Baptism: Necessary For Salvation

Amen, amen, I say unto thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (John 3:5)

There is a close connection between Baptism and the Resurrection of our Lord.  By Baptism we not only die to our sins with Christ on the Cross, we also rise to the new life of Grace with Christ risen from the dead.

In His great loving kindness, almighty God sent forth the spirit of adoption to regenerate the new people brought forth by Baptism.  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba, (Father.)  (Romans 8:15)

In His wisdom, God prepared mankind for this outpouring of His Grace through various types and figures.  At the very beginning of the world, ...the Spirit of God moved over the waters.  (Genesis 1:2) The very nature of water was thus sanctified; by a secret mixture of His divine virtue it was rendered fruitful for the regeneration of men.  The sanctification of water at the beginning of Creation pointed to the heavenly offspring that would emerge from the immaculate womb of Baptism, reborn a new creature.

In the Garden of Eden, water flowed forth to the ends of the world, thereby showing the universality of the call to regeneration.  (Genesis 2:6)

By water, God washed away the crimes of the guilty world.  The universal Flood was a figure for regeneration.  "God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also; not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  (1Peter 3:20)  At the same time, water would represent an end to vice and the beginning of virtue. (Genesis 7:10-24)

The crossing of the Israelites through the waters of the Red Sea is another powerful figure for the crossing of the Christian from death to life through the cleansing waters of Baptism.  (Exodus 14)

In the wilderness of Sinai, water was made to come forth miraculously from the rock, thus turning the bitterness of the desert into a place of spiritual refreshment.  (Numbers 20:13)

Water was changed into wine by Our Lord Jesus Christ when he performed His first miracle at the wedding in Cana. (John 2:1-11)

Another miracle was performed when Jesus walked dry foot across the water to the worried disciples. (Matthew 14:25)

Jesus set the example by submitting Himself to Baptism.  (Matthew 3:14-16)

After His death on the Cross, the side of Christ was pierced with a lance and both blood and water gushed forth, an image of the union between the sacrifice of Calvary and the regeneration of the water of Baptism.  (John 19:34)

The final command of Christ before He ascended back into heaven was, Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost... (Matthew 28:19).

We thereby see how important Baptism is, how central it was to the plan of God's redemption.  In Baptism the stains of all sins are washed out.  Human nature, created in the image of God, is reformed to the honour of its Author.  The soul is cleansed from all the filth of the old man.  Every baptised person is born again, a new child of true innocence.  

As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God.  My soul hath thirsted for the living God: when shall I come and appear before the face of God?  (Psalm 41:2-3)
perseverer perseverer
56-60, F
17 Responses Apr 9, 2012

Yes, Michael. There is "Baptism of desire" such as the penitent thief who was promised salvation on the cross. He would have freely chosen Baptism had he had the opportunity. But heaven was not denied to him just because he lacked opportunity. However, it must be remembered that this is the exception rather than the rule.

I have a question for you Barb. Say a person is sick in the hospital on their death bed and they repent in their heart and accept Christ as their Saviour but they die before they can be baptized. Would you think that person still has a chance to go to heaven? I think they would! I;m not God or anybody's Judge for that matter but I don't think God would hold that against them.

I meant to say would "NOT" hold that aginst them.

I agree with perserverer about water baptism and not just spirit. In the Book of Acts they were some that received the Holy Ghost {Spitiual Baptism} and Peter asked, "do any of you forbade {forbid} water seeing that these have received the gift of the Holy Ghost?" Others were amazed that these people had received the Holy Ghost before they was baptized with water, so there is a difference. It's called casting your sins in the sea of forgetfulness. To help you have a clear conscience toward God. If we are buried with Christ in baptism, we shall alike wise, arise a new creature. As the song goes, "You better go down in the name of Jesus when go down!"

There very much is a difference, and I thank you for referring to this text. These people received the Holy Ghost before they were baptised and made members of the Church, and Peter was careful to make the distinction and not deprive these people of the regeneration of Baptism.

