Baptism is a word we hear often in the Lord’s Church. We talk about baptism from our pulpits and in our Bible classes, but has all this talk fallen short? Are we really explaining what it means to be baptized and truly converted? Or are we just treating baptism as a check off on our list of things that are “important?” Let us take a look at what the Bible says about baptism.
1. Baptism is a requirement to salvation: This is NOT my opinion, it is not the doctrine of the church of Christ, it is simply what the Bible says. You can listen to the opinions of your preacher, family member, or coworker all day long, but I refuse to fight with what God has clearly stated. (1 Peter 3:21) “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” (Mark 16:16) “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damed.” There is no wondering as to what God means when he says baptism saves us. It is as simple as it sounds, God said, so I believe.
2. Baptism is a work of God, not man: I cannot tell you how many times people have told me “We do not believe in being saved by works, and baptism is a work.” and then they quote (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Vs.9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.” While I agree we are not saved solely based on the good things we have done, we need to keep in mind that works are required to go to Heaven.(James 2:17-18,24) “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (Vs.18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (Vs.24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” Furthermore, not only are works a requirement but people overlook the fact that belief is also a work! John 6:28-29) “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? (Vs.29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” So, yes, baptism is a work, not of man but of God, just like belief.
3. Baptism is where Christianity starts: It is imperative that we point out that baptism is when we become Christians and are added to the Church (Acts 2:47). We are still required to live out our Christianity after Baptism. There is a reason the Word of God refers baptism as being born again (Romans 6:4-6), remember baptism is not the retirement of a Christian but the birth of a Christian.
Friend, I encourage you to consider what the Bible says about baptism. At the end of the day, personal opinions do not matter, all that matters is what God has said.