The 'Baptismal Regeneration' Heresy Refuted

By David J. Stewart | May 2007 | Updated January 2015

BAPTISMAL REGENERATION is the unbiblical teaching that a person MUST be water baptized in order to go to Heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Word of God is abundantly clear that Baptism is only an ordinance, to be observed by each individual believer AFTER salvation, as a public profession of one's faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is symbolic of Christ's death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:4-5); and is our public profession of faith.

Baptism is NOT a sacrament, i.e., there is no mystical power (efficacy) by being dunked in water. No grace is bestowed.  Apart from water baptism's spiritual meaning, you are only getting wet. Being baptized doesn't make someone a believer, anymore than walking into a garage makes someone an automobile. As mentioned, water baptism is symbolic of the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4-5). In water baptism, we are identifying ourselves with our Savior, signifying that we have already believed on Him. Nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever baptized; until AFTER they were saved.

The Apostle John tells us exactly why he wrote the Epistle of 1st John in 1st John 5:13... “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” John states that the sole purpose of his Epistle is to teach us how to KNOW we are saved. Carefully notice that John NEVER mentions the word “baptism,” not even once. That speaks volumes!

John doesn't mention speaking-in-tongues either, solid proof that Charismatics who require tongues as initial evidence of salvation are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Baptismal Regeneration is a lie of the Devil. Romans 4:5 plainly states... “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” How much clearer could the Bible be? A person's faith in Jesus Christ is COUNTED for righteousness. Salvation is of God, and not men. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and not our own self-righteousness... but to him that worketh not

In view of such plain Scriptural teachings, how could anyone teach or believe that water baptism is required to be forgiven of one's sins? It is utter heresy! Many people ask me about Acts 2:38. Others ask me about 1st Peter 3:21. Please read, What is Baptism?

Acts 2:38 - A Highly Debated Scripture

There are several meanings of “baptism” in the Bible. John the Baptist told the Jews that he was only baptizing them with water, but Jesus would baptize them with the Holy Spirit (being born-again). Luke 3:16, “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” This is an important truth to understand, because it explains Acts 2:38. Acts 2:38, “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.” To be completely honest, I do not know whether this Scripture is referring to water baptism or the baptism of th Holy Spirit. According to Dr. John R. Rice, the Bible is telling us to be water baptized because we are saved and have had our sins remitted...

Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) teaches concerning Acts 2:38...

Some people think that this passage contradicts the dozens of other plain statements in the Bible that a man is saved by faith and saved immediately when he believes. But when you use the word for in this passage just as it is used so many times in every-day conversation, you will see what Peter said. A man is arrested for stealing; one is grateful for a favor; one is blamed for carelessness; one is commended for bravery. The word for here does not mean in order to or to secure remission of sins, and it is not rendered that way in any translation of the Bible we know of anywhere. The Greek word eis here translated for is sometimes translated in the Bible against, among, at, unto, upon, etc. It might properly be translated here "baptized upon the remission of your sins" or "baptized referring to, or pointing toward the remission of your sins," or "baptized in the remission of your sins." When one repents, he receives the remission of his sins. Then the obedient heart, following Christ in baptism, is promised the gift of the Holy Ghost, an entirely separate mutter from salvation. What Peter said was that people ought to repent and then, after their sins are forgiven, they should be baptized as evidence of that. That is exactly what people ought to be baptized for, that is, to show the remission of their sins. That Scripture, then, does not mean that people ought to be baptized in order to be saved.

SOURCE: Dr. John R. Rice, “Bible Baptism

Dr. Ray Stanford (1916-2012) teaches in his excellent book, Personal Handbook of Evangelism.” ...

In order to understand the Scriptural teaching regarding baptism, you must know what the word means. The Greek words translated "baptize" and "baptism" are "baptizo," "baptisma," and "baptismos." Even if you are not a linguist, you can see from the above that the word "baptize" is not really a TRANSLATION of "baptizo" at all. The translators simply replaced the "o" with an "e." This is called a TRANSLITERATION not a translation, because in true translation work the meaning of the word is carried over from one language into another. In the case of the word "baptize" or "baptism" this was not done.

The result of this is that every time someone reads or hears about baptism, he automatically thinks it must mean WATER baptism. So, when such a person reads in Acts 2:38, for instance, "Repent and be baptized . . . for the remission of sins," he erroneously concludes that one must be dipped in water to be saved . . . because the verse does say you have to be baptized to receive God's forgiveness. Much harm and confusion has resulted from not understanding the real meaning of baptism. It means "to whelm (engulf or cover) and to cleanse." When Scripture refers to WATER baptism the context ALWAYS makes this clear. When water is not mentioned in connection with baptism, we need to use utmost care in our study of the passage so that we will recognize what kind of "baptism" (cleansing or whelming) is being spoken of.

SOURCE: Dr. Ray Stanford, Personal Handbook of Evangelism,” page 54.

Although there are many faithful preachers who believe both positions, I am firmly convinced that Ray Stanford has it correct. One thing that I have an issue with is Dr. Stanford's opinion that Acts 2:41 also refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He contends that 3,000 people could not have been water baptized because of a lack of water; however, I researched this matter and learned that there is plenty of water in Jerusalem, at the Pool of Siloam. I simply am not positive on this passage of Scripture, but I DO KNOW that water baptism is not required for salvation, because hundreds of Scripture passage teach how to be saved without mentioning water baptism. For example: Consider John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Another example passage of Scripture which teaches the simple plan of salvation is found in 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” Here is a frightening False Plan of Salvation of Don Blackwell (Church of Christ; he has 6 requirements to be saved, including water baptism!).

We Are Saved By the Blood of Jesus, Not Water Baptism

The wicked Church of Christ has numerous videos posted on YouTube which teach that we apply the blood of Jesus to our sins by getting water baptized. This is false religion and a doctrine of devils. The precious blood of Jesus was sprinkled by the Lord (Hebrews 12:24), Who is our resurrected High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16), upon the mercy seat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12). Jesus did this in the presence of God the Father on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24). It is the blood of Jesus that washes our sins away, and not water...

Colossians 1:19-20, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

There is not one verse in the Holy Bible which even remotely hints that water baptism is associated with Christ's shed blood. To teach otherwise is to corrupt the Word of God.

In John chapter 3, where Jesus is witnessing to Nicodemus, the Lord plainly teaches that being “born of water” refers to the physical birth, and not to water baptism as some heretics falsely claim. John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Jesus is contrasting the fleshly birth to the spiritual birth. This passage of Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with water baptism.

Titus 3:5 is often used by false prophets in a foolish attempt to teach water baptism for salvation. Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Being “born-again” means having He (Jesus) Who is the beginning born in me, and hopefully you too (Revelation 1:8). To be “regenerated” means to be born anew from above by the Holy Spirit of God (John 1:13), quickened (or made alive) by God's Spirit (Ephesians 2:1). The Bible plainly teaches in Titus 3:5 that we are not saved “by works of righteousness which WE HAVE DONE!!! Being water baptized is something that WE DO, not that God does!

The Bible says in John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” What a beautiful Scripture. Here we clearly see that we are saved simply by BELIEVING ON JESUS' NAME! We are not saved by our family blood line. Notice that we are not saved because of anything that we have done; but rather, because God in His mercy, love and grace has made a provision for our redemption by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on the cross. Confession, water baptism, forsaking the world, ceasing from sinful living, committing one's life to Christ and surrendering our will to serve God are all futile actions of HUMAN EFFORT. As we just learned in John 1:12-13, salvation is completely of God. Our part is simply to believe, and then God does all the saving.

Bible Proofs That Water Baptism is Not Necessary for Salvation

Consider that the Bible doesn't mention anyone being baptized with water in the Old Testament for salvation. Genesis 15:6 teaches that Abram (later to be renamed Abraham) believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Romans 4:3 mentions this event, i.e., Abraham's salvation. We are saved by the imputed righteousness of Christ, i.e., Jesus' righteousness is attributed to our record in Heaven by faith (Romans 4:6). Abraham was saved by simple childlike faith in the Lord.

The thief on the cross, who believed on Jesus Christ, wasn't water baptized. Unless you errantly believe in two different plans of salvation, then the only logical conclusion is that water baptism is NOT required for salvation.

Over and over the Bible tells us that we are saved BY FAITH alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Acts 10:43; John 1:12; Galatians 3:26; John 3:16-18). If water baptism were required for salvation, then certainly the Bible would stress its importance for salvation. In fact, the Apostle Paul stated the opposite in 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Paul proclaimed that Jesus DIDN'T send him to baptize. There you have it! Paul stated in Romans 10:1 that his heart's desire was for Israel to be saved, so Paul definitely would NOT have made such a statement in 1st Corinthians 1:17 if water baptism were necessary to be saved. Amen!

I heard a Church of Christ minister once say that Paul's disciples did the baptizing instead. That is heresy! It is abundantly clear from the Apostle's Paul's statement in 1st Corinthians 1:17 that Christ didn't send him to baptize, because water baptism is not necessary to receive the gift of eternal life. What if I bought you a gift, but said that you need to take a bath first to receive it? Then it wouldn't be a gift! John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There's no mention of water baptism. The Holy Bible is the most misinterpreted book in the world, because most people study it without the presence of the Author (God).

Religious Sacraments are Unbiblical

Water baptism is an ordinance, like the Lord's Supper. Those are the only 2 ordinances which the Lord ordained to be carried out by the New Testament Church. They are NOT “sacraments,” a term not even found in the Word of God. Sacraments are unbiblical. Catholics teach 7 sacraments; and Protestants, such as Presbyterians and Lutherans, teach 2 sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Neither of these terms are found in the Bible. There is no such thing as “Holy” Baptism (which is their term for water baptism). Nor is there such an animal as “Holy” Communion. There's the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible. Even the Church is not called “holy.” There are no perfect churches. There are no perfect Christians. The only way that we can be “holy” is by abiding in the Holy Scriptures through the Holy Spirit Who indwells every born-again believer (1st Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 8:9). Only our holy God can make men holy (1st Peter 1:15-16).

Protestantism is not taught in the Bible. Every Protestant believes in sacraments and the heresy of Infant Baptism. I don't follow John Calvin nor Jacob Arminius, nor do I follow the Westminster Confession as Presbyterians do. I certainly don't follow John MacArthur as Lordship Salvationists like Ray Comfort, Jack Chick and Kirk Cameron do. I SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded in John 5:39!

Martin Luther Taught the Baptismal Regeneration Heresy

Contrary to what most Christians have been misled to believe by handed-down tradition, Martin Luther was an unsaved reprobate. Just because Luther once stated that the just shall live by faith doesn't mean that he was saved. Every Church of Christ member believes the just shall live by faith, but they also require water baptism to be saved. It may seem like a trifle issue, but it is the difference between Heaven and Hell. Eternal life is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Lutherans errantly teach that one's faith is demonstrated by the act of being water baptized. This is unbiblical. There is confusion amongst Lutheran churches whether water baptism is required for salvation or not; but their heretical founder, Martin Luther, clearly taught the false doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. Luther was a lifelong Mary-worshipper. Luther was messed up doctrinally, and died in his sins as an unsaved reprobate. Martin Luther even taught that a person could be saved without faith, just so long as they were water baptized. Luther was a false prophet until the day he died, and sadly his writings are still leading people into Hell. It is tragic that Lutherans idolize such a doctrinally corrupt heretic. Luther rejected the book of Revelation because he couldn't understand it.

What people should be focusing on, instead of the ceremony of baptism, is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that takes our sins away... “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  Please read, The Simple Gospel

Max Lucado's Demonic Deception

I mention Pastor Max Lucado, a Church of Christ minister, here because he is a deceiver. He is a well-known Ecumenical minister, a servant of the New World Order, leading inter-faith denominations into apostasy. Satan's goal is to raise up sinister ministers like Rick Warren and Max Lucado, who speak fundamental Christian doctrines in one deceitful breath; while leading different denominations of hellish unbiblical doctrines of devils to unite in sinful compromise in the other.

On Max Lucado's website, in the article Baptism: The Demonstration of Devotion, Lucado refuses to answer the following question with a straight answer... What if a person is not baptized? Can he be saved?

Any Gospel preacher worth his salt, who is truly saved, would immediately answer with a resounding... YES, YES, YES!!!

Yes, a person who is not baptized CAN BE SAVED. In fact, that's the only person that can be saved. If you've been water baptized and don't believe, then you're damned according to Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Notice that the damnation is upon the unbeliever; and not upon the unbaptized. I tell you truthfully from the Bible... YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE WATER BAPTIZED TO BE SAVED!

Since Max Lucado won't answer the question directly, I just did! The fact of the matter is that Max Lucado changed the name of his church in 2005 to HIDE his Church of Christ affiliation, just as Seventh-Day Adventists do...

Max Lucado is hiding the fact that he is a Church of Christ minister... 

Recently, his church, which has some 5,000 members, even changed its name from "Oak Hills Church of Christ" to simply "Oak Hills Church."

SOURCE: Baptist Press - Max Lucado transcends Church of Christ beliefs

Church of Christ teach Baptismal Regeneration, i.e., that you must be water baptized to be saved. Lucado states that water baptism cannot save, and sounds like he is doctrinally correct at first; but then he won't answer the simple question...

 What if a person is not baptized? Can he be saved?

The fact that Max Lucado is beating around the bush is cause for alarm. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we are saved by Christ's work of redemption; and not by any work on our part other than BELIEVING on the Lord. John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, THAT YE BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.”

Mark 13:22 says that in the Last Days, false prophets shall arise that will deceive, even saved believers if they can. Max Lucado is New World Order all the way, evidenced by his Masonic book cover, FEARLESS.

INTERNATIONAL CHURCHES OF CHRIST (ICOC) are a New World Order (NWO) false religion. On their main website, it is no coincidence that the following joining of hands coincidentally forms an Illuminati pyramid (as seen everywhere in the corporate and religious world today). The symbol shows allegiance to the New World Order, whose god is Satan, whose anticipated leader will be the Antichrist.

Oh, how I wish that I could wake people up to the truth of what's going on in the world today. Look at the image above from their main webpage. Who joins hands like that? You can see that they're a part of Satan's NWO!!! The Zionist-Freemasons who head all of today's mainstream religious denominations are leading the gullible world's masses into World Religion.

I don't want to digress off topic, but you need to understand that Satan is the god of this wicked world. The Devil wants you to burn in Hell when you die. 2nd Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan blinds the mind of unbelievers to hinder them from getting saved. The entire agenda of the forming New World Order and its World Religion is to hinder people from coming to Jesus Christ to be saved. The religious masses of this world will all be pointed toward the Antichrist when he comes, and many people will worship him because “they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10). If you reject the truth my friend, then you are open game for the Devil.

The core belief of the New Age movement is that you can believe anything that you want, except Bible Christianity. New Agers vehemently reject anyone who proclaims that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. Satan's only will for our life is to prevent us from doing God's will. Has Satan blinded your mind? Romans 10:9-10 says that salvation is of the heart. All of the Churches of Christ are fraudulent, having religion without truth. They all have churchianity without Christianity. My friend, religion wants to fit you with glasses, but the Lord wants to open your eyes.

Most so-called “churches” today are mere entertainment centers. Others are social clubs for the elderly. They sing. They preach religion. They have everything that the real Church has except truth and the Spirit of God. In John 4:24 Jesus told the Samaritan woman that they who worship God, MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth. You cannot worship God in ceremonial rituals, sacraments and formalism. Such churches are Satan's counterfeit for the New Testament Church. Counterfeit churches teach a false gospel. There is ONLY one gospel and that is childlike faith in Jesus, the Christ; Who died, was buried and rose again, paying for our sins with His literal shed blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). The Biblical gospel excludes all forms of self-righteousness. Adding anything to the gospel corrupts it into a sure road to Hell and damnation.

My friend, have you believed a LIE? One of Satan's biggest lies is that you must be water baptized to go to Heaven. The Bible plainly teaches that we are saved by simply childlike faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Baptismal Regeneration is a Road to Hell

If you think that getting dunked in water is going to help you get into Heaven, then you are not truly saved. You have never been born-again. Biblical salvation is one unmistaken mindset that cannot be altered... A GIFT!

Those who errantly teach that salvation can be lost (such as Pentecostals, Charismatics and Calvinists); all have a deadly mindset of self-righteousness. Matthew 5:20: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus told the people that the Pharisees were going to the Lake of Fire; and that they would also go if they followed the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees.

Think about that for a moment! The job of the Scribes were to copy the Bible from one generation to the next, because they didn't have printing presses back then. No one handled the Scriptures any more than the Scribes; yet they were woefully ignorant of truth and unsaved. That is so sad and hard to grasp. The Scribes were the ones who dealt with the Scriptures as a career! Yet they were corrupt, woefully ignorant of truth, and on their way to Hell.

I said that to say this... RELIGION IS A ROAD TO HELL! Getting water baptized is religion my friend. When Adam and Eve sinned, Adam made clothing of fig-leaves to cover their nakedness; but God rejected their works-based religion (i.e., their own attempt to deal with their sins). Instead, God killed an innocent animal, shedding its blood; which pictures the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Who came to SAVE SINNERS! Amen!

Everything that was required for our eternal redemption was completed by our heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ. It is Jesus' precious, literal, physical, blood that takes our sins away (1st Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5). If you grasp this simple, yet profound, truth; the simplicity that is in Christ; then you will clearly understand that salvation is a totally free gift from God, which we simply receive to have. Salvation is not something we do to get; it is a gift that we receive to have.

Adam and Eve already had fig leaf clothes to wear; but God made them wear different clothing, to teach them the truth of salvation. God will not accept water baptism on Judgment Day friend. You will go to Hell forever! I don't want that to happen, which is why I am warning you with the Scriptures!

If you understand the importance of the work of the Old Testament highpriest, then you know that eternal life is a free gift, paid for by the Lamb of God. Jesus literally entered BY HIS OWN BLOOD (Hebrews 9:12) into the heavenly holy place, to appear in the presence of God the Father (Hebrews 9:24), to complete His work of redemption. It was finished, once and for all (Hebrews 9:26). Salvation is freely offered to WHOSOEVER (Romans 10:13; Revelation 22:17).

John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” There is NO mention of water baptism! You just BELIEVE on the Son of God, the Christ; and He'll forgive your sins.

1st Peter 1:18, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” There is NO mention of water baptism! It's the blood of Jesus that washes our sins away; and not the water of baptism.

1st Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” There is NO mention of water baptism! We are regenerated, born anew of the Spirit of God, by the Seed of the Word of God. Amen and amen!

The following article was taken from the Friday, March 21st, 2003 Chicago Sun-times newspaper. This is so sad. U.S. military troops were lining up over in Iraq to be water baptized, thinking that they'd be safe “JUST IN CASE” they are killed on the battlefield. The horrible truth is that baptism cannot make you safe. If you get baptized “JUST IN CASE,” then you are NOT saved because you are relying on something in ADDITION to Jesus Christ alone. If you ADD anything to simple childlike faith, you will go to Hell in your sins. DO NOT rely upon water baptism in the least as added insurance for Heaven. You trust Jesus, the Christ, and HIM ALONE!!!

Infant Baptism is Wrong

The Doctrine of Baptism (by Dr. Martin R. DeHann, 1891-1965)

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."
—The Apostle Paul, 1st Corinthians 1:17

Fathers Harden Not Your Heart
(MP3 sermon by Pastor Jeff Owens. People in a rough line of work often become hard!)

“God never taught anybody how to quit!”
Brother Lester Roloff

Oh how America needs preaching and praying preachers! Preaching without prayer is dead, and prayer without preaching is shallow Christianity!!!
Acts 5:42, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

If you believe what the Bible teaches, attend a church that teaches the Bible!

Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)

Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!