DO NOT use Acts 2:38 to justify Water Baptism for Salvation
DO NOT use Acts 2:38 to justify Water Baptism for Salvation
“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 KJV).
Many pastors use Acts 2:38 to deceive the masses and declare their false message of “water baptism” for salvation. Again, we can never be too explicit about a false message. We can never be too clear to identify false messengers, deceivers of the word, wolves in sheep’s clothing. “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 1:7-11 KJV).
There is a spiritual battle, and the enemy does not want the Gospel of Salvation to be shared with the lost. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:3-6 KJV). “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Corinthians 11:14-15 KJV). Satan and Satan’s workers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, false pastors are easy to identify because they always turn the free gift of eternal life into a “work” or “reward.” The false prophets always say a person can lose salvation.
Let us be real clear, water baptism has never saved anyone, and it will never save anyone. Anyone trusting in their “water baptism” for salvation, to go to Heaven, will NEVER get to Heaven. Water Baptism is NOT a sufficient payment for sin.
I always ask individuals when they are trusting in a ritual, sacrament, tradition, or works of men for salvation and, in this case, water baptism. I ask them the following: if water baptism gives the righteousness required to get to Heaven; if water baptism reconciles the sinner back into favor with the Father; if water baptism justifies a sinner from a Hell they deserve to a Heaven they do not; if water baptism redeemed the unredeemed; if water baptism can save the lost; if water baptism can make the unjust just? WHY did Jesus Christ reveal Himself in the flesh and die on the Cross for all sins of mankind?
The Bible is very clear that Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Anointed One, came to die for the sins of mankind. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 KJV). “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13-15 KJV). In Colossians, it says Jesus Christ forgives “ALL TRESPASSES.” Again, if water baptism saves the lost from a Hell they deserve to a Heaven they do not deserve; why did Jesus Christ die on the Cross for the sins of mankind, why was He buried, why was He resurrected for our justification?
My Bible says the Gospel that saves is the following “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” (I Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV).
My Bible says the ones who go to Hell are the ones who obey not (trust not, believe not) the Gospel of Christ. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thessalonians 1:8-9 KJV).
My Bible says the ones that are condemned are the ones who “believe not.” It does not say “water baptized not.” “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” (John 3:16-18 KJV).
My Bible says without the shedding of BLOOD, there is no forgiveness of sins. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22 KJV). “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV). “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13 KJV). “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14 KJV). My Bible says the most precious thing is the Blood of Jesus Christ because it is the Blood of Jesus Christ that redeems -the Blood of Christ paid the satisfied sacrifice for sin. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18-19 KJV).
My Bible says the payment for sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 KJV). Jesus Christ died for ALL sin; He was buried to show that He died for sin; He resurrected from the grave to show all mankind that the Lamb of God was a satisfied sacrifice for ALL sin. Anyone who places their faith alone, in Christ alone, receives eternal life -a life that can never be lost. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47 KJV).
If righteousness comes by law (water baptism), then Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21 KJV). However, righteousness does not come by water baptism or the law. Christ did not die in vain. He was delivered for our offenses and resurrected for our justification (Romans 4:25 KJV).
Pastors that use Acts 2:38 for water baptism for salvation are gravely mistaken. In the context of Acts chapter two, Peter is speaking to a group of Israelites (Acts 2:14 KJV) because these Israelites were mocking Peter and other believers (Acts 2:13 KJV). Peter goes on to share with these individual’s scripture. He shares scripture from Joel 2:28-32, and we know that through the Holy Spirit, Pentecost is related to parts of Joel 2:28-32, other parts of Joel 2:28-32 fulfilled at the day of the Lord. Also, Peter goes on to share more scripture documented in Psalms 16:8-11 KJV. The scripture is related to David sharing the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:31 KJV). Peter then quotes Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34, which says: “...The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand.” Then Peter said: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36 KJV). When the Israelites heard this, they were pricked in their hearts. They were convicted by the Word of God. After the conviction, they ask the question, “what shall we do?” “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37 KJV)?
