Is Baptism Required to Be Saved?
Francis Chan - Is baptism required to be saved?
IS WATER BAPTISM REQUIRED TO BE SAVED?
It's the Great Commission. "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" -Matthew 28:18-19
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit." - John 3:5
Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a teacher in Israel. Some people point to the fact that when a baby is born physically, the water breaks, and the baby is born soon after. Of course, you’ve got to be born physically before you can be born spiritually! You have to be born in the first place before you could go anywhere else. We should ask what would’ve come into Nicodemus’ mind when Jesus mentioned water. The big talking point at that time was John the Baptist: he was saying to all the Jews “You need a clean start. You need to repent of your sins, wash them away, and then start all over again. And there is someone coming after me who will fill you with the Holy Spirit. Nicodemus would have surely thought of this and every time water is mentioned in the first few chapters of John's gospel it refers to baptism. So, “Nicodemus, you need to be born of both water and the Spirit. This is what Jesus was saying to him! You need to make a clean start, to wash away the past, and you need the Spirit to create new life in you.
"When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead." Colossians 2:11-12
"Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ," 1 Pet 3:21
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 6:16
"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Gal 3:27
Baptism is your wedding garment!!! Please read Matthew 22:1-13 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ - Matthew 22:11-13
There was a type and shadow of baptism through the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament that Paul spoke of in 1 Cor 10:1-2: " For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea."
There's another type and shadow of baptism in the Old Testament in the book of 2 Kings. There was a commander named Naaman in the Syrian army who had become a leper. After finding no way to cure his outbreak, he'd heard from his female servant, a Hebrew, tell him there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him. In desperation, he travels to Israel and gains permission to see Elijah. Upon arrival, the prophet Elijah told Naaman to go bathe in the River Jordan 7 times. When hearing this Naaman was furious as he exclaimed that he was hoping the prophet would do this great thing or wave his arms in the air, and he would be miraculously healed. He was upset that it was the Jordan river, inferior to some of the others in his homeland. According to the scriptures, here's what happened next: Naaman's servants spoke some wise words to him. "But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 2 Kings 5:13 NLT the NKJV and NIV render the translation "wash and be cleansed." "So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." 2 Kings 5:14
If Jesus told us in His Word how we are to come into the kingdom then WHY would we try to come any other way than how He has instructed us? Is that a risk worth taking?
On the day of Pentecost, observers asked Peter what must we do to be saved and he replied with a straight forward answer, here is what you must do: " Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38
The Apostle Paul himself was baptized before the Lord sent Him out as His ambassador. Here is Paul's personal testimony:
"I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him! “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord." - Acts 22:11-16
If you have been taught otherwise please consider what Paul has taught us. We are instructed to correct when people are teaching false doctrines to the Church. Paul instructed Timothy: "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." 2 Tim 4:2-3
He also warned: "Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ." 2 Colossians 2:8
Infant baptism is NOT biblical. It is a religious tradition of men. There is nothing in scripture instructing infant baptism. Baptism is intended to be based on a personal decision to repent and follow Jesus Christ as Lord. You cannot repent or make that decision as an infant.
I pray that you do not easily dismiss this issue but instead seek wisdom from God and that the Holy Spirit leads you in all truth in this matter. Blessings and Peace to you!