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Salvation & Water Baptism

 

(NCV Bible tanslation used)

James White

 

  • WHAT SAVES A PERSON ?

    Matthew 26:28

    Jesus blood

    Acts 10:43

    Belief

    Galatians 2:20-21

    Faith

    Luke 7:50

    Faith

    Acts 13:38-39

    Belief

    Galatians 3:26

    Belief

    John 3:14-18

    Belief

    Acts 16:31

    Belief

    Ephesians 1:9

    Jesus blood

    John 3:36

    Belief

    Romans 3:20-28

    Faith, Grace

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    Faith

    John 5:24

    Belief

    Romans 5:1

    Faith

    Phillippians 1:6

    God

    John 6:40

    Belief

    Romans 5:9

    Jesus blood

    Phillippians 3:9

    Faith

    John 6:47

    Belief

    Romans 6:23

    God

    1 Thessalonians 5:9

    Jesus

    John 6:63

    God's spirit

    Romans 10:4

    Belief

    2 Timothy 1:9

    Grace

    John 8:24

    Belief

    Romans 11:6

    Grace

    Titus 3:5

    God's mercy

    John 11:25-26

    Belief

    1 Corinthians 6:11

    God's spirit

    Hebrews 7:25

    Jesus

    John 20:31

    Belief

    Galatians 2:15-16

    Faith

    1 John 1:7

    Jesus blood


DOES WATER BAPTISM SAVE US?
         
         John 4:2		      Jesus didn't baptize anyone
1 Corinthians 1:17	Paul doesn't include baptism as part of the gospel
1 Corinthians 15:1-4        The gospel is summarized-baptism is not included
1 Corinthians 6:11	God's spirit washed us
Acts 10:47		   Cornelius's family received the holy spirit BEFORE they were baptized
Acts 11:15-18	         The holy spirit came upon them, and they had not been baptized yet
Acts 20:21		   The good news is summarized-baptism is not included
Ephesians 2:8-9	    We are not saved by our works
Ephesians 5:25-26           The BIBLE is referred to as the water that washes us
2 Timothy 1:9	          We are not saved by anything we do
         
