Worship Times

Sundays    10:30 a.m.
                    4:00 p.m.

Today's Verse


Is Water Baptism Really Necessary For Salvation?

by Don Snow

Introduction

In this study I shall not spend a lot of time emphasizing the importance of Christ’s Divine command of Faith in Him and His gospel message. However, faith in Christ is very necessary for an accountable person to obtain forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life. In fact, Jesus says in John 8:24, "...if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." And in Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Also, I’ll not be emphasizing the importance of Repentance and turning from sin which is certainly necessary for salvation. In fact, Jesus says in Luke 13:3, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." And in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord...is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Likewise, I’ll not emphasize the importance of Confessing Christ’s name before others for salvation. Yet, Jesus says in Matthew 10:32-33 and Luke 12:8-9 that if we’ll confess Him before others, He will confess us before the Heavenly Father, and the angels of God. But if we deny Him, He will likewise deny us before the Heavenly Father, and the angels of God. However, I will emphasize, in the spirit of love, what the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel message have to say about water baptism.

I. Scriptures Referring To Baptism.

MATTHEW 28:19-20

After the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He gave the Great Commission by saying: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

Since the Lord commanded that baptism be done "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", then baptism should be considered very important in the hearts of those who believe in Christ and desire to obey God for salvation.

MARK 16:15-16

Here Jesus says, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned."

In these verses Jesus made two statements: one a positive statement, and the other a negative statement. The positive statement is: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." The negative statement is: "He that believeth not shall be damned."  However, some people contend that since the Lord did not include the words "and is not baptized" with the words "he that believeth not shall be damned", then the first part of Mark 16:16 DOES NOT MEAN WHAT IT SAYS. But, do you really think that someone will obey Christ’s command of baptism in water, if he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah, Savior, and Son of God?

The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The person who believes the gospel as a revelation from God and is baptized, takes upon himself the profession of this good news, and thus obligates himself to live according to its precepts.  And he who "believes not" is rejecting the only provision for his soul’s salvation and is going to die and face God with his sins.

Of course, many who hold to salvation by "FAITH ONLY" quote John 3:15, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." But, "should not perish" is a long way from "will not perish", because one’s obedience to the Lord’s gospel is likewise necessary for eternal life (Matthew 7:21- 23, Ephesians 2:10, I John 2:17).

ACTS 2:14 thru 39

In this chapter Peter preached of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and return into heaven. After proclaiming this gospel message, Peter was asked by some believers in Christ: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" To this question Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."(Acts 2:38) "...Then they that gladly received his word were baptized...:" (v. 41). Then verse 47, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (KJV) OR "...those who were being saved" (NKJV) (Please take note that even though these people were BELIEVERS in Christ, they were still commanded by Peter to repent and be baptized FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.).

Some people who promote salvation by "faith only" quote Acts 2:38, "repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" and then argue that if "for" means to obtain remission of sins, then why did Jesus, after He had healed a leper (Luke 5:13-14), tell him to "go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer FOR thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, FOR a testimony unto them." Well, the answer to this question is that the words "for" in these two verses of scripture are from different New Testament Greek words.

In Acts 2:38 the word "FOR the remission of sins" is referenced in the Interlinear Greek- English New Testament with the Reference Number: 1519. In Luke 5:14 the first "FOR thy cleansing" is referenced in the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament with a Reference Number: 4012, which Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says: "of the cause for (on account of) which a thing is done, or of that which gave occasion for the action or occurrence". The second "FOR a testimony" is referenced by Number: 1519 (the same reference number used in Acts 2:38). Here the word "For" is a primary preposition, indicating the point reached or entered.

Now it is still argued by some that one would not take two aspirin in order to OBTAIN a headache. OF COURSE NOT! People take aspirin in order to remove a headache, or obtain the release of a headache. Just as believers in Christ repent and are baptized for the remission and forgiveness of sins!

While there are no saving chemicals in the waters of baptism, yet the person who is willing to REPENT & turn from sin, CONFESS his or her BELIEF in Christ before others, and OBEY the Lord’s command of BAPTISM in water, receives the forgiveness of sin from God. And this forgiveness is available because of the sacrifice of Christ and His gospel message.

ACTS 8, BEGINNING IN VERSE 26

In this scripture Philip, an evangelist, was instructed by an angel of the Lord to make connection with the treasurer of Ethiopia. This Ethiopian had gone to Jerusalem to worship God by the law of Moses. When Philip joined-up with the man in his chariot, he asked Philip about the words recorded in Isaiah 53, which are foretelling the sufferings of the coming Messiah by the hands of wicked people. Then in verse 35 of Acts 8, the Bible reads: "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture , and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, ‘See here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?’ And Philip said, ‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."

