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Baptism is not an invention of a man or a Church. God the Father instituted it (Jn 1:33). God the Son commanded it (Mt 28:19). The apostles,inspired by God/the Holy Spirit, instructed the believers to be baptized (Acts 2:38). The early Church consistently practiced it (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 9:18; 10:47). John tried to prevent Jesus's baptism. But Jesus said that it was to "fulfill all righteousness" (Mt 3:15). However, Paul expounded that this tradition alone does NOT guarantee salvation. ✿ Eight important facts on baptism: 1.Paul was thankful that he had not emphasized or practiced baptism (1Cor. 1:14). 2.Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1Cor. 1:17). 3. Baptism is not essential to salvation from sin (1Cor. 1:17-24). 4. It is merely a symbol of that salvation (1Pet. 3:21). 5. Christ saves people before and without water baptism (1Cor. 1:17-21). 6. The gospel can be preached without the preacher being a baptizer (1Cor. 1:17; Jn. 4:2; Mt. 4:17-24). 8. The preaching of the cross, not baptism, is God's power to save (1Cor. 1:18-21 Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10 Eph. 2:8-9). Faith, not baptism, saves the soul (1Cor. 1:21; Jn. 3:15-20,36; 5:24). It is important only after one is saved (notes, Mt. 3:11; Acts 8:38).
The baptism in itself will not save anyone, it's just a sign, a public declaration that you are saved. However, refusing to be baptized might indicate that you are not really saved. It's like a wedding; you can profess your undying love for your fiancee all you want, until you are going before a pastor and make a public declaration of that love, you are not married. And then there is the story of the thief on the cross not being baptized and having the assurance of salvation. Understandable, there was no time and circumstances did not allow him to be baptized. Nonetheless, if a person is able, there is no excuse not to follow Jesus example and be baptized in a Biblical manner: by immersion in water at an age of accountability. If a person is on a hospital deathbed, jail, or any other extreme circumstances that preclude him/her from being baptized, I believe Jesus baptism, just as His death, is sufficient enough to save that person. We must remember, Jesus was God in flesh, perfect and without sin (John 1:14, 1 John 3:5), He had nothing to repent of in the baptismal water; he did it for us as an example that we should follow, and for those who for reasons beyond their control cannot undergo baptism.
Baptism is not a saving act. The salvation must be attained first. You cannot be saved by the works you do. What baptism does is it tells those around you that you have claimed the gift of salvation. It does not save you, nor does any good work save you. Christ already did the work necessary to save you. His atoning blood having been shed is the only work that can save anyone, and the only determining factor in whether a child will go to heaven or hell (provided they have to to the point in their lives that they're able to understand and choose for themselves what they believe) is whether or not the child makes a conscious choice to accept God's salvation. Accepting God is what saves you, not the baptism that should follow.
Galatians 3:26-27 'For ye are all the Children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ'. You have to take the sum of his word. Psalm 139:17 (NASB) 'How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!' Hearing is must. Romans 10:17 (NASB) 'So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ'. Believing is a must. Hebrews 11:6 (NASB) 'And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him'. Repentance is a must II Cor 7:10 (NASB) 'For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death'. Confession is a must. Matthew 10:32-33 (NASB) “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess [b]him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven" Baptism is a must. Mark 16:16 (NASB) "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned". **** The Ingathering Acts 2:37-41 (NASB) 'Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls'. Live faithfully unto death is a must. 2 Peter 1:4-11 (NASB) 'For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you'. Matthew 7:21 (NASB) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter". II Timothy 2:15-16 (NASB) 'Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter'.
