Churches of Christ are sometimes criticized for mentioning baptism at virtually every service. But why are we not also criticized for mentioning the need for faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3,5), and confession of Christ (Rom. 10:9)? The reason is that many people do not believe that baptism is required for salvation.
But what does the Bible say? There are five passages in the New Testament which mention baptism and salvation in the same verse - Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:4, Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. Specifically, these passages declare that baptism precedes salvation, the remission of sins, and walking in the newness of life. But don’t take my word for it.
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). This passage clearly states two conditions for salvation: faith and baptism. Tragically, many people ignore the words, “and is BAPTIZED.” That is a mistake.
In Acts 2:38 Peter told a group of believing Jews to "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Many people insist that the phrase FOR the remission of sins" means BECAUSE your sins have been remitted. However, I challenge anyone to a reliable translation that renders the phrase that way. Moreover, if baptism is "because” sins have been remitted, then so is repentance. Yet I have yet to hear anyone assert that repentance occurs BECAUSE sins have been remitted.
Romans 6:1-4 states that, after our burial with Christ in baptism, we are raised to “walk in newness of life”. Some, however, claim that our new life comes BEFORE our burial in baptism. But why would anyone want to BURY a NEW life? Doing so not only contradicts Paul, but so makes no sense.
Three days after the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus, Ananias told him to "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). Many people insist that Paul was previously saved from his sins because he came to believe in Jesus three days earlier. But that assertion implies that Ananias was WRONG. Act 9:18, however, reveals that Paul obeyed Ananias - “he arose and was BAPTIZED.”
1 Peter 3:21 plainly states that baptism "now saves us." Peter did not mean that we are saved by baptism ALONE, any more than we are saved by faith alone, confession alone or repentance alone. But He did affirm that baptism IS connected with our salvation.
A Recommitted Me in 2023!