Now, after the questions, “what shall we do,” Peter tells them to repent. Now repentance is not feeling sorry for your sin. Repentance is not doing some penance for sin. We just read that these Israelites did not think Jesus the Christ was the Son of God. They crucified the Savior and fulfilled the scriptures in ignorance (Acts 3:17 KJV). Peter is telling them to REPENT, which is to “change your mind” about Jesus Christ. Before, they did not think He was the Savior; they did not believe Jesus was the Son of God; they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. Repent, change your mind about Jesus, believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, burial, and resurrection, and be baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 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” (I Corinthians 12:12-13 KJV). Peter is saying, this is what you should do, “change your mind” about Jesus the Christ, He is the Son of God, He is the Messiah that paid for all sin: trust in Him alone for salvation and be born again (John 3:3,7 KJV); trust in Him alone and be baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:12-13 KJV); trust in Him alone and be sealed by the Holy Spirit guaranteeing inheritance into Heaven (Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV); trust in Him alone and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV).
When should a believer in Christ alone get water baptized? The Bible clearly outlines the process when a person SHOULD get water baptized. Water baptism happens after a person has believed in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Water baptism is a testimony to the world of “what you believe.” Water baptism is an “outward expression” of an “inward belief.” In Acts chapter eight, Philip shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an Ethiopian eunuch. The eunuch believes in Jesus Christ for salvation, and AFTER he believes, the eunuch gets water baptized. “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 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. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:34-39 KJV).
Also, nowhere does it talk about “water” in Acts 2. Whenever water baptism is discussed in the Bible, it always has water associated with water baptism (Acts 8:34-39 KJV), just like we read above in the previous paragraph.
After hearing the facts about salvation. Are you going to trust “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” or are you going to trust in the words of the Shepherd of Salvation -Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ loves you so much; He died to meet you. Jesus Christ voluntarily went to the Cross of Calvary and died for all your sins (past, present, and future); He was buried; He resurrected the third day showing you His sacrifice for sin is sufficient –IT IS FINISHED. If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Savior, what is stopping you right now from accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior? Believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, burial, and resurrection. Trust in Christ alone as your Savior today and know you have stepped from death unto eternal life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24 KJV).
THE PLAN OF SALVATION - THE GOSPEL
The Gospel is Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins (past, present, and future), He was buried, and He resurrected the third day to show us the payment for sin is paid in full.
I Corinthians 15:1-4: 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.
God loves you. Lord Savior Jesus Christ was revealed in the flesh for one reason: to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ does not come to condemn individuals. Jesus Christ comes to save us because we are all Hell doomed sinners without the Blood of Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-18: 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.
All individuals are sinners. The payment for sin is death.
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ died for your sin and resurrected for you.
II Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I Corinthians 15:3-4: 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.
If you believe in Christ alone, you receive eternal life.
John 6:47: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
I John 5:13: 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.
If you could be “saved” by being water baptized, doing good works, be a good person, or following the Ten Commandments? Why did (the God from Eternity Past, the God from Eternity Future) the Ever Presence Jesus Christ reveal Himself in the flesh and die on the Cross and resurrect the third day? No church can reconcile. No sacrament can save. No work or tradition of men can redeem. Only Jesus Christ can save a person from a Hell they deserve to a Heaven they do not deserve -all by grace!
Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
If you could earn salvation by doing those things, then Jesus Christ died in vain. However, Jesus Christ did not die in vain. Jesus Christ made a perfect sacrifice for sin. He is the Lamb of God, and only the Lamb of God can make a perfect sacrifice for sin. There is only one way to Heaven, and it is the belief in the Finished Redemptive Work of Jesus Christ.
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.
Philippians 3:9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Titus 3:5: 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 resurrection is proof God the Father accepted Jesus Christ’s death payment for sin -death payment of past, present, and future sin: ALL SIN!
People DO NOT go to Hell because they are “bad.” People go to Hell because they believe NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People trust NOT in Jesus Christ as their Savior. People believe NOT Jesus Christ died on the Cross for their sins, burial, and resurrection. People do NOT trust alone in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
II Thessalonians 1:8-9: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
Know that God is gracious to you. He has already died for all your sins (past, present, and future), He was buried for you showing all the world He died for your sins, and He was resurrected for you, showing all the world that Jesus Christ fulfilled what the Father asked Him to do: IT IS FINISHED! Your sins are paid in full. I pray you to believe in Jesus Christ right now for salvation -believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sin, burial, and resurrection. Trust alone in Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you know someone who is “not saved,” share the Gospel message with them or forward this message to them.
The Good News Voice is affiliated with The Grace Gospel Church. If you are looking for a Bible preaching, Gospel sharing, Body loving congregation, look no further. If you have questions about service time, email me. God bless, love Lance & Karla.
Pastor Lance Edminster
The Good News Voice
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Once Saved, Always Saved -“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:28-30 KJV).