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  • Please Help Does Baptism save us or not?

    The Bible seems to teach that baptism saves us. However, I do not believe this is so. Unfortunately, I am still confused by some Bible verses. How do you explain these Bible verses?

    1Pe 3:21 ESV Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    Act 2:38 ESV And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Joh 3:5 ESV Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    Act 22:16 ESV And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'

    1Pe 3:21 ESV Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    Please explain these verses. I don't understand how we are saved by faith alone when verses like these seem to imply that baptism saves us. Then there is also one other verse that seems to imply that we are not saved by faith alone:

    Jas 2:24 ESV You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    Help! help:

  • #2
    Hi

    Baptism is part of what saves us- it's to do with repentence, turning away and starting our lives anew. When we become Christians and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit enters us, which is what Christ promised when he ascended into heaven as a deposit of our salvation- the Baptism of the Spirit. The baptism John the Baptist gave- ie being baptised with water- is what Peter is reffering to in the first Acts reference.

    I do not believe is neccesary for salvation but it is an outward symbol of the Baptism of the Spirit that has happened inwardly. Inward baptism by the Spirit is the sign we have from Christ that our sins have been washed awy by Jesus' blood on the Cross- which is what the second quote from Acts seem to reference.

    We are saved by faith alone- but we have to do something about this. Part of accepting Jesus' message is turning away from our old lives- we need to 'repent and believe', as He instructed us so many times.

    This is what I think James is referring to- I think this verse must be looked at in context. The whole of the letter of James is talking about how we can't simply believe and not do anything about in response- we have to live our lives in repentance, serving God and living for him. He uses a good analogy in the previous chapter- James 1:22-24 to explain his point, that accepting Jesus as our Saviour and not living it out in our lives is like seeing what we look like in a mirror, seeing the truth, and then forgetting about our reflection, what the truth is as soon as we look away and we revert back to our old ways.

    Hope that helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      No, baptism is NOT necessary, faith alone saves us. Much like circumcision was a covenant sign in the Old Testament days, baptism is a covenant sign in the New Testament. Here are some verses that blow away the idea the baptism is necessary for salvation:

      Luke 23:42-43=And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise (the thief was saved without baptism, the most prominent example of somebody being saved on their deathbed).

      A verse erroneously used to support the idea that baptism is necessary is John 3:5-6=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.

      Looking at the context of John 3:5-6 we see that being born of the water is NOT baptism, but the natural birth in the womb, as Nicodemus asked Jesus in John 3:4 "how could somebody be born again when he is old, by re-entering his mother's womb?" Being born of the Spirit is our regeneration by the Holy Spirit, when we accept his calling to follow Christ, he goes from working on the outside to indwelling us at that moment we place our faith in Christ, and we are "born again."

      A few more verses that shoot a hole through the erroneous notion of Baptismal Regeneration:

      Acts 16:30-31=Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

      Romans 10:9-10=That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

      Romans 10:13=For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

      And finally, the last verse that sounds the death-knell to Baptismal Regeneration-
      1 Corinthians 1:17=For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

      If baptism was so important for salvation, as some erroneously believe, don't you think Paul would have been sent to preach AND baptize? He explicitly says that he was sent to preach the gospel, not to baptize. So baptism is NOT necessary for salvation. Unfortunately, the church I go to (a Church of Christ), erroneously believes that baptism is necessary, I think I'm the only one in the congregation who thinks otherwise, I just haven't said anything about it, but I think I should as believing that baptism is necessary is an error that should be repented of immediately. I once erroneously thought baptism was essential, but when I did some research and scripture study, I realized I was wrong and repented of that error, I no longer believe that baptism is necessary because of the above mentioned passages, haven't believed that baptism is necessary since Jan, about a month and a half after I was baptized.
      USSA-The United Socialist States of America

      Without Jesus, eternity is a living Hell, literally.

      Comment


      • #4
        I belong to a baptism saves Church, but let me clarify that with a Bible verse I think clarifies mightily.

        Colossians 2:12
        having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

        In baptism we are buried and raised with Christ, but only through our faith.
        One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father over us all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MidnightsPaleGlow View Post
          If baptism was so important for salvation, as some erroneously believe, don't you think Paul would have been sent to preach AND baptize? He explicitly says that he was sent to preach the gospel, not to baptize. So baptism is NOT necessary for salvation. Unfortunately, the church I go to (a Church of Christ), erroneously believes that baptism is necessary, I think I'm the only one in the congregation who thinks otherwise, I just haven't said anything about it, but I think I should as believing that baptism is necessary is an error that should be repented of immediately. I once erroneously thought baptism was essential, but when I did some research and scripture study, I realized I was wrong and repented of that error, I no longer believe that baptism is necessary because of the above mentioned passages, haven't believed that baptism is necessary since Jan, about a month and a half after I was baptized.
          I also attend a church of Christ, so I know where you're coming from...I do not hold their traditional views on baptism - in sinful, out forgiven - but I think your logic is flawed here.

