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What Does the Bible Say About … BAPTISM?

Do you think that baptism is a necessary part of our salvation?

The answer is easily answered by quoting Luke 23:40-43 “But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” NIV

The man on the cross next to Jesus never had the opportunity to be baptized, as he was dying on a cross, and he was saved.

But what about someone who has the opportunity to be baptized and doesn’t do it, will he be saved?

Again the Scriptures are clear: Eph 2:8-10 “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. NIV

My question, though, is why would we not want to be baptized if we accept Jesus in our life? Doesn’t Jesus urge to do so in Matt 28:19 “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.” NIV Would we want to do anything less than what Jesus instructed us to do?

Look at the beautiful story of when an Ethiopian eunuch was approached by Philip and the gospel message was presented to him. What was his first reaction after he accepted Jesus into his life?

Acts 8:36-38 “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” NIV

Nobody had to urge him to be baptized. And nowhere in the New Testament can we find one example of one person accepting Jesus and refusing to be baptized. That would be unheard of!

You see, through baptism you identify yourself with Christ’s death and resurrection. You publicly acknowledge that Jesus is now part of your life. Wouldn’t you want to identify yourself publicly with Jesus?

Col 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.” NIV

Rom 6:4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” NIV

It is time my friend that you make a firm decision about Jesus and stop the hide and seek game. Invite Jesus into your life and profess Him publicly. He is your loving Savior who left His kingdom behind, just to save you. He is the one who was willing to die for you so that you would enjoy eternal life. Come to Him and accept Him publicly. Do the first step today and answer His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html. Tomorrow may be too late!

Rob Chaffart

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ANSWER:

Yes I do believe that baptism is a necessary part of our salvation. Let’s go through this study together to convince ourselves beyond every reasonable doubt of the doctrine that should not be compromised.

INTRODUCTION:

Baptism is a New Testament doctrine which is somehow difficult to be dealt with and yet must be taught to remove confusion and mis-interpretation that surround it.

While Baptism is said to be a New Testament doctrine, its reference to Israel’s passing through the Red Sea and covered by the cloud is found in I Cor. 10:2. The instance of New Testament Baptism being discussed and as performed by John the Baptist are found in Mk. 1:4; 11:30; Lk 3:7.

MEANING OF BAPTISM

Baptism is symbolic as an outward expression for a genuinely converted heart. It clarifies the steps that have been taken concerning repentance.

Baptism is NOT forgiveness of sin or Salvation and should not in any way be elevated to that position. It is an event, which is partaken of after one has believed in Christ Jesus and is sure of his salvation. Acts 8; 26-40, Lk 3:8-14.

REASONS FOR BAPTISM:

Obedience to the command of Christ – Mk 16:16 Following Christ’s example – I Peter 2:21, John 13:15 Fulfilling all righteousness – Matt. 3:15 Separation by death from sin – Gal. 6:14 Identification with Christ – Romans 6:4-13 Identification in His:

(a) Death, (b) Burial and (c) Resurrection (Rom 6:4)

Association with Christ’s body – I Cor. 12:13

WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED? One who believe the Gospel – Mk 15:16 One whose eyes are opened Acts 9:18 One who has repented Acts 2:38 One who is filled with the Holy Spirit Acts 10:47 One who brings forth fruits worthy of repentance – Lk 3:8, Matt. 3:8. One who has been taught the Word of God and who believe – Matt 28: 19,20. One who has died in the old nature of sin, and buried and is now living as a resurrected life.

HOW TO BE BAPTIZED

In whose name? Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:16; 9:5; 10:48 With what substance? Acts 3:36; 3:23 By whom? Representative of the church; instances in the Bible include that of John the Baptist, Philip, Peter, Paul and Silas and Ananaiah. Where is Baptism performed:

(a) River – Matt. 3:3-17; John 3:22-23

(b) Sometimes under the condition stated in the case of e.g.

(c) Lydia in Acts 16:23, Simeon the sorcerer – Acts 8:12,13

5. Mode of Baptism: Immersion (the commonly accepted) Matt 3:16; Acts 8:38, 39.

CONCLUSION:

Baptism is a proclamation of your faith in Christ Jesus, which will charge people to great and desirable expectation from your life. Gal. 5:22. It is a command of our Lord, which must be obeyed without hesitation. Having been qualified and as long as you are opportuned.

If our Lord could be baptized for righteousness sake, we must not b left out. Let it be done prayerfully and realistically.

SPECIAL NOTE:

IF YOU OBSERVE BAPTISM IN THE ORDER IN WHICH WE HAVE CONSIDERED ABOVE WITHOUT YOU HAVING JESUS IN YOUR LIFE IT IS GOING TO THE RIVER AS A DRY SINNER AND COMING OUT A WET SINNER. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU MUST GIVE YOU LIFE TO JESUS CHRIST AND CONFESS HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR OF YOUR LIFE – Acts 3:19.

Rev Debo Adeyemo

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I do not think that baptism saves anyone, but a public witness to the fact that we have accepted Jesus as our Savior is necessary, and baptism is the form of public witness that Jesus ordained us to use.

