For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 468-6990

Baptism And I Corinthians 1:17

The Bible is very clear baptism is an essential part of salvation.

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. (NKJV)

Acts 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. (NKJV)

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

I 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, (NKJV)

There are those who believe, for various reasons, that these very clear and simple verses don't mean what they say.

One of the reasons they use is I Corinthians 1:17 where Paul, the Apostle, writes...

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. (NKJV)

When we read the verses before verse 17 we find Paul saying that he did exactly what he wasn't sent to do and begins naming the people he baptized. Not only does he name names but he says he doesn't know how many people he actually baptized.

The context of the passage - what the passage is talking about - has nothing to do with whether or not baptism is required as a part of salvation. It has to do with calling oneself after the baptizer which Paul soundly condemns and the resulting contentions or divisions.

I Corinthians 1:11-13 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (NKJV)

In verse 17 Paul then sums up the whole matter...

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. (NKJV)

I believe with all my being that baptism is an essential, absolutely required, part of salvation. (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, I Peter 3:21 and other related passages.) Yet, my job is not to baptize people. My job, like Paul's, first and foremost, is to preach the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel is my job description. That is any Gospel preacher's job.

Mark 16:15-17 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. 17 (NKJV)

Notice the charge is to preach the gospel to every creature, it is not to baptize every creature. When the gospel is preached there will be those who believe and those who don't. Baptized believers are the ones saved. Those meeting any other conditions are lost. If we are dashing around looking for people to baptize we make the cross of no effect. Baptism is the effect of the cross, the cross is not the effect of baptism. Baptism is the result of the cross, the cross is not the result of baptism. Baptism follows after the cross, the cross does not follow after baptism. To make baptism the focal point is to make the cross of "no effect."

Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (NKJV)

Here again we find the same sequence. We preach the gospel, the gospel produces the disciples, the disciples are obedient. Our job is to preach the gospel and baptize and teach the responders to follow Christ. Exactly like Paul did in I Corinthians 1.

The Bible clearly, plainly and simply says that baptism for the remission of sins is an essential part of salvation.

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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 468-6990
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