(per The Church of Christ)
There are some Churches among us who have taught and are teaching that water baptism is a REQUIREMENT for salvation. This topic study review this issue in light of scripture and hopefully a proper understanding of water baptism will be obtained. Teaching that water baptism is a requirement for salvation is commonly known as Baptismal Regeneration - - -
FAITH + WATER BAPTISM = SALVATION
This teaching actually falls in the same category as any WORKS based salvation where it is taught that salvation can only be obtained and perhaps even maintained by - -
Faith + Water Baptism
Faith + Sabbath Worship
Faith + Good Works
Faith + My Church Only
and the list goes on . . .
However, this study will focus on Water Baptism. In addition to sighting select bible verses which are claimed to support this doctrine, there is one example frequently cited and popular among Church of Christ preachers to promote this teaching that water baptism is a REQUIREMENT for salvation. They teach that Faith in Jesus Christ plus Water Baptism by immersion is ABSOLUTELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY REQUIRED by any Believer in order to obtain salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the question, "Is water baptism REQUIRED for salvation?" were put to a vote within any given Church of Christ congregation, it could be expected that the resultant vote would be a unanimous, "Yes". Any "No" votes would most likely be cast by newcomers to the church who do not fully understand the doctrine regarding water baptism. It is a normal phenomena that sheep follow their shepherd and the Church of Christ Shepherds teach this doctrine to all their members.
To strongly emphasize this doctrine among Church of Christ members and to unsuspecting listeners to the doctrine of Water Baptism For Salvation, a common hypothetical situation example is usually presented. They use the following situation example to promote the doctrine of baptismal regeneration as follows - - -
An engaged couple are on their way to a church for their marriage ceremony. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the groom is involved in a fatal auto accident.
Question #1: Was the engaged couple ever Married?
(The expected answer to the above question would be a unanimous, "No". )
A Believer in Jesus Christ is on his way to the church for his baptismal. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the Believer is involved in a fatal auto accident.
Question #2: Was the Believer ever Baptized?
(The expected answer to the above question would be a unanimous, "No" )
The following verse is then quoted - - -
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Question #3: Is the Believer Saved?
(In like manner, the expected answer to the above question would be a unanimous, "No" )
Therefore, if the engaged couple was Never Married and the Believer was never Water Baptized, then it can be logically concluded that a Believer who was never Water Baptized cannot be and is NOT SAVED ! ! !
Sounds logical enough that even a Biblically illiterate person could arrive quickly to the same answers ! But this is NOT TRUE as we shall see - - -
There are two problems with the above example. First, comparing Baptism with Marriage is similar to comparing apples to oranges. The Baptism referred to in Mark 16:16 is SPIRITUAL while the unity of Marriage although sanctified by the Lord is of the FLESH - - -
John 6:62 (Eternal Life) "It is the SPIRIT who gives LIFE; the FLESH profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Matthew 19:6 (Marriage) "So then, they are no longer two but one FLESH. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
Secondly, the above example presents an extremely comfortable basis from which Teachers of this doctrine are isolated from any negative consequences for teaching such doctrine. It is very easy to pound the pulpit and declare that water baptism is a Requirement for Salvation and then go home for Sunday chicken dinner.
A much more profound situation example can be presented which removes the Teachers of this doctrine from their easy chair and places them in the Driver's Seat so to speak of this doctrine. A hypothetical (but possible) situation example which can do this is as follows - - -
(In this situation, YOU will assume the role as an Elder of the Church of Christ)
A local Church of Christ member is involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident 100 miles from home. Two church deacons from his local church arrive two days later at the man's hospital bedside to visit and comfort the member. They learn from the medical staff that in the short term, he has a 50-50 chance of survival on a day-to-day basis and he occasionally slips in and out of coma.
The patient is fully alert at the time of their visit and converses with the two deacons. They reassure him of his salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ and his Water Baptism experience and therefore no need for excessive worry if he doesn't pull through. However, at this time and to the astonishment of the deacons, the member patient confesses that he has NEVER been water baptized.
Realizing his life's dilemma, he INSISTS and DEMANDS that the deacons water baptism him IMMEDIATELY. The doctor being advised of his patient's request says he doesn't get involved in religious matters and that the situation is between the patient, his beliefs, and his church.
The deacons realize that if they Water Baptize him in his condition, he may not survive the ordeal.
One deacon says to the other, He wants to be SAVED per our teaching. We must call an Elder (YOU) of our church to clarify and authorize this Water Baptism. If we Water Baptize him he WILL BE eternally saved. However, IF he DIES from the ordeal - - -, there COULD BE consequences to pay - - -
The patient is awake and conscious awaiting salvation by Water Baptism. There is NO TIME TO LOSE ! ! !
