DOES "SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH" MEAN WE DO NOT NEED TO BE BAPTIZED?

MF Blume
December 1998

(A letter to a friend regarding the need for salvation)

This is a correpsondence I had with a friend who doubted that baptism was absolutely essential to salvation. In it you will read his thoughts countered by my thoughts. My thoughts are distinsguished from his by the bullet symbols as follows:

HIS THOUGHTS


Pastor Mike if I may interject without being too controversial.  I believe that <ANOTHER FRIEND> is right and he is saved by his faith.

Look at the following and tell me what you think. Keep in mind that I am not saying water baptism is not very important, but I don't think it is entirely necessary for salvation. Let's start at Acts 10:34-47. Cornelius and the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized with water. Peter afterward baptized them.  If they received the Holy Spirit, were they not saved? If they had been struck dead at that very instant would the Lord have reclaimed the Holy Spirit because they were not water baptized? In Acts 11:15-18 Peter goes on to explain this to the church. Acts 16:29-33 when asked what must be done to be saved they replied Believe in the Lord Jesus will be saved, you and your household. Acts 19:1 - 7 Paul came across disciples in Ephesus that had been baptized with water but not received the Holy Spirit. Paul explained, and then helped them to be saved. Romans 8:9 explains to us that if you do not have the Spirit, you are not saved. 2 Timothy 3:15 states salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. I know that Paul stated it several times that it was by grace of God and faith that we are saved. But the most conclusive evidence I could find were from Jesus Himself.

Luke 23:42-43 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him,"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

 I believe Jesus told the man he was saved, not to be to controversial, but I don't think they hauled him off the cross to be baptized with water.

And also

Mark 16:16 'Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.' What is important here is what He doesn't say, he says who does not believe will be condemned, but He does not say whoever is not baptized will be condemned.

Now again I am not saying it isn't important, as you say, Jesus commanded it, so it is important.
  A point on where did it say in the bible to ask Jesus into your heart, it doesn't say that exactly but in Galatians 4:6 it says God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. I know this is discussed in at least one other place in the NT.

Again, I am trying not to be too controversial, but I believe according to the Scriptures you may be misrepresenting a little bit.

Not in that baptism isn't very important, but it is a symbolic act that confirms your commitment to God (my words, no scripture for that) but salvation has been granted without the physical act according to Scripture. From what I can find from Paul, and Jesus, though they stress importance of baptism, they say it is by faith that we are saved.



The correspondence resulted with my friend agreeing with me about the importance of water baptism in salvation. Praise be to God!

MATURITY