Many People Believe Lies about Baptism
Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). He tells His followers: "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31,32).
The devil 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 with lies today.
Jesus brought grace and truth (John 1:17).
The devil brings lies and destruction. Jesus said: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
So, the choice is ours. Will we believe the truth of the Lord, or the lies of the devil?
We who love the truth, must find the truth among all the lies.
People believe the devil's lies and are lost because they do not love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Paul told Timothy: "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
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 can expose 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 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 personal faith. A baby is not yet able to believe or to make a personal decision to follow Christ.
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 forms of baptism.
The word "baptism" is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning "immersion". The context also 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 are "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. Listen to what happened on the Day of Pentecost. "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; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 2:37,38).
Many people refuse to obey this simple command because they have believed 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 refuse to obey the command of Peter: "Be baptized ... for the remission of sins." As a consequence, Evangelical baptism, although immersion, is invalid because it is not done for the commanded purpose. It is an ineffectual ritual.
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 that 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:
One does not have to be baptized to be saved.
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, it is a cleansing of the soul, a cleansing of the conscience by the power of Christ's 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 asserts that salvation is possible through faith in Christ without baptism, he is lying because he thereby proves that he does not believe Christ. Jesus said: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved," but he does not believe what Jesus said.
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:
The rebirth is separate from baptism. Water baptism is not essential.
We know this is a lie because Paul wrote that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5), and 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). Both the water and the Spirit are involved in the one baptism commanded by Christ. The rebirth is realized by the Spirit of God when a penitent believer is immersed into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. 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 is true baptism?
If we simply preach and obey what Jesus and His apostles said about baptism, our baptism will be valid.
There is "one baptism" (Ephesians 4:4). "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 22:16).
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