Summary: Salvation is through the blood of Jesus alone. Baptism is not essential for salvation. However, baptism is still essentia!

Is Baptism necessary for Salvation?

Expanded notes by Andrew Hoseason

29 July 2001 and 5th August 2001

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 2: 1-10 & Luke 7:36-50

Genesis 15: 1-7 & James 2:14-26

for further research: Mtt 7:15-23 Heb 13:15-16 Ps 51

Brothers and sisters, today I would like to talk about Baptism and to answer the question ¡§Do I have to be immersed in water to enter eternal life and be saved in heaven?¡¨

I would like to begin today with some definitions. Salvation is often called other things. Sometimes it is called Righteousness. Sometimes, it is called "being saved". Sometimes Heaven is referred to, or eternal life, or others.

The underlying theme is one of us being released from a sentence passed against us and allowed to enter into something we previously did not have access. And the question today is, when reading the whole of scripture, what is the key to unlock this salvation?

The first thing we can say for certain is that God receives the thanks for us receiving salvation to enter eternal life in heaven. After all, every good thing comes from God!

God is necessary for Salvation!

Now consider the way in which all the other religions of the world suggest we can get to heaven.

They claim that we do it by our own actions, often called works.

For instance, Muslims claim that we get to heaven on the basis of how many good things we do or how many non-Muslims we kill. Jesus gives us an example to counter this: the prodigal son:

Having realised that he is at the lowest point in his life, the son decides to return to his father and offer to work for his position in the house. But the father pays no attention to this and receives the son into the household freely of his own choice, by his love. This is an attitude of mercy and grace toward the son who wasted every provision the father had given to him throughout his life.

Similarly all the other religions of the world do the same thing.

They attempt to influence their way to heaven by what they do. Sadly some within the Christian world try to do the same through. Through acts of penance or pilgrimage or sacrifice. And some use Immersion by water to try to do the same thing.

The logic is, that, by doing what is called for in the Biblical text, God will be impressed with us and admit us into heaven. This philosophy is popular because it gives us a sense of merit. It flatters us.

Some followers of that same Jesus in all honest sincerity believe that Baptism is necessary for salvation. It is not. I will read for you a common verse which such people use:

Mark 16:16

¡§He who believes and is baptised will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.¡¨ [NIV]

This verse is often quoted as supporting the teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, a more careful analysis of the verse shows that it teaches nothing of the sort.

While the first clause says that all who both believe and are immersed in water will be saved, it does not say that all who neither believe nor are immersed will not be saved. In other words, while it does tell of a group of people who will be saved, namely, those who both believe and are baptised, only those who do not believe will not be saved. There is no condemnation of the group of those who believe but are not baptised. Thus, while the verse as a whole does teach that belief is essential to salvation, it does not teach that baptism is. Unless we wish to say that Christ was confused about Christianity.

Amongst sectarian elements of the worldwide church there is a common belief that only people who have been baptised will be saved, though the Bible does not say this.

In the study of Christianity the central doctrine is the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul understood the Gospel, the message of the saving work of Christ, to be so important that he said:

(Galatians 1:6-9).

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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.

It is my contention that the Scriptures teach clearly that baptism is not necessary for salvation. To teach otherwise is to teach "another gospel" than that preached by Paul.

Here is another example of a scripture frequently quoted:

Ac 22:16

Even the English does not say, "be baptised washing away your sins," or "wash away your sins being baptised," but rather "be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." This shows that washing away the sins and being baptised were separate acts, and that the washing away of the sins was done by calling on the name of the Lord.

Verse after verse in the Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments, clearly affirm that we will get into heaven, saved from our sins by the grace of God through our faith alone.

Perhaps the most convincing refutation of the view that baptism is necessary for salvation are those who were saved apart from baptism.

* We have no record of the apostles’ being baptised, yet Jesus pronounced them clean of their sins

John 15:3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (NAS)

(note that the Word of God, not baptism, is what cleansed them).

* The penitent woman (Luke 7:37-50)

And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (NAS)

* The paralytic man (Matthew 9:2) also experienced forgiveness of sins apart from baptism.

