Baptism explained in the Bible
God's Word does not say the waters of baptism wash away our sins. Rather, it says the blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sins. (See 1John 5:6, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:22, Romans 5:9, Colossians 1:14, Matthew 26:28, John 6:56, Ephesians 1:7, 1Peter 1:17-20)
Mark 1:8 -
“I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
This is the beginning of the gospel of Mark. John (the Baptist) is saying that he baptizes with water but it is Jesus Who baptizes with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit ... through spiritual birth).
Matthew 28:19 -
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
We are ALL called (not only preachers, but every believer) to teach others of the gospel (good news) of Christ so that no one dies and goes to hell for eternity. This passage is often referred to as "The Great Commission".
Mark 1:4 -
“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
John the Baptist preached about repentance and remission of sins in order to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven. Notice "baptize AND ..." Remission of sins (salvation) and baptism are two separate things.
1Corinthians 1:17 -
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth, telling them he was called to preach the gospel, not to baptize, lest he would be accused of baptizing in his own name. (Crispus and Gaius performed the baptisms at Corinth). It is by the finished work of Christ on the Cross and God's Word that people are saved, not by man or by baptism.
1Peter 3:21 -
“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
Peter explains that just as Jesus Christ was put to death in the flesh but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit, we too are resurrected through Jesus Christ through spiritual birth and the act of obedience through baptism.
Romans 6:4 -
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, is telling the people at Rome that when they/we are saved and baptized, they/we are buried with Jesus by baptism into death; and just as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of God the Father, we too were spiritually raised from the dead and should live our new life according to His Word.
Ephesians 4:5 -
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”
Paul is explaining to the church of Ephesus that we are to walk worthy of what Christ has done for us; to keep peace and unity; to be like-minded in the faith and to let there be no confusion--there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
Acts 2:38 -
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
This verse is often misunderstood. To some, it seems to say, "Repent and be water baptized to be saved!" This is NOT what the Bible is teaching! Repentance and faith are not the same although they happen simultaneously (at the same time). Repentance cannot exist without faith, nor can faith exist without repentance. Scripture teaches that salvation comes solely by faith in Jesus Christ; it is a matter of the heart and separate from the act of baptism. When we are saved is when we receive the Holy Ghost/Spirit. The word “for” in Greek in this verse is “EIS” which means “in lieu of.” The Bible is telling us to be water baptized in lieu of our sins already being forgiven when we repented and accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour.