The Crucified Life Ministries Blog

Why Water Baptism is not Required for Salvation

Guest Post by Word Ministries

Baptism is for the Christian today but it is not required for salvation. Several groups say that water baptism is required for salvation. They base this off of a few verses and a wrong interpretation of those verses. Most live on Acts 2:38.

We will look at this verse first. First, this verse does not ask the question “what must we do to be saved?”, but asks “what must we do?”

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38 (KJB)

Peter was speaking to Jews as the church as completely Jewish at this time. Then the word “for” is a preposition that has multiple meanings ( in order to obtain, because of for two). When someone is given a medal for bravery, it is not so that they can obtain bravery but because they already had it. Folks that use this verse say it is for salvation because the Holy Spirit came after water baptism.

We find in Acts chapter 8 that the Holy Spirit came with the laying on of hands PRIOR to water baptism. Also, in chapter 10 of Acts, the Holy Spirit came as they received the word PRIOR to water baptism. The argument then is void as Acts is a transitional book that gives a history of the early church. Early on it was all Jewish and later Gentiles were added.


1 Corinthians 1:17 (KJB) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.


Romans 1:16 (KJB) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Here we see that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJB) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Here we see that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Acts 16:30-31 (KJB) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Here the answer is given to “what must I do to be saved?”. Notice it says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing else.

John 3:14-18 (KJB) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Notice it is the believer that is saved and the unbeliever is lost with no mention of water baptism.

Water baptism requires a human mediator, which is against scripture. If baptism was required for salvation, the baptizer holds the power of salvation instead of God.

1 Timothy 2:5 (KJB) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

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Hebrews 9:15-16 (KJB) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Some folks use John 3:3-5 and ignore verse 6 which explains verse 5. They say the water in verse 5 is the baptismal water, it isn’t.

John 3:3-6 (KJB) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Born of water is the physical or fleshly birth into physical life and the Spirit birth is one’s spiritual birth into life. It has nothing to do with water baptism. Verse 6 clarifies verse 5.

Reading down further in chapter 3 of John and in Acts 16:30-31 it is clear how to be saved.

John 3:14-18 (KJB) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Acts 16:30-31 (KJB) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

The same folks that see water as water baptism, see water baptism everywhere baptism is mentioned. They confuse the spiritual with the physical.

Acts 22:16 (KJB) And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

This is often used to support baptismal requirement for salvation. Folks just don’t read
verse 13.

Acts 22:13 (KJB) Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

Here we see Saul is called BROTHER. When you are saved your Father is God, before salvation you are the devil’s child. You become a son of God by faith (John 1:12). Adoption happens at salvation. To be brothers you must have the same father. Also, if you read what Saul was doing to the church in Acts 8:1-3 and Ananias’ fear of
Saul in Acts 9:10-15 you will see that the folks were not ready to receive Saul and that the baptism washed away his sins in their eyes as it identified him with Christ.

Acts 8:1-3 (KJB) And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Acts 9:10-15 (KJB) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

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Acts 8:15 (KJB) Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

1 Peter 3:21 (KJB) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Folks sometimes think the baptism that saves is water, it isn’t. If they would just read the parenthetical portion of the verse it tells you this. How do you wash away the filth of the flesh? With water. It is the Spirit baptism that happens at the instant of belief that saves.

1 Corinthians 12:13 (KJB) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

This also matches Titus 3:5

Titus 3:5 (KJB) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

The washing of regeneration is not water but Spirit.

Galatians 3:27 (KJB) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Again this is not water baptism but Spirit baptism (1st Corithnians 12:13).

The question “what must I do to be saved” is clearly answered in scripture.

Acts 16:30-31 (KJB) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

1 John 5:11-13 (KJB) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Baptism is for AFTER salvation.

Acts 8:36-37 (KJB) 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? 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.

Baptism is a picture of the Gospel by which we are saved. It is an outward sign of an inward cleansing.

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