Some groups and individuals hold that one cannot be saved unless he is baptized in the name of Jesus. They usually show the following verses for their doctrine, Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:6, where it is implied that repentance and baptism are mandated for salvation. Hence please throw more light into this burning issue. Do we have to be baptized to be saved?
ESV - 5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
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John 3:16-17 clarifies that it is only through the death, burial and resurrection do we inherit eternal life. Baptism is an outward showing of an inward acceptance of the Lord Jesus. The thief that hung on the cross next to Jesus never was baptized and yet Jesus told him because he believed that he was the Christ “this day thou shall be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43. Now by no means am I saying that baptism is not important because it is. However accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and being baptized are two different functions that transpires in a believers life. Basically what I am saving is, you can get to heaven without being baptized but, you cannot get to heaven without accepting Christ as the Son of God
The problem with baptismal regeneration is that it contradicts other Scriptures that state we are justified by faith. Justification is Yahweh's declaration upon a sinner that the person is declared righteous in Yahweh's sight. In other words, only Christians are justified; only Christians are saved. Oneness theology teaches that "obeying the Gospel" includes being baptized in water in order to be forgiven of our sins. It appears in the New Testament that belief is the primary way to access Yahweh's gift of grace. The Bible is replete with salvation tied to belief. In fact in Acts 16, Paul and Silas were asked the direct question: "what must I do to be saved?" Their answer: "If you believe upon the Lord Jesus, you and your household will be saved." Acts 8:37, the Eunuch was baptized because of his confession of Jesus Christ/Yeshua ha Mashiach, not for his sins to be forgiven. Simon Peter said their hearts were "purified by faith" (Acts 15:9) and that we are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ like they were (Acts 15:11); that is, before and without water baptism! Peter says later in Acts 3:19: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come. We also see in Acts 10 that there was a group of people who were saved prior to baptism. If this is true, then how is it that the converts of Acts 10 were saved by faith before and without water baptism? The Bible says in Acts 5:32 that only those who obey Yahweh may receive the Holy Ghost - so what did those in Acts 10 do to obey and receive the Holy Ghost and be saved? Simon Peter said their hearts were "purified by faith" (Acts 15:9) and that we are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ like they were (Acts 15:11); that is, before and without water baptism! Peter says later 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 the Lord," eliminating any baptism (is this a contradiction of 1Pet. 3:21?) Both are by the same author, as is Acts10:43; which explains they were saved - by faith without baptism. Salvation is of grace solely, and is received by faith and faith alone (Eph. 2:8, 9). "He that believeth on the Son of Yahweh hath eternal life" John 6: 47). The Bible plainly teaches that only Jesus’ precious literal Blood washes our sins away (1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). Baptism illustrates a believer's identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). The action of being immersed in the water illustrates dying and being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures Christ's resurrection.
We have to start with the right premise. Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All, not some, but all. Because of Adam all men are sinners. Can we do anything that would save us? No. We have sinned against God and the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23. That is the bad news. The good news is that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, so that anyone who would believe in what HE did for us would be saved. The GIFT of God is eternal life that He paid for with His own blood sacrifice for everyone in the whole world who would accept it by faith alone apart from any works. If water baptism would save us, then Jesus died for nothing. If we could do one thing that would save us then Jesus died for nothing which is to pervert the gospel of all grace and add works. Something we do or do not do. We cannot do one thing that would save us. We can only be saved by faith alone in Jesus alone apart from works or action. The gift of God is eternal life. No one can earn it. Jesus is the only way of salvation plus nothing. You cannot add to free. Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how He said. John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, (First Corinthians 15:1-4) in whom also AFTER ye believed, (not before) ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. Who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of His GLORY. The second we accept Jesus as the only way of salvation apart from anything we do or do not do, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and can never be condemned again. John 3:18. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holly Spirit in whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. The rapture of the church. The GIFT of God is eternal life. Not a reward for good behavior but a free gift paid for by Jesus one blood sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. All of our sins are paid for, past, present, and future sins we have not even thought of yet. Romans 4:7-8. Colossians 2:13.
This is a "VERY" confusing subject and one that I've been praying on for a while. I believe in Jesus Christ, he is my Lord and Savior. I trust in him to lead me to the correct answer. I know that at this moment I am saved and my name is written in the "Lamb’s Book of Life". Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. If immersion baptism is the only way for us to be truly saved, we have just eliminated billions of people who were baptized by "sprinkling," mainly our Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you! I will continue to pray for us all through Jesus Christ that he will show his will to all. God bless!
This is an interesting question, Arun Kumar! No, we don't have to be baptized to be saved. Baptism, administered by the church to new converts, is a sign of their new birth and their entry into the Christian community. See also Acts 2:38-39; Ephesians 5:25-26; Titus 3:5
Without His grace there would be no salvation available, but with grace and without obedience there is no salvation either. Also, I suggest you read beyond John 3:16, read the whole chapter and pay special attention to verses 35 and 36. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. This seems to me to suggest the doing of something. Unworthy Servants - Luke 17: 7-10, Parable of the Talents - Matt. 25:14-30, Because “baptism doth also now save us.” 1Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16 My issue with “Grace Only” is that it is contrary to scripture. To teach something either more or less than what the scriptures teach is a serious sin. It is an incomplete message given to one who is now lost, but thinks he is saved! Not a good place to be in. It all fits together and works together, but some chose to separate it into Grace only, Faith only, Belief only, Water Baptism only, Holy Spirit Baptism only, Works only. Works in some ways seems almost more important than some of the others in that Works supports one’s belief and one’s faith if done out of love. We can not earn our way into heaven by doing lots of good works, but we cannot get into heaven without works.
Arun, I would like to simply say no! We are not saved by grace and water baptism. The Scriptures that I will mention are the KJV of the Bible. Thé verses that I would like to share are found in Ephesians chapter 2:8-10: 8. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." I believe that the baptism with water, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and with fire are both symbolic of the new birth or regeneration. As someone else has already stated, water baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are likewise baptized into His death, and have been raised to walk in newness of life, according to Romans chapter 6. We are born again by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, as stated in Titus 3:5. I believe that as born again believers, we are to follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He was baptized in water, and by the Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17.
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