For many religious people, being baptized is a very solemn and personal thing. Some parents baptize their babies soon after birth. Others baptize toddlers as part of their church’s custom. Others receive baptism as a sacrament in order to be added to a congregation where they’ve attended their whole lives.
What does the Bible say?
The Bible is actually very clear: Baptism is what adds a person to the church. Which church? Today there are hundreds–if not thousands–of religious bodies/churches that all claim Christ as King. Which church are we added to when we are baptized? Is it the church of our choosing? Is it a church God chooses for us? Does it matter?
That baptism adds one to “a” church is not up for debate. Peter and the Apostles commanded an audience of untold thousands to be baptized (Acts 2:38) and three thousand of that number obeyed the command and were “added” to their number (Acts 2:41). As a result they were added to the church…
Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved
Acts 2:47 (New King James)
Notice that it is the Lord, not man, who adds to the church. The verse above says that the “Lord added to the church.” Any church or religion, therefore, that teaches baptism is a custom connected with men voting a member into their body is not following the Biblical pattern.
Notice also that the Lord adds to the church as people are being saved. Therefore any religion that teaches that baptism is disconnected from salvation, or that a person can be baptized years before they are saved (as with infants) or years after they are saved (as with adults seeking “church membership”) is not a religion in harmony with Scripture.
One prominent religious group conducts baptisms frequently but argues that the act itself is not a command that must be obeyed, but instead is a ceremony that is done to add a person to the church family. Admittance into the church family, according to this religious group, is not necessary for salvation. In order to be saved, they say, all a person has to do is believe.
This stands in contradiction to the very words of Jesus who said that in order to be saved a person must believe AND be baptized.
So a question for my Baptist friends who say “all you have to do is believe”…
What must I do to go to Heaven?
They answer: Belief only.
What must I do to become a baptist?
They answer: Belief and baptism into the Baptist church.
Therefore…it’s easier to go to heaven than be a Baptist! It takes less steps according you!
Do you see how asinine that doctrine is!?
Jesus commands baptism in order to be saved (Mark 16:16). Peter commanded it too (Acts 2:38), and those who obeyed the command were saved and were added by the Lord to “the church.”
Not any church of man. They were added to the Lord’s church. His one and only body of saved people.
“The church” talked about in the New Testament is the group comprised of all baptized believers, who are added to it by Jesus Christ and saved in it by Jesus Christ. There’s no one saved who isn’t a part of the church and there’s no one a part of the church who isn’t saved.
What church were you baptized into? Was it a church of men, whose ideas about baptism are foreign to the Bible? If so you may need to rethink what you did and consider the words of Jesus and His Apostles more clearly.