Thank you, Michael, for reading this story and sharing your views about some of the texts. These are points of great importance and I do appreciate you giving me the opportunity to comment.<br />
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In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, "...baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...." hereby indicating three distinct Divine Persons. There is no contradiction with the text from Romans because we must assume that St Paul WOULD NOT DISOBEY THE CLEAR COMMAND OF HIS SAVIOUR!<br />
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What St Paul means by this text is the recognition of the authority of Christ; but we do believe in the triune God and the Church always used the Trinitarian formula in baptising.<br />
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The Bible teaches that baptism confers spiritual regeneration, washes away sins, and initiates a person into the Christian faith. In Acts 2:38 Peter is addressing adult converts to the Faith. So of course it is appropriate to exhort them to repentance! But that is not to say that infants should be denied the regenerative effects of baptism. On the contrary; the case for infant baptism is quite strong and it was the consistent practice of the Church up until the emergence of the Baptists in the sixteenth century.<br />
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We see in many texts that baptism saves, justifies, regenerates, initiates us into the kingdom, and is related to the coming of the Holy Ghost. We see in 1Corinthians 6:11 that the ONLY thing the believer does is get "washed" in baptism. Neither this text nor its context contain anything about belief or repentance.<br />
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The Bible contains no explicit command to baptise infants. But neither does it expressly prohibit it; nor does it tell us to only baptise adult believers, or those old enough to make a free decision. Acts 16:15 and 16:33 and 1Corinthians 1:16 refer to whole households being baptised. Furthermore the Bible teaches that infants are just as much a part of the covenant as adults eg Deuteronomy 29:10-12 "Your little ones...may enter into the sworn covenant of the Lord." This is underscored by Paul's elaborate argument comparing baptism to circumcision. (Colossians 2:11-13) Since circumcision was performed on eight day old boys, it stands to reason that he assumed baptism would also be performed on very young infants. Why else would he make such a comparison?

All of that sounds like you know what you're talking about.
I just don't believe in the trinity, I believe in one God manifesting himself in three forms. The creator, creator became a man, and now he's the Holy Ghost. These three are one. Jesus said, I and my Father ARE ONE! not {as one}. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God, and the word was made fleah and we beheld his glory, the begotten of the Father. You know that begotten means {fathered} right? Mary was conceived by the spirit of God and the spirit of God performed the fatherly functions in her womb due to no man contact, so when the bay was born, it was part man because of Mary and part God because the spirit was in the womb, so Jesus was God manifested in the flesh but his name was Jesus. After he died and arose from the dead, he returned as the Holy Ghost, that's why Jesus said, If go not away, the comforter cannot come!
I know some of that was out of text but that's the best way I know to explain it. The bible does say that Mary was conceived by the Holy Ghost, that's what made God the father, so it only makes sense that Jesus was God in the flesh, that's why he was like a walking bible. He was the word and the word was made flesh!
Now I don't expect you to agree with me or my views and beliefs but that's exactly why I believe in baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ and that's why Peter did, Peter knew who he was. Peter asked Jesus, show us thy father and it will satisfy us! Jesus said, I have been so long with you and you yet not know the father? When you see me you see the father, why therefore asketh thou me to show thee the father? So Peter baptized everybody in the name of Jesus, why? Because he knew who the FATHER was! He knew who the SON was and the Holy Ghost! I love you and wish you the very best in God's love! Michael
I really meant what I said on a job well done with the pics. and the scriptures, a really good job indeed.

One God manifesting Himself in three forms IS the Trinity. One God - three Divine Persons. Mark 1:10-11 "And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased."

When we refer to the mystery of the incarnation of Jesus, we say, "He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary" or words to that effect, because it is not correct to say that Mary was conceived by the spirit of God. Mary was conceived in the normal way.

Peter knew, because Jesus explained it to him, that Jesus is the second Person of the triune God. When he spoke of baptising in the name of Jesus, he meant by Jesus' authority and express command. The actual command very specifically says "baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19) and there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that Peter acted contrary to the express command of his Saviour.

Thank you for reading this and giving so much thought to it. I very much enjoyed writing it.

I believe in being submersed under the water in the name of Jesus Christ after repentance. Whether it determines ones destiny I wouldn't say other than the sc<x>ripture you quoted except a man be born of the water and of the sprit he cannot entenr the Kingdom of God. However, one can contradict that sc<x>ripture with another sc<x>ripture so I wouldn't say it's a must do but should be a will to do and a desire to do if sincere about their salvation.<br />
The issue I have is that Jesus was talking to the twelve Apostles in Matt. 28:19 <br />
Jesus said baptizing them in the name {singular} not plural {names} and by the way. Father, Son, Holy Spirit are not {names}. I'm a father and I'm a son which are my titles and not my name. My name is Michael Baker. So when Peter said in Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the {name} of Jesus Christ and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. He was following the commandment that Jesus gave them in Matt. 28:19 because Jesus said I come in my {Father's name} and the comforter which I shall send to you, He will come in my name. All through the book of Acts everybody that was baptized was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will not find one account where anybody used baptizm using "Titles". Jesus Christ, the only name given among men whereby we must be saved. The name which all of Heaven and earth is named. So yes I believe in water baptizm but to be adopted into the family of Christ you need to appy the name as Jesus said to do. Everybody is repating what Jesus said instead of doing what Jesus said. The Apostles were by his side and they followed his commandments and baptized averybody in the name of Jesus Christ.<br />
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With all that said, I love the way you put your story together and the pictures, a very good job indeed! I have to give you 4 stars! :-}