And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven." (NAS)

„h A host of Old Testament people were never baptised: Abraham, David, Moses, Daniel are just some of them, and and yet they are heroes of the faith, heirs of salvation. The dying thief who repented alongside Jesus on the cross was promised companionship with Jesus in Paradise even though he died without baptism (Luke 23:43).

Now we know that Abraham is in heaven because Jesus mentions him being there in the account of the rich man and Lazarus.


In John 11:25-26, Jesus made a statement and followed up immediately with a question. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

If I believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, I would have to answer Jesus, "No, I don’t believe that, Jesus, you¡¦re mistaken! No-one can enter eternity unless they’ve been baptised!"

I for one would not want to disagree with Jesus about doctrine, and I would not recommend it for anyone else. Surely Jesus Himself knows His own rules; it is pretty presumptuous (read: heretical) for me to disagree.

I fear that too many people have been baptised because they believed in baptism. That is, baptism was and is the object of their faith.

I want people to be baptised because they believe in the power of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

I am afraid of our tendency to convert people to a theology of baptism. I am afraid that we have become so confused that we think that our theology of baptism is the Good News/is the gospel.

I want to make sure that our faith is in the Good News of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection and not in the responses that that Good News elicits.

We need to remember the Israelites’ mistake of putting their faith in items that were supposed to grow out of faith--items like the performing of circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and the eating of only certain foods. God was not happy when the Israelites placed their faith in those religious observances instead of placing their faith in the will and power of God, so God rejected their religious observances and called upon them to repent. We must not make that same mistake.

As a worldwide church, we do not have a clear understanding of Baptism. Those followers of Jesus in the first century had a clear understanding. For the Jews, from which this baptism came, immersion in water was the normal means of expressing conversion. The word Baptise is related to a term for dying cloth. For instance, a white cloth is immersed in a container of purple dye. It will certainly come out looking like that in which it was immersed. Baptism follows this imagery. Our sinful life dies in watery burial, immersion, and our lives are born again in the image of Jesus, into which our spirit and soul are immersed.

There is more involved with Christian conversion than this, though.

In Romans 10, 9-10 we read,

¡§If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.¡¨ (NIV)

A public confession of belief that Jesus is the son of God and is the Messiah, along with a statement reflecting a heart of repentance are involved too, though these will not save us either.

Baptism is the testimony, if you will, of our willingness to be united in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is an outward sign to the world that we have been born again into the kingdom of God, but it is not the way to salvation.

Baptism adds nothing to salvation. Salvation is Jesus. It is His name: remember that Yeshua (Jesus) means salvation. Let us not miss the point of who salvation is. He is not a "dip into water", but our Creator, Lover, and Saviour. We either have Him or we don’t.

There is only one source of salvation--even Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Those who have received the Holy Spirit are the children of God. They are "born of the Spirit." They are "born again." They are guaranteed their inheritance (Romans 8:1 1; II Corinthians 1:22, 5:5; Ephesians 1:14). They are, in fact, saved. Cornelius and his friends were saved before Peter commanded them to be baptised.

That scripture does not prove that baptism is necessary for salvation.

John 3:5

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

If "born of water" means water baptism, then this verse proves that it is necessary to be baptised in water to be saved. About that we can be sure. But I will give several reasons why "born of water" cannot mean "baptism in water."

First, at the time that Christ said this, Christian baptism had not yet been instituted. There was no such thing at that time as baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It therefore would have been impossible for Nicodemus to understand "born of water" as referring to water baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

They received as God’s response the Holy Ghost. Paul teaches us in Romans 8:9 that anyone who has the Holy Spirit is a Christian. If one does not have the Spirit, no matter what else he does or believes, he is not a Christian.

But they are being baptised regarding the faith in Christ. In that context is the context common to Nicodemus and us


If baptism were necessary for salvation, we would expect to find it stressed whenever the gospel is presented in Scripture. That is not the case, however. Peter mentioned baptism in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). However, in his sermon from Solomon’s portico in the Temple (Acts 3:12-26), Peter makes no reference to baptism, but links forgiveness of sin to repentance (3:19). If baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, why didn’t Peter say so in Acts 3?