          First, Paul didn't work alone, and it's obvious that those with him DID baptize. Perhaps his concern was of the type indicated in 1 Cor:10-17; people were dividing themselves based on who baptized them. Paul knew his celebrity, and thus avoided baptizing as much as possible in order to keep anyone from getting a big head. (My minister also doesn't baptize often for the same reason - he is an uncomfortable celebrity).

          Here is my belief: baptism is a sign of obedience, commanded by God. It does not add to your salvation; it is not a work that you can do to make yourself right. What it is is a declaration of the point in your life when you fully submitted yourself to God.

          That shouldn't take anything away from the fact that it is grace that saves us, through faith. We choose our way or God's way; when we choose the latter, we choose to be obedient to His will. But it's not the "obedience" part that saves us; salvation is not added to because of how good we live, how much service we do, how much bible we study or anything else; it is purely God's grace that saves us. But can you truly say your heart is in the right place if you refuse to do something God asked of you?

          The story of Naaman is very relevant here (2 Kings 5:1-19). Naaman had leprosy and went to the prophet Elisha to ask for healing. Elisha didn't meet with Naaman, but had his servant tell Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan river. At first Naaman balked, but eventually relented, and on the seventh time, his leprosy was cured. Was it the Jordan that cleansed him? Was it the number of times? No, it was his obedience to the simple command that did it.

          Keep in mind, not a single Christian in the NT went unbaptized. There are commands to be baptized. I think we worry too much about what point at which we are saved; truly, only God knows that. What I would be loathe to do is to take value away from something that was obviously important to the early church.

          Comment


          • #6
            Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change of heart and Lord.

            I understand that in some countries, where Christians are persecuted, no one is accepted as a Christian unless they have been baptised - not because the baptism Saves them, but because it is a demonstration of the new Christian's determination to follow Christ and obey Him no matter what happens.

            Comment


            • #7
              sorry, clicked twice by mistake.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by crawfish View Post
                Here is my belief: baptism is a sign of obedience, commanded by God. It does not add to your salvation; it is not a work that you can do to make yourself right. What it is is a declaration of the point in your life when you fully submitted yourself to God.

                That shouldn't take anything away from the fact that it is grace that saves us, through faith. We choose our way or God's way; when we choose the latter, we choose to be obedient to His will. But it's not the "obedience" part that saves us; salvation is not added to because of how good we live, how much service we do, how much bible we study or anything else; it is purely God's grace that saves us. But can you truly say your heart is in the right place if you refuse to do something God asked of you?
                I agree, that's why I was baptized, to demonstrate obedience, I was saved through faith before I was baptized, I was merely demonstrating my obedience by being immersed. Whether or not somebody is baptized doesn't affect their salvation, somebody could feel the Holy Spirit calling them, trust in Christ, and then go to be baptized at the church across the street, but before he gets there, he gets hit and killed by a car. He was still saved, he wanted to be baptized and obey God's command, but he met an untimely end before being baptized. Saving faith produces works, this here is precisely what the gospel is:

                Faith+Salvation=Works (Being Baptized, etc.)

                NOT

                Faith+Works (Being Baptized)=Salvation
                USSA-The United Socialist States of America

                Without Jesus, eternity is a living Hell, literally.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry

                  There is only ONE, only ONE way that save us, that is by GRACE, and thats it. He tells us to be babtized, so (that when our sins are condemned (forgiven) and we are buried with him. Its one of those things you should do, as soon as possible, but if you died before you had it done, you are stilled saved, by the Grace of God. Dont let anyone,anywhere tell you, you have to do works. Works is God dealing with YOU on a personal basis. Works gets you no where, Grace saves you and thats it. How you let God in your life is up to you, how you let God work through you is up to you. To be buried with Christ, get babtized, but it doesnt save you, it is a command, not a commandment, to get baptized just like he says to eat my body and blood, in remembrance of him. None of that saves you, again, you are only saved by Grace, and that it, no BUT'S whatsoever and anyone who tells you that is trying to get you to do some "work" for your salvation, it is a gift from God, you cant earn it, buy it, you accept the Grace he gives us and then PRAISE GOD< YOUR SAVED. Take your gift and run with it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MidnightsPaleGlow View Post
                    I agree, that's why I was baptized, to demonstrate obedience, I was saved through faith before I was baptized, I was merely demonstrating my obedience by being immersed. Whether or not somebody is baptized doesn't affect their salvation, somebody could feel the Holy Spirit calling them, trust in Christ, and then go to be baptized at the church across the street, but before he gets there, he gets hit and killed by a car. He was still saved, he wanted to be baptized and obey God's command, but he met an untimely end before being baptized. Saving faith produces works, this here is precisely what the gospel is:

                    Faith+Salvation=Works (Being Baptized, etc.)