I believe in it. I don't like to complicate myself with the details. I just know beyond a doubt. I don't second guess, its impossible to. When I believed in heaven as the church did I had my doubts. Now I know. Its beyond faith, its a knowing that roots down to the very core of my soul. A knowing that I cannot ever question, ever.<br />
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Nature is the universe expressing itself, its beauty. The harmony between all things working in balance is the very nature of love itself. Christians say God is love. Confucius says Nature is heaven. Taoists say that God is the balance. Muslims say that heaven is a paradise of nature. Christians describe heaven as rivers flowing in a land as Eden and fruit trees filling the forests.<br />
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Our human nature is aware of nature as the purest of beauty. This makes one to question what hell is as well. We must look to the meanings of hell. In most religions it is a place suffering and punishment for sin. It is ruled by a evil figure and we are tortured endlessly by demons. The universe can evolve into chaos, it is seen in the trees of thorns, the poisonous fruit, the rattlesnake, the black widow. If you are unkind to nature it will truly become a torturous hell. Where all torture each other. Satan means "King of Destruction" Hell means "Land with no life" Imagine if humans destroyed all of nature and all that was left are cities. It is not so hard to imagine especially after 200 thousand years of a creature evolving in pure chaos and becoming trapped in it forever biologically. Can the rattlesnake return from its path, the black widow? Can the dog lose its fang and begin to eat the grass? So eternal damnation in hell is understandable.

Interesting. What do you make, I wonder, of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus? And what of his words to the thief, "Today you will be with me in Paradise."?

The Kingdom of God is Nature. <br />
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In the Garden of Eden, water flowed forth to the ends of the world, thereby showing the universality of the call to regeneration. (Genesis 2:6)<br />
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God gave us heaven from the start in Eden. It is only in our ego that we say we can create heaven as a place where only humans exist. Heaven is a place for all creatures. If you wish to be born of the water, plant a fruit tree near the banks of a stream and eat of its fruit alone. The streets of heaven are layed with Gold, with fine jaspers and agates. If you go to the streams of the forest where do you see the agate and the jasper? Or the gold leafs? Do you wish to see heaven? <br />
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Be as the bee that kisses the flower and spreads its seed. For the bees gift to the flower it gave it heaven. In the same way you must nurture nature and it will give you heaven. Look to your highways where you buzz like flies in the hive of your cities in search for your gold. Your streets will be lined with thorns and nature will curse you. You will pick of the thorns berries and your hands will be stained as the blood you spill from nature. Remember the story of the bees stinger and its hive of which it collects the gold. Hell is a place only you can create. You will separate into species of which will forever rule over the weak and be as demons. Just as you have done to the pig. Jesus tore down these walls of hell holding the pigs. Rushed them into the river. Know the ways of the river of life, that the holy spirit, the great spirit of life gives to us freely.

