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«Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Even though baptism is one of the fundamental building blocks of ...»

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Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Even though baptism is one of the fundamental building blocks of

Christianity, many are confused about it. Is it necessary, or is it just

an outward sign for an inward change? This book will answer this

question and many more as it deals with all the major arguments

and misunderstandings that people have about baptism.

Is baptism essential to salvation? The Bible is very clear with an

answer to that question and Collins has researched it well. This book should be especially useful in personal evangelism. I am also finding it helpful in my pulpit preaching as well as material being presented in the television program, In Search Of The Lord’s Way. I am sure God can use it to lead the lost to salvation.

2 Mack Lyon Those who love the Word will gain much from reading this book.

You have entered more specifics than any other writer that I have read from.

2 Jo Daniel This book is an excellent resource guide on the subject of baptism. The author’s impeccable logic, scriptural insight, and persuasive writing style are sure to reach lost souls with the truth about baptism. With such mass confusion over the subject of baptism, this book is sure to point the reader toward God’s original design for baptism.

2 Ben Bailey Collins About the Author Cougan Collins is the minister at the Lone Grove Church of Christ. He is married to Erica Collins and has two daughters Cougan Collins Cougan Collins Cover design by Jim Nash Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?

By Cougan Collins © 2009 by Cougan Collins All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

ISBN: 978-0-578-00514-0 Cougan Collins P.O. Box 65 Lone Grove, OK 73443 http://www.lgchurchofchrist.com


Introduction ……………………………………..…….. 1 Chapter 1 JOHN 3:3-5: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN ……....… 5 Chapter 2 MATTHEW 28:18-20: THE GREAT COMMISSION.... 13 Chapter 3 MARK 16:15-16: THE GREAT COMMISSION ……… 25 Chapter 4 ACTS 2:38: THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH … 39 Chapter 5


EVANGELIST ……………………………………….... 55 Chapter 6 ACTS 9, 22, 26: THE CONVERSION OF SAUL ……... 69 Chapter 7 ACTS 10-11: THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS... 87 Chapter 8 ACTS 16, 19: CONVERSIONS BY PAUL …

Chapter 9 ROMANS 6: BURIED WITH CHRIST ………………. 119 Chapter 10 1 CORINTHIANS 15: BAPTIZED FOR THE DEAD.. 133 Chapter 11 1 PETER 3:18-22: THE ANTITYPE …………………. 141 Chapter 12 THREE COMMON ARGUMENTS

Chapter 13 A WORD STUDY ON BAPTISM ………………….… 173 Chapter 14 THOUGHTS FROM THE PAST ……………..……… 187 Works Cited ……………………………………...….... 197 I dedicate this book to my loving wife, Erica, and my two beautiful daughters. I am also thankful for my mother-in-law, Carol Snyder, Gary Summers, Melba Wallace, and others who helped proof this book.


The Word of God has a lot to say about the topic of baptism.

There are six different baptisms mentioned in the New Testament.

First is the baptism of the children of Israel into Moses (1 Cor. 10:1-2; Ex. 14:19ff), which describes how they were surrounded by a wall of water on each side and a cloud. When they came out on the other side of the Red Sea, they were saved from the Egyptians, and they began a new life with Moses as their mediator.

Second is John’s baptism, which came from God (Mt. 21:25).

Accepting his baptism justified God (Lk. 7:29), but refusing it was to reject the will of God (Lk. 7:30). John’s baptism was an immersion in water (Jn. 3:23; Mk. 1:5, 9-10), and He was preparing the way for the Lord. John’s baptism had a specific purpose and prerequisites. First, people had to believe in the Messiah that would come after him (Acts 19:4). Second, they had to confess their sins (Mt. 3:6; Mk. 1:5). Third, it was a baptism of repentance (Acts 13:24; 19:4). Fourth, it was a baptism for the forgiveness of sin (Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3). John’s baptism was also carried out by Jesus’ disciples (Jn. 3:22, 26;

4:1-2). However, the authority for his baptism ended when The Great Commission was commanded (Mt. 28:18-19; Acts 19:4-5).

Third is the baptism of suffering (Mt. 20:22-23; Mk. 10:38which refers to the overwhelming suffering that Jesus experienced as He was scourged (Mt. 27:26) and crucified (Mt. 27:35). In other words, He was immersed in pain.

Fourth is the baptism of fire (Mt. 3:11; Lk. 3:16). Some think the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire are the same thing, but they are not. John was talking to sincere and insincere people.

When he said Jesus would baptize them with fire, he was talking about the eternal punishment that all the wicked will be immersed in. This is the reason John said: “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Mt. 3:12).

Those who claim the apostles were baptized with fire on the day of Pentecost have misunderstood Acts 2:4 because it describes divided tongues that looked like fire and sat upon each apostle. So, this does not describe being baptized by fire at all.

Fifth is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was spoken of by John the Baptist (Mt. 3:11; Lk. 3:16). As we examine more Scriptures, we will discover that Holy Spirit baptism was a promise to the apostles, and Jesus would administer it (Lk.

24:49; Jn. 16:5-15; Acts 1:8). Jesus clarified that John’s teaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit applied to the apostles when He said to His apostles: “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5). This promise was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4, which proved that Jesus was sitting at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33). The only other recorded instance of Holy Spirit baptism happened at Cornelius’s household (Acts 11:15). Since Jesus was the only one who could administer this baptism, which was a promise and not a command, it cannot be the baptism that Jesus commanded in The Great Commission.

Sixth is the baptism of The Great Commission (Mt. 28:19;

Mk. 16:16), which is administered by humans. Paul said there was one baptism when he wrote to the Ephesians (Eph. 4:5).