The Deacons quickly call YOU, an elder in the Church of Christ, and request an IMMEDIATE answer.
Question: Do WE Water Baptize him or not ? ? ? ? - - - (Yes or No)
If the above Example 2 situation question was presented to Church of Christ members and Teachers without prior discussion and advance notice of the example, would their answer be unanimous?
Don't think so - - -
An answer of "NO" could suggest that the man is exempt from water baptism and that it is NOT ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED for salvation. God could simply let him into heaven through the back door so to speak and save him anyway in violation of scripture. Or, an answer of "NO" could mean that WE WASH OUR HANDS of this man's dilemma and although we COULD baptize him, his eternal doom is not OUR problem. An answer of "YES" would be extremely difficult because the man's salvation by water baptism places THEM in a position of extreme liability.
Example 2 is not given to make light of Churches that teach this doctrine, but to drive home the point that - - -
Salvation has always been of the Lord regardless of the dispensation that man has lived under. Even the Jews knew this under THE LAW - - -
SALVATION belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people.Selah
But the SALVATION of the righteous is from the LORD;
As for me, I will CALL upon God, And the LORD shall SAVE me.
But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. SALVATION IS OF THE LORD."
To teach Water Baptism is a REQUIREMENT for Salvation places Salvation in the HAND of MAN. This is why example 2 above produces a dilemma for Church of Christ members Fortunately, this is not the case, for Salvation is available to man in the Gospel of Jesus Christ - - -
For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of CHRIST, for IT is the POWER of God to salvation for everyone who BELIEVES, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
It is the SPIRIT who gives (Eternal) LIFE; the FLESH profits nothing.
The problem with both situation examples above is that they are not good parallels between being saved and being water baptized. Salvation is a spiritual process while the examples above relate to the flesh. The bible makes no such correlation either. In fact THE WORD says ---
That which is born of the FLESH is FLESH, and that which is born of the SPIRIT is SPIRIT.
Marriage although ordained of God is of the FLESH, not of the spirit. There will be no marriages among saints in heaven. (For some, this will be a blessed relief - - - )
For in the resurrection they Neither Marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
The baptism that saves a Believer is performed by God himself, that is by God the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord's recipe for salvation requires two components or active ingredients if you will for a person to be saved. This recipe has not changed since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. The recipe is guaranteed to work on the condition that a SACRIFICE be presented to God for our sins. Man must submit this sacrifice to satisfy God's requirement that the price for man's sin be paid. Only a perfect sacrifice is acceptable - - -
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a SACRIFICE to GOD for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Both ingredients are made available to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS sacrificial work on the cross, from which He declared, "IT IS FINISHED".
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is Born of
he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
The two active ingredients required for salvation are Water and Spirit - - - These two ingredients are found in the perfect sacrifice.
He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He (Jesus Christ) has appeared to put away sin by the SACRIFICE of HIMSELF.
The Old Testament Jews under The Law looked forward to this sacrifice. Their faith was a saving faith for those who sacrificed those clean animals in accordance with THE LAW knowing that it REPRESENTED the future sacrifice that would come in the form of their MESSIAH. We as Christians today look back to that perfect sacrifice. You will note that in Genesis, Able too offered an acceptable sacrifice as well as did Abraham while NOT under THE LAW. These also looked forward to the perfect sacrifice and were saved by the same two ingredients. These two ingredients were activated if you will by FAITH in the perfect sacrifice, the lamb of God, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
We cannot see Faith, because - -
Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen.
However, Saving Faith leaves footprints. These footprints are known as WORKS - - -
We can examine the OT Saints' Saving faith by looking at their Believing WORKS. (Refer to Hebrews 11).
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Now, let's look closely at these two active ingredients - - -
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is Born of
he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Let's look at the first item - - -
Just as water is necessary for LIFE on earth, so water is necessary for ETERNAL LIFE. But what kind of water is it? Is it spiritual water or earthly water?
What is the WATER in John 3:5 that Jesus is referring to when He says YOU MUST BE BORN Of WATER?
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink (H2O water) from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and WHO IT IS (Jesus the Savior) who says to you, "Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him,
and He would have given you LIVING WATER."
Now we know that the Water Jesus is talking about is LIVING, so that eliminates earthly water although it may contain living organisms.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of WATER by the WORD (of God),
The WATER or LIVING WATER that Jesus is talking about is the WORD OF GOD ! ! !
