A Conversation on Baptism

The conversation below is one which was a part of my former website for some years. I recently choose to retrive some of the pages from my former website and post them here on this blog.

This was originally posted 9.26.04

(I only just now noticed that today also happens to be Sep the 26th)

A Conversation on Baptism

Because the following is from a message board, the conversation may not be the easiest to follow.If you use message boards then you know that any person can jump in the conversation at any point and jump out at any point; so some thoughts here could seem a bit scattered.
My part of the conversation will be in blue text while others will be in black.

(Because of complaints from participants in these conversations, I have removed their user names and will use the formula of ‘Speaker A’, ‘Speaker B’ and so on).

The person who began this thread (who we will call Speaker A)contends that Baptism is needed for salvation. Her opening post is fairly lengthy, but it sets the tone for the rest of the postings.


SpeakerA wrote: HOW TO BE SAVED! Men and women alike today have twisted the plan of salvation. Some say that we are required to do nothing to receive the promise of eternal life but just believe. Some have said repentence alone saves. some say John 3:16 is the plan of salvation.The truth is all these things are myths made by men because mankind want to make God in there own image and not the opposite we in his image.

Scripture must be looked at in light of other scripture!!

In acts 2:38 Peter hands out the keys to the kingdom>

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto 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 Ghost.

Acts 2:38 is the plan. after doing what acts 2:38 says we still must do something.

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

We must repent(turn from sin and be sorry to god for our sins) and be baptized(fully immersed in water in Jesus name) and receive the Holy Ghost(being baptized by the spirit).

Is all this automatic? no it is not. Below is believers that are baptized in Jesus name but have not received the Holy Ghost as of yet.

Act 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Act 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

As you can see it was not automatic.

What about baptism in water. Does it matter what the name they use is? Yes

Act 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Act 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

These disciples of John the baptist above had to be rebaptized into Jesus name. The truth is according to the scriptures every single person in the bible is taught to be baptized in Jesus name. It is my strong belief that acts 4:12 is talking about just that.. Who died on the cross?Jesus Who are you going to be buried with? Jesus Who is coming for us? Jesus

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

How did you apply his name to your life? unknown. I did it by being baptized by water in his name and being filled with his Holy spirit.

Rom 6:4 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.

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

If we do not get baptized into his death how are we going to rise with him. Jesus himself was baptized and he told us to.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

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 Ghost:

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

In acts 10 at cornelius’s house the gentiles received the Holy Spirit and then Peter commanded them to be baptized in Jesus name. that mean he ordered it done.

Paul also believed on the road to damascus but still he got baptized when he received his sight. acts 9:18

Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Some have said romans 10 has the plan of salvation chapter .

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

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

acts 22 has the answer.

Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

How can we have remission of sins without our baptism?

1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

If you would like to chat more on this matter just write me. I can give you extended information on this subject but please do not let this go our salvation depends on it.

Speaker B wrote: What about 1Cor 1:14,17

14-I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius.
17- For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross fo Christ be made on none effect.

What does it mean, and why do they contradict eachother?

Speaker C wrote: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. John 15:3

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39

“”Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved –you and your household.”” Acts 16:30-31

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Romans 1:16

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

“”Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?”” Romans 10:13-14

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” Acts 2:21

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5

Speaker A wrote: 1 Corin. 14:11;

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

This is why Paul said what he said. He would rather baptize no one then those are who contentious . Crispus and Gaius were not being contenious.

See verses 18 and 19;
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

It is important to be baptized, to have those sins remitted, we need to do this, but the cross is the most important thing. THAT is the saving power.

Does this make sense to you? I hope.

God bless

Our salvation is not dependent upon baptism. It really is that simple.

Col 2:11-12 equates baptism and circumcision.
Taking this consideration and reading the bible in a manner of verse in context of chapter, chapter in context of book, book in context of testament and testament in context of bible; and then moving onto Rom 2 it starts to become clear that baptism is a symbol not a requirement.

An outward declaration of the circumcision of our hearts.

1 Cor 15: 1-4 no mention of baptism, yet the source of salvation is mentioned.

Rom 1:16 reads ‘ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek’.

To everyone that believeth, not to everyone who is baptized.

Do you believe that Paul was use to lead any persons to salvation?
I ask because in 1 Cor 1 we see that Paul was sent to preach not for baptism. If baptism is absolutely need for salvation Paul would not be proud of the fact that he is was not a baptizer. He would not have down played baptism.

In Acts we see that Peter perched and people were saved. Not that Peter preached and then some who listened were baptized and then were saved.

