The Necessity of Baptism for Salvation (Please read with an open mind)

So I’ve heard just about all of the arguments denying the necessity of baptism for salvation, and I thought I’d go through some of the most common ones. I hope if you are reading this from a position of already disagreeing with the title of this post, or perhaps you’ve never been taught this belief before, that you’ll read this with a very open mind. I’ve sincerely written this with a concerned heart for the souls that may be potentially lost from believing differently than what I’m going to present to you as truth. In the end, your decisions are all in your control and you’ll do what you think is best as we all do.

Baptism is not a work

To begin with, the most common argument I’ve generally heard denying baptism as a necessity for salvation is that baptism is a work. One of the verses that people will pull up often is Ephesians 2:8-9. It states, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Now, there’s nothing incorrect about this verse, because all of God’s Word is correct of course. But what’s incorrect is the understanding of this verse being a denial of baptism as a part of salvation. Let me ask you a question. Where in this verse does it say baptism is a work? If we’re reading the same verse together, the answer is nowhere.

Next question, where in the Scripture does it say baptism is a work? Well, I don’t know about you, but to my knowledge it doesn’t. So what we have here is an assumption being made and no evidence to support this conclusion. Now secondly what I would want you to think about, is what are these “works” that Paul is referring to? Well, we don’t have to make an assumption about this because Paul already tells us what the works are that don’t save numerous times in scripture. But just to give you one example, Romans 3:20 states, “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” So here we see that the works in Ephesians 2:8-9 that are being referenced as not saving, are works of the Law. And to my knowledge, baptism was never a work of the Law.

Acts 16:31 explained

The next common argument is people say that Scripture states you only have to believe in order to be saved. Acts 16:31 states, “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Now at first glance, this looks like a pretty solid slam dunk case. But see, we have to be careful about not having preconceived beliefs based on what a particular tradition has taught us. What that causes us to do is see a verse and say ooo ooo ooo, see, it says it right here, so this is right, and you’re wrong. Now importantly it’s not about the pridefulness of who’s right and who’s wrong first of all, and secondly, it’s about following what Scripture states as a whole rather than what we conclude it states based on traditional teachings given to us. So let’s get the proper context by reading the verses after this one.

Acts 16:31-34 states, “31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.”

Now I underlined three parts of these verses for you to see this as clear as day. Now yes, it does say, believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. But pay very close attention to see when it says the man’s belief was accomplished. So the next verse, Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to the people in the house. And then in the very next verse, it states, washed their wounds, immediately was baptized, him and all his household. And then, the man rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. The belief was not established until he was baptized. People think belief is just a choice of feeling or thinking something as true, but it’s an action. If you have faith in something, you confirm your faith by acting on it, just as it says in James, faith without works (not talking about works of the law in this case, but action) is dead. Which incidentally further explains Ephesians 2:8-9 that the deniers inaccurately interpret to contest the necessity of baptism.

One other thing about this that’s interesting, is that it says the household was baptized right after they spoke the word of the Lord to them. What word of the Lord is it that they possibly spoke to them? Well, I would suggest it was the gospel that the Lord stated needed to be preached in Mark 16:15-16 which states, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Now I understand Apostle Paul wasn’t there when Jesus stated this, but Paul affirms this statement in how the salvation we observed occurs, and in all of his letters as the other Apostles were told to preach, that belief and baptism are necessary for salvation

Every salvation in Acts involved baptism

Before I get to the next common argument, let me also suggest to you since we were just looking at Acts, to go observe every instance of salvation in Acts. I’ve read the whole book of Acts very carefully, and I can confidently say that you will not find one instance of salvation, where baptism was not conducted as a part of the process.

Romans 10:9-10 explained

So to continue with the next common argument, some often turn to Romans 10:9-10 to contest baptism. It’s another case of picking and choosing verses, and saying ooo ooo ooo, see see, you’re wrong, without following the whole of what Scripture states. Romans 10:9-10 states, “9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Now we already went over what entails really believing something number one. But number two, it’s so easily forgotten that this was a letter that was not divided into chapters and verses. Thus, you have to understand things based on the whole context of the book and not just a portion of verses in one chapter. So, let’s turn the pages back to Romans 6. Romans 6:1-4 states, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

As you can see, Paul had already stated to them the necessity of baptism of putting us into the Body of Christ, being able to walk in newness of life. So this is again affirming its necessity for our salvation, as getting saved puts us into the body of Christ, and gives us new life through Christ, as accurately pointed out by Ephesians 2.

1 Corinthians 1:17 explained

One final verse that I’ve seen people turn to is 1 Corinthians 1:17 which states, “17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.” If you’ve been reading this far, you already know what to do. Let’s look at the context of why Paul stated this.

1 Corinthians 1:10-16 states “10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”

It’s always amazing how a little context will bring added meaning to why certain things were said. It’s just like when people take what people say today out of context. They take a snippet of one part of a whole statement that someone made, and focus on that part as the sum of what that person was saying. Similarly, people with biased traditional beliefs of Christianity, focus on one verse as a sum of what Scripture is stating, and horribly mislead people into an inaccurate belief system.

Paul in this passage was talking about divisions and wanting people to be united. He was glad that he didn’t baptize some of them so they wouldn’t proclaim they were baptized in his name, increasing those divisions. But it does not say they never got baptized, because as we’ve seen already, Paul illustrated that it is a necessity when we read Romans 6:1-4. Some people will say, well he says Christ did not send him to baptize but to preach the gospel, which is true. But question, is the whole of the preached gospel baptism? No. That’s a part of the gospel, and he’s making the point that Christ did not send him to just baptize people, but to get them to hear the Word, believe in Christ, repent of their sins, and confess Christ as Lord as well. All of these are necessary parts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which saves humanity.

Scriptural Conclusion

I hope you will consider obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which scripture states we’ll be punished with eternal destruction if we don’t (2 Thessalonians 1:8), by believing Jesus died for your sins, repenting of (turning away from) your sins, confessing Jesus as Lord, and getting baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. If you were already baptized but didn’t believe it was for forgiveness of sins, I would recommend getting baptized again. The people Peter preached to in Acts 2 that were baptized and had their souls added were baptized with the knowledge of knowing it was for forgiveness of sins. To those who still contest what we’ve gone over or those who are still confused, I gladly welcome your comments, questions, and thoughts for a constructive discussion.

As I stated in the introduction paragraph of this post, I ask this question again. In the end, what does one really have to lose just by getting baptized believing it’s a part of forgiveness of sins? The people who disagree have far more to lose if this understanding is correct, and the alternative understanding of things is wrong, then if I have misunderstood what I’ve presented to you.

Peace to all those who are in Christ.

Update: If you’re going to bring up the thief on the cross or what about a person who believes and dies before they get baptized, click here to see my “The Necessity of Baptism for Salvation (part 2)” post that already answers those questions.

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126 thoughts on “The Necessity of Baptism for Salvation (Please read with an open mind)

  1. I don’t believe baptism is necessary for salvation… or do you deny deathbed repentance? However, I do believe that baptism is a required “next step” in the Christian life (assuming you don’t die shortly there after).

    • Hi Jeff. Thank you for your comment. I understand the heart of your concern in asking that question. I think we both can agree that we hope as many people will become saved as possible and have eternal life with our heavenly father in heaven. I think we both can also agree that God is a just God. The people who He destroyed in the great flood for example, as sad as it was that so many people died, we believe Him to have made the just choice in saving only the few that went with Noah on the Ark. So I would suggest that if God is as just of a God as we believe Him to be, then we can trust God in all of His supreme justness of nature, and also in all of His compassion and love for people that he sent His son to be killed on the cross for our sins, that God set up the perfect parameters for salvation (belief, repentance, confession, baptism) that would be fully just and fully compassionate in giving everyone an opportunity to have the beautiful gift of salvation.

      I’m happy to answer anymore questions you may have. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • The example of Noah in the Flood is of no relevance here. The people of Noah and the flood were not repentant, a deathbed conversion is someone who is. Furthermore if baptism is necessary, what do you say of those before baptism was preached? What about the thief on the cross who repented but was never baptized?

      • Hi beardeddisciple. Thank you for your comment. The point of the Noah example was to illustrate God’s justness to be perfect even in things we may not fully understand, like the deathbed scenario so often brought up out of emotional concern. With regards to those before, including the thief on the cross, I would suggest that would accurately be of no relevance. The command of salvation in Mark 16:16. was given after Jesus died and came back to life. Every conversion after that point in Acts was baptized for salvation. Hope I helped answer your questions.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • The command for baptism is phrased as something you do on top of becoming a disciple. If baptism is necessary to be a disciple Jesus should have said make disciples by baptizing them not make disciples then baptize them.

        I think the power of the cross becomes pretty weak when it only works if we have put some water on someone wouldn’t you agree?

      • I don’t think you’re talking about the same verse I’m talking about in the comment you responded to. The verse you’re talking about Matthew 28:19 which states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” The verse I’m talking about is Mark 16:16 which states, “16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”

        But to address your point on that verse anyway, the evidence of what Jesus stated in Mark 16:16, Peter stated in Acts 2:38, and the evidence of all salvations in Acts suggests otherwise to your conclusion. Plus the word you added (“then”) to support your conclusion is not in the text.

        To your cross point, I could easily switch that argument around your conclusion of salvation by stating, “I think the power of the cross becomes pretty weak when it only works if we have to speak some words out of our mouth”. But the reason I don’t, is because that’s conflating two different issues. We’re not talking about what is the source of our salvation. We agree that’s Jesus. We’re talking about how we receive that gift of salvation.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  2. This is really great work. I believe baptism is necessary. The act itself is a representation of “washing away” the old self with its sins to become new in Christ. If it wasn’t important, such emphasis or recognition would not have been placed on it when Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptiste.

  3. Interesting article, and I agree that every Christian that is able should be baptized. But the act of baptism does not save us. The blood of Jesus does. When we repent, or confess that Jesus is Lord, is when the the Holy Spirit begins to work in us. This can be verified in Acts 10 when Cornelius and his house were filled with the Holy Spirit during Peters sermon, yet before baptism. Were they not Born Again at this point? They were baptized after as an expression of love and obedience.
    Jesus Himself declared that obedience is an act of love (John 14:15). Baptism is our public declaration of our union with Jesus Christ, much like marriage is with the union between spouses. True love is expressed publicly after the decision to spend their lives together. I wanted to make that public declaration with my wife because I loved her, just as I wanted to be baptized because I love Jesus. But it was Jesus dying on the cross that saved me, not the fact that I was immersed in water.
    Baptism is part of the instruction given by Peter in Acts 2:38. Repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit is representative of the death (repentance), burial (baptism), and resurrection (Holy Spirit) of Jesus Christ. Without His death there was no possibility of the following burial and resurrection. Without repentance the same is true with baptism being effective in Peter’s instruction.

    • Hi Will. Thank you for your comment. We agree that baptism alone does not save anyone. We agree that the blood of Jesus is what’s granted people the opportunity to receive the gift of being saved. My argument in this post is that it’s obeying the Gospel that one must do in order to be saved, as seemingly evidenced by 2 Thessalonians 1:8 stating those who don’t will be punished. I would suggest to you Jesus states the Gospel to be obeyed in Mark 16:15-16 when He states to the Apostles to go preach the Gospel, and immediately after stating that he states that those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Now with regards to the Holy Spirit, there were two different ways one received the Holy Spirit.

      You noted one of them which is the pouring/filling of the Holy Spirit, but it also came about by the laying of the hands of an Apostle. In Acts 19, Apostle Paul tells some disciples in Ephesus to believe in Jesus and then he baptizes them in Jesus. After doing that, then he lays his hand on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. So here we have an example of salvation occurring prior to receiving the Holy Spirit. I would suggest to you the main point of why the Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 10 before they were baptized into Christ was to show the Jewish Christians with Apostle Peter that all people are welcomed by God now. Acts 10:34-35 states prior to this occurrence, “34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”

      With regards to what you state about the purpose of baptism, I would suggest to you there are no verses that explicitly state your conclusion. I’m not aware of a verse that states, “Baptism is our public declaration of our union with Jesus Christ”. We agree that without Jesus none of our salvations are possible. The question is, after Jesus payed the price for man’s sins, what was the process preached of how one becomes saved. I conclude my understanding is correct because of the fact that there are numerous verses, one of which you cited, that state baptism as being a part of the process of which one becomes saved/forgiven of sins.