                    NOT

                    Faith+Works (Being Baptized)=Salvation
                    I guess the part that has me a bit nervous is the statement that "you don't need to get baptized". I would be very leery of teaching this - not because it adds one whit to your salvation, but because it is given in the bible as a command for obedience.

                    I would say that if you were killed on the way to be baptized, God would know your heart and you would be saved. If you decided that for some reason you do not want to get baptized, then again God will know your heart. A heart for God wants to be obedient to Him.

                    I don't disagree with the gist of what you are saying, though.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thats my point

                      He tells you to do it, but if it doesnt get done, same as if you never had communion, you are still save, but if not getting Baptized the only thing you did wrong after getting save, I dont think God is going to hold it against you. you are still forgiven and saved. I agree, you should do it to be buried with Christ. You should have communion to share the Lords supper, there are 1,00000000000000000000 things we should do, but if we failed to do one, guess what, I am stilled saved by the blood of the Lamb. Should you get baptized? YYYYEEEESSSS, but if you didnt, has nothing to do with Grace.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by resbmc View Post
                        He tells you to do it, but if it doesnt get done, same as if you never had communion, you are still save, but if not getting Baptized the only thing you did wrong after getting save, I dont think God is going to hold it against you. you are still forgiven and saved. I agree, you should do it to be buried with Christ. You should have communion to share the Lords supper, there are 1,00000000000000000000 things we should do, but if we failed to do one, guess what, I am stilled saved by the blood of the Lamb. Should you get baptized? YYYYEEEESSSS, but if you didnt, has nothing to do with Grace.
                        As I said, it all depends on your heart. The Ethiopian eunuch couldn't wait to get into the water after he'd heard the word. I just can't understand why somebody would want to wait, or not get baptized, or not take communion.

                        I have heard of Christians in remote desert areas who just don't have access to enough water to be dunked in. I have heard of Christians who decide to covert through online conversations and it takes a while to find a Christian to baptize them. I know that God views us through our extenuating circumstances, judging our hearts and not judging us on the strict following of a set of rules.

                        However: what if a man decided to become a Christian and said "I'll start thinking about giving up the porn in a year or two". It just makes me wonder - what is really in that person's heart? I know that I won't tell anyone that baptism is optional or should be put off. It's just "something that needs to be done". To tell someone otherwise would be wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I like how one commentator put it:

                          "Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the initiatory sign and seal into the covenant of grace. As circumcision referred to the cutting away of sin and to a change of heart (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; 9:25,26; Ez. 44:7,9) baptism refers to the washing away of sin (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21; Tit. 3:5) and to spiritual renewal (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12). The circumcision of the heart is signified by the circumcision of the flesh, that is, baptism (Col. 2:11-12)."*

                          And I agree, it's not necessary for salvation, but I think it is a very necessary outward showing of faith if it is at all possible to do so.

                          I'd comment more on the verses, but I've very little time at the moment ;\

                          *http://www.carm.org/questions/baptnec.htm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crawfish View Post
                            I guess the part that has me a bit nervous is the statement that "you don't need to get baptized". I would be very leery of teaching this - not because it adds one whit to your salvation, but because it is given in the bible as a command for obedience.

                            I would say that if you were killed on the way to be baptized, God would know your heart and you would be saved. If you decided that for some reason you do not want to get baptized, then again God will know your heart. A heart for God wants to be obedient to Him.

                            I don't disagree with the gist of what you are saying, though.
                            Don't get me wrong, everyone who professes faith in Christ, if it is sincere, genuine faith, will get baptized to show obedience (like I did). I believe that it is very highly encouraged, I just don't think that it has any affect on salvation because it doesn't. It's commanded of everyone who professes faith in Christ, and should be done no ifs ands or buts.
                            USSA-The United Socialist States of America

                            Without Jesus, eternity is a living Hell, literally.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

                              the baptism of old is the dunking in water ,
                              god sent his disciples out to baptize because when they baptised the person recieved the holy spirt. not just a hallow act.

                              the baptism must happen for one to have the spirit which is the holy ghost which flows through the.

                              the error happens when people who were not chosen start thinking they can baptize then lead people astray.
                              god can baptise who he wants when he wants however he wants. he may have a person do it, he may have it done while you are sleeping its up to him.

                              in the end you dont need a person to baptize you , you need god to baptize

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