Is Baptism Essential For Salvation?

949 WordsNov 2, 20154 Pages
For centuries, Christian believers have debated the importance of baptism to the believer’s faith. Denominational splits have occurred, debates have been presented, but the question still remains, ‘Is baptism essential for salvation?’ Today, as the Churches of Christ have started a shift away from the formerly held traditional practices of their founders, the debate has reached a new level of importance. To the believer, this question is not simply one which only affects present understanding, but rather one which affects eternal destination, making it an extremely important focus of discussion. Although Scripture indicates this obvious importance on the act of baptism, it does not clearly support the notion that baptism is essential, due to the fact that there are multiple examples of individuals ‘saved by faith,’ not by baptism, as well as many textual arguments in favor of a nonessential view of baptism. Baptism is first found in Scripture in the book of Matthew as John the Baptist is seen baptizing people in the waters of the Jordan River as the method by which those who believed his message could signify their obedience to it. This baptism appears to be a somewhat common practice of the era, as other sects, specifically the Qumran, keepers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, were also active baptizers. This baptism of John served as a “baptism of repentance” (NIV, Mark 1:4), whereby people could be saved from the impending judgement of Jew and Gentile at the long-awaited coming of
Open Document