Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Conversation Continues: Is Baptism Required for Salvation?

Last Sunday evening (8/10/08) at our final 2008 Church Family Fellowship of the summer, there were several questions submitted that we did not get a chance to address. This new series poses and responds to some of those lingering questions:

Question: Is baptism required for salvation?

Answer:
The short answer to that question is "No." Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not by human works (see Eph 2:8-9). Jesus told the thief on the cross "today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). This man never had the opportunity to be baptized, and yet Jesus gave him assurance of salvation.

This is not to say, however, that baptism is unimportant. Those who have the opportunity to be baptized after their conversion should do so. Why? First, Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize (see the Great Commission, Matt 28:19-20). Second, this was the normative practice of the apostolic church (see as an example the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:36: "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?"). Third, baptism is a scripturally approved symbol of the believer’s identification with the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (see Romans 6:3-4; Gal 3:26-29; Col 2:11-14).

We should acknowledge that there are some who disagree with the position stated above. On one hand, there are those who teach that baptism is a requirement for salvation. This is sometimes called "baptismal regeneration." This is the view taught by Roman Catholics. It is also taught by those in the "Churches of Christ" (Campbellite movement). The latter often stress hyper-literal interpretation of passages like Acts 2:38 and argue that baptism "completes" the salvation process. This passage should be balanced, however, with others in Acts. In Acts 16, for example, when the Philippian jailer asks Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" they respond: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (vv. 30-31). Notice that belief in Christ is pivotal for salvation, not baptism. On the other extreme, there are those who discount the practice of literal baptism by water altogether. This is true of Quakers and some ultra-dispensational sects. These neglect the command of Christ (Matt 28:19-20) and the clear practice and example of the early church (see again Acts 8:36). If Roman Catholics and Cambellites err in hyper-literalism, Quakers and ultra-dispensationalists err in neglecting appropriate literalism (i.e., when Jesus commanded the baptism of new disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 he clearly meant by water).

Pastor Jeff Riddle

8 comments:

Jeff @ truth-in-love.com said...

The question was if baptism is required for salvation; your answer was if baptism earns salvation. The two are not the same.

For example, most everyone believes that faith and repentence are prerequisites to receiving salvation, but we don't believe that either causes us to deserve heaven. Grace is not unconditional.

The Bible repeatedly indicates baptism is one of those conditions. I Peter 3:21 plainly states this. In Mark 16:16, Jesus links belief and baptism to salvation. In Acts 2:38, Peter commands that his audience be baptized for the remission of sins. In Acts 22:16, Paul was told to be baptized and wash away his sins. And so on.

The thief on the cross isn't relevant to how men today. Why? Because we see that Jesus forgave sins for a number of reasons when He was on earth. In one case (Mark 2:3-5), He forgave a man for his friends' faith. Would this be a pattern for our salvation today?

Likewise, it's important to note when the thief lived and died. We learn from Romans 6:1-4 that the baptism of a Christian is a burial with Christ. Christ had not yet died, nor had He been buried when He forgave the thief. The thief died before burial with Christ was even possible.

Regarding the Philippian jailer, we see in Acts 16:33 that he and his were baptized that same night. Were baptism not necessary, there would be no need for it to be done then.

There was also no mention of repentence or confession, yet no one would argue one does not have to repent or confess Christ in order to be saved. We understand these acts of obedience are a part of faith. Baptism is no less.

So, the Biblical answer is that, yes, baptism for the remission of sins is necessary for salvation. It is the point at which sins are washed away. It is an act of obedience and submission to Christ, not a act of merit which causes us to deserve salvation.

S. Belcher said...

Jeff@truth-in-love.com,
if you would, please clarify a few of your points for me. If Pastor Jeff was able to show that baptism doesn't earn one salvation, doesn't it also logically follow that baptism can't be required for salvation? Or, I'm assuming that you don't feel he proved the formed point?

You also claim that "the thief on the cross isn't relevant to how men today" [are saved, I think is what you meant]. You seem to be guilty of selective literalism between your analysis of that passage and passages in which the Apostles encouraged believers to be baptized. Christ told the thief that he would be in paradise that very day with Him. What did Christ then mean by that? And, why is the way in which the thief was saved from his sins any different from the way Abraham came into a saving relationship with God or the Apostle Paul (one being before and one being after Christ's death and resurrection)? Is salvation of anything but by God's grace throughout all history? [This is not to deny the truth of Scripture in places like Ephesians 3 in which Paul praises God for the mystery of Christ that is now revealed to all men]

Lastly, you say "were baptism not necessary, there would be no need for it to be done." Does God prefer our outward conformity to biblical standards or also an inward conformity in that our heart desrires to be obedient to God? If it is the latter then no physical act, no performance of anything by man, can be claimed necessary for salvation. This argument is not the same, however, as claiming that one who comes to faith in Christ will also wish to be obedient in love to God's commands.