WATER => LIVING WATER => WORD OF GOD
1 John 5:1
Whoever BELIEVES that Jesus is the Christ is BORN of GOD, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may WORK the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE in Him whom He sent."
"Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever BELIEVES on Him will not be put to shame."
8 But what does it say? "The WORD is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"(that is, the WORD of FAITH which we preach):
9 that if you CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus and BELIEVE in your heart that God has RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, you will be SAVED.
10 For with the heart one BELIEVES unto righteousness, and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto SALVATION.
11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever BELIEVES on Him will not be put to shame."
Now we KNOW that the WATER, the LIVING WATER is the WORD of GOD. You must be born of WATER (the WORD of GOD) ! 1 !
That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Therefore, the WORD OF GOD, the WATER must be SPIRITUAL !
It is the SPIRIT who gives (Eternal) LIFE; the Flesh profits nothing. The WORDS that I speak to you are SPIRIT and they are LIFE.
The WORD of GOD is therefore SPIRITUAL or OF THE SPIRIT
For the WORD OF GOD is LIVING and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1 Peter 1
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the WORD OF GOD which LIVES and abides forever,
For man, the Born Again experience is accomplished through Faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. The fact that we have the privilege of doing so is by the GRACE of God.
For by GRACE you have been SAVED through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God,
The Savior has gone to heaven and is now at the right hand of the Father. He is available to us now through HIS WORD - - -
So then FAITH comes by Hearing, and hearing by the WORD of GOD.
He (Jesus Christ) was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His NAME is called The WORD of GOD.
The Born of Water experience is accomplished by FAITH in Jesus Christ who IS the WORD of GOD
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (Jesus Christ) was God.
And the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Therefore, our part in the salvation process is BELIEVING the WORD
BORN of WATER = BORN of THE WORD of GOD = BORN of the LIVING WORD
He who BELIEVES (BORN Of WATER) and is BAPTIZED will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
This concept of Salvation by the Word of God was voiced by the Old Testament Saints and they stated THE SAME THING - - -
Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD-- Your SALVATION according to Your WORD.
The need for a sacrifice was also voiced in the Old Testament - - -
"Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a COVENANT with ME by SACRIFICE."
Salvation can be expressed as follows - - -
BELIEVE => HEARING => WORD OF GOD = SALVATION (FAITH) (PREACHING) (WATER - GOSPEL) (SPIRIT) Man's part Man's Part Jesus Christ Son, Father,& H.S.
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE being BORN AGAIN - It is Spiritual
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE God's Baptism - It is Spiritual
1 Corinthians 12
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one SPIRIT we were ALL BAPTIZED into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one SPIRIT.
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE God's circumcision- It is Spiritual
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE God's Baptism- It is Spiritual
buried with Him in BAPTISM, in which you also were RAISED with Him through FAITH in the WORKING of God (the Holy Spirit), who raised Him from the dead.
The above verse is not talking of water baptism, because in water baptism, you emerged from the water, not by Faith, but by the power of the Flesh, either your own, or the one who baptized you.
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE being buried into DEATH by God's Baptism- It is Spiritual
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE your entry into God's Kingdom (The church) - It is Spiritual
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with OBSERVATION;
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord ADDED to the CHURCH daily those who were being SAVED.
You DO NOT SEE or EXPERIENCE your Kingdom transfer - It is Spiritual
12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13 He (God the Holy Spirit) has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Now, it becomes clear why some verses mention only faith, for example - - -
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My WORD and BELIEVES in Him who sent Me has EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into (Everlasting) LIFE.
Faith is Man's part in the Salvation process. Other verses refer to Faith plus the work of the Holy Spirit in the act of Washing, Being Born Again, Sanctification, Redemption, Baptism, Regeneration, etc. Whether or not we grasp the full meaning of the work GOD (the Holy Spirit) in the Salvation process is inconsequential, because God looks at the Heart of man. It is God who does the saving.
After salvation, God reveals to us His work in Salvation and other facts such as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Unsaved Man cannot grasp these things because they are Spiritual. However, man CAN grasp the concept of a MAN called Jesus Christ who came from God in the flesh. Unsaved man has the ability to place his Faith in that SON of MAN who is described to us in scripture how HE --
His name is Wonderful and his works are past finding out - -
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY discerned.
The second ingredient is now identified which is necessary for our salvation - SPIRIT - the Working of GOD ! ! !
will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
YOU DO THE BELIEVING - GOD WILL DO THE SAVING
If you do not believe, there will be no BAPTISM, you will be condemned.
