Book Review: Seven Key Questions about Water Baptism: What Does the Bible Teach about Water Baptism? by Dennis Rokser, 2014
Disclaimer: while this review is critical in nature, it’s not my place to judge Rokser’s motives, sincerely, or faith. All believers will stand before Jesus Christ soon to give an account –starting with myself. The critical standard applied to Mr. Rokser’s book should be equally applied to this review based on the Word of God.
Should you desire to know what the Bible teaches about an important topic like water baptism, would you not look up each reference in scripture and allow the context to clearly define it for you? Would a bride to be, shop for a white wedding dress inside a greasy mechanic shop?
Because this book is written by an author (Rokser) who has embraced Free Grace Theology (FGT), this review will include some highlights of this theology to help explain the thought process that prevents an objective definition of water baptism.
Christians who believe in Free Grace Theological (FGT) are genuine. This review is not to question their sincerity. I formerly held to this theological system.
Free Grace Theology (FGT) teaches that salvation comes to sinners the moment they trust in Christ (a completed action) with a one-time faith that is “alone.” This “faith alone” for salvation is apart from outward actions such as baptism, turning from sin, ongoing faith, fruits, etc. Because water baptism is considered a “work,” it violates their “faith alone” theology and therefore, cannot be part of the salvation package. In contrast, water baptism was an immediate response after sinners trusted in Christ in the book of Acts. The book of Acts covers approximately 30 years of church history, beginning from Pentecost.
Does an exegetical examination of scripture, clearly and undeniably establish that salvation comes from a one-time faith that is “alone?” Should Free Grace Theology (FGT) be correct with their “faith alone” doctrine, the scripture must affirm it.
FGT uses three primary passages for their “faith alone” doctrine. They are John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, and Acts 16:31. Because these passages are foundational, they will be examined.
Does John 3:16 teach, a one-time faith to be saved that is “alone?” John 3:16 begins with God and ends with everlasting life. Eternal life is conditional on belief. They must “believes” (Greek present tense participle) in Jesus Christ to be saved. It does not say, “used to believe,” or “will believe,” but “believes” in the present. Those who “believes” (ongoing) “have” (ongoing) “everlasting life.” Here is a paraphrase:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever is in a state of belief (“believes“) in him should not perish but “have” (in the present) “everlasting life” (John 3:16, ESV).
John 3:16 does not state that saving faith is a one-time action, or that ongoing belief will be without works (“faith alone”). Clearly and irrefutably, this passage teaches ongoing belief in Christ for salvation. An examination of scripture yields approximately 100 verses where salvation is a reality for those who are presently in a state of belief in Christ.
John 3:21 goes on to say, “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” The “whoever” are the present tense believers of John 3:16.
FGT is an authoritative overlay over the Word of God. Their “faith alone” theology inhibits a literal application of this verse where those who “comes to the light” (enter into a state of belief in Christ) will display “clearly seen” “works” that God carries out in their lives (v. 21).
Ephesians 2:8-9 is another “go to” verse and “safe house” for FGT. Does this passage authenticate the “faith alone” of FGT? This verse begins, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” The word “saved” is not a completed action in the Greek. In fact, the perfect tense here conclusively represents ongoing belief. The perfect tense describes an event that was realized in the past (salvation here) that has ongoing results up to the present, with an emphasis usually on the present state. A horizontal time line could represent this tense. Our salvation began in the past and continues up to the present. Two helping words not found in Greek are inserted in most English translations to help readers grasp this ongoing belief: “have been” (saved). Also, the perfect tense does not comment on the future. Here is a paraphrase of the sentence: “For by grace you have been saved (in the past and continue saved today) “through faith.” The one-time faith of FGT is absent.
Note: should you desire to inquire further on the Koine Greek perfect tense, please consult the book, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Daniel Wallace, 1997, 572-582). In this book, the word “saved” for Ephesians 2:8, is place into the “intensive perfect” category (573). Wallace writes, “The perfect state may be used to emphasize the results or present state produced by a past action” (575).
The Koine Greek perfect tense doesn’t comment on the future. Author Wallace warns about the practice of infusing this tense with guaranteed future results. He writes, “Even more misleading is the notion, frequently found in commentaries, that the perfect tense denotes permanent or eternal results. Such a statement is akin to saying the aorist tense means “once-for-all” (574).
Does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that ongoing saving faith, will be absent works? No, Paul is writing to inform them that they were not being saved by works! You see, beloved, works don’t save anyone. They were saved by their ongoing faith in the One who died in their place, who is our sin bearer. This passage says it well: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified [Greek present tense, ongoing action] by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24). This ongoing justification comes by God’s grace, in gift form, for those who believe (present tense).
