Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Acts 22:16 - Quotes on Baptism and Salvation

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’  -Acts 22:16

H. A. Ironside

“Do not think the expression ‘wash away thy sins’ simply with baptism.  ‘Wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’  Nevertheless, the baptism was a picture of the washing away of sin, but no sin can be purged by water.  Sin is only purged by the precious blood of Christ.  But there is a sense in which when he was baptized his past was all washed away.  He had been a bitter hater of the name of the Lord Jesus, but when he went down into the water of baptism, all that disappeared.  He came forth not to be a persecutor but a preacher of the gospel of the grace of God.  The past was gone.  He was henceforth to walk in newness of life.”  -H. A. Ironside, Acts, Loizeaux Brothers; 1943, 1973. 

 B. H. Carroll

“The points here are: (1) Paul is commanded to wash away his sins; (2) to wash them away in being baptized. Two simple questions will unveil the meaning: (a) Can a man himself really wash away his sins? (b) Can water on the outside really wash away sins on the inside? The two are answered by the scripture: ‘God alone can forgive sins,’ and when we come to the real remission it must come from God. Again: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’ Therefore, it is evident that when Paul was commanded to wash away his sins – Paul himself, not God, was commanded to wash them away – that it is not a real washing away of sins that is meant, because that contradicts the other scripture, that God alone can take away sin. And when it says that he was commanded to wash away his sins in baptism, it is evident that it is not a real cleansing from sin that is contemplated, for the scriptures so abundantly teach that the blood of Jesus Christ alone really cleanses from sin. Then what does it mean? That Paul in baptism might symbolically wash away his sins. What God himself accomplished through the sacrifice of his Son, Paul might show forth in a symbolic cleansing, just as what Christ's blood accomplishes in the remission of sins, the wine of the Lord's Supper may symbolically accomplish. As there must first be a substance to cast a shadow, so the symbolic cleansing is just like taking the Lord's Supper, if we are not really saved.

So baptism is unmeaning without a prior and real remission of sin. Being really saved, we may picture symbolically that salvation in a memorial. Otherwise it would be like Bunker Hill Monument without a previous battle to commemorate.

Peter expressly declares that baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh, using the term "filth" in the sense of spiritual defilement (not dirt on the body), and using the word "flesh" in its common meaning of the carnal nature (not the physical man). I think Peter in that little parenthesis, "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh," was inspired of God to put in a precaution against attributing to baptism real cleansing of the defilement of sin. He foresaw the coming of the Campbellites, and put in a word against them.”  -B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible, Broadman Press; 1948.  Carroll (AD 1843-1914) was a pastor, author, and founding president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX. 

J. B. Jeter

“In the same [symbolic] sense in which the broken loaf in the Lord’s Supper is a sign of the crucified body of Jesus, is the water of baptism a sign of the cleansing efficacy of the blood, or atonement of Christ.  In like manner as we eat the body of Christ in the supper, do we wash away our sins in baptism.”  -J. B. Jeter, Campbellism Examined, Sheldon, Lamport, & Blakeman; 1855.  Jeter (AD 1802-1880) was a Baptist Pastor, author, and editor of the Religious Herald, Virginia. 

Sam Houston (AD 1793-1863) served as governor of two states (Tennessee and Texas), general, president of the Republic of Texas, and a United States senator.  In 1854, as a result of the witness of his wife and at least three Baptist preachers, he was saved and became a committed Christian.  After believing in Jesus Christ as his Savior, Houston was baptized by immersion in Little Rocky Creek (Independence, TX).  Someone told him, “I hear your sins were washed away.”  Houston replied, “If they were all washed away, the Lord help the fish down below.” 

Does Baptism wash away our sins?  Yes, and no.  Yes, it symbolically washes away sin.  The blood of Jesus, however, is what really washes away our sin.  Faith in Jesus saves, not baptism.  Baptism is just a picture of that salvation. 

For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  -Matthew 26:28

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  -Hebrews 9:14

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  -1 Peter 3:21

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  -1 John 1:7

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.  -Revelation 1:5

And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. -Revelation 7:14

-David R. Brumbelow,, April 14, AD 2021. 



Quotes on Acts 2:38, Baptism, Salvation

Does Baptism Save? No

The Roman Road of Salvation

 Other Articles / Labels in lower right margin.