      Thank you again for your comment. I’m happy to answer anymore questions or thoughts you may have. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • We will have to agree to disagree. I feel your stance could be construed as a legalistic concept which to me is religion. We are saved by one thing and one thing alone, and that is our relationship with Christ. I repented and received the Holy Spirit before I read one verse of scripture or understood the concept of baptism. No one will convince me i was not born again at that point.
        My point is that baptism is done out of love for Christ in the form of obedience to His command as i stated in my previous comment. If we teach that baptism is a necessary act for salvation because we miss a step in the process and hence will be judged as condemned, then we are taking the wrong approach in my opinion.
        I see you like to use no where in scripture does it say that… in your arguments. Well no where in scripture does it say we are saved by baptism. If it is implied as you pointed out, then is it water baptism or baptism of the Holy Spirit.
        I am not an advocate of baptism not being necessary, don’t get me wrong. I also believe that we as Christians should focus on where we agree, not on where we disagree. So with that said, God Bless you brother and thank you for this opportunity to share my opinion.

      • Thank you for all of your comments, Will. For myself, I just want to live for God the way that He wants me to, as I think you do too in your statement of love equating to obedience. I agree with you that it is Christ that gives us opportunity for salvation, so it’s hard for me to ignore what the person who gave me the opportunity for salvation stated to be preached by His apostles in Mark 16:16 about believing and being baptized for salvation.

        I can’t prove your subjective experiences or anyone’s subjective experiences wrong because one’s experiences are as one chooses to believe them to be. I can only discuss what appears to be objectively true in the Word of God. I just desire of all people to base their experiences as closely to the Word of God as possible, because as you stated, God views obedience to Him through His Word as love.

        I respect that you choose to believe that the formula of belief repentance confession baptism is the wrong approach in teaching how one is saved. I can only say that I’m just trying to follow what Jesus said, and then His apostles said. I apologize if I didn’t state it clearly enough in my previous comment, but I agree with you that baptism alone does not save us. It’s obedience to the Gospel, which Jesus states to preach the gospel in Mark 16:15, and immediately after stated believe and be baptized in order to be saved, and in Acts 8:26-40 we see through the Ethiopian eunuch it’s water baptism.

        Salvation is a bit of a tricky topic for one to agree to disagree on, because one of us is right, and the other person is wrong, which is consequential to the soul of the person that listened to the wrong teaching on salvation. And I don’t mean that to come across in such stark terms, but it’s unfortunately the reality. So I just only pray that we’re all humbly becoming saved in whatever way God has instructed in His Word for people to become saved. I thank you once again for your comments, I do hope all of my words have come across thoughtfully and respectfully to you as I’ve intended them to be, and you’re always welcome to ask more questions or share more thoughts

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Forgive me as i re-read my last comment and might have been a bit harsh. I think we agree more that either of us think, and that should be our focus. I have been baptized twice, so i understand its importance.
        I talk to non believers (even on the WP platform) and they are so skeptical about Christianity and judgement of their current lifestyle. I am trying to be more graceful in my approach to dealing with non believers and sometimes it effects my conversations with believers. For that is apologize.
        Keep up the good work, i respect your opinions and look forward to reading more in the future.

        In Christ,

        Will

    • Hi Loved by the King of kings. Thank you for your comment. The thief on the cross died before Jesus later gave the command to the apostles of the gospel to be preached that one must believe and be baptized in order to be saved in Mark 16:15-16. Every person after Jesus gave that command was baptized just as Jesus commanded as a necessary component of one becoming saved. You can look through all of Acts and see each instance of salvation to see for yourself.

      I hope this answered your question. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  4. There is only one baptism and it is a sign each believer need to take as a symbol of having died to the world (Ep.4:5). If it was good for Jesus it is good for everyone who comes to him (Mt.3:15) In the Old Testament crossing the Red Sea was a shadow of it. (1 Co.10:2) Emphasis placed by sects on baptism tends to obscure the real intent of baptism.
    There are so many baptisms mentioned in the Scriptures while we read the Pauline injunction that there is only one baptism as there is only one Church. (Eph. 4:4) Anglicans, Mormons, Pentecostalists and Baptists all have interpreted baptism from the position they have taken. They have also verses to prove it. But are they not missing the woods for the leaves they count in defence of their doctrines? Leaving these aside, let us focus on Jesus Christ. It is not any ritual but the person of Jesus Christ is at the heart of baptism.
    Immersion baptism identifies a believer with the death of Christ while sprinkling points to the Old Testament practice, which under the New covenant points to redemptive work of Jesus: blood of Jesus washes away the sins of the believer. Pouring water during baptism places accent over the infilling experience of Pentecost, which came in the wake of the Ascension. Sorry for a long comment but it is crucial for any believer who wants to be part of the kingdom that he promised to a beleiver. He has to die vicariously and beleive that the Spirit is indwelling. That is newness of life: One is dying to the world and if so our life for eternity can begin as new creations and death is only change of habitation (2 Co.5:1-7) If you are interested I have another blog http://obi4b.wordpress.com you can check it out.

    • Hi Benny! Thank you for your comment. Indeed, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Great verse. And I agree, Christ is at the heart of baptism being a part of receiving salvation. Romans 6 illustrates well what you speak of in your last paragraph. Verse 3 through 5 states “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,”. Beautiful verses there. Thank you for sharing your blog with me. Looked like some pretty interesting writing.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  5. Well Amen. Someone who truly knows what God’s word says. You have done a wonderful job with this post. Baptism is necessary to achieve salvation. I commend you for your efforts in spreading the truth of God’s word. God bless you.

  6. A good, and well written article. Not sure I agree with your assessment of the matter, but instead of an argument, I pose a Bible Verse and a question. Sound good?
    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Now, we are in agreement that baptism is NOT a work. However, I would ask where Baptism fits in the above statement of Salvation. See, Salvation is a gift of God, which to my understanding, we couldn’t do anything for. So for us to get baptized to be saved, we are actively doing something for it.
    What say you?

    • Hi Calanon. Thank you for your comment. Sure, happy to discuss any verse and answer any question you may have. Yes, Ephesians 2:8 does express that being saved is a gift from God. Yes, we didn’t do anything to make this gift possible, Jesus did. But I would suggest to you that every person has to make the choice to receive the gift, which I think you and I would agree on that. That no one is forced to receive this gift and be saved, but each individual has to make some kind of choice for that to be the case. In which case, I conclude believing, repenting, confessing, and being baptized is our choosing to receive that gift. Mark 16:15:16, Jesus says to his Apostles to preach the gospel that those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Apostle Peter heeds Jesus instruction by saying in Acts 2:38, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

      Something else interesting to consider is when Apostle Paul first visits these people of Ephesus whom he eventually writes this letter which you’re citing the verse in question from. Acts 19:1-5 states, “19 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” So Paul told them to believe in Jesus, and immediately after they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, following the same salvation pattern instructed by Jesus in Mark 16:16.

      I think a good question to consider is why does it not say, they believed after they heard Paul’s instruction to believe in Jesus, but instead it says after they heard this they were baptized? I would suggest to you because believe/faith is not merely a strongly professed feeling of something to be true. It’s an act based on something you firmly conclude to be true. This is the point I illustrated when I discussed Acts 16:31-34 in my post, where it appears to show the family’s belief was confirmed through their action, in Luke (the author of Acts) confirming their belief in God happened after they were baptized. In my estimation, the same thing is happening in this passage as well. Their belief becomes established through the choice of acting on it through getting baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and thus obeying the command that Jesus instructed the Apostles to preach to all creation in order to be saved.

      I hope this helped answer your question. Feel free to continue to share anymore thoughts or questions you may have

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  7. By the mouth of two witnesses…

    My experience was the same as Will Marler, who posted above.

    As I read the blog it occurred to me that the idea of baptism in the context of the whole is not “washing your hands before dinner” baptism (as the word is also used in Luke 11:38) but clearly a ceremonial i.e. reverent and spiritual event. I believe it is important to “keep His commandments” (by which our love is demonstrated – not established), but doctrinal exclusion dances perilously close to what it seems we both agree Peter was warned against in Joppa. Back in the early 70’s people talked of being baptized in the Spirit, and you had to speak in tongues to prove the event. I am as certain of my spiritual baptism as I am that I breath (my life changed and I became a new creature in Christ) – but I never spoke in tongues. Again in my experience (and it would just be my subjective experience if not for Mr. Marler – thank you sir.) the spiritual baptism preceded the physical one (and not just by weeks). I suppose you could argue that after washing away my sin and baptizing me with the Holy Spirit, He then made sure I stayed alive until I had the understanding and opportunity (can you do it by yourself?) to be baptized with h2o. I suppose He had to do that because if He let anything happen to me before then … well I’m not sure how that works.

    Thanks,

    David

    P.S. You can be baptized by the Holy Spirit with no other humans present – it just takes faith and the request. John 14:13

    • Hi David. Thanks for your comment. I try to base my understanding of my beliefs based on what scripture explicitly states rather than making my own inferences into the text. You state that baptism is clearly ceremonial, but for myself to my knowledge I don’t find any verses that state it’s ceremonial. My conclusion of baptism being necessary for salvation is one I make based on verses that explicitly state that to be the case, with Mark 16:16 expressing belief + baptism = saved, or Act 2:38 expressing repentance + baptism = forgiveness of sins. If there were verse that stated baptism is ceremonial, I would be more inclined to agree with your conclusion. With regards to your subjective experience, I can’t dispute what you choose to conclude was your experience, I can only say that I think it’s important we’re all basing our spiritual experiences based on what all of scripture states. Hopefully we’ll all do that to the best of the way God desires of us.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Hi,

        I apologize if the intent was not clear. The “ceremonial” inference is derived from the meanings of the greek word used in the context of your scriptural references. Since presumably you do not mean baptism to be like “washing your hands before dinner” (also one meaning of that word), I think we must both agree it is meant as a spiritual event. Please do not confuse “ceremonial” in this context with the idea of empty form, rather consider “ceremonial” as it would be intended if one were reverent and serious about the activity taking place. Like placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For some that “ceremony” is empty form, for others it is a reverent and spiritual event. Baptism is a ceremony, the meaning is in the heart of the one being washed. Yes you are correct that Scripture does not explicitly state Baptism is a ceremony (def: a solemn rite). I think it goes without saying given the definitions of the respective languages.

        I do not disagree that baptism is required, I am just not convinced it requires H2O (in all cases). Maybe I am leaping to the conclusion you believe it requires H2O. If I misunderstood I am very sorry for the confusion.

        Thanks,

        David

      • My apologies, I misunderstood what you were specifically stating as your position. Yes, I looked up the word baptizō and there is that usage of the word ceremonial, and I see what you’re saying with the usage of your phrases in reflecting different understandings of the word ceremonial. Agreed.

        With regards to why I think it’s water baptism specifically that Jesus is referencing in the command he gives to the Apostles in preaching the Gospel that saves, and what Apostle Peter goes on to preach in Acts 2, is because of the example of the Ethiopian eunuch being baptized in water. And then the majority of the other salvation occurrences in scripture, to my recollection there’s either a mentioning of water or a mentioning of washing away. To my knowledge, I don’t know of any verse that reflects Holy Spirit baptism as washing away sins. So this is what makes me conclude my position that it is water baptism which is the baptism to be done in order to be saved.

