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“Does Your Church?” (Part 8)—The Essentiality of Baptism

When you are looking for a church, what are some of the crucial doctrines and practices that are vital to find?  Is there anything more important than what a church teaches that a person lost in sin must do in order to be saved?  It is so critical to find a church that teaches what the Bible teaches about salvation!  So here’s the question: Does baptism have anything to do with one’s salvation?  Is it essential, optional or not even necessary?

The teaching of the Bible about salvation is crystal clear.  One who is lost in sin must believe that Jesus is the Son of God before he can be saved (John 3:16; 8:24).  That faith must lead a person to repent of his sins before he can be saved (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30).  But, is one saved at that point?  Or is there anything else that is necessary?  Is baptism necessary?

The Bible teaches that baptism is essential in order to be saved from the condemnation of sin. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).  “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).  “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).  “...Baptism doth also now save us” (1 Pet. 3:21).  Baptism is essential (Rom. 6:3-7; Eph. 5:26; Col. 2:11-13)!

The Bible teaches that baptism is essential in order to enter into Christ. Is being “in Christ” that important?  Scripture reveals that only “in Christ” will one find “every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3), including “redemption” (Eph. 1:7), a “new life” (2 Cor. 5:17) and “eternal life” (1 John 5:11).  Scripture affirms that the only way “into Christ” is by being “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27), for only then can one wear the name of Christ (1 Cor. 1:12-13).  Baptism is essential!

The Bible teaches that baptism is essential in order to enter into the church and kingdom of Christ. Is that important?  Scripture teaches that Jesus is the Savior only of those in His church (Eph. 5:23; 1:22-23) and will deliver them to His Father when “the end” comes (1 Cor. 15:24).  Scripture establishes that the only way to “enter” “into” the kingdom of God (the church) is to be “baptized” (1 Cor. 12:13; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:41, 47).  Baptism is essential!

The Bible teaches that baptism is essential in order to become a child of God. The process of being “born again” as a child of God into His family involves baptism (i.e., being “born of water and the spirit,” John 3:3-5).  “Sons of God” are those who, “through faith in Christ Jesus,” are “baptized” (Gal. 3:26-27).  Baptism is essential!

The church of Christ teaches that baptism is absolutely essential in order to be saved.  Does your church?