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).”

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  1. Lucas Short says:

    “Baptism is a conclusive act of obedience and witness to the world that we are Christ’s.” Can you help me better understand this? I can’t find scripture confirming this.

  2. Reuben Tovutovu says:

    Hope to receive from you.

  3. Sheeba & Mason Cole says:

    We love to read articles about Christ and living as a believer in Christ.

  4. Ray McCulloh says:

    “Baptism is a conclusive act of obedience and witness to the world that we are Christ’s.” I can find plenty of verses in the Bible telling you to be baptized, so it makes sense to me in order to be obedient you should be baptized. But I can’t find a Scripture saying baptism is to be a witness to the world that you are Christ’s. Can you help me understand this better with some Scriptures to support your answer? Thank you.

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Ray,

      We have passed on your question to our team. Please look for an email from them.

    2. Solomon says:

      In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter clearly taught that baptism was not a ceremonial act of physical purification, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.

  5. Andre davis says:

    I love your ministry and would like more!

  6. Cheryl Chaney says:

    I love Jesus and I love Billy Graham’s preaching of the Gospel!

  7. Elder dan jackson says:

    I would like to learn more about Luke 23.

  8. Scotty Nichols says:

    All things are possible with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  9. William says:

    Thanks for clearing my doubt about water baptism.

  10. Michael Scheftic says:

    The necessity of baptism is because without it our sins are not removed or remitted. It isn’t baptism that our sins are removed where the blood is washed up on us.