On Baptism and It’s Alleged Necessity for Salvation: Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?
Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)
What is the gospel? Is it, “accept Jesus into your heart and be baptized with water for the forgiveness of sins”?
Many deceivers have gone out into the world to mislead people about salvation, either on purpose or by accident. Here I show all the verses that are used most to teach the heresy that baptism is what saves a person or what is necessary to.
One heretical Lutheran church deceptively says,
“Holy Baptism, water applied in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus’ institution (Matthew 28:19), truly saves (1 Peter 3:21), causes one to be born again (John 3:5; Titus 3:5)”
Notice they don’t quote the verses? On their page they don’t so so, all you have to do is search for the above quote and see that. If baptism is so important for salvation, why don’t they quote the verses? I will:
“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge[a] of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21)
Notice it doesn’t say “baptism saves you” as these liars try to make it appear? It says, “this water symbolizes baptism“. How did they “miss” that word? And notice they didn’t reference the verses that came before that? Why not? It’s because it showed that this verse wasn’t talking about being saved by water. The verse, in context clearly shows that:
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous [man died] for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism” (1 Peter 3:18-21).
Notice that this passage, 1 Peter 3:18-21, is talking about Christ’s death to save us, and his preaching to SPIRITS in Hell? Can spirits be baptized? No, because water is material and water doesn’t atone for sin, Christ taking God’s anger upon himself for the sins of those he came to save is what atoned for it, not having water sprinkled on you or going under it. And how was Noah saved or any of the Christians who lived before John the Baptist of Christ was born? Noah didn’t immerse himself in water nor did any of his family according to Scripture, they avoided the rain and flood by getting in the ark, which symbolized Christ’s body. The ark shielded them from the water and kept them from going into it. So not only does that negate the claim that you must go under water to be saved, it negates the claim that you have to be baptized at all to be saved. Just like Peter said, it’s symbolic. None of those before John the Baptism came needed baptism, so why would it would be needed when Christ was born?
More obviously symbolic language concerning baptism:
“for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
When a person is baptized do they suddenly have the body of Jesus on them like clothing?
That Lutheran church also quotes Matthew 28:19, which says,
“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”
Does that say baptism saves? No. If it did and was required, then God, speaking through the apostle Paul would not have said,
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17).
Another verse they used is,
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)
Would this church like to explain how you can be “born of water”? If they can’t, why do they claim it’s talking about baptism? Again they fail to accept that Jesus didn’t always speak literally. Water symbolizes God’s word:
Just three chapters later after John 3:5, Jesus said,
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63)
And what came before John 3:5?:
“For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” (John 3:34)
So, the Lutherans took God’s WORD out of context again. And here is where God make it clear that water represents his word:
“He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.” (Psalm 147:18)
“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” (Proverbs 18:4)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Does God literally want husbands to take pages from the Bible or pieces of paper with verses on it and to rub them against their wives? Obviously not. The Bible also symbolizes Christ as the future husband of the of church, and once as the husband of Israel, which represent the true church.
“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.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Ironically this verse is used by those who believe in baptism as one of two key verses that are evidence that we must be baptized to be saved. But notice that the second half of what Jesus said leaves out baptism as being a requirement. I imagine however that it could be argued that Jesus was merely emphasizing the importance of faith, and that it’s more important that baptism, because baptism alone is useless, however that’s not the only verse on baptism as I’ve shown here. Furthermore, Jesus did not say even in this passage that baptism is necessary to be saved, anymore than Jesus said, “Unless you obey God’s Law you cannot be saved” which many false Christians of all types teach, except Calvinists types (which is twisted from the verse, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). Ironically, many Lutherans realize that that verse isn’t teaching that you can be saved by obeying God’s laws or doing good deeds, and realize that Jesus was saying that obedience is evidence that you have been saved, why then do they fail to see that baptism is also evidence, especially when they quote 1 Peter 3:21, which again, says, “…symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” For the person who goes through baptism it is evidence to them that they are saved especially, since they know their own heart, but those judges on the outside, only have their words and behavior to go through, and can’t feel what another person feels.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”, said by Peter.
