Throughout my years in ministry I’ve had many people ask me if baptism was required for salvation.
From what I’ve read in the bible, I do not believe baptism is a requirement for salvation. Romans 10 says to believe in one’s heart and to confess with one’s mouth that Christ is Lord brings salvation to the sinner. One example in the bible could be the thief next to Jesus who was saved because he believed. Obviously he was not baptized, but Jesus told him “you will be with me”. No, I do not believe that baptism is a requirement to be saved.
However, I do believe that baptism is a response to being saved. For years, I’ve been giving invitations for people to come to Christ and many people have raised their hands and prayed to give their lives to Christ.
I’ve found that there is a difference in the commitment level of a person who raises a hand or speaks a prayer, and the commitment level of a person who wades down into a pool of water in front of an audience of friends, family, and some strangers.
Here’s the point: people who get baptized mean it.
Isn’t this is the point of baptism? To publicly identify a person as a new creation in Christ. Doesn’t it say to all who are witnessing a person being baptized: “I am a follower of Christ, I’m new, I belong to God”? I believe that it does.
So here’s the deal: Although it might not be a requirement for salvation, it is however the natural response and the next step for the person who has come to Christ.
By the way, I get the privilege of baptizing at least 9 people tonight.
What are your thoughts on baptism?