Some verses put the two together, that is the work of man ((1)believing in the Water) and the (2) work of God (be it baptizing, sanctifying, etc) - -
He who (1) BELIEVES and is (2) BAPTIZED will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
It would follow logically that if a man did not Believe, then there would be no baptism by God.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through . . .
(2) SANCTIFICATION by the SPIRIT and
(1) BELIEF in the truth,
Notice that in the following verse, both active ingredients are also stated - - -
For God so loved the world that (2) He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever (1) BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as 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 above all, and through all, and in you all.
Since there is - - -
then there must be only - - -
I indeed BAPTIZED you with WATER, but He (Jesus) will BAPTIZE you with the HOLY SPIRIT."
I did not know Him, but He who sent me to BAPTIZE with WATER said to me, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who BAPTIZES with the HOLY SPIRIT."
Well, what about Water Baptism? Is it necessary?
"Can anyone forbid WATER, that these should not be BAPTIZED who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
Here we see that the act of believing has already been completed. The baptism of and by the Holy Spirit has been completed. Water baptism is now the "ACT of FAITH" which indicates to one's own self and to other Believers that the "WORK of BELIEVING", profession of Faith in Jesus Christ was genuine.
The act of Water baptism is commanded for all Believers -
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, BAPTIZING (in water) them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
The above verse is often referred to as THE GREAT COMMISSION and is referring to water baptism because it is done in the flesh. It is the Christians, disciples of Christ who are to perform this baptism. Water baptism has a place in the life of a New Convert in similar fashion that the baptism of repentance performed by John the Baptist had in the life of the repenter (the righteous).
Water baptism does two things, first for the New Convert, it provides for a clear conscious that the Believer has demonstrated Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by an outward act. For the observers and fellow Christians, it is the basis for judging and thereby determining that the New Convert is indeed a fellow Believer, Child of God, and is now judged as "Faithful" - - -
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?"
37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, YOU MAY." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
YOU MAY ? ? ? If Water Baptism is a Requirement for Salvation, then this is a terrible choice of words to give to a man who is requesting water baptism which wills determine his ETERNAL FATE to either heaven or hell ! ! ! ! If water baptism was absolutely essential, would not have Philip said YOU MUST, YOU SHALL, I COMMAND YOU, etc. ? ? ? He DID NOT say any such thing. Philip was aware of the purpose and plan of water baptism in the life of a Believer - - - The Ethiopian Eunuch was to be commended for his request for water baptism because it was confirmation to both himself and to Philip that his faith was genuine.
1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me NOT to BAPTIZE (By H2O Water), but to Preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
In the above verse, the Apostle Paul downplays water baptism in light of the Gospel which is the Power of God unto Salvation. If water baptism played a part in a Believers eternal life and eternal damnation, he would have said no such thing. The Word of God, The Gospel, The Water is what he is emphasizing here. The Cross of Christ is referring to ingredient #1 - FAITH in that WATER.
1 Peter 3:21
There is also an antitype which now saves us -BAPTISM (in water) (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Water baptism in addition to symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, provides the believer with the satisfaction that he has exhibited FAITH in Jesus Christ. The footprint of saving faith is saving works and this is the first work that Jesus commands that we do.
For fellow Christians, water baptism serves as a basis for accepting the New Convert as a believer and fellow Christian.. This is a JUDGMENTAL decision based on works and NOT on faith. We can't SEE FAITH. WE can only see WORKS - - -
13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If YOU HAVE JUDGED ME to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.
The Apostle Paul didn't know this woman from Eve. What basis did he have for judging her faithful? Just mouthing the words of Faith in Jesus Christ doesn't go very far. But after she was water baptized, Paul had a basis for recognizing her as a fellow Believer. Neither Paul nor Lydia experienced or observed the work of God in the act of Baptism, Circumcision, Redemption, or anything else. Paul did however witness her work of Faith by following the commandment of the Lord to be Water Baptized.
Water baptism is not to be diminished in its purpose and role in the life of a Believer, but make not the mistake of elevating its role as an ingredient or REQUIREMENT for Salvation - - -
4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a BAPTISM of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all BAPTIZED by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
The Jews who showed up at John's baptism - - - Were they repentant BEFORE or AFTER they were BAPTIZED? Of course they had repented before or they wouldn't be there in the first place. If they weren't repentant before they were submerged in water baptism, then they weren't repentant after arising up from water baptism. In the same manner, a person is saved at the point of FAITH in Jesus Christ, not after the fleshly act of water baptism.
