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What about baptism?

If we love God and live a life according to His will, do we need to be baptized? Is baptism required for our salvation?

These are great questions! Let’s examine them in light of the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:1–8 reveals the stunning beauty of baptism. By being baptized, we publically acknowledge our acceptance of Christ into our lives. Baptism also signifies Jesus’ blood cleansing our sins—it is a ‘watery grave’ to a life of sin. We are “dying” to self and acknowledging that we have “been raised” into a new life with Christ. We are, in essence, identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Now, let’s look at Ephesians 2:8–9. It says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

We can take this to mean that baptism is not the “key” to the kingdom. God’s grace is the key. Nothing we do earns us a place in heaven. Baptism isn't something we do to get into heaven.

Indeed, a clear example of salvation without baptism was the thief on the cross at Jesus’ crucifixion. Luke 23:39-43 describes a thief who believed in Christ and asked to be remembered by Jesus when He entered into His kingdom. Jesus, even while dying, granted salvation to this thief who had not been baptized.

The example of the thief on the cross, however, doesn’t mean we should forgo baptism. It is truly an act of solidifying our allegiance to Christ.

Most important, Jesus commands us to be baptized. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” God desires we be baptized. If He commands us to do this and we refuse, what does that say about our relationship to Him?

Besides, we should always seek to follow the perfect example of the Savior. Jesus, although without sin, was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan (Mark 1:9), an act that “well pleased” His heavenly Father.

Obviously, the thief on the cross did not have the opportunity to be baptized; nevertheless, he was saved. However, if we have the opportunity to follow God's will and be baptized, shouldn’t we?

By Sabrina P.

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