Baptism, Not Necessary For Salvation Essay

1151 words - 5 pages

Within the Christian faith, among the different denominations, there are a variety of issues that are interpreted differently. The interpretations depend upon the denomination. Most issues stem from the differencing opinions based upon the meaning of specific verses in the Bible. One particular issue that causes great debate is whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. The issue indeed stems from different opinions; however, some of these opinions do not take into account the context and other details of the verses they use to support their opinion. There are many verses in the New Testament that clearly states that baptism is an event that follows salvation. Hence in the Christian ...view middle of the document...

If baptism was required for salvation then God would have added it to this verse.
Whereas many believers agree that baptism is important after a person has been saved, the Catholic Church believes that unless a person is baptized their salvation is not complete, leaving the unbaptized person in danger of going to hell. The Catholic Church believes that baptism is necessary for salvation. According to the Catholic doctrine found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states: "The Lord himself affirms that baptism is necessary for salvation [John 3:5]. . . . Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament [Mark 16:16]" (CCC 1257). The Catholic’s use these two verses and their interpretation of them to support teaching faith plus baptism for salvation. According to the interpretation of Mark 16.16 in the Broadman Bible Commentary, it was common to use the words coming to believe and being baptized in the same sentence, but it did not mean that the act of baptism would save a person from their sins (Allen 1969). Instead this verse is referring to the fact that baptism was a confession of the person’s new relationship with Jesus.
Interestingly, the Catholics believe there is an exception to the baptism doctrine, if the Christian dies a martyr, they are automatically saved and baptism is no longer required. The Catholic Church bases their reasoning on the interpretation of the early church fathers statements of faith, and various Scriptures. They also point to the death of Jesus, saying that since He died a martyr death other believers who do so would not need to be baptized to get to heaven.
While the Catholic Church does indeed have different views then other believers, it should be noted that some of the Catholic views are not Biblical accurate. For example, to say that if somebody dies a true believing Christian but for whatever reasons, was not baptized is not going to heaven is not scripturally accurate. When Jesus was on the cross, two thieves were being crucified at the same time. One of them mocked Jesus, while the other defended Him. Jesus spoke to the one who defended him and said “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (NLT). Jesus promised the thief that he would go to heaven after he died,...

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