Published October 13, 2017

Asubject of much confusion for a large part of Christ’s Church is the relationship between baptism and salvation. Because baptism bears the meaning of salvation, therefore language used in connection with it associates the two so closely that the sign is often mistaken for the objective spiritual reality.

Baptismal Regeneration

All believers are commanded to be baptized (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38) and not to do so is a sin. Everyone with faith in Christ and their children should obey and follow Christ in baptism, proclaiming one’s identification with the new life in Christ and with the people of God, the Church. But salvation is a matter of God’s grace working in one’s heart which exercises faith in the work of Christ (Rom. 4:23—5:2; Gal. 2:16). It cannot be simply a mechanical ritual of sprinkling, effusion, or being immersed in water. The act of baptism has no saving value in itself, but is made effective by faith in the promises of God.