Ask the Pastor: Is Baptism a Requirement For Salvation?

By / February 3, 2017 / Featured

7jo5mzq7lku-angel-acevedo(Ask the Pastor is a weekly series that appears in the Northwest Baptist Church Sunday Bulletin. This question and others in this series are submitted from those who attend Northwest Baptist Church)

Question: Since baptism is a requirement for church membership, is it also a requirement for salvation? Does one need to be baptized in order to go to heaven? – (Questioner requested for name to be kept private)

Answer: Thank you for asking this question. No, we do not believe, nor does the Bible teach that baptism is a requirement for salvation. Our salvation is not based on anything that we must do. Salvation is God’s free gift based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Titus 3:4-7). Salvation is not of our own doing. (Eph 2:8-9) Salvation is only through faith in Jesus (a gift from God) (Romans 6:23) and His finished work on the cross. (Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:6) Baptism can never forgive sins or ever save a person from Hell. lf baptism was necessary for salvation then Jesus would never have had to die. Jesus had to die because there was nothing we could do to be forgiven in our own power. The best example in the Bible of someone who was never baptized (but who went to Heaven) was the thief on the cross. Jesus said he was going to heaven without him ever being baptized. (Luke 23:39-43)

Church membership is important, but it should not be confused with our salvation. Church membership is important because it connects you with other believers. We need each other to be held accountable, encouraged, and ministered. Baptism is the example set by those who joined together in the New Testament. These believers were saved, baptized and joined a local body of believers. (Acts 2:41-47)

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