Table of Contents Hide
For centuries, the Christian church has debated whether baptism is necessary for salvation. Theologians, pastors, and everyday Christians have extensively analyzed and discussed the topic. However, a few key scriptures indicate the necessity of baptism for salvation.
Let’s look at why baptism is essential for salvation.
What is Baptism?
Many bible scholars and believers of today have a rather worldly interpretation of what water baptism is. Some believe baptism is a ritual you must do when you join a church or get saved. However, this is farther from the spiritual meaning of the purpose of baptism and why Jesus Christ commanded it to accompany our salvation.
Baptism is an immersion into Christ and all He accomplished for the believer. It is our identification with Christ. In Romans 6:3, Apostle Paul asked the believers in Romans:
“Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”
This verse reminds the Romans that – all who have been baptized into Christ are baptized into His death. The fact with this statement is that we were first baptized into Christ. This means we are automatically baptized into His death, which qualifies us to be dead with Him.
Consequently, Christ being raised from death empowers us to walk in the newness of life. This is made possible because we have been immersed into Him.
The importance and purpose of baptism in salvation?
Baptism is a step of obedience that Jesus Christ commanded must accompany our salvation. We received the Gospel, and we believed with our heart the Lord by faith.
Additionally, baptism is a public declaration of our faith, identification with Christ, and commitment to following Him. Baptism symbolizes our identification of being dead with Christ, the body of sin crucified, and sin not having any power over the believer. The reality of the spiritual fact is that we have been awakened to a new way of living.
What Did Jesus Christ Say About Baptism?
In John 3:5, Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews-
Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
This man came to inquire about the person of Jesus, testifying that God was with Him. However, Jesus didn’t hesitate to explain His assignment and how a man must receive it.
Jesus said being born of water and the Spirit are prerequisites to entering the kingdom of God. He stated that one cannot see God’s kingdom.
This shows the necessity of baptism.
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way of salvation, said to the Jews – I baptize you in water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is stronger than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He Himself will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
After His resurrection and just before His ascension, Jesus told his disciples to go and disciple all people of the nations by baptizing them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18). Here, we see Christ repeating the same commandment He gave before His death. One of these verses is in Mark 16:16 – He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.
Do you need to be baptized for salvation?
Baptism is necessary after salvation, but it is not what we do to have salvation. Salvation precedes baptism. Our response to salvation is our obedience to God’s commandment. Similarly, our response to baptism should not be an exception because we were commanded to believe and be baptized. God’s instructions are absolute, and we must always trust Him to help us obey His commandment.
Can You Go To Heaven If Not Baptized?
As believers, we have been called into a life of obedience to the faith we received. Thus, baptism is taking a step of obedience because our Lord commanded us to do so. It has spiritual significance in our identification with the person we have received.
When we disobey the commandment of getting baptized, we rob ourselves of the spiritual realities of baptism. You wouldn’t know how much your spiritual life would suffer until you come into such realities.
Remember, in God, His instructions are absolute, and we shouldn’t become subjective in rationalizing His word. Jesus Christ said, I do nothing from myself, but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things John 8:28.
As God’s children, we must do as we have been instructed by our Father, who is now within our Spirit.