#1. Which of the following men made the statement that “baptism now saves you”?
It was the apostle Peter who said that “baptism now saves you” in 1 Peter 3:21.
Here is the complete verse:
“And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (NASB).
“Appeal” has been defined as “a call for aid, support, mercy, etc.; an earnest request or entreaty; to appeal is to ask earnestly for help or support….” (Webster), which helps us to understand how that through the act of baptism, people are “calling” on the name of the Lord. We also see this in the instruction of Ananias to Saul: “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16, NASB).
Consider also Acts 2:21, 36-38. In this first verse, Peter quotes Joel’s prophecy that “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”; but, according to the account, the way this was done was not by praying a “sinner’s prayer.” Rather, it was accomplished by their faith in Jesus (v. 36), along with their repentance and water baptism (v. 38). They sought God’s mercy and forgiveness by meeting His conditions, which would also include their confession of faith in Christ (cf. Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-37).
The King James Version states in 1 Peter 3:21 that “…baptism doth also now save us…” and does so as “the answer of a good conscience toward God….”
It’s interesting to note that the Greek word rendered as “answer” in this verse is defined as “a question, an asking; enquiry after, seeking by enquiry” (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament by E. W. Bullinger).
So, clearly, baptism is not for those “already saved”; but rather for penitent believers who want to appeal to God for salvation. Baptism is part of the condition one must meet to benefit from the death of Christ.
#2. Who in the book of Mark declares that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”?
Yes, it was the Lord Himself who states in Mark 16:16 that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…”
Surely, if this were the only verse in all the Bible that placed baptism in connection with salvation, that would suffice — but it is not! There are various other passages that also remain consistent to this truth: People must be baptized in order to…
* be saved (1 Peter 3:21)
* receive the “remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)
* “wash away” sins (Acts 22:16)
* “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4)
…just to name a few.
Throughout the New Testament, water baptism is seen as part of the plan to have sins forgiven and become a Christian, which is all in harmony with what Jesus declares in Mark 16:16 that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved….”
#3. According to Acts 2:38, what is needful in addition to repentance in order to be forgiven?
Answer: Being baptized
Contrary to the thinking of many people today, Acts 2:38 shows that one must do more than merely repent to be forgiven — one must also be baptized!
I heard a story once about a Christian who was trying to teach a woman the need for water baptism. It seemed that he was getting nowhere, so he asked the woman to merely read Acts 2:38. After doing so, the woman looked up to the silent man and said, “But that’s your opinion.”
While studying with a Christian on the need to be baptized to be saved, another disagreer once said, “You can’t get baptism out of Acts 2:38.” The Christian politely responded, “That’s right, ma’am. It is there to stay.”
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…'” (NASB).
Or as the New International Version (1973) renders it: “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ SO THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN….” (emphasis mine). Could it be any clearer than that?
#4. According to Romans 6:3-4, baptism is for which one of the following reasons?
Answer: “To be able to walk in newness of life”
Baptism is “…in order that…we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
What is this “newness of life”? It is referring to the new life one receives when becoming a Christian. Jesus declares that “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). The new life begins when one is “born again” (Jn. 3:3-5). The person is then a “new creature” in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). It is a new life in which the sinner has become a saint, the child of the devil has become a child of God, the lost soul has become a saved soul and has been brought into a new domain: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). The Christian, therefore, has been brought into a spiritual realm; and though living on earth, yet the child of God has been raised up with Christ and “seated…with Him in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6) and with a “citizenship…in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
Again, it is evident that baptism must be performed before one can receive this new life.
#5. In Galatians 3:26-27, what two conditions are necessary for being put into Christ?
Answer: Faith and baptism
Just as Jesus states in Mark 16:16 that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” Paul is also showing the same need for faith and baptism in Galatians 3:26-27.
It’s interesting to note all the wonderful things the Bible has to say about being “in Christ.” For example, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1); “redemption” is “in Christ” (Rom. 3:24); one is “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11); “eternal life” is “in Christ” (Rom. 6:23); “every spiritual blessing” is “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and there are many other verses as well, along this line.
And it is here in Galatians 3:26-27 that we see of the need for not only faith, but also for baptism in order to be put into Christ.
#6. In John 3:3-5, what two things must one be born of in order to be born again and enter the kingdom of God?
Answer: Water and the Spirit
It was Jesus who told Nicodemus of the need for man to be “born again” — to be “born of water and the Spirit” in order to enter the kingdom of God in John 3:3-5.
The only way water is used in the New Testament toward obtaining salvation is in water baptism for the remission of sins, and the Holy Spirit (through the written word) teaches that.
