View Full Version : Doesn't John 3:5 require baptism for salvation?

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September 18th, 2009, 10:39 PM
I disagree with this statement. I would say that baptism alone does not save a person. "It is unbelief only that damns; and though saving faith cannot exist in the heart of one who refuses to be baptized, it can exist when for some reason baptism cannot be obtained." (from Luther's Small Catechism) Compare Luke 7:30 (NASB) But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John. and the thief on the cross next to Jesus.

1 Peter 3:21
There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned.

John 3:5-6 KJV
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

I am Lutheran and I was baptized as an infant. And for the record, I was not dunked under water, instead a small amount of water was poured over my head 3 times - in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is at that time, (as us Lutherans believe) that the Holy Spirit comes into the infant's life as a protector until the child is old enough to profess his/her faith in Christ (See John 3:5-6 above and Acts 2:38-39 below). I was exposed to the Christian faith throughout grade school and starting in about 7th grade I started taking Confirmation classes, which is an intense study of God's word and instruction on living a Christian life. In 8th grade I publicly (before the church congregation) confirmed my faith in Jesus, when then allowed me to take communion.

The Lutheran faith teaches the following about infant baptism:

Little children should be baptized when they are brought to baptism by those who have authority over them. Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. KJV

Infants too, are to be baptized because the are included in the words "all nations" in Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

And also Acts 2:38-39 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

Holy baptism is the only means whereby infants, who too, must be born again, can ordinarily be regenerated and brought to faith because of original sin. Mark 10:13-15 13And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Also, infants too can believe by the power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Lots of stuff here, but just starting with this: Where does it mention baptism, let alone infant baptism, in Mark 10:13-15?

He loved/s children, there is no doubt about that, and I'm sure children were attracted to come to Jesus. I see Jesus' point that we must be childlike (faith, openness, trust, etc.) to enter the Kingdom of God. His point was not infant baptism since He didn't mention it. :scratch

September 18th, 2009, 10:55 PM
My wife and I were visiting a church that practiced infant baptism. The pastor was preaching on baptism and in the sermon, explaining why they baptized infants, said, "Why look at our Lord when He got baptized."

One thing I've always wondered about infant baptism if when it started it wasn't largely because of infant mortality rates back then.
Also, for the churches that really make a big formal affair of it, how did Jesus' baptism in a river get twisted into what some churches do today?

September 19th, 2009, 12:03 AM
The power's in the blood, not the tub! :preach

September 19th, 2009, 12:41 AM
I think the "Mikveh" mentioned by Hootman in Post 21 above is a most interesting issue to bring up.

I have never read of baptisms in the Bible, Old Testament or New Testament, being conducted in that manner.So the Jews have been doing it wrong for centuries?

James W. Dale wrote a series of five full volumes of several hundred pages each about one Greek word, the word "baptizo," the word many point to as requiring immersion as the mode of baptism.You are still appealing to the Greek for what is an essentially a Hebrew tradition.

What does the Hebrew say?

September 19th, 2009, 12:42 AM
The power's in the blood, not the tub! :preachAgreed, but there stil seems to be some issues remainging regarding that 'tub'...

September 19th, 2009, 01:07 AM
Agreed, but there stil seems to be some issues remainging regarding that 'tub'... Some sprinkle, pour, and immerse. immersion is the method that was done when John The Baptist baptized his cousin Jesus. I was immersed & it is the blood that washes away our sins. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. :thumb :yeah

September 19th, 2009, 04:10 AM
What about the quickened spirit baptized in the blood of Jesus at salvation? :scratch

September 19th, 2009, 09:09 AM
The power's in the blood, not the tub! :preach

Amen to that...

September 19th, 2009, 09:36 AM
Bookworm, I didn't see you address Philip and the eunich in Acts. Maybe you could address that?

It's clear they went into the water. Jesus was in water (the river). And no, Romans 6:4 does not mention water, how ever the idea of being "planted" together does not mean a little "dirt" was sprinkled on your head.

The idea of being fully under the water, typifies being completely buried with Christ. Then the rising up, to His resurrection. I guess it is brought up in our church (that verse) to refute the idea of being "sprinkled", or to further the scriptural points of full immersion.

But what are your thoughts on the events in Acts regarding the baptism of the eunich?

September 19th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Dear Joyb0218 and all,

Yesterday was my first day to fully use my computer since my former computer was totally "zapped" during a severe storm here about July 24 or 25. Providentially, my son was visiting us for the better part of a month when we discovered this happened, and he rebuilt my computer. But downloading all the Windows updates used up our allowed capacity in gigabytes, so I had to lay low for three weeks more before I could use it again, waiting to reach the next billing period. Now, I am getting used to new software and a new keyboard, so pardon my typos and slowness, please!

