In the book of John we learn about John the Baptist who says, in verse 1:23, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.” He later says in verses 1:26-27, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know.
He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
He was, of course, referring to Jesus.
We also know that Jesus told us in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Throughout the history of the church, baptism has been a practice used to indicate someone’s faith in the Lord. Some denominations require it to belong to the church, some believe it is a part of the faith commitment, others use it as a symbol of obedience. Some will only baptize with a faith commitment and others baptize babies.
So when we have different practices regarding baptism, what does it all mean? Are Christians required to be baptized in order to be saved?
Here’s what the Bible says:
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – Matthew 3:11 said by John the Baptist about Jesus.
“Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 1:17 said by the apostle Paul.
“Today you shall know me in paradise” – Luke 23:43, said by Jesus to the two men next to him on the cross regarding their salvation, without baptism.