023-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 9

Is baptism like circumcision?

Galatians 2:16 is the last scripture presented at the end of the article from GotQuestions.Org and contains the fifth and final error in reasoning the Anti-Baptism position makes. This error comes when we try to create an association between the Old Testament Law and Baptism, or between circumcision and baptism.

Here is the main scripture used to present this case.

Galatians 2:16
“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”

When an anti-baptism proponent uses this passage, they point out, It is by faith in Jesus Christ we are justified. We are not justified by the law. Baptism is a work or a ritual just like the law.”

Two Different Covenants

This passage is discussing justification under two completely different dispensations, The Old Testament and The New Testament. Commands of the Old Covenant are not longer in effect. They were nailed to the cross. The New Covenant has a different way of doing things and let’s not pretend there are no commands in the New Testament. There are numerous commands established by Jesus and the Apostles.

Continue reading “023-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 9”

022-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 8

Righteousness is by faith.

Well, we are on our eighth podcast and it will be a very short one, examining the scriptures presented in that article at GotQuestions.org. it’s Philippians 3:9, let’s read it.

Philippians 3:9
…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

The evangelical argument presents this scripture and says, “See, righteousness is achieved through faith, not baptism.”

No argument here. Righteousness is achieved through faith in Christ. That’s what this scripture says. Don’t add baptism on to it. Don’t build the straw man beat him up. Don’t say this scripture is about baptism.

While this scripture has nothing to do with baptism, it does talk about the old Jewish Law. Using this particular passage as an argument against baptism, we must employ the fifth and rarely used error of comparing baptism to circumcision or to the law. We must claim that baptism is some sort of ritual or sacrament when the New Testament is devoid of all such rituals and brings an end to all ceremonies. The New Testament is about relationship.

The evangelical argument tries to link baptism to Old Testament works in order to countermand the requirement of obedience. The Bible makes no comparisons between baptism and circumcision or baptism and the law. But there is a reason why this common mistake is made. The mistake of comparing baptism to the law is also often made by Evangelicals as they use the next scripture, Galatians 2:16.

Let’s look at that next.


  Dana Haynes
Listen Now – Podcast 021 – Anti-Baptism Scriputres – Part 7

021-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 7

We are saved by grace through faith when we obey.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

This passage teaches us quite a bit about the salvation experience. It teaches us that salvation is by grace. Nobody deserves to be saved. It teaches us that salvation is through faith. It teaches us that salvation is not from ourselves which would be super boastful! It teaches us that God made us and He made us with a purpose; to do good works, which we surmise should happen after we are saved. And finally, it inspires us with the fact that God is intimately connected to us because He has actually prepared things for us to do!

Once again, a scripture which has nothing to do with baptism is introduced to convince us that since baptism is not mentioned, it must not be important. To make this scripture work as an anti-baptism proof text, we must employ the “all/only” error and buy into the notion that baptism is a work.

Special Use Case

But this scripture also holds a special purpose in evangelicalism. It is the well-spring of three extremely popular phrases created to reinforce their position of “faith alone.”

The first popular phrase is, “We are saved by faith alone.” We have all heard this. The second phrase is, “We are saved by grace through faith plus nothing.” And, the third phrase is similar, “We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.”

I have heard some of the greatest Bible expositors and preachers in our modern era confidently make these claims. They are frequently brought to bear when the topic of baptism is being discussed. All of these statements sound really good.

What I am about to say might surprise you… but just consider carefully what you hear. If I am wrong, please show me where I am wrong.

When we hear someone say, “We are saved by faith alone,” we really should think about this because… they are actually misquoting scripture.

Continue reading “021-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 7”

020-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 6

Why is confession not a human work?

Romans 10:9-10
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Wow! There is quite a bit in this amazing scripture but baptism is not here.

This scripture identifies two of the steps in the Biblical Plan of Salvation, confession and belief. Confession happens with the mouth and belief occurs in the heart.

The thing we must believe is that Jesus rose from the dead. We would not be able to do this if we did not believe in Jesus and we would not believe in Jesus if we had not been told about him by an evangelistic disciple. This means we heard the message and we accepted the message.