Baptism is a requirement for salvation. Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved". 1 Pet. 3:21 "... which now saves us—baptism...". John 3:5 DOES NOT teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, 1 Pet. 3:18-22 DOES teach that baptism is required. But the element or agent is not and never has been water! To understand how baptism saves, you must first understand what baptism is. Baptism is a transliterated Greek word for which there is no English translation. When most people hear the word baptism they think about some kind of ceremony which involves water. There are many kinds of water baptisms in scripture, however none are for salvation or produce salvation (forgiveness of sin restoring one's relationship with God). Baptism is the result of an action, not a process that produces a result. The action requires an agent (or element). The agent and its action on the recipient will define what the resulting baptism is, i.e. what result they produced. Only a Spiritual agent can produce Spiritual results. “Whatever influence is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state or condition of any object by pervading it and making it subject to its own characteristics, is capable of baptizing that object; and by such changes of character, state or condition, these acts and influences do, in fact, baptize their objects.... Baptism is not an act done, nor something in transition, but a result reached; a state or condition accomplished.” (James W Dale - Classic Baptism, an inquiry into the meaning of the word as determined by the usage of classical Greek writers) John 3:5 First birth Element: water, Action: purged from womb, Result: physical birth Second birth Element: Holy Spirit, Action: sin forgiven, Result: salvation 1 Pet. 3:18-22 … which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh [with water], but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,… Outside the type (ark) Element: water, Action: God's judgement on the earth, Result: physical death Inside the antitype (Christ) Element: Jesus Christ, Action: His resurrection (His finished work), Result: spiritual salvation Baptism is required for salvation but it is not some type of religious ceremony involving water applied to an individual in some fashion (pored, splashed, immersed, sprinkled, etc.). Nor is a water baptism "an outward sign of an inward work", as commonly taught. An unbeliever can get water baptized. The Element: water, Action: ceremonial cleansing, Result: ceremonially clean, no change in their relationship with God, no salvation, still dead in trespasses and sin. Jer 2:22 Element: soap & water, Action: washing self, Result: iniquity still remains Acts 15:8-9 Element: Holy Spirit, Action: purifying hearts, Result: salvation 1 Cor 12:13 Element: Holy Spirit, Action: drinking into one Spirit, Result: salvation & placed into the one body of Christ (the only one true church). Acts 2:38 Element: Jesus Christ, Action: remission of sins, Result: receive Holy Spirit, (salvation implied) In studying the Bible you will find at least 5 different agents (or elements), three of these in the first verse in which the word baptism is used in the Greek Scriptures. 1. Water - Matt 3:11 2. Holy Spirit - Matt 3:11 3. Fire - Matt 3:11 4. Suffering/Death - Luke 12:50 5. Repentance - Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 2:38 There is only one baptism that saves, it is Spiritual not physical. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (Jesus Christ)..." 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 4:4-6
No. The practice of infantile immersion in water, or immersion for a child, has nothing to do with one's eternal destiny. Immersion in water or sprinkling with water or sloshing with water has absolutely nothing to do with becoming saved or remaining saved. Salvation is the FREE gift of God for those who believe, trust, place their hope in Jesus AS our one and only Savior. See Acts 16:31, Romans 10:8-13. John 14:6, John 3:16-17, John 3:3, John 5:24, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:8-13. Those children who have not reached an age where they can understand the plan of salvation are safely held in God's care. If they should die before they have confessed Romans 10:8-13, for example, will enter into His Presence and remain there forever, one day being reunited with family. It is impossible to demonstrate otherwise, unless one returns to the "Old Testament" or to those scriptures in the Jewish New Covenant found in Matthew.
My opinion is that, baptism is a re-enactment of salvation from death to life sealed by the Holy Spirit for sanctification and glorification. To ask if baptism is necessary for salvation would only put our faith toward the grace of salvation, through Jesus Christ, in danger. It is safer to say that it is needful for the faithful to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit for it is through baptism that God's call is sealed just as when the Holy Spirit, in dove form, descended on Jesus when He submit Himself to be baptized by John. No more no less. Grace and peace! Note this: 1 Peter 3:21-22 - Baptism, which corresponds to this (Noah and his family being saved through the ark on the water), 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.