Lastly, Acts 16:31 should be examined. This verse is understood within the context of the entire account. FGT teaches that the “believe” for this verse (v. 31, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ“) is a one-time action. The verb “believe” is in the Greek aorist tense. The aorist tense has been called the “undefined tense” -that is the action of the verb (outside of context) is undefined. This action may be ongoing, a one-time action, etc (depending on context). Because FGT does not have one passage to exegetically stake their one-time, “faith alone” theology on (in my opinion), they have taken liberty to define the undefined verb of Acts 16:31 (“believe“), as a one-time belief as required by their theology. Dear believer in Christ, would the Bible contradict itself by teaching here that salvation comes by a one-time faith when there are approximately 100 verses in the New Testament that clearly establish ongoing belief as essential for salvation? Clearly not!
In Biblical interpretation, a passage’s context is an extremely important consideration. If the “believe” of Acts 16:31 is a one time, point action, as FGT contends, the jailer’s actions (context) must indicate this very thing. Before we consider the actions of the jailer, remember, we want to examine the context for clues to determine if the “believe” is a one-time belief (“faith alone”), or an ongoing faith, etc. Here are the inspired actions of the jailer, that describe his “believe:”
1) He took them (v. 33a)
2) He washed their wounds. (v. 33b).
3) He was baptized. (v. 33c).
4) Brought them into his house (v. 34a).
5) He set food before them (v. 34b).
6) He rejoiced (v. 34c)
7) He believed (v. 34d). The word “believed” here in now in the perfect tense (participle), which clearly and undeniably means ongoing belief (from the past to the present) in the Greek.
8) The following day the jailer delivers a message to Paul and Silas (vs. 35-36).
As you can see, the context above does not indicate a one-time, “faith alone'” or “point action” as claimed by FGT. The context portrays ongoing action, with at least eight verbs. The three primary passages that Free Grace Theology use (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:31), all actually disprove their teaching, as they depict belief in action!
Rokser’s analysis of water baptism in his book includes careful crafted questions to solicit desired outcomes. The first question asks, “Is water baptism necessary for eternal salvation” (page 4)? This question solicits a yes or no answer. Closed end questions that solicit a “yes” or “no” can be unfair when neither “yes” or “no” are good answers. This tactic is sometimes used in criminal court, to cast doubt in the minds of the jury. A good opposing attorney would detect misleading questions and offer objections to a presiding judge. Rokser’s question is unfair. The question could be better worded, “how does scripture present water baptism when multiple passages are examined in context?
A tactic that Rokser skillfully uses is sideshow arguments that take readers away from the scriptures where the subject of water baptism as a response to belief in Christ is clearly addressed. It’s not what the Bible teaches in context for water baptism that Rokser wants you to know (in my opinion), but human arguments sprinkled with scriptures. For example, on page 7 he argues that since Christ’s death was final and a completed sacrifice, “…no rituals including baptism etc. can atone for our sins.“
Christ did die for all our sins. In the early church, new believers were not baptized immediately because Christ did not die for all their sins! Rokser’s argument Is unfair and outside an explicit, contextual utterances from Scripture for church doctrine.
It can be helpful to “zoom out” and consider baptism as first introduced by John the Baptist. He was a forerunner of Jesus Christ. The Jews had been under the law for hundreds of years and their thinking required an adjustment, so they could receive their promised Messiah.
John the Baptist was to prepare the way of the Lord (Matthew 3:3). His message was of repentance, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Those who repented entered the water, confessed their sins and were baptized: “and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:4-5).
Only those who believed the message of John the Baptist were to be baptized. The baptism of John has striking similarities to the baptism of the early church. Only those who believed were baptized in the New Testament church. Mark wrote, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Please observe the underlying issue is real belief. If there was no belief, baptism did nothing.
We have a similar picture at Pentecost: “And Peter said to them, “ Repent and  be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). First one believed in Christ, then God’s inspired outline indicates baptism occurs immediately.
Secondly, please observe that baptism was a passive activity. People could not baptize themselves. They were lowered into the water and raised up. The Greek word for “baptized” is in the passive voice for Acts 2:38. Most translations say, “be baptized” for Acts 2:38. It means the one baptized receives the action, “be baptized.” Their faith in Christ resulted in baptism, which was not a work. I have yet to see someone baptize himself/herself. John the Baptist baptized Jesus as our model.
On page, 10 Rokser seems to claim that baptism is a work. He writes, “Dear Reader, if water baptism is not a work, what is it?” He makes his case from Romans 4:5. With Rokser’s line of thinking, works saved thousands of new Christians in Acts! There is serious danger in taking verses such as Romans 4:5 at face value to create doctrines without a consideration of the surrounding context.