        I hope that clarified my position a little bit more, and you’re more than welcome to continue adding on some more thoughts. Appreciate your sharing of your perspective, David. 🙂

    • Hi Andy. Thank you for your comment. I think it’s interesting to first back up to Luke 3:3 which states, “3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; ” Even before Christ’s command of baptism as a part of getting saved, getting baptized was already being preached by John as a part of being forgiven of sins. Now to Luke 3:16, I think baptism of the Holy Spirit alludes to Acts 2 and Acts 10 when the Apostles and then later the Gentiles both had the Holy Spirit poured on to them. The baptism of the fire, some people interpret that to be the tongues of fire that rested on the Apostles giving them the Holy Spirit, but others interpret that to mean the fiery of punishment of hell destined for those who don’t heed the message of the Gospel. I tend to think the latter given what the verse after verse 16 states, “17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

      Acts 1:5, this is Jesus telling the Apostles that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and we see that event happen in the beginning of chapter 2.

      I hope that helped answer your questions. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  8. So you just jumped passed the man next to Christ on the Cross. Which tells me you’re probably some hyper-dispensationalist. What church do you come from. This is a presumption but I would say somewhere near Pensacola, Florida.

    • Hi JPfinds. Thank you for your comment. With regards to the thief on the cross, I consider what Jesus stated about him being in paradise to have been a specific statement specifically applied to him in that moment, and that the means of salvation applied to all people after the resurrection of Christ is found in what Jesus states in Mark 16:16.

      To be frank with you, I had to google what dispensationalist meant. I prefer to avoid theological labels such as dispensationalist, cessationist, continuationiast, etc. I’m just a person who tries to form my beliefs based on what scripture specifically states as best as I can understand. I don’t know if you were implying a particular denomination by stating Pensacola, Florida, but I don’t consider myself a part of any denomination. I just consider myself a member of the Church of Christ/Church of God identified throughout scripture such as in Romans 16:16 and 1 Corinthians 1 respectively.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  9. Dispensationalist just means you splice and split the Bible up into different dispensations. Something like this for instance “At this point this and this is how you get saved, but then at this point this and this is what you must do for salvation.”.
    You can say you avoid labels but labels is how we identify in this life.
    Pensacola, Florida implies that you come out of one of the heretic Peter Ruckman’s church/churches because this kind of thing is what they push.
    Aside from all of that, my point in all of this is to do simple teaching. The Bible teaches clearly that he treats all of us, humanity, the same. He says he is not a respecter of men. He also says in several places Old and New Testament alike that he is never changing and that he is always the same. In Malachi I believe his exact words were “I change not.” So why would a God holy and just, one who does not respect any of us differently no matter the time, save one “specifically…in that moment…” a certain way and one this way and one by works and one by this or that?
    The Old Testament and New Testament salvations are the same…by grace.

    He

    • Thanks for the broader explanation on dispensationalist. That cleared up the term a bit more for me. That’s true, labels are a part of life. For myself, I generally opt for labels given in scripture. Those I conclude to be the ones that matter most. I’ve never heard of the name Peter Ruckman or what his churches are about, but I hope whatever they’re teaching, and whatever we’re all teaching, we’re teaching it accurately according to scripture.

      With regards to the respecter verse, I don’t know which verse you were particularly citing, but upon a google search I was led to Acts 10:34 which states, “34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,”. The KJV version which I’m guessing you possibly read used the respecter of men line you state in your comment. I think it’s important to understand this verse in context. Peter is preaching a sermon to Gentiles, proclaiming that they could be welcomed by God now, and no longer just the Jewish people. And later in this chapter, they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and became saved exactly the same way Jesus told the Apostles to preach on how one becomes saved in Mark 16:16.

      With regards to Malachi 3:6, let’s read that along with the next verse after that. “6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Now, what is the Lord not changing about? I would suggest to you he’s not changing about the covenant he formed with the people of Israel in this verse, and that if they come back to keeping His statutes, he will return to them. The first chapter of Malachi says in the first verse that this whole book is an oracle to the people of Israel.

      So I would conclude that the premise of your argument seems to be invalid because you seem to have taken the verses you’re citing out of context with the actual meaning based on what all of the verses around those verses you cite are stating. I find your final statement particularly peculiar, given the distinction between those who were previously justified by the law, and those who have justification through faith by grace Apostle Paul seems to spell out in Romans 4:16 which states, “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”

      I hope this helped answer your questions. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Of the Law doesn’t mean saved by the law. If it did then how did Saul make it to Paradise? The Bible clearly states that’s where he goes. Mind you he killed himself. And Solomon made altars for other gods. And Moses was a murderer as was David and Levi and Simeon and on and on. Salvation is always and only by faith through grace, and not of works. Or else Abraham would be in heaven gloating with Moses and Elijah about how they got in on their own merits. As far as Gentiles, we were always accepted Old and New Testament alike, there is a definite outpouring on Gentiles in the New but in the Old the Rahab’s and the Ruth’s were all also saved by grace. You want to pretend this and that is out of context that’s on you, But read James 1:17 “no variableness” Read Hebrews 13:8 “the same…forever” read the entire 3rd chapter of Galatians. Romans 10:9 ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ Pretty cut and dry there. If you need more verses to convince you the Bible is full of them. Don’t trust my word trust The Word of God. What you’re teaching is a false gospel. Baptism is necessary for your walk with the Lord but not for your salvation. And Thank God for that.

      • What I suggest to you in pointing out that verse in Romans 4, and looking at Romans 3, Galatians 2, and other chapters, there appears to be a distinction between former justification through works of the law, and current justification by faith. To my knowledge I do not recall a “faith by grace” or “saved by grace” statement made during the time of the Law of Moses, but you’re welcome to point me to those verses to help elevate my understanding.

        I’m of the understanding that the full meaning of a verse is not solely in that one verse, but based on all the other verses stated around it. It’s similar to how you see celebrities or politicians that have their words taken out of context, and when people don’t see the full quote but just a snippet of it, one can misunderstand the full meaning of what that person was saying. I think you would agree it’s important to understand God based on what all of His Word states, and not based on picking out one or two verses and assuming the full meaning of God’s Word is in the one or two verses.

        With regards to Romans 10:9, I address this verse in my post by showing that Paul already mentioned baptism as a part of salvation earlier in the letter in Romans 6. I accept if you still choose to disagree with my conclusion on salvation. I hope and pray we both are coming to the understanding of salvation that God wants us to share for the sake of others being saved as well.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • So you just side stepped the Hebrews and James verses the same way you side step most of the rest of the Word of God, the thief on the cross, Saul definitely not getting in by works, and I’m sure much more. What about Apostle Paul? He was also filled with the Holy Spirit when Ananias of Damascus laid hands on him, and then he gets his water baptism later. If you have to be baptized to be saved then that would mean that the Holy Ghost fills lost, hell-bound sinners. Nope doesn’t add up too many flaws in this “doctrine”. It is heresy. As far as the Old Testament salvation struggle you’re having, the Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness. The Bible says Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Just consider some of the others, Nebuchadnezzar being one.. do you think God saved him because he kept the law?? He threw three Hebrews in the furnace because they didn’t bend the knee to the graven image he made of himself. And, what about Nineveh? Those heathens worshipped fish and skinned true believers alive before impaling them up through the groin and out of their mouths, displaying their piked skinless corpse’ at the city gates so that everyone would be clear about what is acceptable in their idolatrous, riotous nation. They did not keep the law, I can assure you of that. But they are forgiven. Saul didn’t repent and sacrifice sin offering for his suicide. Still goes to Abraham’s Bosom and then Heaven. Hebrews 11 tells you how they were saved in the OT.

        “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
        I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
        As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
        Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
        To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
        He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

  10. My King was baptized by John the Baptist. Everything, I repeat: EVERYTHING, in His life happened according to the Scripture, and only because it was necessary. The Holy Spirit came upon Him only after being baptized in water. He began healing only after receiving the Holy Spirit. If our LORD didn’t say ‘No’ to baptism, how can we?

      • The fact that you are denying baptism as a necessity to salvation is saying no to it! Please read my comment again, everything that happened in His life was necessary and according to the scripture. The baptism too. Christ preached baptism after his resurrection. Think about it, the covenant of circumcision was fulfilled and gates of Heaven were thrown open to the Gentiles – through baptism. You die with Lord Jesus, and emerge a new person, born again, without sin. If it is necessary to be free of sin to attain salvation, and baptism cleanses ou of your sins, how can you say it is not necessary for salvation?

      • The thief on the cross, unless he got off the cross and baptized and then hopped back up there. Think about all the very young children that die every year. Do you think a just God is sending those children to hell because they didn’t get baptised? Not of works, how hard is that to grasp?

    • Hi goodnewssarah. Thank you for your comment. Indeed, Jesus told the Apostles to preach the Gospel, to believe and be baptized for salvation. Sounds good enough to me.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  11. What about the thief on the cross? Jesus told him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise…” There was no time to be baptised since he died on the cross. It’s not necessary for salvation but it is an important commandment that we should definitely follow and obey.

    • Hi Foundations of Sapphires. Thank you for your comment. The thief on the cross was before Jesus died, rose again, and gave the command to the Apostles to preach the Gospel of belief and baptism in order to be saved in Mark 16:16. Every person after Jesus sent the Apostles to preach the Gospel got saved accordingly. You can look at all the salvation occurrences in Acts and find all of them included baptism. I hope this helped answer your question.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  12. “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”

    God’s word is true. This says those who believe and are baptized are saved. It doesn’t say of which baptism, however, water by men or fire by the Holy Spirit. I believe that the baptism that has to do with salvation is the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Remember the tongues of fire at Pentecost. Also, We undergo water baptism in obedience and as a witness to the world that we belong to Christ.

    John the Baptist, who baptized with water said, Matthew 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

    • Hi jlue. Thank you for your comment. In Acts 8:35-40 it states, “35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 [[f]And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea.” These verses are what give me the conclusion that it’s water baptism that’s being referred to, because of the pattern of belief and baptism happening here that was commanded in Mark 16:16, with the verses stating of the baptism that they were in the water.

      Earlier in Acts 8, men and women were being baptized after they believed Philip preaching the gospel, but when Peter arrived after Philip left, they told them they had not yet received the Holy Spirit, but only been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I think the only conclusion that can be made is that they were water baptized. Particularly given this is the same chapter that goes on to show the Ethiopian eunuch being water baptized as well.

      I would suggest there’s not this similar pattern of belief and Holy Spirit baptism, given Holy Spirit baptism seems to have only occurred in two instances in Acts. Acts 2 when the Apostles were Holy Spirit baptized, and Acts 10 when the Gentiles were Holy Spirit baptized, but then Apostle Peter expressed that the Gentiles should be “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ”, which back in Acts 2:38, that’s what he states one must do for forgiveness of sins. So with them already having the Holy Spirit fallen them in Acts 10 during Peter’s sermon, and then after that expressing that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, I can only conclude again it seems it was water baptism that occurred.

      So that’s some of the main basis of my conclusion among other reasons.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Have you considered that in the phrase “…for the forgiveness of sins” the word for could mean ‘because?’ ‘For’ is often used this way.

      • So according to the Greek resource site that I use (blueletterbible.org), the Greek word translated to “for” in this verse is eis.

        This is what the Strong’s Definition offers for the meaning of the Greek word eis. “a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases:—(abundant-)ly, against, among, as, at, (back-)ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for (intent, purpose), fore, + forth, in (among, at, unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-)on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore(-unto), throughout, til, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-)until(-to), …ward, (where-)fore, with.”

        So generally speaking, unless another word other than for is used to translate from eis, we have a meaning of the word being used to say “in order to have”. Interestingly, there’s a different Greek word for when “for” means because, and that word is gar. Acts 26:26 is an example of that which states, “For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.”

  13. I’m not sure if someone already mentioned it in your comments (I admit I didn’t read them all), but the scriptures also say we are a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5) and a temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16).

    I asked the Lord a couple years ago about baptism and part of what He showed me was that through baptism we are also being sanctified through Christ as a part of His holy priesthood.

