So you’ve repented, believed, and have become a follower of Jesus Christ.
But what’s the next step? The answer: water baptism.
Before the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples,
Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…He that BELIEVES and is BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED; but he that believes not shall be damned (Matthew 28:19,20 & Mark 16:16).
Now look at these other texts:
Mark 16:16 – He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.
Acts 2:38 – Peter replied, “REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS . . .”
Acts 2:40-41 – And with many other words did he [Peter] testify and exhort, saying, SAVE YOURSELVES from this corrupt generation. Then they that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED.
Acts 22:16 – And now what are you waiting for? Get up, BE BAPTIZED AND WASH AWAY YOUR SINS AWAY, calling on his name.
1 Peter 3: 21- this water symbolizes BATPISM THAT NOW SAVES YOU also . . .
These passages have led some Christian denominations to teach baptismal regeneration. Other denominations have essentially buried these texts, choosing to ignore them rather than engage them at all.
I don’t subscribe to baptismal regeneration. But because I believe the Bible to be God’s inspired Word, fully reliable and fully authoritative, I don’t think we can rightfully ignore these texts either.
To my mind, the solution is in understanding two things: (1) how the word “saved” is used throughout the New Testament, and (2) the relationship between faith and confession. Continue Reading…