There is a process.

When we accept the message, it means we are agreeing with what someone has taught us about Jesus… specifically that he died for our sins and was risen by God to life again. We are taught that if we want to be free from our sins and enjoy eternity in heaven, we should put our faith and trust in the work Jesus did, on our behalf, at the Cross. We are taught that he paid the price for our sin and there is nothing we can do to earn or merit the free gift of eternal life. This is the Gospel.

Continue reading “020-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 6”

019-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 5

Trusting God brings a credit of righteousness.

Well, welcome. If you are just joining us, let me explain where we are in our quest. We are in the middle of responding to the arguments made in an article from gotquestions.org titled, “Does Acts 2:38 Teach that Baptism is Necessary for salvation?” At the end of that article, the author offers nine scriptures as proof texts for his conclusion that baptism is not necessary. These scriptures are commonly used in this argument and we have been reviewing each one. Romans 4:5 is the fifth scripture in this list. Here it is.

Trusting Christ for Salvation

Romans 4:5
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

My Evangelical friends explain this scripture as follows: “It is the man who trusts God who is made righteous, not the man who works. Do you see that? Works are of no value. The thing that saves you is trusting God.”

There are a couple of problems here. The Evangelical claims, we can not be saved by works and baptism is a work. No argument on the first part of that statement. We can not be saved by works. This is what this scripture is explaining to the Romans. But, this scripture does not call baptism a work. This scripture does not mention baptism. This scripture is not even remotely about baptism. In order to use this scripture as an anti-baptism scripture, I must buy in to the error that baptism is a work. We have covered this issue elsewhere but in my desire to keep each of these lessons modular and self contained let me review the error and then point you to the original lessons which deal in depth with the issue.

Baptism is not a work. Baptism is a command of God. Why does any church baptize a new believer in water? Because it is a command of Christ. We conclude this from the Great Commission. Baptism can not be a command of Christ and a work of human merit at the same time. So, the first issue, “baptism is a work,” is not valid. Baptism is a command. I have no choice but to obey it. For a complete review of that topic please read or listen to my Podcast titled, “Who told you baptism is a work?

Continue reading “019-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 5”

018-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 4

Romans 3:21 – Baptism is like the Law!

The Law brings us to Christ!

Here’s our next anti-baptism proof text.

Romans 3:21-30
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

This is Paul explaining why the Old Testament Law is no longer effective or necessary. It’s a long passage, so hang in there.

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

There are two basic assertions made in this scripture. This scripture tells us that salvation under the New Covenant is through faith and belief in Jesus and how we can not be saved by following the Old Testament Law.

A Radical New Teaching!

For the Jews of the Roman World, this would have been a radical new concept! Paul is telling them, the Law can’t save you, only this new thing… a faith in Christ can save you.

These are the only conclusions we should draw form this scripture. This is its purpose, to introduce Jews to God’s new of entering a relationship with Him. We must have faith in Jesus Christ.

Like the other scriptures we have looked at, this scripture has nothing to do with baptism. The evangelical argument is once again designed to corral this scripture and make me believe it is about baptism. And, once again, I have to also believe that “all” that is required for my response to the Gospel is faith and belief.

Continue reading “018-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 4”

017-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 3

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Acts 16:31 Clarified

Acts 16:31 is another common scripture used to support the idea that water baptism is not part of the conversion experience. Let me read it… we will back up just a little bit and begin in verse 15b so you have the context. The Philippian Jailer has just asked an important question…

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”

This is Paul’s response to the Philippian Jailer and it comes after that very specific, very direct question. “What must I do to be saved?”

The evangelical’s argument goes like this. If the Bible ever had a chance, once and for all, to tell us baptism was a part of the salvation experience, this would have been the opportunity. But Paul says “believe and you will be saved.” This passage says nothing about baptism. I wholeheartedly agree. This passage says nothing about baptism. So why are we using it as an anti-baptism scripture?

