Besides Roman Catholics, Church of Christ, Mormons (LDS), Russian and Greek Orthodox, Churches of God, and United Pentecostalists often add Baptism as necessary to salvation. Adding anything to the free gift of eternal life has made the gospel accursed and is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Friend, please be sure before you get defensive. I pray some of my friends are reading this. Maybe some of you have believed the gospel alone. I sure pray so. But please be willing to search the Scriptures prayerfully to be sure if what you’ve been taught, or are being taught is true.
The Pope says people cannot be saved outside of the ‘church’. The Pope is exalting himself against the knowledge of God and unless he repents (changes his mind) and believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified ALONE as the Only way to be saved, He is accursed, and he is still dead in his sins. There is only ONE Holy Father, and Jesus prayed to Him in John 17. This is huge audacity to take the title of God and attribute it to a man. This is what Satan desired, to be like God.
Can Water Baptism Save or is it a work? (Baptismal Regeneration)
My dear husband was raised a Roman Catholic. Although I grew up in a heavily populated Jewish and Catholic neighborhood, I didn’t know much about their beliefs back then regarding salvation except for Fish Fridays. I also remember when they gave up things for ‘Lent’. Sometimes they’d show me their medals with pictures of what looked like little Roman gods in their flowing gowns.
I came to learn some basic things about how they prayed to saints and to Mary, and as a young girl, I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t pray directly to God especially as Jesus taught in the model of how to pray in the Lord’s prayer. They couldn’t really tell me why either, (except one told me Jesus was too busy) but I didn’t realize the difference between what they were taught one must do to be saved, and what the Bible says one must do in order to be saved.
Don’t anyone get me wrong, I have many Roman Catholics I love, and I love them enough to incur their wrath even, or become unfriended by them on Facebook. I still pray for some by name that no longer are my friends. But I don’t want them in hell, and so I want to speak the truth in love with them.
When I met my husband, he had just come out of Roman Catholicism and placed His trust in Jesus Christ as His only Savior. One of his friends was fervently trying to ‘save’ him from this ‘error’. But Gilbert knew back then (in the very beginning), that he had finally stumbled onto truth (Christ the Rock), and was set free. The gift of eternal life is free! It’s by faith and not of works lest any one should boast. He told me all the anger, bitterness, fear, depression, and so many different emotions he couldn’t describe began to leave him as he read God’s Word with different sight, the scales were just gone from his eyes.
All the things he had been taught, the questions he had asked the priests that they could not satisfactorily answer, the uncertainty he had about death, and more — had finally been shown to him through the truth of the gospel. And He had peace with the Father, and forgiveness of sins (permanently I might add).
It’s a matter of life and death. Do you want to gamble your eternal life for your religion? You want to end up in hell with no second chances? (There is no purgatory in God’s Word).
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Heb 9:27
Being religious will not save you.
Belonging to a certain church will not help.
My friend Preston had this to share today and so I wanted to include his post from over on expreacherman.com.
The crux of the problem from the “religious”.
Believe means “to put confidence in; to trust”.
Religion gets people to trust—
► the law
► good works
► church affiliation
How many “professing Christians” are actually trusting (believing) in Jesus for their salvation? Unfortunately it is very few. Most seem to be trusting in how good they are. Why? because that is what is being preached in the pulpits today and it “feeds” the sinful ego.
What a Christian SHOULD do is documented in every Pauline epistle. What many fail to realize is that ALL of those writings are to ALREADY SAVED people; telling them what they SHOULD be doing.
Paul never once changed the gospel to get them to behave/perform better. EQ by Preston
Catholic’s Deny the Power of God unto Salvation
What are they denying? That Jesus Christ and Him crucified is SUFFICIENT and COMPLETE to save us. That what is stated IS the gospel (1 Cor 15:3-4) is NOT ENOUGH. The Word begs to differ, are you willing to gamble your life on church tradition that isn’t supported by the Word of God? Is the Bible the ultimate authority or not? If you believe it is, please keep reading.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Tim 3:5
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18
Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold:
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC 101
They can’t get Christ off the cross. They keep crucifying him over and over and over again. You don’t need or ask a priest to forgive you of your sins. We have a high priest and he’s the only high priest we need and he’s quite capable of handling the job.
The hardest thing for a Catholic to believe is that their sins are all paid for, once they see this, it’s like a light bulb comes on, now they don’t need to go to confession or priest or go to mass to pay for their sins, it’s already been done.
They can know they have eternal life and knows they are going to heaven.
Things we have in common:
They believe the Bible is the Word of God / so do we
They believe Jesus was born of a virgin / so do we
They believe we need a Savior / so do we
We believe all have sinned , well maybe not all of them, just one thinks he’s perfect. / so do we
They believe in Heaven and Hell / so do we
Romans 6:9 King James Version, dieth no more.
