Is Water Baptism Necessary For Salvation? (Part 2)


This article is my part 2 in the series “Is water baptism necessary for salvation”. Before you read this article, please first read part 1.

In my first article I showed that water baptism is not necessary for salvation, but that one is saved only by one’s faith in Jesus Christ! (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).

To the first disciples it would be unthinkable and a denial of your salvation if not being baptized at once ( Acts 2:38,8:34-38, 10:43-48,16:30-33). Salvation and water baptism is strongly connected to each other. It may look like some Bible verses say 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. We will be dealing with these verses now.

Mark 16:15-16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”.

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” vers 16, and the verse continues:, “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” The emphasis is that those who do not believe will be condemned, it is not on believe and baptized.

This can be seen even more clearly in:

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”

In this verse it can be seen very clearly that water baptism is a confession of what has happened in 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. Not a purification of sin, but a confession that you are righteous by your faith in Jesus (Philippians 3:9). Salvation and water baptism is strongly connected to each other. But it is not the baptism itself that saves, but insted our belief on Christ`s resurrection through faith (1 Peter 3 :21).

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”.

In the context of everything that is said in John 3:1-8, Jesus speaks only about one birth, a spiritual birth, and not two, one in water and the other a spiritual birth. The water symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This is not the only  instead in the bible water symbolizes the Holy Spirit .

1 Corinthians 6:11

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Titus 3:5

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

John 3:5, refers to the need for a spiritual cleansing which occurs when you receive Jesus Christ (Eph 5:26, John 15:3, 1 Cor 6:11 and Titus 3:5).

The following verses also prove this:

John 3:6-8

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Again, the emphasis is on the spiritual birth.

The grammar in the greek manuscripts confirm that John 3:5 does not speak of two births. One, being born of water, and two, being born of the Spirit. But as one unit. In other words, one spritual birth”.

Acts 2:37-41

37 “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them”.

It looks like this Bible verses says you should repent and be baptized to be saved. But the emphasis is on repentance in order to get the promised Holy Spirit. So the question is, how do you receive the Holy Spirit? Yes, by your faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13, Romans 8:9). What Peter is trying to say is, be saved, get remission of sins, and be baptized as a confession of you faith (see what I’ve written about Mark 16:15-16 regarding Peter 3:21 above.)

Also, see Verse 41 “Then Those Who gladly Received his word were baptize” They received salvation first then they were baptized. According To Romans 10:9-17 these people were already saved, before they were baptized.

Romans 10:9-17:

“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.

One can see this even more clearly when Peter for the first time preached the Gospel to the gentles:

Acts 10:43-48

43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins”. 

You receive the remission of your sin by believing in His name.

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.

We know they were saved because they received the message of Peter and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which only can be achieved through salvation (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13) and then they were baptized with water.

1 Peter 3:21

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”

This bible verse is maybe one of the most common Bible verses people use to confirm that baptism is necessary for your salvation. But it is probably the exact opposite. This verse is probably one of the most powerful verses that confirm that baptism is not necessary for your salvation, but is only a confession of your belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ..

vers 21

The word antitype is the greek word (G499 ἀντίτυπον, antitupon, an-teet’-oo-pon) and it means, “corresponding”, (“antitype”), that is, a representative, counterpart: – (like) ”FIGURE” (whereunto), Strong Concordance.

So the question is what is baptism a Corresponding, antitype, and figure of ??

The answer is given in the same verse: “not the removal of the filth of the flesh BUT: of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,“.

Peter is connecting baptism with your faith in Jesus Christ and His resurrection. But he clearly states that it is not the water itself that saves, but “ the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”,.

First believe in Jesus Christ and His resurrection and then we are baptized as a confession that you are born again, and a new creation in Christ. So water baptism only saves the believer in an antitype of your faith in Jesus.

Water baptism is the outward confession of the believer’s inward faith. The person is saved the moment he or she puts their faith in the Lord Jesus, (1 Peter 3:21).

Act 22:16

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

This Bible verse distinguishes very clearly between baptism and washing away your sins by calling on the name of the Lord. It is your calling on the name of the Lord that will wash away your sins, not the water (1 Peter 3:21)

Is the washing away of sins done by water, or is it by the blood of Christ? (1 Peter 3:21, Romans 3:25, Revelation 1:5, 1 Peter 1:18,19, 1 John 1:7, Leviticus 17:11, Ephesians 1:7, 2:13, Hebrews 9:11-12, Colossians 1:14, Hebrews 9:22, Revelation 5:9, Hebrews 13:12, Romans 5:9 )

Revelation 1:5

“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood”

1 Peter 1:18,19

“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”.

1 John 1:7

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”.

Leviticus 17:11

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul”.

Colossian 1:14

“in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”.

Ephesians 1:7

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”.

The only thing that can wash away my sins is the blood of Jesus Christ. You can not get remission of your sins outside of the blood of Jesus, (your faith in Jesus, Romans 3:25).

Romans 3:25a:

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

It is the blood, your faith in Jesus that cleanses you from your sins (your calling on the name of the Lord, act 22:16) not water (1 peter 3:21).

Titus 3:5

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”

This Bible text talks about the Spiritual baptism which occurs when you receive Jesus into your life, the baptism into the Body of Christ, not water baptism.

1 Corinthians 12:13-14

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.”

And: 1 Corinthians 6:11

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

For more information about this subject please read my article “the three different baptisms”

Hebrew 10:22

“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water”.

Again, water baptism and your faith in Jesus Christ are closely related, but the water itself doesn`t cleans you from sin, but it is merely an antitype of what really cleanses you, that you have received Jesus Christ, (1 peter 3:21).

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”

(Please, read above what I have written about 1 Peter 3:21.)

The baptism recorded in Romans 6, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 10:2, and 12:13, are not baptism in water. There are three different baptisms in the Bible that we have to distinguished, one in water, and two different spiritual baptism, the baptism into Christ (when you receive Christ) Romans 6, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 10.2, 12:13, and the baptism commonly referred to as the baptism in the Holy Spirit, please read my article “the three different baptisms”.

To really understand water baptism, you have to be able to distinguish these different baptisms and their functions.

Baptism is a very important confession on what has already happened on the inside of you, that you have become a new creation by your faith in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 10: 9, Peter 3:21). Baptism is closely connected to your salvation. If you have received Jesus Christ into your life you have cut off all reasons not to be baptized, and this should be done directly after you have received Jesus Christ into your life or as soon as possible (Acts 2:38,8:34-38, 10:43-48,16:30-33, 18:8).

Many Christians are waiting to be baptized until they improve their way of living, or stop sinning, or until it feels right, this is wrong and unbiblical. If you have received Jesus Christ into your life you have made yourself ready to confess this through water baptism.

Although baptism is a very important confession of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, your faith in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21), it is not essential for salvation, only your faith in Jesus Christ can save you (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). Peter taught that water baptism was not a purification from sin, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God, (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is only a confession of your faith in Jesus, what has already taking place in the inside of the believer. A person who do not want to be water baptized is actually denying his faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. And you can surely put a big question mark if that person really believes!

More teachings with Aly-Sam Botros 

9 thoughts on “Is Water Baptism Necessary For Salvation? (Part 2)

  1. Leif says:

    Why should I confess my faith by waterbatism when I allready did it Rom10:9-10. When I believe in Jesus and receive him, God birth His Son Christ in me, and I am a birth child of God. After this nothing more can happen to me, ecept growing in Christ.I totally agree with you that Rom 6:2-6 is not waterbabtism at all but babtism by the Holy Spirit into Christ (the body of Christ) i i. e.the birthing 1 Cor.12:13. The repentance in Act 2 at Pentecost by Peter is not for the body of Chist at all as a condition for salvation, it follows salvation. Peter was preaching to Israel, to the circumcised. Every blessings Leif

    1. LifeMinistries says:

      “Why should I confess my faith by waterbatism when I already did it Rom 10:9-10.
      When I believe in Jesus and receive him”

      Hey Leif, you don’t need to do that. But water baptism symbolize your confession of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ – what have already happened in the inside of the believer.

  2. Leif Emeleus says:

    Brother there is no motivation to symbolize my confesson. To whom should I do this ?
    To God ?
    God gave the faith of this to me, and he very well knows this. I do not have to convince Him, He allready knows.

  3. LifeMinistries says:

    Hey Leif!

    – Read what I wrote further up about 1 Peter 3:21 which I quoted from in my first answer.

    – You do not do it for someone in the direct sense but it is a symbol of something new, the new creation we are in Christ. Water is used many times in the Bible to describe something new, that the old has passed, and purity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s