If someone diligently follows the Bible, they will no doubt learn that baptism will wash away their sins, thereby saving them (Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21). However, men and women have many ideas about baptism now. Because of this, baptism is practiced but it’s not effective. Digging into scripture can show that there are those who can’t be saved by baptism.
- Baptism won’t save babies. Why? Jesus explained that babies are pure and without sin; the kingdom belongs to individuals like them (Matthew 18:3-4). Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The soul who sins shall die.” A baby can’t sin so they should’t be baptized. Jesus was born into this world as a human baby and and not born with sin (Galatians 4:4). Everyone is born into a world of sin, but not sinners — this was David’s point in Psalm 51:5.
- Baptism won’t save those baptized for the wrong reason. I ask people if they would be baptized for a $1,000. I’ve never been turned down! But I use this to illustrate that sinners will be baptized if it profits their pocketbook. A man once admitted to me that he was baptized because it pleased his wife. When people are baptized for the wrong reasons, having believed error, those baptisms are invalid. Someone may say, “I was already saved before baptism;” “One church is as good as another;” and, “Baptism is not necessary in order to be saved.” Unscriptural statements prove unscriptural baptism.
- Baptism won’t save those baptized by the wrong mode (sprinkling or pouring). The correct mode of baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; cp. John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39). Does it make a difference to God? Did it matter to Nadab and Abihu what kind of fire they offered before the Lord (Numbers 3:4)? Did it matter to Uzzah that he listened to the specific requirements of God (2 Samuel 6:3-7)?
- Baptism won’t save those without true devotion. After being baptized you have to be faithful to Jesus (Revelation 2:10). You are asked by Jesus to put God and His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). Unless you are willing to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1), you shouldn’t be baptized until you’re ready. Jesus taught about the foolishness of doing something without counting the cost first (Luke 14:28-33).
God loves the humble who are willing to follow His plan. Jesus provides safety and salvation (Matthew 11:28-30), but it’s only available to people who obey the real truth about baptism (Luke 11:28).
Adapted from Jerral Kay