By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics: ,


Is baptism necessary for salvation?


Mr. Graham has stated: “I believe baptism is important, and I have been baptized. But I think we violate the Scriptures when we make baptism the prime requirement for salvation … Paul’s central theme was Christ and His saving power. Although he spoke of baptism, he said: ‘I thank God that I baptized none of you … lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name’ (1 Corinthians 1:14-15).”

“Baptism is a conclusive act of obedience and witness to the world that we are Christ’s. I believe in it wholeheartedly. In our crusades we don’t baptize because we feel that this should be done by the local pastors—and that if I baptized, some people would say they had been baptized by me, and that would be putting the emphasis on the wrong person. To one who has received Christ, baptism is a necessary and meaningful experience. But, I must say with Paul: ‘Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel’ (1 Corinthians 1:17).”

“You may know that we urge immediate and extensive Bible study for each convert. As the Scripture is reviewed, the place of baptism will surely be discovered. If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that. But you couldn’t support that knowing, for example, that the thief on the cross had no opportunity for baptism or church membership. Yet on his confession, paradise was secured. Jesus said to him, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43).”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Dennis says:

    Confession of ones person faith in Christ, only comes from a personal repentance of sins and acceptance of the risen Christ. Hardly the other way around. Where one just can be infant baptised and then have salvation to boot. I know about that.

  2. Kyle says:

    and then Jesus said in Matthew 28:19
    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  3. Kyle says:

    1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
    Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
    if you are not in Christ you are not saved.if you are already in Christ then why in Galatians are you baptized into Christ.if you are already forgiven of your sins by faith then why does Acts 2:38 say repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin. Why does 1Peter say baptism now saves you

  4. Kyle says:

    Romans 6: 1
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
    James 2:14
     What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 
    James 2:17
    So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

  5. Shane Roach says:

    It’s interesting to see this floating around still. Jesus died on the Cross before Jesus’ was resurrected, by necessity. The New Covenant in Jesus’ blood was not established when He was still dying on the cross.

    People are constantly trying to explain the inexplicable. Naaman dipped seven times in the Jordan and was healed of leprosy not because the waters of Jordan are magical, but because he had faith in God and in God’s servant, Elisha. So it is with us, that salvation comes by grace. It comes THROUGH faith, and faith shows itself in works.

    Your first two works ought to be a public confession and baptism by immersion in water as was demonstrated repeatedly by the Apostles.

  6. Iqbal Jan says:

    According to 1 Corinthians 1:17 preaching the Gospel means to preach free salvation provided by Jesus on Cross at the right time when we were sinners and even not baptized. When we accepted Jesus as Savior, I think then our acts cannot save us, only blood of Jesus saves us. However the baptism we can say is necessary for a non-Christian who accepts Jesus, leaving the others, etc. to show publicly that he has accepted Jesus. AND FURTHER we enter into baptism to change our inside not outside. Jesus needs pure heart and soul which can be changed by His blood not with our acts.

  7. Barb says:

    when you go to get baptized what should the person doing the baptize say? I baptize you in the name of Jesus or In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit ? Thank You

    1. Don B says:

      Every instance of someone being baptized in the Gospel, they are baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2:38, 22:16) Remember the power is in the name of Jesus.

      Col. 3:17 tells us that everything we do in word or deed, should be done in the name of Jesus.

    2. Corinne K. says:

      Jesus said to baptize n the NAME of the Father, Son,and Holy Spirit and then the Apostles understanding this name to be JESUS baptized ONLY in Jesus name. Read Acts 2:38, 19:5, 8:16, 10:48, and 22:16. You should get baptized in Jesus name. Also read Isaiah 9:6. Jesus is called the Everlasting Father. God is one. Colossians 2:9 Says “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” Referring to Christ.


  8. Josie says:

    Justin Brown this comment is for you. I too was baptized as a young child, went astray in my teen years and later repented. Fifteen years later I came to understand the purpose of baptism and did obey the gospel. Jesus washed my sins away and gave me a heart and mind to understand His word. Only since then have I really understood the purpose for baptism. It is only through faith that one can trust Jesus to wash away their sins and become a new creation.