Question:

Good day sir.

Well done on your web site. I just finished reading the "Baptism: Necessary for Salvation" posting. and quickly browsed your other links.

I was encouraged by your web site and the fact that you used scripture to back up what you were stating when it came to salvation. I also appreciated when you touched upon other beliefs proving they are not correct because the Bible doesn't say so. It's just a shame that rarely people turn to the Book, especially when it comes down to salvation. It reminds me of the scripture in II Timothy 4:3.

Before going onto your web site, I was trying to reach out to some "believers." I believe they were from "the once saved, always saved" denomination. Their pastor, being a lot older than me and a gentleman with a title and degree, tried telling me it's by faith and faith only. So I questioned his thoughts on the whole book of James -- Faith + Works. So then he flipped to Galatians 3:24 and read up to Galatians 3:26, saying "see believing" is what they all said. I encouraged them to read the next verse. After doing so they tried to defend their belief. It turned out to be a huge headache.

I do have a question though. Let's say someone was to get baptized. However, prior to baptism in their own state or mind they believe they were already saved and baptism is just for "and outward sign for an inward grace." Now obviously there is no scripture to back that up. Would that person still be accepted by God? Or would they need to get baptized again but this time for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit. My apologies. I don't mean to put you in God's position with this question, but I was just wondering if you could use scripture to back up your answer.


Answer:

When teaching a person, it is important to cover what is the purpose of baptism. In that discussion, the fact that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and that it washes away sins (Acts 22:16) will come up. Is it possible for someone to hide the fact that they disagree from those teaching him? The answer is clearly yes, but since people cannot know the hearts of others (I Corinthians 2:11), that is a matter which God must judge.

If a person later in life comes to realize that he was baptized for the wrong reasons, then he ought to be baptized for the right reasons. The example of this is Acts 19 where Paul came across men who were baptized in John's baptism but not Christ's. See What authority is there for re-baptism? for more details.