Notice that neither Jesus nor Peter did not say “with water”? Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “but whoever is not baptized” let alone, “ but whoever is not baptized with water“? No, the emphasis instead was on faith. For, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
The Lutheran liars also reference Titus 3:5, which ironically refutes that baptism is necessary, it says,
“he saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”
First, where does that verse say, “water” anywhere? And how is “rebirth” a word for “water”? Rebirth is an action, a verb, not an object or a noun. Second: He is talking about the action of the Spirit entirely: it says that the rebirth and renewal is by the Holy Spirit, not, “rebirth by water baptism and renewal by the Holy Spirit“. Third: How in the world did they miss the first part of that verse!?: “he saved us, NOT BECAUSE OF THE RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAVE DONE, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY”. How hard is it to understand “things we have done” unless you are severely spiritually blind to the truth, so blind you can’t figure out how to be saved? Or are there any Lutherans or anyone else who would like to argue that baptism isn’t a “righteous act”? Putting words in God’s mouth is a sin, it’s like adding to his word words which aren’t there.
Another key passage used by those who believe that baptism is necessary is the first verse of this passage:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.” (Matthew 3:13-15)
The problem is that Jesus didn’t need to be saved, and that is what baptism is for according to baptism-for-salvation-believers (b.s.b.’s). So then why did Jesus get baptized?: Jesus said, “for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness”; in order for us to be saved someone perfect had to obey all of God’s laws perfectly. If God had commanded God-followers to be baptized, and that seems to be the case since John the Baptism was baptizing many, and even Jesus went to be baptized, then it would make sense that Jesus was fulfilling this law in order to cover any Christians who had failed to be baptized or perhaps, Christians who when being baptized, weren’t having pure thoughts at the time. So, Jesus was fulfilling a law in the place of those he came to save, just as he fulfilled the law of a thanksgiving sacrifice or sacrifices, observing the Passover, and other obsolete Old Testament laws.
Also, it seems as if John the Baptism was saying he wasn’t baptized, if this is the case, how could an unsaved man be baptizing others? And if he had been baptized, and was already saved, why would he need Jesus to baptize him? So it makes no sense that baptism is a requirement for forgiveness/salvation.
If that still doesn’t convince you, here is one verse that should at least make you seriously doubt it:
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” – 1 Corinthians 1:17
In context, Paul was saying that it was wrong for the Corinthians to boast about who baptized them or seek I suppose, to be baptized by a certain person. Someone might argue that that is why Paul said what he did, not because baptism wasn’t necessary to be saved, but, notice Paul did not say, “For Christ did not send me to baptize in my name or anyone elses name…”, he simply implied that it was the gospel that saves unlike baptism. And suppose someone argues that it was “understood” that Paul meant “not baptize in my name or some other mere human”, I believe they would be wrong, because, “God is not the author of confusion”, and I think he would be, if that is what he meant, but did not say it. I believe God is the author of simple, medium, and hard to understand things, but not confusion.
And for whoever believes that water baptism is required for eternal life (including you anti-Trinitarians), even though the Bible never states that it is, why then don’t you believe the Bible when it does state, and emphatically,
“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.'” (John 6:53)?
Why do you accept one part which is not plainly stated, and reject the other that is, and with great emphasis on it being true? If Jesus clearly here is not being literal, why can’t you accept then that neither he nor the his disciples or apostles ever said that you must touch or go under water for eternal life?
And in what verse does it say that Jesus baptized Mary when she cried at the feet of Jesus? Instead he forgave her right after wards, to the anger the Pharisees. And in what verse does it say that Jesus baptized the blind men he healed after they called out to him for sight? What verse says that Jesus while crucified baptized the thief that turned to him who was also crucified? If baptism was necessary for salvation, so much so that even Jesus needed to be baptized, then he condemned to eternal death those he forgave without baptizing them. So then the people who teach that baptism are necessary are not healed of their sins, but still blind and off to the side of the path of life.
The gospel is:
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'” (Isaiah 52:7)
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
”The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.'” (Luke 4:14-19/Isaiah 61:1-2)
“Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”