Here’s an interesting analogy since circumcision was brought into the picture there, and there’s kind of an image of circumcision in Colossians 2. Water baptism is not essential. Now, here’s a very key text for me, because when I went to Germany, I was a lone Baptist in a den of Lutheran lions. For he who has died is freed from sin (6-7). What hinders you from being baptized? This tells us that, for Paul, justification can include sanctification, which is the interior renewal of the soul whereby the objective guilt of sin is removed. This is the same kind of language that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 1:17. They say this second baptism is required to receive spiritual gifts, specifically a prayer language, which they call speaking in tongues. 45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. I remember taking a retreat with twelve little cubs and one big doktorvater, Leonhard Goppelt. Baptism is necessary for salvation. I said, “Run,” but I also said, “Grab your hat.” Grabbing your hat is an accompanying act, not a causative one. Now, that’s the way I think we should hear Peter when he says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, and make the train of forgiveness.” You get on the train of forgiveness if you repent and are baptized. Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? The burial with Christ in the water and the rising with Christ out of the water, it seems to me from that text, are not what unites you to Christ — that is, the going under the water, the coming up out of the water. A few even say that manifestation of this prayer language is the only approved confirmation that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has taken place, and without it a person’s very salvation … James 2 teaches faith without works is dead. Those who champion the argument for the necessity of baptism for salvation often bring up these verses and others: Mark 16:15 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. On Christmas Day, 1977, I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. God uses faith as the sole instrument of union with Christ, and thus counts us righteous and becomes one hundred percent for us in the instant that we have faith in Jesus. Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Is baptism necessary for salvation? Do we want to say that the great apostle Paul was disobedient to Jesus’ instruction? No, it can’t be. But you couldn’t support that knowing, for example, that the thief on the cross had no opportunity for baptism or church membership. Here’s the second thing I would say: Paul treats baptism as an expression of faith so that the decisive act that unites us to Christ is faith, and it is expressed outwardly in baptism. We know that Paul’s statement, “For Christ did not send me to baptize,” is hyperbolic because Jesus commanded all the apostles to make disciples of all nations by baptizing them (Matt.28:19-20). If it were, Paul the apostle never would have said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17a). .” Now, if you stopped right there, you’d say, “Well, there it is. Rather, he is concerned with the administration of baptism. Christ has done it all. If it were, Paul the apostle never would have said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17a). His preaching of the gospel could have included the necessity of baptism for salvation—with the administration of the actual rite of baptism left to other ministers. The source or power to forgive is not in the water, or in faith, repentance, or confession. This is a question that has caused anxiety or confusion for many. However, baptism is very important and all believers should be baptized. That’s my answer. Faith precedes baptism and is operative in baptism. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Baptism: Necessary for Salvation . Paul valued baptism, dearly, but preaching the gospel was his core concern because he knew that receiving the gospel by faith was the necessary ingredient for salvation. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that. 1:9). But only one of them is a cause of getting to the train on time — namely, running. It’s not the water that effects our justification or union with Christ. Several church groups believe in baptismal regeneration; teaching that both repentant faith and water baptism are essential prerequisites to personal salvation. What does and doesn’t constitute the gospel is not Paul’s concern here. In my book Meeting the Protestant Challenge, I offer three ways we can meet this challenge. Suppose, Tony, that you want to go from Phoenix to LA on a train, and it’s about to leave. Ananias told Paul he should be baptized, and Paul was therefore baptized. This is a question that has caused anxiety or confusion for many. We owe everything to his grace. . If it were, Paul the apostle never would have said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17a). I had a bunch of others, but I thought for time’s sake I’ll just leave them out. Even though he just said baptism saves you, what he means is that this outward act signifies an appeal to God that’s coming from the heart. And in the larger context of Scripture, we see that baptism is NOT a … Jesus defined the terms for entrance into His Kingdom: “Except a … Jesus defined the terms for entrance into His Kingdom: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5). And baptism is important for all kinds of reasons, but it’s not causative in the same way that repentance is. Anything less is not true biblical baptism … The water is a picture of the cleansing, but the faith in the heart, the call on the Lord from faith, is what unites us and forgives us. Here’s my bottom-line answer to the question: faith precedes baptism. Do we become one with Christ, and does God become one hundred percent for us before, in, or after baptism?” Because in the New Testament, the word saved is used for what happens before, in, and after baptism. It still comes up today—the question of whether baptism is a necessary part of being saved. 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