A Myth about Water Baptism

Edited from Bob L. Ross’ book: Campbellism- Its History and Heresies
Used by permission.

A myth that is often told by the Church of Christ to prove the importance of water baptism is that “in every case of conversion in the book of Acts, baptism is specifically mentioned.” (Spiritual Sword July 1970, page 16 & Jan. 1979, page 9)

Is this true?

Here are the instances where baptism is mentioned:

Acts 2:37-41; 8:15-13; 8:37-38; 9:1-18; 10:43-48; 16:14-15; 16:30-34; 18:8; 19:5 (A total of nine)

Here are the instances of conversions where baptism is NOT mentioned:

Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:35; 9:42; 11:21; 11:24; 12:24; 13:12; 13:43; 13:48; 14:1; 14:21; 14:27; 17:4; 17:12; 17:34; 19:17-20; 28:23-24. (A total of twenty)

Notice, not one of the conversions recorded on Paul’s first missionary journey is baptism mentioned. Also, while some converts are not mentioned by name, other converts are, such as Sergius Paulus in Acts 13:7-12 and Dionysius and Damaris in Acts 17:34.

The truth is, you cannot find a single place in the entire New Testament where the "5 step plan of salvation" is listed without having to go from one example to another, from one chapter to another, or from one book to another.

This is interesting considering the fact that the New Testament is the product of 27 individual books and 8 different authors.

In other words, with so many different authors and books, wouldn't there be at least one place in the New Testament where everything a person must do to be saved would be listed if the Church of Christ gospel of "water" baptism for salvation were true?

What is the gospel?

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul says, “I declare to you the gospel…which I preached…which you received…in which you stand…by which you are saved…that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures…that He was buried…that He rose again the third day… according to the scriptures.”

The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ came to earth, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day.

That is the gospel message.

We are to go and tell people that God loved them so much, that He sent His Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and that He rose again.

What is our response?

What do we want people to do?

We want people to believe.

Continuing in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says (verse 11), “…This is what we preached, and this is what you believed.”

The bottom line is that people are to believe upon Jesus Christ, to trust in Him as their Savior. As Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

It is that simple.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.” Eph. 2:8

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Rom. 1:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

“Most assuredly, I say unto you, he who hears my Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come to judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24

These are just a few verses, 154 places in the New Testament in all, where the Bible says those who place faith in Jesus Christ have eternal life.