What scriptural references lead one to believe that ONLY BELIEF is necessary for Salvation?
I would just like to say that I am a Christian and I have always believed that Baptism is necessary to become a Christian. I am not going to use this information to put anyone's beliefs down. I do not believe that is a Christian thing to do. I am very accepting of other's beliefs and yet, I would like to study the scriptural references fully to see why people believe this.
PLEASE DO NOT be rude to others on this topic. I always read and study every person's answer and try my best to write each person a note and personally thank them for their time and answers. Have a wonderful week!
You say there is no requirement of baptism but I find a few that seem to point to it's importance:
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 2:38 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.”
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us--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.
I sent you an email please add details to your answer in response if you will!
I do not necessarily agree with some of these answers but that does not mean that I will ever give a thumbs down. What a person believes is their right in my opinion. I read and study the BIBLE each and every day that I am able to do so and have for several years now. Please refrain from hurting others when it is not necessary! As a Christian we are supposed to "Love our neighbors" according to CHRIST. HE is the one who we should be listening to the most.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Hello my friend. I hope you are doing well. I hope you do not nind a pagan answering this question.
There is no scripture that says faith only is what it takes in fact as you know James 2:17 says fiath without works is dead being alone.
People take the scriptures out of context because that is how they are taught they take scripture written to the people already saved, already baptized and take it to mean this is what you do to be saved.
Just like Acts 16:30 by itself without reading the whole story it appears that baptism is not required, but the story is of a jailor who was watching Paul and when he thought Paul had escaped he was going to kill himself. Yes, he was told to believe on the lord Jesus Christ, but that was not all he was told. How do I know because you read further and you find thatin verse32 they spoke to him and all his house verse 33 And he took them the same hour and washed their stripes and was baptized.
You see Paul did not just merely say all you have to do is believe but he said to believe then he taught the man and all his family then after teaching them the man was baptized.
If Paul and his companions meant that baptism was not essential then he was teaching a different gospel than what he had recieved. In Acts 2:37 the people asked Peter and the other men what must we do to be saved and in Acts 2:38 Peter told them to repent and be baptized.
As you pointed out Jesus said in Mark 16:16 that baptism is essentail he that believes and is baptized shall be saved but he that believes not shall be damned.
Paul wrote in Galations 1:8,9 that if we or an angel from heaven teach any other gospel than that which ye have recieved let him be accursed.
Knowing how Paul felt and knowing what Jesus said about Baptism how could Paul teach baptism is not essential for salvation? People get confused because they read you have to believe, but neglect to read what follows belief.
I have left Christianity on my own knowing full well that if I am wrong in my belief change then I will wake up one day in hell, but if the bible is right and if there is only one God and if there is a Satan fighting against God would not the best strategy in this war against God be to convince the majority of Christians that baptism is not essential for salvation and that it does not matter what doctrine one follows?
I have a NIV study bible and in one of the footnoots about baptism being essential the modern scholar says that the writers of the New Testament and Paul and Peter and those who were suppossed to be in the know were confused when they taught baptism was essential. His theory is that baptism followed belief so slosely that Peter, and Paul and other writers weres simply confused. I had to wonder how a modern 20th centruy scholar was more in the know than those who had seen and been taught by Jesus himself.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
So that we don't become imbalanced here, let me stress the fact that Jesus has done all the work necessary to save sinners. Belief in a non-event is worse than useless. Jesus FIRST had to do the work on the cross and when he cried out 'It is finished', you can believe that the work of salvation was finished - completed. Done. It is faith (belief) in what Christ did that saves sinners. That is what brings about the new birth, by the Spirit. Once a person has become spiritually alive, then they proceed to mature, to do all the 'things' that should be the hallmark of a Christian, like showing love, getting baptized, being a witness for Jesus, doing the good works that God prepared to be done before the creation of the world etc.
This problematic question is only a problem because people are looking at the complete 'package' of what it means to be a Christian. I am looking at the elementary, initial act of becoming a Christian. Only after a person has become a Christian can they proceed to act as a Christian! Those who are born again and who then get baptized in water know great blessing for their obedience to Jesus' command. But baptism, in and of itself, saves no-one! It is symbolic and also a public testimony and very important. Yet if a new Christian fails to get baptized (consider the thief on the cross) they will not lose their salvation. If that was the way it worked, then Christ's work on the cross would have been incomplete, requiring us to add a work of obedience to it. Not so, my friend!