    We learn from the Old Testament that the levitical priests, when coming in to the covenant with God, were to sanctify themselves.
    Makes sense to me. I know there’s more to what most are taught in church (at least that was the case for me). Just sharing what I had been shown so far.

    Also you could use:
    1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
    5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    ————————————
    1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    • Hi unicorncoat. Thank you for your comment. I don’t believe anyone mentioned what you mentioned in the comments. In conversations I’ve had about this topic some have suggested it’s a pattern throughout scripture, God using water/sanctification to unite with Him. Moses leading the Israelites through the parting of the Red Sea, sanctification of the priests as you mention, baptism of repentance by John, and then of course now baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. I imagine there are other examples, but those were the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Excellent verse references.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  14. Baptism is the next necessary step of a believer after of course trusting in the Lord and confession of their sins. Baptism has a few key points:
    1. Baptism is a public testimony of ones faith, trusting and believing in the Lord (John 3:16)
    2. Baptism is showing that we are saying good bye to our old self and starting new life with Christ! (Romans 6)

    Thanks for this post about Baptism!

      • I was saying that baptism is the next step for a believer (Acts 2:38) obedience to Christ (Matthew 28:16-20) and a public sign of repentance (Matthew 3:1-11).
        Again great article about baptism!!

      • Hmm. When I’ve heard the term “next step” used to refer to baptism, it was usually used with an understanding that an alter call sinner’s prayer is what’s concluded as getting a person saved. I would respectfully disagree with that, but please correct me if that’s not your position. But if it is, I respect your choice of alternative conclusion.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Thank you for helping me understand your position. I appreciate your honesty. And I’ll just say as I stated in my post and other comments with regards to Ephesians 2:8-9

        A. The verse never states baptism is a work

        B. Acts 16 illustrates the faith that saves is only confirmed through obeying Christ’s command of salvation in Mark 16:16 which involves baptism, because Luke (writer of Acts) only states the family had believed and were saved after they’d been baptized.

        C. The same people Apostle Paul wrote this letter you’re citing got baptized as a part of receiving their salvation in Acts 19.

        D. I didn’t mention this in my post or the comments, but consider that no verse explicitly states baptism is merely a next step, but many verses explicitly state baptism as a necessary part of becoming saved such as Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38.

        I welcome any further healthy discussion if you desire to have one. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  15. Hi I agree with Blake and anyone who is likeminded. In addition to that, baptism is not necessary for salvation. It’s not a must or a yoke to be tied around the neck of a young believer. It’s only an evidence, an outward testimony of an inward faith. If we include baptism as a prerequisite for salvation, we hence nullify the efficacy of the cross. That was what Paul was addressing in Eph 2:8-9. For BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH… lest any man should boast… nothing absolutely nothing can be added to what Christ did. When he said, it is finished. He meant it. He meant, nothing can be added or removed. As God’s perfect lamb, He completed the job. So let no man boast of anything he did to add to it whether it’s baptism or whatever. It’s ONLY by grace through faith.
    Salvation is free but it wasn’t cheap. It cost God’s son his life. That is why first and foremost we read “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved. It didn’t say believe AND BE BAPTISED…. baptism always comes after the person is already a believer not as part of salvation. 😊

    • Hi Dream Desire Achieve. Thank you for your comment. For myself, I choose to believe what Jesus told the Apostles to preach in Mark 16:15-16, what Apostle Peter preached in Acts 2:38, and believe salvation occurrence the way every salvation occurred in all of Acts. I also choose to understand Ephesians 2:8-9 in relation to what all of scripture states, rather than forming a complete theology based solely on that. I would suggest it’d be wise for all of us not to infer our own meaning into the text or form complete theologies based off of one or two verses, and believe according to what all of God’s Word seems to state and illustrate in congruence. I pray that we all will understand and receive salvation according to what scripture states.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  16. Jesus, in John 3:3, says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Two words of negation: ‘except’ & ‘cannot’ make it impossible to enter heaven without being ‘born again.’ The word ‘born’ gennaō (ghen-nah’-o): ‘to procreate (properly of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively to regenerate.’ ‘Again’ is anōthen (an’-o-then), meaning: ‘from above, from a higher place (figuratively) anew.’ How does one get born again, seeing that the 16th verse teaches: ‘whosoever believeth should not perish,’ making this ritual a spiritual one? Romans 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” is the answer. Two key words, ‘believeth’ & ‘confession’ enable the perfection of the Christian ritual of regeneration. This ‘confession’ is not an erroneously believed ‘prayer of forgiveness’; it’s homologeō (hom-ol-og-eh’-o) ‘to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent.’ It has nothing to do with water baptism. What one is expected to believe are: the Divine Sonship of Jesus, the death and burial of the Saviour, His resurrection and acceptance of His Lordship. The main ritual is the homologeō of His Lordship of your life.

    The true guarantee of a believer’s regeneration is the occupation of his spirit realm to effect a spiritual rejuvenation. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit ascended and entered into each of the spirit of the 120 souls and remained there, which made them saved souls without the immersion into water. Apostle Paul, in Acts 9:17-18, was filled with the Holy Spirit before being baptized. The in-filling of the Spirit is of Divine acceptability.

    In refutation of your claim that, “you will not find one instance of salvation, where baptism was not conducted as a part of the process”, please look at these, where they did believe and weren’t baptized: Acts 4:4, 4:32, 9:42, 11:21, 13:12, 13:48 (where Paul had to leave in a hurry), 14:1, 16:1. 17:4, 17:12, 17:34, 19:18, 28:24 & 15:5 (where we see the spirit of addition to the word of God, which you too are not guiltless of).

    Baptism is a just a show, to the world, that one belongs to Jesus. One could just ask the pastor to conduct his marriage to his bride quietly, in the pastor’s office out of every eye. Does that nullify their marriage? Baptism identifies one with the death, burial and the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus, just as the marriage of Christians exemplifies the ultimate celestial wedding to the Lamb. It is terribly unscriptural to teach that if a person does not get baptized he is not yet saved, even after having, from his heart, truly received Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Jesus remains the Lord. Amen!

    • Hi hoojewale. Thank you for your comment. Respectfully, I think it’s important we believe scripture based on what all verses state, and also that we are careful not to infer our own subjective meanings into the text. You presume belief is merely professing something, but as Luke recounted in writing the salvation that occurred in Acts 16:31-34, he explains they had believed and become saved after they had been baptized, and thus followed the formula of salvation through Christ that Christ outlined in Mark 16:16 of believe and baptism in order to be saved. I would suggest also important we don’t base our whole understanding of salvation on one verse. You cite Romans 10:10. That’s a great verse. Apostle Paul had already stated to the Romans in Romans 6 the importance of baptism putting us into the body of Christ prior to Romans 10. So I would conclude we should believe all of the letter Paul wrote, and thus understand belief and baptism as a part of salvation.

      You state “the infilling of the Holy Spirit is of divine acceptability”, but to my humble knowledge, I find no such verse that states that. With regards to Apostle Paul, as I read the text, it never states he was filled with the Holy Spirit in those verses, so he could have been indwelled with the Holy Spirit some other time later that’s noted, but regardless if he was or wasn’t, he was still baptized as a part of the teaching of Christ in Mark 16:16, and the preaching of Peter in Acts 2:38. In response to your others verses:

      Acts 4:4 – Respectfully, you’re inferring your own meaning into the text that belief is validated by confession, when Acts 16:31-34 illustrates otherwise, as I explained in the first paragraph of my comment to you.
      Acts 4:32 – Prior to this verse it states Apostle Peter and John were with their own companions which seems to be the congregation they are with. This was not an occurrence of salvation, just a statement of note of the congregation they were with that had already believed. And as I stated to you in my first paragraph my response, Acts 16:31-34 illustrates to us baptism is a part of the process of becoming saved.
      Acts 9:42 – Read explanation for Acts 4:4
      Acts 11:21 – Read explanation for Acts 4:4
      Acts 13:12 – Read explanation for Acts 4:4
      Acts 13:48 – Read explanation for Acts 4:4

      To save time, all the other verses I suggest to you you’re inferred your own meaning to the term believe, or a salvation wasn’t even occurring in the verse cited such as Acts 16:1. You say baptism is a show to the world one is with Jesus, but there’s absolutely no verse in scripture which states that. By your own statement, if there was such a thing as a “spirit of addition to the word”, respectfully you seem to be not guiltless of it. For myself, I can point to you a verse that word for word states, “he who believes and is baptized will be saved”, “repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins”. I respect if you still disagree. I hope and pray we’ll all believing salvation however way God wants us to understand according to what His scripture directly states and what it directly states in it’s entirety.

      Peace to you in Christ.:)

      • I’m amazed that you do not know that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:17 “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost”. Is there an in-filling of the Holy Ghost here or not? On the day of the Pentecost in the Book of Acts chapter 2, there was the in filling of the Holy Spirit as well. Are we physically or spiritually buried and resurrected with Christ or is it symbolical? If you don’t see it as symbolically a stance, then were can’t be on the same spiritual page, scripturally. Now let’s look at Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
        Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
        Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
        Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
        Are we to, according to your teaching, believe also that any professing Christian must:
        1) “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” or else he’ll go to hell?
        2) “cast out devils in His name” lest they lose heavenly bliss?
        3) “speak with new tongues” if heaven is to be a reality?
        4) be able to “take up serpents; and drink any deadly thing, and not get hurt;” if heaven is to be a reality?
        5) “speak with new tongues” to find one in heaven?
        6) “lay hands on the sick, to effect a healing recovery” so that he’ll be eligible for heavenly citizenship?

        Verse 16 throws light on who’ll not go to heaven; “but he that believeth not shall be damned.” The conjunction ‘but’ is de (deh): ‘A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, moreover etc.’ The unbaptized was not mentioned by Jesus as a one to be damned. Jesus, by the addendum of verse 16, says categorically, “moreover he that believeth not shall be damned.” It is the believing or faith in the finished work of the cross, by which a person says, “Jesus, I receive You as my Lord and Saviour,” that enables the saving grace, nothing else!

        It’s the unbelieving spiritual stance that damns the soul; baptism is a symbolic action that identifies a believer with the soteriological design for the homo sapiens.

        Most certainly, you misinterpret Romans 6:4 to mean that only the baptism concludes a Christian’s salvation. The simile ‘like as’ is the Greek hōsper (hoce’-per): ‘just as, that is, exactly like.’

        The work of the cross by Jesus is complete. The only thing that makes man a beneficiary is to ‘confess’ the Lordship of Jesus over his sinful life: for the scripture says, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” Both ‘confess and confession’ of Romans 10:9-10 is homologeō (hom-ol-og-eh’-o) ‘to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent.’

      • I think it’s very important to read verses carefully. It can be dangerous of us to assume meaning into the text that’s not explicitly stated. God warns us numerous times not to add or take away from His word. If it is your understanding that one can interpret their own subject meaning of a text, then I think this may be the point where we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Now with reference to Acts 9, the very next verse only explicitly states he received his sight. Never states in that moment he received the Holy Spirit. That’s why it’s unclear he received the Holy Spirit in that moment. But beyond that very minor point, we can agree that Apostle Paul had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in his lifetime. You say the word symbol, but respectfully, you’re doing what you accused me of in your first comment when you stated “spirit of addition to the word”. No verse in scripture states that baptism is merely symbolic. However, I can point to verses that state it’s a part of receiving salvation.

        With regards to Mark 16, it is again important to carefully read the text without having preconceived understandings or subjective meanings of the text. I’m of the conclusion the best way to interpret is to go with what the text specifically states. Jesus was stating this statement to the Apostles to preach the gospel around the world, cast out demons, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, and heal. And all of those things were done by an Apostle in Acts. With regards to verse 16, you’re using one part of a verse to deny the truth of the other part of the verse, but we can’t pick and choose what to believe. We either believe all of it or none of it. If you agree we should believe all of it, then we have to believe the first part of the verse as well, and understand it’s full meaning in context. What is the disbelief that will condemn? In context, I suggest to you is the Gospel that Jesus said to preach, and what is the Gospel to preach, the very next thing Jesus states, belief and baptism in order to be saved. And it’s the same thing the Apostles preached in Acts, and the same way every salvation occurrence occurred in Acts.