The entire passage of Romans 5:12-6:11 is concerned with our identification first and naturally with Adam, and second and by spiritual rebirth with Christ (John 3:3-6). It is correct, therefore, especially in the light of Paul’s usage of the term in I Corinthians 10:2, to understand "baptism" in Romans 6 as symbolic of identification. Therefore it is not water baptism which actually puts us "Into Christ" or is necessary for our salvation, but identification with Christ: dying with Him to sin, rising with Him to life, living with Him to dominion over death and sin.

Rom 10:9-10 (NIV) ... If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

Baptism is the testimony, if you will, of our willingness to be united in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is an outward sign to the world that we have been born again into the kingdom of God, but it is not the way to salvation.

Baptism adds nothing to salvation. Salvation is Jesus. It is His name: remember that Yeshua (Jesus) means salvation. Let us not miss the point of who salvation is. He is not a "dip into water", but our Creator, Lover, and Saviour. We either have Him or we don’t.

There is only one source of salvation--even Jesus Christ, our Lord.

We receive entry into eternal life through God¡¦s Grace.


The Grace of God is so simple, yet so profound that it is beyond the greatest minds to fully understand.

It stands in opposition to the ideas that most of us have about earning our way in the world, about people getting what they deserve, about "fairness," and about the independence of human beings

Indeed, those that are saved are equally (if not more) deserving of Hell as those who actually go there!


We are unable, because of our bondage to sin and rebellion, to do anything meriting God’s favour.

God reaches down to save people. He conceived the plan. He sent His Son to accomplish the plan. He does 100% of the work.

There is no doubt in my mind, that salvation is by Grace alone through faith in Christ alone, and that Water Baptism is a sign and declaration of that relationship with Christ and is a first step of obedience in the Christian life.

Being baptised in water does not add one iota to your salvation, and missing baptism in water for a valid reason will not detract from your salvation.

However, if someone is wilful and will not be water baptised in spite of understanding the scriptural example to do so, then that person is giving evidence of a heart still bound by sin--in all probability, such a person was never a believer.

Is baptism important? Of course baptism is important! It is commanded by our Lord to the apostles (Matthew 28:19) and by Peter (Acts 2:38), and disobedience to this example is sin. This aspect is the primary aspect of its importance: if we do not get baptised, we disobey Christ¡¦s will, and that is sin.

The second aspect of its importance is that baptism is the primary sign and seal of the covenant relation between the believer and God: it tells the world that the person is a believer, and it tells the Church the same.

How Then Are We Saved?

The question amounts to the same thing the Philippian jailer asked: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And Paul and Silas give the simple answer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16:31-32).


Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out . . . (Acts 3:19)

You must also repent. Repentance is not making a resolution to do better. It is not just conviction of sin, for a person may be convinced that he is wrong and still not repent.


John 3:16-21

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.


That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

You must believe that Jesus is God and that he has done everything necessary for our salvation.

"To all who received Him, to those who believed on His name, He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12)

Will you pray to God something like this? "God, I’m convinced I am a sinner, and that Christ alone can save me. I willingly repent of my sinful life and believe Jesus Christ died for me. I do accept that you are my Saviour."


The profound truth of the Good News about Jesus is evidenced also by the way it changes people¡¦s lives. Jim Cymbala tells a story of the Good News changing a life. The story he tells begins with the testimony of a redheaded believer named Roberta Langella on Easter Sunday 1992.

A homeless man listened to that testimony. Cymbala writes,

At the end of the evening meeting I sat down on the edge of the platform, exhausted, as others continued to pray with those who had responded to Christ. I wanted to relax. I was just starting to unwind when I looked up to see this man, with shabby clothing and matted hair, standing in the centre aisle about four rows back and waiting for permission to approach me.

I nodded and gave him a weak little wave of my hand. Look at how this Easter Sunday is going to end, I thought to myself. He¡¦s going to hit me up for money. That happens often in this church. I¡¦m so

tired. . . .

When he came close, I saw that his two front teeth were missing.

But more striking was his odour¡V¡Vthe mixture of alcohol, urine, and garbage took my breath away. I have been around many street people, but this was the strongest stench I have ever encountered. I instinctively had to turn my head sideways to inhale, then look back in his direction while breathing out.

