Then please explain
the following . . .
If baptism is necessary for a person's salvation
then why does the Bible describe . . .
. . . various people who were saved without ever getting baptized?
For example, Moses, Abraham, Joshua, David, Daniel and many more Old Testament saints.
In fact, one particular person in the New Testament could not have gotten baptized even if he
wanted to--the thief on the cross. The Bible says, "And he [the thief] said unto Jesus, Lord,
remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say
unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:42-43).
. . . two people who were baptized, yet did not truly get saved?
For example, the Bible says that after Simon the Sorcerer heard Peter preach the gospel in
Samaria, "he was baptized" (Acts 8:13). However, in spite of his baptism, it later became
evident that he still wasn't truly saved. In fact, Peter rebuked him for trying to "buy" the power of
God with money, an act that any truly saved child of God would not have done.
Peter told Simon: "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the
gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this
matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of
this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven
thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of
iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23)
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, was also baptized (John 3:22; Acts 1:21-22) and yet
it became obvious that he was not truly saved when he betrayed Jesus Christ.
. . . some people who were not allowed to be baptized
because they were not saved?
The Pharisees and Sadducees were denied baptism, in spite of being the religious leaders at
the time of Christ. The Bible says that when John the Baptist, "saw many of the Pharisees and
Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned
you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for
repentance:" (Mat. 3:7-8).
In other words, they had to REPENT and get saved
BEFORE they could be baptized.
. . . three people who were baptized after they got saved?
After Cornelius got saved and received the Holy Spirit, Peter asked, "Can any man forbid
water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost
...?" (Acts 10:47). Cornelius had already received the Holy Spirit before he got baptized, and we
know that the Holy Spirit's indwelling of Cornelius was a sign of him having been saved
because the Bible teaches: "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
(Rom. 8:9). Therefore, it was not baptism that saved him, but receiving Christ as Saviour because,
"as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12).
The Philippian Jailor asked Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And
they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved
..." (Acts 16:30-31). Notice there is no mention of baptism as a prerequisite to salvation. The
Bible describes the jailor getting baptized AFTER he got saved (Acts 16:32- 33). It was his trust in
Christ that saved him, NOT BAPTISM. "For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)
The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Phillip, "what doth hinder [prevent] me to be baptized?
And Phillip said, If thou believeth with all thine heart, thou mayest." (Acts
8:36-37). It was not the baptism that saved him but his trust in Christ as Lord and Saviour: "That
if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [i.e. Repent] , and shalt believe
in thine heart [i.e. Trust] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
The Bible even describes someone who didn't
need to be saved, yet was baptized!
Jesus Christ came to John the Baptist in order to get baptized, "But John forbad him, saying,
I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" (Mat. 3:14) Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, God in the flesh, didn't need to get saved--He was sinless! Yet, He got baptized.
So, after finding all these examples in the Bible, one has to conclude that BAPTISM IS NOT
NECESSARY FOR ONE'S SALVATION. We don't find one example of someone getting
saved by being baptized! Here's why. The word baptism means "immersion" or "submersion".
Therefore, to baptize means, "to dip", "to immerse", "to submerge", or "to bury under", which is
what baptism represents. When a SAVED PERSON is baptized, he is PORTRAYING the burial of
the old sinful life and is PICTURING the resurrection of the new life in Christ. That's why the Bible
says: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should
walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the
likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
resurrection:" (Rom. 6:4-5). The burial represented by baptism is performed as a public
testimony of a person's new life in Christ. It tells the world, the person has PREVIOUSLY
BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, has become A NEW CREATURE in Christ (II
Corinthians 5:17), and is now going to live his life for the Lord.
BAPTISM IS ONLY A PICTURE OF SALVATION,
IT HAS NO SAVING MERIT IN ITSELF!
A person is saved by faith: the belief and trust that Jesus Christ has paid for their sins. Jesus
Christ reiterated this fact in the Gospel of John. He said, "He that believeth on him is not
condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he
hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18).
The Book of Revelation says the same thing by stating that: "the fearful, and unbelieving,
and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and
all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is
the second death." (Rev. 21:8). Note that the "un-baptized" is not mentioned here because it is not
the lack of baptism, but rather, "he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16b)
On another occasion, Jesus said, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for
if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24). Note that there is
no mention of baptism here, nor in this next verse: "But as many as received him, to them gave
he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John
1:12). And you won't find it in this next verse either: "He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath
of God abideth on him." (John 3:36). [Refer also to verses: John 6:35; 6:40; 6:25-26;
12:46; 14:12] The Apostle Paul preached the same message. He said, "For I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom. 1:16).
In fact, Jesus started His ministry by preaching: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God
is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15). Again, note that
baptism is not mentioned here, either. Baptism has NEVER had the God- given power to save
anyone. Its alleged "role" in salvation was instituted by man-made tradition. The REAL power to
save is in the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. That's why the Apostle Paul said,
"For Christ sent me not to baptize,
but to preach the gospel..." (1 Cor. 1:17).
Dear Reader, do you consider yourself a
child of God because you were baptized
as an infant? The Bible says: "But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name:" (John 1:12). That means
you can only become a child of God
by RECEIVING Him as your personal
Saviour. You must, knowingly, in repentance
and faith, CALL upon His name to save you.
But AN INFANT CAN'T DO THAT!
Besides, the Bible teaches: "For all have
sinned, and come short of the glory
of God;" (Rom. 3:23), and that there
is a price to pay for having sinned against
God, and that price is death: "For the
wages of sin is death; but the gift
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord." (Rom. 6:23) "and without
shedding of blood [DEATH] is no
remission [FORGIVENESS]." (Heb. 9:22)
Therefore, INFANT BAPTISM cannot
pay for your sins since no one dies while
getting baptized! Nor can CONFIRMATION,
COMMUNION, KEEPING THE TEN
COMMANDMENTS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP,
SELF-RIGHTEOUS, or GOOD DEEDS.
Anything other than death CANNOT and
WILL NOT pay for any of your sins. That's
why: "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).
He paid the price by dying in your place and
if you don't put your trust in His death to
save you, Jesus warns that: "ye shall die in
your sins: for if ye believe not that
I am he" (John 8:24), which means
eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15).
To receive Jesus Christ, and become a child of
God, you must REPENT; stop trusting in your
baptism and place all your trust in Jesus
Christ, and Him alone, to save you. So
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus [i.e. REPENT], and shalt believe in
thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
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