BAP-06 - Objections to Baptism (Part 2)
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The apostle Paul said, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ
have clothed ourselves with Christ.”
The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is essential to salvation, but
often time we hear objections to baptism being essential to salvation.
This is a second part of our series on the objections to baptism.
We encourage you to get your Bible and stay tuned as we study this
In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter stood up with the 11 and proclaiming
the gospel. Men and women had just asked, “What must we do? Men and
brethren, what shall we do?” The answer was this: “Repent and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Peter clearly
taught that in order to be saved from the sin of killing their own Messiah,
they had to be baptized for the remission of sins. Yes, the Scriptures clearly
teach not just in one verse but in a multitude of verses that baptism is
essential to salvation.
Today we want to address a sixth objection that we have concerning
baptism. Sometimes I hear people say based on Acts 2:38, they'll say well
the word for there could mean ‘because of’ and thus, Peter is saying I want
you to repent and be baptized because your sins are forgiven.
That just doesn't make good contextual sense first of all. Let me
illustrate. These Jews who have the blood of Christ on their hands and now
realized they'd killed their Messiah; the Bible says they're cut to the heart.
And they cried out, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” We know we’re
in sin. We know we are lost. What you said is right. We need God's grace
and forgiveness. What do we need to do? Don't do anything. ‘Repent and
be baptized, because your sins are already forgiven.’ What? That doesn't
make any sense. According to the context, they realize they're lost and
thus Peter told them what to do to be saved. Not because they were
already saved. How could they be saved? This is the first time they,
anybody's, ever heard the gospel. How could you be saved without first
hearing the gospel? This is the first time it's ever been preached. And so
there's no doubt according to the context this just doesn't make good
Secondly, this type of wording just doesn't make good sense in our
language today. Let me illustrate. Let's say that somebody says ‘I want you
to eat.’ You need to eat for the nourishment of your body. Now friend, are
you going to walk away and say ‘I know what he means. I need to eat,
because my body is already nourished.’? Well of course not! We might say,
‘You need to breathe to bring oxygen into yourselves.’ Are you going to
walk away and say ‘I know what he means? I'm going to breathe, because
my cells are already oxygenated.’? Well of course not! We understand that
the word ‘for’ means ‘in order to receive something.’ I'm going to eat “for”
my body to be nourished-in order that my body might be nourished. I'm
going to breathe in order that my blood cells will receive oxygen. It's not
“because of.” We don't use that type of thinking in everyday language.
The strongest argument to help us see this is a false teaching and a
false argument is based on another teaching in the New Testament. Now
friend let me ask you this: if we're going to convince someone that the word
‘for’ in Acts 2:38 does not mean ‘because of,’ the best way we could do that
is to show them the same Greek syntax for ‘the remission of sins’ used in
another passage and what it means. Wouldn't you agree that to be pretty
good way to understand that?
Well let's do exactly that same Greek syntax for the remission of sins.
Acts 2:38 found in Matthew 26:28, now I want you to think about this ask
yourself as you hear Matthew 26:28: Does this mean ‘because of’? Here's
what Jesus said as He took the fruit of the vine. Jesus said, “This is My
blood of the new covenant shed,” here's that exact same syntax, “for the
remission of sins.” Now is anybody anywhere going to say that word ‘for’
means ‘because of’? Are we going to say Jesus went? He suffered; He
came to this earth. He suffered. He died on the cross. His blood was shed,
because men are already forgiven? Of course not! That would be ludricus!
People would be up in arms if anybody tried to teach that about
And yet, that same Greek structure for ‘the remission of sins’ is used
in Acts 2:38. And friend means the exact same thing. Why did Jesus die on
the cross? In order that for men to have remission of sins. Why are men
baptized? For the remission of sins, in order that their sins might be
washed away. Friend are we saying you're earning salvation? Don't even
think that. We're not even saying that at all. When I'm baptized, can I look
up to heaven and say ‘God you owe me salvation’? Course not! Salvation's
the free gift of God. But realize this salvation is by grace through faith,
Ephesians 2:8. I must meet the conditions of God to be salmon to be
saved. Is belief a condition? You bet it is! Jesus said, “Not everybody that
says ‘Lord Lord’ is going to heaven, but he who does the will of My Father.”
I've got to believe- that's a condition. I've got to repent- that's a condition.
I've got to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior- that's a condition.
Are any of those conditions earning salvation? No, but the things I've
got to do. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” Must we
obey Christ to go to heaven? Absolutely! Jesus is the author of eternal
salvation to all who obey Him. The idea that this fits Matthew the Acts 2:38
means ‘because of.’ It's not good thinking according to a commonsense,
the way we talk today, it's not correct according to the context, and the
Greek syntax of an identical structure in Matthew 26:28 shows that's not
what that phraseology in the Scripture means. When we let the Bible define
its own terms, we can know exactly what that means.
