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Is Baptism Required for Salvation?

Part One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four    Part Five    Part Six


Introduction

In Part One of this series we defined what "proper faith" in Jesus means, and we saw that the outward actions of confessing our sins, saying a "sinner's prayer," calling on the Name of the Lord, confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, making Jesus the Lord of our life, obeying all of Jesus' commands, and speaking in tongues, are not necessary for salvation. This leaves us with two possibilities. Either salvation is based on proper faith alone (the "faith-alone" view), or else salvation is based on proper faith followed by water baptism (the "faith-plus-baptism" view). One of these views is right, and the other view is wrong. One of these views harmonizes with the rest of the New Testament, and the other view does not. This makes it very easy to see which view is right. We saw that only one view harmonizes perfectly with Scripture using every approach that we examined. The faith-alone view is the right view of salvation.

In Part Two we examined dozens of passages which say that faith is the only requirement for salvation. We also saw that a number of people in the New Testament were baptized after they received salvation, and therefore baptism cannot be required for salvation.

In Part Three we saw that the faith-plus-baptism interpretation of Mark 16:16a creates a contradiction in Scripture, and it makes a wrong assumption based on a logical fallacy, and it misses the fact that Mark 16:16a supports both the faith-plus-baptism view and the faith-alone view, and it wrongly assumes that each individual element in Mark 16:16a is necessary for salvation.

We also saw in Part Three that the faith-plus-baptism interpretation of Acts 2:38a creates a contradiction in Scripture, and it makes a wrong assumption based on a logical fallacy, and it misses the fact that the Greek word eis ("for") cannot be used to prove anything about baptism, and it misses the fact that the singular and plural terms in the Greek support the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.

In Part Four we saw that the context of Acts 22:16 shows that Saul (the apostle Paul) received salvation and his commission as an apostle on the road to Damascus, before he was baptized in water. Therefore, water baptism cannot be a requirement for salvation, so Acts 22:16 supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view. In Galatians 3:27, we saw that we can't prove that it's referring to water baptism, and we can't prove that it's referring to salvation. Therefore, Galatians 3:27 does not prove that water baptism is necessary for salvation. In Ephesians 5:26 and Titus 3:5, we saw that those verses are talking about spiritual cleansing, not water baptism.

In this article we will look at John 3:5 and 1 Peter 3:21, two more passages which are used as evidence that baptism is a requirement for salvation.


John 3:5

A Pharisee named Nicodemus visited Jesus one night. Here's what Jesus said to him:
John 3:5: "Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.""
What does "born of water" mean? One possibility is that it refers to the "living water" of the Holy Spirit (e.g. John 7:37-39). However, this would mean that John 3:5 (above) says, "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit," which is redundant. Another possibility is that it's a reference to our physical birth, because when a pregnant wife tells her husband, "My water has broken," this indicates that the process of birth has begun. A third possibility is that it's a reference to baptism, indicating that water baptism is a requirement for salvation.

Here is John 3:5 in its full context:
John 3:1: "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council."
John 3:2: "He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.""
John 3:3: "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.""
John 3:4: ""How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!""
John 3:5: "Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
John 3:6: "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."
John 3:7: "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'"
John 3:8: "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.""
John 3:9: ""How can this be?" Nicodemus asked."
John 3:10: ""You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?"
John 3:11: "I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony."
John 3:12: "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?"
John 3:13: "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man."
John 3:14: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,"
John 3:15: "that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
John 3:16: ""For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:17: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
John 3:18: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
Look carefully at Jesus' remarks to Nicodemus. In verse 3 (above), Jesus said that we need to be "born again" (or "born from above," according to the NIV footnote). Jesus was referring to a "second birth," which means that having a "first birth" is not enough for us to be able to go to heaven. The "first birth" is when we come out through the water in the womb, and Nicodemus had trouble believing that there would be a "second birth" out of the womb (verse 4). Jesus replied by saying that in order to enter the kingdom of God we need to be born "of water and the Spirit." Based on the evidence that we'll see in a moment, this describes two types of births which are important in a person's life, a flesh birth (in which we are birthed out of the water in the womb) and a spirit birth (at the time of our salvation).

