The Role of Baptism in My Salvation
Before Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection from the dead, He told His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). There is perhaps no other doctrine more plainly taught than the role of baptism in God’s plan to save us from our sins, yet baptism remains one of the most controversial of subjects. Jesus obviously commanded baptism; but what is its purpose? What is accomplished when a person humbly submits to the act of water baptism?
Baptism saves us and allows us to have a clear conscience according to Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. Our sins are washed away and forgiven when we are baptized based on the teachings of Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16 and Colossians 2:13. We establish fellowship with Christ, Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27. We become a disciple of Jesus Christ, Matthew 28:19. We are made spiritually alive, Colossians 2:13. Our old man of sin is put to death, Romans 6:6, so we can rise to walk in newness of life, Romans 6:4.
There are those who will tell you that baptism is not necessary for salvation. What they expect you to believe is that you can be saved when you are still guilty of your sins, you have no relationship with Christ and are not His disciple, you are still spiritually dead, you are still burdened with your old man of sin and you are in no position to embark on a new life. You need to ask yourself, will I accept the plain teachings of the Scriptures or will I take the word of man. Remember, each of us will stand before God in judgment alone and give account of ourselves. Will you actually be able to face God and tell Him He should have made His will plainer?
When we are baptized, we reenact the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Romans 6:4 tells us, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Of course the symbolism God intended is lost if we are not buried. Many will tell you that sprinkling and pouring are acceptable forms of baptism even though the Greek word baptisma actually meant immersion or submersion. To say that sprinkling is an acceptable form of immersion is simply nonsense. God commanded immersion and a person is either immersed or they are not.
A person who hears and believes the truth of the gospel is compelled to repent of his past life of sin and is anxious to confess Jesus as his Lord. The old man of sin is crucified with Christ when he is immersed in water in the name of Jesus and he rises to live a new life. But when all is said and done, he has done nothing to earn the forgiveness of a single sin; he is saved by the grace of God through his demonstrated faith in Jesus. Be wary of anyone who talks far above your head to try to convince you to reject what the Scriptures clearly teach. If your sins are a burden to you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to baptize you into Christ.