Baptism and Salvation
Baptism is not enough for salvation. Jesus defined the terms for entrance into His Kingdom: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). There are two absolute requirements for entrance into heaven. Every one of us must pass through these two experiences in order to be saved.
Jesus also said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). To be “born of the Spirit” clearly refers to conversion. Conversion is the powerful inward change, and baptism is the outward physical sign that the change has taken place. Christ repeated the two conditions for salvation on another occasion, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
To be “born of water and of the Spirit” is equivalent to being “born again,” that is, “from above.” There has to be inward change of heart. Those who are born from above have God as their Father and resemble Him in character (1 John 3:1–3; John 8:39, 44). Henceforth, they aspire, by the grace of Christ, to live above sin (Romans 6:12–16) and do not yield their wills to commit sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18).
So, a person must believe in Jesus as his personal Savior from sin and this faith will bring the fruits of obedience to God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17). Just as this rite alone is not enough for salvation, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Without works, true faith can’t be shown. Intellectual agreement, doctrinal knowledge, may exist without good deeds, but not living faith, which submits to the Savior’s plan for man’s restoration to God’s image.
In His service,