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Many have asked whether baptism is required or essential for salvation.

The Bible shows that it is necessary. When thousands of convicted Jews asked Peter and the other apostles how to act on their conviction, Peter's response was to the point: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
). The biblical record shows that the ministers baptized converts in water.

The gift of the Holy Spirit begins a process, which eventually culminates in God changing Christians to spirit (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
American King James Version×
; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Why comfort one another with these words.
American King James Version×
). That change to spirit is the essence of salvation—being saved from eternal death. Many today fail to understand that conversion is a process, believing instead that it is only a momentary emotional experience. Without a complete understanding of the Scriptures, they don't understand why baptism should be necessary.

Of course, forgiveness is instantaneous, but conversion takes time. It takes time for God to educate us in His will. After we learn right from wrong from His point of view, it takes time to develop character (Romans 5:3-5 Romans 5:3-5 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×
; 2 Peter 1:5-11 2 Peter 1:5-11 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Why the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×
; 3:18). By analogy, one can learn a profession from books, but only experience makes one a professional in a given field. Godly character grows out of choosing right from wrong, exercising one's willpower to do what is right even in the face of internal and external pressures. Both human nature and the world around pull us away from God's way of life (Galatians 5:19-21 Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×
; 1 John 2:15-16 1 John 2:15-16 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×
).

No one has the willpower to be a Christian; we all need the help of God's Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6-9 Romans 8:6-9 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×
, 26). And the way He promised we'd receive it is through baptism. The Scriptures further reveal that God gives the Spirit through the laying on of hands and prayer by His ministry at baptism (Acts 8:14-17 Acts 8:14-17 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 6:1-2 Hebrews 6:1-2 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
American King James Version×
). This is another essential step in the process of conversion that many of today's Christians overlook or never heard about.

Our booklets The Road to Eternal Life and Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion cover in detail what the Bible says about repentance, belief, baptism, conversion and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We would be happy to send you copies of these booklets, or you can find links to them below.

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    Comments

  • egghead55425
    Wait, which bible are you using because in both the NIV and KJV my Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    American King James Version×
    doesn’t use the word “water” at all. John the Baptist said he baptized with water, but the one who came after him would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Can you tell me one instance where Jesus baptized anyone with water? How could Jesus tell the thief on the cross that he would be in paradise if the there was no way to baptize the thief with water? How do you explain all the verses that state faith alone will save you (Romans 3:22-30 Romans 3:22-30 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
    American King James Version×
    ;4:5;Galatians 2:16 Galatians 2:16Knowing 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.
    American King James Version×
    ;Philippians 3:9 Philippians 3:9And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
    American King James Version×
    ;Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    American King James Version×
    )? If water baptism were required for salvation then wouldn’t Paul would be saying in 1st Corinthians 1:13-17 that Christ did not send Paul to save and that Paul was thankful that the Corinthians were not saved? I welcome your input.
  • KARS
    Hi egghead, Please read the quote from the article down below. Your questions can be answered with time. You have asked several questions that need to be answered with different topics. To start you off in the knowledge of God this article recommends the booklets: “The Road to Eternal Life and Transforming Your Life” “Our booklets The Road to Eternal Life and Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion cover in detail what the Bible says about repentance, belief, baptism, conversion and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We would be happy to send you copies of these booklets, or you can find links to them below.”
