Question received- “Does water baptism give a sinner true salvation?
If yes or no,
Give biblical support to your answers.”
Again, thank you for another question. I understand many people are confused regarding this matter of water baptism and salvation. Therefore it is a very important question.
Water baptism along with Lords Supper – remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in a local church, are the two ordinances given to the believers in the Bible. These can be read in Mathew 28:18-20 and Luke 26:26-28. These two are the commandments our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind water baptism or Lords’ supper do not save anyone. When a person repents about his or sins and calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, then he or she get saved. Romans 10:9-13 along with other passages confirm how a person gets saved. It says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
A person who already got saved by confessing the sins and accepting Christ as the savior obey Lord Jesus by water baptism and remembering in Lord’s supper in a local church. I would say the first commandment to obey after salvation is water baptism. Acts 2:41 says after the preaching of Peter, people repented and accepted Christ as their savior. They were baptized. Who got baptized? Those “people who repented and accepted Christ as their savior.” Did you notice the order here? First repentance of their sins and acceptance of Christ as savior and then water baptism.
So baptism doesn’t save and in fact no human works ever save anyone. If any work saves people, Christ didn’t need to come to this earth and die for all of us. Only faith and trust in Christ saves. Salvation happens when one repents of their sins and turn to Christ for salvation. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13. Accept Christ as your savior in a small prayer and you will be saved and granted eternal life.
One of the thieves on the cross right before his death prayed to Jesus like this, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus immediately answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Now if the thief had an opportunity to live he should have obeyed the Lord who loved him and saved him. But he did not get an opportunity to live any more days. But Jesus assured him eternal life on the basis of his request for salvation. There were two thieves on either side of Jesus. One mocked and ridiculed Jesus, but this thief expressed his faith in the Messiah (savior) right in the midst of his severe pain. His past was very bad and that is why he was crucified for his crimes. But one word of faith and trust in Christ made all the difference as far as his eternity in heaven is concerned.
It is very important to obey the Lord in water baptism after your personal trust and faith in Him because Bible asks us to do. But only after the profession of your faith in Christ. Refer Acts 8:26-40 for details and Acts 2:41 and right order. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” You see the belief in Christ is the key to true salvation. So Philip commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” The right order as explained above in the Bible is (1) preaching and hearing the message of the Gospel because Philip preached the Gospel to Eunuch (2) Eunuch’s understanding of the Gospel message and request to get baptized. (3) Philip said You can get baptized “if you believe with all your heart, you may.” Both of them went down into the water and Philip baptized him. This is the right order. Repentance and faith in Christ and then get baptized to obey the Lord’s commandment of water baptism. It is not baptism that saves but what truly saves a person is his or her repentance and believe in Christ Jesus as the savior. Baptism is an ordinance that proclaims one’s faith in Christ as a public testimony and baptism is the first commandment a believer in Christ will need to obey. Christ said, if you love me you will obey my commandment.
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