        With regards to Romans 6, I didn’t understand the point you’re making. It seems as if you’re just picking Romans 10 to outrank the equal truth of Romans 6. We either believe all of the Word is true or we don’t. I conclude by again stating, you add the word symbolic into scripture with regards to baptism when it’s not stated in scripture. I simply choose to conclude what scripture explicitly states in attaching baptism as a part of salvation. If you still disagree, that’s your choice and I respect that. I pray we all understand salvation according to however way God wants us to according to scripture.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  17. You have a very deep article and I can see that you are very knowledgeable about the scripture. As Christians we have to be very careful about taking one side of a particle view or doctrine and then condemning the others. We have no authority to do this. Let us leave judgment to God. My advise is to put all scriptures together and allow the Holy Spirit to unite the Word of God.

    • Hi Beverley. Thank you for your comment. Indeed, I hope with all of my posts that I’m helping others (and myself in the challenging responses I receive) to do as you’ve excellently encouraged in your comment, to put all the scripture verses together, and come to as close to a full understanding of an issue with regards to our faith that God desires of us to have according to what all of scripture states.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  18. Hello!
    I’ve found your site as a result of your (very generous!) liking of a couple of posts on my website. There is clearly a lot of material on your website for me to work through! So I have started with the most recent post – about baptism and salvation.

    I have reached the section marked “Acts 16:31 explained”.

    Clearly, Acts 16:31-34 has, broadly, a (5 part?) chiastic structure, although I haven’t looked at it in any detail. Nevertheless, at some point, or through some process, between the command to believe in v. 31 and the “having believed” of v. 34, the Philippian jailer comes to faith in Christ. (I’m leaving the “and his household” phrases for the time being!)

    Now you have stated in the section already referred to that, in your view, “the belief was not established until he was baptized”, and I was wondering if I might tentatively suggest an alternative to this view. Could I suggest that the jailer believed somewhere between the end of verse 32 and the beginning of verse 33? On this view, the first thing that he did as a result of believing was to wash Paul’s and Silas’ stripes – this to me is (rather clear) evidence of his having come to faith – and one could even say that, for him to do that with such a sense of urgency, was evidence of a faith that had been established. This presumably took place before his baptism. (In fact, one could even, in a manner of speaking say that he “baptised” Paul before Paul baptised him!)

    Without in any way wishing to pre-judge the overall thesis that you are advancing in this post – and which has clearly generated much more interest than any of my posts! – it seems to me that the above argument actually goes some way to supporting the “baptism not strictly necessary for salvation” view, or at least showing that such a view is plausible – at least in this passage.

    I hope that you will not take it amiss that my first introduction to your excellent website consists of a suggestion of an alternative point of view! I’m sure we have very much to agree on, and look forward to doing just that in future comments!

    Stewart

    • Hi Stewart. Thank you for your comment, and yes, it’s always nice to see other bloggers do a dive into the Word. With regards to your alternative conclusion, respectfully I think your suggestion sounds like an addition to the text. I think if it were the case as you stated, I conclude Luke would have explicitly written that. However, we’re only left with what is stated, which I find it more plausible to make a conclusion based on what’s written, and based on what is written baptism occurred before the prisoner and the family were stated as having successfully believed in God and been saved, thus seeming to follow the formula stated by Jesus in Mark 16:16 and Peter in Acts 2:38. I look forward to any further thoughts or questions you may have.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  19. Hello again!
    Many thanks for your kind reply to my comments.
    I have replied to your reply! However, it is rather involved, and might not be very interesting to many of your readers and so I’ve posted it on my own website under the (newly-created!) language and logic section.
    With very best wishes for now,
    Stewart

  20. Thank you for your Thoughts on water Baptism factbasedtruth, which is our identification with Jesus Christ as it was Him with His Heavenly Father, He was without Sin but gave us His example to follow.

    I was Baptized twice, one was like having a bath without soap, I was told if I didn’t I couldn’t teach Sunday School, I was young and did what I was told without understanding why. The second full Baptism was of the Heart.

    We remember what is also very important to know and understand about being Baptized as confirmed below in Scripture.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be Born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is Born of the flesh is flesh and that which is Born of the Spirit is Spirit.

    Mark 1:8 8 I indeed have Baptized you with water but He shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

    After Spiritual Baptism, we have the Purifying of The Holy Spirit working in our lives and as we choose to walk in His Fruit, He empowers us so we can putting our Carnal Flesh to death (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) as we Aim to be Perfected in Love. (Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11) We than walk as Christ walked on this earth in Holiness and Righteousness.

    In reference to Works, Faith without God’s good Works that He has prepared in advance for us to do is dead, they will be shown in our lives and His good Works are detailed and confirmed in Scripture and were from the time the Scriptures were recorded and they are not man made Rules, Regulations, Ordinances or Traditions that were added later by Man without the Leading of The Spirit but if they are of God they will be confirmed by Him.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    • Hi Anne. Thank you for your comment. A pleasure always to come across another person who understands. I’m glad you were later able to become baptized properly with the knowledge of it’s importance for one’s receiving salvation. And indeed, it’s importance once we are saved to continue in commitment to living according to the teachings of the Word. As Hebrews 10:26 states, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • To go on Sinning willfully means we do so without Heart repentance but until we are Perfected in Love which includes not sinning (Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11) having put our Carnal Flesh to death by The Spirit (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) yes we could Sin as Paul shared in (Romans7) but Jesus is our Advocate and after Heart repentance, He will intercede for us (1John2:1-20) but of course if we fall away by rejecting Him (Hebrew 6) and continue to Sin without shame we will be lost Eternally, how can we be forgiven if we reject the One through whom our Sins are forgiven. Jesus said if we deny Him He won’t deny us but if we reject Him He will reject us, He has no choice, we have closed the door.

        When we have Heart Repentance and believe in our Heart that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we will be Saved and because we are we will show we are and in obedience to God we are than Baptized showing outwardly our Repentance and our identification in Christ Jesus. A Baby or young Child cannot understand and believe so they are under Grace until they can.

        Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

      • Indeed, very important that we don’t reject Him through choosing to willfully live in sin after becoming saved through obeying the Gospel of Christ in Mark 16:16 to believe and be baptized in order to be saved. I never really understood the purpose of teaching once saved always saved. Glad to know you think otherwise. I hope and pray all will believe, repent, confess and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

    • I prefer to call it giving up one’s salvation, and I don’t understand salvation in this subjective concept of “really having salvation in the first place”. I conclude that scripture makes it objectively clear one has salvation when they obey the Gospel of Christ that Jesus stated in Mark 16:16.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • God knows those who are His factbasedtruth and He tells us not one of us will be lost and He knows this because of His foreknowledge before we are concieved of our Hearts Repentance and our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour He is the only way to God and so God knowing this chooses us to be conformed into the image of Jesus as we work out our Salvation not meaning work for it, God empowers us by The Spirit to do His Will. He also knows those who will be lost but it’s not His choice anyone perishes it’s their choice to reject Him and no one will have an excuse because His reality is seen in His Creation

        Philippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved as ye have always obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence, work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.(KJV)

        Blessings – Anne.

  21. No factbasedtruth I’m not saying we are predestined to be saved or lost I’m sharing God’s Truth as confirmed in the Scriptures that by His foreknowledge of our real Heart’s repentance, which shows we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, that He chooses us to be conformed into the image of Jesus.

    Romans 8:29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.KJV

    2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. KJV

    God does not choose those He knows we reject Jesus because He is the only way to Him and as He tells us He knows those that are His and always has, He knows the beginning to the end, so how do we know His Truth, you may find the link below helpful in understanding and also 1Corinthians 2:9-16.

    Understanding – https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/who-do-we-listen-to-god-or-man/

    Titus 2:13-15 Looking for that blessed Hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ Who gave himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.KJV

    Blessings – Anne.

  22. Hey, I loved what you had to say, but I had a few questions about your arguments. First to the point of no salvation in acts came without baptism, I can sight at least two times people received the Holy Spirit. One is on the day of penticaust; however don’t even bother referring to that one because that one is easily explained away by the “tongues of fire” above their heads, what I really want you to explain is why the Holy Spirit didn’t come down on Cornelius and his family, until Peter laid his hands on them. Yes, I know it is the work of an apostle… but if baptism is supposedly commandant by Jesus which I believe it is not. Shouldn’t God’s actions have more importance than an apostle, if it truly was commanded it is my belief they would have gotten the spirit. To you point, yes in Acts salvation almost always comes with baptism in some way shape or form. However, lets consider this for a second. Paul addresses Circumcision in Acts chapter 15 and it really is a issue all throughout Acts. How were Gentiles going to be integrated into this new Jewish movement. Paul is asked about this question that the Judizers, that firmly believed that people must come through circumcision to be saved, had told them and Paul went to the Apostles to argue this position. Then he refutes how this is not true. A debate broke out and then Peter says this, “Brothers, you now that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe [this is when he went to Cornelius’ house]. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he PURIFIED THEIR HEARTS THROUGH FAITH [notice how he makes no mention of Baptism… if this was a command by Christ, don’t you think Peter of all people would have added that they were baptized or even some one would have asked because it was crucial to salvation]. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke tat neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! WE believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as we are [ again no mention of baptism].” Acts 15:8-11. It is by faith that we are saved, not by baptism… and even if baptism was how we were saved, John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful that I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptizer you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11 and even more so this fulfills what Isaiah says in Isaiah 4:4, “The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.” Isaiah does not say they will be cleansed by water but by the spirit as well. My point here is that teaching that Baptism is essential for Salvation is not better than the Judizers that Paul was constantly trying to refute because they would not except salvation through faith and not by circumcision. That does not make it less important though Baptism is meant to be an outward sign of an inward transformation. Moreover, yes the Bible doesn’t state that Baptism is not necessary for salvation, but it also never says the opposite or if it does I have not found it in Acts. All it ever says is whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but those who don’t believe will perish.. notice how it doesn’t say those who are not baptized.

    Anyway sorry for the long winded question slash rebuttal, I love the article really, if not more so I can rethink my position and then do my own research as I just did. It did its job and made me think about what I believe.

