Luther: Faith and Baptism

“That is also the meaning of Christ’s saying in the last chapter of Mark [16:16], “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” He puts faith before baptism for where there is no faith, baptism does no good. As he himself afterwards says, “He who does not believe will be condemned,” even though he is baptized, for it is not baptism, but faith in baptism, that saves. For this reason, we read in Acts 8[:36f.] that St. Philip would not baptize the eunuch until he had asked him whether he believed. And we can see every day that wherever in the whole world baptism is administered, the question is put to the child, or the sponsors in his stead, whether he believes, and on the basis of this faith and confession, the sacrament of baptism is administered” (”Defense and Explanation of All the Articles” (1521), LW 32, pg 14).

One thought on “Luther: Faith and Baptism


    What is the function of faith and water baptism relating to the forgiveness of sin? Does water baptism mean being sprinkled or poured?

    Faith and water baptism cannot be separated when talking about salvation. Jesus said it in Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved…”(NKJV)

    Colossians 2:12 Having been buried with him by immersion, by which also you were raised up with him, through the belief of the strong working of God, who raised him from the dead.(TBVOTNT by Chester Estes)

    Faith. Baptism by immersion. You cannot be buried by being sprinkled or poured.

    Colossians 2:12 Ye are buried with Him in baptism, wherein ye also are risen with Him through the faith wrought by the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. (KJV)

    Faith. Buried in baptism. You cannot divorce faith from baptism.

    Colossians 2:12 You were buried with Him beneath the waters of the ceremonial washing called baptism and then were raised up with Him by faith in the resurrection power of God, who brought Him back from the dead.(VOICE)

    Faith. Buried in water is baptism. Faith and baptism are linked together.

    Colossians 2:12 You were buried with Christ when you werebaptised. You were also raised with him to a new life when you were baptised. You were raised because you believed in the power of God who raised Christ from death.(WE)

    Baptised by being buried under water. Raise to walk in a new life only after you believed and were baptized in water.

    Colossians 2:12 When you were baptized, you were buried as Christ was buried. When you were raised up in baptism, you were raised as Christ was raised. You were raised to a new life by putting your trust in God. It was God Who raised Jesus from the dead.(NLV)

    Men are raised to a new life only after they trust God and are baptized in water.

    Colossians 2:12 For in baptism you see how your old, evil nature died with him and was buried with him; and the you came up out of death with him into a new life because you trusted the Word of the mighty God who raised Christ from the dead.(TLB)

    There is no new life for Christians until they trust God and are baptized into Christ.


    Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with himself, and freely forgave us all our trespasses. TBVOTNT by Chester Estes)

    Our trespasses were forgiven after faith and water baptism, not prior to faith, nor before baptism. (Note, we were dead through our own trespasses and not those of Adam and Eve.)

    Colossians 2:13 You were dead because of your sins, that is, because of your “foreskin”, your old nature. But God made alive along with the Messiah by forgiving you all your sins. (CJB)

    God forgives us after faith and water baptism.

    Colossians 2:13 You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God’s people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins. (CEV)

    Men are dead in sin because they sin and not because Adam sinned. Sins are forgiven following faith and water baptism.

    Colossians 2:13 When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins.(NCV)

    Men are not free from the power of sin nor the punishment of sin until they have faith and are baptized into Christ. Men are spiritually dead because of their own sins. No man will go to hell because Adam and Eve sinned.

    Faith and water baptism precede forgiveness from sin.(Mark 16:16) Men do not walk in a new life prior to faith and baptism. (Romans 6:4-6)


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