After Jesus said that we need to be born of water and the Spirit (verse 5, above), Jesus explained this by saying that "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (verse 6). Once again we see Jesus describing two different types of births, and this time He was very specific that He meant a flesh birth as well as a spirit birth. Jesus did not mention Christian water baptism in this conversation (in fact, there was no such thing as Christian water baptism at that point because Jesus had not yet died and the Church had not yet been born), so there is no evidence to suggest that Nicodemus would have interpreted Jesus' statements as being references to Christian water baptism.

So Jesus said that "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (verse 6, above), and then He repeated the fact that we must be born a second time (verse 7). Jesus emphasized that there are two important births in a person's life, and Jesus specifically described our flesh birth as well as our spirit birth. All of the evidence points to our flesh birth as the meaning of "born of water" in verse 5. There is no evidence at all to suggest that Jesus was talking about baptism.

Then Jesus said in verse 12 that He had spoken to Nicodemus of "earthly things," and the only earthly things that Jesus mentioned in this conversation were the wind and the fact that "flesh gives birth to flesh." So once again Jesus referred to our flesh birth (an earthly thing) and contrasted it with our spirit birth (a heavenly thing). Continuing on, Jesus said that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life (verse 15), and that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life (verse 16), and that whoever believes in Him is not condemned (verse 18), and that whoever does not believe stands condemned already (verse 18). Over and over, Jesus told Nicodemus that our spirit birth is based on believing in Him. Notice in these verses that Jesus said nothing at all about baptism.

So when we look at John 3:5 in context, all of the evidence points to the fact that Jesus was referring to two types of births which are important in a person's life, a flesh birth and a spirit birth. There is no evidence at all to suggest that Jesus was referring to Christian water baptism in this conversation with Nicodemus. Notice that in every New Testament passage which specifically refers to water baptism, not one of them describes baptism as being a "birth experience." When people were baptized in water, not one of them was said to have been "born of water." In fact, the apostle John specifically said that being "born again" (or "born of God") is by faith, and he said nothing at all about water or baptism:
1 John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God"
Being "born again" (our spirit birth) is by faith alone.


The original Greek provides us with another way to show that "born of water" does not refer to baptism. Notice the difference in meaning between the Greek word ek and the Greek word en:
"eis implies motion into, and ek motion out of, while en, in means remaining in place." (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, p.579, emphasis added)
So the Greek word en means "in," and the Greek word ek means "motion out of." Notice that when people were baptized "in" (or "with") water, the Greek word en is used rather than the Greek word ek:
Matthew 3:11: "I baptize you with [en] water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with [en] the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Mark 1:8: "I baptize you with [en] water, but he will baptize you with [en] the Holy Spirit."

Luke 3:16: "John answered them all, "I baptize you with [in the Greek there is no preposition here] water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with [en] the Holy Spirit and with fire.""

John 1:33: "I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with [en] water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with [en] the Holy Spirit.'"

Acts 1:5: "For John baptized with [en] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with [en] the Holy Spirit."

Acts 11:16: "Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with [en] water, but you will be baptized with [en] the Holy Spirit.'"
This shows that the Greek word en ("in") is used when describing water baptism. On the other hand, the Greek word ek ("motion out of") is used when describing birth out of the womb:
Matthew 19:12 (KJV): "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from [ek] their mother's womb [literally, "born out of their mother's womb"]"

Luke 1:15 (KJV): "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from [ek] his mother's womb [literally, "even out of his mother's womb"]."

