Does Grace Need Water Baptism For Salvation?
Water baptism is a step of obedience.
It is a public testimony of our faith, and our new life in Christ Jesus.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
"Believeth" is used twice, and "baptized" is used once.
It is showing that to believe should lead one to baptism, but it is the lack of believing that brings damnation, not the lack of the baptism. Faith is the essential ingredient. Christ did not say, "He that is not baptized shall be damned."
In Mark 16:16, it could be said - "He that believes, is baptized, goes to church, drinks milk... etc... is saved. The believing is the part that saved, the rest is all right... The last part of the verse shows us the essential part was the "believing."
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."
Again, the essential ingredient is the repenting. It is shown in Luke 24:47, and Acts 3:19 that repentance is necessary - not water baptism.
"And that repentance and the remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations..."
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come..."
We do not omit water baptism, but salvation does not depend on water baptism.
"Arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
What washes away our sins? It is the blood of Jesus.
I John 1:7
"But if walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin."
It is the calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16) that is the essential part of salvation shown. Notice confirmation of this in Romans 10:13:
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
In the Old Testament, it was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin... they were only a type of Jesus and His precious blood. Water baptism is only a type.
I Peter 3:21
"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Water baptism does not provide the "good conscience", but the "good conscience" should be already there when baptism occurs. Baptism is the "answer of a good conscience."
"Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death."
At salvation we are spiritually "baptized into Christ." It is the Spirit that does this baptism to us.
I Corinthians 12:13
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body..."
Water baptism is symbolic of what the Holy Spirit did for us at salvation. We have been immersed into the Christ-life. We are now part of one body, because of this spiritual baptism. We have been raised to new life in Christ.