Subtitle: Why I reject Baptismal Regeneration
Some believe that water baptism (when mixed with faith) is God’s means for forgiving your sins, bringing regeneration, and eternally saving you. So, according to this belief, those who are not water baptized will be eternally condemned.
Their reasoning (as we understand it) centers largely around the following Scripture passages:
- Mark 16:16 – “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
- Acts 2:38 – “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
- Acts 22:16 – “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’”
- 1 Pet 3:21 – “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
It is undeniable that these Scriptures teach:
- Baptism relates to salvation, and
- Baptism relates to the forgiveness/washing of sins.
But we must ask:
- In what way does baptism relate to salvation and forgiveness?
- What type of salvation does baptism give you?
Before answering these questions, consider:
- Baptism as circumcision – confirmation of the covenant, not origin
- Baptism as flood – salvation given by being inside boat, experience of salvation through water
- Baptism as Red Sea – salvation happened at Passover, experience of salvation happened in Sea
- Baptism as burial – happens to a dead person, but does not make them dead
- John’s baptism – seal of repentance, not origin of repentance
- Examples of people being believers before baptism: Acts 9 (Paul); Acts 10 (Cornelius’s household); 1 Cor. 10 (reference to Exod. 14 – baptism of cloud before baptism of sea)
- Everything said of N.T. baptism happens in heart, first