Is there any relation between Water Baptism and Salvation?
Firstly, let’s look at the basis for the claim that whoever is baptised is saved?
- Through baptism, men turned from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18). It is during baptism that we are freed from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Before Christ arose from the dead, the power of darkness reigned (Lk 22:53). After Jesus arose from death, he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 28:18-19). The Lord established baptism after his resurrection. It is of great significance. Jesus rose from death and destroyed the power of death held by Satan. The power of darkness began to collapse. So, baptism was established as the way of salvation. Our return to the Lord begins with baptism. The Israelites were delivered from Egypt when they crossed the Red Sea (1 Cor 10:1-2; Ps 77:19).
- Through baptism, men are redeemed from the law. “The power of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). Since sins are forgiven through baptism, we are freed from the reign of the law (Rom 7:6). Because of our sins, we were bounded and condemned by the law (Gal 3:13). The Lord Jesus with his blood, paid our debt and redeemed us from the law (Gal 4:4-5), thereby putting us under grace (Rom 6:14). This too was accomplished when we were baptised and forgiven.
- Through baptism, we died with Christ, we were buried and rose to life with Him (Gal 3:27; Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:12). When we die, we die to sin. We crucify our old selves on the cross, to purge our sinful body so that we are no longer slaves of sin; for whoever has died, is freed from sin. We bury our dead selves in water like Jesus, who was buried in the tomb. When we arise, we are new creations with a new life – like Jesus, who rose from the dead. All these take effect on the spirit of man. Although it does not concern the physical body, we must be physically baptised so that the spiritual aspect is accomplished.
Some people say, “Believers are saved before they are baptised. There is no relation between Water Baptism and Salvation.” Is it true?
No. The Lord promised “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved. “Faith” plus “Baptism’ leads to Salvation. If baptism had nothing to do with salvation, the Lord would not have mentioned it. Baptism is a deed of faith, which unbelievers do not practise. Faith without baptism is dead. ‘Can such faith save him?” “His faith was made complete by what he did.” (Jas 2:22)
Some believers have been baptised. But, they do not believe that there is any relation between Water Baptism and Salvation. Some churches have done away with water baptism. Are such acts biblical?
No. To say that baptism is a testimony, is not biblical. “Now, get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” (Acts 22:16). “Be baptised… for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38). These are indications that baptism has the efficacy of forgiveness of sins. It is not to testify of past forgiveness, but a request for forgiveness. In other words, baptism is not a testimony that our sins had been forgiven. Bathing is to wash away our dirt in water. We cannot then say, “Bathing itself does not remove dirt but a testimony before men that we had already been cleansed before bathing?” According to the bible, water baptism is not for testimony but for forgiveness and rebirth and salvation.
Is there any relation between invalid Water Baptism and Salvation?
Water baptism was established by God. It is God’s doing. “He saved us through the washing of regeneration.” (Tit 3:5). We must believe in its power to receive God’s forgiveness and salvation through it. If we only regard it as a ceremony that is not related to salvation, we lack faith. In this case, we go through baptism without faith. Such baptism is not in keeping with the word of God and is void. Unbiblical baptisms such as sprinkling are invalid too. If our faith and manner of baptism are not in accordance to God’s principle, we are not be baptised into Christ. Then that form of Water Baptism and Salvation has no relation.
Water Baptism and Salvation
– Obedience to God’s way of Salvation concerning Water Baptism
We are saved by faith – by obeying and following God’s way of salvation. Nevertheless faith alone cannot accomplish salvation, for faith without obedience has no effect. “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved.” This statement involves the faith of men and God’s salvation. Faith is accomplished through obedience while salvation has an effect through deeds of faith.
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