It is commanded and necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven.
There are other reasons why baptism is so important.
Baptism results from faith and repentance and is bound with forgiveness and salvation.
In Mark 16.16 we read these words, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved”. Later, in the book of Acts, we see even more explanation of baptism’s tie to Christianity.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 Notice that it is not a request but a command.
“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them…” Acts 19.1-6.
When we are baptized, we connect with God in a powerful way through Christ. Romans 6:3ff says, “…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. ”
Baptism must have been included in the complete gospel message, because in Acts 8.35:36, after Philip taught the Ethiopian, he responded to the word and at the first opportunity asked to be baptized. Baptism is to be done in a timely way i.e. made a priority in the life of the believer.
The Bible says that baptism saves us. In 1 Peter 3:20, 21 declares, “In it [NOAH’S ARK], only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the response of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” Baptism tells the world that you have pledged yourself to the service of a new master. When we are baptized, we are pledging our loyalty to a new king. It is that fresh start for which we’ve been looking.
If you look at 1 Corinthians 10 2, you will see that baptism is our version of the exodus by the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. The Israelites left their bondage of slavery and had to pass through the waters of the Red Sea to get away from such oppression and they came out on the other side to follow God. The Egyptian army was subsequently washed away as the forceful waters of the sea released upon them. In baptism, we leave our bondage of oppressive sin and we pass through the water to follow God. The water washes away our oppression as we leave the waters of baptism.
Ephesians 4:5 tells us that there is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
In other words, there is only one baptism to be had.
Hebrews 10.22 says, “…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” As priests of God, we must be washed for our service to be acceptable.
God doesn’t need us – he wants us.
He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us so much, in fact, that he sent his only son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice on our behalf, so that our sins might be forgiven when we accept Jesus as both Lord and Savior. The Bible says that “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy,
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5