When Baptism Is Unnecessary

by George Battey

Originally published in
The Christian Informer

FIRST: New Testament baptism is not necessary if a person lived before the death of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:16-17 says, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." This passage is teaching that the New Testament is like a will.

The will of any man is enforced only after he dies, otherwise, "it is of no strength at all" while he lives. This explains why the men of the Old Testament did not need to be baptized to be saved. Men like Noah, Abraham, David, and Daniel were not baptized to be saved, because they lived before the New Testament command for baptism came along.

You may recall the thief on the cross was saved by Jesus without New Testament baptism. The reason for this is that New Testament baptism did not come into force until AFTER Jesus died. The thief, of course, was saved BEFORE Jesus died.

SECOND: New Testament baptism is not necessary if a person does not have sins.

Acts 2:38 tells us, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Again, Ananias asked Saul of Tarsus, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Since baptism is for the "remission of sins" and because it "washes away" sins, anyone who does not have sins is not a candidate for baptism!

This is very significant! Most churches today teach alien sinners to pray for forgiveness. Furthermore, they teach that baptism is for a saved man who has already been forgiven! NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!

  1. Baptism takes men who are outside of Christ and places them into Christ (Galatians 3:27).
  2. Baptism takes a lost sinner and places him into the death of Christ so the blood of Jesus can wash away his sins (Romans 6:3).
  3. Baptism in water is the new birth which Jesus spoke of in John 3:5, and without it a man "cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven" Jesus said.
  4. Finally, Peter said plainly in 1 Peter 3:21 that "baptism saves us."

THIRD: New Testament baptism is not necessary if the candidate is an infant, or small child.

Infants and small children are innocent. They are guilty of no sin in the sight of God. They do not inherit the guilt of their parent's sins, and neither do they inherit Adam's sin! Since they inherit no sin, and they have not yet committed sin themselves, baptism is not necessary, because baptism is for the "remission of sins"!!!

Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son..." Again, "Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). Little children who die are going to heaven without baptism, because they are pure and innocent in the sight of God. Baptism is not necessary for them because they have no sins to "wash away!"

TO CONCLUDE--

New Testament baptism is not necessary if:
  1. A person lived before the death of Jesus Christ.
  2. A person has no sin.
  3. The candidate is an infant, or small child.
However, baptism is necessary for you today if you desire to be saved! Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mark 16:16).
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(From a Bible Talk message; used by permission).

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