Few, if any, commands of God are so challenged, distorted, criticized and ignored as those concerning baptism. This page is created and assembled with as much information as practical to present any honest student with sufficent evidence to resolve the matter.
It is my own personal opinion that the vast majority of the confusion is created from a thorough misunderstanding of other biblical truths. The birth, acceptance and existence of man made religious organizations (denominations) has so distorted the purpose of baptism that their reason for rejecting this command of God becomes obvious.
Almost without exception, denominations use the act of baptism as a pre-requisite to membership into their organization. Also, with very few exceptions, these people will tell you it is not necessary that you be a member of their organization in order to be a saved from your sins. So, with these two factors, you can see that baptism would certainly not be needed, and under these circumstances, I would also agree with them 100%.
There are however, no commands, inferences, teachings, or examples in God's Holy word for baptism to be used as a ritual into some formal organization! Period. Baptism was never intended for such use. It is a command of the Lord, Jesus Christ, as a symbolic participation into His death, at which time, after an honest heart has believed, repented, confessed their belief that Jesus was the son of God, Jesus will transfer him into His body, His church, the called out, those of whom He has remitted their sins. It takes no genius to read the scriptures pointing this out. It only takes an honest heart that understands that baptism was NOT intended as a ritual into any man-made denomination.
We offer below, a number of good bible referenced sermons or articles by recognized scholars of God's word. Please study them carefully and prayerfully to acquire a thorough understanding of Baptism's place and value in God's scheme of redemption.
Is baptism necessary for salvation? Read God's Plan Of Salvation By Bob Williams
Plus another study by the same title.. God's Plan Of Salvation By Michael S. Cole, M. D.
And add to that the reading of What Must I Do To Be Saved By Gus Nichols
And more.. The One Baptism Of Ephesians 4: 5 By V. Glenn McCoy
And more.. Watered-Down Baptism By Allen Webster
And more.. Is Baptism Essential? By James R. Davis
And another very thorough coverage.. What Is The Meaning And Purpose Of Baptism? By Jeff McFadden
The honest student will be forced to note that these verses of scripture and other writings are consistent, harmonious in their use of baptism. It is always referred to as a "must" rather than an "if you want to" or "if you see fit to". It is always indicated as the final step into Christ, or His body. Never used as an after the fact action to show one's appreciation! Some wrest the meaning of words in order to justify their error in the teaching concerning baptism. One of the best examples is that found in Acts the second chapter. When Peter said "Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins" in verse 38, many try to say that the word for means because of the remission of your sins. Hogwash. Anyone who can read knows better than that. They will virtually all say that it means you must REPENT before your sins will be remitted. They then ignore the fact the conjunction "and" joins the two terms "repent and be baptized" together giving them equal status and importance. If I say 6 and 2 makes 8, that does not, cannot, mean that 6 makes 8 and we think you should add 2 more at some future date if you feel like it.