  • Rudy Rangel
    Jesus lived a perfect life that we should follow. Including being baptized by water. Jesus probably didn’t baptize because He knows how human nature works. In the scripture you reference,1 Corinthians 1: 11-15 we see that there were divisions among the people – because of who they were baptized by (i.e. Paul, Apollos, or Cephas). I’m sure if someone was baptized by our Savior some contentions and human nature would have gotten in the way of their spiritual growth or of the spiritual growth of those around them. Paul actually does say that he baptized two individuals there; Crispus, Gaius as well as the household of Stephanas(vs. 14, 16) . In verse 17 Paul is just stating his primary mission, Preaching the Gospel. He was not negating baptism. We should walk as Christ walked and following His teaching In Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
    American King James Version×
    where He did instruct His followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The word for baptize in the greek is “to dip” or “immerse.” In Acts 8: 38-39 Phillip takes the eunuch to the river to baptize him. Faith is an element of salvation, but we are required to enter into a covenant with God and symbolically “go under the water.” The scriptures about faith you reference are valid in that we cannot earn salvation. It is only by our merciful Father’s grace will salvation come. But that does’t mean God doesn’t require something from us. Consider these passages: Romans 2: 13, 7:12, James 2:20-22 James 2:20-22 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    American King James Version×
    . Romans 6:1-14 Romans 6:1-14 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.
    American King James Version×
    talks about being buried with Him through baptism. When we are put under the water, we symbolically put to death our former self and begin a new life living in Jesus. Here is an article that will help with what Jesus was telling the thief on the cross. http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/baptism-symbol-our-partaking-death-burial-a… I hope you find this helpful. Take care.
  • Ivan Veller
    Re: “Can you tell me one instance where Jesus baptized anyone with water?” “Jesus…was baptizing. John also was baptizing…near Salim, because water was plentiful there” (John 3:22 John 3:22After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
    American King James Version×
    b-23a ESV). Following Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    American King James Version×
    , after the apostle Philip had “preached Jesus to” (Ac. 8:35b NKJV) the Ethiopian treasurer—“they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And…they both went down into the water…and he baptized him” (Ac. 8:36-38 ESV). Christ Himself urged Paul to “be baptized and wash away your sins” (Ac. 22:16b ESV; see 9:18). Likewise, after the Spirit had already fallen on Gentile converts, “Peter declared, ‘Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:46 Acts 10:46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    American King James Version×
    b-48a ESV). The symbolism is potent: “Romans 6 [“we were buried…by baptism” and “raised…in newness of life” (v. 4)] shows that it represents not only the burial of our old self, but our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as our Lord and Master. It also pictures our rising from a symbolic death to a new, converted life—by our coming out of the watery grave of baptism. And it represents our faith that, just as Jesus was resurrected from the grave, so will God resurrect us to immortality at Christ’s return”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/transforming-your-life-process-conversion/why… Re: “How could Jesus tell the thief on the cross that he would be in paradise if the there was no way to baptize the thief with water?” “Notice what Christ told Mary soon after He had been resurrected: ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father’ (John 20:17 John 20:17Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
    American King James Version×
    ). A full three days after His death, Jesus Himself clearly said that He had not yet ascended to heaven.” “[His salvation was future]: ‘Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise’”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/heaven-and-hell-what-does-bible-really-teach/… Re: “How do you explain all the verses that state faith alone will save you”? “We can’t receive the Holy Spirit and be converted unless we are willing to repent and live as law-abiding people (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    American King James Version×
    )”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/ten-commandments/ten-commandments-new-testame…
  • Lena VanAusdle
    @egghead55425 I think they use the NKJV as the “default,” and the verse quoted in Acts is definitely from NKJV. We are commanded to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    American King James Version×
    ); the only examples we have of baptism involved water, and in fact, the original word baptize means to immerse (http://www.ucg.org/booklet/fundamental-beliefs/water-baptism-and-laying-…). Jesus never baptized anyone with water, in fact, there is no record of Him baptizing ANYONE (John 4:2 John 4:2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
    American King James Version×
    ), His disciples did the baptizing. But Christ did command that we be baptized to enter the Kingdom of God,” Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    ). Jesus, Himself, was baptized (Matthew 3:13-15 Matthew 3:13-15 13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me? 15 And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
    American King James Version×
    )! Are we not to follow in His footsteps? Regarding 1 Corinthians 1, you must also read the whole context leading up to verses 13-17. This was not a debate on whether or not people were baptized in water or saved or not saved, it was regarding division in the church, and Paul says, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” He was talking about his role in the church, not whether or not anyone in the Corinthian church was saved or not. Our salvation is a gift from God (grace), however, there are requirements of us, James 2:18 James 2:18Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
    American King James Version×
    says, “But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
  • egghead55425
    The bible refers to baptism by the Holy Spirit and baptism by water. John the Baptist said that the one who came after him would baptize with the Holy Spirit. John used the word “baptize” to refer to the Holy Spirit and separately in the same sentence, John used the word “baptize” to refer to water baptism. I agree that Jesus didn’t baptize anyone with water, but he baptized many with the Holy Spirit including and up to today. As mentioned above, the bible itself refers to baptism separate from the use of water, so how can you say that the word “baptize” can only refer to water baptism? It wouldn’t make any sense for John to have said what he did if baptism only refers to water baptism. The bible warns three times (Deuteronomy 12:32 Deuteronomy 12:32What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
    American King James Version×
    , Proverbs 30:5-6 Proverbs 30:5-6 5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield to them that put their trust in him. 6 Add you not to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.
    American King James Version×
    , Revelation 22:18-19 Revelation 22:18-19 18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    American King James Version×
    ) not to change the bible. Please do not add the word “baptize” to John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    . Likewise, Jesus didn’t use the word “water” in Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
    American King James Version×
    . Paul doesn’t use the word ‘water’ in Romans 6:1-14 Romans 6:1-14 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.
    American King James Version×
    . Acts 8:36-39 Acts 8:36-39 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 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. 39 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.
    American King James Version×
    is merely stating that you may be baptized if you are a believer (which negates infant baptism). Acts 8:36-39 Acts 8:36-39 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 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. 39 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.
    American King James Version×
    does not say baptism is a requirement for salvation. James 2:18 James 2:18Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
    American King James Version×
    is just another way of saying we are required to make a sincere effort to follow God’s will once we become believers. The bible says very clearly that deeds/works do not matter (e.g. Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    American King James Version×
    ). True faith includes a firm desire to do God’s will, but doing God’s will doesn’t save us, our faith that Jesus is God and God’s grace saves us (Romans 10:9 Romans 10:9That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
    American King James Version×
    ). I agree that in 1 Corinthians 1 that Paul is stating that his primary mission was to preach, but if baptism is required for salvation then Paul would not have used the words “I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except..”. If baptism is required for salvation, Paul would have been much more careful about how he referred to water baptism. Water baptism is a way we declare to others that we are believers. It had special significance for Jesus as it was the start of His ministry, but if water baptism was essential to salvation then we should have heard about it being used to save the criminal on the cross, the penitent woman (Luke 7:37-50 Luke 7:37-50 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have somewhat to say to you. And he said, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said to him, You have rightly judged. 44 And he turned to the woman, and said to Simon, See you this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Why I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. 48 And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.
    American King James Version×
    ), the paralytic man (Matthew 9:2 Matthew 9:2And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said to the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you.
    American King James Version×
    ), the publican (Like 18:13-14), the Apostles (John 15:3 John 15:3Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you.
    American King James Version×
    ), and Cornelius and associates who were saved before they were baptized (Acts 10:44-48 Acts 10:44-48 44 While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
    American King James Version×
    ). Thanks for your words.
