When a man hears the word of God and develops faith, he must go on to confess Christ and repent of his sins (Romans 10:9-17; Acts 3:19). Many people say that is all that is necessary to be converted, to become a child of God. However, the Bible declares there is yet another thing to be done.
Two of the four gospels record that when Jesus gave the “great commission” He included baptism. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). This reveals its importance in God’s plan for saving man.
The apostles and prophets followed suit. When they taught men about Jesus Christ, they also taught them about baptism. Peter told those on Pentecost to “repent, and let every one of you is baptized” (Acts 2:38). As Philip taught the people of Samaria, he instructed them in baptism (Acts 8:12). He did the same with the Eunuch (Acts 8:36). Saul of Tarsus was taught about baptism by Ananias (Acts 9:17-18). Paul, the apostle, taught people to be baptized (Acts 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:4-5).
The reason people were told to be baptized is that in it the blood of Christ washes away a person’s sins. Ananias told Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). The apostle wrote that baptism is what puts a man into Jesus (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27). As we all know, forgiveness is in Jesus, so we must get in Him to have it (Ephesians 1:3, 7). This is done through baptism. Peter said baptism saves us (1 Peter 3:21). On the day of Pentecost, he also declared, by inspiration, that baptism is in order to have your sins remitted (Acts 2:38). If the whole world was present that day, would he have said anything different?
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Steven F. Deaton