Open Letter On Baptism:

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The Letter we Received:

     Hi, I have been looking for a Church and haven't found one I am happy with, so I looked online and found this online study of Bible lessons and they give you a teacher.  

     I made it to the second lesson and can't get past it.  It is about Baptism.  The teacher tells me that you will not be forgiven for your sins or go to heaven unless you are baptized.  She gave me some scriptures and said that is what the Bible says.  However, I told her I disagree.  I haven't read the Bible all the way through yet, but my brother has.  He told me that yes, it is a command to be baptized, but that is not what gets you into heaven.  

     My brother said that as long as you believe in Jesus Christ and believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins, that you will go to heaven.  I told my teacher that, and she said that nowhere in the Bible does it say that.  I asked her that if that was the case, how does she explain the thief on the cross next to Jesus.  She did not respond.  

     My brother told me about you and told me to write and ask you and maybe you can tell me where in the Bible it says you just have to believe.  I thought that verse in John was one.  If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.                                                                

Thanks for your time. 

-Stacie R.

Answer From The Prayer Foundation:

Dear Stacy,

You and your brother are correct; the class you are taking is teaching false teaching containing doctrinal error.  Our recommendation would be to have nothing to do with it.

Your mention of the thief on the cross being saved without baptism is a correct and excellent illustration ("And Jesus said unto him, Truly I say unto you, today you shall be with me in paradise"  -Luke 23:43).  Being baptized is therefore obviously not necessary for Salvation.

We are to be baptized in obedience to Christ's command that we do so.  

Salvation, however, is obtained by receiving Christ through Faith.  It is available because of Christ's death on the Cross for our sins; His subsequent Resurrection from the dead and Ascension into Heaven; and His offering of His shed Blood as the Atonement for our sins (our sins  are what separated us from God to begin with).

The Verses below are found on our page, Memory Verses Set 2: Salvation!:

     If Baptism was necessary for Salvation, it is very strange that Jesus and Paul consistently "forgot" to mention this when they were talking about Salvation.  Strange, too, that there are verses like Ephesians 2:8,9 which contradict the idea that we can be saved in any other way than by Faith in Christ plus Nothing!

"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

       "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise, grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace:"  -Romans 11:6

In fact, here is Paul making clear that Baptism is not part of the Gospel of Salvation that he preached unceasingly to all:

"I thank God that I baptized none of you...For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel."  -I Corinthians 1:14,17

The Good News of Salvation Through Christ:

John 3:16

"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."  -John 3:16

Sin Separates Us From God 

Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  -Romans 6:23

Salvation is a Free Gift, You Cannot Earn It 

Ephesians 2:8,9

"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

Salvation is Only Through Christ 

John 14:6 

"Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes unto the Father, but by me."  -John 14:6 

 

     There are many, many more verses that teach Salvation by Faith alone, with no mention of Baptism: On our web site you can find more such verses also our pages: Plan of Salvation, Statement of Faith; in our Memory Verses continuing Series, and also in our Growing in Christ Series, which is our Bible training series for our own Knights of Prayer Monastic Order monks, but is useful and freely available on our web site to any Christian.

     We also recommend on our site, two excellent Bible Teaching Ministries which have both their own Web Sites and their own Radio Programs: J. Vernon McGee (Thru the Bible) and The Bible Answer Man (Hank Hanegraaf).

 
Yours in Christ,
 
Monk Preston
 
President, The Prayer Foundation
Knights of Prayer Monastic Order

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Copyright 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved. 

Except: Photo of Skellig Michael Copyright Irish Tourist Board.   

  FEATURES Plan of Salvation