I don't like these type of questions, but I'll use it anyway (admittedly out of convenience) - if the Philippian jailer had died before he could be baptized would he not be assured of his salvation?

What about being dunked in a pool of water washes away one's sin? Is not Paul in Romans 6 using a metaphor to talk about what happens when God regenerates our hearts and we decide to die to self and to the world and to live for Christ?

Pastor Jeff said...

Jeff,

Thanks for your response and representation of the “Churches of Christ” position.

A few responses:

First, on semantics. I maintain that asking, “Is baptism required for salvation?” and “Does baptism earn salvation?” are the same thing. My answer to both questions is still “No.”

Next, with regard to texts you cited. 1 Peter 3:21, in fact, argues quite the opposite of your position. Baptism is not a matter of external washing (“not the removal of the filth of the flesh”) but “the answer of a good conscience.” While the first clause of Mark 16:16 begins, “He who believes and his baptized will be saved;” it continues, “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” If your view is right, the second clause should read, “but he who does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned.” The pivotal point is faith not baptism. On this, compare John 3:36 which again makes faith central (without even mentioning baptism). As for Acts 22:16, yes one who is saved has his sins washed away and, under normal circumstances, will be baptized. But it is not baptism that washes away his sins. Only the atoning death of Christ washes away sin.

Returning to Acts 16, yes the Philippian jailer and some in his household were baptized. Again, this is normative for those who are saved under ordinary circumstances. But 16:30-31 makes clear that faith in Christ is central for salvation not baptism.

Now, regarding the thief on the cross: Sorry, but I find this account extremely relevant for today, however inconvenient it might be for those with a sacerdotal view of baptism. Jesus is just not overlooking some insignificant sins. He is giving this man assurance of salvation. That very day he will be with Christ in Paradise, without ever having been baptized. As for your interesting comments on burial and baptism in Romans 6:1-4, what do you make of John’s comment in John 4:1-2 that that Jesus “made and baptized more disciples than John (though He himself did not baptize but his disciples)” before his death and burial and that he called on his disciples to take up their cross and follow him before he was ever crucified (see Mark 8:34; 10:21)? This seems to undermine your position quite significantly. In the end, you cannot escape the fact that Jesus saved a man without him ever being baptized. Period.

Lastly, on elements in salvation (you mention repentance and faith). Paul, for example, describes in his writings many distinct elements in salvation. In the “Golden Chain of Redemption” (Romans 8:29-30), for example, he speaks of foreknowledge, predestination, effectual calling, justification, and glorification (and in other places of things like adoption and sanctification). In no place, however, does he make baptism a part of the “ordo salutis.” In fact, the “baptism is necessary for salvation” position reminds me of the Judaizers whom Paul opposed in Galatians who insisted that circumcision was required for salvation. Paul’s response to them: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). I think we could well substitute for the word “circumcision” here the word “baptism” or any other human work that one might think is “required” for salvation.

For those in the “Churches of Christ,” I would ask you to consider the similarity of your position and Roman Catholicism. In both salvation is seen as a matter of divine-human cooperation (synergism); whereas, Biblical Protestantism sees salvation as a work of God alone (monergism). Both “Churches of Christ” and Roman Catholics make baptism a sacerdotal and sacramental act that actually conveys grace. Again, this is completely counter to the gospel (see Ephesians 2:8-9).

JTR

Jeff @ truth-in-love.com said...

G., thanks for your response.

"[If] baptism doesn't earn one salvation, doesn't it also logically follow that baptism can't be required for salvation?"

No. Belief does not earn one salvation, but it is required for salvation. Repentance does not earn one salvation, but is required for salvation (Luke 13:3-5). And so on. Baptism for the remission of sins is no different. It does not earn salvation, but neither can one be saved without it.

"You seem to be guilty of selective literalism between your analysis of that passage and passages in which the Apostles encouraged believers to be baptized."

No, I'm completely consistent. Jesus forgave at least three we have record of while He was alive. One of these, as noted, was due to his friends' faith. If one argues the thief is a symbol of our salvation today, one must also logically say the paralyzed man of Mark 2 is as well and that we can be saved by the faith of our friends.

