Is Water Baptism Necessary?
By Lynda Allison Doty, Ph.D.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
According to the Bible, water baptism is essential to our salvation. Jesus said; He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. I’ve read some of the other translations, and concerning the words of Peter in today’s Scripture, they say, ‘be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. This is not what the Bible says. It says, for the remission of sins. There is a difference! Let us check it out. First of all, forgiveness is free. The only way we can get that is to confess our sins, and He is faithful and just to forgive us. That is scripture, my friend, and you can read it for yourself in I John 1:9. So then, why do we need baptism?
I remember one day many years ago when one of my children scribbled on the wall with a pencil. Later she looked up at me with quivering chin, those huge blue eyes brimming with tears. I’m sorry, Mommy. Did I forgive her? You bet I did! My heart melted at her sorrow for what she had done! Still, I looked at the wall and, even though I had forgiven her, the scribble marks were still there. It took water to wash them off and make the wall clean again.
I see baptism rather like that. God forgives us immediately when we go to Him in confession and repentance. But the stains of sin are still there. It takes water to wash them away. And they have to be washed away, because the Bible also tells us that no sin will be allowed to enter into Heaven. When we are baptized in that lovely Name of Jesus, those sins are then washed away, never to be heard of again! Hallelujah! The Blood is in the Name!
Oh, and I felt like adding a postscript here – when God has forgiven, He also forgets our sins. Praise God! So we don’t have to keep going back to Him crying about the same sins.
They’re forgotten! We, too, must leave those things behind, and press on with the work God has called us to do.