ADDITIONAL POINTS If baptism is necessary to remit sin, then a person should not only be baptized, he should get into the baptismal pool and refuse to ever get out, because he may commit sin after he is baptized, and could die before he is baptized again. By trusting in Christ AND our baptism to save us, we are saying that Jesus Christ ALONE is not enough. Baptismal salvationists say that the reason many scriptures don't mention baptism is because a part is mentioned for the whole, so the many verses that mention faith don't mention baptism. But none of the scriptures in the section above: "WHAT SAVES A PERSON" tell us that a part is mentioned for the whole, so baptismal salvationists are adding to the word of God, thereby twisting the scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Jesus cried out on the cross: "it is finished" (translated from greek: teltelastai, which means "paid in full"). By saying That Jesus did 90% of the work of redemption, and we must do our 10% by getitng baptized, we are saying that Christ's his death on the cross did not pay the sin debt in full, thereby calling Jesus a liar. Also, Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church. But baptismal salvationists say true Christianity was lost after the apostles died. They believe that the gates of hell did prevail against the church for 1800 years, until the founder of their church restored the gospel (thereby calling Jesus a liar again). Why would you want to stay part of a church that calls Jesus a liar?
ANSWERSTO 8 SCRIPTURES USED TO JUSTIFY SALVATION BY BAPTISM 1) MATTHEW 28:19 "so go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of The father, and the son, and the Holy Spirit". Water baptism is a command of God. ANSWER Water baptism is a command of God, but by believing that makes it a requirement for salvation, then consistency would demand that every command of God must be kept in order to be saved. Foot washing, communion, and other practices could not be ignored. They would have to be practiced regularly in ALL Christian denominations.
2) MARK 16:16 "Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, but anyone who does not believe will be punished". ANSWER We cannot make an inordinate emphasis on just the first half of this verse (belief + baptism = salvation). In studying this passage, we must understand that Mark 16:9-20 is not in some of the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts of the new testament (e.g. Codices Siniaticus and Alexandrinus). Therefore, it may not be part of the original text. But let's assume that it is part of the original text, the easiest and clearest way to see what verse 16 teaches is to list the possible relationships between belief and baptism, and then determine what the verse actually affirms and denies. The 4 possibilities are: 1) believing and baptized, 2) believing and not baptized, 3) not believing but baptized, 4) not believing and not baptized. The first part of Mark 16:16 affirms possibility 1 (if one believes and baptized, one is saved). The latter part of the verse however, denies possibility 3 and 4 (if one does not believe-baptized or not, one will be punished). But the verse does not affirm or deny possibility 2 (if one believes but is not baptized). Since it does not deny that one can be saved apart from baptism, Mark 16:16 cannot be used to establish the teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation. In fact, the second half of verse 16 lends support to the view that baptism is not necessary for salvation, since the entire basis for condemnation is disbelief (which implies that belief alone can remove this condemnation).
3)
JOHN 3:5 "Unless one is born from water and the spirit, he cannot enter God's kingdom". ANSWER In approaching this passage, we should keep in mind that context is always the final determiner as to the meaning of any word or phrase. The word "water" in this verse does not refer to water baptism. In verse 3 Nicodemus hears Jesus say that one must be born again. He concludes that Jesus is speaking of something related to physical birth but cannot comprehend how he can go through physical birth a second time (see verse 4). Jesus picks up on Nicodemus's thinking and seeks to move the argument from physical birth to spiritual birth (the real meaning of born again is: "born from above"). Jesus does this by introducing the phrase: Born from water and the spirit in verse 5, and then explaining the verse in verse 6. If "born from water" in verse 5 is the same as "born of the flesh" in verse 6 (just as "born from the spirit" is the same in verses 5 & 6) then "born from water" should be understood metaphorically as referring to physical or natural birth. Thus the gist of what Jesus is saying is this: as one has had a physical birth, so one must have a spiritual birth if one is to enter the kingdom of God (which is spiritual). Whenever the word water is used, it doesn't always mean literal water. For example: Ephesians 5:26: "Christ used the word to make the church clean by washing it with water". Here the word of God is equaled to water. Other verses that show that it is the word of God that is the agent of cleansing are James 1:18-21, and 1 Peter 1:22-23. To say that John 3:5 is saying that one must be baptized to be saved would contradict all 33 scriptures in the section of this article: "WHAT SAVES A PERSON". Those 33 scriptures place the emphasis on believing, not on water baptism. It is curious that a baptismal salvationist would choose John 3:5 for support. When pressed about the thief on the cross, they reply that he was saved under a different dispensation. If so, then John 3:5 has nothing to do with water baptism, because it was said during the same dispensation the thief was saved under. What purpose would it be to tell someone that they must be born of water if the birth wouldn't take effect until after the death of christ?
4) ACTS 2:38 "change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each 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." ANSWER Baptismal Salvationists argue that the word "for" means: IN ORDER TO OBTAIN, and then conclude that one must be baptized in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins. But students of the greek language know that "for" (translated from Greek: "eis") is a preposition of reference used to signify a relationship between two things, and that it can have several meanings. It could be understood for example as CAUSATIVE: "in order to obtain", or as RESULTANT: "because of having obtained". Since prepositions in the english language can also have several meanings, it may be easier to look at 2 illustrations in english, and then apply what we learn to our text. If one says: "I am going to the office for my paycheck", the meaning is clearly causative (to get my paycheck). Applying this to ACTS 2:38, one should be baptized to get the forgiveness of sins. On the other hand, if one says: "I enlisted for love of my country", the meaning is clearly resultant (because I love my country). Applying this to ACTS 2:38, one