The importance of belief and baptism

A selection of verses showing the importance of belief and baptism.

Jesus instructs his apostles to teach others what he has taught them. Belief is confirmed by the act of baptism – total immersion in water:

Matthew 28 verses 18 - 20

18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Jesus’ instruction in Mark's gospel shows that both belief and baptism are essential for salvation:

Mark 16 verses 15 - 16

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. 

Peter explains that the ceremony of baptism in not just like having a bath. It must be the response that God requires to the resurrection of Jesus Christ:.

1 Peter 3 verse 21

21 This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you—not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

When people in Samaria believed following the preaching of Philip, they were all baptised:

Acts 8 verse 12

12 But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning God’s Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.

The same thing happened when the Philippian jailor and his family believed after an earthquake caused chaos in the prison:

Acts 16 verses 29 - 33

29 He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, 30 brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.
33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptised, he and all his household.

It is interesting to note that Cornelius, and others with him, who also believe Peter’s preaching, are given Holy Spirit gifts. However, baptism - immersion in water – is still required.

Acts 10 verses 46 - 48

46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and magnifying God.
Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just like us.” 48 He commanded them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days.

These chapters have links to this theme: