John 4:2

John 4:2
"Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples."


Since Jesus did not baptize, it is reasoned that baptism cannot be necessary for salvation.


  1. It should be immediately apparent that the conclusion, "baptism cannot be necessary for salvation" does not follow from the statement, "Jesus himself baptized not," since his disciples did baptize.


  2. It is a mistaken idea that baptism is less important when performed by the disciples than if performed personally by Jesus Christ. John records, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them and baptized." (John 3:22). The disciples were the instruments by which the baptismal act was performed. Similarly, Jesus told his disciples "He that receiveth you receiveth me . . ." (Matthew. 10:40). He later told the seventy, "He that heareth you, heareth me." (Luke 10:16).


  3. Many Biblical passages record instructions for candidates to be baptized (Acts 2:38; 8:38; 10:48) yet no prescriptions are set out as to who should perform the baptism. The historical narratives indicate that the immerser (when identified) was always a believer. E.g. Philip (Acts 8:38); Peter (Acts 10:47, 48); Paul or Silas (Acts 16:31-33).


  4. Baptism is essential for salvation. The following passages indicate this:
    1. Jesus himself said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." (Mark 16:15, 16) Who has the authority to whittle Jesus' instruction to mean that one can be saved without water baptism?
    2. "Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38). This implies that until baptism one does not have forgiveness of sins.
    3. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:27). Baptism, therefore, is the divinely appointed way to "put on Christ."
    4. Paul was told, "And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins . . ." (Acts 22:16). This implies that (even although Paul had confessed: "What shall I do Lord?" - vs. 10) Paul was "in" his sins until they were washed away in baptism.
    5. " . . . the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us . . ." (1 Peter 3:20, 21). Were any saved outside the ark of Noah? Since baptism is a "like figure" can one be saved outside of the divine provision of baptism?
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