Acts 3:2 (KJV): "And a certain man lame from [ek] his mother's womb [literally, "lame out of his mother's womb"] was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;"

Acts 14:8 (KJV): "And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from [ek] his mother's womb [literally, "being a cripple out of his mother's womb"], who never had walked:"

Galatians 1:15 (KJV): "But when it pleased God, who separated me from [ek] my mother's womb [literally, "separated me out of my mother's womb"], and called me by his grace,"
So the Greek word en ("in") is used when describing water baptism, and the Greek word ek ("motion out of") is used when describing birth out of the womb. In John 3:5 (above), Jesus used the Greek word ek when He described being born of (ek) water (literally, born "out of" water). Notice that we are not baptized "out of" water, but rather we are birthed "out of" water from the womb (see the above passages). Once again we can see that Jesus was referring to our flesh birth, not our water baptism, in John 3:5.


But in John 3:5, why would Jesus say that we must have a physical birth before we can receive salvation? After all, it seems incredibly obvious that we can't receive salvation unless we have first been born physically! But remember that we are not the only sentient (conscious, intelligent) beings here on earth. The devil and his demons do not meet the condition of having a physical birth, and Scripture is clear that salvation is not available to them (see for example Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:10). Jesus did not die for demons, Jesus only died for humans. As Jesus said, no-one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he first has a flesh birth ("out of water") and then has a spirit birth ("out of the Spirit").

For all of these reasons, John 3:5 supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.


1 Peter 3:21

In this verse, the apostle Peter seems to be saying that baptism saves us:
1 Peter 3:21: "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also"
In order to understand what Peter was talking about, first let's get some background information. Take a look at this passage:
Acts 8:34 (KJV): "And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?"
Acts 8:35 (KJV): "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."
Acts 8:36 (KJV): "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?"
Acts 8:37 (KJV): "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 8:38 (KJV): "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him."
In this passage, Philip the Evangelist was sharing the Gospel with a eunuch, and then the eunuch asked to be baptized. In this series we have seen numerous examples of the Gospel being preached throughout the New Testament, with no mention of baptism. Baptism is not a part of the Gospel message, but we saw in Part One that Jesus commanded us to teach and baptize new disciples. Perhaps Philip mentioned this to the eunuch, which is why the eunuch asked to be baptized (Acts 8:36, above).

Now, some versions of the Bible (such as the KJV) say that before the eunuch was baptized, Philip prompted him for a confession of faith and he made a good response (Acts 8:37, above). Here are some things that various Bible commentaries say about that verse:
"If it was not in the original copy of the Acts, it was probably inserted by some early transcriber, and was deemed so important to the connection, to show that the eunuch was not admitted hastily to baptism, that it was afterward retained. It contains, however, an important truth, elsewhere abundantly taught in the Scriptures, that "faith" is necessary to a proper profession of religion." (Barnes, from http://www.e-sword.net/commentaries.html Offsite Link, Acts 8:37, emphasis added)

"This whole verse is wanting in the Alexandrian copy, and in five of Beza's copies, and in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; but stands in the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, and in the Complutensian edition; and, as Beza observes, ought by no means to be expunged, since it contains so clear a confession of faith required of persons to be baptized, which was used in the truly apostolic times." (John Gill's Exposition of the Bible Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"This verse is omitted in the Revision. It is not found in the oldest extant manuscripts, but was certainly in manuscripts older than any now extant. It is referred to by Irenæus in the second century, and by Augustine in the fourth. Whether written by Luke or not, it shows that the custom of the early church was to require such a confession of faith." (People's New Testament Offsite Link, emphasis added)
So according to various Bible commentaries, it is believed that a confession of faith was commonly required at the time of baptism in the first century.

Now that we have established some background information, let's look at 1 Peter 3:21 in context:
1 Peter 3:18: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,"
1 Peter 3:19: "through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison"
1 Peter 3:20: "who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,"
1 Peter 3:21: "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
First we'll look at whether or not Peter taught that baptism is necessary for salvation, then we'll look at how the Flood "symbolizes" baptism, then we'll look at "the pledge of a good conscience."