I asked his name.

¡§David,¡¨ he said softly.

¡§How long have you been homeless, David¡¨

¡§Six years.¡¨

¡§Where did you sleep last night?¡¨

¡§In an abandoned truck.¡¨

I had heard enough and wanted to get this over quickly. I reached for the money clip in my back pocket.

At that moment David put his finger in front of my face and said, ¡§No, you don¡¦t understand¡V¡VI don¡¦t want your money. I¡¦m going to die out there. I want the Jesus that red-haired girl talked about.¡¨

I hesitated, then closed my eyes. God, forgive me, I begged. I felt soiled and cheap. Me, a minister of the gospel . . . I had wanted simply to get rid of him, when he was crying out for the help of Christ I had just preached about. I swallowed hard as God¡¦s love flooded my soul.

David sensed the change in me. He moved toward me and fell on my chest, burying his grimy head against my while shirt and tie. Holding him close, I talked to him about Jesus¡¦ love. These weren¡¦t just words; I felt them. I felt love for this pitiful young man. And that smell . . .

I don¡¦t know how to explain it. It had almost made me sick, but now it became the most beautiful fragrance to me. I revelled in what had been repulsive just a moment ago.

The Lord seemed to say to me in this instant. Jim, if you and your wife have any value to me, if you have any purpose in my work¡V¡Vit has to do with this odour. This is the smell of the world I died for:

David surrendered to the Christ he heard about that night. We got him into a hospital detoxification unit for a week. We got his teeth fixed.

He joined the Prayer Band right away. He spent the next Thanksgiving Day in our home. We invited him back for Christmas as well.

I will never forget his present to me. Inside a little box was . . . one handkerchief. It was all he could afford.

Today David heads up the maintenance department at the church, overseeing ten other employees. He is now married and a father. God is opening more and more doors for him to go out and give his testimony. When he speaks, his words have a weight and an impact that many ordained ministers would covet (Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997], 141-43).

And that kind of impact on people¡¦s lives is the main reason I believe in the Good News of Christ. That is the main reason I believe in the resurrection of Christ. I have seen the power of that resurrection alive in the hearts and lives of people.

Grace isn¡¦t a licence for sin

We are living eternal trophies of the eternal god. Every celestial being will see us and give honour and glory and praise to god. Do you realise how important you are? There is no such thing as an unimportant Christian. You may come to church and feel like a nobody ¡V that nobody knows you or cares. But in glory you are going to count just as much as anyone because you are a trophy of his grace. He saved us out of our sins and is making us like his son. Friends, that is grace. And it can be yours simply by the asking for he says, through grace you are saved by faith.

August 5th

SCRIPTURE Genesis 15: 1-7 & James 2:14-26

Gen 15:1-7

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great."

And Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?"

And Abram said, "Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir."

Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir."

And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

And He said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it."


James 2:14-26

What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for {their} body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, {being} by itself. But someone may {well} say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognise, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without {the} spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.


Start of the Second Message

I must begin today¡¦s message with a definition again. With regard to the Genesis reading, the phrase ¡§Believe in¡¨ needs defining. It means to trust in. The Americans use the phrase ¡§Believe on¡¨ and this conveys the meaning closer.

Today what I want to do is explain the biblical majority position Washington church has on Salvation and then look at the apparently contradictory words given elsewhere in scripture.

Rom 4:1-5

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about-- but not before God.

What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

It is clear, then, that God¡¦s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not based on obedience to God¡¦s law, but on the new relationship with God that comes by faith.

For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath and where there is no law there is no transgression.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring-- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-- the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-- since he was about a hundred years old-- and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."

The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-- for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


Last week I said in a nutshell that the concept of doing something in order to get into heaven is a worldly concept rather than a godly concept, and that it is completely preposterous.

Let me explain ti like this Where is God? Heaven. So where is heaven? We have no idea!

So how do you propose to get to a place you don¡¦t know? There are no maps showing the position of heaven. We need to rely on the advice of someone who can help. Only God and Jesus can help. They are already there.

