Many times when I ask people "If you died today do you know for sure you would go to Heaven?" they reply "yes". I then ask "How do you know?" They reply, "I've been baptized". I then ask, "Why were you baptized?" The answers vary, but rarely are Scriptural. It is obvious that many of these well-meaning people are depending on baptism to get them to Heaven. Not one verse in the Bible teaches baptism as essential for going to Heaven. Baptism is Scriptural, but not essential for Salvation. Let me illustrate: Suppose I heard a Gospel message, realized I was a sinner, lost, and in Repentance and Faith "Confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus and in my heart believed that God raised Him from the dead" (Rom. 10:9). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house", Acts 16:31. Am I saved at this point? Well, suppose the Baptistery is broken that day, or the Lake is frozen? I can't be baptized that day. I will next weekend. Wednesday on the way home from work, I am killed in a wreck. Am I saved? Did I go to Heaven? I was never baptized! The Scriptural answer is YES! John 3:36 "He that believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life..."
1 John 5:12 "He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Friend, you can go to Heaven without baptism, but you will never go without Jesus Christ as you own personal Savior. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved"!
Scriptural Baptism Explained: The Right Motive.
- Matthew 3:13-15 To fulfill all righteousness. (Note: not to get righteousness) Meaning that Christ did everything right.
- Matthew 28:18-20 To fulfill the command of God. The Great Commission involves preaching, teaching, and baptizing, in that order.
- 1 Peter 3:21 To produce a
clear conscience, because you have done the will of God. I quote here
1 Peter 3:21 in full to show that Baptism will not remove sin. "The
like figure where unto even baptism doth also 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."
- Notice it is a figure (figurative) and
- Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
- But the answer of a good conscience toward God.
- A good conscience will not save you.
Now, let me ask a simple question: Was Noah and his family saved because they were in the water or because they were in the Ark? If water, why did the rest of the world perish? Noah and his family were saved because they were in the Ark which was a figure of Christ. The flood waters were an instrument of death, therefore the flood waters picture death! This is why it is called a figure. It pictures DEATH! Being in Christ will save you, without Christ in the water will damn you! Baptism pictures death, not life! If baptism is all you have, you are still lost!
The proper motive for Baptism is to identify with Christ in His Death, Burial, and Resurrection, showing the world that you have experienced the New Birth. The old man has died, is buried, and is raised to walk in the newness of life. (Romans 6)
Acts 22:16 says, "And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, AND WASH AWAY THY SINS, CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD." Please notice their sins were washed away by calling on the name of the Lord, not by being baptized!
Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ..." does not mean water baptism puts Christ on, but explains v26, "For ye are all the Children of God by faith in Jesus Christ."
John 1:12 doesnt say anything else has to be done to be saved! It simply says, "But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them gave (past tense) He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Notice it does not say, "Will give later after baptism". You have the power to become a son of God if you will RECEIVE CHRIST!
John 3:5-6 says, "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (v6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." "BORN OF WATER" here DOES NOT MEAN WATER BAPTISM! AND IS EXPLAINED BY THE STATEMENT: "THAT WHICH IS BORN OF FLESH IS FLESH." Our physical birth was a "born of water" (mothers water) birth. Salvation is the "NEW BIRTH, SECOND BIRTH, BORN AGAIN, BORN OF THE SPIRIT" birth that takes place when one RECEIVES CHRIST AS SAVIOUR. At that moment in time they are placed into Christ. (Baptized spiritually) Galatians 3:27 and Acts 1:5 "John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." The moment a person is SAVED, he is placed in the BODY OF CHRIST, BY THE SPIRIT!
It is interesting to note that in Acts 9:5 Saul calls Jesus "Lord". In verse 11 he prays and in verse 12 sees a vision, in verse 15 is a "chosen vessel", in verse 17 receives the Holy Ghost, in verse 17-18 is healed and in verse 19 IS BAPTIZED!!! If you go to Acts 22 for the same account, youll notice that in v13 Ananias calls him "BROTHER SAUL"! and HE ISNT BAPTIZED YET!!! He is baptized in v16 which is often quoted out of context.
It is also interesting to note that in Acts 10:44-46 they were saved, received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues BEFORE THEY WERE BAPTIZED v47-48!!!
Did you ever notice that in John 3:18 Jesus says, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God:"? If baptism was necessary for Salvation, wouldnt that be the appropriate place to tell them, after all, vs22-23 shows them baptizing??? They werent condemned because they werent baptized, but because they didnt BELIEVE ON HIM!!!
IF YOU ARE RESTING ON YOUR BAPTISM TO GET TO HEAVEN, YOULL NEVER MAKE IT! John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son HATH EVERLASTING LIFE..." Maybe you have been told wrong all your life, after all, in the Bible, Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 say, "THERE IS A WAY THAT SEEMETH RIGHT UNTO A MAN, BUT THE END THEREOF ARE THE WAYS OF DEATH."
One last thought: If baptism removes sins, how is the last half of Revelation 1:5 explained? "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood."??
Baptism: The proper Method
Baptism pictures a Death, Burial and Resurrection and must be done in a way that pictures just that. For example, do we place the coffin on top of the ground and sprinkle dirt on it? I suggest you look up in the concordance, "BURY" "BURIED" "BURIAL" etc., and especially take notice of Deuteronomy 34:6 where God Himself "BURIED" Moses! The proper mode of burial is "PUT IN" IMMERSE! To have a consistent type or picture, you must also bury the body of the old man and raise up the new man to "walk in newness of life" Romans 6:4.
John 3:23 says, "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there..."
Acts 8:38 says, "...and they went DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER, BOTH PHILIP AND THE EUNUCH; AND HE BAPTIZED HIM."
Matthew 3:16-17 "AND JESUS, WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, WENT UP STRAIGHTWAY OUT OF THE WATER."
BAPTISM IS A PLANTING ACCORDING TO ROMANS 6:5, A BURIAL ACCORDING TO COLOSSIANS 2:12 AND A PICTURE OF RESURRECTION ACCORDING TO ROMANS 6:4-5 "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. For if we have been PLANTED TOGETHER IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, WE SHALL BE ALSO IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION."
The word "baptize" is transliterated from Greek "Baptizo" which means "to dip", "to plunge", "to submerge", "to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet)." If you havent been plunged under, submersed, you have not been SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED!
A WORD OF CAUTION: If you have not been born again, baptism is not for you, and if you have been baptized and not born again, baptism is of no value to you. You still MUST BE BORN AGAIN to go to Heaven.
PLEASE LOOK UP AND READ THESE SALVATION VERSES AND SEE THAT NONE OF THEM INCLUDE BAPTISM IN GODS PLAN OF SALVATION: JOHN 3:16, 3:18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:51, 6:54, 10:9; ACTS 4:12; ROMANS 10:9-13; EPHESIANS 2:8-9; COLOSSIANS 1:12-14; 1 JOHN 5:10-13. THESE VERSES ARE JUST A FEW. THERE ARE MANY, MANY OTHER SALVATION VERSES WHICH TOTALLY LEAVE BAPTISM OUT AS A NECESSITY FOR SALVATION. READ FOR YOURSELF. MAY THE TRUTH OF GODS WORD SET YOU FREE FROM MAN-MADE PLANS OF SALVATION. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY, JOHN 14:6, "JESUS SAITH UNTO HIM, I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME."