ARE WE SAVED BY FAITH AND WATER BAPTISM?
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned (Mark 16:16) . This verse has been used by some to attempt to prove that water baptism is necessary for salvation. In the first place, the fact that the statement appears only in this questionable conclusion to the book of Mark should indicate the need for caution in the use of the verse as a proof - text. And then, it should be noted that in the second half of the verse the only basis for condemnation is a refusal to believe. " But he who has disbelieved shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16b). It may , therefore, be concluded that the only basis of SALVATION is BELIEF. Such an interpretation is in full harmony with the teaching of the new testament as a whole of the subject of Rom. 3:28; Eph.2 :8-9. (Rom. 3:28) says- " For we maintain that a man is justified by FAITH apart from the works of the law". Then in (Eph. 2:8-9 ) says- For by grace you have been saved through FAITH ; And that not of yourselves, It is the gift of God ; Not as a result of works , so that no one may boasts".
The word BAPTISM in (Mark 16:16a) Is a reference to the BAPTISM of the HOLY SPIRIT (1 Cor.12:13), NOT WATER BAPTISM. If this refer to WATER BAPTISM, notice that it is UNBELIEF, NOT FAILURE TO BE BAPTIZED , THAT CONDEMNS. WATER BAPTISM DOES NOT SAVE. We are saved by FAITH ALONE.
( 1 Cor. 12:13) says- " For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greek, whether slaves or free, and
we were all made to drink of one spirit". THE SPIRIT JOINS ALL BELIEVERS TO THE BODY OF CHRIST. it is something that
all believers have experienced. THEY WERE ALL MADE TO DRINK OF ONE SPIRIT. THIS IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY
SPIRIT, NOT WATER BAPTISM.
When Peter was talking to the rest of the apostles during the Pentecost, "He said to them, REPENT, AND EACH OF YOU BE
BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS; AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT" (Acts.3:28) . REPENT means to change one's mind. You are going to one direction, then turn around
and go to another or opposite direction. Here, such REPENTANCE brings salvation. Turning to Jesus of Nazareth and
acknowledge Him as Lord(=God) and Christ (=Messiah). WATER BAPTISM is the outward sign or symbol of REPENTANCE
AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS. FORGIVENESS IS THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST, NOT THROUGH THE ACT OF WATER
BAPTISM. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A GIFT TO ALL WHO BELIEVE, NOT A REWARD TO SOME.
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado