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Biblical Water Baptism (Its Importance), Episode VI

Updated on March 2, 2014
Early Christian baptistry is shaped like a cross. This baptistry is located in Avdat, and Mamshit/Mampsis in the Negev and likely built in the Byzantine era 250-600AD.
Early Christian baptistry is shaped like a cross. This baptistry is located in Avdat, and Mamshit/Mampsis in the Negev and likely built in the Byzantine era 250-600AD.

Biblical Water Baptism, Q&A, Q's 47-55

Referenced Texts

Nu 19:2 “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.

Nu 19:9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin. 31:23 everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.

Nu 31:23 everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.

Mt 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

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

Ac 2:38 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.

Ac 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

Ro 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.Ac 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

1 Cor 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Eph 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.

Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

He 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, ... cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 10:22 let us draw near ... having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

He 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.

He 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

1 Pt 3:20-21 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,

Re 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

Biblical Water Baptism, Q&A, Q56

How Important Is Water Baptism?

In a time when Reformed theology has all but taken over Protestantism it is much out of style to teach what the Bible really teaches about the place water baptism holds in the matter of salvation. Evangelicalism has been inundated with the mantra of "Faith Alone" to such an extant that the voice of Scripture can hardly be heard. Here, however, we pick up our Q&A on water baptism at question #47; and, here, we ask the hard questions and give the clear biblical answers. We are certain it will not sit well with those of the eacy-believism of modern evangelicalism.

Question 47: What does Jesus say about the importance of Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: The importance that Jesus placed on Water Baptism is seen in His teachings that all nations would be made disciples through WATER BAPTISM (Matthew 28:19). Furthermore, Jesus taught that Water Baptism was required for salvation (Mark 16:16).

Question 48: What do the disciples of the New Testament say about the importance of Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: The disciples of the New Testament say the following concerning the importance of Water Baptism:

  1. Matthew: “Teach all nations” (“make disciples of all nations”) “baptizing them...” (Matthew 28:19).
  2. Mark: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
  3. Peter: “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,...” (Acts 2:38).
  4. Luke: “And he” (Peter) “commanded them to be baptized...” (Acts 10:48). Notice that Water Baptism was commanded by Apostle Peter; who possessed the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.
  5. Paul: “... by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism,...” (Colossians 2:11c and 12a). “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death:” (Romans 6:5).
  6. Ananias: “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord;” (Acts 22:16).

Question 49: Must one be Water Baptized to be saved? ∼ Answer: See Questions 47 and 48.

Question 50: Is there one verse of Scripture (or passage) which declares clearly that Water Baptism saves? ∼ Answer: Of all the scriptures which teach the salvific value of Water Baptism, one may look to First Peter 3:20-21 if one wants the words “baptism” and “saves” in the same sentence. Peter speaks of the water of the Flood and says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” However, one should not ignore the words of Christ, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” (Mark 16:16).

Question 51: Concerning First Peter 3:20-21, How is the water of the Flood a type of the water of baptism? ∼ Answer: The water of Christian baptism is the reality of which the waters of the Flood were only a shadow in that they both are waters of judgment. Numbers 19:2 (cf. Hebrews 9:13-14 and 10:22) introduces the “waters of separation.” The “waters of separation” were for the purpose of purifying from sins (see Numbers 19:9 cf. 31:23). The water of the Flood was a prefiguring of the “waters of separation,” while the water of Christian baptism is the fulfillment of the “waters of separation.” The Flood separated the clean from the unclean, death from life. Even so, do the waters of baptism. See Romans 6:4 and Acts 22:16 in the light of Numbers 31:23 and Hebrews 9:13-14; 10:22. 1 Peter 3:20-21 is to be understood in this light.

Question 52: What does Peter mean by the statement that Water Baptism is: “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God?” (First Peter 3:21). ∼ Answer: The first part of this statement has the “Waters of Separation” in view (Numbers 19:2ff, cf Hebrews 9:13-14) which washed the body but could not do anything about washing the conscience from the guilt of sin. Christian Water Baptism, on the other hand, accomplished what the “waters of separation” could not do. See the Greek scholar Joseph Henry Thayer: ”suvei-deiseos agatheis; a consciousness rectitude to God.”

Question 53: According to Peter’s teaching in First Peter 3:20-21, How does Water Baptism accomplish salvation? ∼ Answer: According to the apostle Peter (First Peter 3:21) Water Baptism saves by providing a good conscience toward God. That is: through identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in Water Baptism (Romans 6:4 cf. First Corinthians 15:1-4) one has the assurance that his (or her) sin question is settled once and for all (see Acts 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 3:27; Mark 16:16). Also see question 52.

Question 54: Since Paul taught that salvation is not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), How can Water Baptism have salvific value in that it is a work? ∼ Answer: One cannot place Water Baptism into the class of works that Paul has in view in Ephesians 2:8-9. Paul is speaking of the works of personal (self) righteousness. James, on the other hand, has works of faith in view when he writes, “Even so faith, if it hath no works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). James continued to say, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Water Baptism is a work in the same sense that repentance, confession, or even faith are works. If one would argue against the salvific value of Water Baptism on the grounds that it is a work, then one must also argue against repentance, confession and faith on the same grounds.

Question 55. Does acknowledging Water Baptism as salvific deny the sufficiency of the blood of Christ? ∼ Answer: Acknowledging Water Baptism as salvific does not deny the sufficiency of the blood of Christ, because Water Baptism is not taught in Scripture in lieu of the blood, but as the instrument by which the blood is applied. Therefore, Water Baptism is viewed in the Bible as the instrument of salvation, and not the means. The means of mankind’s salvation remains the blood of Jesus Christ.

Question 56: How is the cleansing of the blood of Christ and Water Baptism biblically connected? ∼ Answer: The blood of Jesus Christ and Water Baptism are connected biblically in that the work of the blood is seen as accomplished through and by Water Baptism. e.g.:

  • The blood of Jesus remits sins (Matthew 26:28), and Water Baptism remits sins (Acts 2:38);
  • The blood of Jesus washes from sin (Revelation 1:5), and Water Baptism washes from sins (Acts 22:16);
  • The blood of Jesus cleanses the conscience (Hebrews 9:14), and Water Baptism cleanses the conscience (First Peter 3:21);
  • The blood of Jesus sanctifies (Hebrews 10:29), and Water Baptism sanctifies (Ephesians 5:26).
  • Also see question 55.

Having now come to the end of this episode there is a prayer in my heart that Truth has fortified your faith. Let me leave you with this thought: Never stretch the Scripture to fit your theology, but always stretch your theology to fit the Scripture.


Apostolically Speaking

☩ Jerry Hayes

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    • Bishop J L Hayes profile image
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      Jerry Lynn Hayes Sr 3 years ago from Texas City, Texas

      The importance that Jesus placed on Water Baptism is seen in His teachings that all nations would be made disciples through WATER BAPTISM (Matthew 28:19).

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      First Lady 3 years ago

      I liked the way you synced your videos with the written questions.

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      Elaine 2 years ago

      I would really like to be bzetiapd. I have come back to Christ after a 10+ year hiatus and it is really important to me since my life has been forever changed. Thank you.

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