Q. What would you say to a person who quoted Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” as saying that you need to be baptized to be saved from your sins?
A. Notice, it does not say, “He that is baptized and believeth,” but “He thatbelievethand isbaptized.” This order is important, and baptism naturally follows when someone receives Christ as Saviour. There is no saving virtue in the ordinance of baptism as far as the putting away of sin. It is the expression of subjection to Christ, by owning His Lordship and authority.
The rest of the verse says, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” The Lord didn’t say, “He thatis not baptized,” but “He thatbelieveth not.”
Being baptized is like a soldier putting on the uniform. It does not make him a soldier, rather it is the testimony that he is one already, by enlisting with the army. A man may put on a uniform and not be a soldier at all. Just so, a person may make a profession of being a believer by being baptized, and not be really saved.
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