No! If you are talking about being dunked in water by a preacher, minister, etc. And, why do I state this? Remember that John at the river stated "He that comes after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit by fire" (Matthew 3:11). ((By His Holy Spirit!)). This is the work of the Holy Spirit! It is by receiving God's Holy Spirit that we are baptized into His eternal kingdom. This is the baptism that John was talking about. Water baptism is for public profession of one's faith and now belief in God's son and His forgiveness unto His saving grace for our salvation! Here is my simple answer to this debate that already has many excellent answers above: Many scriptures state that "it is by faith we are saved through God's Grace, which is His unmerited favor that He extends to us because He is Love". God tells us that "He sent His son to save that which was lost and to redeem unto Himself the lost sheep that hear His voice and heed His calling. It is by His Grace that we can be saved unto eternal salvation! "It is by believing in His one and only begotten Son, (Jesus Christ), by which 'ye are saved". What does these verse statements mean? They mean that through our supernatural mind choice of 'believing' that God's Son came to this earth and died a horrible death to simply be our eternal sacrifice, taking away for eternity our sins; "all our sins are now and have been forgiven!". By asking God to save us, and forgive us our many sins and believing that He sent His Son to be our savior, to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness, He does just that! And, by doing this for us, He removed our transgressions "as far as the east is from the west". And, then His Holy Spirit immediately took up residence inside our hearts to be our Guide, comforter and to intercede with our human conscience to "direct our paths...along that narrow path of righteousness". This is the working of God's Holy Spirit". This is the work that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to do. The very essence and purpose of His only begotten son to accomplish within His appointed human life of 33 years on Earth. "Jesus came to save that which was lost". Personally, the above is exactly what I began to experience that very night in October, 1979! I immediately felt the presence of God's Holy Spirit and began to have a total peace and tranquility that I had never experienced in any form or fashion. And, since that night, I have experienced that "still small voice" and His divine guidance many, many times in some rather testing situations. This is my best simple answer! And...testimony! --Andy--
#Let me make this statement: Those who hold to baptismal regeneration would have us to believe that one passes from being a "natural man" to a "spiritual man" through baptism; yet, from whence does this desire to be baptized come? Is God not pleased when we are baptized? Of course. Yet, Paul said that the one who is still fleshly cannot please God. If such a person is the enemy of God, enslaved to sin, how is it that he is able to do such a spiritual and pleasing thing as to desire to be baptized? Obviously, this is impossible. Baptism signifies our death to the old way of life and our resurrection to new life in Christ, as Paul uses it in Romans 6:1-4. Unless we have died to sin, and been raised with Christ in reality prior to our baptism, the symbol becomes meaningless. So we see that the position that posits baptism as the means of regeneration and forgiveness ignores the most basic teachings of Scripture regarding man's inability. In taking the position they do, the baptismal regenerationists not only make man capable of things he is not, but they reduce God's grace to a mere aid, and make the death of Christ a theory that is dependent upon man's act of obedience, rather than the finished and effective work that the Bible teaches it to be (Hebrews 10:10-14). Baptism FOLLOWS repentance. Forgiveness of sins comes BEFORE the gift of the Holy Ghost (ACTS 2:38). The GIFT of the Holy Ghost comes BEFORE water baptism (ACTS 10:43-48). Christ SENT Paul forth so that others could receive forgiveness of sins (ACTS 26:17-18); Christ did not SEND Paul to water baptize (1 COR. 1:17). Therefore, forgiveness of sins comes BEFORE water baptism At what point is one FORGIVEN of his sins to be initially saved? One is forgiven of his sins at the point of Repentance and a Submissive Faith in Yeshua Mashiah. Water baptism follows that. Baptism is NOT the point when one is set free from his sin addictions and is NOT the point when one is forgiven of his sins to be saved. Peter spoke of getting forgiven of sins three different times! The one magnified and misunderstood is ACTS 2:38. ACTS 3:19 and ACTS 10:43 show that it is the Repentance of ACTS 2:38 which brings FORGIVENESS of sins. No mention of baptism is cited in ACTS 3:19, ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of YHVH.’ ACTS 10:43, ‘To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Shalom! :-)
I get the feeling that there may be a misunderstanding regarding baptism. And some would try and suggest that the Bible contradicts itself. All the Bible must be correct. There are verses that suggest baptism is not required, Ephesians 2:8-9, and others that suggest it is, Mark 16:16. This would seem a contradiction but both are correct. The point that has not been brought up clearly is that there are two baptisms spoken of in the Bible, one of water and one of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11,(As for me I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me....... will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.) Baptism is required for salvation. I am not speaking about baptism with water. I speak of baptism with the Holy Spirit. This baptism happens essentially because of salvation. It is not an act so it has nothing to do with works. Baptism with water is not required, but is a symbol or act of faith as previously stated.
Normally answering a question with a question is not good form, but let me pose this. Let's say today, Wednesday, I experience a supernatural Presence telling me that I am a sinner and I need to repent. This Presence tells me that if I trust Jesus is who He says He is and I turn TO Him and AWAY from my sinfulness, I will be saved. Let's say I agree with this Presence. Let's say I immediately meet with a pastor/elder/church official regarding my experience who says, "Yup, sounds like the Holy Spirit spoke to you." The pastor continues this discussion with me to make sure I understand the implications. I say I do and I'm ready to spend my life telling others about Jesus. The pastor says, "You should be baptized and I would be glad to do it this coming Sunday during our worship service." Let's say I thank the pastor and while walking to my car, I drop dead from a heart attack. After setting the stage here's my question. I have repented, believed in Jesus and am ready to dedicate my life to Him but I haven't been baptized, so where will I spend eternity? To me the answer is obvious that I would spend eternity in Heaven worshiping My Lord.
