Water Baptism: A Necessity for Salvation?
This is written in order to show that water-immersion baptism and water baptism not a requirement for salvation, according to the Bible. It is only an outward sign that the Holy Spirit has set up residence within a Believer. At this point it should be noted that this is not written to be anti-Baptist nor anti-anything, but that it is written purely to pare down what is not a part of First Century Christianity, as Jesus wanted it.
You will also note that I have made an attempt to make this point about baptism by taking Scripture as a whole, taking the full measure of God’s counsel instead of taking single verses to make the point. While there are certainly a few verses which imply that water baptism is a part of becoming saved, more verses than not are vague at best on this topic and often actually omit references to water baptism altogether. Still more verses conclude that we are saved by faith, not by ritual. A person can be a bona fide Christians without water Baptism, the sole criterion being whether or not a person believes Jesus is the Messiah, the only Son of God, and is given a new heart by the Holy Spirit's indwelling.
The main purpose of this article is to remove yet another contemporary man-made “work” or ritual from what has unfortunately become a tattered and byzantine tapestry of what Jesus really wanted when He walked this earth and immediately afterward. It is my contention that the more stripped of man-made ritual we can make our faith, the closer we come to the true nature of the Trinity and to Jesus in particular.
Man-made rules and post-Pentecost rituals are not needed in order for salvation to take place and only further complicate a very simple message; by faith in Jesus we are saved. With that in mind, I hope you will agree that the simpler Jesus’ message becomes, the more intimately we may relate to Him and to His message.
More often than not, "baptism" in Scripture refers to the baptism of the Spirit, or "baptism" into Jesus' death and resurrection. It does not always mean either full-immersion or "dipping" baptism of water by clergy. For example, at my conversion, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, but my actual baptism by water (on the forehead) did not take place until years later. One does not need water-baptism to be saved. Baptism is an external indication of an internal metamorphosis; the Old Man dies, the New Creature comes into being by baptism of the Spirit.