    Peace in Christ

    • Hi Aaron. Thank for you your comment. To begin, my article is referring to water baptism. You are correct there are only two instances of baptism of the Holy Spirit. The water baptism is what I assert to be commanded by Jesus in Mark 16:16. With regards to your referencing of Paul mentioning faith in that verse you cite and not baptism, it all comes down to when faith is confirmed. Many of the commenters in this post presume one’s faith becomes confirmed and saves them through confession of belief. I argue that in the example in Acts 16:31-34, one’s belief does not become confirmed in saving them until after baptism. Verses 31 through 34 does not state the jailers had believed and been saved until after they were baptized. With regards to Mark 16:16, it’s important to understand the verse in context. What you’re concluding is that one part of the verse (the one that says only disbelief) is more right than the other part (the one that says believe and baptized). But I think we can agree that it’s best to believe both parts of the verse equally. So how do we do that. I suggest we do it by understanding that the prior verse illustrates what it is that is disbelieved that will cause one to perish. Mark 16:15 Jesus states preach the Gospel, immediately the next line communicates, belief and baptism in order to be saved. It is disbelief in that that will cause one to perish. I hope I helped answer your questions.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Thank you for clarifying. I will say; however, that me saying that Mark 16:16b only states the those “who disbelieve will be condemned” is taking the whole verse out of context. Yes baptism is a important thing and that is why Jesus commands it, I am not trying to take away from the importance of Baptism. However; you say that you like to go off exactly what the Bible says… and if you are going to say that you must acknowledge that Jesus only gives disbelief as a condition for condemnation and not the refusal of Baptism. Lets talk about Paul’s conversion, specifically the event with Ananias, Acts 9: 17 “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Bother Saul [notice how he already refers to Saul as brother, meaning he is understood Saul as redeemed], The Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here- has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. [Before I go on notice Ananias says be filled with the Holy spirit. Now lets see why was Paul blind, because he was persecuting Christians and his punishment was to be blinded but this is also symbolic of Christ’s resurrection because Paul waited three days before his sight was healed v9. The scales falling from Saul eyes represent his full transformation as he has repented of his sins agianst the church and accepted Jesus as Lord, he is already redeemed before he is baptized] He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength [notice he did not regain his strength till he ate not after baptism which you would have assumed would have happen if Baptism was part of his salvation]” My brother in Christ I am not taking anything out of context, as least as far as I can see, no reference in the Bible of baptism being required for salvation, it is paired with salvation yes very much so, but if it was required it would have been stated as a condition for being condemned, which it is not Mark 16: 16 only disbelieving is classified as a term for condemnation. You will also note if you have studied mark that the first canonical ending was Mark 16:8 verses 9 trough 19 were added later. This is not to say that is any less inspired, but it is worth noting that it was added into it probably so it line up more with the other Gospels. Look at Luke 24: 45-48, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised [Holy Spirit]; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high [another reference to the Holy Spirit]” There is no reference here about Baptism at all. Instead he goes talks about forgiveness of sins will be preached . But okay what about the other gospels just so we are not taking it out of context: John, as far as I can tell makes no reference to the great commission so Matthew “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19 now before you say there is as command to baptize, yes yes there is but look again there is not classification for those who have not been baptized to be condemned. So the only gospel that “requires’ baptism for salvation is Mark, in a part of Mark that was added latter to fit with the rest of the Gospels [again does not affect inspiration just the way you should approach reading it] , and it make no classification for people that are not baptized will be condemned.

        Baptism is and outward sign of and inward transformation. Please reread my first comments about circumcision in the my first comment. circumcision, circumcision and baptism are to sides to one coin for salvation both are signs and Peter clarifies this in Acts 15: 7-11. I would like to hear your thoughts about this. I would also like to hear your thoughts about what John the baptist says about baptism Matthew 3:11 and what Isaiah says about Christ Isaiah 4:4.

        And also to you, in Christ

      • Respectfully, it seems you’ve ignored my point about what I stated as to what specifically the disbelief is in Mark 16:16 that condemns, and seemed to double down on your apparent putting more weight on one portion of a verse over another. I would ask that you review my point on that and respond to it, or if I misunderstood your words, please clarify how you directly responded to my specific point with regards to Mark 16:16.

        With regards to the incident of Saul’s conversion, I would suggest to you that you’re making inferences that aren’t explicitly stated in the text. But it does state that he was baptized, just like everybody else.

        With regards to the addition to Mark 16, even without that portion, we still find it expressed in Matthew 28:19, baptism as a part of making one a disciple of Christ. And Peter repeats the necessity of baptism as a part of being a saved follower of Christ in Acts 2:38. But regardless, my stance on the addition is we have what we have, and we either take all of it, or we question all of it.

        As far as the circumcision point, you just seemed to have made a connection that’s not explicitly stated in the text in my conclusion. Yes, as Acts 15:7-11 states, we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus. Amen. He established the opportunity for us to be saved, and we can receive that gift of salvation through obeying His command to believe and be baptized, just as everyone else did in Acts.

        With regards to John, what he stated happened in Acts 2 and Acts 10. As far as Isaiah 4:4, I don’t see anything in that verse that explicitly disputes baptism as a part of salvation as far as I can read.

        Happy to clarify more if I can. Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • I think we differ on what we believe as value or wait of part of a verse. I am not saying that one part or the other is better. I can see how it might be taken the way as you say it, “doubled down on your apparent putting more weight on one part of the verse over another”, I would like to clarify that this is not what I meant to do. I am just trying to take the whole verse in context as you are and I don’t see any verse that says if you are not baptized then you are not saved. I will go back and read what you have to say though.

        To Paul’s conversion what inferences are you saying that I made. Clearly 3 days symbolizes the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, I hope we can at least agree on that as the old testament even alludes to the three days; Abraham and Issac walking three days up the mountian in Genesis, Jonah in the big fish three days etc. Though yes to your point these things are not all about death ect. But what they do all have in common is something to do with having faith in God to provide help of some sort. Abraham doesn’t have to kill his son [side note I suggest you re-read the story of Abraham and the apparent sacrifice of Issac, it mirrors almost to a T the crucifixion by symbolism.] Jonah repents of his sin of turning away from God’s purpose for his life then him being thrown up on the beach is like his rebirth. The list goes on. All that to say that this symbolism is apparent in the verses I provided. And if you do read what I said about Paul’s conversion I did mention that there was baptism… but it was almost stated as an after thought. Ananias does say be filled with the Holy Spirit and as soon as he says that “something like scales fall from his eyes” Is this not a clear sign that the Holy Spirit might have entered already, if not a clear sign could it have been. I may be making a small inference about the holy spirit coming into his heart before baptism, but are you not making the same type of inference when you say you must be baptized to be saved when the Bible doesn’t clearly say that.

        With regards to John, then why would Jesus need any other way to baptize then with the spirit. The Bible makes it very clear there is only one way to heaven, you separating the two, ate least by my understanding makes to ways to heaven. I would argue that baptism of the spirit happens in every salvation. As for Isaiah I re-read it, i made a mistake on that one. I read in several different translations and realized it talked about end times not the first coming.

        To the circumcision point. Read the parallelism between when God tells Abraham and when Jesus tells his disciples. First to Abraham, “This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” Genesis 17:10-11 now if we go back and read it in context God first promises that Abraham would be the father of a great nation, then says the sign will be circumcision. Now to what Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” First Jesus commands belief and baptism (don’t think I am contradicting myself just yet, I am about to tie it back into my argument about Mark 16:16) then he states conditions for disbelief, baptism is not one. I would like to change my language about what I said before, I said that the refusal to be baptized, and I don’t believe anyone should be refuse to be Baptized because it is important, as an outward sign of an inward transformation. And one thing we are commanded to do also is to confess that Jesus is lord when we are saved that is part of what baptism, at least to me, is. Claim Jesus as your savior, publicly. Anyway, to prove my point that baptism is a sign and not a necessistiy, Jesus says believe and be baptized to be saved. Okay so he classifies Belief and baptism as needs for salvation, but then you read those who don’t believe will be condemned… well what about baptism [this is were I believe that you are reading to much into the text] Since, baptism is not classified as a condition for condemnation all i can think that what was meant is that it is a symbol of salvation, not part of salvation. And since it comes with the promise of salvation that is where the parallelism with Genesis comes in. Now is the parallelism intentional well Jesus knew the law and quoted and use parrellels with it all the time, so yes I am pretty certain that it is blatant. And before you even argue well what about the things Jesus says will be signs like speaking in tongues ect. I am going to use a similar argument as you when you talked about John. That all happened at in Acts 2 with the day of penticaust.

        Going more into this idea of parallelism, which I remind you Jesus did frequently when he taught. Romans 9-11, “Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? [this is after he quotes David in verses 7-8 about transgressions being forgiven] We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before. And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order hat righteousness might be credited to them.” This is what Paul had to say about circumcision. Just for kicks, please insert your name for Abraham and then baptized with circumcised. Does it still make sense I believe it would, minus the father part. Now that is not really part of my argument but it was just for fun. Paul makes it very clear that it was his faith that set Abraham apart, not circumcision. Moving on in verse 16, “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham.” So it was always faith that saved yestereday today and tomorrow. Nothing else does that, nothing else saves, but the blood of Jesus Christ. It needs no help. To even further connect my parallelism, Testament literally means, Covenant. The old and new covenant. The first described in Genesis 17 and the the new described in the various gospels mentioning the great commission. And we have come full circle.

        I don’t think that I am making a stretch on the parrellism, Jesus used it often and heck you could argue to some degree that the whole gospel parallels the old testament [do mostly in part to Jesus fulfilling the many proficies].

        I like your argument about the addition of mark, that is exactly how I fell. It is all inspired work. My whole goal of saying that was only to prove that I have done extensive learning. So you would not dismiss what I am saying. Regardless I like what you had to say.

        You may just want to nod off all that I just had to say because it is not blatantly Biblical. Well I would counter again in saying it is not blatantly Biblical that not being baptized is classified as a means for condemnation. I ask you as a brother in Christ to please at least meditate and pray on what I have had to say. Refrain from saying that because it is not blatantly said in the Bible it can’t be true, because in the end the Bible just doesn’t give us all the answers and we all make cetian assumptions no matter how hard we try to not. If you can meditate on what I had to say and venture into the idea of parallelism between baptize and circumcision. You will notice that Paul said that before Jesus Abraham was saved before circumsision, why can’t we be saved before baptism. I don’t know how much more elaborating I can do, but I would be happy to try if you have an inquires. I for one will be pray fully considering what you had to say I hope you do the same.

        Peace in Christ.

        Also, I’ve been wanting to write a blog responding to your post. Do you mind if I put a link attaching your post on it.

      • You’re more than welcome to use my blog post in your future post. I think you’re presuming it has to be stated “disbelieve and not be baptized” in order for my position to be true. What I’m trying to offer to you for understanding in my position, is that the “disbelief” stated in the verse you’re focusing intently on is talking about disbelief of the prior statement (belief and baptism for salvation) based on the context of understanding verse 15 and 16 of Mark 16 together. Preach the Gospel, immediate next statement belief and baptism for salvation, those who disbelieve that will be condemned. I conclude belief and baptism as the gospel that must be obeyed as (2 thes 1:8) indicates. As far as the inference I was referencing, it was your inference that Saul was saved prior to baptism. With regards to your parralelism argument, it pretty much all comes down to what you define as confirmation of belief/faith in a person. It’s my conclusion Acts 16:31-34 illustrates one’s belief and faith is confirmed in a person after baptism.

        Just to reiterate, I agree with you Jesus is the foundation of our salvation. But we’re talking about how one receives that salvation. We should be careful not to conflate the two, and it’s my conclusion the receiving involves belief, repentance, confession, baptism. And I appreciate your appreciation of my defense of the addition of Mark.

        If you’re not convinced of what I humbly conclude to be accurate scriptural understanding of salvation, I respect that. I would only want you to believe something you can understand and choose to believe for yourself, just as God gives us all the freedom to make our own choices of belief. But I hope I have provided something for thought that may give you pause for consideration just as you have attempted to do with me in sharing your perspective, and in the end whether it’s through this conversation we’ve had, or some conversations with other people we have in the future, I hope we will all hold whatever conclusion God seems to desire of us to hold according to His Word with regards to salvation for the sake of the unsaved souls we’re sharing this crucial knowledge with.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • I could not have said that last part better myself. I consider it an honor to have debated with you on this subject, out of all the people I have argued against you are probably one of the most kind when it comes to offering up a contrasting argument. I also hope that we hold true to whatever God has for us to hold on to. I think I have learned a whole knew meaning to “Iron sharpens Iron”. I must say that at the very least you have convinced me to really work hard in finding a true context for verses. In the end, as you said, Jesus is the foundation of our salvation.

        Peace in Christ.

  23. While Baptism is important because the Bible says so, people who aren’t baptised aren’t listed as those will not inherit the kingdom of God in 1 Corinthians 6:9, Revelation 22:15,Galatians 5:20,Ephesians 5:5…. The Bible is silent on those who fully believe the Lord and died before having the opportunity to be baptized as far as I know, so we should all be silent and let Yahweh judge.. do we agree on this?

