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:
“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”