Mixed Sources (Joel Smith/Others) some text emphasized -- 18 Para

Baptism (10:2)

In the Bible we read that baptism is essential for salvation: (10:3)

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Note that the penalty is for not believing -ed] (mrk 16:16) (10:4) see

One objection that some Christians have to the Bahá'í Faith, is that Bahá'ís do not practice the ritual of baptism with water. But is baptism with water essential? (10:5)

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. (luk 3:16) (10:6) see

John baptized with water, but the baptism of Jesus is with the Holy Ghost and with fire. The following verses from the Book of Acts describe the experience of Peter, showing us that baptism with physical water is not a requirement for receiving the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost is received by people without it: (10:7)

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (10:8)

Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did? (act 10:44,47 NIV) (10:9) see

And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning (10:10)

Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. (act 11:15-16) (10:11) see

Those who were baptized in the presence of Peter, as described in the above verses, were in truth baptized by the baptism of Christ as John said it would be-with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Therefore, baptism with water is not required to receive the Holy Ghost, or for that matter, to attain faith in Christ. Baptism with water is a symbol of the baptism of Christ-not the substance (10:12)

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. (1co 12:13) (10:13) see

Baptism, therefore, has a spiritual significance. And again, consider the criminal who was crucified with Christ: (10:14)

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (luk 23:43) (10:15) see

Clearly, this man was saved-through the promise of being with Christ that day in paradise-but was not baptized with water (10:16)

The Bahá'í Writings explain:
Man cannot free himself from the rage of the carnal passions except by the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why He says baptism with the spirit, with water and with fire is necessary, and that it is essential-that is to say, the spirit of divine bounty, the water of knowledge and life, and the fire of the love of God. Man must be baptized with this spirit, this water and this fire so as to become filled with the eternal bounty. Otherwise, what is the use of baptizing with material water? No, this baptism with water was a symbol of repentance, and of seeking forgiveness of sins (10:17)

But in the cycle of Bahá'u'lláh there is no longer need of this symbol; for its reality, which is to be baptized with the spirit and love of God, is understood and established. (saq 92) (10:18) see

So, although Bahá'ís realize that baptism is an essential aspect of salvation, and that they themselves need this grace, their interpretation of the meaning of baptism is clearly not the baptism of John, which was with physical water, but the baptism whereby the Christ was to baptize (10:19)

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