If Christ didn’t pay for all of our future sins, he didn’t help us out at all.
Think about that song , When He was on the cross, I was on his mind. He was thinking about you he paid for our sins in advance before we were even born before we ever committed a sin. But Romans 6:9 says he dieth no more, He will never come back and die again. Because the one payment He made was sufficient for all mankind once and for all.
If grace be of salvation it cannot be of works as well Romans 11:6.
Speak in truth and in love you feel their hurt in your heart that compassion.
When Ray Stanford talked and gave the gospel it was like a tear in his voice sometimes you could sense but that man really cared for me.
God uses a man, the message , and the motive , you have the most powerful thing in the world so give the gospel. trust God to use it, keeps sowing seeds when it seems like there’s a drought and its like times of harvest.
Stay faithful, don’t give up, It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! (video below).
Does Roman Catholicism line up with the Word of God?
My husband’s mom was worried for the children, because we hadn’t had them water baptized in the Catholic church (I think she snuck a few over when they were little to the church next door). I know the kind of baptism for salvation spoken to in God’s Word has nothing to do with water, although believers do get water baptized after we have placed our faith in Christ. This is a public act before men, commanded in Acts 10:48 for those who have been already baptized by the Holy Spirit upon belief. The cleansing spoken (baptism in the name of the Lord) is the one we get when a believer is baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6; Rom 8:9). Jesus didn’t tell the thief on the cross, surely you’ll be in purgatory today. No, the thief would be with Jesus, absent from the body, present with the Lord.
John the Baptist baptized with water, but he said the One that came after him (Jesus Christ) would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Water Baptism by A. Ray Stanford
“The Lord Jesus Christ never baptized anyone with water the whole time He was on earth. If water baptism were necessary for salvation, then Christ would have been withholding salvation from everyone He dealt with.”
Ephesians 4:5 says that there is “one baptism” which God recognizes today. And I Corinthians 12: 13 describes it clearly:
“For by one SPIRIT are we all (no believers excluded) baptized into one body . . . and have been all made to drink into one SPIRIT.”
Notice that the “one Spirit” and “one baptism” of Ephesians 4: 4, 5 parallel perfectly with the “one Spirit” and “one body” of I Corinthians 12:13. THIS is the baptism (or cleansing) necessary for salvation. This baptism is performed by God, not by man.
HOW AND WHEN THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT IS RECEIVED
For you to be a child of God you must have the Holy Spirit for God says, “. . .
Now if any man have NOT the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS” (Romans 8:9).
John 1:12, 13 tells us we become children of God, born of Him, WHEN we receive Christ by faith. And WHEN we receive Christ, we also receive the Spirit.
“And in Him you Gentiles also, after listening to the message of the truth, the good news of your salvation- having believed in Him-were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit . . .” (Eph. 1:13, Weymouth trans., 3rd ed.).
Jesus said in John 7:39,
“But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive….”
The Holy Spirit is given to believers at the moment of salvation, and He indwells them forever.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (I Cor. 6:19)
The letter of I Corinthians was written to ALL believers (1:2), so then, ALL BELIEVERS are indwelt by the Spirit and have received His baptism or cleansing.
PASSAGES SOME PEOPLE THINK TEACH WATER BAPTISM FOR SALVATION
Acts 2:38, “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.”
You will discover what this verse means if you keep these important things clear in your mind:
(1) To be “baptized” means to be “cleansed.”
(2) These unbelieving Jews were pricked in their hearts when Peter reminded them that they had a part in crucifying Jesus. And Peter tells them to be CLEANSED of this sin “IN the NAME of Jesus Christ”-the very One they helped crucify.
(3) Peter said to be “baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.” Some assume that Peter meant for these people to be baptized in water, and as they were being baptized, Peter would say over them, “I baptize you in the Name of Jesus Christ.” However, this is not what God has recorded. It is what men have added. GOD says these people were cleansed in CHRIST’S NAME. Remember, His Name means “God who saves, keeps, satisfies,” etc. There is cleansing power in His Name!
(4) Notice, when these people were cleansed in Christ, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this is another verse showing that the baptism or cleansing that accompanies salvation is of the Spirit -not of water.
