Is There Any Efficacy in Water Baptism?

Is There Any Efficacy in Water Baptism?
Rev. David Willoughby

Efficacy-Power to produce effects or intended results.

Sins are remitted by baptism. Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Old man is buried at baptism.

Romans 6:3-6–Know ye not, that so many or us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? v.4 – 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. v.5 – For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; v. 6 – 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. Colossians 2:12 – Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Baptism washes away sins. The water itself does not have power to do this, but God has ordained, that through the obedience of his Word in Acts 22:16- And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Baptism is the second step of the new birth. Baptism is making preparation to receive the Holy Ghost. John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 2:38 – Peter said repent and be baptized. Baptism saves (That is if the convert goes on and receives the Holy Ghost.) Mark 16:16 – He that believeth not shall be damned. 1 Peter 3:20-21- Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. v. 21-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.” Baptism does produce the desired result. A person who is baptized after he has repented, can have the assurance that his sins are removed from the records which are kept in Heaven.


The first mention of circumcision is found in Genesis 17 as the sign of the Abrahamic covenant. Verse 10 says,

“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised. ”

The necessity of carrying out this sign is seen in verse 14,

“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”

Further emphasis is placed upon our minds by the reading of Exodus 4:24,25,

“And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and cast it at his feet, and said, surely a bloody husband art thou to me.”

Beyond any doubt circumcision was an absolute essential to be numbered with God’s Old Testament saints.

A search through prophetic scripture proves that circumcision is also a foreshadowing of future events. Jeremiah 4:4 says,

“…..take away the foreskins of your heart…..”

So there is also a circumcision of the heart which must take place. Also Deut. 10:12,16 and Jer. 9:4. That there is a circumcision of the heart is made plain by Colossians 2:11,17.

It is also made plain that the, physical witness to this New Testament covenant sign is water baptism; notice,

“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism….”

Can anything be any plainer than this? New Testament circumcision is water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God sent the destroyer to Moses’ household for failure to keep this covenant of circumcision of the flesh, he will also not spare anyone, who fails to keep the covenant of circumcision of the heart. It is necessary in order for one to make heaven.

A type of this is found in Joshua 5. God would not allow the Israelites to possess the promised land until they had fulfilled the covenant. After the circumcision notice the words of verse 9,

“And the Lord said unto Joshua, this day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.”

Egypt was to Israel as the bondage of sin is to us. Likewise, before we inherit our promised land, (Heaven), we will have to have the sign of the new covenant which is water baptism or

“….the circumcision made without hands….”

Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the Name of the Lord.”