Doesn't John 3:16 prove that you can be saved without baptism?


Hi. I was reading your article on "Can a man be saved without baptism?" and was wondering (as a young bible student) what about John 3:16?

"... Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall not perish but have everlasting life."

This does not indicate that baptism is a requirement of salvation, but simply that we call upon the name of the Lord? Just a thought.


There is a fundamental flaw in your reasoning. You are assuming that only one thing brings about salvation. Therefore, if faith is connected with salvation, then you assume that baptism cannot be so connected.

But to make such a statement would be much like my saying the only thing you need to take your car from here to Alaska is gas in your tank. All would argue that gas is essential to getting a car to move, but who would argue that it is the only thing necessary to move a car?

Then there is a secondary flaw in your argument: you misquoted the Scriptures. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." But in your quote you altered the word "believe" to "call" and changed "should" to "shall."

In the answer, "If man must be baptized to be saved, why do so many passages only mention faith?" I list numerous ideas connected with salvation. The fact is that it takes all of them, working together, to produce salvation and not one in isolation. In addition, it can be shown that people can believe and not be saved. See "Can a person be a believer and not be saved?" for some examples. We could do the same with "calling on the name of the Lord" as well. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?' Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity'" (Matthew 7:21-23). Therefore, neither belief or calling on the name of the Lord are exclusive requirements for salvation.

"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

"This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you--not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21).

"Or don't you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).