Why did the Ethiopian man ask to be baptized? It is obvious that Philip had explained to him the whole PLAN of God’s salvation, and the WAY by which believers in Christ may be saved and brought into the Lord’s church. And so this man, willing to surrender his heart, his will, and his affections to the Lord and the truth of Christ’s gospel, said "See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?"

ACTS 22

In order to properly appreciate what the Apostle Paul is saying in Acts 22, let us go back and review the events prior to Paul’s conversion in Acts 9, beginning in verse 1. At this time his name was Saul, and he was from the city of Tarsus. Saul, with letters of authority in hand from the high priest, was on his way to Damascus to arrest disciples of Christ and take them back to Jerusalem to be punished and slaughtered (v.1). Accompanied by several men, Saul had come near Damascus when a light shown about him and he fell to the ground, blinded. A voice spoke to him, and when he inquired "Who art thou, Lord?", the Lord replied, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks". (It was EVIDENT that Saul was fighting against the Lord by aiding in the killing of Christ’s disciples). Saul asked, "Lord, what will you have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ " (Acts 9:6). For the next three days Saul, still blind, did not eat nor drink but spent his time praying!

Here is a man who has had Jesus speak to him personally, has had a bright light shine on him, has been struck blind, has fasted and prayed for three days, and he is still waiting to be told what to do! Many people would tell you that Saul was already saved. But, NO, that is not the case.

Jesus then speaks to a man named Ananias and tells him to go to Saul "for he is a chosen vessel unto me." When an apprehensive Ananias entered into the house where Saul was praying, he laid hands on Saul and immediately he received his sight and he arose and was baptized (Acts 9:18). We get a more complete picture of what happened in Acts 22, when the Apostle Paul recounts these events to the people in Jerusalem and to the soldiers who had arrested him. He says in verse 16 that Ananias said to him, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Hence, Paul was NOT saved on the road to Damascus if he was told by Ananias to be baptized and "wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

ROMANS 6:3

The apostle Paul records these words: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. "

Then Paul sums-up in verse 17, by saying: "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

What is this "form of doctrine which was delivered", and how did these Roman Christians obey a "form" of Christ’s doctrine, "being then made free from sin"?? Well, the answer to this question is given in I Corinthians 15:1- 4, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" So we see then, that the "form of doctrine" was: (1) Christ DIED for our sins; (2) He was BURIED; and (3) He ROSE again.

Yes, these Romans (who had DIED to sin) had been BURIED in baptism into Christ and His death, and had been RAISED from the waters of baptism to walk in newness of life. And this was a "FORM or FIGURE" of Christ’s DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION for our salvation. Therefore, baptism in water completes and manifests "The form of Christ’s doctrine" - "Being then made free from sin."

I believe at this point the question should be considered: "WHEN and WHERE does a person come in contact with the BLOOD AND DEATH of Jesus Christ?" Is the contact made at the time of BELIEF in Christ, as some claim, or is it when a PENITENT BELIEVER (a believer who is sorry and ashamed for doing wrong, and is willing to change and make amends) is BAPTIZED by the authority and command of Christ, the Lord? No doubt it is when the penitent believer is obedient to the Lord’s command of baptism.

I PETER 3:21

This verse reads: "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Here the "like figure" is referring back to Noah and the other seven souls being "saved by water", or through the substance of water (v. 20). Just as Noah and his family were "saved by water" in the flood, we are now in "the like figure" saved by baptism. Some may argue that this doesn’t mean what it says, but we need to decide whether we will believe a church’s creed and doctrine or believe what the Bible says.

It is true that water, ITSELF, does not save a sinner, just as water, ITSELF, did not heal Naaman of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1 thru 14) when he was commanded to go and dip seven (7) times in the Jordan River and he would be healed. The forgiveness comes as a result of our willingness to OBEY God’s command. God will forgive and save because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who gave this command, because He is the promised Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

ACTS 10

In these verses of scripture the Bible states that the apostle Peter went and preached the gospel of Christ to Cornelius, his relatives, and friends. Then in verse 44 it reads that the "Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word." "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter (these were six Jewish brethren - Acts 11:12, D.S.), because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost" (v. 45).

Some people use this scripture to ASSUME and ARGUE that these Gentiles were saved by the Holy Spirit EVEN BEFORE THEY HAD HEARD THE WORDS BY WHICH THEY SHALL BE SAVED (Acts 10:6 & Acts 11:14). So these people go to great lengths in declaring that Peter preached a message, and during (or when the message ended), the Holy Ghost came upon them and saved them because they believed in Jesus for their salvation. Therefore, their conclusion is that Cornelius and his household were saved before they ever got water baptized. However, this reasoning and argument forces a deception or a contradiction within the Word of God:

1st, we’re told in Acts 10:5-6, "And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest TO DO. (King James Version). Then in Acts 11:13-14 Peter rehearsed this event (with Cornelius) to the Jewish brethren by saying: "And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."