I heard Johnie Edwards once ask during his sermon, “How much water is in baptism?” After pausing several seconds, he then answered his own question by saying, “Not one drop!” That was quite an attention grabber! He then went on to explain that the Greek word “baptizo” (from which “baptize” is transliterated) simply means “to dip or immerse”; but there is no indication in the word itself as to what the element is to be into which the immersing is to be performed. It is only from other verses in the Bible that we learn that baptism is to be in water, so that our sins will be forgiven (cf, Acts 8:36-38; Acts 10:47,48).
#7. Paul’s sins were forgiven when he met the Lord on the road to Damascus and prior to being baptized. True or False? (For help on this, see Acts 22:16, which occurs after Paul’s encounter with the Lord.)
In order for Paul to be forgiven, he had to also be baptized in water, as Acts 22:16 shows. Therefore, Paul wasn’t saved by merely “faith only,” after having met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Nor was he saved by his faith and repentance only, which is manifest in the way he conducted himself after his encounter with the Lord: For three days, Paul fasted and prayed while he waited in Damascus in obedience to the Lord’s command. For there, Paul would be told what he needed to do.
Then, when Ananias arrived, the only thing he revealed to Paul that he had not already heard from the Lord was the need to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins…” (Acts 22:16).
During his three days of fasting and praying, Paul must have asked God numerous times to forgive him for the wrongs he had ignorantly committed in persecuting and putting to death Christians — but he wasn’t forgiven by prayer. Forgiveness for Paul required that last step, which was baptism, for the blotting out of his sins. For if his sins had been forgiven by prayer or by faith alone, then there would have been no need for Ananias to command Paul to be baptized to “wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16).
#8. Paul refers to baptism as being what in Colossians 2:12?
Answer: a burial
Paul speaks of baptism as being a burial in Colossians 2:12, just as he also does in Romans 6:3-4. Therefore, we do not even need to know the meaning of the original Greek word to understand that baptism is to be an “immersion” (a complete burial) — and not a mere sprinkling or a pouring.
However, the Greek word “baptizo,” which has been transliterated to “baptize,” does mean “to dip, to plunge, to immerse.”
If sprinkling were intended — instead of immersion — then the Greek word “rhantizo” could have been used. Or the Greek word “ekcheo,” if “pour” were meant. But neither of these terms is used. For they do not depict a “burial,” as the Greek word “baptizo” does.
Colossian 2:12 says, “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
In this passage, we see that we come into contact with the death of Christ through baptism (we have been “buried with Him”); and just as Jesus was resurrected, we are also “raised up with Him through faith in the working of God.” The believer has faith “in the working of God.” In other words, after we have submitted to His plan of salvation, which includes baptism for the remission of sins, we can then rest assured that God has forgiven us of our sins and has raised us up with Christ.
#9. The “WHEREIN also ye are risen with him” (KJV) or, as the New American Standard Bible renders it, “IN WHICH you were also raised up with Him” (Col. 2:12), is referring to which one of the following?
Though many people believe that it is merely some type of “spiritual baptism” — apart from the water — which saves, Paul shows that the baptism involved is one in which a person can be buried in and raised up from — water baptism. And that one is raised up from this baptism in order to be with Christ.
As Paul also shows in Romans 6:3-4, one is raised up from water baptism to “walk in newness of life.”
#10. How many baptisms does Ephesians 4:5 mention?
Ephesians 4:5 shows that there is only “one” baptism. But some might ask, “Which baptism is this? Is it Holy Spirit baptism? “How can we know it is pertaining to water baptism?”
These are good questions. The apostles, of course, had been baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). All others, to receive the Holy Spirit, required the laying on of the hands of an apostle (cf. Acts 8:14-19). The only exception to that was the unique case at the house of Cornelius, where the Holy Spirit fell upon him and the Gentiles with him before they were even saved. For Peter had just begun to speak (Acts 11:13-15). So that outpouring served as a sign to Peter and the six Jews with him that “…God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). This took place around A.D. 43.
The writing of the Ephesian letter, in which mention is made of just “one baptism,” was written about A.D. 61.
So what is the “one baptism” that occurred after A.D. 61? In 1 Peter 3:21, which was written about A.D. 63, Peter states, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience….” Without question, the baptism that saves, which Peter is speaking of, is water baptism. This, therefore, is the one baptism that is to continue as long as time lasts.
Incidentally, no one was ever commanded to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Rather, it was a promise given to the apostles (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4).
Water baptism, however, is commanded; and it is part of the plan of salvation for any penitent believer who wants to have sins washed away and become a Christian (cf, Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3,4).
