Is baptism a part of a persons salvation. : LUSENET : Bethany Bible College : One Thread

Last week our pastor preached a message on baptism. I have heard quit a few messages on this subject. However this message did not seem to sit well with me. Now its not that I don't beleive in water baptism it is that he said that water baptism was inclusive in salvation. Frist he said a person must 1-Repent 2-Confession 3-Have Faith 4-Be Baptised Now I would agree on the first three, but to say that water baptism has a part in ones salvation I have a hard time understanding.I Believe that water baptism is a step of obedience to a command of Christ .But it does not play a part in ones salvation. He said if a person does not get baptized then one could question their decision.I disagree with that, if this is the case then salvation in part is based on works.I would value any ones impute on this matter.

-- james lawrence nelson (, November 28, 1998


I do understand where you're coming from, and I would tend to agree, but after re-reading your description, I think I see where the Pastor is coming from. First of all, I would ask does your Pastor teach salvation "by Grace through faith"? Be sure to look at his comments in context of the man and his message Sunday after Sunday before you jump on it. I say this to you because I am reminding myself! I am the world's worst!

I have to say I would agree that I too would question a person's commitment to Christ if they refuse to follow Him in obedience to one of His that will be a sign to all that He/She has "taken up the cross" and has crossed from death unto life, and now has irrevocably committed to following Jesus. Not that the Baptism would in any way be an act of salvation in and of itself. But we can't deny that it is an important work...without which James tells us anyone's faith is "dead".

If there were some good reason why a person didn't get baptized after salvation, whether it be a lack of opportunity, a lack of spiritual teaching or discipleship, whatever...then that's an entirely different matter. But, for one who is blessed to be saved, and then to be discipled by a Bible-believing, preaching and teaching church, and then to never commit to the simple act of following Christ in Believer's baptism, then I would have to ask "what's the problem?" Unless you're willing to "eat His flesh and drink His blood" i.e.-follow Him with you're whole heart-you'll have no life in you (John 6:53) There is no such thing as "undercover secret agent Christians"!

I really believe that in my experience, and in my background, I have seen baptism de-emphasized way too much. It's not unimportant-it is vital! It is foundational to the Christian life. I have never known of an individual who prospered as a Christian, or ever did the FIRST thing for the Kingdom of God that never followed the Lord in Baptism.

So, yes I see your point, but I also see the pastor's. I recommend to you to be sure to cut him some slack and understand his point within the context of his overall ministry. You might even want to approach him respectfully and ask him to amplify that point for you.

Blessings...Mark Jones

-- Mark Jones (, November 30, 1998.

I think your pastor has a point to a certain extent. As a new Baptist I struggled with the thought that I couldn't be a member of the church without being Baptised. I grew up in te Salvation Army and we didn't practice Baptism. There were other alternatives which I consider equal to baptism. I like the way my pastor preached about baptism in that its not a "must", but it shows a commitment to God and is a great testimony to the church congregation. It also symbolizez death of the old; as your dunked and buried, and reborn as you are brought up out of the water. With that, how can you denounce baptism. It should be spiritually refreshing. I say go with your heart in the end, but don't be defensive.

God bless


-- Richard A. Smith (, December 25, 1998.

Is it ever appropriate to utilize sprinkling or pouring? For instance when a person makes a death bed profession of faith and desires to be Baptized.

-- Rev. Timothy T. Reynolds (, January 28, 1999.

I agree with W.A. Criswell's view on baptism and salvation. A person, under certain circumstances (like the thief on the cross or war-time conversions where a man is saved on the front lines shortly before being killed in the line of duty, etc.) might be saved and not be baptized. But this sort of situation is RARE.

The person who makes a profession of faith but is unwilling to be baptized when capable is a fraud. A truly repentant, regenerate believer would be willing to confirm his or her faith in whatever way God commanded [Matthew 10:32, Acts 2:41](and baptism IS a commandment [Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3]

I think calling the act of pouring and sprinkling "baptism" is an illegitimate use of the word since it means "immerse"--this is definitely the intended meaning of the Greek word. I believe that a person who is unable to be immersed can give satisfactory testimony by confessing Christ to friends, family, care-givers and in writing, etc. And this would also be the type of person who could be a true Christian and not be baptized, as mentioned in the first paragraph of this posting.

-- Greg "Fudge" Miller (, March 07, 1999.

