The New Testament is very clear on the necessity of baptism in salvation. Yet, no matter how hard we try, people refuse to see the simple words on the page. Instead of digging deep to discover why, we dismiss them with insults and hurt the work of the Lord.
Baptism is immersion for the remission of our sins (Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38; 22:16). It allows us to be added to the church (Acts 2:47) and to enter Christ (Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Yet, people disagree on doctrinal grounds, not just because they want to be lost. Most religious group practice some form of water baptism, but they fail to understand the truth because their other teachings disallow it.
“Teaching the lost, the gospel must affect them at the point of their misunderstanding. Otherwise, it’s just an academic argument. We must be wise and see the source of contention so we can reach their souls with the good news.”/1
Our doctrinal beliefs are largely determined by our presuppositions. Denominational Bible students go astray in their understanding of grace, faith and works. As long as we refuse to engage them on these core matters, we will find the same obstinacy.
We need to go much deeper in our understanding of salvation in passages such as Romans 5-6. Going straight to Acts 2:38 will not work with most denominational Bible students. We must develop a fuller picture in our own minds first and then open it up for them.
We must dig deeply into grace and works if we wish to succeed. Unless we do so, they will always see baptism as a meritorious work and a violation of their understanding of grace.
We need to attack the real problem harder than we have been. We need more engagement on grace, works and faith if we want to save the world. If we refuse, then we have failed the Lord’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Just yelling about baptism isn’t sufficient and we must attack the core issues as exhaustively as we can.