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Does Water Baptism Save Us?

We have considered whether Holy Spirit Baptism saves us and without a doubt proven that it does not. Now we want to consider whether water baptism saves us? Is water baptism necessary for salvation? Many and most will simply say no, water baptism is not necessary. That is the by far the most popular belief in today's generation. Of course we also know that many and most will follow that broad path to destruction. (Matthew 7:13, 14)

The quick answer to the question, does baptism save us and is it necessary for salvation is emphatically yes! We could stop here with a few passages that leave no doubt about the fact that water baptism saves us. Anyone that has not already been taught what the majority has been taught... those having no bias towards any belief already would clearly agree it's necessary.

God inspired Peter to tell us outright, "baptism does also now save us"...

1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Peter preached the first gospel message after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, on the day of Pentecost. When those people heard him, they asked what they had to do. They wanted to know how they could make things right, what were they going to have to do to be forgiven and saved? Peter replied to them and explained to them how to call on the name of the Lord...

Acts 2:36-38 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "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.

Notice how Peter stated that baptism was for the "forgiveness of sins". Just as Ananias instructed Paul, it washes away our sins...

Acts 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

I'm not sure why we have to go any further. However, there are so many objections to water baptism that it seems necessary to defend the truth over and over and over. So... I will continue for those who want to be hard-headed, hard-hearted and stubborn as a mule. It seems that some folks will never learn. Generally I think it's a pride issue in many cases. Some believe they are going to lose too many friends because it's not the most popular belief. Of course they probably couldn't even continue to worship in vain where they worship now if they started believing, teaching and preaching the truth. It's a tough thing to be sold out for God and the truth because again, it's not the most popular way. I often hear people say their parents, grandparents, family, etc., have always believed this way or practiced worship in this way. What I don't understand is if their parents, grandparents and/or family was or is wrong, are they going to continue to believe in the same way and worship in the same way? Why? I use to tell my mother that so-in-so is doing this or that... she would always ask me if so-in-so jumped in the fire does that mean I was going to jump in the fire also. As childish as it may seem, it's a very legitimate question.

After Jesus had risen He appeared to the apostles and commanded them...

Mark 16:15, 16 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Jesus said it Himself, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,"... what more could we possibly need to be convinced that water baptism saves us? However there are some who would say, "But notice that Jesus said that if they did not believe they would be condemned, but He didn't say that if they were not baptized they would be condemned." What? Please spare me this lame explanation! Jesus did not have to say this because believing is a prerequisite to baptism. If you do not believe then baptism does you absolutely no good. It is impossible to please God without faith and if we do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we will die in our sins.

John 8:23-24 He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The Ethiopian eunuch wanted to be baptized, but Phillip would not allow it unless the eunuch believed...

Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

We must believe! If we do not believe we are condemned already and whether we are baptized or not makes no difference. Besides, why would Jesus state that those who believe and are baptized would be saved and not mean it? Those who claim baptism does not save us are basically calling Jesus a liar, God a liar and the apostles liars. That's scary ground to be walking on. But it doesn't even come close to stopping here. There are mounds of other objections that we will consider.

To be continued... there is much more to cover. June 9, 2007

God bless you!

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