Yesterday we discussed the beginning about Baptismal Regeneration. Now we’re going to briefly examine it, and again deal with – how are we saved? Today, I’m going to let the Bible answer you.
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Luke 7:50 (KJV) 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. Luke 18:42 (KJV) 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Acts 15:11 (KJV) 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Romans 3:24 (KJV) 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Romans 3:28-30 (KJV) 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5 (KJV) 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Romans 4:16 (KJV) 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:Romans 5:1 (KJV)
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. Romans 9:30 (KJV)
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Romans 10:4 (KJV)
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6 (KJV)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Galatians 3:5-6 (KJV)
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 (KJV)
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13 (KJV)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9 (KJV)
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15 (KJV)
We are saved by Faith, not by works, as Ephesians points out. Romans 11:6 points out if it be works it is none more grace. In other words, if you believe you must earn your salvation, then it is no longer grace.
Nowhere does the Bible say that Baptism saves. Nowhere. It is a misunderstanding of John 3:5 – and John 3:6 explains the meaning of John 3:5.
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. John 3:5 (KJV)
When we examine John 3:6, the Lord explains the symbolism.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:6-8 (KJV)
The water birth is the first, natural birth. You must be born again of the spirit. Although I have heard the interpretation that the Gospel is represented in this discussion by the term “water”, and I don’t have a problem with that, as the Bible does describe the Gospel as being “Living waters”. I hesitate to apply that usage, as it can lead one to spiritualize everything in the Bible, and that is the first error of Hermaneutics – “Seek the plain sense, lest any other sense make nonsense.”
David Cloud says in his Way Of Life Encyclopedia of Christianity and The Bible,
What Is the Purpose of Baptism? It is not for salvation, but is a public testimony of faith in Christ and a picture of the gospel. To interpret the Bible properly, the Bible teacher must “compare spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:13). The false teacher, though, takes verses out of context and uses isolated verses to overthrow the clear teaching of the Bible as a whole. He puts one definition on a Bible word and then forces that definition into all passages, regardless of the context. That is what those do who teach that baptism is a part of salvation.
False teachers use John 3:5 to teach the heresy of baptismal regeneration, claiming that to be “born of water” refers to salvation. For the following reasons, we know this is not true: (1) The passage says absolutely nothing about baptism. (2) Jesus is contrasting the natural birth with the spiritual birth. Thus “born of water” refers to the tiny unborn baby enclosed in a sack of water in his mother’s womb; and when the water breaks he is born of water. (3) In this same passage, Christ taught that salvation is by faith alone and not by ritual or works (Jn. 3:14-18, 36). (WOL Encyclopedia, Pg. 46, Way Of Life Publications)
Again, as I pointed out in the beginning of the Roman Catholic series, Baptism is a work. Salvation must be of grace, not of works. I can boast, “I was baptized!” I cannot boast, “I surrendered my life to the Lord and asked Him to save me.
Even if salvation was by baptism (and I think I’ve proved pretty conclusively it is not), the Roman Catholic certainly cannot apply. Why? Because you must choose to be saved. And an infant cannot choose to be saved.
“What about the scores of Protestants that were baptized as babies? Doesn’t that mean you’re saying only Catholics can’t be saved by baptism???”
No, I’m saying that anyone that is “Baptized” as an infant has not been baptized. Nobody on earth is saved by baptism. We are saved by grace, by repentance and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible makes that clear, abundantly clear. Any Protestant that rests on getting their forehead wet as their salvation is in for a horrible shock a second or two after death. Those flames are not a mythical purgatory. That’s hellfire. And you will be there forever, not until “your sins are paid for.” How many Roman Catholics are in eternal torment because the Roman Catholic “church” lied to them about salvation? And the horror sinks in when you realize that some of them may still be holding out in the hope that it will someday end when their “Penance” is completed. The truth will sink in eventually – this is not purgatory. This is Hell.
But we’ll deal with that soon enough as we deal with Purgatory.
So any Lutheran, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Methodist, Roman Catholic, etc. who thinks “I’m saved because I was sprinkled as a baby”… you’re horribly mistaken.
Get a Bible, read it, study it. try to prove me wrong. But the point is, you must be prepared to believe exactly what the Bible teaches you. Not to look for proofs of your preconceived notions or to force it to conform to your doctrines, but rather to believe what it says.
History is full of men appointed by Lutherans, Episcopals, Roman Catholics, and Methodists who openly and honestly examined the Bible for proofs of infant Baptism… and who became Baptists as a result. Look it up. I’ve already listed most of the verses on this above.