Having noted the importance of hearing God’s word, believing it, repentance and confessing Jesus as the Son of God, we now move to the final step in God’s plan of salvation. This is baptism. We will discuss the importance of baptism.

In answering the question, "What must I do to be saved?", several in the Bible included baptism in their teaching. Jesus taught it to Nicodemus in John 3:3-5 where He said, "...unless one is born of water (baptism) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." As He was about to ascend to heaven, he urged His apostles to go and preach the gospel saying, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be damned." (Mark 16:16). In Matthew’s account of this event, we note that Jesus told them to go and make disciples of all nations, "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things ..." (Matthew 28:18-20).

Example after example of conversion in the book of Acts includes the act of baptism. On Pentecost, Peter told the crowd, "...Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sin;..." (Ac. 2:38). Of Cornelius and his household, Peter "...commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." (Ac. 10:48). On the banks of a river in Philippi, after being taught by Paul, we are told of Lydia, "...and when she and her household were baptized..." (Ac. 16:15). The jailer in that same city we are told after asking Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?", was told, "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household..." Continuing to read we next find that they spoke the word of the Lord to him, and then we find that the same hour of the night, "...immediately he and all his family were baptized." (Ac. 16:30-33). Paul himself was told by Ananias, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Ac. 22:16). In each of these instances, baptism was mentioned BEFORE salvation, rejoicing, forgiveness of sins, etc. indicating that baptism was the final step that produced these results.

The necessity of baptism is also taught in the epistles of the New Testament. Paul wrote of baptism in Romans 6:3-7, "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death...knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." In 1 Corinthians 12:13, we read, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" The body referred to here is the church which he proceeds to explain needs to be unified. To the Galatians he wrote, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ..." (Gal. 3:27). Peter taught of its importance in 1 Peter 3:20-21 where he said, "There is also an antitype (referring to Noah and his family being saved through water) which now saves us --baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

In all of these passages, and several others, we can see the importance of baptism. Yet the importance of this act is diminished by so many in the religious world as not being necessary. In our next article we will further examine its importance and note some of the arguments made against baptism.

For more about baptism click here

For answers to arguments against baptism for salvation, click here.




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