Matthew 10:32-AV Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

I like the example of the thief on the cross next to Jesus. He was not baptized because he never had the opportunity, but he did make a public witness before all who were witnessing the crucifixion. Jesus Himself told this man that he would be with Him in paradise.

There are some denominations which do not practice baptism as a necessary part of their services. The Salvation Army for instance. Yet I know that many members of the Salvation Army have in fact been baptized. There is a group of Salvation Army people that study with my mother, and I sometimes am able to attend. Baptism is one of the topics we have studied there. Perhaps as a result of that study, I am not sure, but the Officers and 11 of the congregation were baptized recently.

Jesus Himself was baptized, not because He had any sin to confess, but as an example to us.

Matthew 3:16-AV And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Matthew 28:19-AV Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Here, He instructs His disciples to baptize the people of all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. When the disciples preached and made an alter call, people came forward and were baptized. It was the initial form of public witness after which they were led away by other ‘older’ Christians and received instruction.

John 3:22-AV After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

John 4:2-AV (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

Acts 2:41-AV Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Acts 18:8-AV And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Acts 8:12-AV But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

It seems therefore that baptism follows after the sinner repents and believes in the salvation of Jesus. But what then does baptism represent, that makes it so important?

Romans 6:3-AV Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:4-AV Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Throughout the bible, God has given mankind ceremonies to practice, some repeatedly, to ever remind man of what the ceremony signifies. So it was that forgiveness of sins required the blood sacrifice of a perfect lamb, to remind man that one day the Lamb of God would die for their sins. Baptism is a ceremony that signifies the death and resurrection of Jesus. We not only make a public witness during this ceremony but we bare witness that we ‘die’ with Him by being fully immersed in water, and are resurrected with Him by raising out of the water. We believe therefore in his death and resurrection and bare witness that we partake of it.

So dear reader, what is the moral of the story? Give heed to the services and ceremonies that God has ordained for our use. They do not just give God a warm fuzzy feeling, they are necessary for our continued spiritual health. Baptism is not something we should neglect if we have the opportunity to participate. If you are in a position like the thief on the cross, with death imminent when you make your decision, do not fear. Like the thief you will be in paradise. If you have not yet made your decision, I would urge you to do so and to then follow it up with baptism at the earliest opportunity. Go in peace …

Lance Wearmouth

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Yes I Do! Matthew 3:11 says, I baptize you with water for for repentance. Matthew 3:16-17 says, As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Matthew 28:16-20 says, Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Acts 8:36-39 says, As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. It is obvious that the Lord will not accept us into His kingdom unless we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! May ALL Be Blessed!

Daweena123@aol.com

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Absolutely. Baptism or some form of the word is found 92 times in the New Testament. That in itself isn’t important but interesting that they would teach a subject by so many repetitions. Lets examine some scriptures. In the words of Jesus; Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. (ASV) (Mark 16:15-16) Jesus joined faith and baptism together in order to obtain salvation. On the day of Pentecost after Peter had preached such a powerful sermon, the people that had crucified Christ wanted to know what they must do. Peters answer was; Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (ASV) (Acts 2:38)

The power of salvation is found in the blood of Christ. That is the only thing that can remove our sins. The question, then is, where do we contact the blood? Paul answers that for us in Romans 6::3-4. Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. Since the blood of Christ was shed in His death we contact it when we are baptized into his death. We become a new person when we are raised from that watery grave. Do we need to be in Christ to be saved? Absolutely. Baptism puts us into Christ. Christ’s blood takes away our sins, and we contact that blood through baptism.

Paul wrote to the church of Galatia stating that we put on Christ through baptism. For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. (ASV) (Gal. 3:27) We are sons of God because of our faith. When our faith leads us to baptism we put on Christ. When do we put on Christ? When we are baptized.

Thank you for allowing me to answer such an important question. Baptism is part of God’s plan of salvation. Only a part. Baptism without faith, repentance, and confession just gets a person wet. If you believe, repent, confess, and are baptised the blood of Christ will wash away your sins.

In His Kingdom, Richard Vanhorn

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Yes. Baptism is not only a profession of faith, in my understanding, but also a means of receiving God’s grace and remission of sins. (Mark 1:3-5) Also, Jesus himself commanded the Apostles to baptize others (Matthew 28:19) and the Apostles also preached baptism (Acts 2:38). In most cases, I would say that water baptism is essential to salvation. However, there are Christians out there who have accepted Jesus, but for whatever reason may not be baptized before their death (for instance, a persecuted Christian who is killed before they can be baptized), and their commitment to Christ would be sufficient. I don’t believe that God would turn away anyone who has accepted Christ simply because they never had a chance to be baptized. YSIC,

AJ ScrptrJn316@aol.com

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I do believe that we are instructed to be baptized by Jesus, and here are just a few examples… I believe that rather than speaking our mind, we should always consult with God’s written word on all subjects.. I am just now learning that not only should I consult, but give it as proof of what God says on the subject… That way not to offend anyone…

In God’s love Penny Shelton

Act 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

* Christ had to be formally inaugurated into the public discharge of his offices. For this purpose he came to John, who was the representative of the law and the prophets, that by him he might be introduced into his offices, and thus be publicly recognized as the Messiah of whose coming the prophecies and types had for many ages borne witness.

