Where Is The Authority To Claim That Baptism Is Not Necessary For One To Be Saved?

It comes as a shock to many people that Jesus Christ commanded people to be baptized in order to be saved (Acts 10:44,47-48 ASV). He told a confused Nicodemus, “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” (John 3:5 - see article).

In an explicit command, the Lord said to His disciples before He left this world, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16 KJV). He authorized his followers to preach the gospel and baptize those who obeyed it. How much clearer can you get?

The baptism commanded is not sprinkling or pouring “holy water” (a Catholic teaching) on the top of a person’s head. There is no Biblical authority for those actions. To baptize or “baptizo” in the original Greek text means “to dip, plunge, immerse” (Vines). Scriptural baptism is a burial in water (Colossians 2:12; cf. Acts 8:38-39). How do you bury a dead person? You do not just sprinkle or pour some dirt on their casket.

Authorized baptism does not come after salvation, as many teach, because it is for the remission or forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). The phrase “for the forgiveness of sin’ (Acts 2:38) is defined by Jesus Himself when He initiated the Lord’s Supper. “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:18). When he uttered these words, His blood had not yet been shed and no sins had been remitted by that blood. Likewise, the sinner does not have his sins remitted until he comes in spiritual contact with the blood of Christ at baptism (Romans 6:3-4).

Dear reader, there is no authority in the Holy Bible for claiming that baptism is something one does after salvation. Please go back to the original authority on baptism – Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). Millions have obeyed His command and been saved from their sin. Why not join them and “put on Christ”? (Galations 3:27). Roelf L. Ruffner

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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