That one baptism is the baptism of The Great Commission.

It was taught at the birth of the church as being for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38). It is an immersion in water (Acts 8:38; 10:47), and it saves a person (1 Pet. 3:21). Before a person is baptized, he must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 3:16), repent (Lk. 13:3), and confess Jesus as Lord (Rom.

10:9-10). Even though this baptism is administered by others, what takes place at a person’s baptism is a work of God (Col.

2:12). When a person is baptized, he is buried with Jesus, united with Him, raised alive with Him, and his sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 6:1-11; Col. 2:12-13; Acts 12:38; 22:16; Rev. 1:5). At the point of baptism, we are added to the church by God (1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 2:47).

Six different baptisms are mentioned in the New Testament, but our main focus will be the baptism of The Great Commission because it is the one that saves. Many in the religious world teach that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Instead, they would say that baptism is something a person does after he is saved. This book will challenge that view and prove that baptism is necessary for salvation.

While this book will focus on baptism, please understand that baptism is not more important than faith, repentance, or confessing Jesus as Lord, but it is equally important. All these things work together to bring about salvation, and one will not work without the other.

To get the most out of this book, one needs to open his Bible and read all the Scripture references in context. I do not want anyone to take me at my word just because I have written a book. Instead, my desire is that everyone will be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). It would also help if everyone will study this topic with an open mind and be willing to change if their view is wrong.

Baptism is a serious topic that deserves your attention. If baptism is the point at which a person is saved and you were taught that a person is baptized after they are saved, then you were never baptized for the remission of sin, which means you are lost. I believe this is the greatest trick the devil has pulled off because a person can live like a Christian and act like a Christian but still belong to the devil because he has never had his sins removed in the watery grave of baptism (Mt. 7:21ff). Since baptism makes the difference between being saved and being lost, everyone should read and study this topic closely.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

–  –  –

Nicodemus was curious about Jesus because He had performed many signs (Jn. 3:2). So, he came to Jesus at night to find out more about Him. Notice what Jesus told Him in the

following verses:

Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3-5).

Jesus’ answer confused Nicodemus because all he could think about was the physical. He knew that he belonged to the physical kingdom of Israel because all Jews were considered to be part of God’s chosen nation. Now Jesus is telling him that a person must be born again or he cannot enter the kingdom of God or even see it.

In verse 4, Nicodemus is trying to make sense of Jesus’ statement from a physical point of view, which is the reason he asked: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" He thought Jesus’ statement was crazy because he knew it was impossible to be physically reborn. So, Jesus restates what He said to help Nicodemus understand that He was talking about a spiritual rebirth and not a physical one. Jesus clearly states that a person cannot enter the kingdom of God, which John the Baptist said was at hand (Mk. 1:15), unless he is born again. To be born again, a person must be born of water and the spirit. Since, these two elements are necessary for salvation, it is important we take a closer look at what they are and how we are born again.

First, let’s take a look at the word water and how it relates to being born again. The word water comes from the Greek word hudor, which simply means “water.” So, water is one of the elements necessary to be born again, which refers to baptism. In fact, we can see that water is required for baptism.

For instance, when John was baptizing, he baptized with water (Mk. 1:8-10; Jn. 3:23). When the apostles and disciples were carrying out The Great Commission, they baptized with water (Acts 8:36-39; 10:47). When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he declared there was only one baptism that saves (Eph. 4:4-5), and Peter taught that one baptism is by water (1 Pet. 3:20-21). In Romans 6, Paul described baptism as a burial where we die to our sins, and we are made alive with Jesus (Col. 2:13), which is exactly what Jesus described to Nicodemus about being born again. At the point of baptism, our old man of sin is put to death as we are buried under the water.

When we are raised from the water, we are born again as a new creature of Christ without our sins.

The evidence I have provided proves that water baptism is one of the essential elements necessary to enter the kingdom of God to be saved. In fact, all the early writers, known as the church fathers, agree that John 3:5 is talking about water baptism.

In his monumental work, History of Infant Baptism, William Wall, a leading scholar in the Church of England, asserted that not a single writer of antiquity denied the identification of the “water” of John 3:5 with baptism. He suggested that John Calvin was the first to disassociate the two items, and that Calvin even conceded that his interpretation was “new” (Oxford, 1862, Vol. I, p. 443) (Jackson, christiancourier.com).

Not only does the Bible prove that Jesus is talking about water baptism, all these early non-inspired writers understood that Jesus was talking about water baptism as well.

Second, let’s examine the word spirit and how it relates to being born again. We need to keep in mind there is only one birth, and it consists of water and spirit. Therefore, there are not two births as some teach. Jesus is teaching that the Holy Spirit is involved in being born again, but the question is, how? To answer this question, we must go beyond this one passage and look at the whole counsel of God. When we do this, we will learn that the Holy Spirit instructs us through the Word of God on how to be saved, which is the role that He plays in our being born again.

The Holy Spirit’s primary purpose was to reveal the Word of God to us (Jn. 14:26; 16:13-15). He spoke through some of Jesus’ disciples, who in turn recorded these revelations to us in our Bibles (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

So there was no confusion, these disciples would prove they were speaking the Word of God by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by backing it up with a miracle (Mk. 16:20; Acts 2:43; 5:12; 6:8; 8:13; Rom. 15:19). Jesus said: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). Paul referred to the New Testament as being of the Spirit (2 Cor.

3:6). The Holy Spirit works through the Word to teach us how to enter the kingdom of God (Eph. 6:17). It is through the Word, or we could say by the Spirit, that we learn how to be saved (1 Pet. 1:23; Rom. 1:16, Jam. 1:18, 21).

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