A very highly debated topic is with regard to the subject or act of baptism and it’s relationship to Salvation. We all would agree it is mentioned throughout the Bible and often associated with the conversion experience. This further brings about the question, is it for the literal remission of sins or a symbolic representation of what Jesus Christ has already done. We further would agree baptism is an act that represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The first point to make is that it is the blood of Jesus that was shed on the Cross that saves us. Anything but the blood of Jesus will not forgive our sins. The Bible tells us that every ritual of the law and animal sacrifices that were made under the old covenant does not save us it only represented things to come. They were acts of obedience to God. In a similar way baptism represents what has already taken place that would have no significance except when associated with Faith. Good to first consider what Faith does. Romans 10 tells us that If we will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all of our heart, and shalt confess with their mouth and believe God raised Him from the dead, Thou Shalt be Saved. If a person did this in the absence of baptism, would they be saved? The scripture says so. In John chapter 3 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but will have everlasting life. The same chapter says He that hath the Son has passed from death to life. Again, scripture is clear about the element of faith.
Keeping that in mind Acts 2:38 says Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. On the surface one could claim that baptism is necessary for Salvation. However, the scriptures mentioned earlier seem to indicate not. So what happened during the conversions mentioned in Acts 2? Would it not stand to reason that it was the result of Faith. So then baptism is an outward expression of an inward conversion brought about by Faith that represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Should a person be Baptized, I believe yes, it is an act of obedience to our Lord, but such obedience is not what saves us.
Why do so many argue the subject just be baptized because Christ was and it is taught in scripture as a beautiful act that represents what the Lord has done for us by Grace.
While we are on the subject, Ephesians chapter 2 tells us we are saved by Grace through Faith not works. Sincere faith moves us to serve God and do what He commands us.
We should live our Salvation with joy based on what Christ has done. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can atone for our sins. All else is what we do in gratitude and service to God based on the the finished work of His Son.
Pastor Cedar Plains Christian Church Falkville, AL.