By the sacrifice of his fleshly body, Jesus presented God with his perfect life of human obedience (Heb. 10:4-14). Jesus’ blood constituted the atoning sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 1:3; 9:11-14). There is no other sacrifice for sin, and no other offering which can set sinners right with God (Heb. 10:26). All that Jesus accomplished for sinners by his perfect "doing" and his perfect "dying" he did voluntarily, out of God’s kindness for sinners, and wholly undeserved by any of us.

Our salvation is therefore "by grace" -- for we do not deserve it, earn it, or contribute anything to it.

Jesus’ blood constituted the atoning sacrifice for our sins - ¡§He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood having obtained eternal redemption for sins.¡¨

[Heb 9:12 from NIV]

Let us now sing together the song, ¡§Nothing but the blood of Jesus¡¨

The work that set us right with God -- Jesus’ perfect "doing" and his perfect "dying" as our representative -- was all done outside of us, but for us. It happened before we ever heard of it (2 Cor. 5:18-21). That is what Jesus meant when he cried, "It is finished!"

God freely receives every person who trusts his promises concerning Jesus Christ. That is why Peter can promise, in Acts 10:43, that "whoever believes in him has remission of sins."

However that does not rule out our response of obedience and praise and service (Acts 10:48). It simply means we trust only in what Jesus did to save us and that we do not lean on anything we do as if it helps to set us right with God.

{Full Quotation: Acts 10:37-48

You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen-- by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,

"Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."

So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.


Man baptises with water but Jesus baptises with the Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5).

Jesus did not invent water baptism -- it was already a Jewish rite of repentance (Mark 1:4) and discipleship (John 4:1). But Jesus chose it as the tangible, external response to the gospel and commanded his apostles to administer it to new believers as part of the conversion process (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15-16).

If baptism did not physically witness trust in Jesus’ atonement, it would be worthless.

From Edward Fudge - One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Colossians 2 presents a beautiful picture of baptism. It says that when we are baptised we are "raised with [Christ] through faith in the power of God¡¦ (verse 12). It is the power of God that saves us. It is the power of God that raises us with Christ, and baptism is a means that God gives us to practice our faith in God¡¦s saving power.

From R Plunkett

{Full Quotation:

Col 2:6-14

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, {so} walk in Him,

7 having been firmly rooted {and now} being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, {and} overflowing with gratitude.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;

12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us {and} which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


As I look at the issues involved around water immersion, we need look no further than the words of John the Immerser:

Luke 3:7-8

He therefore {began} saying to the multitudes who were going out to be baptised by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

"Live in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

(from NAS)

My baptism was delayed for a week but for the right reason ¡V for the purposes of witnessing and glorification of God. I delayed in order to invite believers and non-believers to attend. However I still maintain that in following a scriptural example we should do baptism fast and publicly wherever possible in mirror of the first century believers.

Is baptism important? Well that¡¦s a silly question!

Baptism is important! Salvation is very important.

Obedience is important. The example of Scripture is important.

The letter from James says that without obedience to God you will not be saved.

Faith without works is dead.

In other words our faith on its own without the actions and lifestyle to match, is worthless in the eyes of God. ¡§Many will say Lord Lord, but I will say, ¡§Away from me, ye who are far from God, I never knew you. When I was naked you did not clothe me. When hungry you did not feed me.¡¨

{Matt 7:21-23} {Matt 25:31-46}

{Full Quotation:

Matt 7:21-23

"Not everyone who says to Me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

"And then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Matt 25:31-46

"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ’Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me {something} to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ’Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

"And the King will answer and say to them, ’Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, {even} the least {of them,} you did it to Me.’

"Then He will also say to those on His left, ’Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me {nothing} to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

"Then they themselves also will answer, saying, ’Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

"Then He will answer them, saying, ’Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

"And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


A way of life doing this kind of thing is a godly life in obedience to the example of scripture.

Baptism also is obedience to the example of scripture.

Notice however that Jesus does not tell us to be baptised.

He never gives that command.

That though is just an interesting point since there is sufficient material in Scripture to support Baptism as being a necessary act.

To break from the example of scripture will lead us into dangerous spiritual water. Therefore baptism is fundamentally necessary in this sense.

Trust and confession are obedience to God. As are praise and service.

As are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Each of these attributes are fundamentally necessary. However they will not assist us in gaining eternal life.