I do not believe that water baptism is necessary to our salvation. That it is the outward show of our inward new birth.
First what does the bible we must do in order to be saved?
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
This is it. Believe, confess, and repent. That is all.
Some will ask, what about these scriptures?
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 3:21
"21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
Don't these mean that we need to be baptized by water as well?
Well, lets take these verses one at a time as well as take them in context.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and 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.
By looking at the verses before and after you can see that He is talking about our first birth. When we are born from our mothers we are born of the flesh. It is our natural birth. This has nothing to do with water baptism. Being born of the Spirit is when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The nest verse that is used to support the idea that baptism is:
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
I think that we need to look at some word definitions in order to understand what is being said here.
First. The Greek translation of baptism:
Strong's Number: 908 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
bavptisma from (907)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
bap'-tis-mah Noun Neuter
and the definitions of both type and anti:
Type:( from Mariam Webster's)
Usage: often attributiveEtymology: Middle English, from Late Latin typus, from Latin & Greek; Latin typus image, from Greek typos blow, impression, model, from typtein to strike, beat; akin to Sanskrit tupati he injures and probably to Latin stupere to be benumbed1 a : a person or thing (as in the Old Testament) believed to foreshadow another (as in the New Testament)
Ok the prefix anti: (same source)
Main Entry: 1an·ti Pronunciation: 'an-"tī, 'an-teFunction: nounInflected Form(s): plural antisEtymology: anti-: one that is opposed
Lets try the verse again with the word immersion substituted for baptism:
1 Peter 3:21
"21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—immersion (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
This would mean that instead of having to be saved by water as Noah and his family was, we are saved by immersing ourselves in Jesus, through his resurrection.
This goes along with other verses in the bible, such as:
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Jesus' blood was shed for our sins, not baptism.
In order to understand this we must first understand what the blood means to us and what it meant to the Jews.
The Law of Moses was very clear that they had to sacrifice animals. The blood of these animals covered their sins. It did not take them away, but only covered their sins. The sacrifice that Jesus made and His blood takes away our sins. It was this sacrifice that makes it possible for us to be saved and for our sins to be washed away. Not baptism.
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
The Jews in the OT were saved by the temporary covering from the blood of their sacrifice, we are saved by the permanent covering from the blood of Jesus' sacrifice.
As the Jews didn't need to be baptized in water neither do we, we have a better covenant and sacrifice.
I am not in anyway opposed to baptism. I have been baptized.
I see baptism as a reconfirmation ceremony, a dedication ritual if you will. Kind of like you not having to attend a graduation ceremony in order to graduate, but it is preferred. It is telling everyone as well as yourself, that you have dedicated yourself to following God.
Just like in the OT the jews did not have to be baptized in order for their sins to be covered, we do not have to be baptized in order for our sins to be washed away.
The jews were known as jews, God's people. The Gentiles were largely pagans, they were baptized in order to set themselves apart from their country men. As well as to separate the believing jews apart from the non believing jews. This is why we say that it is a good idea to be baptized, it is a public declaration. It is not a salvation issue.
There is another baptism that is spoken of in Acts. This is not water baptism, but being baptized in the HS. This is for another discussion at a later time.
posted by Star @ 4:57 PM