should be baptized because one already has the forgiveness of sins. This interpretation contradicts the teaching of baptismal salvationists. The immediate context does not help us in the case of ACTS 2:38 to determine which meaning is correct. But other passages in ACTS relate forgiveness of sins to repentance (ACTS 3:9), and to believing prior to baptism (ACTS 10:43-48). These and other passages in the new testament support the view that "for" in ACTS 2:38 has a resultant sense that one should be baptized because one ALREADY HAS the forgiveness of sins. Since the relationship between baptism and forgiveness cannot be determined from the preposition and the immediate context of ACTS 2:38, this text cannot be used as a prooftext by baptismal salvationists to substantiate their teaching. ACTS 2:38 states that the gift of the holy spirit follows the remission of sins. It should be noted that in ACTS 10:45 Cornelius received the gift of the holy spirit before he was water baptized. Yet according to ACTS 2:38, one cannot receive the gift of the holy spirit unless his sins are forgiven. This shows that ACTS 10:45 exemplifies that the remission of sins in ACTS 2:38 is referring to repentance, not water baptism. For example, LUKE 5;13-14 says: "Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. I will. Be healed! Immediately the disease disappeared. Then Jesus said: Don't tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest and offer a gift for your healing, as Moses commanded. This will show the people what I have done". The Leper already had his cleansing. Replacing FOR YOUR CLEANSING with IN ORDER TO OBTAIN YOUR CLEANSING would not fit. A modern example of this is the commonly used phrase: "take 2 aspirins FOR a headache. No one would take 2 aspirins in order to obtain a headache. You take 2 aspirins because you ALREADY HAVE a headache. Therefore, Christians aren't baptized to be saved, but baptized because they already are saved.
5) ACTS 22:16 "Now, why wait any longer? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins away, trusting in him to save you". This verse says that getting baptized washes away our sins. ANSWER In this verse, the washing away of your sins is integrated with calling on his name and trusting in him, NOT getting baptized. This verse means that the individual who calls on the name of the Lord is the one who's sins will be washed away. Paul's conversion is an excellent example. Paul was saved the moment he submitted to the Lord's command: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" Baptismal salvationists will not accept this, because they say that Saul was told he would be instructed what to do: "Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do" (Acts 9:6). The context does not allow for the interpretation that Paul was going to be given instructions regarding water baptism for salvation. Rather, the Lord was going to show him the great things he must suffer: "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name" (Acts 9:16). Paul was already saved at this point. How do we know? Look at Ananias first words to Saul: "Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said-BROTHER SAUL", etc. If Saul had to be baptized in order to be saved, then he was not yet "Brother Saul". He was still a heathen. Even Baptismal Salvationists don't call prebaptized individuals "Brother". That is a term used only when referring to those who have been baptized. Acts chapters 9, 22, And 26 gives the details of what happenned with Saul and Ananias. Acts 9:17 tells why Ananias went to Saul. Ananias said: "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit". The reason Ananias was sent was so Paul would receive his eyesight, being filled with the Holy Spirit. There is no reference that suggests that Ananias was sent to get him saved. Jesus never even mentioned Saul's salvation when sending Ananias to him.
6) ROMANS 6:3-5 "Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life. Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did". Our sins don't get forgiven until we are baptized. ANSWER To understand this verse, one needs to look closely at the words JUST and JOINED. It is clear by the use of these words that a symbolic interpretation is implied, not a literal interpretation. Sometimes people say: "This is like that". However, they aren't suggesting that they are the same thing. Similarly, baptism is like the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It identifies believers with his death, but it IS NOT his death, his burial, or his resurrection. It is a likeness. When Christians are baptized, they symbolically identify with the death, burial, and resurection of Christ.
7) GALATIANS 3:27 "You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ." We have to be baptized to be saved. ANSWER Not every baptism addressed in scripture is a water baptism. This is the case in Galatians 3:27. The question begging for an answer is: How then, do Christians get baptized into Christ? One need only look to 1 Corinthians 12:13 for the answer: "but we were all baptized into one body by one spirit". This verse does not give any indication at all that it is by water that Christians are baptized into one body, but rather it is by one spirit. Ephesians 4:5, which also refers to the one baptism, is related to 1 Corinthians 12:13, and again, there is no connection with water baptism. Ephesians 4:5 is speaking about baptism into the body of Christ. This happens when a person "confesses with his mouth-Jesus is Lord, and believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. The end result of this confession is salvation. Romans 10:10 states: "We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we use our mouths to say that we believe, and so we are saved.". This occurs the moment a person places all of his trust in Jesus for his salvation.
8) 1 PETER 3:20b-21 "Only a few people, eight in all, were saved by water. And that water is like baptism that now saves you, not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead".
  • ANSWER
	Baptismal Salvationists often accentuate three little words: "saved by water", and isolate them.  The
context reveals that there were 8 souls saved in Noah's ark.  The ark has long been an illustration of Christ.
This picture is showing that anyone who is in Christ is saved.  Taking the baptismal salvationists argument
to it's logical extreme,  the only people who come into contact with water drown.  Then what does water
baptism save us from?  The context indicates that it saves believers from a bad conscience towards God. 
The word "SAVED" does not always mean salvation of one's soul.  An example of this is 1 Timothy 2:15
where a woman is saved through childbirth.  Another example is John 12:27, where Jesus ponders whether
he should ask the father to save him from this time.  1 Peter 3:21 is similar.  Noah and his family were in
the ark and they were dry.  Those outside the ark got wet and perished.  Being in Christ, not water baptism,
saves the soul.
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