Yesterday (or the evening before that) I came to Rapture Ready to find the link to e-Sword so I could download and re-install it on my computer. Hopefully I can "copy and paste" the full text of Bible verses now, though with Vista and Word2007 I am still having issues with how to perform tasks now that I used to do easily with Windows XP.

I see our discussion has been moved to the Water Baptism thread. I think that was a very good move, because I was afraid of side-tracking the thread topic regarding Infant Baptism by my references to the mode of baptism on the former thread.

In this discussion regarding baptismal mode, kindly recall that I am basically neutral on the subject. I accept the validity of immersion, or pouring, or sprinkling. I only object, most strenuously at times, to any person or group that dares to affirm that his, her, or their preferred mode is the only correct one!

I have learned, after much careful study, that the Greek term for baptism most often referenced, namely, "baptizo," is a non-modal word. This means the word in itself does not specify the mode involved. "Baptizo" expresses what was done, but does not by itself inform us anything about how it was done. To learn how it was done, we must in every case consult the (or each) context where it is used.

No doubt but that "baptizo" could conceivably be used in a sense that corresponds by what we express by our word "immersion." But in point of fact, no contexts where the word is used in the Bible ever require that it be understood to mean immersion.

That is why I said that in the Bible, whether Old Testament or New Testament, there are absolutely no examples or instances of the immersion of persons in water for any religious purpose whatsoever, none.

I got into this study back in the mid to late 1960s in response to the Jehovah's Witnesses, who were visiting the members of my high school Sunday school class. Two of the girls in the class, Colleen and Sandy, asked me to meet the Jehovah's Witnesses at Colleen's home to answer their false doctrine. Colleen and Sandy both said that though I had taught them well, they felt that because they were mere high school girls, the Jehovah's Witnesses were not taking them seriously when they presented their Biblical answers to the false doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Uncle Frank took my place and "stood in the gap" for me at Colleen's house that first day until I could get there in the very late afternoon. Frank had started at 2:30 pm and when I got there two hours later he was still going strong. I was introduced to the Jehovah's Witnesses, and I merely told them I was Colleen's Sunday school teacher, and that I was a public school teacher who taught English at Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

The Jehovah's Witnesses asked me if I would be willing to have them conduct a study at my apartment. I agreed, telling them that anything they could prove directly from the Bible itself I would believe.

They came for the next four years or so, every Monday night. Those were some interesting sessions, let me tell you. I learned a whole lot of Bible doctrine much more thoroughly than I had ever learned it before, and in a hurry.

One doctrine I found they were totally clueless about was the doctrine pertaining to the mode of water baptism. Jehovah's Witnesses, like many genuine Christians, have fallen for the mistaken view of the Baptist denomination, and are therefore on this point of doctrine what I call "Baptistic" in viewpoint. This being the case, I felt that I could utterly prove them mistaken on a subject for which they could mount no effective defense. If I could absolutely prove their religious organization to be mistaken about a doctrine in Scripture, that would prove that their organization was not the divinely ordained means of spreading God's truth today, and by no means could it be the one true church.

Please remember that I was raised at Highland Park Baptist Church. I was immersed there and became a member when I was a teenager after I came to Christ as a result of reading the New Testament alone from August to November 7, 1953. I received Christ while delivering my papers for the Detroit Shopping News route that Saturday, stopping alone to pray under an oak tree on Lumpkin street. I subsequently taught Sunday school, before I went to college in the junior department; after college in the high school department at Highland Park Baptist Church.

I therefore have no animus against the Baptists, though through the efforts of Uncle Frank, I have since come to understand just what the Biblical point of view on the subject really is.

I have since found, however, that some of the Baptist persuasion might need to carefully consider what is commanded in Romans 15:7, "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

My membership application to a church local to where I now live was rejected by the Church Board of Elders and the Pastor himself because I asserted that I agreed with their doctrinal statement of faith except for their insistence upon immersion as the exclusively correct mode of Christian baptism. I asserted I would not argue against their immersionist position, that I considered it valid, but that other modes are equally if not better supported in Scripture as to their validity.

Heads are going to roll on Judgment Day for any who discriminate against other genuine believers in Jesus Christ over such non-essential matters!

Please forgive my extended "rant," but I felt I must state some of these things first so that no one would perceive my Biblical arguments to be intended as a divisive matter. Rather, I think it helps for everyone, including me, to become better informed on Bible doctrine. We all need to be open to learning new truth every time we open our Bible and read it. Sometimes the new truth we learn will require that we revise what we formerly believed to make our belief correspond more accurately to what the Bible itself says, rather than to what we have been told or taught by others that it says. If we cannot take this attitude toward the Bible, the Bible is surely a closed book to us (Psalm 25:9).

I promise, at my next posting on this thread, to directly answer the questions posed to me, the Lord willing and enabling.