"Do you believe that you have to be baptized to be saved?"
The Bible teaches that baptism is essential to salvation. It is a command given by our Lord for entrance into His kingdom, the church. After baptism gets you into the church, there are many other things mentioned in the Bible that become essential to continuing salvation. Please study the Scriptures given below, the ones on baptism are marked (*).
To explain salvation I must go further than your question. What saves? By what means may we attain heaven? Here are things recorded in the Bible that answers this question:
and a number of other things that I will not list at this time (due to space), but we will be glad to study them with you.
- Christ's blood, Acts 20:28, Romans 5:8-9, Hebrews 9:14;
- Christ's death, Romans 5:6;
- Christ's resurrection, Romans 4:25;
- confession and belief, Romans 10:9-10, I Timothy 1:16, Mark 16:16;
- * repentance, Acts 2:38, 17:30, II Peter 3:9, Luke 13:3, Luke 24:46-47;
- * baptism by immersion, Acts 8:36-39, I Peter 3:21;
- * baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, Matthew 28:18-20;
- * baptism for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38, 22:16;
- faith, Romans 5:1-2;
- grace, Titus 2:11, Ephesians 2:8;
- calling on His name, Acts 2:21;
- the Word, James 1:21-22;
- the Gospel, I Corinthians 15:1-2;
- obedience [works], Hebrews 5:9, James 2:18;
- God-Christ-Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-6, Ephesians 4:4-6;
All these things, as a whole are vital to being saved, not just one.
You can't go shopping and say "faith sounds easy, I'll take that one," or "confessing and belief sounds good, I'll take Romans 10:9-10." The Bible tells us if you do that and think you are saved you are wrong. If you try to stand on any single Scripture alone you have believed in vain and you will be eternally lost, James 2:10. To put it another way, God doesn't give us a menu to choose from; we must take it all. God does not lie, Titus 1:2. He only has to tell us something once for it to be true. He doesn't have to remind us about something over and over, or list all things that save every time He tells us about one thing that will save us. And never did He circumvent one thing for another, or say "you may choose this one or that one" when telling us what to do to be saved. God is not a God of confusion.
After studying the Scriptures I've brought to your attention above there can only be one answer to your question -- that answer is yes! The Bible tells us first you must repent, and then baptism is by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, for the remission of sins. Another thing to remember is that unbelievers have not repented; therefore they have no salvation in baptism. And infants are unable to repent; therefore they have no need for baptism.
Gene E. LittleJohnsCopyright © 1996, by Gene E. LittleJohns, all rights reserved. The copyright owner reserves all rights to any profits from this writing. Otherwise, reproduction and distribution of this writing is encouraged, it may be freely distributed as long as nothing is added to or removed from the original writing and this notice remains intact. Any and all modifications are strictly prohibited, without exception.
31 October 1996
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