Shouldn’t we also note the absence of obedience, repentance, confession and accepting the message? And, shall I conclude that by their absence they are not a part of the Biblical Plan of Salvation and by extension, the jailer’s belief. Paul does not spell out every single detail involved in belief. But… there are some very curious things which happen in the rest of the story we ought not ignore.

Continue reading “017-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 3”

016-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 2 – John: 3:16

John 3:16

John 3:16 is the next popular scripture used as a proof text against baptism as part of God’s plan of salvation.

Let’s read it:

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

This, of course, is probably the most famous passage in the entire Bible. We see it frequently being used as the way to escape final judgement and be saved.

Not About Baptism

The obvious problem in using this scripture for our argument is that this text has nothing to do with baptism. This passage is commonly used as an anti-baptism scripture because it indicates one of the vital things necessary for eternal life, “belief in Christ.” And then employs the “all/only” assumption, so we are forced into a wrong conclusion.

To make this passage work, we must conclude, “belief” is all that is required. This passage does not teach that “all” we need to do is believe or the only thing necessary for salvation is belief. It says, belief is essential. That’s it. Nothing more. We dare not go beyond that conclusion based on just this passage.

We already know that true biblical belief or a complete faith includes obedience to Christ’s commands. True Biblical belief is so much more the intellectual assent or agreement.

The Bible often just presents the whole process as “belief,” and just assumes we know that complete Biblical belief includes all five of the scriptural steps we find in the Biblical Plan of Salvation. Just because the Bible does not list all five steps every time it talks about salvation, does not mean that any one step is less important. Our job is to discover the composite God has created which is quiet often summed up as “belief.”

If you watched my video series, may remember this example… If I told you I brushed my teeth, you automatically understand I used a toothbrush, a bit of toothpaste and some water. I did not need to tell you everything that was involved in brushing my teeth. Many steps were summed up in one phrase, just as the Bible often sums up the complete plan of salvation as, “belief.”

Continue reading “016-Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 2 – John: 3:16”

015Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 1 – John 1:12

John 1:12

What does John 1:12 really say?

Now, let’s turn our examination to the scriptures offered by the anti-baptism proponents. In this podcast, we will begin discussing the assertions of the article from GotQuestions.Org titled “Does Acts 2:38 Teach Baptism for the Remission of Sins?” 

That article presents the main arguments of the anti-baptism side very well. The article concludes with a list of nine scriptures commonly used to support the view that water baptism is NOT necessary for salvation. As we shine a critical light on each of these scriptures and their associated conclusions, we will discover five basic errors. 

The first common error occurs in interpretation. We’ll see a mis-application or misunderstanding regarding the scripture. 

The second error unfolds when we apply, what I call the “all / only” assumption. I explain this shortly.

The third error is that the scripture chosen as the proof text, has nothing to do with baptism.

The fourth error is the now familiar mistake of deeming baptism as a work of human effort.

The fifth and infrequently used error occurs when we equate baptism with Old Testament Laws and rituals such as circumcision or sacrifices.

Continue reading “015Anti-Baptism Scriptures – Part 1 – John 1:12”

014-We are Saved by Faith Alone

An Erroneous Claim

We are saved by faith alone.
We are saved by faith alone?

The evangelical world claims, “Salvation is by Faith Alone.” This statement is oft’ times invoked when arguing that baptism is not necessary for salvation. As this anti-baptism position has grown and flourished in modern evangelicalism, it developed its own unique language and phraseology. Grammar, in any discussion is important. But there is an amazing aspect to language and grammar you may not be aware of.

The Power of Language

A common language is the glue which holds like-minded believers together. A common language has amazing power! Think about the Biblical examples of the Tower of Babel and the Day of Pentecost; language played a stunningly powerful role in uniting people. 

In the evangelical world’s vernacular, three common phrases come to mind which are frequently used to articulate and argue the position that water baptism has nothing to do with the salvation experience, meaning the remission of sin. The first phrase is, “We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.” A second phrase is similar… just a shortened version of the previous phrase… “We are saved by faith alone.” In our last podcast, I mentioned the third phrase, “We are saved by grace, through faith, plus nothing.”

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