Pilate said to Christ, "What is truth?", and then condemned Him to death without cause. How many other men since Pilate's day, have asked that same question, and like him, have not waited for the answer? Pontius Pilate, that pagan sceptic, stands at the head of that long list of libertines and agnostics who have feared to face truth, lest knowing it, their better nature might urge them to follow where it leads. Generally speaking, outside the Catholic Church, the majority of Christian people, following Luther's heresy of private judgement, regard religious truth as the product merely of their own minds. False ideas of truth are utterly opposed to human reason, and are consequently opposed also to Catholic teaching; for in every case, Catholic doctrine is always a rational, intelligent understanding of the primary concerns of human life. Truth is not a relative or subjective term that can change with the opinions of men. It is something universal and unchanging and is no more the creation of the human mind than is the universe around us. The fact that God exists, that He has revealed His relationship with men, that the human soul is an immortal spirit, that the Catholic Church is infallible in matters of faith and morals, are all ob<x>jectively true, whether men believe them or not. Truth has its origin in the mind of God and not in the mind of man. The human mind does not make truth; its function is merely to know and express what is true. <br />
Now, it IS true, that Christ commanded baptism with water, notwithstanding rare cases (baptism of desire/blood). The sc<x>riptures, Church teaching and tradition affirm it! In the first ages of the Church those who asked for baptism were not immediately permitted to receive it. They were instructed, and underwent a trial ordinarily for two years. They were called catechumens, that is, catechised. When the time for their baptism approached, they were examined in assemblies, called assemblies of scrutiny. Baptism was given the night previous to Easter and Pentecost; because the first of these feasts called to mind the passage of the Red Sea by the Jews; and the second, the passage from the old to the new law. <br />
After baptism, the newly-baptized were dressed in white, to signify the innocence and spiritual liberty which they had recovered. They then received confirmation and communion; after which milk and honey were presented to them to eat, to signify that they had entered into the true land of promise. The newly-baptized wore their white garments during eight days, which were days of joy, prayer, instruction and all kinds of good works. They also faithfully preserved the remembrance of their baptism. Each year they celebrated the anniversary with new fervour. This feast was called the annotine (that is annual) Pasch. <br />
There is nothing more venerable than the ceremonies which accompany the administration of baptism. They date back to the first ages of the Church, and represent perfectly the dignity and effects of the sacrament of baptism. These effects are 1st. to protect the life of the child; 2nd, to protect its innocence; 3rd to inspire parents with a great respect and care for their children; 4th, to make them bear cheerfully the trouble and pain inseperable from their early education. The idea of some mental affirmation taking the place of all this is against reason. So, it is clear. Baptism is necessary for the salvation of all men because Christ has said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

And which one of the sc<x>riptural citations I have listed contradicts the belief and practice of the Church? Answer: none. See Acts 8:27-38 about Phillip and the Ethiopian. Having explained to the Ethiopian that Jesus is the prophetic lamb spoken of in the book of Isaiah and having preached the Gospel, the Ethiopian says, "See here is water, what hindereth me from being baptised?And Phillip said: If thou believest with thy whole heart, thou mayest. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, Phillip, and the eunuch, and he baptised him."<br />
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This account clearly and unmistakably shows that Phillip preached Baptism as necessary for salvation and that the eunuch clearly perceived that the physical action of water being poured was a necessary component of it.

Physical circumcision and physical baptism of the Old Covenant were types of a better, spiritual circumcision of the heart and spiritual baptism into Christ. We must conform our doctrines to the sc<x>riptures, and not (even longstanding) tradition.

LaynePCP I am sorry, but I missed that bit about the water of the Word in verse 5 of John 3. In my Bible this verse reads: "Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say unto thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Jesus was most explicit about the water.<br />
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In Mark 16:16 Jesus says: "He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned."

Miss, I posted a corrective post in this group regarding the issue. I am concerned for the people who read what you write, and am not interested in debating with anyone who is devoted to a book (Catholic catcheism) that defies scripture by asserting itself as having equal authority.

You are wrong about John 3:5, and about Mark 16:16, and thankfully for the man who repented on the cross, you are wrong. Enough said.

Steppingup, the demands of an extraordinary situation do not also apply to ordinary situations. In situations where a person cannot be baptised but would like to be, there is such a thing as a "baptism of desire", but in circumstances where there is no hindrance to receiving the sacrament, baptism is necessary for salvation.<br />
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The example of the thief on the cross represents one such extraordinary situation. He had the desire for salvation, and thus would have chosen Baptism if he had been given the chance. Baptism is explicitly tied in with salvation in several biblical passages. Acts 2:38, 1Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16, Romans 6:3-4, Acts 22:16, 1Corinthians 6:11 and Titus 3:5. <br />
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I am glad that you are encouraging people to be baptised. Thank you for reading this and leaving your comment. It is always important to remember that rules have exceptions.

Baptism is a step of obedience, not a requirement for salvation. There is no saving power in physical water, but in the blood of the Savior. Jesus is talking about the water of the Word in verse 5 of John 3, not of physical water. And that water of the Word brings regeneration through the ministering of the Holy Spirt.

Thank you both for reading this and for your comments. Nellkellicus, you ask, "Who can doubt it?" Fundamentalists do not only doubt it; they deny it. For them, it is only the assent of faith that is necessary for salvation. Furthermore, once made, salvation cannot be lost. They believe it is guaranteed. It is for this reason that I have published this story in this group. To think that Baptism is not necessary for salvation is perilous.

I've written elsewhere of my unusual Baptism. Who can doubt it?

Excellent Sister