Q: Some Christian churches believe a person has to be baptized to be saved. What does The Urantia Book say?

A: In The Urantia Book Jesus states that the Father honors even the faintest flicker of faith–-even the feeblest attempts of the mortal soul to reach out for him. Elsewhere Jesus assures us that salvation is real, and “The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and all who enter therein shall find abundant liberty and joyous salvation.”

See (155:6.17)

Every religion has its own set of “church beliefs, ” rituals or dogma – -that’s what sets one church apart from another and makes them unique. Baptism is a symbolic act, it’s not magic. Baptism isn’t mentioned in the Old Testament. John the Baptist used baptism as a new symbol for washing away the old beliefs and taking on the new that was to come. Jesus offered himself to John’s baptism as a symbol of fulfilling John’s proclamations and as a symbol for his heralding of the new message of God the Father and the brotherhood of man. Rituals and symbols are meaningful ways of making statements about one’s choices in life.

Just as Jesus upstepped the passover during his life here on earth to a bloodless ceremony that could be enjoyed by all, Jesus upstepped baptism during his life here on earth as well. He modified it from a ritualized practice that had to be undergone in order to enter the kingdom, to a spiritual reality that could be agreed to in the heart of the believer:

141:6.5 Even in the important matter of baptism, all that Jesus said was: “John did indeed baptize with water, but when you enter the kingdom of heaven, you shall be baptized with the Spirit.”

There is nothing wrong about being baptized; it is a lovely ritual that formally (although symbolically) initiates the believer into the higher spiritual state. At the same time, water baptism should not be thought of as a necessity for salvation, in my opinion.

Finally, here’s a beautiful thought about humanity as a whole being spiritually baptized:

195:10.1 Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus’ disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

Thanks again for this question; I hope my reply has been helpful.

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Author: Staff