He that believeth on me....

as the "scripture" hath said...

Then 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. ~ Acts 2:38

Is Baptsim Necessary For Salvation?

Author: Kenneth Long

Posted: Friday, August 6, 2022

Part 2 - The Biblical Perspective

Since we know that God, through his word and his spirit, is our sole source of truth regarding the things of God. The question we must then ask ourselves is "What is the "biblical" perspective? " "Does "the bible" offer any connection between water baptism and eternal life?" To make such a determination, we must rely on what the bible "says" and what is a "reasonable" interpretation of the scriptures. We should not wrap the word of God around a "doctrine" or what seems rational to the mind. Israel marching around the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:1–27) once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day certainly must not have seem to be a "rational" way to penetrate the city, but nevertheless it was what God instructed them to do, and through obedience the walls of the city were destroyed. The bible states in:

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
King James Version

The word of God examines the heart of man, identifies his motives, judges him, and perscribes the necessary remedy to treat a corrupted nature (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This alone is proof that the bible is the product of a single author and is superior to any " doctrine" or collective insight compiled by man (2 Peter 1:20-21). The word of God critiques the motives of the heart down to its deepest recesses. This makes complete sense when we consider that "God is the creator" of man and no aspect of man is unknown to him. We know man is incapable of performing such introspection, let alone being able to treat a tainted nature; primarily because the depths of man's sinful impulses are beyond his full comprehension. Nevertheless, man is aware of the darkness within him; even if he cannot identify his motives or the source of his corruption (Romans 7:19-25). Those who can acknowledge sin as the root of man's impediments still cannot remedy a corrupt nature "through" a "corrupt nature" ( Matthew 7:18, Romans 7:18-24). It requires the assistance of an uncorrupt entity with power above the power of sin. That is only found in the power of God.

Only the word of God can provide the necessary guidance to target the source of power over sin. However, much like a young child attempting to prove he or she can accomplish a task without the assistance of a parent; the doctrines of men are conceived through an innate desire to liberate from God's control; to be righteous apart from God; "on man's terms " and inline with "his" desires. This, of course, is impossible since " righteousness" is only obtained through a declaration from God himself (Acts 1:8, Titus 3:7, Romans 3:24-40). His word corrects and directs in the ways of righteousness. As such, we must affirm that the doctrine of God is not found in any denomination, but the only true doctrine "is" the message of the bible alone and unfiltered. Through the spirit, and submission to its leading, we have the guarantee of disseminating "rightly divided" word (1 John 2:27, 1 Corinthians 2:9-14). Returning to water baptism and its relationship to salvation/eternal life, we know from scripture "only" God can pardon sin (Luke 5:21); this makes sense seeing that all transgressions are ultimately against God.

God set the order of this life and the standard by which humankind should, ideally, interact with God and with each other (Matthew 22:37, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 116:2, Hebrews 12:14, Galatians 6:10). God is the lone determinant in what is acceptable and what constitutes sin (2 Corinthians 5:10), this makes him the singular factor in how he has chosen to remedy sin. As a result, "He" has devised the means and the methods necessary "to" redress sin. The bible states that the primary component in the remediation of sin is "blood" (Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22).

Hebrews 9:22 reads "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." In the old testament, both collective sins (Leviticus 16:8-34) and individual sins required the blood of an animal as the means of atonement ("covering" of sin - Leviticus 17:11). With the coming of Jesus Christ in the new testament, God facilitated the remission of sin "universally" through his shed blood by way of his death on the cross. However, eternal life and the forgiveness of sins is NOT achieved "against" man's will "to" be forgiven (Acts 2:37-38, 1 John 1:2-3). John 3:16 states "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [conditional] should not perish, but have everlasting life." The bible also states in 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not "willing" that any should perish, "but that all" "should" [ideally and availability] come to repentance."

These two scriptures alone make clear the division "in", and implications "of" salvation. That is, The death of Jesus Christ, his burial and his resurrection afforded man the opportunity to "acquire" forgiveness for his sins and to obtain the power over sin (Matthew 26:28, Acts 1:8), it DID NOT wipe or cancel the sins of the unrepentant (Acts 2:38). If the shed blood of Jesus did not activate man’s repentance or assure eternal life beyond his will, then there is another factor in the pardoning of sin and the acquisition of eternal life. Before examining the dichotomy of salvation, we can establish a peripheral relationship between eternal life and water baptism simply by its "compulsory" nature. We know that baptism is the will of and command of God (Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 7:30).

Water Baptism Is Obligatory