Romans chapter four is concerning Abraham and his faith –how we are justified by having the same ongoing faith as him. Paul went on to write, “No unbelief made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith [ongoing action] as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. that is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness” [not a one-time faith]. But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe [present ongoing, belief] in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord” (Romans 4:20-24).
Abraham’s underlying faith had ongoing action because real faith creates action when able. Please notice why Abraham’s faith was credited above. In addition, “It will be counted to us who believe.” Not “used to believe,” but “believe” right now in the present. Salvation is not presented in the New Testament where ongoing belief in Christ is optional. The most quoted eternal security verse (1 John 5:13), promises those who “believe” in the present that they can “know” that they “have” “eternal life.“
Further, Rokser quoted Romans 4:5, without informing his readers that ongoing belief is required! “And to the one who does not work but believes [Greek present tense] in him who justifies [Greek present tense] the ungodly, his faith is counted [Greek present tense] as righteousness.” A one-time faith to be saved where living for Christ is optional is not found here, or anywhere in the New Testament. Tragically, this “eye candy” gospel message is presented to the unsaved at FGT churches.
On page 26, Rokser conducts an “about face” and presents baptism as a passive activity (not works). He writes, “This is why when we have been involved in baptizing believers, we put them down into the water and then we pick them out of the water. Who does all the work? We do” (pages 26-27).
Rokser is committed to “faith alone” theology and unable to follow the inspired blueprint where believers were baptized immediately as a response to belief. Rokser’s “faith alone” theology won’t allow baptism to be part of the salvation package. But God’s plan was for those who believe in Christ to be baptized immediately. The only place where “faith alone” is found in several English translations is James 2:24 (ESV, NASB, NIV, NET), where saving faith is NOT alone of good works. Where was the “faith alone” theology prior to the Reformation? Real faith in Christ is not alone. A man who loves his wife cannot help himself from action. Jesus said, “My sheep hear [present tense] my voice, and I know [present tense] them, and they follow [present tense] me” (John 10:27).
DOES GOD DEFINE WORKS?
God breaks down different subjects into categories. For example, there are fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc. God breaks down sins: lust, lying, adultery, etc. Does God have a right to categorize his definition of works? Are the works that believers perform to the glory of God equivalent to the works the unsaved perform?
Rokser and FGT lumps works together into one basket. If God’s word is the believer’s source of authority, if God is sovereign, then He has the right to define works. Jesus said: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but [work] for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” (John 6:27-28). Believing is a work that requires ongoing action. Biblical belief for salvation is not a one-time action where living the “wages of sin” is optional.
Since God defines ongoing belief as a work, is there a contradiction? No, there are different types of works. Works of the law, which was an ongoing activity, does not save us: “For we hold that one is justified [Greek present tense] by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). Also, performing good deeds as a wage does not save man, thereby demanding God give eternal life as an earned reward (Romans 4:4-5).
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7). How were they saved? By ongoing faith. This is how we are to live our Christian life. Think about it? If we are saved by a one-time, point action faith, how could we live our life by a one-time, point action faith?
IS SALVATION A FREE GIFT?
Can a sovereign God set conditions for the gift of salvation? Should sinful man submit to God to live?
Suppose a developer offered you a prime track of land for free. In order to receive this gift, you had to agree to the developer’s conditions -you had to claim the gift in person before a certain date. This land was paid in full by the developer and offered to you, free of charge. You decide to accept this offer. You take a few days off work, fill your car with gas, and drive to claim the gift. Now it is yours. You rejoice and drive home with your new deed in hand.
Did you earn this land by filling your car with gas and driving two days, round trip, to claim the gift? Of course not! Neither did you earn this gift by submitting to the conditions the developer required. The small price you paid was not earning the free gift. The gift was actually paid for by the developer. So it is with our salvation.
In the Old Testament, (Joshua 6) God instructed the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho for six days. On the seventh day they were to march seven times; the priests were to blow their horns, and the people were to shout. Because the Jews followed God’s instructions, the walls of Jericho fell down flat. Did this victory come by their works (marching daily), or was it by their obedient faith? Hebrews 11:30, gives us the answer: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” The Bible is understood without a theological lens like FGT. The works we perform in ongoing faith as pilgrims on earth, do not earn us one second in heaven. Salvation is a free gift apart from our works.
On pages 7-8 he makes the argument that a one-time belief in Christ is the issue not baptism. He quotes, John 3:18; 16:8-9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Let’s examine these verses one by one and expose the diversion.