(5) Notice, it says the GIFT of the Holy Spirit. If you needed water baptism for salvation or to receive the Holy Spirit, neither salvation nor the Holy Spirit would be a GIFT of God, but of the works of
(6) When “baptism” refers to water, it means to be made fully wet; when it refers to salvation, it means to be fully or completely cleansed by the Spirit. Acts 2:41 records that 3,000 trusted Christ as the result of Peter’s message. If the baptism here were referring to WATER baptism, where could Peter baptize 3,000 people? He and all the people were in the Temple area, and there was NO WATER THERE except for a small laver in which the priests washed their hands and feet before entering into the Holy Place. But verse 41 says that these 3,000 souls were added to the disciples that “same day.” In the entire passage water is not mentioned even once.
Literally translated, Acts 2:38 could read,
“Then Peter said unto them, Change your mind, and be CLEANSED every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Please notice four things about this verse:
(1) Only unbelief condemns. Being water baptized or not being water baptized has nothing to do with it.
(2) The baptism here is Spirit baptism, not water
(3) He that believeth and is cleansed shall be saved. We do the believing, and God does the cleansing. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed; but ye are sanctified; but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11 ).
(4) The passage in Mark 16, “from verse 9 to the end (of the chapter) is not found in the two most ancient manuscripts, the Sinaitic and Vatican, and others have it with partial omissions and variations. But it is quoted by Irenaeus and Hippolytus in the second or third century” (Scofield’s note 1, by Mark 16:9) .
John 3:5, “Jesus 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.”
Some people think this verse is referring to water baptism because it says you must be “born of water.”
But let me ask you a question. Are BIRTH and BAPTISM the same thing? Of course not! If Christ wanted to say, “You must be baptized of water,” He would have said so. But He said, “born of water,” and Jesus knew the difference between the two.
Consider the context. The first time Jesus told Nicodemus of the new birth, He said, “Except a man be BORN again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (verse 3). Nicodemus thought Christ’s statement was referring to another physical birth. In fact, he asked,
“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (verse 4)
We KNOW that the BIRTH OF WATER in John 3:5 cannot mean water baptism. There are at least three things this could mean within the context and without contradicting other parts of the Word of God:
(1) Some Bible scholars believe that being “born of water” refers to physical birth. Notice Christ’s reply to Nicodemus that a man has to be BORN (the subject throughout is BIRTH, not baptism) of water and the Spirit. Christ was saying, “Nicodemus, you must be born of water (physical birth) and the Spirit (new birth).” Why is it said that being “born of water” refers to physical birth? Because of Christ’s clear explanation in the very next verse, “That which is born of the FLESH is flesh; and that which is born of the SPIRIT is Spirit” ( v.6). Jesus then said, “Marvel not ( don’t be surprised ) that I said unto thee, “Ye must be BORN again.”
(2) Other Bible scholars believe that being “born of water” refers to the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Gospel of John water is used as an illustration to point to Christ as the giver of “living water,” as in John 4:6-14. Christ asked the woman at Jacob’s well for a drink of water and also told the woman that He could give her water as well…. But the water He gives is not “H20”…. The water that He gives is a “well of water springing up into everlasting life” (v. 14). In John 7:39 Christ gave this explanation of “living water”: “But this spake He of the Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive….”
The Greek word for “and” in John 3:5 is “kai.” Quoting from Strong’s Concordance, #2532, we find that this word is a “primitive participle, having a copulative ( joining together) and sometimes also a cumulative force.” Besides being translated “and” it is also translated “indeed, likewise, moreover,” etc.
To paraphrase John 3:5, then, it could read, “. . . except a man be born of water (the living water Christ gives), indeed, by the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
(3) Still other Bible scholars believe the birth of water in John 3:5 is speaking of the “washing of the Word” as is mentioned in Ephesians 5:26 and Titus 3:5.
The important thing for us to know is that salvation is always and only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and this passage in John 3:5 in no way suggests water baptism for salvation.
For someone to conclude that John 3:5 is referring to WATER BAPTISM, he would have to ignore completely the entire context of the third chapter.
I Peter 3:21, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
This verse isn’t even speaking of salvation of a person’s soul, but of being saved or delivered from a guilty conscience of not obeying God. (In this case, obeying God by being water baptized AFTER salvation!)
However, those who believe water baptism is essential for salvation often use this verse, so we will go into some detail on its explanation. (But in all the times this verse has been used, I have never yet had a single person quote more than the first part of the verse-”The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us….”)
It is as if Satan has put blinders on these people, for they fail to see that the verse goes on to state clearly that this salvation is not a salvation which in any way puts “away the sins of the flesh.” Notice how emphatic the Lord is: “NOT the putting away of the filth of the flesh….”
Yet time and time again when I have pointed this out to those who think this verse teaches baptismal regeneration, they act as if they had never seen the last part of the verse before. But the Lord put it there to keep us from being confused.
But someone will say, “The verse does say ‘baptism doth also now save us.’ “ Yes, it does, and the Word of God tells us what it saves us from.
