Q: My friend says that saying, “Come in to my heart, Jesus” saves you; I say Mk 16:16 is necessary. Why is baptism ignored?
A: Protestants have an aversion to baptism, apparently since the time of Martin Luther, who swung from the extreme of Roman Catholicism’s works-righteousness to declare that faith only saved.
Many see baptism as a work of merit, so it has to be excluded. They miss, however, that the New Testament identifies it as an act of obedience, but nowhere calls it a work of righteousness or merit.
The British Baptist scholar, F.F. Bruce, stated that the New Testament does not know of an unimmersed believer. But even he dispensed with the necessary reason for baptism. It’s been observed that, according to Baptist doctrine, it’s easier to get into heaven than it is to get into the Baptist church, for they teach it’s not necessary for salvation but it is to enter the Baptist church.
By helping our Protestant friends see the difference between works of merit and the obedience necessary to salvation, we might be able to help them overcome their aversion to it.
For as you say correctly, according to Mark 16:16 (and other texts) faith and baptism are necessary for salvation.
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