Now, in Part Three we saw that Peter taught the faith-alone view of salvation in Acts 2:38a. He also taught the faith-alone view in this verse:
Acts 3:19: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"
He also taught the faith-alone view in this verse:
Acts 10:43: "All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.""
Peter always taught that faith is the only requirement for salvation, and this is what he taught in 1 Peter 3:21 (above) as well. When he said, "baptism that now saves you" in 1 Peter 3:21, this sometimes gives people the impression that baptism saves us. But Peter quickly explained that it's not the water of baptism which saves us, because the water simply washes a bit of dirt off of the outside of our body. Instead, it's the internal "good conscience toward God" which saves us (more on this later).

Since Peter said that we're not saved by what takes place on the outside (water baptism), but instead we're saved by what takes place on the inside, we can see that Peter was consistent in what he taught about salvation throughout the New Testament. Therefore, 1 Peter 3:21 (above) supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.


Now let's look at how the Flood in Noah's time "symbolizes" baptism.

Peter said that Noah and his family were "saved through water," so people sometimes argue that the water of baptism saves us just as the water of the Flood saved Noah (by lifting up the ark). But did the water of the Flood really save Noah? In Genesis 5:28-7:16 we find that Noah was not in any direct danger before the Flood. Therefore, he didn't need to be saved by the water of the Flood. The reason why God told him to build an ark was because he needed to be saved from the water of the Flood! The water of the Flood was not instrumental in saving Noah (as people sometimes claim) because the water was the very thing that Noah needed protection from.

The water of the Flood did not save Noah, just as the water of baptism does not save us. There's a different way that the Flood "symbolizes" baptism.

So what parallels are there between Christian water baptism and the Flood in Noah's time? Let's start with this one:

  • Noah lived in the midst of sin:
    Genesis 6:9: "This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God."
    Genesis 6:10: "Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth."
    Genesis 6:11: "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence."
    Genesis 6:12: "God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways."
  • In a parallel way, an unsaved person today lives in the midst of sin (his sinful nature):
    Romans 8:5: "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."
    Romans 8:6: "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;"
    Romans 8:7: "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."
    Romans 8:8: "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."
Here's another parallel between the Flood and baptism:

  • The sinners in Noah's time died in the Flood, and they received a watery burial:
    Genesis 6:17: "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish."
  • In a parallel way, when a person receives salvation by faith then his sins are wiped out (as we have seen throughout this series). He becomes dead to sin, and baptism is a watery burial of his "old self":
    Romans 6:1: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?"
    Romans 6:2: "By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"
    Romans 6:3: "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?"
    Romans 6:4: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
    Romans 6:5: "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."
    Romans 6:6: "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--"
    Romans 6:7: "because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."
Here's another parallel between the Flood and baptism:

  • Noah was not saved due to the water of the Flood, but instead he was saved by being in the ark through faith (which happened before the water of the Flood came):
    Genesis 7:7: "And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood."
  • In a parallel way, a person is not saved due to water baptism, but instead he is saved by being in Christ through faith (which happens before water baptism, as we have seen throughout this series):
    2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Here's another parallel between the Flood and baptism:

  • In Noah's time, the many perished and the few were saved:
    1 Peter 3:20: "who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,"
  • In a parallel way, the many will perish and the few will be saved:
    Luke 13:23: "Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them,"
    Luke 13:24: ""Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."
Again, the water of the Flood did not save Noah, just as the water of baptism does not save us. Noah needed to be in the ark by faith (which is how he was saved) before the water of the Flood came, just as we need to be in Christ by faith (which is how we are saved) before the water of baptism comes.

These parallels between Christian water baptism and the Flood in Noah's time show that 1 Peter 3:21 (above) supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.