First, observe from these verses that ongoing belief in Christ is required. Rokser spiritualizes these verses into one-time actions that never need to be repeated again for a sinner to inherit eternal life. For John 3:18, please observe that ongoing belief is required to escape condemnation: “Whoever believes [Greek present tense] in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe [Greek present tense] is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.“
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe [present tense] in me” (John 16:8-9). Please discern that this action happens because they don’t “believe” in Christ. Even one who previously believed in Christ, who no longer believes in Christ, is an unbeliever. Ongoing belief is required. The biggest lie that Satan orchestrated in the garden was “you will not surely die.” Hell will contain people who believed the one time, “faith alone” lie. This verse does not even address the subject of water baptism.
“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). This passage describes unbelievers. Only those who believe in the present are believers. This is another verse that does not even address water baptism.
Possibly to establish credibility, early in the book, Rokser covers the Great Commission (page 1). Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” According to FGT, not only is discipleship optional, baptism is also optional. But notice the scripture does not make these optional activities. Since discipleship and baptism are optional, the Great Commission must be optional.
Mark defines the Great Commission as the Gospel for the unsaved (Mark 16:15). FGT (Rokser’s authority) teaches that the gospel does not include discipleship and that baptism is not required after belief in Christ. In other words, discipleship and baptism are optional activities. “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe [ongoing belief] will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Rokser’s overlooks the context and clear teaching of scripture. Have you observed a pattern by now?
Further, Rokser does not believe that believers are to be taught “All that I have commanded you” (v. 20). Rokser allegorized this phrase to only mean the teachings since the Upper Room Discourse. He writes, “It is important to recognize that this ongoing ‘teaching’ (Matthew 28:20) has at its backdrop the necessary ‘church truth’ given by Jesus Christ to his disciples on the night before His crucifixion. This is recorded for us in John chapters 13-17” (page 20). Rokser qualifies for God “All that I have commanded you” into not meaning “All I have commanded you“. If this kind of practice does not rattle you as a believer, you may want to question if you follow a literal interpretation of scripture. God’s Word is pure and should not be adulterated. Because Rokser’s FGT is his authority, he changes the Bible to conform to it.
Rokser attempts to drive distance between a believer’s salvation and baptism when he quotes Paul: “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved [a process] it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).
For a correct understand of this passage it’s important to read the entire passage and pay particular attention to the context. Bible verses are correctly understood within context.
Please notice some facts that Rokser leaves out. Notice what these verses say: “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name” (1 Corinthians 1:14-15). From this passage it’s likely that Paul’s letter was written to believers who were already baptized. If one reads the book of Acts which covers approximately 30 years of church history, how can one not conclude people were baptized immediately after they believed? That is, unless they view the Bible through a theology that is their authority.
The account of the jailor in Acts 16 details how he and his family were baptized in the middle of the night! What’s the urgency, a prudent person should ask if water baptismal is optional according to Rokser theology? Once the jailor and his family believed, after they are baptized, the jailor rejoices that he had believed (Acts 16:34).
Secondly, please observe, “Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel…” Baptism was to be followed after one listened to the gospel message and believed it. Baptism was the response to the gospel message only after one believes. The unsaved must hear the gospel and believe it first. If the unsaved did not believe the gospel message and trust in Christ, then baptism had no value; it would just make one wet.
Thirdly, because these were carnal believers (1 Corinthians 1:12-13), and baptism was commanded in the New Testament (Acts 2:38, 10:48, 22:16, etc.), Paul did not want to be the one baptizing because it could cause them to elevate Him to a celebrity status. According to the context, they were already elevating Paul to a higher authority than necessary in their carnality. Verse 13 states, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?“
For verse 17 (“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel“), Rokser writes, “In other words, when someone is evangelized this does not include baptism” (page 5). Notice how Rokser writes his own theology. When context is disregarded we can make the Bible say what we want. Paul is speaking of himself specifically (“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel“). Part of Christ’s commission to Paul was for him personally not to baptize after one believed (in most cases). Why did Jesus give this instruction to Paul? This letter says why. The inspired scriptures say, “I [Paul] thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, SO THAT [purpose statement] no one may say that you were baptized in my name [Paul’s name].” Paul is not downplaying the importance of water baptism, but rather elevating its importance by stressing he did not baptize them to prevent their claim of higher spirituality. Carnal believers were running around saying, “I am of Paul” (v. 12).
On Page 5, he makes the argument that the Gospel excludes baptism because it’s not present in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. He write, “It means that no mass, no fires of purgatory, no sacraments, no amount of good works, no personal suffering , no indulgences, no rituals including baptism etc. can atone for our sins. “It is finished” (page 7). Just because 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 does not mention water baptism, Rokser seems justified to build a theological thesis.
