Baptism for the Remission of Sins
The Bible says, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:3). “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Some downplay the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins. They claim that if a person “dies to sin” before baptism, then that person is saved before baptism since “he who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:7). The Bible teaches that a person must “die to sin” in the sense that he must have a changed heart about sin and disobedience. He dies to the love and practice of sin. Paul explained to the Galatians: “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
While a person dies to sin in his own mind, he is not forgiven of sin by God at that point. Forgiveness occurs when the repentant believer allows himself to be lowered into the watery grave of baptism. Romans 6:3-4 teaches that when we are baptized in water, we are baptized into Christ’s death for forgiveness.
Being “buried with Him through baptism into death” is the point at which we are cleansed of sin, thus enabling us to “walk in newness of life.” Therefore, the believer cannot have “newness of life” until after he has come up out of the waters of baptism. While some ignore the importance of baptism in God’s plan of redemption, the New Testament repeatedly affirms it (John 3:5,23; Acts 8:36,38-39; 10:47; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
In His service,