baptism as a requirement to be saved is faith plus works

by Larry
(Virginia)

Calling baptism a work is not a stretch. The word for " work" or "deed" in the Bible is "Ergon " and means " to toil ". Here is a question for those who teach that you are not saved until you are baptized; Did God carry you to and immerse you under the water on the day that you were baptized? No. Man did, and he did it by toiling, or working. If man cannot be saved unless man toils (water baptism), then man cannot be saved without works ( faith and works ).

Comments for baptism as a requirement to be saved is faith plus works

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 24, 2012
Are you talking to me?
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

Hi Mr. Anonymous:

Was that last comment addressed to me and what I wrote on the baptism page? If so, then one of us is really bad at communication. As far as I know, I not only agree with your comments (well, except a couple minor specifics), but I *said* most of them on my baptism page.

Maybe it would help if you know I was disagreeing with two audiences:

1. Those who say that water baptism is purely symbolic and was meant to be a public testimony of a salvation already past.

2. Those who believe that being baptized correctly and at the right time is essential to salvation.

So I'm not sure what happened. It sounded like you were disagreeing with me, but I'm not sure why.

Jul 23, 2012
Is the Scripture really as clear as you think it is?
by: Anonymous

Let's be clear, I know only tidbits from the Early Church, but when it comes to Scripture itself, I don't think this is quite as clear as you think it is.

"Believe and be baptized for the washing away of sins." As you say, baptism was practically the sinner's prayer back then. Telling a 1-17th century Christian that baptism was not necessary for Salvation would be like telling a modern Christian that praying is not necessary for Salvation, it is (Or I should say "It Might Be") accurate but the very idea is inconceivable to most people.

Now, I'm with you that baptism being a work is a little ridiculous, in the same sense that I think the people that think giving Jesus Lordship is a work is absurd. By the same logic, repentance or even asking Jesus to save you would be a work. Its pretty poor logic.

But I don't think the Bible is very clear that baptism is essential for Salvation. I do agree, however, that the appropriate response to the gospel is to accept baptism (Which also means that infants being baptized is wrong for this very reason, only believer's baptism is commanded in the Scripture, and the disciples are commanded to make other disciples and baptize THEM.)

I also don't think the thief on the cross and Cornelius can be casually cast aside as exceptions. The Bible may have given us that as proof that baptism is NOT essential for Salvation. But I tend to agree that a saved person would accept baptism. I just think the logical conclusion of the "Baptism for Salvation" type of theology is a God who will damn a repentant person to Hell because they couldn't get to water in time. That's not the God we worship, and the thief on the cross makes that clear enough.

Ultimately I wouldn't take serious issue with what you've written here, but I also think the argument of "God might show them mercy because we have done a poor job" is also a poor argument. What if we started telling people belief in Jesus is not necessary for Salvation and belief in one God is enough? Would Muslims suddenly get saved because we were being awful witnesses? I don't think so.

Thanks for making this site. Even if I don't agree with everything, I enjoy how informative its been (I would also disagree, for the record, that the Church Fathers saying something automatically makes it apostolic, I'd agree they'd have a pretty good idea, a lot better than I would, but they were not infallible and their traditions could be flawed or made up by them in certain cases. This might be a case where the early church took something that was very important, and that every saved person would do, and made it a requirement for salvation as such.

Nov 04, 2010
Faith Plus Works
by: Paul Pavao

So you're saying that being baptized qualifies as toiling?

I guess nowadays someone can say "that's faith plus works," and Christians become scared and back off.

James--an apostle and a pillar of the apostolic churches whose letter is in our Bible--devoted an entire argument to the fact that faith plus works is necessary to salvation (2:14-26). Why would we think 'faith plus works' is a bad thing?

Paul said--3 times--that living in the flesh will keep us out of the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:5; Gal. 5:19-21). He said that if we want to "reap" we must not grow weary in "doing good" (Gal. 6:9), and the context indicates he meant reaping eternal life.

That is far more faith plus works that saying that baptism is the apostolic way to receive the promise of God.

Peter was even more clear. He says, "BE DILIGENT to make your calling and election sure, for IF YOU DO THESE THINGS, you will never stumble; for IN THIS WAY an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus the King" (2 Pet. 1:10-11).

Every single one of us who believes that only the righteous will live eternally in God's kingdom acknowledges at the very least that the grace of God will lead a person to walk in obedience to Christ. Even Calvinists believe that. Eternal security believers argue that born again people will live righteously out of gratitude to God, and most will admit that if there's no righteousness, then the person has not been born again.

Thus, even for these people, a requirement of baptism is not a problem because they require much more as a supposed automatic product of the grace of God.

(I need to point out here that those who believe that the unrighteous will inherit God's kingdom are believers in a false gospel and have to deny numerous direct scriptural statements to the contrary--e.g., Matt. 7:21 and 1 Cor. 6:9, among dozens of others.)

Note, too, that both Martin Luther and John Calvin, the first and greatest promoters of _sola fide_, both believed in baptismal regeneration in a much stricter way than I have taught it here.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Baptism Objections.





Return to Christian-History.org home page

spacer

History

Departments

Teachings

Miscellaneous

Contact

XML RSSSubscribe

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

Search Christian-History.org

Custom Search
Christian Theology Top Site

The Early Church History Newsletter

Delivered monthly.

Back issues available.

Email

Name


Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you the Early Church History Newsletter.