The Bible teaches that baptism is the next step of obedience for those who have made a commitment to follow Christ. Baptism by immersion is a one-time act by which we publicly identify ourselves as one who has been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and testify to the fact that we believe Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day, and now is alive and Lord over all creation.
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
No. If baptism were necessary, some degree of work or ritual on our part would contribute to our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We cannot save ourselves. Salvation is a gift from God, not something to be earned. The work of our salvation was accomplished by Christ.
Who should be baptized?
Everyone who has committed their life to Jesus should be baptized. Galatians 3:27 says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” This tells us that baptism was universal among those who believed. We see this also in Acts 2:41 following Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” This great event immediately followed Peter’s command in Acts 2:38, “be baptized every one of you”.