  • Ivan Veller
    Re: “How do you explain…Romans 3:22-30 Romans 3:22-30 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
    American King James Version×
    …?” “[G]race…[includes] how God extends His favor to repentant sinners by forgiving their former disobedience of His law—their ‘sins previously committed’ (Romans 3:25 Romans 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    American King James Version×
    , NRSV). This is necessary because ‘…sin is lawlessness’ (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    American King James Version×
    , NIV)…Jesus ‘gave Himself…[to] redeem us from every lawless deed…’ (Titus 2:14 Titus 2:14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
    American King James Version×
    )”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/high-pr… Re: “Romans…4:5” “Faith is counted for righteousness [Romans 4:5 Romans 4:5But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    American King James Version×
    ]… Faith can never be called true faith unless it’s accompanied by action, by obedience. ‘Faith without works is dead’ [James 2:20 James 2:20But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    American King James Version×
    ; 26]”: http://www.ucg.org/sermon/five-areas-spiritual-growth/ “God hates lawlessness [Hebrews 1:9 Hebrews 1:9You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
    American King James Version×
    ] and commands us to repent of it. We are blessed when God forgives our lawless deeds [Romans 4:7 Romans 4:7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    American King James Version×
    ]”: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/concepts-sin-new-testament/ Re: “Galatians 2:16 Galatians 2:16Knowing 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.
    American King James Version×
    ” “[J]ustification…is only available through Jesus Christ [Galatians 2:16 Galatians 2:16Knowing 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.
    American King James Version×
    ]…However, the law of God remains the righteous standard by which all mankind will be judged [James 2:8 James 2:8If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well:
    American King James Version×
    , 12]”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/jesus-t… Re: “Philippians 3:9 Philippians 3:9And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
    American King James Version×
    ” “Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
    American King James Version×
    …help to obey…Christ assists us in living according to God’s truth…[Colossians 1:29 Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
    American King James Version×
    ]…the righteousness [obedience] which is of God by faith…’ [Philip. 3:9-10, KJV]”: http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/do-you-know-why-christ-lives/ Re: “Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    American King James Version×
    ” “There is obviously more to receiving salvation than simply knowing Christ lived. While we cannot earn our salvation through good works because salvation is a gift from God [Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    American King James Version×
    ; Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    American King James Version×
    ], God does expect those who come to Him to keep His commandments [John 14:15 John 14:15If you love me, keep my commandments.
    American King James Version×
    ; Revelation 14:12 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
    American King James Version×
    ) and do good works [Ephesians 2:10 Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
    American King James Version×
    ]”: http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/christian-required-obey-commandments-be-saved Re: “[1 Cor.] 1:13-17” The carnality of the Corinthian church had devolved to the extent that the identity of the ministers who had baptized them had become a matter of pride—bolstering haughty feelings of superiority over others. “[1 Corinthians 3:3 1 Corinthians 3:3For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?
    American King James Version×
    ]…carnal…[1 Corinthians 1:17 1 Corinthians 1:17For 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.
    American King James Version×
    ]…He is making a point that he was not going to baptize everybody,” presumably until they had demonstrated fruits of repentance (Luke 3:7-8 Luke 3:7-8 7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
    American King James Version×
    ): http://www.ucg.org/sermon/woe-unto-us-if-we-preach-not-gospel/
  • Ivan Veller
    Re: “Please do not add the word ‘baptize’ to John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    … water baptism [is not] essential to salvation” Hello again, Christ’s statement that “‘unless someone is born of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    , LEB 2010) includes – in texts ranging from the Westcott-Hort (1881) to the Nestle-Aland 28 (2013) – the phrase ‘gennethe ex hydatos’ (John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    ; ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear NT 2006; Biblos Interlinear; NA28 (2013). The word ‘gennethe’ (S 1080; G/K 1164) means “born… begotten…engendered” (Thayer) or “conceived” (Kohlenberger & Swanson 1996, “A Concise Dictionary of the Greek”)–“gen-, begetting, in Greek” (American Heritage Dictionary 2011). Note that the word “spirit” in John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    “is anarthrous (has no article)” (NET Bible 2005 textual note) and that the word ‘gennethe’ can have dual meaning. We have been ‘conceived of’ or “‘engendered from the origin of the Spirit’” at baptism, we will be ‘born of spirit’ when “resurrected and changed into a spirit-born son of God” (UCG 2002, “Born Again” study paper). As Paul explains, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…we shall all be changed…at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:50 1 Corinthians 15:50Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
    American King James Version×
    b-52a, ESV 2011). For a more detailed description of our teaching, see: http://members.ucg.org/papers/born_again.pdf In terms of origins, “hudor [or] hydatos” (Thayer) or ‘udor’ is related to hydro-’ (as in hydrology, hydroelectric, etc.) and words such as ‘hydrant’ ‘and ‘anhydrous’ “from Greek hudor, water” (“wed-1 Water; wet,” p. 95 of American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots). (For illustration: The confounding challenges of dealing with water vapor while working with idealistically named ‘anhydrous’ compounds can be annoyingly vexing to chemists; and, Marathon runners must hydrate.) The root literally means ‘wet.’ Etymologically, however, words originally beginning with a literal meaning can acquire figurative-metaphorical meanings and applications over time (Dr. Lerer, “The History of the English Language,” Stanford University). The word “hudor [or] hudatos” (S 5204) means “water…literally or figuratively” (Thayer).
