Was baptism only for the Jews?


In our Bible class tonight with some Dispensational friends I brought up I Corinthians 6:11, about them being washed and sanctified. Our friend said that had nothing to do with baptism, but that the blood of Jesus cleansed and washed us not water from baptism. I mentioned I Peter 3:21 and the comparison to Noah and the water, but our friends believe that the baptism there and in Acts. 2 is only for the Jews, not for Gentiles. How can we reason that "washed" means baptism rather than just the figurative use of it?


  • If only for Jews, then why did Peter command Cornelius (a Gentile) to be baptized (Acts 10:47-48)?
  • If only for the Jews, then why did Paul write to the Romans (Gentiles included) "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3)?
  • Why did Paul tell the Galatians, who were obviously Gentile since he argued against circumcision, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

Speaking of circumcision, Paul told the Colossians (also a Gentile community), "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,  buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13).

If washing is only symbolic, then why did Ananias tell Paul, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16).


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