Baptism Is Essential
What so important about baptism?
“See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36) Today this question would meet a superabundance of argument and combative dialogue. What is baptism all about? Is baptism really essential to salvation? In order to get the right answer, let’s remove the hindrances of effective bible study (pride, prejudice and pressure), and lets allow scripture to do the talking.
- Baptism is indispensable to salvation because “The Christ” commands it. The sovereign ruler of heaven and earth says that baptism is necessary for salvation (Mk 16:15-16). The King of Kings commissions it for the entire world (Mt. 28:18-20). In fact, Jesus says we cannot see His kingdom without it (Jn. 3:3,5).
- Baptism is essential to salvation because it comes before the spiritual benefits revealed in scripture. Throughout New Testament scripture, baptism precedes some marvelous blessings. Salvation (Mk. 16:16), the circumcision of God (Col. 2:11-12), putting on Christ (Gal.3: 26-27), washing sins away (Acts 22:16), and the destruction of the body of sin (Rom 6:3-7) are some of the benefits that are a result of baptism. These spiritual benefits are not accessible before or without baptism.
- Baptism is indispensable because all spiritual blessings are in Christ. Baptism is the bridge to these blessings. Eternal life is in Christ (1 Jn. 5:10-13). Salvation is in Christ (2 Tim. 2:10). There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ (Rom 8:1). The bible teaches that one gets into the place of these blessings by baptism. Paul says that we are baptized into Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3).
- Baptism is essential because it is included in every conversion case of scripture. In the New Testament, no one became a Christian before they were baptized. About 3,000 people in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost were baptized (Acts 2:37-42). The Samaritans were baptized (Acts 8:12). The Eunuch was baptized (Acts 8:26-38). Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized (Acts 10:47-48). Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:14-15). The jailor and his household were baptized (Acts 16:25-34). The Ephesians were baptized (Acts 19:1-5). Paul was baptized (Acts 22:16). The Romans were baptized (Rom 6:1-7). If we want to be Christians, we must be baptized.
- Baptism is essential to salvation because there are not any other examples of men and women becoming Christians without it. Calling on the name of the Lord includes baptism (Acts 2:21, 38; Acts 22:16). “The sinner’s prayer” is not any where in the bible, the word of God. Isolated experiences of grace are not the evidence of obeying from the heart the teachings of God (Rom. 6:17-18). When penitent, heart pricked believers wanted to know what to do to be saved, Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2: 37-38)
- Baptism is essential to salvation because of the Holy Spirit. The spirit testifies that we are God’s children (Rom 8:15-16). The spirit is given through obedience (Acts 5:32). Biblical obedience includes baptism (Acts 2:37-38; Acts 16:30-33).
- Baptism is essential to salvation because God said it was through His revealed will in the Holy Scriptures. When a penitent person simply follows the examples of scripture and chooses to participate in the Gospel of Christ, they are baptized into the death of Jesus. By that same baptism they are buried with him and from baptism they are raised with Him to walk in new life, resurrected life (Rom. 6:3-7). God will free you and fill you according to His word, His work, and His will. Follow Him today!
Through God’s word, we learn exactly why baptism is essential to salvation. If a person would lay their lives along side the word of God and adjust their lives to match up with the pattern of scripture, then you will become what scripture teaches and calls you to be. This is an honest pursuit, by those desiring to be honorable.