A few scriptures on this are: Luke 23:42-43 John 3:16; 5:24-31 Acts 15:11; 16:31-32 Rom 10:9-13; 4:5 Gal 5:1 Eph 2:4-9 Heb 7:25 1 Jn 1:9
- Kidd!Lv 61 decade ago
Just a thought...
In your additional details you cited the following verse:
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Please note that the second part of this verse only says that one who "does not believe will be condemned". It doesn't say that someone who is not baptized will be condemned.
It's interesting that I had a debate many years ago with someone who told me that I was not a Christian because I did not believe a person had to be baptized in order to be justified by God. The funny thing is that I have been baptized TWICE---once as an unregenerated 17 year old, and again as a converted 24 year old.
I am with jimi4950 in his explanation of why we get baptized. In my view, baptism is the initiatory rite a newly regenerated person experiences to show other people his identification with the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a Baptist, I believe a person is saved when God grants him the graces of faith and repentance.
God bless you, Eds!
- DepoeticLv 61 decade ago
I guess instead of adding to the others - I would need clarification.
If a baby is baptized in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as Jesus asked of converts... and then grows up never being told one word about Jesus... and then dies never believing...
Was the person a Christian - and able to enter heaven?
If the act requires no belief - why did Jesus repeatedly say belief was so necessary? (Too many verses, hon.)
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- fmckin1Lv 41 decade ago
Yesterday I watched a video at our church of the groundbreaking ceremony and also baptismal service.
For both of the persons being baptized, one an adult, the other a child, the expression on their faces as they came out of the baptismal pool was absolute JOY. And it brought to me the joy of my own salvation.
It is a witness to others of our acceptance of Christ. I believe it is important, though I also think there have been circumstances when a baptism wasn't possible, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that comes from Christ that is the true baptism.
I remember being kind of scared, timid, 8 years old in front of a large congregation. The
pastor took my hand, and led me into the pool, which caused me to giggle, when I realized the water was warm (guess I was expecting cold!), the church laughed when they heard me. The pastor said, "You must become like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven." He led me in prayer, then baptized me, and I remember opening my eyes and feeling joy, pure love throughout my entire being.
Baptism is a sacrament of love, done by us to show our love for Him, and blessed by Him because of our obedience.
((((eds))))Source(s): No scripture, just experience.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
There is no such thing as "initial justification" in Catholic theology.
You are either justified or you are not.
For the infant, he or she is justified at the moment of baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 6:11, Titus 3:5, Heb. 10:22).
At the moment of baptism, by God's grace, faith, hope and love are infused into the soul (see Rom. 5:1-5 and the Council of Trent's declaration on Justification).
For an adult, he is also first justified through baptism.
The faith and works he does prior to baptism disposes him to justification, but he is not yet justified until baptism.
That is why Paul says in his letter to Titus that we were not justified by the righteous deeds we have done, but by the washing of regeneration which is a reference to baptism (Titus 3:3-5).
However, after baptism, we are further justified by faith and works (see James 2:24).
The Church baptizes babies because baptism is the new circumcision of the New Covenant (Col. 2:11-12), just as the circumcision of eight-day old babies was the sign of the Old Covenant (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3).
In Acts 2:39, Peter says baptism is for children as well as adults.
The word used for children ("teknon") means infants, which is proved by Acts 21:21 in reference to eight-day old infants. We see in Acts 10:47-48; 16:15,33 and 1 Cor. 1:16 that entire households were baptized.
Household ("oikos") included infants and children.
There is nothing in the Bible about a "believer's baptism."
It would have been unthinkable from a Jewish perspective to exclude children from God's covenant kingdom.
See also in Matt. 9:2, Mark 2:3-5, Matt. 8:5-13, Luke 6:10, Mark 9:22-25 where people are healed based on another person's faith (just as babies are washed away of sin based on their parents' faith).
The early Church Fathers all believed in infant baptism.
This has been the practice of the Church since the very beginning. Even Martin Luther believed in infant baptism! Denying baptism to infants is a very recent phenomenon.
1 Peter 3:21 says that baptism "saves" us. That means baptism isn't just a symbolic act.
It saves us because it imparts sanctifying grace to the soul.
Just as the eight people on the ark were literally saved through water, those who are baptized are literally saved through water. The only difference is that the OT was about the earthly life, and the NT is about the spiritual life.
