What we read in the above passage gives us a minimum of requirements to "be saved." If we read we must believe and be baptized to be saved here, but Rom 10:9 says confess and believe we now have another minimum requirement to "be saved." We do not just forget about the first minimum we read, we include this new minimum. Thus from the two scriptures above the minimum that must be done to receive salvation is confess, believe, and be baptized.
Here is an illustration I like to use. If we want to be a mechanic we must buy a book that tells us how to be a mechanic. In the first chapter we read that in order to become a mechanic we must own tools. So we go out and buy the necessary tools. Does that make us mechanics? NO! We have just met one of the minimum requirements. The next chapter we read that in order to be a mechanic we must have a garage to use these tools. So, we get ourselves a garage, and I ask again, does that make us mechanics? NO! We now have met two of the minimum requirements to be a mechanic. Finally we read that in order to be a mechanic we must attend weekly classes to study the book we bought that will teach us to use the tools we have in the garage we got so that we will be a trained and ready to work as a mechanic. Now, are a mechanic? YES! We have met all the requirements, as long as we keep up with our training we are a mechanic.
So what exactly happens at this baptism that is required and commanded? Today we will see just a few things as we will just scratch the surface of the topic. First, I want to ask you, does Mk 16:16 say a person is NOT saved without baptism? YES IT DOES! The minimum here is belief and baptism for salvation. One with out the other is not the minimum. The latter part of this verse says a minimum of unbelief is all we need to receive condemnation. People often ask, "Why is there no mention of baptism here?" There are several reasons, but I always say without belief a person should not be baptized. That was what the Eunuch was told in Acts 8:36,37. This makes it clear that without a true believing heart a person shouldn't be baptized. That is just one reason why infants should not be baptized. What infant can say, "There is water, what hinders me from being baptized?" and "I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
So what happens at our baptism that makes it necessary? Here a few things:
1. We meet a minimum requirement for salvation. Mk 16:16
2. Our sins are washed away. Acts 22:16
3. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
4. We are buried into Christ's death. Rom 6:3
5. We're transformed form sinner to saint and begin to walk in a new life. Rom 6:4
6. We receive a new birth. Jn 3:5
7. We are clothed with, or put on, Christ. Gal 3:27
8. We receive a spiritual circumcision. Col 2:11
As you can see baptism is much more than "only being dunked." Baptism is so important that Satan has focused his attack on it! If baptism is where we receive all things listed above and you wanted to stop someone from receiving those things wouldn't you do whatever is possible to keep a person from doing that? Wouldn't you belittle the importance of baptism? Would try to get people to be baptized for the wrong reasons so the baptism would not be scriptural? You sure would and that is Satan's plan.
I am not elevating baptism above another step in God's plan of salvation. I am trying to emphasize the area that is under the most attack. I ask you today, "Have you been immersed into Christ's death, to have your sins washed away, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, rising from that watery grave to walk in a new life because you have been transformed from sinner to saint?
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Hear The Word- Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We Must Believe or Have Faith- Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We Must Repent- Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We Must Confess Christ Before Others- Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)- 1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We Must Remain Faithful- Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22