I can't add to Mark Jones' answer to this question--his response capsulizes what mine would be as well. I have studied the doctrines of Eternal Security and Baptism on my own off and on since I became a senior in High School, and came to the same conclusions. You can only be saved by a one-time act of faith in Christ, and you must be baptized not as a part of your salvation, but as an "outward act of an inward fact." I agree that one who refuses to be baptized may be a fraud, however I was in this boat for 3 years. After I trusted Christ, I was not discipled or followed-up on. I didn't know I needed to be baptized. But when I did know, and when I told my Pastor so, I couldn't wait the 2 weeks until I was baptized.

I know many instances where new converts weren't baptized right away, and know some right now who were saved this last year and haven't made that commitment. I am teaching a discipling class involving these people, and can only present the facts and pray they will follow up on them and get baptized. I NEVER question a person's salvation based on their outward actions, because if they give a positive testimony of salvation, I believe it. But if they don't follow the Lord in obedience, that's when the questions naturally begin to arise.

I'm happy to give whatever input I can to help.

-- Duane H. Wallenstein (, March 11, 1999.

Duane said, "I agree that one who refuses to be baptized may be a fraud, however I was in this boat for 3 years. After I trusted Christ, I was not discipled or followed-up on. I didn't know I needed to be baptized. But when I did know, and when I told my Pastor so, I couldn't wait the 2 weeks until I was baptized."

This is exactly right. A person who is not baptized because they are not aware of and, therefore, not convicted of the need for baptism is one thing. But, as with Duane, when a truly regenerate person later becomes aware of this commandment from Christ in Mark 16:16 he will be willing to follow the Lord's pattern in Matthew 3:15, fulfilling also Matthew 28:19.

The real point is that we are not "born again" of water. We are "born of water" (John 3:5) at our natural birth as your mother's water broke and brought you into this world. We are born AGAIN of the Spirit of God at the time we call on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) for salvation. Baptism has nothing to do with the new birth, except to serve as Duane said, "as an "outward act of an inward fact."

-- Greg "Fudge" Miller (, March 11, 1999.

People needs to realized that Jesus was Baptized, Does Jesus needs Salvation? Never...Jesus is GOD.....God is Jesus.... David Caraballo

-- Rev.,Dr. David Caraballo,D.R.E.,Ph.D. (, July 07, 1999.

I think it is amusing that one would argue on one chat line that the Greek is not necessary for a full understanding of Scripture, and then on this line say that baptism is only by immersion because that is what the greek word bapto means. Just a thought . . . .

As for pouring or sprinkling is concerned, I would recommend Jay Adams' great little book called "The Meaning and Mode of Baptism."

I would also recommend to any of you, if you really want to know the Biblical reasons for infant Baptism, former Baptist Robert R. Booth's book "Children of the Promise: the Biblical case for infant baptism."


-- Rev'd Dr. Robert Himes (, August 20, 1999.

James: If baptism is part of salvation, then the thief that hung next to Jesus would not have entered into the Kingdom with our Lord and Saviour. I do think that emmersion baptism is an identification with the death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus Christ yet I can find nothing that shows it to be neccessary for salvation. I too agree with the statement, "faith without works is dead." I think if we are able to be baptized and do not do it, we lack a submission to God's way. But with the thief on the cross, or a death-bed conversion, I am confident God knows the hearts desire to follow in obedience.

God Bless

-- Darrin M. Hall (, October 20, 1999.

Perhaps we should allow Jesus to answer this question for us. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Or perhaps Peter - "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). "There is also an antitype which now saves us - baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21). Or maybe even Martin Luther. When asked the question, "What gifts or benefits does baptism bestow?", Luther replied in his Small Catechism, "It effects forgiveness of sins." He wrote concerning the sinner, "Through baptism he is bathed in the blood of Christ and is cleansed from sins." Responding to those who might call this a kind of "works-salvation", he said, "Yes, it is true that our works are of no use for salvation. Baptism, however, is not our work but God's." No, the Bible does not teach "Baptismal Regeration", as the Roman Catholic church erroneously claims and practices. But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a difference between a work of merit that earns salvation (Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5)) and a work of faith that simply reaches out and receives salvation (Romans 6). Baptism is not the former, but if we accept the clear statements of Scripture it is certainly the later. Just thought I'd throw out some food for thought!

-- Mark Littleton (, October 29, 1999.

If baptism is not a part of salvation, how do we explain Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27?

-- Owen Ivery (, January 24, 2000.

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