On the Day of Pentecost, after Peter’s great gospel message on salvation… the people cried out, “What shall we do?” (to be saved is understood). Peter replied plainly… “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Yet faith-only preachers deny baptism is necessary, saying it is only a sign you are saved and for church membership.
Their favorite argument is that the preposition “for” (eis – pronounced like “ice”) can mean “because” and say that this indicates “be baptized because your sins have been forgiven.” Since, “baptized” is joined with “repent” and “and” this would mean “repentance” also was after salvation, yet the need for repentance is proclaimed many places in the New Testament (Acts 3:19; 17:30; Romans 2:4) – Jesus Himself said, “Except you repent, you shall likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
Eis occurs 1,773 times in the New Testament and never means “because.” It is used by Jesus in Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood, which is shed for (eis) the remission of sins.” He certainly didn’t mean that sins were remitted before His blood was shed.
Dr. Henry B. Dewing, president of Athens College, Athens, Greece, said “I should translate, ‘Let everyone of you be baptized for the (attainment of) forgiveness of sin.’ … the meaning of ‘because of’ is… utterly out of the question.”
Baptist scholar Edgar Goodspeed, who translated a popular version of the New Testament admitted, “It (eis) never means ‘because of.’” He used “in order to.” However, he said he disagreed with Peter’s theology in that regard, thus rejecting the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures.
One radio preacher, in an attempt to prove this fallacy said, “Suppose I said to you, ‘Thank you for the gift.’ I would mean because of the gift,’ not to get it.”
There is an example of his illustration in the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 9:15 reads, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.” If eis is used here as “for” he has proven his point. However it is not eis but epi – which can be rendered “because of.” Not only does this not prove his point, but disproves that eis can mean “because” in Acts 2:38, as Peter would have used epi if that was his point there.