#11. About what hour of the night was the Philippian jailer baptized? (See Acts 16:25-34.)
Answer: About 12 a.m.
Acts 16:25-34 shows that it was around midnight when the Philippian jailer obeyed the command to be baptized.
Have you ever wondered why he did not wait until morning or for some more convenient time to have that done? Was not his immediate response to be baptized — and at such an inconvenient hour — simply because he understood that in order to be saved, baptism was part of that plan? (and, therefore, a must!)
I imagine many were baptized in the colder months, too. But what we read of this Philippian jailer was also true with others in the New Testament who wanted to get right with God. For they also did not postpone their baptism — not even to take the time to eat or sleep first! They must have all understood the purpose and need for baptism. For as Jesus teaches, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” (Mk. 16:16), thus coupling faith and baptism. The promptness toward baptism, which we see in the Bible examples, indicates that baptism is also a necessary step toward being forgiven and becoming a Christian.
#12. Both the Ethiopian eunuch and the Philippian jailer rejoiced in Christ before they were baptized. True or false? (For help with this, consider Acts 16:25-34 along with Acts 8:38-39.)
Neither the Philippian jailer nor the eunuch rejoiced in Christ until after being baptized. Why? Because baptism was part of what is necessary to be put into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27); and, in coming up out of that watery grave of baptism, one is then able to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4), being a “new creature” in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17), which is all something to rejoice about.
So they rejoiced after their baptism because through that their sins had been forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and they were, thus, saved from them (Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet 3:21) and were now enjoying the blessings of their new life in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
#13. One must be baptized for the right purpose. True or False? (See Acts 19:3-7.)
From what we learn in Acts 19:3-7, one must be baptized for the right reason. In this passage, there were some men who did not know about the baptism Jesus commanded. They knew only of John’s. They, therefore, had to all be baptized in water by the apostle Paul, after he taught them of it.
Though there are similarities between John’s baptism and the one the Lord commanded, there are also differences. For example, the baptism of Romans 6:3-4 is to be a burial into Christ’s death. John’s baptism, therefore, could not have been for this purpose, since Jesus was still living at that time. This is also why the thief on the cross who was saved, did not have to be baptized with the baptism Jesus had referred to in John 3:3-5.
The baptism that Jesus commanded so that the sinner can become a saint, a Christian, was not to go into effect until after the Lord had died at Calvary and, thus, put to an end the Old Covenant and established the New Covenant, the gospel, which includes the additional need to be baptized in order to be redeemed.
As we think about the seriousness of doing things for the right purpose, consider 1 Corinthians 11:18-34. Paul shows that the one who would not take of the Lord’s Supper in a proper manner would be “guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord” (v. 27). “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment [damnation, KJV] to himself if he does not judge the body rightly” (v. 29).
We have learned that baptism is a “burial or an immersion in water”; but just because a person is dunked completely under water, does not necessarily mean that that person has received Bible baptism. For what about young boys swimming in a pond and dunking one another?
Obviously, baptism must be received for the right purpose: and that is so that one may be baptized into Christ and have sins washed away by the blood of Jesus, and rise up to walk in newness of life.
#14. Do we read of “infant baptisms” in the New Testament?
There is no passage in the New Testament that speaks of infants being baptized.
Actually, there is no need for their being baptized, since they are in a “safe” or “innocent” state. (For baptism is for the salvation of the lost.)
It is Jesus who shows infants to be in a “safe state” in Matthew 18:1-4, and refers to the kingdom of heaven as belonging to them in Matthew 19:14. We, therefore, must also become like little children to enter God’s kingdom (Matt. 18:3); which does not mean that we act immaturely, but that we become “innocent” (through the blood of Christ) and also have a childlike faith or dependence upon God in heaven. For being childlike with the right qualities is one thing — but being childish is another.
Not only infants, but also anyone who would pass away before reaching an age of accountability, will be safe with God and spend an eternity in heaven.
#15. As we examine these Scriptures, baptism is shown as being something one must do for which of the following reasons:
Answer: To have sins washed away and become a Christian
After considering what the Bible has to say about water baptism, how could anyone reach any other conclusion than that it is necessary in order to have our sins forgiven and to become a child of God?
To sum it up, the Bible shows that baptism…
- is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)
- is to “wash away…sins” (Acts 22:16)
- is so one can be “saved” (Mark 16:16)
- is so one can enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5)
- is so one can be put “into Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27)
- is so one can be “buried” with Christ and “raised” up to walk in “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4; Col 2:12)
- is so one can become a child of God (Gal. 3:26-37)
- is so one can be saved and have “a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21)