"Is Water baptism essential for salvation?"
Key Scripture: John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out to him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. ~Mark 1:4-5
While we should preach that all men are commanded to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38), adding any other requirement to salvation by grace becomes "works" in disguise. Even though numerous Scriptures speak of the importance of water baptism, adding anything to the work of the cross demeans the sacrifice of the Savior. It implies that His finished work wasn't enough. But the Bible makes clear that we are saved by grace, and grace alone (Ephesians 2:8,9). Baptism is simply a step of obedience to the Lord following our repentance and confession of sin. Our obedience -- water baptism, prayer, good works, fellowship, witnessing, etc. -- issues from our faith in Christ. Salvation is not what we do, but Who we have: "He that has the Son has life" (1 John 5:12).
Taken from Ray Comfort's The Evidence Bible, page 1244 [Bridge-Logos].
TJ's Personal Note:
There comes a time when taking a risk is a good/healthy thing; however, this is not one of them. Look at it this way: Let's say that the Bible is wrong, and all Christians (past, present, & future) are not redeemed by the Savior. Then on the unfortunate day you die, nothing will happen. You won't even have the opportunity to say "I told you so!" But WHAT IF the Bible is correct, and all -- and only -- Christians are redeemed by the Savior. Then you will not just spend eternity separated from the presence of God, but as the Bible puts it, forever burning/tormented in Hell, where the fire NEVER quenches & the worm NEVER dies!!
Out of love we, Christians, are only asking that you consider the WHAT IF...before your time runs out. If you are saying, "Well, I don't want to make a decision out of fear...that doesn't seem genuine; or it seems like a cop-out." The Bible says that it is the fear of the Lord that men depart from evil/sin! Therefore, let that fear work in your favor! If you were on an airplane and you knew you had to jump, isn't it the fear of the law of gravity that entices you to put on a parachute?! Well, the same thing spiritually, let the fear of the Law of God and His justified wrath entice you to put on His parachute...the Lord & Savior Jesus the Christ!! Repent once and for all for your sins -- and name them if you can -- and then place your faith & trust SOLELY in the Savior for your salvation! Do it today, because tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. Thank you for reading and God Bless.
Remember: "Grace is what He gives; Mercy is what we need. Relationship & Righteousness is what He longs for; Salvation & Holiness is what we'll receive!" - Terrell D. Jackson