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Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update.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

    Thank you, through the use of Scripture, for helping me understand the role of baptism in a Christian life. Your work is important; may the Lord continue to bless each of you!

  2. Derick Rooi says:

    Dr. Graham was a great servant of the Almighty God.

  3. Jean Boroughd says:

    I thought the services for Dr. Graham were so beautiful. So honoring and loving. So thankful I was able to view them on TV. Thank you for allowing them to be televised.

  4. Emily McDonald says:

    Christ was still alive with the thief on the cross so the New Covenant had not been ratified, therefore the thief was under the Old Law.
    Romans 6:1-11; 1 Peter 3:21 Acts 22:16

    1. Cheryl Von Eime says:

      Emily, Nicodemus was under the law also but Jesus said he must be born of water and of spirit.

  5. Barbara Jean Roberts says:

    Thank you for securing my faith in knowing baptism is not a requirement by God for salvation. I read a disturbing article from “The “Reformed Church of God” written by their founder David C. Pack which from my understanding made baptism a requirement for salvation. It was scary to know others are reading this, too. To God be the glory for His truth!

    1. Andrea T Collins says:

      Amen Barbara Jean Roberts!

  6. Gay Hardin says:

    Salvation is the work of the cross, death, burial and resurrection. Nothing more, or Jesus’ work at the cross would have been in vain. John the Baptist preached repent and be baptized. He said this before the work of the cross. It is used by many preachers to say you have to be baptized to be saved.
    The work of the cross is all you need. The rest will follow as you grow in God’s Word.

    1. Monteir Pulley says:

      Paul preached repent and be baptized in Acts 2:38, which is the beginning of the Church.

  7. Francesca Clayton says:

    Thank you for answering my question about the gospel of Mark chapter 16 verse 16

  8. Peggy Clevenger says:

    Thank you for such clear answer and insight.

  9. Michael Majors says:

    Thank you so much for this Word.

    1. Sushil Lima says:

      It is a good message.

  10. jed says:

    We are saved by God’s grace. Galatians 3:27 says “For all of you who are baptized with Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Without Christ we can do nothing.