The verse itself, with the context, answers the question, “what does baptism save us from?” Verse 20 says that “eight souls (Noah and his family) were saved by water.” The word “by” literally should read “through” the water. You can check this yourself in any number of other good translations-American Standard Version, Williams, Weymouth, New English Bible, etc.
It is certainly clear when you read of the flood in Genesis, chapter seven, that people were not saved BY the water. They were condemned and killed BY the water. But the eight believers who were in the ARK (a type of being in CHRIST) were saved THROUGH the water, by the ark. Literally, verse 20 reads “eight souls were saved through the water.”
When verse 21 says, “baptism doth also now save us,” we need to understand that there are different kinds of “salvation” just as there are different kinds of “baptisms.”
FLORIDA BIBLE COLLEGE – Is Baptism Necessary?
Some examples of different kinds of salvation in Scripture are:
James 5:15, “the prayer of faith shall save (protect, deliver) the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up….”
Here it is not speaking of salvation of the soul, but deliverance from physical illness.
Acts 27:31, “Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.”
Saved from what? Saved from drowning. Suppose I began a new cult. I might call it the “Shipites,” and I could use this verse as my divinely given authority that people had to live in ships to be saved. But how many people do you think would be saved if you had to live in ships for salvation?
Hebrews 5:7 mentions that the Father was able to save (or deliver) Jesus from physical death. But Jesus gave His life voluntarily (John 10:18), and even though He knew He would suffer in the flesh, He endured the cross for the joy of seeing souls saved through His payment for their sin.
The Greek word in I Peter 3:21, and elsewhere in the Bible, translated “save” is “sozo” and means “to be saved, protected, or delivered.” You must always read the context to see what kind of protection, or deliverance, or salvation is being spoken of.
I Peter 3:21 is clear as to what kind of salvation and deliverance is meant here. Notice the words carefully: “baptism doth also now save (protect, deliver) us (NOT the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God)….” As children of God by faith, we should follow Christ’s command to be water baptized after we are saved, and when we obey this command we have a clear conscience. We are delivered from a conscience which condemns us (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36-38; Acts 10: 47, 48).
In I Cor. 1:17 Paul said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel….”
If water baptism were necessary for salvation, then Paul, in effect, would be saying,
“For Christ sent me not to see that people were saved, but to preach the gospel….”
Anyone can see how ludicrous this would be.
In I Cor. 1:14 Paul would have been saying, “I thank God that none of you were saved, but Crispus and Gaius.” This would completely nullify the entire purpose of Paul’s whole ministry.
Water baptism NEVER cleanses or washes away sin.
ONLY CHRIST’S BLOOD can do that (Ephesians 1:7). Salvation comes through our faith.
The ordinance of communion is a type of our salvation by the death of Christ. The ordinance of baptism is a type of our service by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Service comes through our obedience, and as believers we should obey God’s Word, following His commands to the best of our ability. In this obedience, water baptism should certainly be included. It is a testimony to others that we are now walking in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Who has everlasting life, according to John 6:47?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Water baptism doesn’t help you to get saved. It has nothing to do with your salvation.
- Often people who believe in water baptism for salvation also think other “works” are necessary for salvation as well. They say there are other conditions for salvation besides belief, and you have to read the entire Bible to find out what they are. To answer this type of objection, simply look at Bible examples where unbelievers were told exactly what to do to be saved:
- Christ told Nicodemus just to believe and receive everlasting life (John 3:16-18).
- Paul told the Philippian jailor just to believe and be saved (Acts 16:30, 31).
- Paul told the Jews just to believe and receive forgiveness of all sin (Acts 13:26, 38, 39).
None of these people mentioned above had the whole Bible to go through. They wanted to be saved then and there (especially the Philippian jailor who was about to commit suicide).
Do you think Paul or Jesus told them only PART of what they had to do to be saved? Half a truth, in this case especially, would certainly be a lie! Would you, yourself, be that careless and heartless?
What could be more clear than “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou SHALT BE SAVED!”
The thief on the cross didn’t come down and get water baptized, but he went to heaven. (Heaven and paradise are the same place according to II Cor. 12:1-4).
Paul thanked God that he didn’t baptize very many people (I Cor. 1:11 21).
If water baptism were necessary for salvation, then Paul would be thanking God he didn’t see that many were saved! Unthinkable!
Not only that, but Christ never baptized anyone with water. If water baptism were necessary for salvation, then Christ withheld from those He dealt with, salvation. But He came to “seek and to SAVE!…”
For more info on Baptism, click here for a free PDF by Dennis Rokser of Duluth Bible.
Please also watch this by Dr. Ralph (Yankee) Arnold