saved, BUT that does not mean you have to be dipped in water!

Let me explain. The word Baptized in the new testament is the Greek word baptizo, which according to Strongs, one of the meanings of is being submerged in water. Another is being cleansed.

But I believe the meaning is deeper than that. Researchers have discovered a very old writing that helps us to understand the true meaning. The writing was actually a recipe for making pickles. In the recipe, both baptizo and another derivative of the word (Bapto or baptizmo, I cannot remember right now) were used in context that help us. Bapto (or again baptizmo) was used to describe the first process which was basically being dipped in hot water (the hot bath process for you canners).

The key was that the cucumber went into the water as a cucumber and came out a cucumber. Baptizo, the word used in Acts, was the second process which was the process of submerging the cucumbers in a vinegar solution, and leaving them there until they became a pickle until they changed to something new!

So to answer your question, I believe the scripture you referenced teaches us we need to become a pickle to be Saved! :) We need to change into something new. I personally do not believe that that process requires water.

January 15 2015 Report

Mini Rohan Perry

Jesus did it, so we have to as well.

April 11 2015 Report

Mini Larry Taylor

Some logical reasoning is always helpful:
1) Jesus in Mark 16:15 said that those who believe and are baptized will be saved; those who don't believer (and consequently aren't baptized) won't be saved. In the great commission of Matthew 28:19 Jesus said to go and make disciples. How? By baptizing people and teaching them to obey commandments. That's right...obedience is required.
2) On Pentecost (Acts 2:38) Peter told people to repent and be baptized (not or be baptized) for (eis = into or unto) the forgiven of their sins. Now look at Acts 2:47 - Luke says that there were about 3000 people that day who received Peter's word (believed and decided to change their line of thinking), were baptized, and were added to the Lord's church that day.
3) Other examples of conversion found in Acts all involve baptism: Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8; Cornelius in Acts 10; Lydia and her family in Acts 16; Philippian jailor and his family (Acts 16:31-33); Saul in Acts 16:22, etc.
4) Baptism is immersion in water. It means to plunge or dip. Romans 6:1-4ff shows that is a re-enactment of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection whereby our old body of sin dies and is buried with Christ so we walk with Him in a new life.

Salvation is a free gift from God by His grace (Eph 2:8). Thru faith we obey the command to be baptized to receive the gift. We get into Christ - Galatians 3:27 - and have a clear conscience toward God.

I Pet 3:21 - baptism now saves you. Why do we resist God's commands?

April 14 2015 Report

Mini mathew paasche

I am just going to answer by not quoting any particular verse in scripture, but by relating an event and also for it to act as a question to those attempting to explain the issue of baptism.

Jesus the son of God went through the motion/act of being baptsised and then a voice was heard from Heaven declaring and acknowledging this act.

Then the question arises here on the validity of baptism. God and his Son approved of this act and clearly demonstrated it to everyone.

I would rather be baptised with all the water available so as to hear and experience the opening of the heavens - declaring and acknowledging my baptism act. I am sure we would all love to act as Christ did. Let us not be too caught up on theological confusion, but should go through the motions as Jesus did and hope to hear the miraculous validating voice.

January 05 2016 Report

Stringio Walt Pryor

Great discussion!
My opinion is, we should be baptized, if, at all possible.
Why? Because, we are followers of Jesus. We are not greater than Jesus. If Jesus was baptized then we should also be baptized!
Now, if we are hanging on a cross, being baptized would be difficult.
So, can we be saved without being baptized? Yes. Especially if Jesus is hanging right next to us!
But, if we are to call Jesus Lord, Lord of our lives, Lord of our future, then we should be baptized. Jesus was baptized, and He was much greater than we are. If it was good enough for my Lord, it is good enough for me.
Well, I do not think I want to be baptized. After all, the thief in the cross was not baptized.
Do we really want to challenge God? I think we would lose.

March 09 2016 Report

Login or Sign Up to add your comment.