In the New Covenant (instituted by Jesus Christ), "salvation" is a "gift", given by "grace"; meaning there is nothing a person can do to redeem himself from the "second death" penalty for his sin. Jesus already did it for you. However, there are requirements for salvation and be reconciled with the Heavenly Father: believe in Jesus as your Christ Savior; repent and be baptized in water and the Holy Spirit; and believe in the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. (Re: John 3:5, 16-18; 8:24; 11:25-27; Mark 16:15-16; I Cor. 2:9-16; Ephesians 2:18.) To explain it in another words, God set the food of life on the table for you; it's up to you to take it and put it in your mouth. It only takes that much effort in your part. The root word of “salvation” is save. Now you may want to ask the question: What are you being saved from? Ans.: The “second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:14-15). Since “water baptism” (as was spoken in parable) really means the death and resurrection of the soul – so, yes it’s ultimately salvation. Now you may say, but everyone including sinners are going to be resurrected (that is) for the final judgement? Correct? But water baptism is a contract; you have an agreement with God. So, you’re going to be OK – provided you didn’t breach that contract. Remember the commandment: “repent and be baptized”! You are to repent before you can be baptized. Repentance is your promise: to turn away from your sinful ways. And in return, God promises resurrection of your soul if you happen to die before the “second coming”: the exact meaning of “water baptism”. The elects go through this water baptism as a gesture of their faith that God will deliver his promise.
Is water baptism a requirement for salvation? Before we answer that question, let’s consider the following questions: Is faith that Jesus is the Son of God necessary for salvation? Yes. John 3:16; Acts 16:31 Is repentance from our sins necessary for salvation? Yes. Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30 Is confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God necessary for salvation? Yes. Rom. 10:8-10 Everyone agrees that the above statements are true. Why then, the confusion over water baptism? Many consider baptism to be a “work of merit” or “water regeneration,” and is therefore a human addition to the grace of God. Eph. 2:8-9 But a careful study of scripture does not bear this out. Please note the following: Everyone agrees that it is the blood of Jesus Christ that saves us from our sins. Matt. 26:26-28; Acts 20:28 Question: When does the believing, repenting, and confessing sinner come in contact with the blood of Jesus? When a person is baptized. 1).Rev 1:5 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, NKJV 2). Acts 22:16 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' Saul of Tarsus saw the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus and he believed that Jesus was Lord. Acts 22:6-10 Saul was led into Damascus where he fasted for 3 days. Acts 9:7-9 Question: If Saul was saved on the road to Damascus, why did Ananias tell him to be baptized and wash away his sins? Acts 22:12-16 3). When Philip preached “the good news about Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch, he immediately asked Philip: “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” Acts 8:35-38 Baptism was a part of Philip’s sermon. 4). The Corinthians were baptized to wash away their sins. Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11 5). The Church is cleansed by the washing of water with the word. Eph. 5:25-26 6). Christians are saved—not by works of merit—but by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 7). We can enter the holy places by the blood of Christ, which we have “our bodies washed with pure water” Heb. 10:19-22 8). The purpose of water baptism is not to take a bath (“removal of dirt from the body”- ESV) but to have a clean conscious toward God. 1 Pet. 3:21 Question: Why do we have a clean conscience? Because we are obedient to the command of Jesus Himself to be baptized. Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16 This is consistent with what Paul defined as the gospel in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 and which he elaborated on in more specific detail in Rom. 6:1-6. There are multiple scriptures that state that obeying or obedience to the gospel is necessary for salvation: 1).Rom 1:4-6 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, [Note: In this and other passages the “obedience of faith” stands for the whole of the gospel, not simply belief that Jesus is Lord. Acts 6:7; 13:8; 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:13; Gal. 1:23; Philip. 1:27; 1 Tim. 4:1; Jude 3] 2). 2 Thess 1:6-8 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 3).Heb 5:9 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 4). 1 Pet. 4:17 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 5). 1 Pet. 1:22 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, Therefore, I respectfully submit that being baptized is not a “work of merit,” or “water regeneration,” but obeying the Lord’s commandment to be baptized. Baptism is no more important than faith, repentance, or confession. However, it is the final act of obedience that puts us into Christ. Gal 3:26-27 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.
I noticed that Mark 16:16 is mentioned in 5 answers. Mark 16:16b is important here. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE WILL BE CONDEMNED." It's UNBELIEF, says Jesus, that leads to damnation, not failing to be baptized. When someone rejects the good news and refuses to trust it, that one is damned. I agree with what Aurel Gheorghe said. When Jesus was crucified between the 2 thieves, 1 is penitent and places his faith in Jesus while hanging on the cross. 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” The point is that the thief was saved without being baptized!
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