Why there is such controversy in the religious community today over the Biblical requirements for one to be saved from sins is rather mind-boggling! The New Testament makes God’s conditions for salvation abundantly clear. In order to obtain the forgiveness of sins, one must believe Jesus is God’s Son, repent of his sins and confess his faith. All of those are clearly taught. Equally unambiguous is God’s requirement for man to be BAPTIZED to be saved.
When a person was properly baptized in the New Testament, it was always by means of immersion. The person would come “to” the water (Matt. 3:11), go “down into the water” (Acts 8:38), be “buried…in baptism” (Col. 2:12), be “raised” from the water (Rom. 6:4) and come “up out of the water” (Acts 8:39). Bible baptism is always immersion.
When a person was properly baptized in the New Testament, it was never an infant or child without proper understanding. The subject who was baptized had always been taught the gospel (Mark 16:15-16), believed the deity of Christ (Mark 16:16), repented of his sins (Acts 2:38) and confessed his faith in Christ (Acts 8:36-38). Bible baptism is always of persons who meet the required pre-conditions.
When a person was properly baptized in the New Testament, it was always (without exception) for the purpose of being saved from sins at that moment. This is one of the clearest teachings in all of Scripture. Bible baptism always stands between a sinner and being “saved” from sins (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21), obtaining “the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), having sins “washed away” (Acts 22:16), being “freed from sin” (Rom. 6:3-7), being “born again” (John 3:3-7), being able to “enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), becoming a “child of God” (Gal. 3:26-27), putting “on Christ” (Gal.3:27) and becoming a “Christian” (Matt. 28:19+Acts 11:26). The New Testament never teaches, in any verse, that baptism takes place after one has been saved.
When a person was properly baptized in the New Testament, it was the only means for entering “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). There are no other verses that provide a path “into Christ” than those two, and they both specify being “baptized.” It is impossible for one to obtain “every spiritual blessing…in Christ” (Eph. 1:3) without Bible baptism! No truth could be clearer! Jesus further warned that if one is not baptized that “he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Thank God that His plan of salvation is so clear! He has done His part! And He makes OUR part to be saved from OUR sins plain—believe Jesus is God’s Son, repent of sins, confess faith in Christ and be baptized. But, that is not the end.