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The Bible also gives us an example of people who were saved before being baptized. In Acts 2:38, Peter appears to link forgiveness of sins to baptism. If that is so, then baptism isn’t necessary for salvation because the baptism of repentance is no longer practiced. It is also possible to take the clause "and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" as parenthetical. he is one of the four biblical scholars of our day of hell, Bishop said. Submission to water baptism is a requirement for obedience after salvation (Matt. Jesus defined the terms for entrance into His Kingdom: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”(John 3:5). Peter is shown to make the strong connection between these two in chapters 10 and 11. Ministry of John the Baptist Fourth, Peter's statement in Acts 2:38 can be interpreted in the light of the ministry of John the Baptist. The point seems to be that if they have had the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit via spiritual baptism, there ought to be a public testimony/acknowledgment via water baptism as well. The quick answer is no. In 1 Corinthians 1:17, Paul states that "Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel," thus clearly differentiating the gospel from baptism. But the answer should be based on scripture. The Bible teaches that it is only through baptism you can be saved and that upon being baptized after following God’s criteria, your status will be changed from being a sinner, not related to the covenants of promise, to being a son or daughter of God, precious in His sight and in God’s … 1:9). The Catholic Church teaches that baptism is “necessary for salvation” (CCC 1257). I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name (vv.13-14). But the question is raised, “Baptism. Finally, we can meet this challenge by showing how the assertion that baptism is not essential to the gospel is inconsistent with Romans 6, in which Paul introduces baptism as the experience of death and resurrection in Christ: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? It is my opinion that the water spoken of here means the water of the womb referring to the natural birth process. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9). For instance, 1 Peter 3:21 says “Baptism now saves you.” For instance, 1 Peter 3:21 says “Baptism now saves you.” The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible (page 1372) says, “This is similar to the circumstances at Jerusalem and Samaria in that each time, many believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit at the same time (cf. But you can find a thorough discussion in Bruce Metzger, et al., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, pp. In my book Meeting the Protestant Challenge, I offer three ways we can meet this challenge. Acts 2:1-4, 8:14-17). In verses 17-18, Paul actually uses a form of the Greek word for “free” (eleutheroō) in relation to the freedom from sin that we receive in Christ: But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free [eleutherothentes] from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Help Grace to You bring important resources like this to people in your community and beyond, free of charge. 15:10; 1 Peter 3:3,4; Mark 9:37; Matt. Baptism and Salvation in the Bible 1. All rights reserved. This may not only explain Acts 2:38 (viz., that Peter spoke of both reality and picture, though only the reality removes sins), but also why the NT speaks of only baptized believers (as far as we can tell): Water baptism is not a cause of salvation, but a picture; and as such it serves both as a public acknowledgment (by those present) and a public confession (by the convert) that one has been Spirit-baptized. Other examples include John 6:27 and 12:44; 1 Cor. Register. It is possible to translate the Greek preposition eis--"because of," or "on the basis of," instead of "for." Baptism is not enough for salvation. This page is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi) Is baptism necessary for salvation? If baptism were part of the gospel itself, necessary for salvation, what good would it have done Paul to preach the gospel, but not baptize? Log In This tells us that, for Paul, justification can include sanctification, which is the interior renewal of the soul whereby the objective guilt of sin is removed. GDPR is the new European privacy regulation, which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK and the equivalent legislation across the EU Member States. A common argument cites the example of the robber on the cross to show that baptism is not a requisite for salvation, for the robber was saved without going through baptism. He is referring to immersion in Christ's death and resurrection through "an appeal to God for a good conscience," or repentance. Even if we conceded, for argument’s sake, that Paul wasn’t sent to baptize in a strict, general sense, it doesn’t follow that baptism is not essential to the gospel. However, it isn’t the act of baptism that saves you. The penitent woman (Luke 7:37-50), the paralytic man (Matthew 9:2), the publican (Luke 18:13-14), and the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) all experienced forgiveness of sins apart from baptism. v. 47). The argument. However, since the Bible so clearly tells us that salvation is received by faith alone ( John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5 ), there must be a different interpretation of those verses. If one goes by Hollywood films and the Catholic church one might get a totally incorrect concept of scriptural baptism. Paul is addressing a problem that arose in the Corinthian church, where some were identifying themselves with particular ministers and causing division within the community. This is the old "leaky bucket" argument. Do we want to say that the great apostle Paul was disobedient to Jesus’ instruction? . And if baptism is not part of the gospel, it can’t be necessary for salvation. Yet on his confession, paradise was secured. The Bible says here that 'Now' and the keyword; 'Also'. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ” (1 Cor. Some Protestants like to use 1 Corinthians 1:17 to claim that this teaching contradicts the Bible. It still comes up today—the question of whether baptism is a necessary part of being saved. 28:18-20), but it is not a prerequisite to spiritual regeneration. 4:8; Gen. 45:8; and Titus 3:5. If justification and sanctification are essential to the gospel, which they are, and for Paul baptism justifies and sanctifies, which it does, then it follows that for Paul baptism is essential to the gospel. 1 Corinthians 12:13). For more information about this crucial expression of obedience, John's audio message, "Understanding Baptism", is an excellent resource. There is no mention of baptism. Some argue that 1 Peter 3:21teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation. Acts 22:16 And […] For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. 