There are many who say that baptism has no role in salvation. They teach that one is saved before and without baptism. Others, however, say that baptism does have a role — a significant role — in salvation. They teach that baptism is absolutely essential. This writer is among those who say that baptism has a role in salvation. The Scriptures teach that one must be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), to have his sins forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16), to get into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27), to be born again (John 3:5; Titus 3:5), to get into the body (1 Corinthians 12:13), to be cleansed (Ephesians 5:26) and much more.
Unfortunately, those of us who teach that baptism has a role in salvation have been misrepresented by some and probably need to correct the record. First, we do not believe that water has the power to forgive sins. Only the precious blood of the sinless Son of God has the power to forgive sins. However, we contact that blood in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:3). Second, we do not believe that man is saved by meritorious works. If that were so, grace would be excluded. However, baptism is not a meritorious work (Titus 3:5). Third, we do not believe that baptism alone saves. Baptism is but one of several conditions set forth for salvation in the New Testament (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10).
Baptism is not what you do to save yourself. It is what you do when you come to realize there is nothing you can do to save yourself. So, have you been baptized?