Baptism And Salvation
In Acts 22:16, Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” We are repeatedly told that baptism isn’t essential to salvation. Some say that all one has to do to be saved is just believe in Jesus. Others tell us that if you will say some “sinner’s prayer, and invite Jesus into your heart you will be saved.”
It is obvious, that Saul believed in Jesus, when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus. There Jesus said to him, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9: 6). Saul obeyed and went into Damascus, and was there three days. He did not eat or drink, and was praying. Ananias then came to him and told him what he MUST do. What did he tell him? Did he tell him to just believe in Jesus? No, he told him to “Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 9: 18 says that Saul “Arose, and was baptized.”
But, we are told that “water baptism has nothing to do with salvation, only the blood of Jesus can wash away one’s sins.” It is true that only the blood of Jesus can wash away one’s sin (Rev. 1: 5; Matt. 26: 28). But when, or at what point, does Jesus’ blood wash away one’s sin? When, or at what point, does one receive the remission of sins? Clearly, it is when one is baptized (Acts 22: 16; 2: 38).
Thus, Saul of Tarsus was not told to “stay down and pray,” which he had been doing for three days, and he was not told to invite Jesus into his heart and he would be saved, but he was told to “get up and be baptized.” Why? To “wash away his sins!” Therefore, Jesus’ blood washed away, (remitted) Saul’s sins when he was baptized. If not, why not? Has Jesus’ blood washed away your sins? Think on these things.