Another objection that we often hear as it relates to baptism is this:
sometimes people say ‘well I see what you're saying about these passages
maybe in Acts or some the other books, but the apostle Paul, who we
realize wrote much of the New Testament half if not more, Paul didn't
preach baptism in any of his gospel presentations.’ People will say ‘you
know Paul didn't say you've got to be baptized, therefore you don't have to.’
Wait a minute! Paul specifically said that one had to be baptized to get into
Christ where salvation is. Would you direct your attention to Romans 6. I
want you to notice what Paul did say about the essentiality of baptism.
I want you to be thinking about this, because it validates the fact that
baptism is essential to salvation. Can you be saved without the blood of
Christ? Of course not! We all realize Jesus' blood is essential to salvation.
Where do I contact the blood of Jesus? Let's let Paul tell us. Under
inspiration, Paul said in Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not or God forbid,” now
watch this, “how shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you
not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus,” watch
this, “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.”
There are two extremely important things in that context that we want
you notice. First the apostle Paul clearly said we are baptized into Christ.
Friend how important is that? Here's how important it is: 2 Timothy 2:10
says: salvation's in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 says all spiritual blessings are in
Christ. If salvation's there and all spiritual blessings are there, then friend I
want to know I've got to know, how do I get into Christ where salvation is?
We're baptized into Christ.
The Bible also says and Paul also taught that we contact the death of
Christ by baptism. We're buried with Him in baptism into His death. Friend
is the death of Jesus essential to salvation?
Everybody recognizes it is. Jesus tasted death for all men, Hebrews
2:9. He overcame death by His death, Hebrews 2:14. We can have victory
because Jesus died for our sins. Everybody is going to realize the death of
Christ is essential to salvation.
Where do I contact that death and blood? We're buried with Him in
baptism into His death. Paul absolutely taught that baptism is the point at
which I get into Christ. And baptism is the point at which I contact the death
of Jesus. And both of those are essential to salvation. And so yes, Paul did
preach in teaching the gospel that one must be baptized to be saved.
Another objection that often comes up as we think about the teaching
of baptism in the New Testament, let's say that we're teaching on baptism
and we say Jesus said you've got to be baptized. “He that believes and is
baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16. We would bring up 1 Peter 3:21
“Baptism does now also save us.” Many times people say: but Peter said in
Acts 2:21, “whoever calls on the Lord will be saved.” And thus all you've got
to do to be saved is call on the name of the Lord.
That passage never says that's all you've got to do, in fact we've got
to put the totality of what God says together to get the full message.
Wouldn't you agree? It's not as though I can just flip in the Bible and turn
one page out and say ‘here's what the Bible says,’ and I can just take that
and exclude everything else. I've got to put everything together Psalm
119:160, “The sum of God's word is truth.” What's the sum? It's the totality.
It's when you add everything together. The sum, the product, everything
added together, the totality of it’s truth.
What's even more important as it relates to Acts 2:21? Please
understand we recognize that passage clearly teaches you got “Whoever
calls on the Lord will be saved,” there's no denying that the Bible teaches
that. We absolutely believe that. But friend let's let the Bible again be its
own best commentary. What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord?
May I direct your attention to Acts 22:16. Let's let the Holy Spirit tells
us how to call on the name of the Lord scripturally. Acts 22:16 Ananias
comes to Saul, who was told you go into the city be told you what you must
do. Ananias now comes with that essential fact. He said, “And now to Saul,
why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins,”
don't miss this, “calling on the name of the Lord.”
How do you call on the name of the Lord? You get up and do what
God says to be saved which includes being baptized to have your sins
If we'll let God tell us what it means, if we'll let the Bible instead of
listening to men, instead of listening to commentaries, instead of letting
people's ideas or opinions make us biased toward this, if when it comes to
the phrase. When it comes to some teaching in the Bible, if I’ll get out my
concordance, or if I get out a dictionary look that phrase up and search the
other Scriptures, and if I let the Bible define its own terms- we can
understand what God meant for that to be.
What did God mean when He said “Whoever calls on the name of the
Lord will be saved?” Multitudes of false teachers have said all that means is
you've got to look up into heaven and say ‘I believe in Jesus. Come into my
heart and save me.’
The Bible doesn't define it that way. How does the Bible define
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved?” “Arise and be
baptized and wash away your sins having called on the name the Lord you
complete the action of calling on the name the Lord by getting up and being
baptized to have your sins washed away.” The Scripture does not teach
that all you've got to do is call on the name of the Lord meaning all you got
to do is believe in Jesus or mouth the words ‘I believe in Christ,’ there's
more to it than that as we see from the Scripture in the teaching of the New
Then I hear another objection as it relates to the Bible's teaching on
the plan of salvation sometimes I hear people say ‘Well you know I've
heard these verses that you said. I've seen what the Scripture teaches.