  • Ivan Veller
    Yours is thus an intriguing hypothetical: Should John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    be translated figuratively (an experimental rendering) as “Unless one is born of” [living] “water – even [‘kai’] the Spirit – he cannot enter”? After all, ‘kai’ (Strong 2532; G/K 2779) can be “cumulative” (“even, indeed”) (Thayer)—“and, but, yet, even” (Kohlenberger & Swanson 1996, “A Concise Dictionary of the Greek”). For instance: “vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even [‘kai’] us whom he has called” (Romans 9:23 Romans 9:23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared to glory,
    American King James Version×
    b-24a, ESV 2011) clearly describes only one group. Alternatively, should John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    be translated literally (per conventional rendering) as“‘[U]nless one is born of water” [immersion] “and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    b, ESV 2011)? After all, ‘kai’ can be “copulative” (“and, also…but”) (Thayer). For instance: “father and [‘kai’] mother” (Matthew 19:5 Matthew 19:5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?
    American King James Version×
    b) are clearly two separate entities. To test your hypothesis, I manually sifted through over 18,700 search results, counting out a couple thousand extraneous renderings for removal (excluding as out of scope anything other than the words ‘even’ or ‘and’). Here are my findings: The KJV translators render ‘kai’ as the cumulative word ‘even’ at Matthew 18:33 Matthew 18:33Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
    American King James Version×
    , Luk. 6:33, Romans 6:4 Romans 6:4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    American King James Version×
    , 8:34, 9:24, Ephesians 2:3 Ephesians 2:3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
    American King James Version×
    , Php. 1:15, Colossians 3:13 Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.
    American King James Version×
    , Hebrews 11:19 Hebrews 11:19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
    American King James Version×
    , and 2 Peter 2:1 2 Peter 2:1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
    American King James Version×
    —10 times. By contrast, they render ‘kai’ as the copulative word ‘and’ more than 16,650 times. Comparatively, all 40 translations consulted overwhelmingly favor the word ‘and’ at John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    .
  • Ivan Veller
    The preponderance of evidence appears to weigh 40:0 or 1165:1 in favor of the traditional rendering. To evaluate, alternate strands of investigation might cluster around the following three possible loci of inquiry: Firstly, comparison could be made of the copulative phrase “‘worship…in spirit and [‘kai’] in truth’” (John 4:23-24 John 4:23-24 23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    American King James Version×
    ) with the prepositionally conjunctive phrase “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17 John 14:17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
    American King James Version×
    , 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 4:6 1 John 4:6We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
    American King James Version×
    ). Secondly, in comparison with “‘spirit and [‘kai’] power of Elijah’” (Luke 1:17 Luke 1:17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
    American King James Version×
    ), “the Spirit and [‘kai’] of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4 1 Corinthians 2:4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    American King James Version×
    ), and “a spirit…of power” (2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    American King James Version×
    ), future study could also examine Micah 3:8 Micah 3:8But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
    American King James Version×
    (“[I] am full of power, the Spirit of the Lord, and justice and strength,” NET Bible 2005 textual note) in light of renderings either copulative (LEB 2010, NIV 2011, ESV 2011, etc.), prepositionally conjunctive (“power by the Spirit,” NKJV, HCSB 2009, ISV 2010), or cumulative (“I am filled with power—with the Spirit of the Lord,” NLT 2010). Thirdly, further study could include critical contextual analysis of the phrase “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and [‘kai’] fire” (Matthew 3:11 Matthew 3:11I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
    American King James Version×
    ; Luke 3:16 Luke 3:16John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the lace of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
    American King James Version×
    —the immediate context references not the ‘tongues of fire’ in Acts 2:3 Acts 2:3And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them.