In addition, the apostles taught baptism was into Jesus' death (as seen in Romans 6:1-4). It would be difficult for the thief to be baptized into Jesus' death when Jesus had not yet died.

"Is salvation of anything but by God's grace throughout all history?"

I'm in complete agreement. All salvation is by God's grace, and none of these - nor any of us - deserve it. However, we see from Scripture that God has set conditions for one today to follow. Just as Abraham's obedient faith was credited to him as righteousness, so our obedient faith is to us today.

"Does God prefer our outward conformity to biblical standards or also an inward conformity in that our heart desrires to be obedient to God?"

From reading Scripture, we see that He wants both: a change in heart that leads to a change in action. The two are indivisible. James 2:14-26 shows that one who says he has faith but whose life does not show it does not have faith to begin with. Romans 1:5 and 16:26 talk about the "obedience of faith" - obedience being a part of faith.

"if the Philippian jailer had died before he could be baptized would he not be assured of his salvation? "

I can't find any reason in the Bible he would have any more than if he'd died before he'd been taught the truth. Thanks be to God we don't have to worry about that, though.

"What about being dunked in a pool of water washes away one's sin?"

"...baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." (I Peter 3:21)

That's what.

Jeff @ truth-in-love.com said...

"Thanks for your response and representation of the “Churches of Christ” position."

You're welcome, Jeff, but I'm not representing any church(es) of Christ. Just myself.

"I maintain that asking, “Is baptism required for salvation?” and “Does baptism earn salvation?” are the same thing."

Then I'd ask, is repentence required for salvation? Is belief required for salvation? Is confession required for salvation? If the answers to any of these are yes, why do they not likewise earn salvation?

"1 Peter 3:21, in fact, argues quite the opposite of your position. Baptism is not a matter of external washing (“not the removal of the filth of the flesh”) but “the answer of a good conscience.”"

Peter's saying simply getting wet doesn't save us. If that were true, anyone who'd ever gone swimming would be saved. What saves us is being baptized as "an appeal to God for a good conscience."

"While the first clause of Mark 16:16 begins, “He who believes and his baptized will be saved;” it continues, “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” If your view is right, the second clause should read, “but he who does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned.” The pivotal point is faith not baptism."

Look at what Jesus said. Belief plus baptism equals salvation as surely as 2 + 2 = 4, according to this verse. If one does not believe, it's a given he won't be baptized.

"On this, compare John 3:36 which again makes faith central (without even mentioning baptism)."

Actually, it speaks of faith and obedience. He who believes has eternal life, but he who does not obey will not see life. Using your logic, the second clause should say nothing about obedience, but faith. Again, we see the two are inseparable. One cannot have saving faith without obedience and one cannot have saving obedience without faith.

"As for Acts 22:16, yes one who is saved has his sins washed away and, under normal circumstances, will be baptized."

I'm sorry, but that's not what the passage says. Read it again: "Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'" Baptism, the appeal to God for a clear conscience, the burial with Christ, is the point at which sins are washed away.

"Returning to Acts 16, yes the Philippian jailer and some in his household were baptized. Again, this is normative for those who are saved under ordinary circumstances. But 16:30-31 makes clear that faith in Christ is central for salvation not baptism."

And yet as we've already seen, faith and obedience are one. One does not save without the other. They believed, they were baptized, they were saved, just as the other passages I've pointed out show.

"Now, regarding the thief on the cross: Sorry, but I find this account extremely relevant for today, however inconvenient it might be for those with a sacerdotal view of baptism."

I'll admit, I had to go look up the word "sacerdotal." It had something to do with the duties of a priest. I don't think that's the word you were looking for. Either that, or you misunderstand the nature of a church of Christ, where all Christians are a "royal priesthood."

"Jesus is just not overlooking some insignificant sins. He is giving this man assurance of salvation. That very day he will be with Christ in Paradise, without ever having been baptized."

Yep, the same as he forgave the paralyzed man of Mark 2 for his friends' faith without ever being baptized. Under the Law of Moses, one had to offer sacrifice to be forgiven, yet Jesus forgave both of these while the Law was still in effect. Jesus, as God, had this ability. He could set whatever conditions he chose. Today, He's specified the conditions we have to meet in order to be saved in His word, the New Testament. We've discussed some of them: belief, repentance, confession, baptism.

"In the “Golden Chain of Redemption” (Romans 8:29-30), for example, he speaks of foreknowledge, predestination, effectual calling, justification, and glorification (and in other places of things like adoption and sanctification). In no place, however, does he make baptism a part of the “ordo salutis.”