We've read these together tonight. What about the sinner’s prayer? I was
always taught that the sinners prayer, saved by the sinner’s prayer.’
They mean something like this: Billy Graham and Franklin Graham
and a host of other Baptist preachers and other religious beliefs have gone
around the nation teaching- all you've got to do to be saved to say the
sinner’s prayer. Just say it with me ‘Lord Jesus I accept you into my heart.
Now I recognize you as Lord and Savior. Please save me.’ Some prayer
similar to that is what they’ll tell you to say.
First and foremost realize this- and I want you to listen real carefully-
the sinner’s prayer, as these false teachers have gone around the nation
and the world and taught, is found nowhere in the Bible. That's right! You
can search your Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 and you will
never find that sinner’s prayer a multitude of false teachers are telling
people to do to be saved. Why are they doing that? I don't know, but it's not
in the Bible. It must make people feel good. Maybe it does, but is not in the
Scripture. You don't find the sinner’s prayer anywhere in the Bible.
Now I was preaching on the subject one time in a gospel meeting
endeavor, evangelistic opportunity. We were talking about this, and I
mentioned this very idea that the sinners prayer is found nowhere in the
Bible. Right after that lesson a lady made a beeline to me, and she came
up to me. And she said she said, “Preacher,” she said, “I heard what you
said about the sinner’s prayer not being in the Bible.” She said, “I'm going
to go home and ask my pastor if that's true.” I said, “That'll be great.” And I
said, “You go home and ask him and whatever verses he gives you to
show the sinner’s prayer, as we've mentioned tonight, you bring those back
and show me.” Well next night the gospel meeting begins right before start
she makes a beeline to me again. She says these words. She said,
“Preacher,” she said “I went home and asked my preacher my pastor if the
sinner’s prayer was in the Bible like you had said. He said it wasn't, and I
told him he is a liar.”
I want you to think about that a moment. This lady had been told
probably all her life the sinner’s prayer is what you've got to do to be saved.
She probably somehow connected that here's a religious person who
believes in the Bible telling me the sinner’s prayer saves. She probably
somehow connected that with the belief that it's in the Bible, and all that
time she'd been taught that. Challenged on it that preacher had to say not
anywhere in the Bible, thank God. She said he was a liar. That's right!
People who teach the sinner’s prayer saves are not telling the truth.
Let me show you an example. If the sinner’s prayer would've ever
saved anybody, it'd saved this man. Saul-was told you go into the city it'll
be told you what you must do. My friends Saul no doubt prayed a many of
prayers as a sinner. Acts 9:11:12. “So the Lord said to Saul, for the Lord
said to Ananias, ‘Arise go to the street called straight inquire the house of
Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus.’” Watch this now, “For behold he is
praying.” “And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in
putting his hands on him so that he might receive his sight.” Is it the case
that Saul of Tarsus who was blinded and confronted by Jesus was praying?
There's no doubt he was. Did he recognize he’s a sinner? Christ had
clearly identified himself to him there's no getting around that. Everything
he'd done was contrary to what was true. And so he was praying. Did that
sinner pray save him at that point? Absolutely not! Ananias came to Saul
when we get the rest of the story in Acts 22:16. Ananias came and said,
“Why are you waiting? You've been praying already. Why are you waiting?
Arise and be baptized. Wash away your sins calling on the name of the
Let's address another objection that often comes up as we think
about the essentiality of baptism. Sometimes I’ll hear people say with what
you’re teaching, seems like you're saying we're saved by baptism; and the
Bible teaches we're saved by Jesus’ blood not baptism. Friend there's no
doubt the blood of Christ is that saving agent that washes away, that
cleanses man's sin. Ephesians 1:7, ‘In Him we have redemption, through
His blood the forgiveness of sins.’ Revelation 1:5, ‘We're washed in the
blood of the lamb.’ And so there's no doubt the blood of Jesus is that
saving agent. His sacrifice talking about blood, we're not talking about the
red substance. We're talking about the sacrifice the blood of Christ
represents the totality of His sacrifice. Without the shedding of blood,
there's no forgiveness of sins. A man is giving up His life for us. That
perfect one made salvation available.
Do we not realize that, one cannot contact the blood of Jesus without
being baptized? In fact the Scripture teaches the blood of Jesus that saves
us is contacted in baptism.
So we're not saying these are opposed, these are diametrically
opposed, you're saying baptism saves- the Bible says blood of Christ that
these are not diametrically opposed. These beautifully go hand-in-hand.
