I came across the following web page http://www.faithfacts.org/world-religions-and-theology/101-reasons-baptism-not-necessary-for-salvation in which the author, whose name I was unable to find, puts forth the "reasons" why baptism is not essential for salvation.
The author is looking at the word of God through the fly's eyes of a preconceived opinion. There are two ways to read the Bible. One way is to say, "Here's what the Bible says!" The other is, "What does the Bible say?" Both ways give totally different responses.
For instance, I quote...
72. Can the word water as used in John 3:5 mean water baptism? Why didn't Christ say what he meant to say? If he really meant baptism—when he said water—by the same reasoning he evidently meant baptism in the next Chapter (John 4:7-15). Read again the story of the Woman at the Well and substitute the word baptism for water everywhere it is found in the story exactly as you substitute the word baptism for water in John 3:5, and see what a story you make. False doctrines always lead to muddy water.
73. Jesus baptizes via the Holy Spirit (Mat 3:11 and Mark 1:8) and never personally baptized with water as far we know. If water baptism is so important, why didn’t Jesus do so?
The question, "Why didn't Jesus (God) (The Holy Spirit) just say, or do...?" is often raised by those who look to the word seeking to validate their opinion.
My answer is always the same. "I have absolutely no idea why God, Jesus or The Holy Spirit didn't do or say something other than what they did or said. All I have to go on is what they did do and did say."
Through out the Bible God has consistently used water as a purifying agent. In Genesis 6 we read that mankind had become so evil that God regretted creating them. God directed Noah to build an ark and when Noah had done as commanded God cleansed the earth of sinful mankind with water. He purified His creation. (See also Numbers 21:33, and numerous passages in Exodus where the High Priest was to be washed in water by others, etc.)
Why didn't God just use the power of His voice to destroy sinful mankind? He certainly has the ability. I have no idea why He destroyed sinful mankind the way He did, I just know He did it with water.
The word "water" as used in John 3:5 simply means water just like the same original word is translated actual water everywhere else it is used in the original manuscripts. Actual water, combined with the Spirit's guiding into all truth (John 16:13), purifies through the gospel. (II Thessalonians 1:8, Romans 1:16, I Corinthians 15:1-4, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38-47, Romans 6:3-8)
Jesus was simply saying in John 3:5 that one must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the future kingdom of God that he prayed for in "The Lord's Prayer" (Matt 6:10). In Mark 9:1 Jesus tells his followers that some of them standing there will see the kingdom of God with power. In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus tells Peter he will build his church and give him the keys to the "kingdom of heaven." The church and the kingdom of heaven are the same. In Acts 2 the church comes with power and Peter uses the keys - repentance and baptism - given by Christ and the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;." In Acts 2:47 we see, "And the Lord added to the church (kingdom) daily those who were being saved."
The word "water" in the story of the woman at the well in John 4 is simply water, just like in John 3:5, and every other place it is translated from the the original. Jesus uses water as a metaphor for life and says that he is the source of everlasting life. Replacing the word "water" with the word "baptism" in John 4 produces a foolish story because it is a foolish exercise. Jesus isn't discussing baptism with the woman at the well.
The author also makes the bold claim that Jesus never personally baptized with water "as far we know." Then he asks, "If water baptism is so important, why didn’t Jesus do so?"
It was important enough for Jesus to insist on being baptized by John in Matthew 3. It was important enough that Jesus, direct quote, "made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples)" (John 4:1-2) Plainly, Jesus was personally involved.
II Thessalonians 1:7-8 plainly says Jesus will take vengeance on those who obey not the gospel of Christ. I Corinthians 15:1-4 says the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ according to the scriptures. According to, or agreeing with, the scriptures is so important Paul says it twice.
How does one literally obey the death, burial and resurrection of Christ according to the scriptures? It is impossible to put yourself on the cross and if you somehow managed to do it, you wouldn't be able to bury yourself, and you won't be resurrecting as Christ did "according to the scriptures."
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. (Romans 6:3-9 NKJV)
See the death? See the burial? See the resurrection? See the gospel of II Thessalonians 1:7-8 one must obey?
Where was Christ's redeeming blood shed? In his death.
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. (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV)
Friends, baptism is a necessary part of salvation. All you need to know is what the Word says. No need to question why it didn't say or what it didn't say.
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