Bible Questions and Answers

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Does the Bible really say that baptism is a prerequisite to salvation?

That is certainly how I understand it.

Jesus insisted on being baptised by John, his reason seems clear enough.

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."

Jesus preached the Gospel of the kingdom of God and those who responded were baptised by his disciples.

John 4:1 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2  (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3  He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

When Jesus gave the commission to his apostles, he instructed them to preach the Gospel and baptise.

Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.16  "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

When Peter preached the Gospel at Pentecost, those who believed were baptised.

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 

When Philip preached the Gospel to the Samaritans those who believed were baptised. 

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13  Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

When Philip preached Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch was baptised.

Acts 8:34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" 35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36  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?" 37  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." 38  So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

Paul, after his conversion on the road to Damascus, was baptised.

Acts 9:18  Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

Paul recounts the event.

Acts 22:16  ‘And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

From this we understand that baptism into Christ by immersion in water washes away our past sins and we can begin a new life in Christ.

The Philippian jailer and his household were baptised.

Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

Paul writes to the Romans:

Romans 6:3 …do you not know that as many of us (i.e. all of us) as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

At Philippi, Lydia and her household were baptised.

Acts 16:14  Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15  And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.

When Paul preached the Gospel at Corinth, those who believed were baptized.

Acts 18:8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

When Paul found some of John Baptist’s disciples at Ephesus and explained about Jesus, they were rebaptized.

Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

This tells us that it is what we believe when we are baptised that validates our baptism. Peter explains that submission to baptism (which saves us) is the answer of a good conscience.

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

There is no New Testament instruction which rescinds the need for baptism. Submission to baptism is the first act of faith and obedience.

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,