Water Baptism

12:38 AM

I have been studying a few sources on water baptism, since I will be baptized today, Tuesday May 3rd at my amazing church, New Life Church. I can be honest and say that I was (and perhaps still am) quite nervous about the whole process…let me explain. I grew up in a Pentecostal church where I was taught that water baptism is not necessary for salvation. So, I’ve never been baptized nor, as far as I can remember, have I even seen a baptism service…but I have found a few interesting points in my studies, and I will post some links below. However, I have summarized some of what I found on http://www.christiananswers.net which was very helpful:

*Baptism is a beautiful step of obedience to the Lord following our repentance and confession of sin. Our obedience to God comes in a variety of forms such as water baptism, prayer, good works, fellowship, witnessing, etc. and it comes from our faith in Christ. Salvation is not what we do, but Who we have.
“He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.”
1 John 5:12
*The Bible makes clear that we are saved by grace, and grace alone,
“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.”
Ephesians 2:8-9
*Mark 16:16 quotes Jesus as saying: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (NKJV). Does this mean that salvation is by baptism? In no way does this verse establish baptism as a condition for salvation; it is merely the declaration that those who believe and are baptized are saved. Any act of obedience to the Lord could be added after the expression 'whoever believes' and it would remain a true statement, because salvation is the result of faith in Christ.
*It should be noted that when the Lord added, 'but whoever does not believe will be condemned,' there is no mention of baptism. In identifying what would bring about condemnation, Jesus did not say that 'whoever believes but is not baptized shall not be saved.' If baptism were necessary for salvation, there are many significant verses which should be amended to read 'you are saved through faith and baptism.' It is clear that faith in Jesus Christ is what saves a person (Acts 16:30-31; Eph. 2:8-9).

My conclusion is that my Pentecostal upbringing was not false…If anything, it has taught me so much about living a holy life in this sinful world. Water baptism may not be “necessary” for salvation, but it certainly cannot hurt. While yes, there are those who are baptized and will never do another thing for Christ…some believe that after baptism, there is no need to strive to live a holy lifestyle…and I cannot say whether that is true or not. I am not here to debate that. All I can say is that I strive to be obedient to God’s word and his commandments…just as I am excited about using the spiritual gifts that He has given me, honoring my husband, witnessing to the lost, living my life as an example of Christ’s love for others, etc., so am I very excited about being baptized as another outward expression of the transformation God made within me long ago. I feel very blessed to take this spiritual step of obedience to Christ. And I urge other believers to partake in this as well, as an outward expression of devotion and obedience.

In Him,

PS -  There is a STRONG counterargument to this at the following link. It offers some very convincing points: http://www.bebaptized.org/John3.htm. Also, if you have another point of view, please feel free to share it with me. I am open minded & still learning :-)

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