1:17). Baptism is an important step of obedience that every Christian should take. Paul writes. Paul goes on to articulate the effects of this baptismal death and resurrection: We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. Those who champion the argument for the necessity of baptism for salvation often bring up these verses and others: Mark 16:15 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 122-128, and William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Mark, pp. Baptism is an identification of an old life dying with Christ and a new life being resurrected as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We sent you an email. 1 Peter 3:21 ESV / 1,966 helpful votes. Either baptism was not necessary for salvation, or they received the Holy Ghost without being saved. If water baptism were necessary for salvation, we would expect to find it stressed whenever the gospel is presented in Scripture. However, the New Testament does not teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. So, baptism is important, but it is not necessary to be saved – otherwise, we would not be saved by faith, but by faith and a ceremony. For 1300 years after the church was established on the day of Pentecost baptism was uniformly practiced by the immersion of a person under water. It is within this context that Paul says, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. If baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, why didn't Peter say so in Acts 3? If that interpretation is correct, the verse would read "Repent (and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ) for the forgiveness of your sins." But there are several plausible interpretations of this verse that do not connect forgiveness of sin with baptism. What’s interesting about this passage is that the Greek doesn’t say “freed from sin.” The Greek word translated “freed” is dedikaiōtai, which means “justified.” So the text can literally be translated, “justified from sin.”. Accordingly, we have updated our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions in order to comply with GDPR. In Acts 10:44-48, Cornelius and those with him were converted through Peter's message. Modern translations render it as “freed from sin” because the context is clearly about sanctification. So Peter is not talking about immersion in water, as the phrase "not the removal of dirt from the flesh" indicates. Now all you need to understand about what he says is this, baptism is an important part in our salvation. Someone other than Paul performing baptism wouldn’t preclude baptism from being essential to the gospel message that Paul preached. Nay, since Paul is the only one of them who has put on the garment of Christ's baptism, either the peril of all the others who lack the water of Christ is prejudged, that the prescript may be maintained, or else the prescript is rescinded if salvation has been ordained even for the unbaptized." Salvation is by divine grace through faith alone (Romans 3:22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30; 4:5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9, etc.). Water baptism is certainly important, and required of every believer. What exactly is baptism according to the scripture. After clicking 'Register', you will receive an email with a link to verify your account and to complete your registration. With this hyperbolic speech, Paul is stressing that it doesn’t matter by whom you’re baptized. Guest. The English word "baptism" is simply a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo, which means "to immerse." There has to be inward change of heart. Yet, the angel had told Cornelius to send for Peter, "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved" ( Acts 11:14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. But you couldn’t support that knowing, for example, that the thief on the cross had no opportunity for baptism or church membership. In 11:15-16 he recounts the conversion of Cornelius and friends, pointing out that at the point of their conversion they were baptized by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, it is the fact that they had received the Holy Spirit (and hence were saved) that led Peter to baptize them (cf. The Apostles Peter and Paul did not preach baptism was required for salvation. We know that Paul’s statement, “For Christ did not send me to baptize,” is hyperbolic because Jesus commanded all the apostles to make disciples of all nations by baptizing them (Matt.28:19-20). We can't discuss here all the textual evidence that has caused many New Testament scholars to reject the passage. You will notice that the Bible ties baptism to salvation. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Mark 16:16, a verse often quoted to prove baptism is necessary for salvation, is actually a proof of the opposite. But as we’ll see in our next two ways of meeting the challenge, we have good reason to not take Paul’s statement in a strict sense. ... Bishop John Shelby has devoted his entire life to the study of Scripture and at the age of ninety. Peter mentioned baptism in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). We have already established the truth as seen in God's Word that Baptism is the way to Salvation. Given Paul’s teaching elsewhere that baptism justifies and sanctifies us, his use of hyperbole in the passage in question, and the fact that the challenge doesn’t work even if we take him literally, the appeal to 1 Corinthians 1:17 fails as a challenge to the Catholic belief that baptism is an essential aspect of the gospel and thus necessary for salvation. Furthermore, if baptism is necessary for salvation then babies who die in the womb, during birth, or right after birth could not be saved. As quoted above, Paul speaks of those who have died the death of baptism as “no longer enslaved to sin” (v.6). Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his … It is interesting to note that apostles were present in each instance. We should be careful not to fall prey to the old argument, "Well, no one of them proves it, but if you look at them all together, if you take them in combination, they give such strong evidence of the fact that you really cannot deny it." A second way to meet the challenge is point out that Paul is using hyperbole, and he’s using it to emphasize two things: 1) it doesn’t matter by whom you’re baptized, and 2) his apostolic role is not restricted to administering baptism but also involves preaching the gospel. After he had seen this, he declared, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit..." (10:47). Consequently, Paul was grateful that he hadn’t baptized more people than he did among the Corinthians, lest they affiliate themselves with him. The knowledge and diligent seeking of the gospel and truth must be undertaken and obtained before baptism can take place. Ca n't discuss here all the textual evidence that has caused many New Testament scholars to reject the passage in! By calling on his name., John 's audio message, `` Understanding baptism '', a. Be necessary for salvation? ” it is not the outward act that saves you Hendriksen the... 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