2ndly, we’re told in Acts 10:44, "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word." Later when Peter rehearsed this event to the Jewish brethren in Acts 11:15, he says, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning" (KJV). The New King James Version reads:

"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning." The American Standard Version reads, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning." The New International Version reads, "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning." Of course, I don’t know what you think the words "AS I BEGAN TO SPEAK" mean, but I understand them to mean: AS I STARTED, BEGAN, COMMENCED, EMBARKED, INITIATED, OR HAD SCARCELY BEGUN TO SPEAK -- (Defined by Webster’s Dictionary & Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, REF. # 757) . However, the statement: "as he had come on us at the beginning", is referring back to the day of Pentecost, Acts 2, verses 3 & 4.

3rdly, we’re told in Acts 10: verses 45 thru 48 that the six Jewish brethren who went with Peter were "ASTONISHED" at this event, "because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days".

If it’s really true that the Holy Spirit saved Cornelius and his household when He came upon them as Peter began to speak the gospel of Christ, as some claim, then these Gentiles got saved before they ever heard what they oughtest (or must) do to be saved. Therefore, this argument and doctrine that the Holy Spirit saved them makes the word of God meaningless which says: "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.". In fact, if this reasoning and argument is true, then God could have sent the Holy Spirit and saved Cornelius and his household without them ever seeing Peter, or even hearing and obeying the words of the gospel message of Christ "whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." Because in Acts 10:2, it says that Cornelius was already a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

No, this coming of the Holy Spirit was not to save Cornelius and his household who were Gentiles, as some reason and argue. They were going to be TOLD WORDS WHEREBY THEY COULD BE SAVED. This direct coming of the Holy Spirit (or baptism of the Holy Spirit) from God, as Peter BEGAN his gospel sermon, was no doubt to show (and convince) the Jewish brethren in Christ of God’s acceptance of Gentiles. It was to show that the Gentile people have every right to obey the gospel of Christ, to receive remission of sins and be saved, to be a part of the Lord’s church just as the Jews, and to be allowed to glorify and worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Therefore, Peter asks in verse 47 of Acts 10, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he COMMANDED THEM to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Friends, I don’t think you COMMAND someone to do something that is an option, a choice, and is not necessary for salvation. Therefore, in Acts 11:1 thru18 when Peter rehearsed this matter to the brethren in Judea and expounded it by order unto them, they said "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."

 

ACTS 16:25 thru 34

In these verses the Philippian Jailer is saved. Please read Acts 16, verses 16 thru 34 to understand the situation. Now the gist of this scripture is that the jailer asked: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas answered "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Then notice) "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all who were in his house (v. 32). And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized." Friends, does this not sound as if the jailer and his family are showing evidence of repentance? Therefore, if baptism is not necessary for salvation and the jailor was already saved by belief, then why did the jailor and his family go the same hour of the night and get baptized? Why didn’t they just wait until morning, or some convenient time later?

 

II. BAPTISM NECESSARY TO PUT ONE INTO CHRIST.

GALATIANS 3:27

In this scripture it reads: "For as many of you as were baptized INTO Christ have put on Christ" Some argue that since there are plural baptisms mentioned in Hebrews 6:2, then "this baptism doesn’t necessarily mean water baptism in order to put one into Christ". Yes, there is:

1. The baptism of Moses mentioned in I Corinthians 10:1-2.

2. The baptism of John the Baptist mentioned in Matthew 3:1-12.

3. The figurative baptism of pain and suffering that Jesus went through mentioned in Matthew 20:22-23.

4. The baptism of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Matthew 3:11, as well as the baptism of fire mentioned in Matthew 3:11.

5. Then there is the Lord’s Baptism mentioned in Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Now which "baptism" do you think puts one INTO Christ, where salvation and forgiveness of sins are available?

EPHESIANS 4:4-5

Here we’re told that: "There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, ONE BAPTISM, and one God and Father of all." Again, which "one baptism" do you think puts a person INTO Christ??

ROMANS 6:3

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized INTO Jesus Christ, were baptized INTO his death?" (Capital letters are mine, DS). Here the ‘faith only" argument is made that "a person who is already saved identifies with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in a symbolic way." No, to be baptized INTO Christ means to enter into a vital and important union with Christ, and be found in Him. However, the important question is: "What must I do to get INTO Christ and be saved?" Is it belief only that saves and puts one into Christ? In James 2:19 it reads, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Are demons put INTO Christ because they believe and tremble? I don’t think so! But what about sinners? How do sinners get into Christ for salvation? By belief only???