The Bible says in Romans 6:3, that we're buried with Christ into baptism,
where we contact His death. It's the blood. It's the death. It's the sacrifice of
Jesus that saves. When do I contact that? When I'm baptized into His
Listen again now friend, if I can know the blood of Jesus saves and I
can know the death of Jesus saves, then friend that moment in time when
God says I'm saved, when my sins have been washed away, I can know
what ever moment in time and whatever happened was essential to be
saved. Would you agree with that? Think about Acts 22:16 again. Ananias
told Saul, “Why you waiting? Arise and be baptized! Wash away your sins
calling on the name the Lord.”
If the blood of Christ saves, if the death of Jesus is what cleanses sin,
what point do I reach that death? “Arise and be baptized. Wash away your
If the Bible teaches, and it does, baptism is the point in time when
sins are washed away- then friend baptism and the blood of Christ go
hand-in-hand. That's the way God set it up. This is not men's ideas. It's not
what men say. We've quoted to you today from the Bible. We've shown
from the Scripture that's what God says.
While there a host of people teaching otherwise, all that matters for
each one of us today is that we simply submit to God and do what He says
to be saved. It doesn't matter what some preacher somewhere says. It
doesn't matter what some religious book somewhere says or some
commentary said, what matters is: “Is there any word from the Lord?”
Friend often time with the truth of these things being as they are, with
the Bible teaching on baptism being so clear and so plain, we sometimes
will hear what we deem is a rather emotional argument, and we can
understand this to some extent. It doesn't change what the Scripture says.
Here's the objection that I hear as it relates to the emotional side:
some will say you're right that they know that's what the Bible teaches.
Mark 16:16 clearly says “He that believes and is baptized will be saved.”
Now there's no doubt Peter said, “Repent, be baptized.” And that means for
the remission of sins. But if I do that, if I do what you're saying, that'll
condemn my whole family to hell.
There is nothing you can do that will condemn your family, who's
already gone on, to hell. Your actions or inactions are not going to affect
their eternal destiny. While they were here and while they were alive, we
might have had an opportunity to reach them. When they pass from this
life, you're not going to save or condemn anybody by your actions or
Here's the principle. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall
give an account of himself to God.” I'm going to give an account for me for
what I know and for what I do. That's what I'm going to give an account of
it. If I learned what the Bible teaches about baptism, if I learned the truth on
this subject, if mom or grandma or daddy or my sister or brother didn't know
that and they've gone on, friend there's nothing you can do or there's no
action or inaction that could save or affect them, condemn them in any way.
What you do now is important though. You can have an effect on your
I promise you this. If someone, let's just say it's the case that
someone you know or someone I know didn't learn what the Scripture
teaches on the subject of baptism. Let's say that we learn that, and we
want to obey God. We want to do the right thing. Friend I promise you this.
The one thing: your family wants you to do is to obey God. How do I know
Listen to Luke chapter 16, and I want you to listen to what the rich
man says here. He says in Luke chapter 16:28. He's already on the other
side now, but listen to what his motive and heart is. He says, “Father
Abraham,” he said, “I beg you to,” verse 27. Then he said, “I beg you
therefore father that you would send him to my father's house. Send
Lazarus to my father's house. I have five brothers that he may testify to
them lest they also come to this place of torment.”
What did the rich man, who was already in hell, want? He wanted just
one person to go back and tell his family: do what's right and don't come
I'll assure if someone in your family didn't obey God's teaching,
there's nothing you can do to condemn them or save them.
I'll promise you this though, based on Luke 16 verse 27 and 28 one
thing they want you to do is learn the truth and obey God. More than
anything they want you to go to heaven.
So friend we thought about a multitude of objections today. Those
objections don't stand up to the test of Scripture.
Maybe someone taught you baptism wasn't essential to salvation.
Friend we're begging you today. We love you. God loves you. We're
begging you in view of what the Scriptures teach on this subject, obey the
gospel. Become a Christian. Hear the word of God. Believe that Jesus is
God's Son. Repent of those things in your life that are not right. Confess
the beautiful name of Jesus before men. And as the Bible says, “Be
baptized for the remission of your sins to be saved.”
Our hope and prayer today is that you'll do just that, because that's
what God wants us to do.
Study Questions for: “Baptism: Lesson 6”
1. What did they tell them to do in Acts 2:38?
2. By repenting and being baptized according to Acts 2:38, what will you
3. According to Acts 2:38, what did they need to be baptized for?
4. Why was Jesus’ blood shed according to Matthew 26:28?
5. According to Romans 6:1, what are we baptized into?
6. How are we buried with Him according to Romans 6:1?
7. According to 2 Timothy 2:10, where is salvation found?
8. Where are all spiritual blessings found according to Ephesians 1:3?
9. According to Hebrews 2:14 how did Jesus overcome death?
10. Psalms 119:160, “The _____________ of God’s word is truth.”