FAITH + BAPTISM (of the HOLY SPIRIT) = SALVATION
For by GRACE you have been SAVED through (1) FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the (2) GIFT of God,
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the (1)WORD of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of your SALVATION; in whom also, having BELIEVED, you were (2) SEALED with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Who did the SEALING? Who did the BAPTIZING?
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the WORD of GOD which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in TRUTH, the WORD of GOD, which also effectively works in you who BELIEVE.
So the Baptism that Saves a Believer is performed by the Holy Spirit. This being the case, we have No Participation in THIS baptism. As we have seen before, Salvation is "OF THE LORD" and is the WORK of the Holy Spirit which is God Himself. Our involvement in the Born Again experience is BELIEVING the WORD of GOD which IS Spirit.
Since each and every Believer is BAPTIZED by the Holy Spirit and then placed into the Body Of Christ by the Holy Spirit (God Himself), the following verses are not only TRUE, they are 100% TRUE: From the Authorized King James Version of the bible, the word "verily" can be translated "truly", or "amen" which means "so be it". Therefore if Baptism is by the Holy Spirit, then the following statements by our Lord are 100% TRUE and 100% Standalone TRUE:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that HEARETH my WORD (WATER), and BELIEVETH on him that sent me, hath EVERLASTING LIFE (SPIRIT), and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto LIFE.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead (unsaved) shall hear the(1) voice (WATER) of the Son of God: and they that HEAR shall (2) LIVE.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that BELIEVETH on ME (Word of God = Water) hath everlasting life.
The "ME" in the above verse must mean either the Water or the Spirit, which is it?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my SAYING (WORDS), he shall never see death.
The Baptism that SAVES us is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since our Lord returned to Heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit as He promised while He was on earth. Therefore, it can be stated that our Lord Baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. The wicked He will someday baptize with Fire . . .
John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will BAPTIZE you with the Holy Spirit and (the Wicked with) fire.
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 NOT BY WORKS (Water Baptism) of Righteousness which WE have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the WASHING (Word of God = Water) of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He (Holy Spirit) POURED (Baptized) out on US abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
The Salvation process is So Easy that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES can be saved . . . This sounds too simple - -
2 Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.
aith in Jesus (Water) + SPIRIT of GOD (Baptism) => BORN AGAIN
(Man's Work) (God's Work) (Salvation)
1 Cor 12:13 - GOD's BAPTISM
For by one (Holy) SPIRIT we were ALL BAPTIZED into one body
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to US who are being SAVED it is the POWER (Spirit) of God
1 John 3:1 - Child of God
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called CHILDren of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that Flesh and Blood CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
He who (1) BELIEVES and is (2) BAPTIZED will be SAVED; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
. . . , "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God."
Churches that teach salvation by works are mentioned in scripture. Our Lord identifies this doctrinal error as one of the seven basic obstructions to salvation. See the topic study on the Church at Ephesus for more teaching on this subject.
Churches that teach and promote FAITH + WATER BAPTISM or any other FAITH + (Something) doctrine is described as the "OTHER GOSPEL" in the New Testament Epistle of Galatians by the Apostle Paul. He addresses this issue completely in his epistle.
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to PERVERT the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any OTHER GOSPEL to you than what we have preached to you, let him be ACCURSED.
Why Accursed? Why Eternally Damned? Because Baptismal Regeneration cannot save anyone ! ! ! This would be comparable to an Old Testament Priest Laying an unblemished lamb on the brazen alter for sacrifice and sin offering to God and then laying a dirty pig along side of it - - -
not by WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS which WE have done, but according to His MERCY He saved us, through the WASHING (Baptism) of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
8 For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God,
9 not of WORKS, lest anyone should boast.
When confronted with the above verses, teachers of the Faith + doctrine claim that Water Baptism is EXEMPT from the above and is NOT to be included as a work of righteousness and immediately proceed back to present other verses regarding baptism.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law (works); you have FALLEN FROM GRACE.
Keep in mind that although they teach the "OTHER GOSPEL" they are to be considered a part of the family of God because within their midst, are Christians - - - and there is NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus. This is not to say that the doctrine is not to be rebuked, but they are to be treated in all other respects as Children of God. - - -
The above is not a complete study of the Faith + doctrines but will point you in the right direction.
Churches which teach any type of FAITH + (Something) doctrine are not only described in the New Testament but were prophesied by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven parables. The Church at Ephesus in Revelation Chapter 2 completes the parable of the Sower and the Seed meaning and typifies these type churches. Please review the topic study on the Church at Ephesus - - -
1 Peter 1
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the SPIRIT in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible SEED but incorruptible, through the WORD OF GOD which LIVES and abides forever,
Have YOU been Born Again ?