1 Corinthians 1:13-17

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Does this verse speak against the necessity of Baptism?

My 2 main questions are…

  1. Why is he thankful that he let others baptize?

  2. If Christ didn’t send him to baptize, how would people get baptized in the first place?

Read the verses leading up to these. Paul is chastising the Corinthians for their division, some following Apollos, others following Cephas, Paul, and Christ. (I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or "I belong to Christ.") Paul is thankful that he didn’t baptize more people because it would have lent credence to those who claimed to be following Paul.

Look at the Jailer of Phillipi (in Acts), immediately after the earthquake and his conversions, what’s the first thing Paul does? He baptizes him and his household. Paul recognized that baptism was important, he just was thankful that he wasn’t driving a further wedge into the cracks of division that were forming in Corinth.

=aball1035;5330110]“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Does this verse speak against the necessity of Baptism?

NO!

Paul better than any other bible author was keenly and personally aware “of the GIFTS of the Spirit.” There are mutiple [partial] list in 1Cor. 12, Eph. 4, Rom. 12, Heb. 2.

Paul clearly understood that everyone receives a Gift or gifts from the Holy Spirit, not for their own use, but to help build uo the Church. And these are given by The Holy Spirit to whom He is pleased to grant them to the degree He wishes, and when He wishes. Not everyone has the same gifts!

What Paul is saying in this context, is that Pauls gifts had to do with Teaching, and giving personal example; enduring great hardships for Chrsit to build up His Chruch.

Jesus personally tells us that we MUST be Baptized.

***John 3: 5 "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” ***

My 2 main questions are…

  1. Why is he thankful that he let others baptize?

Because Paul is awre that Baptism is a condition for Salvation

Because Paul see’s that others are getting “the job done”

Because the power to Baptize is “lesser” in difficulty than to teach effectively

  1. If Christ didn’t send him to baptize, how would people get baptized in the first place?

Paul seldom [if ever?] journied alone. As a Bishop he had the power to confer Ordination, and no doubt did so often. Puld would have Baptized had it been necessary to do so, he had others who did it for him.

Thanks for asking,

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.