The following will be shocking to many people. You will want to get a Bible to confirm it. Nearly every preacher will deny the truths we are about to explain and demonstrate from God’s word, but they are truth because God’s word is truth. As we go through these things, you will be able to read about them in the Bible for yourself. Then, you must decide whether or not you will accept them.
Baptism is a surprisingly controversial subject. People who believe the Bible is God’s word have a wide variety of views about the nature and purpose of baptism. The reason is that men have corrupted the Bible’s teaching. Therefore, what the Bible actually says is shocking.
First, many people are shocked that baptism is not sprinkling or pouring of water. Rather, the Bible teaches baptism is a burial and only a burial.
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:11, 12).
Romans 6:4 uses similar language, when it says, “...we were buried with Him through baptism…”
To be buried in water is to be completely submerged; not doused with a little water. This is why we read in John 3:22, 23 that “Jesus came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salem, because there was much water there.”
Also, in Acts 8:38, 39, when Philip baptized the Ethiopian, it states “both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water…” Why did they go down into the water and come up out of it? It was not sparkling and pouring, but a burial in water.
Sprinkling and pouring are not Bible baptism, but an invention of man.
Second, people are shocked to learn that baptism saves. Peter wrote, “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” (1 Peter 3:21).
The fact that baptism saves is stated in a number of passages.
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Many have been convinced of the false doctrine that baptism is merely a ritual act, a symbol showing an outward sign of an inward grace. They have been told it is not necessary to be baptized to be saved, but the Bible declares otherwise. Without burial in baptism, one cannot have his sins washed away.
Third, something obviously related to salvation that comes with baptism, is the shocking truth that baptism puts one into Christ.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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 (Romans 6:3, 4).
Similarly, we read this in Galatians 3:26, 27:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Salvation is in Christ and the Bible teaches the way to get into Christ is through baptism. The Bible does not teach faith alone puts us in Christ. Faith is required, but so is baptism. That is why when Jesus gave His apostles the great commission he said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
These things may be shocking to you – Baptism is a burial, it is necessary for salvation, and it puts you into Christ. The question is, will you accept the truth? You can read all of these things in the Bible. The Bible is the truth – the all inspired word of God. Will you cling to the false doctrines of men or will you embrace the soul-saving truth?