Answers to some common arguments critics use in an attempt to nullify the need for baptism:
Instead of changing God’s salvation plan, why not let God’s salvation plan change you?
“For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.”
The first thing Satan always attacks is the Word of God. It was the first thing he attacked in the Garden of Eden and the Word of God is still the first thing he attacks today. His tactics have not changed a bit. He keeps using the same old strategy over and over again on fresh batches of people. As generations come and as generations go, he repeatedly deceives the nations in the same way.
In the beginning, God told Eve, “Do not eat of the fruit of the tree…” and Satan came along and said, “Did God really say ‘Do not eat of the fruit of the tree’?” He managed to persuade Eve that’s not really what God meant. Satan asks people the same question today, “Did God really say you need to be baptized to be saved?”
The answer is, “Yes, He did.”
Why are there so many that profess to believe in Jesus Christ but have such a hard time with what should be clearly apparent to them? There are many passages on baptism in the Scriptures. It seems so clear and obvious to some but more difficult for others. Why is this?
Perhaps the answer can be found in being tied to this verse and the message of the cross:
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death. We will certainly be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. --Romans 6:3-8
Q: Where did Jesus die?
A: Christ died on a cross!
Baptism is when we become united with Christ and are crucified with Him. And those that resist the Scriptural teaching of baptism, resist the message of the cross:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. –1Corinthians 1:18
And it is impossible to separate the message of the cross from the biblical teaching of baptism. The two go hand in hand. The message of the cross is gut wrenching enough, let alone it now becoming when WE, ourselves must personally decide to be crucified with Christ and become unified with Him in His death—which was on the cross! Consider what Jesus went through on the cross. And then consider that all we have to do to be saved is believe, repent of our sins and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins. This is nothing considering what He did for us that day on that cross two millenniums ago…
The work of the cross is God’s offer of life…
Baptism is our acceptance.
It should be noted full well, that God is a God of order, light and truth, not one of confusion and darkness. By giving us the scriptures, God wants us to understand and see. His purpose is not to confuse. If we see everything that God is telling us about baptism and its essential need, we see the perfect order and harmony in these scriptures. If baptism is necessary then it is not hard to see the wonderful agreement, conformity, and synchronization of these scriptures. They all fit together perfectly, like pieces of a puzzle. If baptism is not necessary, and if we accept the critics “explanations”, we see confusing meanings, contradictory commands, clashing explanations, and conflicting instructions, along with a schizophrenic God that can’t make up his mind about anything He is trying to tell us. We end up understanding less than when we started! But God is not a God of confusion but one of order.
To those who may be more aware of the spiritual battle that rages around us…
If baptism is as important as we are making out, if it is when we become saved and God forgives our sins, then wouldn’t you just expect the devil to set up every argument he could against the need and necessity of baptism? Would you not expect him to resist and attempt to persuade the world that one does not need to be baptized into Christ? He does not just roll over and die without a fight. And if we were to consider what arguments to use to deceive people what arguments would they be?
It is a grave mistake to remove the essential necessity of baptism from the gospel message! Jesus started His public ministry by being baptized Himself and He ended it by commanding the Apostles to baptize and teach disciples as they went into the entire world.
There are many people who have a deep and sincere faith in Christ. Yet, because the Word of God does not capitulate to the teachings of men, these people are being held at the “one yard line” by error (to use a phrase from the sport of American football). Though they sit on the doorstep to the kingdom of heaven, they have not yet entered in. If Jesus were on the earth today I believe Christ would say something like, “You are not far from the kingdom of heaven. You lack this one thing. Go and do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Do not be like the foolish who, though they were at the very door, remained locked out.
Christ died a painful, excruciating, humiliating death for us. Consider the words of Isaiah the prophet concerning the Christ. All Christ asks is we be baptized into His name to experience His resurrection and victory over death (and then follow Him for the rest of our life). He died alone on that cross and was separated from God for us. Being unified with Him in His death is the only way to be unified into His life. Baptism is a simple and easy thing to do. It is time to put aside human teachings and traditions of men and follow the scriptures alone as our sole source of truth.
For those people that have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ but have not yet been baptized, you are urged to do so immediately. Don’t let the devil hold you at the one-yard line. You are so close. Get over that line. Being baptized is such a small thing. It takes a few moments. God has done so much for us and does not ask for much in return. Being baptized is a small thing to do in return. Christ set us an example Himself, and He commands it as well. It is the perfect measure of faith and action working together. --Faith that God will forgive your sins and add you to the kingdom of heaven and to His body and new life. This website has explained what baptism means and what is so significant about it. There is no need to delay any further.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
If you would like to be baptized or have other questions, please send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are they who enter in through it. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leads to life, and few are they that find it.” --Matthew 7:13-14
Most assuredly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it." –Mark 10:15
Here is some food for thought for those that wish to look at the issue using 100% logic:
If the critics were correct and baptism is NOT a requirement to be saved, and we ARE baptized, we will still be saved. But if, on the other hand, baptism IS required and we are NOT baptized, we will be lost.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
There are those who will try to use scripture to say that we don’t need to be baptized to be saved. But the Scriptures make it very plain that baptism is a part of God’s salvation plan for mankind. The religious teachers of the day tried to use the scriptures against Jesus as well. But Jesus answered the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes—
"Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? –Mark 12:24
This page updated: May 25, 2006