No doubt most if not all were baptized afterward, but their salvation came upon hearing the Word.

Acts 10: 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

It is clear that these persons were saved before baptism.
Verses 47 & 48 demonstrate that they were not yet baptized.
Notice also that they spoke in tongues. Tongues being a gift given to believers. They spoke in tongues before having been baptized.

To arrive at a doctrine where baptism is needed for salvation one must read the bible out of context.

While obviously you believe it is needed for salvation you then likely do not see this as an issue upon which Christians can disagree. While I clearly believe that it is not needed for salvation and therefore a subject upon which Christians can disagree.

I admit this is but a very simple starting point to understanding that baptism is not required for salvation it is however biblically accurate.

Speaker A writes to Speaker C: These scriptures are all well and good, but they are not the plan of salvation. Acts 2:38 tells just what to do, why dismiss that?
These passages you posted are accounts of folks being saved, they are all following Acts 2:38.

You ask Speaker C this question while you dismiss the verses he provided you for what they say.

Speaker C writes to Speaker A: Have you ever considered the possibility that you are indeed wrong about this? Let me give you an example out of “your Bible” (the book of Acts alone in this case) which clearly proves that salvation happens BEFORE baptism (it was already provided to you earlier but here again):

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.” (Acts 10:44-48 )

Now please tell me where in the all the Bible, the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who were as yet unsaved? Because in this case, they were speaking in tongues BEFORE BEING BAPTIZED. Does the Holy Spirit reside in sin? No He does not – as you’ve so eloquently stated yourself. Therefore, it may reasonable be concluded that SALVATION AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE RECEIVED BEFORE BAPTISM!! Period – end.

Let’s finally put this baby to bed and unite publically on issues we can agree on. PLEASE.

(Sorry for being redundant rfburn – you did a masterful job. Perhaps together we can drive this point home)

Speaker B wrote: Well none of the verses you gave me said if you weren’t baptized you only have half the requirements to get into heaven. In Cor 14:17 say”For Christ sent me not to baptize” so Paul’s job wasn’t to baptize people, am I wrong?

And I’m sure most of you know this, but when you see baptize in the bible, it doesn’t always mean “by water” baptism also means “To place into” or something like that.

Speaker D wrote: You missed the whole point, Speaker A. Paul did not consider baptism as the gospel. He was not sent to bapize but to preach the gospel. He did not consider baptism a part of the gospel message of salvation. Here, Paul defines the gospel:

1 Cor 15:1-11
15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Speaker A wrote: I’m not saying that our salvation is dependant on baptism ” alone”.

What of Acts 2:38 where Peter says; “Then Peter said unto 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 Ghost”.

Speaker A writes to Speaker C:: We cannot be “saved, converted”, unless we beleive,( as in hearing the word, and beleiving on him) So,therefore if we are not saved we cannot have everlasting life. Simply.

Anyone can believe. But are they “saved”? The sinner can beleive till the moon turns blood red, but if he does not ” do ” something about it, then he’s not saved, if he’s not taken the steps to ” change ‘ his ways, repent, fall on his face and cry out to God, turn back, then what good is beleiving. Yes, it says to beleive, but on the other hand, if we do these steps and then do not beleive, then we are not saved either. They go hand in hand.

John 15:3 This is not speaking of salvation here. It is speaking of the relationship of beleivers to Christ. After we beleive and Jesus forgives us and saves us, we receive the promise of eternal life and the power to abide IN Christ.

[John 11:25-26] Of course I beleive this. I cannot be saved if not. But “only beleiving” is not our salvation. Jesus is.
Did Jesus say anywhere in his own word that to be saved is to beleive? In these words. Did he ever say that ” beleivism is our salvation”?
No, he said that JESUS, ( Matthew 1:23) is our salvation.
To beleive is something we need to do in order to obtain Jesus, but it is not salvation.

[Acts 13:38-39] Again, beleif is essential to obtain our salvation, but beleif is NOT salvation.

[Acts 16:30-31] Again, we must beleive to be saved. If we do not beleive, HOW can we BE saved.

See verse 33;
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

They were baptized.

verse 34;
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Not a word about salvation. Being saved. Just beleiving. They needed to be taught the doctrine, get some meat, some understanding , teaching.

[Romans 1:16] We must beleive. We beleive, we obtain salvation, not through beleif alone, but through repentance and the washing away of our sins.

Peter preached this to the Jews first in Acts and they , for the most part rejected it, although some did not, then God turned to the Gentiles.