    • Hi Jeaterai. Thank you for your comment. I think we disagree, because I don’t believe Yahweh is silent on this matter, on the basis what we define as fully believing. You may define it as confession, but I see reason to believe that one’s belief isn’t solidified until baptism. Some of my basis for my reasoning is Acts 16:31-34 not stating there was belief and salvation until after baptism. Or Acts 2:41 not stating they were added until after they were baptized. I would also note 2 Thessalonians 1:8 expresses retribution will be dealt out to those who don’t know God and don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Mark 16:15 Jesus states to preach the Gospel, and immediately after that statement, believe and baptism in order to be saved stated, which leads me to conclude that’s the Gospel that must be obeyed. I hope this clarifies my position a little more.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Note that in my comment I said “died before having the opportunity”, nothing to do with obeying or disobeying the commandment to be baptized…simply people just so happening to die without being baptized…it is not your position to infer or read into these things then come to your human conclusion that unbaptized believers don’t get salvation, just as much as some baptized believers fit the description of 1 Corinthians 6:9 and the others, as unrepentant liars,unrepentant thieves and the like…so with that being said , while I agree with baptism being essential only God himself has the authority to make judgments on people that believed and were not baptized, and there is no scripture you can show me that would make the belief that unbaptized people aren’t saved , less presumptuous… Again, I am reminding you that I am not referring to people who outright refuse to be baptized for some reason, and not one everyone comes to Christ by an evangelist or another Christian witnessing to them. Let’s paint a hypothetical situation… A man reads a tract with the gospel message and the Holy Spirit convicts him and brings him to repentance…two hours later a bomb drops on his city and he dies… What I’m saying to you is, only God has the authority to speak and to declare on what that man experienced in the two hours and whether he is saved or not. There are no Bible verses which can give mankind the insight to say whether or not he goes to heaven or hell, it’s God who sees his heart…in a hypothetical unlikely(?) Situation like that, God also knows why a bomb dropped on his city….I emphasize that it is presumptous to say people in cases like that are not saved

        Shalom

      • Ah, thank you for the clarification of your perspective Jeaterai. I’m curious, what would your view be in the case of someone dying before they had the opportunity to repent of their sins or confess belief in Jesus or if they never had the opportunity to hear of Jesus. In your logic, would that also be inferring God’s judgment to say they don’t have salvation?

        It’s true. There is no verse that directly states “the unbaptized person will not be saved”. But I would suggest one can occasionally gather understandings of scripture based on implicit inferences. For example, Mat 19:26 states, “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The implicit inference here is that nothing is impossible with God, even though that is not directly stated. Similarly with Mark 16:16, belief and baptism is stated to bring salvation, therefore implicitly, if one does not believe and get baptized, it’s my conclusion God will judge that person as not saved. I know you may see that as my human opinion, but I respectfully and humbly see this as what God’s Word expresses.

        With regards to the hypothetical situation, I understand the heart of your concern of not wanting to see anyone condemned to an eternal fiery hell. I think we can agree if God is a just God, the right people will be saved, and the wrong people won’t. Therefore I trust whatever barometers God appears to set in His Word, and I’m confident in my current understanding of connecting what all of the Word states of what those parameters are. I see my thinking as only humbly following what the Word states in it’s entirety, which I’ve done my best to carefully review, and will continue to review to make sure I’m understanding things accurately.

        If you’re not convinced, I can respect that. I would only want you to believe something you can understand and choose to believe for yourself, just as God gives us all the freedom to make our own choices of belief. But I hope I have provided something for thought that may give you pause for consideration just as you have attempted to do with me in sharing your perspective, and in the end whether it’s through our conversation we’re having right now, or some conversations with other people we have in the future, I hope we will hold whatever conclusion God seems to desire of us to hold according to His Word. 🙂

      • your false equivalencies does little to make your statements less presumptuous, that’s the end of that

  24. Let’s imagine somehow , In Paul’s conversion before he is baptized, a wild beast comes out and kills him…only God has the authority to say whether he would have been saved or not, if you can’t show me a bible verse explicitly stating that unbaptized man is automatically condemned, this is a simply a false doctrine…though I would agree that a man who *refuses* to be baptized in disobedience to the Gospel is in questionable and hellish condition. But as for the admittedly rare circumstances I describe to you, do not exalt yourself to cast unbiblical judgments on things it is impossible for you to know the outcome of

  25. Good post and one I believe in!! Let me add a few comments. When we go knocking works, the people who quote Eph. 2:8-9 always conveniently forget to quote Eph.2:10 with them–we are his workmanship … prepared for good works … that we should walk in them. I want to make one more point concerning the works of the law. If we think of “works of the law” not as the entire law but as the boundary markers–circumcision, dietary laws, and Sabbath keeping–it actually makes Romans and Galatians much more understandable. Paul is a Jew. He never leaves Second Temple Judaism. A Jewish theology for the Gentile world, and a welcome for Gentiles designed to make the Jewish world jealous. That is what Paul offered his Roman readers. The boundary markers are what Paul argues against, those laws that set the Jews apart from other nations. There is only ‘one people of God’ now. God reformed ‘his people.’ Those boundary markers are no longer need as it is baptism that brings us into the covenant relationship. Good post!

    • Hi Bobby. Quite rare is the case a person agrees on my two seemingly most controversial posts haha. With regards to the works of the law, what are you understanding as distinct from the boundary markers that is precluded from the reference of works of the law?

  26. Everyday is a brand new day for all Christians to dive into the word of God. What we have currently lacked in this new generation is the ability to sit down with the word of God, according to 2Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman, who does not need to be ashamed and who currently handles the word of truth. (NIV),

    to understand exactly what the epistles say concerning Christ.

    Ephesians 3:16-19 (one of the Pauline prayers) talks about understanding the love of Christ, Ephesians 1: 17-19 talks about God giving us the spirit of wisdom and of revelation, so that we may know him better, the hearts of our heart being may be enlighten, meaning that there is a possibility for our mind to have its own interpretation of the word which in the true sense of it can be dangerous. The key to understanding God is by diving in his word. His word explains his word.

    Someone whom I duly respects always mentions that ‘the epistles is the eyeglass of the scripture’. Reading and understanding the bible we would all notice that the bible is divided into seven sections including the Epistles mostly written by Paul starts from Romans and ends at Jude, this books explains what the mystery of Genesis to Acts are trying to convey to us.

    It is only right to explain the bible with the bible, who best knows what he wants to say apart from the person himself.

    Concerning Salvation, I wrote in my earlier post on Salvation explaining solely with the scriptures the requirements needed to be saved which is the readiness to receive Christ. If we needed baptism it would have been mentioned in the infamous Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16 : For God so Loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. If he wanted to say ‘that whoever believes and is baptized in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’ he would have.

    I suggest we all look into baptism from the book of John. John purpose was to be a forerunner, and the reason for his baptism was to identify the Christ John 1: 29-33 emphasis on 33: I would not have know him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me. ‘The man on whom you see the spirit come down on and remain is he who will BAPTIZE with the Holy Spirit.’. Christ himself testified to this further in John 16:5-16, about him leaving and the Holy Spirit coming.

    For more on baptism visit http://www.rhemawordng.org/messages/ for messages on Water Baptism.

    • Hi Aderonke. Thank you for your comment. Jesus expresses to the Apostle to preach baptism is a part of receiving salvation in Mark 16:16, and Peter does exactly that in Acts 2:38. It’s important to understand all of scripture together and not base a whole theology on one verse.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  27. Thank you for replying, it is heart warming.

    I totally agree one could base a whole theology on one verse, which is why I read the entire chapter, verse prefix and suffix and also references.

    In verse 15 of Mark 16, Jesus said ‘Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.
    Verse 16: Whoever believes AND is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe (there is no ‘and is baptized’) will be condemned.
    Verse 17: Ans these sign will accompany those who believe ( again there is no ‘and is baptized’)

    Was reading and found this person who stoles the words right out of my mouth

    Baptism and Mark 16:16
    by Matt Slick
    4/30/2008

    “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned,” (Mark 16:16).

    This verse is frequently used by baptismal regenerationists to show that baptism is necessary for salvation. It says he who believes and is baptized will be saved. Therefore, they conclude that baptism is a necessary part of becoming saved. But, does this verse prove that baptism is necessary for salvation? Not at all.

    Mark 16:16 does not say that baptism is a requirement for salvation. Let me show you why. I could easily say that he who believes and goes to church will be saved. That is true. But it is belief that saves – not belief and going to church. Likewise, if you believe and read your Bible, you’ll be saved. But it isn’t reading your Bible that saves you. Rather, belief in Christ and in His sacrifice is what saves. As I’ve stated in other papers on this subject, there are numerous verses that clearly demonstrate that justification is by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 3:9; etc.). Belief in what God has done on the cross as a sacrifice and not what man can do by believing and getting baptized is what results in salvation. Baptism is simply a public demonstration of the inner work of regeneration. This is why the rest of the verse says, “…but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 focuses on the issue of belief – not baptism. Notice that it does not say that he who is not baptized will not be saved. It never says that anywhere in scripture.

    Reference:
    https://carm.org/baptism-and-mark-1616

    • I’m glad we agree on understanding a verse in context. It’s a very important thing to do to avoid putting our own subjective meaning to the text, or make presumptions of what something is supposed to say if it really means what it says. The thing we should always do is understand a verse as close to exactly what it says as possible. In the understanding I will present to you, I believe it’s much closer to the statements of the text than the understanding you’ve presented in response. Let’s look at Mark 16:15-16 again.

      Mark 16:15-16 states, “15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Now before I explain this verse, let’s understand this in relation to another verse. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 states, “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Note the words obey the gospel. So there’s something here, that must be obeyed, in order to avoid the retribution of a fiery hell noted in the next verse. So returning back to Mark 16:15, Jesus states, preach the gospel. Immediately after that, a command is given to be obeyed. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved. So it appears the gospel that must be obeyed based on the immediacy after the statement given, is belief and baptism for salvation. Then the next part of the verse says, he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. What is the disbelief that will condemn based on the surrounding verse? The disbelief that will condemn is disbelief of the gospel to be preached and obeyed of belief and baptism for salvation. What I’ve done here in presenting to you this understanding, is I’ve only relied on what the verses state together. In your understanding, you insert your understanding of disbelief to only mean not choosing to express a belief in Christ, when that’s not what the surrounding verses indicate. So it’s important to understand all of the verse in it’s entirety together, and not insert our meaning on to the text, or use other verses such as the writing you cited dispute to what another verse states. Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, every salvation occurrence in Acts, and many other numerous verses all include baptism as a part of salvation. So I think it’s important we believe everything stated in scripture.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

    • Thank you for your question. Before I answer that question, if I may ask you a question to answer first, what’s your reasoning for asking that question in relation to the response I gave you?

  28. Many a times, we all tend to forget the real reasons for an event and get all caught up in the event and thereby losing the meaning.
    It is easier when everyone believes the same way, but every church has there doctrine. The Church is now divided, we have the Pentecostals and the likes. We are focusing on doctrine instead of the word. Wow! I almost got caught up in it.

    Christ’s birth, death, burial, resurrection and ascension was for the saving of my soul. It was designed even before the making of the word John 1:1.
    He already saw I would need him before I came into existence, his love for me was that strong and is that strong, God has me.

    He got me.

    Since finding out about Christ and what I mean to him has SAVED me in countless ways, and I am not even baptized. I speak in tongues, I have confessed healing to this mortal body and have received it Mar 16:17-18. The Holy Spirit speaks and works in me and I have the fullness of Christ in me Eph 3:16-19, Colossi ans 2:9-10

    He that has begun a good work in me is seeing it to completion.

    Any time something is a miss in my spiritual life there is always a burden to pray and stay in the word longer. For this I haven’t gotten such a burden.
    John 14:25-26.
    All this I have spoken while still with you.
    But the counselor, the Holy Spirit,
    whom the Father will send in my name,
    will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    I read the bible hoping and praying to be enlightened Eph 1:17-21. I give myself wholly to the word and nothing else, and I have seen God move.

    If the fact that baptizing and believing is a necessity to be saved then I would not be saved and I would not be speaking in new tongues, I would not even have the dominion I exercise on demons, principalities and powers everyday, Mar 16:17-18.

