The endless battle rages as to whether one has to be water baptized in order to be saved. One side claims Acts 16:31, versus their opponent’s use of Acts 2:38. Nothing gets settled.
Surely, there must be a scripture somewhere that will settle the matter. Good news! There is.
If the reader will agree with one principle, the truth can be established. It is this: That there is only one way to be saved in this present age. No one individual can be saved by any method different from that by which all the rest get saved. If you agree, then please continue reading….
In Acts 10, we read the story of the conversion of one, Cornelius. Please read the account in the Bible, the King James Version. Then, pay particular attention to vs. 45-48.
Cornelius was a religious man (v. 2), seeking God after the manner of the Old Testament way, but had not yet come to know God in true salvation (Acts 11:14).
While Peter is preaching, the Holy Spirit abruptly interrupts his sermon (v. 44), and baptizes that Gentile household by the Holy Spirit, after the manner of the Day of Pentecost (Acts 11:15-17). Then, they also spoke in tongues (v. 46).
Now we have a Gentile, unsaved, who receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit, speaks in tongues…but is not yet water baptized!
That’s right, my friend, he is not baptized until after those salvation related events occur (vs. 47,48). Cornelius was not water baptized until after he was saved.
Remember the principle upon which we agreed, above: Everybody has to get saved the same way. If one can be saved in this age before he is water baptized, then may all.
He certainly was baptized, but it was after he was regenerated, baptized by the Holy Spirit, and had spoken in tongues.
To illustrate, let us imagine for a moment, one on an airliner receives a gospel witness from a fellow passenger. Hearing and understanding fully the way of salvation, he or she, there and then, truly repents of sin, and trusts Christ as personal Savior, intending to get water baptized. But suddenly, a terrorist bomb explodes, killing all on board the plane. According to doctrine that makes water baptism a necessary part of salvation, that one who just trusted Christ, would perish in hell fire, without water baptism.
Can you really say you believe that?
Church of Christ friend, and Pentecostal believer, please hear this truth, and hearken to it. One does not have to be baptized to be saved, but certainly is commanded to be, following true conversion.
In I John 1:7, we are told that the shed blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. Why then would one so cleansed, need further cleansing by water?
Friend, why not believe the simple gospel message:
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43);
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:31).
Sincerely, from your heart, say this to God: “God, I have sinned, and am sorry that I have disobeyed you. I believe the Bible record, that Jesus died and shed His blood to pay my sin debt, and rose again. I want Him to be my Savior, and my Lord. Forgive me, and save me now. I am trusting you to do what you promised in your Word. Thank you for saving me, and help me to live for you the rest of my life. In Jesus name I pray.”
It is inward faith that saves a sinner--not outward ritual.
For further help, contact:
Dr. O. Wilburn Swaim, Th.D
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