[Romans 10:9-10] Of course we have to confess with our mouth, how else. We must beleive of course, Jesus would never say ,” it s not necessary to beleive”.
It says you ” will” be saved, not you ” are saved”. Please people , there is a difference here on wording.
Paul goes on to ” explain” , not say you are saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
This is more then just beleiving, it’s “doing”.

[Romans 10:13-14] Again, “will”. Future tense, not present. Lord, save me. HOW does God save?

Beleive, beleive, we must beleive to obtain salvation. Beleive and salvation are two different things.

Speaker A writes again to Speaker C: Salvation IS being baptized in Jesus name and the baptism, ( the infilling of Gods spirit) of the gift of the Holyghost. Salvation is not ” Believism”.
There is really no set pattern of salvation, as in being baptized first or recieving the Holyghost first, ( although according to the word , the Holyghost was NOT poured out , as in folks being baptized of the spirit till the day of Pentecost) Because it’s a possiblility that there were some who who were baptized in water BEFORE the day of Pentecost and then on the day of Pentecost those same folks were baptised of the spirit, completing their salvation, as Jesus said to do in John 3:5. Theres always the disagreement about the thief on the cross, whether he was water baptized or not. The word doesn’t say, and the word doesn’t say if these 120 folks on the day of Pentecost were already baptized either, but sometime or another they had to have been to obey what Peter said in Acts 2:38, and what Jesus said in John 3:5, and what Matthew said in Matthew 28:19.

Speaker A wrote: Speaker D,

Do you think that Paul was the only Apostle that taught the gospel? Peter preached the first Apostolic serman and what he says in Acts , chapter two is being throughly dismissed. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles , Peter was the Apostle to the Jews first, then the Gentiles, but mainly the Jews. But at the same time, God did not forbid eitther of them to preach the gospel to anyone. What is the issue here? The gospel. What was Peter speaking of , if not the gospel?

Speaker E wrote: Dang Speaker A, you sound like a Mormon! There’s nothing in your post that I can disagree with.

(Speaker E is a member of the LDS church btw).

Speaker A wrote: Oh, but I’am very different then a Mormon. But I’m glad you agree with my post.

Speaker E wrote:
This is the plan of salvation as it is found in Mormon doctrine. Sure, there are a lot of other little bells and whistles, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts, this is it. Very good post!

Speaker D wrote: Sounds like two birds of a feather to me. Its like each is looking in the mirror at himself. Do you like what you see, Speaker A?

Speaker A asks of me: What of Acts 2:38 where Peter says; “Then Peter said unto 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 Ghost”.

Okay, take this verse and the compare and contrast it to events in scripture where persons are said to have been saved before they were ever baptised.

Taken in context of the subject, taken in context of the bible the verse you have provided does not mean what you would have us believe it does.

At this point the conversation had been nearly fully hijacked and became one mostly about Mormonism and their beliefs concerning salvation verses biblical teaching. It was at this point that I left the thread as I had not joined it to discuss LDS theology.

Though the above conversation may not demonstrate in full that baptism is NOT needed for salvation, it is a beginning for further conversation.

Now there are ‘essentials’ to the Christian faith; that is, things we we must believe. For instance, we MUST believe that Jesus Christ IS God.

If we do not believe this, then we stand outside of Christianity.

At the same time there are things upon which Christians may disagree.

Baptism for example.

However, the group or person who believes that baptism is essential for salvation has put themselves in a place where they must consider a person who agrees with them in everything, yet has not yet been baptized to be a non-christian.

To be a person who does not know Christ and who will reside for all of eternity in hell because they were not baptized.

A quick scenario.

Supposing a man who has been struggling to come to God, falls to his knees in prayer one late night.

After years of resistance he finally hands it all over to God. He finally comes to God and gives his life to God.

He makes a late night call to a pastor whom he has come to know over the years. He tells the pastor that he has come to Christ and wants to be baptized immediately.

The pastor agrees to baptize him the next morning at eight am.

On his way to the church to be baptized, this new creature in Christ is killed in an automobile accident.

The man then shall spend all of eternity in hell…

because he was not baptized.

Consider the above scenario along with the scripture passages from the message board archives.

Would this man really go to hell?

I presented this challenge to a person who believes that baptism is needed for salvation. He told me that he was not saying the person would go to hell.

Well then, if he is not saying the person would go to hell he must be saying that baptism is not needed for salvation.

Acts 16:30-3330 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

While it is true that the jailer was baptized right away, it is the direct answer to his question that is relevant to the topic at hand.

Q: what must I do to be saved?

A: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.


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