    If baptism was a necessity for being saved, I would not be saved. but I am.

    Christ came to save my soul, and I am saved. I believe in his death, burial and resurrection.

    Meditate on this:
    Romans 10:8
    The word is near you:
    it is in your mouth and in your heart,
    that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming.

    9: That if you confess with your mouth,
    Jesus is Lord,
    and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead,
    you will be saved.

    For, it is with your heart that you believe and are justified,
    and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

    before concluding on the topic The Necessity of Baptism for Salvation’

    In conclusion, choosing my words carefully now ‘Christ came to save my soul, not my mortal body’
    2Corinthians 5:17
    Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!

    My body wasn’t the one that went through a rebirth, I became born again, that is my inner man. By that, I know for certain that when Christ comes, even though I might be dead, my spirit man will join up with other saints and I will be ‘raptures’ (for lack of any other word).

    And this is what I believe. The bible was originally written in Greek, and in different instances baptism was used for water and tongues and I am certain that baptism was used in the old testament in a lot of places. So, when we read we should have an e-sword beside us or a pc bible that differentiate this instances for us.

    Instances referring to baptism in the Holy Spirit

    Acts 1:4

    Do not leave this Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
    For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will e baptized with the Holy Spirit.

    ‘which you have heard me speak about’
    John 16:12-13
    I have much more to say to you, more than you van bear now.
    But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
    He will not speak on his own: he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    Could it also be that the word baptized in Mark 16:16 that Christ was referring to was that of the baptism of the Holy Ghost?.

    Peace.

    • Your passion for Christ is admirable. I think you have a good heart that really seeks to experience God and share with others the experience with God they can have. I hope those who encounter you will see your passion and be inspired to think about living a life of faith. Having said all of that, I say to you with the utmost humility of my knowledge and with all sincere good intention in my heart for you, I truly hope that you’ll reconsider what the scripture says on salvation. I can’t challenge what you believe to be true of your subjective experiences of speaking in “tongues” and other miraculous works. You’re going to believe whatever you want to believe with regards to your experiences.

      But if just for a moment, ponder these thought with me…. Why would Jesus state baptism in relation to being saved if it wasn’t part of becoming saved? Why not only state belief as you seem to conclude? Would God leave such an important topic of discussion for us to be confused with, or present it so clearly in only the exact necessary words that need to be said, that it’s clear baptism is a part of our becoming saved because He specifically included that exact word along with the other ones in the verse, and that Peter repeated that exact same thing in Acts 2:38. Why put baptism in any statement of salvation/forgiveness of sins if it were not a part of the process of becoming saved? I think we can all agree that we can’t ignore that word is in the text no matter how much one may try to explain it away.

      We agree that Jesus is the source of which we could receive our gift of salvation, and He told us exactly how to receive that gift of salvation in Mark 16:16 in the exact words necessary for us to read, understand, and believe accordingly. I’ll say the same thing I said at the end of my post, you have more to lose believing that you don’t have to be baptized in order to be saved, then I do believing that we do. I’ll still be saved if I’m wrong in my understanding. But think about this, will you?

      With all love and respect,
      Peace in Christ. 🙂

    • Oh, one other thing, you cited Romans 10:8-10, which is a true verse, but I sincerely believe we have to believe all scripture, and not use one verse to deny the truth of another. So with that, I believe one has to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized in order to be saved.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

  29. YOU: You’re going to believe whatever you want to believe with regards to your experiences.
    ME: According to the word.

    YOU: Why put baptism in any statement of salvation/forgiveness of sins if it were not a part of the process of becoming saved?
    ME: So, salvation is a process? Our father Abraham whom righteousness was credited to him, does he need to wake up from the dead to be baptized in other to receive salvation, since his process is not complete. Romans 4:3
    Abraham believed God, and was credited to him as righteousness.

    YOU: Why would Jesus state baptism in relation to being saved if it wasn’t part of becoming saved? Why not only state belief as you seem to conclude?

    YOU: I’m glad we agree on understanding a verse in context. It’s a very important thing to do to avoid putting our own subjective meaning to the text, or make presumptions of what something is supposed to say if it really means what it says.

    YOU: So it’s important to understand all of the verse in it’s entirety together, and not insert our meaning on to the text, or use other verses such as the writing you cited dispute to what another verse states.

    ME: You seem to confuse me, at first I thought the bible explained it self, which would only be natural (this is my thought and your point from Mark 16:16) which means

    YOU: Oh, one other thing, you cited Romans 10:8-10, which is a true verse, but I sincerely believe we have to believe all scripture, and not use one verse to deny the truth of another. So with that, I believe one has to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized in order to be saved.

    ME: You shouldn’t add your beliefs to the word. The word explains itself.

    This has been very enlightening, thanks

  30. This is mid opening. I had never looked at it in most of the verses given; but still as I grow in my walk with Christ I believe for the fact that He was baptized was symbolic that as Christians, we too should be baptized. Thanks for this 🙂

  31. Hi Brother. I see that your post has prompted many to seek out the truth and for that you are to be commended, but unfortunately I have to let you know that you are not only very wrong about “the need for water baptism”, but you are misleading others which is dangerous. Please don’t get offended or shut your heart, but listen to spiritual admonishment for God disciplines those that He loves. First, were the 12 disciples baptized by Jesus? No Sir. Why? Because Water baptism is an outward show of faith and a confession of a clean heart toward God, but the truth is that it could not clean the hearts of men, just as religion can never accomplish righteousness. Water Baptism was a ritualistic vow of repentance that men took before one another, but as you know, many people have partaken in the ritual of Water baptism and continue to walk in darkness because they don’t have the spirit of God. Like water off a duck, so goes the ‘Holy water’ that men baptize men with. Think about it; Jesus performed many miracle on sinners and He never once required that they be baptized before He blessed them. The Word of God is the Holy Water that purifies and cleanses our hearts if we obey it. Jesus says in John 14:15-27 that obedience to His teaching would result in the promised Holy Spirit. Never did He mention the ritual of Water Baptism. In John 13:8-10 Jesus says “Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. Jesus said “unless i wash you, you have no part of me, meaning that we must be cleansed by (baptized) the indwelling Word of God or we are not worthy of God. Remember that John 1:14 says”The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us”. Jesus is God’s Word and we are purified (baptized) through obedience as it says in 1 Peter 1:22 and where Jesus says “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you”. Look at Acts 10:44-48 and you will clearly see that peter’s audience received the Holy Spirit first and then as a show of acceptance, he performed the ritual of Water Baptism:

    While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
    Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

    I am sure that many arguments can still be made, but consider this: Do you think that someone that seeks God diligently and obeys His commands will be denied Heaven because they failed to partake in the ritual of “Water Baptism”? Or do you think that someone that has partaken in the act of “Water Baptism” but does not seek God or obey God’s commands will be welcomed in Heaven? Jesus came to show us that rituals, religion and routines were not cutting it with God. Final point: John the Baptist says in Matthew 3:11- “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. John came from the earth and baptized with earthy provision (water). Jesus came from Heaven and He baptizes with Heavenly provision (God’s Word).

    I pray that the power of God’s spirit minister to your soul and that you are edified by the truth.

    Minister Rodney

    • Hi Minister Rodney. Thank you for your comment.

      “First, were the 12 disciples baptized by Jesus? No Sir. Why? Because Water baptism is an outward show of faith and a confession of a clean heart toward God, but the truth is that it could not clean the hearts of men, just as religion can never accomplish righteousness. Water Baptism was a ritualistic vow of repentance that men took before one another, but as you know, many people have partaken in the ritual of Water baptism and continue to walk in darkness because they don’t have the spirit of God. Like water off a duck, so goes the ‘Holy water’ that men baptize men with. Think about it; Jesus performed many miracle on sinners and He never once required that they be baptized before He blessed them.”

      Jesus commanded that they baptize people in Mark 16:16 in order to be saved. No command given that they be baptized, perhaps likely because Jesus forgave their sins while he was on Earth, which he had the authority to do so (Mark 2). No where that I’m aware of is it stated that baptism is merely symbolic and ritual. Also, miraculous occurences does not denote salvation. Jesus performed miracles on people to show that he was the son of God as the end of John notes I believe.

      To your other assertion in that paragraph, as far as I’m aware, receiving the Holy Spirit does not signify being saved. The purpose of the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the Gentiles in Acts 10 was to show the Jews that they could be people of God too. Once that proved that to them, they got baptized like everyone else in Acts as a part of receiving salvation.

      I don’t follow your assertion that baptism is tied to religion, because there’s no such statement of that to my knowledge. I believe God is a just God, and in so, He set the perfect barometers for how all people can become saved. I mainly see a lot of assertions in your comment more than direct statements from scripture. It’s hard for me not to believe the direct statement “believe and be baptized in order to be saved” or “repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins”. I’m just trying to follow directly what the Word states. I hope we all do our best to do so.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5

        Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:8-14 Sounds like we are saved from death (life without God) by the Holy Spirit.

        “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:5-6 The Word of God is the water that gives birth to the Holy Spirit, which saves us from the wrath that all flesh is destined for.

        “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water’” will flow from within him. John 7:37-38

        For your spiritual edification I have attached a link that explains the “ritual of water emersion” (Mikveh in Hebrew) aka Water Baptism that gets it’s genesis from Jewish/Judaic religion. The practice did not originate with John The Baptist, as many assume. Pray for God to enlighten you and give you the wisdom to see past your mind and be anointed with the mind of Christ. In Christ.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikveh

  32. Wow, I never knew that there was an argument going on that Baptism isn’t necessary for Salvation. If anyone asked me, I would immediately say that it was, even if I couldn’t definitively prove where it was written in the Bible (I know better now).
    For the First Century Church being saved and being Baptized went hand in hand, there was never one without the other. I would even go far as to say that Baptism in the fire of the Holy Spirit is necessary as well.
    As someone who’s gone in and out of several denominations over the years (Southern Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Full Gospel, and Nondenominational, in that order), I can say with confidence that all of them preached the importance of the Baptism (especially the Southern Baptists, go figure.), so it baffles me that anyone who calls themselves a Christian would say such a thing.

    • The fact that you admit that you’ve been in all these differing denominations says it all. Obviously these “Christians” somehow failed to give you what you were looking for so like shopping for a car you kept searching for something better. The fact that you’ve been involved in a lot of religion doesn’t make you an expert on God. It makes you lost, disappointed and thirsty for truth, a truth that only comes through the Holy Spirit; which cannot be found in a building built by a man. Nor can a ritual performed by a man have any power in gaining Salvation. Just because you never heard anyone say and scripturally support what I say doesn’t mean it is wrong, it could just mean that you should stop listening to everyone else and learn God’s Word for yourself and then you’ll be free from the slavery of religion and flesh. Broad is the gate…

      • I believe the reason why Christ chose to be born, die, resurrect and ascend into heaven was because of the love and compassion he had for us.
        Also, He wants us to do the same to everyone both saved and unsaved. If I am reading clearly, we all have received Christ into our heart and in our ways we are all seeking him out.
        Of course, we do not all agree, we have been separated into denominations but let us all remember we are one body in Christ and He loves his bride.
        I employ us all to exhibit that here, for the sole purpose of unbelieving visitors. If I am correct factbasedtruth would prefer not to chase unbelievers with our in house studies rather to welcome them with the truth of God’s Love for us all.

        By the way, TheWayChristianDiscipleship ‘I Celebrate you’ I have been looking for someone like you. ARIGATO!!!!

      • Amen Sister. I thank you for recognizing God’s truth.
        Jesus is God’s love for the world and all mankind. He so loved the world that whoever believes (which means obeys), will have eternal life. So by sharing God’s Word plainly, we are welcoming unbelievers into God’s love-Christ Jesus, who is the Word of God in the flesh (John 1:14). I know that the truth can seem hard or challenging, but the alternative is the lie; which leads to condemnation. Love is telling the world the truth, not withholding it.

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