    American King James Version×
    but the fire of final judgment in Revelation 20:15 Revelation 20:15And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
    American King James Version×
    ), which is beyond the scope of this post. For our doctrinal understanding, please consult http://www.ucg.org/booklet/road-eternal-life/water-baptism-and-laying-ha… However, for the purposes of our discussion here, let’s focus on the following: Granted, the word ‘hydatos’ can refer metaphorically to the Spirit: “‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13 John 4:13Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again:
    American King James Version×
    b-14 ESV). Also, “‘…To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life…’” (Revelation 21:6 Revelation 21:6And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.
    American King James Version×
    b ESV). Lastly, “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’’ Now this he said about the Spirit” (John 7:37-39 John 7:37-39 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
    American King James Version×
    a ESV) (E.C.).
  • Ivan Veller
    Traditionally, however, the word ‘hydatos’ typically refers quite literally to water: “a cup of water to drink” (Mark 9:41 Mark 9:41For whoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
    American King James Version×
    ); “a pitcher of water” (Luke 22:10 Luke 22:10And he said to them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in.
    American King James Version×
    ); “a river of water” (Revelation 22:1 Revelation 22:1And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
    American King James Version×
    )—“‘Fill the waterpots with water’” (John 2:7 John 2:7Jesus said to them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
    American King James Version×
    ). Likewise, “when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water” (Matthew 3:16 Matthew 3:16And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him:
    American King James Version×
    a ESV) (Englishman’s Concordance). Out of this verse’s reservoir of instruction, we can draw three conclusions: Firstly, Christ’s baptism is immersive—“he came up out of the water” (Mark 1:10 Mark 1:10And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending on him:
    American King James Version×
    a ESV). Note: While “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses” (Ezekiel 36:25 Ezekiel 36:25Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
    American King James Version×
    ESV) is out of scope, see http://bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/Ezekiel/Israel-will-return-to-thei… Secondly, the dove visibly rested on Christ after, rather than before, baptism: “And immediately ascending from the water” (Mark 1:10 Mark 1:10And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending on him:
    American King James Version×
    a, APB 1996), “he saw…the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (1:10b, NIV 2011). Peter taught, “…‘Every one of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    American King James Version×
    a, ISV 2010). Thirdly, water baptism is so important that even Christ Himself underwent it—“to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15 Matthew 3:15And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
    American King James Version×
    , ESV 2011). Our understanding of this verse is that “Jesus was modeling righteousness in action. Jesus showed His followers that righteousness involves baptism. For the rest of us who have sinned, baptism is to accompany repentance”: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/rest-spiritual-seeker/ Conclusion: In being baptized, our Creator personally left us “an example, so that [we] should follow in his footsteps” (1 Peter 2:21 1 Peter 2:21For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:
    American King James Version×
    b, LEB 2010). “Although water baptism does not of and by itself forgive our transgressions of God’s law, it remains one of the required steps in the salvation process…The second Gospel account clearly affirms, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 Mark 16:16He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.
    American King James Version×
    )”: http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/regarding-lesson-8-your-bible-study-course-… Ultimately, “‘unless someone is born of water…he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5 John 3:5Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    , LEB 2010). Water baptism is required for salvation and entrance into the kingdom of God.

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