First read my earlier “Born Again” blogs below this article in order from 1-5.
The Question “Is water baptism essential to salvation?” often crops up, as some churches preach that it is, and that you get saved when you get baptised.
While we should preach that all men are commanded to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38), I believe that adding any other requirement to salvation by grace, becomes a form of works. Even though numerous Scriptures speak of the importance of water baptism, to add anything at all to the work that Jesus did on the cross, would be to reduce the efficacy of Jesus death on the cross.
It is the following passage of scripture which the churches who believe you are saved when you get baptized base their belief on.
Mark 16:15&16 And Jesus said unto them, ”Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.”
I would like to point out however that Jesus only said “he that believes not shall be damned.” Jesus did not say he that is not baptised shall be damned. To say that you are not saved unless you have been baptised, would be to imply that Jesus’ death on the cross was not sufficient for our salvation, and that is completely contrary to the basic gospel message.
Water baptism is a confession of our faith in Jesus Christ to the world, and shows our obedience to the Lord. Water baptism, prayer, good works, fellowship, witnessing, etc.— should all follow on as a natural progression from our faith in Christ.
We are not saved by what we do, but by Who we have: “He that has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12). John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, (or baptism) so that no one can boast.”
Yes Yes Yes, Baptism is an important step of obedience to the Lord’s commandment, and it should follow our salvation, but it does not bring salvation to anyone who is not already “Born Again.”