There are several things that Rokser omits about this passage (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Instead of examining one of the many water baptism passage, he takes his readers off course to where Paul describes the gospel message to those being saved: “I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel” (v. 1). Water baptism was only conducted once, while the gospel message of faith in Christ required ongoing belief. These believers, according to the NT practice found in Acts, were likely already baptized.
Secondly, Rokser does not take the normal, plain reading of scripture. He denies the clarity that this passage brings that being saved in the present is conditional on holding “fast that word which I preached to you -unless you believed in vain.“
On page 8 he makes the argument that salvation comes by “…faith in Jesus Christ alone..” page 8). Where does the Bible say that a sinner needs to respond with a one-time, action less, intellectual faith (“faith alone”) in Christ? Rokser provides Romans 1:16-17, but this passage does not describe a one-time faith, but an ongoing faith (“believes“). Further, it describes a faith in action. It says, “the just shall live by faith.” Rokser believes that living by faith is optional for the believer.
On page 8 he goes on to write, “No wonder the Gospel is called good news.” Rokser’s easy, “you can have it your way, salvation” is packaged as good news. This “ear tickling”, “completed action” gospel, where people can have their sin and Jesus too is descriptive of our last day. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
On page 20 Rokser writes, “Water baptism was commanded to Church-age believers” (page 20). But on page 29 he writes how he does not enforce this command. He writes, “Thus, in the local church I am privileged to pastor, I seek to pressure no one to be baptized by water…. nor do I teach that a believer is carnal if he/she has not been baptized” (page 29).
On page 28 Rokser writes about water baptism: “Condition #2: You should understand what you are doing.” But on pages 28-29, he answers the question, “What hinders you as a believer from getting baptized?” He makes salvation the only requirement, he writes, “In other words, there is nothing hindering you if you believe” (page 31).
On page 9 Rokser makes the argument that since water is physical it does nothing. He writes: “Think about it. How could physical water resolve a spiritual problem? How would the act of water baptism do something supernatural for you while taking a shower or a bath will not? Is there something special about the water?” (page 9).
So the physical, pure blood of Jesus Christ did nothing because it was physical? How about when the Israelites sprinkled blood on their door posts so the angel of death passed over them? So the blind man whom Jesus directed to wash the mud off his eyes with water remained blind? So the 3,000 people baptized in Acts 2 just got wet for nothing? The baptism of John had no value because he used physical water? How about when Jesus was baptized with physical water, was He just taking a bath? Was the transfiguration account, then a fiction? When the Israelites marched around Jericho, was it a worthless physical endeavor? So the Lord’s Supper has no value in partaking because it uses physical bread and real fruit of the vine? On and on we can go.
Should anyone give Rokser’s books any credibility or his messages, when he compares water baptism to a physical bath? There was nothing that grieved my soul more in writing this review than Rokser’s comparison of water baptism to a human bath.
Using Rokser’s theology, it would be wrong for an unsaved physical person to listen to the gospel delivered by a physical person, using their physical ears, and to reason with their minds, and actually believe in their hearts in Jesus Christ, who became flesh and dwelt among us with a physical body.
The Apostle Paul addressed a similar argument, which was possibly raised by false teachers. “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
The act of water baptism is not about physically removing dirt from the body like taking a bath as Rokser alludes to. No, this is a spiritual, supernatural act where a new believer as a response or “appeal to God for a good conscience” is lowered into physical water and is raised -“through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.“
Romans 6:3-5 is another passage that indicates baptism was practiced by the early church. Rokser claims this passage describes dry baptism. But the literal, historical, and contextual interpretation indicates it was water baptism. We get our authority from spending time in scripture without a theological overlay, like FGT. Rokser writes, “Romans 6 is not dealing with water, but with the baptizing by means of the Holy Spirit. Notice, these Romans were said to have been `baptized into Christ’ not into water!” (pages 25-26). Rokser made up a new rule in biblical interpretation for the church just for this passage. Since it does not say “baptized into water” then it cannot be water baptism. But when we apply this rule to the New Testament, no passages describe water baptism. Rokser should add all his extra biblical teachings to the end of Revelation where it is strictly forbidden, since the “plain reading of scripture” does not apply.
Those of us who believe that water baptism is to be followed immediately, after a sinner trusts in Christ are often accused of “baptismal regeneration.” They often imply (incorrectly) we teach that all a person needs to do is to be baptized to enter the kingdom. If this was true, every church should have a baptismal filled with water near the exits, and beg the unsaved to be baptized for a guaranteed entrance into the kingdom of God.
Thanks for reading this review. All praise goes to God and His Son, Jesus Christ!
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