Is Baptism essential for Salvation?
Is Baptism Essential for Salvation?
If it was, God would have to make it simple, plain, and beyond debate!
If it was, God would have written His Word so an honest truth seeker COULD NOT make a mistake in the matter.
If it was, all who trusted their own feelings about salvation instead of God's Word would not be able to see it right in front of their face.
How many baptisms does Scripture apply to our salvation??
Eph. 4: 4. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5. one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Which baptism is the ONE spoken of here?
HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM? WATER BAPTISM?
Which is taught as the essential one for becoming a Christian? Since the conversion of Cornelius is the most popular Scripture for claiming that just believing brings the Holy Spirit Baptism upon someone who then is saved, let's examine what the Scriptures say:
Acts 11: 13 "And (Cornelius) reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, `Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; 14 and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
So Cornelius was to hear the words Peter would speak to him in order to be saved. Now, look what Peter says in the very next verse:
Acts 11: 15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
Peter says that he BEGAN to speak and the Holy Spirit fell upon them. They had NOT heard the words that would save them yet! This shows that the Holy Spirit falling upon them was NOT a sign of their salvation, but a sign to the JEWS that God had accepted the Gentiles, which the Jews had never thought could be true. As Paul says in Corinthians: "Tongues are a sign for unbelievers!"
Once Paul had told them the Gospel, his comment on their baptism was:
Acts 10: "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Since Paul claims there is only one baptism and Peter sees Cornelius' baptism as being with water; water must be the one essential baptism.
The one baptism that makes a person a Christian is water baptism done in faith that this baptism joins you to Christ according to the promise of God, since this burial in water shows you to be dead in sin and helpless to do anything yourself to be saved.
Just as God does not join a man & a woman together in marriage BEFORE the wedding ceremony; God does not join Christ & a believer together BEFORE the baptism ceremony. T
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