What Is The Purpose Of Baptism?
Many people believe and teach that we are saved without water baptism. They will tell us that baptism is important, and that we should be baptized someday, but it is not necessary for our salvation. Is this true?
If baptism is not necessary for our salvation, what is it for? There is a reason behind everything that God tells us to do. We all understand that baptism is a part of the gospel of Christ. What does the Bible say baptism is for?
1. Saves Us. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Notice, the Lord did not say, “He who believeth is saved and should be baptized.” The Lord placed baptism before salvation. Man places it after. The apostle Peter said, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us” (1 Peter 3:21).
2. Remission of Sins. “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38). Remission, or forgiveness, of sins comes after baptism, not before.
3. Washes Away Our Sins. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). According to this verse, when Ananias found Saul in Damascus, Saul was still in his sins. Yet, we hear people today affirm that Saul was saved on the road to Damascus. How can people be saved from their sins while still being in their sins? That just does not make sense. This verse plainly says that baptism washes away our sins.
4. Contact the Death of Christ. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). It was at His death that the blood of Christ was shed. We contact that cleansing blood, shed at His death, through baptism.
5. Places Us in Christ. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Paul said that every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places was found in Christ, blessings which include the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:3, 7). How do we get into Christ? The Bible says we are baptized into Christ.
6. Places Us in the Church. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The church is identified as the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). The only way we enter the church is through baptism. Since the church is the body of Christ, the same thing would place us in both.
Think seriously about our question. The Bible plainly identifies the purpose for baptism. Have you been baptized for the remission of your sins?