Matthew 19:14 does not say that children are the "owners" of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says only that the kingdom "belongs" to them.
That is, the kingdom is their inheritance. But they don't enter into the kingdom unless they are first born of water and the spirit (John 3:5).
Jesus says that unless one is born again of water and the spirit, he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Because John 3:5 is about baptism (which EVERY early Church Father taught), baptism is necessary for salvation.
That means that it is for infants as well as adults, because both are in need of salvation.
- wildflowerLv 41 decade ago
Hi Eds, Once I asked a wise older women why both positions could be proved according to scripture and asked her which one she believed. She was a counselor. She told me that the Holy Spirit, knowing human nature gave the correct answer to all people. She said when she was councelling someone who did what they pleased andused grace as a license to sin ,she would show them scriptures requiring works. And when she was counceling people who were basically insecure and neede assurance she would lead them to read about the grace of God. I think that was a pretty good answer. But personally I believe in salvation by grace through faith and not of yourself, it is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. If we could work our way to heaven, why would we need a savior. and the bible says, all your righteousness is as filthy rags. It also says the commandments were given to show man his inability to keep them, and his need for a redeemer. Have a great day.
- 1 decade ago
Well personally I DO NOT BELIEVE only BELIEF is enough to be saved. First one must acknoledge they are a sinner, THEN they must repent and recognize that only through the blood of Christ they might be saved, THEN accept it and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and King over their lives. It is written at some verses that one must be born again (That is what I just explained) and other verses it says one must be born again and baptised of water.
I believe baptism is a commandment, but those who can not be baptised because of circumstances will still enter the Kingdom of God. For exemple the criminal crucified next to Jesus who asked Him to remember him in His kingdom, he couldn't be baptized but was saved.
Now I also come to believe that believing only is not enough, the NT is filled with verses who affirm that those who will get the prise, go to God's kingdom are those who obey His commandments and have the faith OF Jesus, so faith WITH the obedience is the key.
Faith alone, and living only with the knowledge of faith alone, I don't believe one remains in grace but lose themselves in their own lies. For once born again the Holy Spirit works in our lives, changes our ways of thinking and that alone will bring us to obedience to Christ... If one doesn't do that well they are not born again and believe a lie.Source(s): The Word of God
- Anonymous4 years ago
1930VVN: would call 911 and then get something to tie off the bleeding. If I was bleeding to death and someone sat there trying to witness to me I'd sue them if I survived. As a doc. I always tell in my mind that first comes God, second the patient, and last the doctor in saving the life of an emergency victim. Calling 911 is important, but most people keep yelling "My God." "Jesus, help us." etc. the moment they see a severe case. It is an instinct. We had a Christian preacher, Benny Hill, who diplomatically said, first consult the doctor, then a priest. Actually, there is no dictate like that. It is an instinct for both the injured or dying victim, and the sympathetic bystander to call out to God for help. In this regard, if a person request religious aid, then baptism is the right thing to do. In my own experience as a student, I was asked to perform emergency cut-down on a dying cancer patient, but instead I called the in-house Jesuit Priest, to directly conduct the last rites, and she died, even as he was praying, with family around, and candles alight. There is a difference between a decent, cultured gentleman, and an emotionally labile man, like we saw during the riots in Iran. Joe is right in saying that the Holy Bible is an inspired text, the Word of God, Living in its message to the reader, condemnation to the guilty, but Life and Salvation to the innocent and righteous. We will find great miracles when we follow God's Word, and baptise in the Spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- BrotherMichaelLv 61 decade ago
Luk 23:42 And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.
Luk 23:43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you will be with Me in Paradise.
Did the thief enter Paradise with Christ? Well, Jesus seems to indicate that. Was the thief able to be baptized or do any "good" works? No.
Act 15:11 But through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, according to which manner they also believed.
Is baptism mentioned here? No. They (Paul and Barnabbas) believed to be saved. How? Through the grace of God.
Act 16:30 And leading them outside, he said, Sirs, what must I do that I may be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.
Act 16:32 And they spoke the Word of the Lord to him, and to all those in his house.
Did Paul say believe and be baptized? No. Belief or faith is all that was necessary for the salvation of this man and his household.
Rom 10:9 Because if you confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame." (Isa. 28:16)
Again, no baptism mentioned as a condition for salvation.