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came, and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and upon earth.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Penny

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Water baptism is an act of obedience that follows conversion to portray symbolically the washing away of our sins. Water baptism calls for immersion instead of sprinkling. Many groups that have only sprinkled in times past are now seeing that the Scriptural method is total immersion in water. In fact, the Greek word “baptism” means to immerse, submerse and emerge. The baptism itself does not bring salvation; salvation inspires the water baptism. It should be the first thing we do after we are “born again.” Those who have received Jesus in their hearts should desire to follow Him in this ordinance. Jesus Himself came to John the Baptist to receive His water baptism because He was to take the sins of the world at His death. These sins would be washed away by God for those who put their trust in Him. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water” (John 1:29-31).

Anyone who receives water baptism must realize what it means to receive it; therefore, infant baptism is not Scriptural. One must repent and be saved to be baptized. Water baptism portrays the burial of the old man and his works of death and the raising out of the water into the new life in Christ. An infant cannot repent. However, parents can dedicate their babies to the Lord, as there are many accounts of this throughout the Bible. Hannah prayed a beautiful prayer when she dedicated her son Samuel to the Lord, “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord” (I Samuel 1:27-28). John’s baptism of repentance was to prepare the way for the baptism of the Holy Ghost by Jesus.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:32-34). Once we are “born again” the Lord instructs us to be baptized in water as an act of obedience to typify what has happened to us spiritually.

Bailey Gertrude E NSSC

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The answer to this question is definitely “yes”. Mark 16:16 says “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. Peter also commanded them to baptize in Acts 10. There is such a strong need to be baptized because it symbolizes that the old man is dead and buried and a new creature has resurrected. Several times in Acts it is commanded to be baptized. We need to follow the whole word of God. It gives us direct instructions on how to live and we need to follow them…word for word, percept upon percept.

Napier, April D LRN

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Water cannot save us. Only the Blood of Jesus can do that. The act of baptisim is an outward exspession of a work that is already complete in Jesus Christ. The moment we claim that baptisim saves any one, we do away with grace and it becomes a work. Yet we are told that salvation comes through grace and not works. Any one who calls on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Rev.

Sandra Evans The Mercy worship Center

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John 3:5 New Living Translation says” Jesus replied,”The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.” So I would say that if your salvation is getting into the Kingdom of God, then yes baptism does play a big part in our salvation.

Dennis

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It is very important as it symbolizes the death and resurrection of the Lord and He also performed it in the Jordan and we are to emulate Him.

Ilan Mendelovici

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I believe that baptism is a very sacred obedient act following our acceptance of Christ as Savior, but that it is not a requirement in the sense of If we truly repent and accept Christ as Savior and then if for some reason, like near death salvation, etc. we are not baptized, we are still assured of our place in heaven with Jesus, and the greatest scripture I can back this up with is the thief on the Cross who asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom, and The Lord said, truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise….that thief had no chance of being baptized….and one day we will meet our brother in heaven…Because of Christ The Best is soon to Be.

Debbie

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I do not believe baptism is a pre requisite to salvation, I mean look at the thief on the cross for instance. However if you are able to be baptized then I think it is a sign of obedience and honor to our Lord. It is our way to show unashamedly that we belong to Him, and it also has the significance of dying and being reborn as a new creature in Christ. Thus the submerging beneath the water and resurfacing again.

Xcaliba@aol.com

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Our Christian faith teaches that we are born with an original sin because our first parents, Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by eating the forbidden fruit. (Some theologians have written that biblical terms were used to infer the sin, as “apple.”)

God punished Adam by imposing work upon him to provide for the family, and Eve, childbirth with the pain it brings. Paradise was God’s ultimate gift for the two whom he created in His image, molding Adam in image, and Eve with a part of Adam’s ribcage. They were to live in Paradise happily, forever, in His Vision, until the serpent (satan) tempted Adam causing him and Eve to sin.

When we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and original sin is removed. We are then in God’s Grace.

Baptism is necessary for salvation in the Christian Faith. Cause and effect do play into this sacrament, though. One cannot say that if a baby or adult, who has no reasoning ability dies, he is not saved. The reason being innocence or lack of knowledge or inability to make decisions suggests that when one does not know, God will not hold the baby, child or adult dying in ignorance of this sacrament accountable by punishing him/her. If one born in total ignorance, innocent of God’s Commandments and laws, dies without fault, he/she cannot be held accountable. For example, a baby, child, or adult who has mental disabilities enabling him/her from knowing God or God’s Laws would pose a serious question as far as placing blame for something they do not know. On the other hand, a guardian or parent will have to account to Almighty God if he/she knowingly/willingly ignores his/her religious/moral obligation deliberately. Knowledge and intent are great determining factors in such cases. Sin is caused when a person knowingly and willingly commits an offense against Almighty God.

In His Love,

Rose