Either baptism is essential to salvation, or it is not. Either we are forgiven the moment we are baptized or at some other point.
If baptism is not essential, why then were the people at Pentecost told to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:37-38)?
If baptism is not essential, why was Saul of Tarsus told, “Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16)—although he had already believed in Christ for three days and had been fasting and praying (Acts 9:4-11)?
If baptism is not essential, why would Paul say, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27)? Are we saved when we believe, and later we put on Christ?
If baptism is not essential, why did Paul say, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness [or as he said elsewhere, “not of works, lest any man should boast”—Ephesians 2:8], but according to His mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit . . .” (Titus 3:5—emphasis added)?
Who would want us to think differently?
But if baptism really is the actual moment we receive forgiveness, wouldn’t it make sense for Satan to do all he could to persuade us otherwise?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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