Beware of false teaching on baptism!
Many people believe untruths about baptism. This is because many wrong things are taught about baptism.
Ultimately, the devil is behind false teaching (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
He is a liar and the father of lies (John 3:44). He lied to Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:4)
and he fills the world - including the religious world - with lies today.
Some of the devil’s most destructive lies relate to baptism.
Millions of pious people will be lost because they believed the devil’s lies about
baptism. How can we know they are lies? By comparing them with the word of God. Jesus
said: If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed (John 8:31). The bright light of
God’s word exposes the devil’s dark lies about baptism.
Lie number one:
Infant baptism is valid.
Because of this lie, many people think they have been baptized because someone else
decided to have them christened when they were babies. What happened to them, however,
bears no resemblance whatever to the baptism we read about in the New Testament.
Jesus said: He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). When the
Ethiopian asked Philip, See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized? Philip
said, If you believe with all your heart, you may (Acts 8:36, 37).
Baptism must be based on faith. A baby is not yet able to believe or make a decision to
Peter said: Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
A baby cannot repent. He has committed no sins of which he needs to repent. Nor can
he be baptized for the remission of sins, since he has committed no sins.
If you have only been christened as a baby, you have been deceived. You have not
been baptized at all.
Lie number two:
Sprinkling and pouring are valid ways to baptize.
The word baptism is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning immersion. The
context makes this clear. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there
was much water there (John 3:23). Baptism requires much water.
Paul writes: Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death
(Romans 6:4). We were buried with Him in baptism (Colossians 2:12). Baptism is an
immersion, a burial in water.
If you have never been immersed, you have been deceived. You have not experienced
Christian baptism at all.
Lie number three:
Baptism is not for the forgiveness of sins.
How do we know this is a lie? Because we are commanded to be baptized for the
remission of sins! Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter
and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them,
‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins’ (Acts 2:37, 38).
Many people do not obey this simple command because they believe another lie,
namely, that one is saved by faith only. How do I know this is a lie? Again, because the Bible
says exactly the opposite! You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith
only (James 2:24).
Who shall we believe, God or man? God says we are not saved by faith only.
Evangelicals say we are saved by faith only. And because they have been deceived on this
point, they also do not obey the command of Peter: Be baptized ... for the remission of
sins. They think their sins were forgiven as soon as they believed in Jesus Christ and that
baptism is not necessary for salvation.
As a consequence, Evangelical baptism, although immersion, is invalid because it is not done for the commanded purpose. Even if you have been immersed, if you were not baptized for the remission of sins, you did not obey the command Peter gave on the Day of Pentecost. You have been deceived. You have believed a lie. You have not been baptized at all.
Lie number four:
Baptism does not wash away sins.
How do we know this is a lie? Because the Bible says exactly the opposite! Ananias
told the penitent Paul, who had been praying and fasting for three days: And now why are
you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the
Lord (Acts 22:16).
If you were deceived by the doctrine of salvation by faith only, thinking you
were already saved before baptism, you were not baptized to wash away your sins! What you
experienced, although it was immersion, was not the same baptism Paul experienced. You
have been deceived. You have not been baptized at all.
Lie number five:
Baptism is not necessary for salvation.
How do we know this is a lie? Because Jesus said: He who believes and is baptized
will be saved (Mark 16:16), and Peter wrote: There is also an antitype which now saves us,
namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience
toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21).
Baptism saves because of its relation to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus
Christ. It is not a cleansing of the body but a cleansing of the soul, a cleansing of the
conscience by the blood of Christ and the power of His resurrection.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were
baptized into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death,
certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).
Baptism is essential for salvation because God has ordained that our union with the
death, burial and resurrection of Christ is accomplished through baptism.
When someone says that salvation is possible through faith in Christ without baptism,
he may believe in Christ, but he does not believe Christ! Jesus said: He who believes and is
baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16) but he does not believe that. In a sense, he is an
unbeliever because he does not believe the words of Christ. He does not believe what Jesus
says about baptism!
If you were immersed thinking you were saved before baptism, or that baptism was not
necessary for salvation, you have not experienced the baptism we read about in the Bible.
You have been deceived.
Lie number six:
Spiritual rebirth does not occur at baptism.
Some claim that there are two baptisms, spiritual baptism and water baptism, and that
the spiritual rebirth does not occur when one is baptized in water. We know this is a lie
because Paul said there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). The water and
the Spirit are both involved in the one baptism commanded by Christ.
How do I know? Because Jesus told Nicodemus: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless
one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). The
spiritual rebirth is realized by God’s Spirit when a penitent believer is immersed into the
death, burial and resurrection of Christ through baptism. From the watery grave of baptism,
he rises to walk in newness of life.
If you think you were baptized by the Spirit, separate from, or without, baptism in
water, you have dismembered the one baptism. You have been deceived. What you
experienced was not the baptism Christ commanded.
What have we learned about baptism?
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). He who believes and is
baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). And now why are you waiting?
Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts
The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive