Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Does Baptism save? Is it a requirement of salvation?

Many churches teach that it is, and this belief is called “Baptismal Regeneration.” Does your church teach this? If you are Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, Mormon, Lutheran–the list goes on…it does.

So what is essential for salvation? Faith alone or faith plus water baptism, church membership, “good works” or whatever? What does the Bible say?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

If we look at the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, we can see this very clearly. Philip is whisked away to the desert where this Ethiopian man is struggling to understand what he’s reading in Isaiah. Philip starts right there in Isaiah and preaches Jesus to the man, as a result, the man asks if there’s anything to hinder his getting baptized. Does Philip urge him to wait and get it done by a certain denomination? No, he actually emphasizes that he needs to believe in Jesus Christ first, and then they hop out and take a baptismal “dip” in the nearby body of water. Let’s read it.

And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:36-37

Baptism…Church Membership…Salvation?

When a church ties salvation to membership or baptism, something is wrong. Please consider how many Bible verses point that the way to Christ is simply by believing that Jesus’ blood shed on the cross is all that stands between you and hell. That there is nothing you can do to earn or deserve His gift of canceling your sinful debt on the cross with His precious blood. To say that salvation involves anything more, is to add works to salvation. By doing so, I’m afraid that you’re falling into 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 territory, believing in “another Jesus, another gospel” and erring from the simplicity that is in Christ:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed’ Gal. 1:8

There are other “gospels” and other “Christs” being taught in churches, so be careful. Check these things with God’s word, our ultimate authority.

Verses to Consider

John 1:12-13 teaches that to believe on Christ is to receive Him, and that those that receive Him, receive the power to become sons of God. Verse 13 teaches that it is not by human administration or by anything that man can do.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:15-18 speaks very plainly that salvation is by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice verse 18, and that none of these verses have anything to do with baptism, or any reference to baptism.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

In John 6:29, Jesus says, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:37, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:40, And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11:25, Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 8:24, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.

Acts 10:43, To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Acts 13:39, And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 13:48, And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Acts 16:30-31, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Luke 7:50, And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Romans 3:28, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:3, For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:5, But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Gal. 2:16, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal. 3:26, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:1, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 1:21, For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 John 3:23, And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

In Closing…

In the words of the famous hymn, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”

1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Ephesians 1:7, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Jesus saves, not baptism. We’ve seen above that the Bible teaches that salvation comes by undeserved grace through believing faith in Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins. Baptism follows salvation as an act of obedience by the believer, to identify with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, and as a testimony of their salvation.

The Health Benefits of Eating Whole Organic Foods and How They Can Aid in Preventing Illness

What is your opinion of organic food? Do you think of it as overpriced? Do you think of it as unnecessary? Maybe you have looked at the organic foods in the grocery store and thought the produce didn’t look as robust or oversized as the “regular” stuff.

It is interesting to note that there are many benefits to eating whole organic foods, and that many people remain entirely unaware about the ways that these foods will prevent illnesses on many levels.

Food and Health

Let’s start by understanding two of the terms we used above: whole food and organic food. These are two very different things. Whole food are those that are unprocessed and unaltered to a great degree. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains can be called whole foods.

Organic foods are those that are grown to very specific standards and which use no dangerous chemicals in the growing, harvesting, and processing stages of market preparation. In the United States a food cannot simply be labeled as organic without first passing the standards designed by the USDA.

So, why is it that whole and organic foods will prevent illness? Let’s start with nutrition.

The Nutrients in Nature

Because whole and organic foods are grown under relatively ideal conditions and are left as intact as possible, their nutrient levels are superior to the more “traditionally” grown foods.

Need an example? Let’s say you want to buy a bag of apples at the market. These are whole foods, right? Yes, but when they are not grown organically they are fairly saturated with some hefty chemicals. In fact, there is a list known as the “dirty dozen” and it identifies the foods that are the most heavily contaminated when not grown organically. (The list includes peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, celery, cherries, strawberries, grapes, pears, lettuce, potatoes, and spinach)

Now, if you buy the regular, non-organic apples it means you are ingesting large quantities of pesticide residues. It also means that the nutrient properties of the fruit are likely to have been compromised too. This is because the compounds sprayed on the growing apples are intended to make them more marketable. So, the bag of luscious red-skinned apples may look far more appealing than those less glamorous organic apples, but you are going to get a lot more nutrition and good food value from that bag of organics.

Fighting Illness

In addition to upping the nutrition value in foods, buying whole and organic foods also means that you are eliminating compounds that have strong links to diseases such as cancer and immune malfunction.

Of course, there is also the very obvious link to a whole food diet and better health. Because whole, organic foods are low in fat, sugar, and sodium it means that they are less likely to cause any subsequent health problems. For example, if you avoid non-organic and processed foods and opt for the healthier whole foods you are not likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or to become obese.

Lastly, if you did a blind taste test of organic versus non-organic foods, you would usually choose the organic as the better tasting food. This is because farmers have to grow specific varieties if the non-organic food can survive the shipping and marketing processes. Often this comes at the cost of taste and nutrition. Organic farmers don’t work that way and will grow less attractive varieties because they are guaranteed to be packed with flavor, color, and nutrition.

Going organic and eating a whole food diet makes sense if you want to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

The NIV Bible Quiz

One of the most popular Bible translations today is the New International Version, or NIV that came out in 1978 and 1984. Last night, as a family, we sat down with the NIV, the NASB (New American Standard Version) and the KJV (King James Version), and had such a great time taking the following quiz, that I thought it would be profitable to post it here at the blog.

This NIV quiz is designed to help Christians understand the differences between Bible translations as compared with the 400 year old KJV. Print out the following quiz, have an NIV and at least a KJV handy, we also used an NASB, out of curiosity, and involve the whole family. We have three daughters, so each one had a different Bible translation…my husband followed along in his KJV and led our discussion, while I read off the references and asked the questions once everyone was ready to read.

Dr. Rex Cobb, the director of Baptist Bible Translators in Bowie, TX wrote this quiz. You may download it and print it off here:

The NIV Quiz

Don’t have an NIV? You can use one online here at Blue Letter Bible.

Remember, when you take this quiz, your answers must come from the Bible text itself, not from the margins or footnotes. Marginal notes do not have the power and authority of God’s written word, they are only included by editors as extra information, and can be biased. Also, don’t “guess” the answers based on memory, look up each NIV reference given. (My personal favorites are #’s 17 & 24)

Post Script

This quiz is based on the older NIV Bibles, the 1978 and 1984 editions. Have you followed the uproar amongst conservative evangelicals regarding the NIV’s gender neutral “updates” thatKJVBible came out in 2005 and 2011? Where do you think the changes will end?

My pastor is fond of saying, while holding his Bible high, “Life is an open book test, and we have the textbook!” I’m so glad I can trust the authority that I’ve found remaining constant in my KJV Bible!