Is Baptism still necessary?
One may ask, “Is Baptism still necessary? Are not one’s sins forgiven after repentance?”
We must read the Bible in its entirety. If repentance alone can cleanse sins, wouldn’t this verse contradict with Acts 22:16, where it says, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins”?
We do not deny the necessity of repentance. But repentance is coupled with baptism (Acts 2:38). And it is during baptism, not repentance, that sin is washed away (see Rom 6:3; Acts 22:16).
Peter does not mention baptism here because his main message is that the people should turn from their evil (v. 26). One must repent before he considers baptism (Acts 2:37-38).
Is Baptism still necessary when we believe in Jesus Christ?
Believing in Christ is not just intellectually agreeing that he is Lord and Savior. True faith involves obeying his words (Lk 6:46-49). We are saved by grace through faith, but faith without deeds is not true faith (Jas 2:14–20). Even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Mt 8:28–29; Lk 4:41), but their belief is not true faith (Jas 2:19-20).
Hence, we cannot dismiss the necessity of baptism since baptism itself is part of and an act of, belief and faith in Jesus Christ (Mk 16:16; see Acts 16:30-33).
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