I CORINTHIANS 12:13

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized INTO one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink INTO one Spirit."

Here the argument is made by some people that it’s not the waters of baptism that puts a person into one body, but "by one Spirit". However, the meaning might be that those believing Jews and Gentiles had become members of the one body of Christ, the church (Acts 2:47, Ephesians 1:22-23 & Colossians 1:18), because they had been obedient to Christ’s command of water baptism (read I Cor., chapter 1). Therefore, by means of the "one Spirit" they had been put into the one body of Christ, because they had obeyed the gospel message of Christ, and had been made to drink into one Spirit. But, let’s keep in mind, too, that THIS was all made possible because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ!

III. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WORDS: "INTO" and "UNTO".

The word "INTO" means or suggests: ‘IN, INSIDE, or WITHIN’. The word "UNTO" means or suggests: ‘TO or TOWARD’

ROMANS 10:10

"For with the heart man believeth UNTO righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made UNTO salvation.

The heart or mind of a person is where the fountain or seat of one’s thoughts, desires, purposes and endeavors dwell. It is here (in the heart) that a person believes UNTO righteousness through the God-given gospel of Christ. And with the mouth of that person the faith of his heart is openly confessed UNTO salvation. But notice that both BELIEF is "unto righteousness" and CONFESSION is "unto salvation", not "INTO".

ROMANS 1:16

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God UNTO salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’" In 2 Timothy 3:15, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise UNTO salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

The gospel message of Christ is the power or means of God to save the soul of a sinner, but it requires obedience to the gospel message through faith in order to receive God’s blessings and salvation. In fact, it reads in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."

I PETER 1:3-5

Peter speaking to Christians says: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again UNTO a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith UNTO salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

This inheritance is reserved for those who are kept safe by God’s power (Romans 1:16-17) through faith, so that they endure to the end. But read and consider God’s "whole armor" for the Christian recorded in Ephesians 6:10 thru 18, so that the child of God may be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Right here it’s important that we keep in mind whether something (whatever it might be) is "UNTO" OR "INTO". In fact, Jesus told the Christians in the church at Smyrna that they would suffer tribulation, poverty, and even prison, but "be thou faithful UNTO death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10)."

I PETER 2:9

Here speaking to Christians, Peter says: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness INTO his marvelous light"

"Darkness" is an ‘emblem of ignorance, sin and misery’. "Marvelous light" is an ‘emblem

of love, goodness, righteousness, and salvation’. This "marvelous light" is given to us through Jesus Christ. But we come into this "marvelous light" through our knowledge and obedience to Christ’s gospel commands and examples (Matt. 7:21- 29 and Eph. 2:10).

Now when Philip and the treasurer of Ethiopia (Acts 8:26 thru 39) "went down both INTO the water", after the man had confessed with his mouth "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God", (and was BAPTIZED by Philip) did they go ‘to or toward’ the water? Or did they physically go ‘in, inside, within’ the water? AND if one today is baptized INTO Christ and His death, does this person go ‘toward’ Christ and His death, or does he go spiritually ‘within’ Christ, and His death? Of course, scriptural BAPTISM means to dip, plunge, or immerse a person into Christ. Recorded history reveals that "sprinkling" for BAPTISM was first introduced by common men into the Lord’s church about 250 A.D. (page 34, HISTORY OF THE CHURCH Through the Ages, Robert H. Brumback). However, with "sprinkling" and "pouring" you only have to go "UNTO" the water, not immersed "INTO" the water.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

Today, and in times past, some people have attempted to disparage baptism by quoting the words of the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 1:17 which read: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel..." Instead of considering the context, these people think this scripture weakens or nullifies the importance of baptism in our salvation. This is not the case, however. This scripture is only showing the division of labor. Paul’s principal mission, as an apostle of Christ, was to preach the gospel. It was he who had been endowed by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word of God. Others could do the baptizing of those penitent believers. While Paul had personally baptized a few, yet he did not want others to think that he had baptized in his own name (v. 15), or was bragging of numbers.

God loves everyone, and is not willing that any should perish. And it’s your decision whether you will BELIEVE in Christ, REPENT of sins, CONFESS the name of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, be BAPTIZED in water for the remission of sins, WALK in newness of life, and WORSHIP God in spirit and in truth.

And while you may say that "water baptism is not necessary for salvation", or declare that "a person can be baptized MANY times and it wouldn’t do him or her a nickel’s worth of good", yet the scriptures still read TO AN ACCOUNTABLE, RESPONSIBLE PERSON: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" - "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved:" - "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us,..." - "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."