The denominational world hotly contests our strict adherence to water baptism for the remission of sins. We do this because it was commanded by our Master in Mark 16:16 (“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned”) and by the apostles in Acts 2:38-39 (“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar oﬀ, even as many as the Lord our God shall call”).
But biblically speaking, what does baptism do? In scriptural baptism, someone …
- Is spiritually cleansed when sins are washed away (Acts 22:16; cp. 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:22).
- Enters into Christ and accesses every spiritual blessing (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 1:3-14).
- Is made alive with Christ by being buried and raised with Him (Colossians 2:11-13; 3:1-12; Romans 6:3-4).
- Becomes a new creature in Christ by dying to sin and being raised to walk in a new life (Romans 6:3-8, 11; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
- Is freed from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:17-18; Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:18; 1 Peter 2:9; cp. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2).
- Is born again by the water and Spirit (John 3:3-5; Titus 3:4; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 2:22-23).
- Is delivered from eternal destruction like Noah was saved from physical destruction (1 Peter 3:20-21; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39).
This is not theoretical. This is actually what happens to a person when they are scripturally baptized. Seeing all this, what is one’s condition if they have not been baptized? Even though false teachers from the denominational world will tell you that baptism is not essential to your salvation, surely you would ask the question, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).