Is water baptism for salvation biblical, does biblical automatically
mean applicable to us today?
Not cutting one's beard and making animal sacrifices is biblical too.
mean that this applies to us today.
We should be able to agree that there are things said in the bible that are not
applicable to us today.
For instance, I should not be concerned about making animal
sacrifices anymore or cutting
my beard. (Leviticus 19:27), or whether my flight is on the sabbath. (Matthew 24:20)
So everything should be judged
in light of the whole counsel of God and context.
Take books like James for instance which in the very first verse
say, 'To the twelve tribes scattered abroad.' Now if there wasn't something to them specifically, what was the purpose of
"Studying the Bible dispensationally may seem confusing at first but actually it dispels confusion, explains
difficult problems, reconciles seeming contradictions and lends power to the believers ministry.
"If I should step
inside a modern United States Post Office all would doubtless seem very confusing to me. But it would be a mistake to suggest
piling all the mail neatly in one corner and handing it out promiscuously to all corners as some would do with the Bible.
The postal employees must 'rightly divide' the mail so that each person receives what is addressed to him. What seems like
confusion to the novice is really a simplification of the work to be done in getting each person's private mail to him.
is granted that in the Bible even that which was addressed to those of other dispensations is given to us for our learning
and profit, but we must not confuse this with our own private mail or make the mistake of carrying out instructions meant
particularly for others.
While I am reading mail addressed personally to me, a friend may hand me, for my interest
or information, mail addressed to him. His mail and mine may all prove informative and profitable, but I must still be careful
not to confuse the two, expecting to receive things promised to him or carrying out instructions addressed to him.
all the Bible is for us, but it is not all addressed to us or written about us, and if we would really understand and enjoy
it; if we would really know how to use it effectively in service for Christ, we must be careful always to note who is addressing
whom, about what and when and why."
Baptism follows salvation but is no longer required for salvation.
is the first verse:
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit
is spirit. ...After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and
baptized. (John 3)
First, being born of water and of the spirit is defined in the following verse. It says, That which
is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' So born of water is being born of the flesh.
born of water is being born in the mother's womb where one is literally born of water.
So being born in our mother's
womb is being born, being born of the spirit which comes after faith and salvation in Christ is being born again.
Some would say that conversion comes before belief.
'You believe because you are my sheep.'
Here Jesus says that one is a sheep before one believes.
However, this is a whole other discussion for another time.
For now, suffice it to say that whenever we look at the union of
God and man, we have a mystery where we cannot fully comprehend how God is both sovereign yet it is still our 'responsibility
to respond to his ability'.
Check out my messages entitled: Wanna Know a Secret?
The Mysteries Revealed
We have nothing to do with being born of water anymore than we have anything to do with being born of the spirit,
except that we place our trust in Christ who then baptizes us with the spirit.
Titus 3:5; Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made
heirs according to the hope of eternal
life. (Titus 3)
Here again context clarifies this passage. The washing here
says nothing about washing with water. The passage goes on to say that 'he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our
Here the washing and the renewing is shed on us through Jesus Christ not through water baptism.
2:38; "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)
Again context will clarify this passage.
He is talking to Israel:
2) He has condemned Israel for crucifying the Lord, so baptism is given as an expression of
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye
have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
This is why the cross was offered as a condemnation to Israel in the early part
of the book of Acts.
3) The Holy Spirit was a promise to 'as many as the Lord our God shall call.'
that we should look at how the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles (most of us)
Here it is:
"While Peter yet
spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were
astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For
they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not
be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the
Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10)
Notice that when Peter preached to the Gentiles here,
water baptism came after belief, filling with the spirit and salvation, not before.
When speaking to the Jews in chapter
two, Peter makes repentance and water baptism a prerequisite to being filled with the Holy Spirit, but with the Gentiles they
were filled first.
So if baptism is necessary before one is saved then why did it not ever happen this way with Gentiles?
dispensationalism has a proper answer to this question.
To the Jew of Acts:
"Therefore let all the house of
Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they
heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what
shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all
that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
Finally, God would declare all guilty and in unbelief
so that he might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:32)
Acts is a transitional book and should be seen as leading to a point.
The same goes for Romans and Hebrews.
Acts 22:16: And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away
thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Again, context clarifies this passage.
1) It is speaking to Paul.
Is it baptism or 'calling on the name of the Lord' which saves?
The Amplified says this:
"And now, why do you
delay? Rise and be baptized, and by calling on his name, wash away your sins."
Notice that it is calling on his name
that washes away Paul's sins, not being baptized, though water baptism is an outward and obedient act that symbolizes what
has already happened in the believer.
1 Corinthians 6:11; And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Nothing here about water
baptism. In fact it says 'ye are
washed' ....'by the Spirit of our God'
ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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."
Again the Catholic insistence on applying these verses that are referring to spiritual baptism
to water baptism is consistently wrong.
A simple reading of context would clear up the matters quick.
we know that the Bible sets a precedent for knowing a difference between kinds of baptism, refer to the following scripture
that plainly makes a distinction. (John 19:4)
One must ask themselves at what part of the transition are we looking
Certainly, at one point Jesus called Gentiles dogs and only went to the House of Israel. If we insist on
quoting that scripture to prove that the Gentiles cannot be saved we would be wrong. (Matthew 10:5)
So then why don't
we look at all scripture in regards to baptism?
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be
Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12)
this passage we see that there are different kinds of baptisms mentioned in scripture.
Where some dispies go wrong
is in the other direction when they assume that because there is NOW, ONE baptism (Ephesians 4) that this must mean that there
is no longer any need for water baptism.
This is not true either. The use of the word ONE, means united not singular.
baptism still has its place once a person places their faith in Christ. Baptism in water is a symbolic and obedient act by
the believer who has already been baptized spiritually through faith in Christ.
After folks that Paul preached to were saved they were 'immediately baptized.'
Hebrews 10:22; "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from
an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Here nothing is said about our bodies being washed with
pure water as what saves us.
Our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience is spiritually not physically.
heart here is referring to the spirit, so how can the spirit be sprinkled by physical water.
Also baptism never refers
to a sprinkling but an immersion.
1 Peter 3:21:
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now 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: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject
Here the clarification is in the same verse. It says, "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but
the answer of a good conscience toward God. " and it ends with 'by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
is symbolic of the death and resurrection with Christ that has already happened for the believer. Water baptism is what happens
after the spiritual conversion i.e. spiritual death and resurrection that has happened in us.
It is for a good conscience
that we are water baptised. It is for a good conscience that we read our bibles, pray etc, but none of these things saves
us. We do these things because we are saved.
Notice good works follow salvation not create it.
we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." (Hebrews 6)
When we recognize that there are two main programs going on in the New Testament, scripture becomes clear.