Are We Saved By Water Baptism?
By: Garland M. Robinson
Yes! First Peter 3:21 says, ...baptism doth also now save us...." The Lord could not have made it plainer! It is men who twist and pervert it unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Jesus so joined it with salvation in Mark 16:16 that no man can separate it: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." This is also made plain in the first Gospel sermon. When the multitude wanted to know what to do to be saved, Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptized...for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).
Water baptism is the act wherein one contacts the blood of Christ that washes away sins. "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5). Notice how the verse says washes us from our sins. This is exactly the language used regarding Saul of Tarsus in Acts 22:16, arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins...." This plainly shows he was NOT saved on the road to Damascus as many affirm. When Ananias came to him he was still in his sins! He obviously believed and had repented (Acts 9:9) but his sins were not washed away until he was baptized (Acts 22:16).
Romans 6:1-18 gives a beautiful picture of the connection between water baptism and salvation. One dies to sin at the point of his burial with Christ in baptism (vs.2-6). Therefore, one rises from the water of baptism to walk a newness of life" (v.4). Verse 6 describes the purpose of baptism, that the body of sin might be destroyed." How could there be salvation before baptism since it is in baptism that sin is destroyed? Its impossible! You cant have salvation from sin before baptism. Before baptism, one is a servant of sin (v.16), but when one is baptized, he dies to sin and is then made free from sin (vs. 17-18).
Baptism is absolutely essential to being saved, BUT like any other act of men, it alone cannot save. It must be preceded by faith (John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3), and confession of faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10).
How can anyone avoid or dodge the plain teaching of Jesus our Lord on the subject of water baptism? Does the church you attend teach water baptism is essential for the forgiveness of sins? If not, then its not teaching what Jesus taught men MUST do to be saved. Whos willing to deny it?