“Then Jesus came and spoke to them saying,’ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'”( Matthew 28:18-20)
When Jesus was born into our first century world, He brought us the greatest gift ever given to mankind. He brought the grace and the love of the Father, with an open invitation for the faithful to share eternity with Him. He was murdered by those who took offense to His invitation, and He arose from the tomb on the third day, just as it had been prophesied. His earthly mission had been to seek and to save the lost, so it was imperative for His followers to continue in that work. Before ascending into the heavens, He appeared to His disciples a final time to deliver His parting words to them. He gave them four simple but important directives… go… preach…baptize… teach…His message of grace was perfectly clear to the apostles, but generations of unfaithful men have since compromised the Lord’s sacred trust. Many religious teachers in our day are teaching that baptism is only a “symbol” or an “option” with little significance as opposed to being an integral part of the Great Commission. Some people attack the baptism issue as if it were merely a doctrine of ill-informed or misguided men. The inspired Word of God states that baptism is the method by which one “puts on Christ“. (Galatians 3:27) It also states that baptism is the method that joins one with Christ in death and enables that person to rise to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3,4) God’s Word of grace states that baptism cleanses the sinner from sin. (Acts 2:38) The Son of God said: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.”(Mark 16:16)
Is baptism essential to salvation?
Perhaps a better way to ask the question would be this; Is baptism essential to one’s personal commitment to trust and to obey the Lord?