We are not Saved by Baptism

We are not Saved by Baptism is an article looking at salvation in baptism, and outside of baptism. People saying they are saved because of baptism.

What Churches teach and Why?

The Bible is very clear that any person that has the promise of salvation, of going to hell instead of hell, it is only because of their faith in what Christ did in the Cross. We, in ourselves, cannot obtain salvation by any means. Procuring salvation means doing what is necessary to get to heaven, avoid hell, and this is different from what Baptismal Regenerationalism is (the technical term for being saved through water Baptism). God made the plan of salvation, and we accept the plan on God’s terms.

If I want to go from one place to another by train or plane, I buy a ticket. I procured the means whereby I can travel from A to B in a reasonable amount of time. But I did not build the plane. I did not buy the fuel for the trip. I do not pay the crew’s salaries. All of that is provided to me by the airline or Amtrak. They have the right (owning the medium by which I will travel) to make me show up early, check various points (passport, no some items, etc.). But in the end analysis, I can just not show up on the day of my voyage, and I am not going to get to my destination most probably. Maybe I can use a car, but again, I have to do things to buy a car, maintain the vehicle, and make it ready for the trip, and even then, roads may be closed due to weather, etc. frustrating my journey again.

We need to understand that salvation is like this. God does everything to insure we get there, but we have to do our part, and this doesn’t give us the glory. The glory belongs to the airline.

So why churches teach this is because it makes salvation a very organization specific act. In other words, if the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church as they teach, and salvation comes through getting wet in one of their churches with one of their ministers, they effectively control salvation. Everybody else outside their group are going to hell, or purgatory or wherever, but not heaven.

The Church of Christ teaches this same doctrine. Even though a person is saved through faith (as they also teach), salvation somehow doesn’t become effective until the person “gets wet”.

With the ministry of Jack Hyles, independent Baptists also have taken up this false doctrine in their practice. As it is logical with the Catholics, Church of Christ, and others, they see a great priority of getting new converts “wet” in the baptismal pool as soon as possible. This means, if a visitor comes and “gets saved” in one of their services, they absolutely have to baptize that person before they leave the building. Their urgency reveals where their doctrine truly is regarding the place of Baptism.

What does the Bible teach regarding Baptism?

These baptismal regenerationalists believe that their urgency is biblical.

Acts 8:36 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?
Acts 8:37 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.

But the Bible does not teach that getting wet gets you saved. Notice that the condition BEFORE being baptized is that the person believe with all thine heart. It is an argument that we need to take up here. Can a person believe unto salvation when they have not been taught anything or very little about true salvation?

I compare this to the typical Catholic. How can they come from a water-saves church to a true church, and just automatically know why this “baptist baptism” is different from what they were taught in the Catholic church? To go from a Catholic baptism saves to a Protestant baptism saves falls short, and the person is still unsaved.

The problem is broader, though. The church (Baptist) that baptizes immediately is not following Scripture. Belief, and this means some good level of understanding the doctrine of Salvation, is a requirement BEFORE salvation. Philip came to the Eunuch which was studying the OT Scriptures. There was a Bible interest and learning in the Eunuch that is not in our Baptist dunkers cases.

What’s more, the thief on the cross had the promise of the Savior to be in heaven with him. He was never baptized. So baptism in itself is not what saves us, but belief in the Savior.

The Baptism that does save us

Actually, there is a baptism that is mentioned in use with salvation.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

What we see here is the baptism that does save a person. That baptism is different from what any church can offer through their baptismal pools.

(1) The baptizer is Christ alone.
(2) The medium is not water but the Holy Spirit.
(3) The fire is apparently religious zeal focusing on holiness (the medium, holiness, bonds with our lives).

What these guys are doing is giving people a false hope of salvation and everything is “good” between them and God.

Jeremiah 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

Ezekiel 13:16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

One of the greatest stumbling blocks for somebody to truly get saved is when some minister promises them that everything “is okay” between them and God when God sees their sins, there is no salvation, and these assurances only close the person’s mind to the true message of God. Being a pastor for 40 years, it is very difficult for people to truly grasp salvation. Many say they are saved, only to prove otherwise with the progress of their lives. They have no fruit of salvation.

So just to be clear, when a person understands what Christ did on the cross and how it affects mankind and man’s sins, and that person believes in Christ’s work, that it applies individually to him, he receives Christ as his Savior and is saved. This is independent of water baptism at this point.

But at the same moment he believes and receives Christ as Savior, that person is then baptized by Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit comes into that person’s body to take up eternal and permanent residence in the person. That is his “spiritual baptism”. It is the same thing as being saved.

Water baptism is ALWAYS by an officer of a local church, and that baptism is a reflection that the person has received Christ. The two baptisms are one, in that people who are spiritually baptized by Christ into the Holy Spirit have the command to be baptized, and by this subsequent water baptism, they are now identified with the body of Christ, a local group of believers.

These baptists that work as though water baptism HAS TO BE IMMEDIATE show that they do not understand salvation nor baptism. They feed on numbers, and the people that they baptize are not saved by that baptism. This is clearly the work of false prophets, not men of God.

Most churches through the centuries since Christ have had some kind of instruction over some period of time before baptizing converts. In all cases, we can assume, some portion of these converts disappear. But it is concerning when 98% of them are not to be found in a month, a year, or in 5 years time. They did not understand the gospel presented to them, or they did not believe. This blame falls on those who do the explaining and the baptizing in water.

We are not Saved by Baptism

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