Does Baptism Save?
Many honest, sincere religious people believe man is saved by grace alone. Others teach that man is saved by faith alone. Both of these groups deny that baptism (immersion in water) has anything to do with being saved from sins.
What does the Bible say?
The Bible teaches that:
- All spiritual blessings are in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3);
- Grace, faith, and love are found in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:1);
- Salvation is found only in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:10);
- Those who are sanctified are in Christ Jesus (I Corinthians 1:2);
- Eternal life is found only in Christ Jesus (I John 5:11,12);
- Baptism puts one into Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27).
Any reasonable, honest person will have to admit that if all spiritual blessings, grace, faith, love, salvation, sanctification, and eternal life are found in Christ Jesus, and if baptism puts one into Christ Jesus, then one must be baptized in order to enjoy these blessings. This plainly shows that baptism is essential (required) in order to be saved. To deny it is to deny the Word of God!
The Bible does not teach that baptism alone saves! However, it does teach that man is saved by baptism. Many religious people think, “He who believes is saved and should be baptized.” But Christ Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Some teach,“Baptism does not save us.” But the inspired apostle Peter wrote: “There is also an antitype which now saves us - baptism” (1 Peter 3:21)! Which should we accept - the teaching of men, or the plain statements of the Word of God (John 12:48)?
In order to be saved, one must obey Christ Jesus (Hebrews 5:9). We are commanded to believe (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). But we are also commanded to be baptized (Acts 10:48). Therefore, one must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus stated in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” If one refuses to be baptized in order to be saved, he is denying the Word of God!
Certainly it is true that man is not saved by works of his devising (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5), nor is he saved by the works of the Law of Moses (Galatians 3:10-12). But man is saved by obeying the works of God (John 14:15; Hebrews 5:9). Belief (faith) is a work of God (John 6:28,29). Baptism is also a work of God (Mark 16:16). The same loving Saviour who spoke the words of John 6:28,29 also spoke the words of Mark 16:16. If one denies this, he denies Christ Jesus Who spoke them.
We are saved by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9). Christ shed His blood in His death on the cross (John 19:34). We come into contact with the blood of Christ when we are baptized into His death (Romans 6:3). Without baptism, one cannot contact the saving blood of Jesus Christ. How can we deny this?
What is necessary to save man from his sins?
It takes God’s part which is
- grace (Ephesians 2:8),
- mercy (Titus 3:5),
- Christ Jesus (Matthew 1:21);
- His life (Romans 5:10);
- His blood (Romans 5:9);
- and the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
It also takes man’s part which is
- faith (Romans 5:1);
- works (James 2:24);
- calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13);
- hope (Romans 8:24);
- our effort (Acts 2:40);
- and being baptized (1 Peter 3:21).
The Bible does not teach that man is saved by anything alone! God, through His Word, the Bible, says it takes ALL of these things to save us from our sins. To deny such is to deny the Word of God!
Does baptism save? Yes, one must be baptized to be saved! If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24), and are willing to repent of your sins which separate you from God (Isaiah 59:1,2; Luke 13:3), and are willing to confess your faith in Christ as God’s Son (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:10), then why not be baptized into Christ now (Acts 16:33)? If you do, you will receive all the spiritual blessings which are found only in the Lord Jesus Christ!