We are not only saved by grace, but baptism is the point where we
contact with the blood of Jesus.
"For it is by grace
you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it
is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."
"You say that a person is justified by what he
does and not by faith alone."
Romans 3:28 says: "For we maintain that a
man is justified by faith alone, apart from observing the law."
Baptism is a work!
The word alone is not in Romans 3:28.
Faith alone is found only one place:
see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith
alone." (James 2:23)
Jesus makes an interesting
response in John 6:28,29.
"Then they asked him, 'What must we do to
do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is
this: to believe in the one he has sent.'"
Belief is not the work
of God...it is the work required of us. If we are not saved
by works, we are not saved by belief?
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."
The blood of Jesus saves us. Our actions are in response to the gift
of grace he offers. We must reach out and accept his gift...then
live like we are saved!
The thief on the
cross was saved, but he was not baptized.
Yes! The thief was saved on the cross. And, Noah, Abraham,
Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. were
saved, but they were not baptized. Baptism was not an issue for
The thief could not have been baptized into Jesus even if he
wanted too. Jesus had not yet shed his blood!
What happened to the thief on the cross is not relevant to our
The last part of Mark 16:16 does not say
whoever does not believe and is not baptized will be
A person who does not believe would not be involved with the
foolishness of baptism? (I Corinthians 1:23)
are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the
Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the
Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
The grammar and words used in Acts 2:37,38
do not support the idea that baptism is for the remission of sins.
"Peter replied, "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."
The word for is the Greek word eis, which mean
because of. This shows we are baptized because of what has
If I read Acts 2:38 as if I had never seen
it before, what would I think? When I say eis means
because of, it makes not sense.
Actually, the word eis does not mean because of, it
always refers to something that is future.
If we insist that eis means because of, we have
serious problems. Peter made a mistake! When these believers asked
Peter what to do, he did not tell them they were already saved, he
put a meaningless burden on them. And, he told them that baptism,
and repentance came after they were saved. So we can say
repentance is not necessary...until after one has been saved.
To carry this idea further, these people did not need the gift
of the Spirit to be saved, because Peter said they would
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit after repentance and baptism.
In Matthew 26:28 we read: "For this is My
blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins." This is the same phrase found in Acts
2:38. If we insist that for means because of, Jesus
said his blood was shed because sins were already remitted.
What about a person on a
deserted Island or a person who calls out to the Lord on a deathbed
or in war? These people cannot be baptized.
It is not good to play God! What God does in
an isolated situation is his business.
There are 2 things to consider:
1. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be
saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark
2. Jesus indicates there are degrees of punishment.
servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does
not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the
one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be
beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much
will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much,
much more will be asked."
If I am reading this, I have no excuse. I either obey what God says
or refuse to obey...and get what I deserve.
Note: Who says a person cannot baptize himself or herself?
Baptism is not for salvation, it is something I do to show that I am
If this position is true,
baptism is essential either before or after salvation? God tells us
to be baptized, so it is essential. So, considering all the
information above, why not do it God's way in the first place.
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