Again, that which proves too much proves nothing. In no place in this context does Paul mention faith, obedience, repentence, confession, etc., either. Using your logic, then, since these are not mentioned here, they are not required for salvation. And, looking at other verses pertaining to salvation (pick any of the ones we've discussed: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, etc.), we see they don't mention any of the things from Romans 8:29-30. Therefore, those must be excluded as unncessary as well, correct?

I think we all see the point. One must take all of what the Bible says pertaining to salvation rather than picking and choosing, excluding part of what God says. We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2) - though not unconditionally. We are saved by faith - though not faith only (James 2). We are saved by the word of the cross (Romans 11:26). We are saved by the gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-2). We are saved by Jesus (John 3:17). We are saved by calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:21). We are saved by Jesus' life (Romans 5:10). We are saved by confession (Romans 10:8-13). And, yes, we are saved by baptism (I Peter 3:21). We're saved by all these things, yet no one passage mentions all of them. The logic that excludes one must exclude them all.

I'd advise everyone reading to consult their Bibles on this matter. Don't merely accept what any man - myself, Jeff, any commentator, preacher, or whoever - tells you. Read the passages noted and see how God provides grace to the one who comes to Him in humble, obedient faith. Discover for yourself how, time and again, the New Testament writers link obedience and faith. Ask yourself if obedience excludes faith or fulfills it. Ask yourself if faith excludes obedience or includes it. Ask yourself why God repeatedly links baptism and salvation. When you do, I think you'll come to the same conclusion I did: because one must be buried with Christ in baptism as God commanded, at which point his sins are washed away by the blood of Christ.

Pastor Jeff said...

Jeff at Truth in Love,

I understand your desire to clarify that you speak only for yourself, but would you mind telling us the name of the local church you attend? I assume it is a “Church of Christ” congregation. If I am wrong on that, you can easily clear that up simply by telling us what kind of local church, if any, you attend.

Now, back to baptism:

Here is the thing. I contend that salvation is work of God alone. You contend that salvation is conditional on the requirement of obedience in baptism. As Steve Belcher noted, the exegetical problem we perceive in your position is selective literalism. You take a handful of passages in which baptism is mentioned in the same context with belief (namely four passages you have cited: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; and 1 Peter 3:21) and conclude:

“Baptism, the appeal to God for a clear conscience, the burial with Christ, is the point at which sins are washed away.” And your last line: “one must be buried with Christ in baptism as God commanded, at which point his sins are washed away by the blood of Christ.”

But once again, I say, “No.” This is not what Scripture teaches. Baptism is not “the point at which sins are washed away.” The shed blood of Christ on the cross of Christ alone is the place where sins are washed away.

Here is some of the Biblical evidence:

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Hebrews 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 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?

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 John 1:7 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.

Revelation 1:5 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 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 7:14 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.

Again, Christ’s blood, not baptism cleanses from sin. Your top four passages (including Acts 22:16) must be interpreted in light of the massive witness of Scripure on this topic. Paul did not get baptized in order to be saved (have his sins washed away); he was baptized because he was saved (his sins were washed away in the blood of Christ). Here is the problem with your take. You confuse baptism—a symbol of salvation—with the act of salvation itself. Clearly it is regeneration that does the real washing. See Titus 3:4-7:

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Again, the thing that saves a man is not physical baptism but God’s spiritual work in the believer. It is the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” and not any external human work that accomplishes salvation. Baptism symbolizes that washing of the Holy Spirit which is already an accomplished fact in the believer’s life.

Repentance and faith are not required autonomous human components that complete salvation. They are totally dependent on regeneration, and so God alone gets the glory, even for our repentance and faith. Paul says, “For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Rom 7:18) and Isaiah said all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6). Take Lydia’s conversion as exemplary: “The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:15; and yes, I know she was also baptized, but this was after she was saved.)

Yes, obedience is important, and Christians will live fruitful, obedient, and holy lives. I agree with John Huss who said, “Where good works are not without, faith cannot be within.” But, here is the key: WE ARE NOT OBEDIENT IN ORDER TO BE SAVED; WE ARE OBEDIENT BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED!

Another issue we might raise here is why we should exalt baptism over other acts of Christian obedience. Are attending worship, ministry to the sick and needy, prayer, giving alms, etc. also “required” for salvation? For these are surely Biblical acts of obedience as well. This is where, again, your view begins to sound a lot like the Roman Catholic view of salvation.

