Many want to say we need to be baptized by water to be to be saved. Others want to say infants need to be baptized. Let’s look at baptism scripturally.
Christ HIMSELF said we need belief in Christ for eternal life- not baptism.
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
Let’s look at what John the Baptist said regarding baptism – with the HOLY GHOST, not water.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Let’s look at what Jesus said to Nicodemus concerning being born again:
3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. ” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Note, that Christ told us what it means to be born of water – that which comes from the mother’ flesh with an infant’s birth (our first birth), just as He told us what it is to be born again – to be born spiritually from the Holy Spirt (our second birth).
Christ said we need to believe to have eternal life, not be baptized, in John 3:15-18
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Water Baptism is a commandment – an issue of obedience. If you believe, you will obey – exemplified through baptism:
19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Without faith, the obedience does not count.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
We see that simple water baptism is insufficient, we must be baptized with the Holy Spirit:
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit comes through faith, water baptism comes through obedience.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Again, water baptism followed baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The thief on the cross went to be with Christ at death – without baptism
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Jailer and his family household believed, and only later were they baptized, note that nothing indicates infants were present. In fact, no scripture indicates infant baptism is appropriate. I have a household of 5 kids, none of them infants. It is not accurate to say that households normally have infants, but it IS accurate to say households normally have infants AT ONE POINT IN TIME.
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Paul said we were baptized by the Holy Spirit not water
1 Cor 12:13
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
According to Paul, we were saved through the washing of the rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit – not water.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,