The Baptism in the waters
Many people ask if baptism is a basic requirement for salvation or not. The Baptism is an act that leads us to heaven - the faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is what provides this assurance. The baptism (by total immersion, as taught in the Bible) is an act of obedience that must be a part of our acceptance of the gift of grace offered by Jesus Christ. However, this does not mean that one who truly surrenders his heart to Jesus in his death-bed, during a war or in a plane that is falling may not enter into heaven because he could not be baptized. The thief on the cross next to Jesus did not have the time to be baptized before he died, but had the opportunity to believe in Jesus and put his trust in God, and Jesus responded by saying: "truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).
True faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for our sins is enough for salvation. Christ has already done everything. By definition, His grace does not require any "works" for additional nodes. Having said this, Jesus Christ commanded us to be baptized (Matthew 28:18-20) and, therefore, all believers should be baptized. Immediately after the order of Christ, the book of Acts describes the practice of administering the sacrament of baptism to almost all groups or individuals who believed in the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles (Acts 2:37-41; 8:5-13; 8:35-39; 9:10-18; 10:34-48; 16:30-33; 18:8 and 19:1-6).
Baptism in the Waters
According to the Bible, the symbolism of baptism declares that three things happen to believers who are baptized: (1) your old nature dies with Christ, (2) rise with Christ to become a new creature, and (3) is incorporated into its new life with a lively community that longs for the coming of the Lord (Romans 6:1-11). Unlike some denominations teach, it seems obvious that Christian baptism necessarily requires a responsible decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and, therefore, should be postponed until the age of reason or wisdom (knowing right from wrong within the perspective of God).
In short, Jesus Christ controls the baptism to his followers. Although the act of baptism does not cause the eternal salvation, it seems that any believer who refuses the baptism should really examine his conversion.
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded them. AND I am with you always, until the end of time'" (Matthew 28:18-20).
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