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Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update.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. pat hunt says:

    my grandchildren have not been baptized..i’m scared they can’t get to Heaven without that… pat

  2. David Gallagher says:

    While I have been blessed and even was honored to be in the choir many years ago at a crusade in OKC, I’m confused on the whole baptizing issue. Whole this is a requirement to even join most Baptist churches, I have the belief and proof that the only WAY to the Father is through the Son! Not accepting Jesus + Baptism + good works = salvation. Yes I have been baptized and was not even a second thought or concern, as many have said the thief on the cross didn’t have the time to be baptized, then the whole debates of immersion vrs sprinkle (I do believe in submersion) but have always been taught that it’s a OUTWARD sign of a INWARD commitment. Unfortunately religion will kill many people eternally, I know where I stand with my Lord savior.

  3. Stewart Schnur says:

    I think we know the congregation in Corinth was messed up in a lot of ways. Paul calls those following personalities other than Christ carnal and divisive (1 Cor. 3:2-3). Paul knows anyone can by faith immerse in water one who believes in Christ. Paul is not stuck on baptism as if this were something to boast about. Some were apparently feeling superior to others because of who was baptizing them. So much foolishness.
    And about the thief on the cross. I understand that a testament or will of a person can only be effective after the death of the testator (Heb. 9:16-17). Jesus will regarding baptism did not go into effect until it was probated on the day of Pentecost the day Christ added saved people to His church (Acts. 2).

    1. Pauk says:


  4. Mike says:

    I’m thankful that I can be saved like the thief on the cross. The resurrection is very troubling to me and the thief didn’t have to believe it(since it was 3 days from happening), so neither do I.

  5. Shane says:

    Is baptism a requirement? Scripture describes 2 forms of baptism. The Scriptures describe the reasons for the necessity of baptism; among those reasons, one should discover their personal reason for the need to be baptised.

    1. Michael Robards says:

      I love Brother Graham,he has always been an inspiration to me.

  6. Steven James Valdez says:

    I was talking to person who believes that salvation is only achieved by water baptism only. He mentioned the thief on the cross. He said that he was already saved because he was Jewish.

    1. Bryan says:

      The thief was saved with out needing to be baptized because Jesus was still High Priest and under the Old Testament since Jesus had not died yet to fulfill the scriptures thus bringing in the new testament and again thus needing to be baptized. There is more to this answer for your understanding to help you. Maybe ask your friend more detail to help you understand.

  7. Salaitia says:

    If baptism was not needed nor necessary, why did the Lord himself instructed the Apostles in (Matthew 28:18-20) “…Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?” Also, was he not telling Nicodemus to do the same? Beside, why was Jesus even got baptized if it was not to set an example for us to follow? He said to fulfill all righteousness?? what did He mean?

  8. Helen Howard says:

    Jesus told the apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Baptism is for the remission of sins and you can only be saved when your sin is remitted.

    1. Salaitia says:

      Hi Helen, Salvation comes only through our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…no doubt about it. But I think we are missing the fact that work and faith go hand in hand. Without works, faith is nothing. Abraham’s faith was confirmed because of his works? James 2:21-23 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?…” We are saved by Grace, but our works is an outward expression and evidence of our love for Him. Besides, Christ’s last commandment to His Apostles before ascending to His Father is found in Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” I couldn’t find anywhere He rescinded that.

  9. Deb VanBuskirk says:

    Thank you for this information. We are attending a church where I do believe they feel baptism is part of salvation. This article confirms what I already believed,therefore not sure what we will do about the belief of the church.

    1. Salaitia says:

      I feel for you…you are confused by all these different interpretations of the scriptures. I have one advice that I can offer. It is the same thing that I did that gave me comfort and directed me to the right path. I am not going to preach to you about any religion but I want you to know that where I got my answer, is where you can get your answer and much more. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” This is His Gospel we are talking about and this is our salvation we are seeking. He loves us and He will surely direct and give all the answers to your questions as He did to mine.
      With great love and respect.

  10. Linda Green says:

    I enjoy reading the truth