God’s election is unconditional. When Paul wrote of God’s elect purposes for Jacob and Esau, he said “for the children not yet being born, nor having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls)” (Rom 9:11). Later Paul adds, “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom 9:16). Your view makes God dependent on men in salvation. God cannot save unless man is willing to obey and be baptized. Scripture says God is completely sovereign in salvation and does not depend on the good works of men’s obedience (again, Eph 2:8-9). By the way, on this point, you did not answer Steve’s question as to whether the Philippian jailer would have been saved if he had died before he was baptized. Your view makes for a ghastly possibility: Are you saying that one can believe in Christ and still be under God’s wrath, because he was not baptized? If so, I would say this is not the Biblical gospel but “another gospel” (Gal 1).

JTR

Gary said...

I grew up a fundamentalist Baptist preacher’s son, very well educated in Baptist doctrine. I became an evangelical in my twenties: same doctrines just with a more positive emphasis. I am now a conservative (confessional) Lutheran.

Why did I become a Lutheran if I was taught, and still believe, that salvation is received through faith alone, in Christ alone? How could I join a Church that believes that God saves and forgives sins in Baptism? Baptism is a work!

I became a conservative Lutheran when I realized that the reason Baptists and evangelicals do not and cannot understand infant baptism and baptismal regeneration is that they do not understand how a sinner obtains FAITH!

As I said above, I was a Baptist preacher’s son. When I was nine years old, I got into trouble, and my mother gave me a well-deserved spanking. After the spanking, she talked to me about sin and that I needed to be saved. She led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins, come into my heart, and be my Lord and Savior. I remember feeling so good after finishing that prayer. I was saved!

I was then told that God would now speak to me or move me or lead me to do things to follow his will for my life. All the Christians around me were talking about God moving them, leading them, speaking to them…but I just didn’t have the same intensity of feelings that most of them seemed to have. So when I was about 15, hearing a good Baptist sermon, I asked myself this, “Maybe the reason God doesn’t speak to me like he does other Christians is probably because I am not really saved! I didn’t really believe the first time. Maybe I didn’t fully repent. Maybe I didn’t have enough faith.” So I prayed the equivalent of the Sinner’s Prayer again, with all sincerity and contrition for my sins. I felt that rush of good feelings again. I was happy. I now knew that I was definitely saved!

But then in my early 20′s I attended a non-denominational evangelical church (with Baptist doctrine). The people in this church REALLY had God. They would sway with the hymns, hands toward heaven, their eyes rolling back in the heads. "Wow! God really speaks to these people! So why doesn’t he speak to me like that? There must be something wrong with me, because I don’t feel SAVED anymore!"

I left the Church altogether.

I was not the only Baptist/evangelical to undergo several born again experiences because we didn’t FEEL saved. My mother, the pastor’s wife, several years later, the person who had “led me to Christ”, decided that she wasn’t really saved either, so she repeated her born again experience just to be sure. And several other people in my church repeated their born again experience for the same reason: they weren't sure that they had done it right. If you go on your computer and google “how many times have you prayed the Sinner's Prayer?” you will find other Baptists/evangelicals who have gone through the same experience.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060728125929AAnQHZp

The problem with the Baptist/evangelical Doctrine of Faith is that it is based on US! Our salvation is based on us having the maturity and intelligence to make a free will decision to accept Christ into our hearts, So if later on in life we start to question our salvation due to not FEELING saved, what do we have to fall back on? Ourselves! Did I really repent? Did I really have true faith or was I trusting in my own faith? At nine years old did I really have the maturity to make a decision? MAYBE I DIDN’T DO IT RIGHT! So just to be on the safe side, I’ll sincerely repeat a version of the Sinner’s Prayer, and make 100% sure that, this time, I do everything right!

So, in this plan of salvation, which is supposed to be a FREE gift from God, we turn it into something that depends on us…on us doing the born again experience correctly!

To read the rest of my story, click here:
http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/06/the-reason-baptists-and-evanglicals.html

Pastor Jeff said...

Gary,

I also disapprove of the doctrine and practice of evangelism you describe that you experienced in your "Fundamentalist Baptist" upbringing. This is now, however, the doctrine and practice of Particular (Reformed) Baptists. Salvation is God's work alone (monergism). Those who are saved by grace then obey by submitting to baptism. This is the Scriptural pattern. It makes no sense to reject the synergism of some fundamental (and evangelical) Baptists for the synergism of Lutheranism.

JTR