What About The Fact That Mark 16:16 Doesn’t Say “He That Is Baptized Not Shall Be Condemned”?

Mark 16:16 reads “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”

Even though the first part of the verse clearly teaches a sinner must both believe and be baptized to be saved from his sins (by the blood of Christ), some argue that the second part of the verse doesn’t say “he that is baptized not shall be condemned,” therefore water baptism must not be necessary to salvation.

But this is not a valid argument. Notice this parallel to Mark 16:16 …

He that eateth and digesteth his food shall live, but he that eateth not shall die.

· Both “eateth” and “digesteth” are absolutely necessary to live, right?

· “He that eateth not shall die” does not comment upon whether or not digestion is necessary.

· It is not necessary to say, “and digesteth not” in the second clause of the sentence. If a man doesn’t eat, he can’t digest; it is not applicable.

Likewise in Mark 16:16, the same is true:

· Both “believe” and “baptism” are absolutely necessary to salvation.

· “He that believeth not shall be condemned” does not tell us whether or not baptism is necessary.

· It is not necessary to say, “and is baptized not” in the second clause of the sentence. If a man doesn’t believe, he can’t be baptized scripturally anyway (Acts 8:37); it is not applicable.

The same can be said about the following illustrative sentences:

· He that plants and picks corn will have corn to eat, but he that doesn’t plant will not have corn to eat.

· He that plays Major League Baseball and bats for the highest average will win the batting title, but he that doesn’t play Major League Baseball will not win the batting title.

In all of these cases both conditions are necessary to the result. Specifying the negative of the second condition is unnecessary, particularly if the second condition is not applicable when the first condition isn’t met.

John 3:18 says “he that believeth not is condemned already,” so until a person believes, whether or not he is baptized is irrelevant.

Mark 16:16a tells what it takes to be saved. Mark 16:16b tells all it would take to be lost.

Jesus said “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Why argue with Him?

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