Bible Q&A: If Baptism Is Essential for Salvation, Why Is It Not In John 3:16?

John 3:16 does not mention baptism.  If baptism is essential to salvation, why is it not in John 3:16?

The Bible teaches that “the entirety of Your Word is truth” (Ps. 119:160a).  If one wants to ascertain the whole truth about any subject related to the Christian religion, one must take into account everything that Scripture says about that subject.

It is true that John 3:16 does not mention baptism in connection with salvation.  2 Corinthians 7:9-11, Acts 3:19 and Acts 17:30 do not mention baptism either.  Interestingly, they do not mention the need to believe in Jesus either, as John 3:16 does.  Instead, they focus solely on repentance.  Acts 16:31 is similar to John 3:16 in that it mentions only the need for faith in connection with salvation; it does not mention baptism, but it also does not mention repentance either.  Romans 10:9-10 speaks solely about confessing one’s faith in Jesus as Lord in connection with salvation; it does not mention neither baptism nor repentance.  Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and 1 Peter 3:21 do mention baptism in connection with salvation.  Mark 16:16 also mentions faith, but not repentance.  Acts 2:38 speaks of both repentance and baptism, but not faith.  Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 focus only on baptism, with no mention of faith or repentance.

Should one therefore not think baptism to be necessary for salvation just because John 3:16 does not mention it?  If so, then one would also have to conclude that repentance is not necessary for salvation since John 3:16 does not mention it.  However, we know that repentance IS in fact necessary for salvation because of other passages which say so (2 Cor. 7:9-11; Acts 3:19; 17:30).  In like manner, we also know that baptism is necessary for salvation just as much as faith and repentance because the Bible says that it is in several passages (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).

“The entirety of Your Word is truth…” (Ps. 119:160a).  Take all of what the Bible says about any particular matter into account, and you will know the truth which will set you free if you abide in it (John 8:31-32; 17:17).

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