No, it is not. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation. You are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone ( John 3:14-18, 5:24, 20:31, Acts 10:43, 15:7-11, 16:31, 26:18, Romans 1:16-17,10: 9-17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Philippians 3:9, 1 John 5:13), not through faith and works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Adding anything to faith in Jesus Christ for salvation is not the Gospel of grace, it is adding works! Then, it would not be grace, but grace plus your works, a mix of them both. Ephesians 2:8-9,and Romans 11:6 says
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work”.
It is either by grace alone or by works alone, but not a mix of both.
And Ephesians 2:8-9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” 9″ not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
The statement that baptism is necessary for salvation is actually a very dangerous teaching because it is saying that faith in Jesus alone is not enough for the whole salvation, only partially. That means that we can/must do something to complete our salvation. That is wrong, and contradicts the Bible ( John 3:14-18, 5:24, John 20:31, Acts 10:43, 15:7-11, 16:31, 26:18, Romans 1:16-17,10: 9-17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Philippians 3:9, 1 John 5:13).
The Apostle Peter And The Gentiles
In Acts 10:34-48, Peter presented the Gospel to the Gentiles. People got saved and received remission of sins (verse 43).We know they were saved because they received the message of Peter and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is only a gift for saved people (Acts 15:8, Romans 8:9b, Ephesians 1:13). They were bapized with water after they had received the message and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48). The Gentiles were saved before they were baptized in water.
43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins”.
44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word”. 45 “And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also”.46 “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered”. 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days”.
The Apostle Paul
This is what Paul says about the same subject in 1 Cor 1:14-17;
14 “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius”. 15 “lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name”. 16 “Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other”. 17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect”.
If baptism is necessary for salvation, Paul would be saying that he was thankful to God that only Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas were saved. Also, contradict his own calling given by Jesus, when he says “for Christ did not send me to save, but to preach the Gospel.”
“to whom I now send you”, 18 ” to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me”.
Paul preached the Gospel for it is the power unto salvation, Romans, 1:16-17, 10:8-17 says;
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek”. 17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written”, “The just shall live by faith.”
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. 10 “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. 11 “For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame”.12 “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him”. 13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. 14 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” 15 “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16 “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
If water baptism is necessary for salvation then it should be wrong to present the Gospel message without including water baptism, which also contradicts many verses (John 3:14-18, 5:24, John 20:31, Acts 10:43, 16:31, 26:18, Romans 1:16-17,10: 9-17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Philippians 3:9, 1 John 5:13.
Acts 15 – The Jerusalem Counicl
The background for this counicl was a disputation concerning a group of pepole called Judaizers (Paul is specificly dealing with the teachings of the Judaizers in the book of Galatian). Which taught that faith alone was not enught for salvation, that you needed to be circumcised and also continue to follow the Mosic law (Acts 15:1, 5). Paul didn`t want to run his race in vain so he went to the apostles in Jeruslem to settle the matter once for all (Gal 2:1-2).
The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
It`s clear to see throughout these pasages that it is only through faith that you have a right standing with God ( vers 9 and 11) and anything in addition to faith for salvation is a worked based salvation – it`s not the Gospel of grace (vers 11). Faith in Christ alone saves. Here you have the apostel Paul, Barnabas, the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem coming together (Acts 15:2,12) for this one question; “is anything more than faith required to be saved?”. Water baptism is not mentioned a single time during the meeting, but only faith in Christ is required for salvation. This would have been an excellent opportunity in the Jerusalem council to include water baptism for salvation if it was necessary, but it isn’t (John 3:14-18, 5:24, 20:31, Acts 10:43, 15:7-11, 16:31, 26:18, Romans 1:16-17,10: 9-17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Philippians 3:9, 1 John 5:13).
Vers 8 makes it clear that anyone are saved when receiving the gift of The Holy spirit. As mentioned earlier the gentiles recived The gift of the Holy Spirit before water baptism (Acts 10: 44-48).
What Is Water Baptism?
1 Peter 3:18-22;
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”, 19 “by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison”, 20 “who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water”. 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”, 22 “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him”.
Water baptism is a antitype (a symbol) of what has happened on the inside of you, an external confession of your faith, but not the removal of filth (The Greek word ῥυπος, rhupos, hroo’-pos, meaning moral depravity)” but an answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (verse 21). Baptism is not a purification of sin, but a confession that you are righteous by your faith in Jesus (Philippians 3:9). Baptism is something that should be done immediately after your confession in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, 8:34-38, 10:43-48, 16:30-33).
To the first disciples it would be unthinkable and a denial of your faith if not being baptized at once (Acts 2:38,8:34-38, 10:43-48,16:30-33, 18:8). But it is not the baptism itself that saves, but insted our believe on Christ`s resurrection through faith (1 Peter 3 :21).
Salvation and water baptism is strongly connected to each other. It may look like some Bible verses says that water baptism is necessary for your salvation, ex Mark 16:15-16, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 22:16, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 3:21. I am dealing with these Bible verses in part 2 of my article (Is water baptism necessary for salvation). And it will also be beneficial if you read my article “the three different baptism”, where I am dealing with the baptism recorded in Romans 6, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 6:11,10:2, and 1 Corinthians 12:13, which many scholars believe is about the baptism in water, but it is not…
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