Church of Christ
Mission USA


Garland Robinson


      Yes!  I Peter 3:21 says: "...baptism doth also now save us..."  Heaven could not have made it plainer!  It is men who twist and pervert it unto their own destruction (II Pet. 3:16).  Jesus so joined it with salvation in Mark 16:16 that no man can separate it: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."  The first gospel sermon made it plain.  When the multitude wanted to know what to do to be saved Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized...for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).  No one, therefore, will go to heaven without it.

      Water baptism is the act wherein we contact the blood of Christ that washes away our sins (Rev. 1:5) - "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."  Notice how the verse says "washes" us from our sins.  This is exactly the language used regarding Saul of Tarsus in Acts 22:16, "arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins..."  This plainly shows he was NOT saved on the road to Damascus as so many affirm.  When Ananias came to him he was still in his sins!  He obviously believed and had repented (Acts 9:9) but his sins were not washed away until he was baptized (Acts 22:16).

      Romans 6:1-18 gives a beautiful picture of the connection of water baptism with salvation from sin.  One dies to sin at the point of his burial with Christ in baptism (v. 2-6).  Therefore, one rises from the water to "walk a newness of life" (v. 4).  There is no newness of life without it!  Verse 6 describes the purpose of baptism, "that the body of sin might be destroyed."  How, then, could there be salvation before baptism if it is in baptism that sin is destroyed?  It's impossible!  You can't have salvation from sin before baptism.  Before baptism, one is a servant of sin (v. 16), but when one is baptized he dies to sin and is "then made free from sin" and not before (v. 17-18).

      Baptism is absolutely essential to being saved, BUT like any other act of men, it alone cannot save.  It must be preceded by faith (John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3), and confession of Christ (Rom. 10:10).

      How can anyone avoid or dodge the plain teaching of Jesus our Lord on the subject of water baptism?  Yet what denomination would dare say what Jesus said about it in Mark 16:16?  Dear reader, does your church teach water baptism is essential to have forgiveness of sins, and therefore salvation?  If not, then it's not teaching what Jesus taught men MUST DO TO BE SAVED.  Who's willing to deny it?


      Water baptism is an essential part of God's plan of salvation.  Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mark 16:16) - as simple as 1,2,3.  Notice the order of these words. One first believes, is then baptized, and salvation follows.  This verse answers the question!  Will you believe and accept it?

      There is not one single example of a Christian being baptized anywhere in the New Testament. In fact, there is no scriptural authority to baptize a Christian!  Every Christian has already been baptized because it is by baptism that one becomes a Christian.  Therefore, you cannot baptize a Christian, you can only baptize a penitent believer - one desiring to become a Christian.

      Some say Saul was saved (became a Christian) on the road to Damascus and then was baptized by Ananias three days later.  When we read the account of his conversion in Acts chapters 9, 22, &26, it is found this is not the case.  In Damascus he was told to "be baptized, and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).  If he was saved on the road to Damascus, he would not have had any sins to wash away!  They would have already been forgiven.

      Those on Pentecost in Acts 2 were baptized in order to become Christians.  "...Repent, and be baptized...for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38).  There were no Christians baptized there!  I Peter 3:21 says "...baptism doth also now save us..."  Since baptism saves, one cannot be saved before baptism, hence, no Christian can be scripturally baptized!  Baptism is the act wherein one becomes associated with Christ's death and consequently his atoning blood.  "...We are buried with him by baptism into death...For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."  In baptism, "our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed..." (Rom. 6:3-6).  Only in water baptism does one obtain forgiveness of sins -- becomes a Christian; therefore, a Christian cannot be baptized!

      Being saved, becoming a Christian, being baptized, and forgiveness of sins, are all synonymous.  To do one is to do the other.  Nobody can prove otherwise!  If anyone is willing to try, we at the church of Christ stand ready to examine the scriptures to see if these things be so (Acts 17:11).  Do you believe Hebrews 11:6?


      "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (I Cor. 1:17).  This verse is used by denominations in an effort to counteract the New Testament's teaching regarding baptism being essential for salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21).  There is no wonder, even the devil quoted scripture in an effort to get the Lord to do wrong (Matt. 4:6).  But, he made the wrong application of it!

      If Paul meant by this statement that baptism was not essential to salvation, then it would clearly contradict all other passages which speak of baptism's essentiality in salvation in the entire New Testament!  In EVERY case of conversion mentioned in the book of Acts, water baptism was involved!  One can't be converted without the blood of Christ for it is by baptism that you contact the blood in Christ's death (Rom. 6:3).  Wherever Paul preached, people were baptized, including Corinth (I Cor. 1:14-16)  Lydia & the Philippian jailor, Acts 16:14-15, 27-34; Corinth, Acts 18:8; 12 men of Ephesus, Acts 19:1-5.  Paul later even wrote in I Cor. 12:13 that it is by baptism that all get into the one body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23).  He said there is one scriptural baptism (Eph. 4:5) and that we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3) and by it put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).  In Titus 3:5 he wrote of the "washing of regeneration" (baptism) and even said that he was baptized to "wash away his sins" (Acts 22:16).  Was he then saying that baptism is not essential to salvation?  No, NO!

      In this passage, Paul is referring to his primary work as an apostle.  He was not made an apostle so that he might baptize, but that he might "preach the gospel."  Baptizing was not an act handled exclusively by an apostle, others could administer baptism.  Preaching the gospel was his primary work, baptism was the end result of those who believed his preaching and wanted to be saved.  This was also true of Jesus, he preached while His apostles did the baptizing (John 4:1-2; Mark 1:4).

      The problem that prompted this statement is found in verses 11 and 12.  They were quarreling among themselves as to who was the more prominent disciple because of who baptized them.  Paul's answer was to show their folly in relying on the one who baptized them instead of relying on Christ in whose name they were baptized.

                                                          (Taken from "Seek the Old Paths")