Now let's look at "the pledge of a good conscience":
1 Peter 3:21: "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge [eperotema] of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
Here are some things that various Bible commentaries say about the Greek word eperotema:
"The word here rendered "answer" (eperotema) means properly a question, an inquiry. It is "spoken of a question put to a convert at baptism, or rather of the whole process of question and answer; that is, by implication, examination, profession" - Robinson, Lexicon. It is designed to mark the spiritual character of the baptismal rite in contrast with a mere external purification, and evidently refers to something that occurred at baptism; some question, inquiry, or examination, that took place then; and it would seem to imply: (1) that when baptism was performed, there was some question or inquiry in regard to the belief of the candidate; (2) that an answer was expected, implying that there was a good conscience; that is, that the candidate had an enlightened conscience, and was sincere in his profession; and, (3) that the real efficacy of baptism, or its power in saving, was not in the mere external rite, but in the state of the heart, indicated by the question and answer, of which that was the emblem." (Barnes, from http://www.e-sword.net/commentaries.html Offsite Link, 1 Peter 3:21, emphasis added)

"In ancient Greek it never means answer, but only inquiry. The inscriptions of the age of the Antonines use it of the Senate's approval after inquiry. That may be the sense here, that is, avowal of consecration to God after inquiry, having repented and turned to God and now making this public proclamation of that fact by means of baptism (the symbol of the previous inward change of heart)." (Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"In the NT, spoken of a question put to a convert at baptism, the whole process of question and answer, an examination, or the response to the inquiry, a pledge, profession (1 Pet. 3:21) as marking the spiritual character of the baptismal rite in contrast to mere external purification." (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, p.617, emphasis added)

"the Vulgate Latin renders it, "the interrogation of a good conscience"; referring, it may be, to the interrogations that used to be put to those who desired baptism; as, dost thou renounce Satan? dost thou believe in Christ?" (John Gill's Exposition of the Bible Offsite Link, emphasis added)

"Greek, "interrogation"; referring to the questions asked of candidates for baptism; eliciting a confession of faith "toward God" and a renunciation of Satan ([AUGUSTINE, The Creed, 4.1]; [CYPRIAN, Epistles, 7, To Rogatianus]), which, when flowing from "a good conscience," assure one of being "saved."" (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary Offsite Link, verse 21, emphasis added)
These commentaries point out that the word "pledge" in 1 Peter 3:21 refers to an inquiry, or the question and answer process which was performed at the time of baptism in the first century. For example, let's look again at the eunuch's baptism:
Acts 8:34 (KJV): "And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?"
Acts 8:35 (KJV): "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."
Acts 8:36 (KJV): "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?"
Acts 8:37 (KJV): "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 8:38 (KJV): "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him."
Notice what happened in the above passage. Philip preached the Gospel to the eunuch, then the eunuch asked to be baptized, so Philip prompted him for a confession of faith (as described in the above commentaries). The eunuch made a good response, then Philip baptized him. Now, in Part One we saw that confession is not a requirement for salvation, so the eunuch was not saved by his outward response to Philip's implied question. We also saw that "proper faith" is the only requirement for salvation, so the eunuch was saved by his proper inward response to Christ. In other words, when Philip prompted the eunuch for a confession of faith it wasn't for the purpose of causing the eunuch's salvation, it was for the purpose of verifying the eunuch's salvation before baptizing him (since we can't look inside of other people's hearts). When Peter described the pledge (or "inquiry") of a good conscience (1 Peter 3:21, above), the outward inquiry at the time of baptism verifies that the person has made a proper inward response to the Gospel message, and it's the proper inward response of a good conscience which causes the person's salvation.

For all of these reasons, 1 Peter 3:21 supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.


Conclusion

In John 3:5, we saw that Jesus was referring to two births: our flesh birth and our spirit birth. This verse supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.

In 1 Peter 3:21, we saw that there are parallels between Christian water baptism and the Flood in Noah's time. We saw that Peter always taught that faith is the only requirement for salvation, and that this verse supports the faith-alone view of salvation, not the faith-plus-baptism view.


All for Your glory, Lord Jesus!


Part One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four    Part Five    Part Six
 
 
 
  Modification History  
 
 

  • 11/04/2008 - Re-wrote most of this article. Renamed this article from "Part Four" to "Part Five."
  • 01/11/2006 - Enhanced the Conclusion section and added a link to Part Five.
  • 07/31/2003 - Modified some of the wording.
  • 03/20/2003 - Modified some of the wording.
  • 03/03/2003 - Added a Conclusion section.
  • 02/10/2003 - New article.