Narrow Path kjv

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Is baptism  essential? And   if it is, how is  it?

              Acts 2:38 says  , "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." Peter  was obviously literal when he said to repent,  as in turn from sin, as part of salvation. Luke 13:3  "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise  perish." 

Proverbs  28:13 "He  that covereth  his sins shall  not prosper: but  whoso confesseth and  forsaketh them shall have  mercy." Since  his answer  to their question,  How do we get saved (Read  Acts 2:37) involved REPENTANCE    as  an essential  part ( it wasn`t  optional ), so the  rest of his commands   were as equally important.  The scripture says 'be' baptized,  inferring to an action, since repentance  is the first essential part of salvation  then baptism is as equally essential to salvation. 

                  In  Mathew  26:27-28,  "And he took  the cup, and gave  thanks, and gave it  to them, saying, Drink  ye all of it; (28) for this  is my blood of the new testament,  which is shed for many for the remission  of sins." Jesus tells his disciples that remission  of sins is through his blood. So how do we apply the  cleansing power of Jesus' blood in the plan of salvation?   Simply through baptism, by submersion, in his name, after all it  was Jesus' blood that was shed for many as the scripture says. At   repentance Jesus forgives you but your sins still need to be washed away,  and that happens in baptism. 

                 In  Acts 10:43-48,  Peter was commanded   of God to go and speak  unto the house of Cornelius  about salvation. His message was  to them, "To him give all the prophets  witness, that through his name whosoever believeth  in him shall receive remission of sins." While Peter  spoke those words the Holy Ghost fell on all them. Then  he commanded them to be baptized. First they saw that they  had been granted repentance because God just gave them HIs Spirit.  So Peter told them to be baptized. He saw that they obeyed step one,  Repent, ( and had received God`s Spirit ) they had only one more step left,  be baptized. Realize that his sermon was that whoever believes in Jesus shall receive  remission of sins. You can cross reference the word remission in this passage back to Acts  2:38, when Peter told them to be baptized for the remission of sins. Whoever believes, Peter  said, had the promise that their sins would be washed away. After Peter spoke to them about the  Son of God, and they believed, God finished His good work in them in fulfilling His promise that all  who believe would receive remission of sins. Luke 1:77-78 "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people  by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath  visited us,"

                 In  Acts  8:12, it  says , "But  when they believed  Philip preaching the  things concerning the kingdom  of God, and the name of Jesus  Christ, they were baptized , both  men and women." Again, when they believed  they were baptized, receiving the promise that  whoever believes would receive remission of sins.  There are many instances that show that after one  believed they were baptized. Like the eunuch that Phillip  spoke to about the Son of God. After he believed he said,  ( Acts 8:36- 38) "And as they went on their way, they came unto  a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth  hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine  heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is  the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down  both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." Notice that,  once again, after he believed on the name of Jesus Christ, he was granted remission of  sins through baptism. 

                In  Acts 16:29-34,  the Phillipian   jailor asked Paul  and Silas What he must  do to be saved. They answered  him that he must believe on the  Lord Jesus Christ. Then they spoke  unto him and all who were in his house.  Then they baptized them, and they rejoiced. " Then  he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling,  and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out,  and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe  on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And  they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his  house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes;  and was baptized , he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into  his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." ( Acts  16:29-34 ) The Bible says that our source of rejoicing is because we are born again . So evidently ,  they rejoiced because: they believed and were baptized -- showing that baptism is what washes away our  sins. Again, God had finished His promise in him, that after he believed, he received remission of sin. 

             In  Acts  19:1-7,  Paul found  a group of disciples,  and asked them if they  had received the Holy Ghost  since they believed. They replied ,  "...We have not so much as heard whether  there be any Holy Ghost." After Paul heard  this, he asked them then by what baptism were  they baptized into . They answered that it was  John`s baptism. Paul explained that John`s baptism was  unto repentance, that they should believe on Him which  was to come. After they heard that, Paul baptized them in  the NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. Paul knew that it was so important  that once we believe that we must be baptized, that he commanded them  to be baptized again. This time in Jesus name. Afterward Paul laid his  hands on them    and  they received  the Holy Ghost.  Once again, another  instance of when one  believes, they were baptized  in Jesus name. God fulfilling  his promise in them; that whoever  believes would receive remission of sins.  

            One  of the  most convincing  scriptures is the  conversion of Saul.  Ananias came to Saul,  after he converted and  believed on Jesus` name ,   so that he would receive his  sight. Paul had repented and received  the Holy Ghost. So wasn`t he born again?  He just repented, he believed on Jesus' name,  but Ananias' answer was still, " And now why tarriest  thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,  calling on the name of the Lord." Ananias knew Saul `s sins  weren`t washed away at repentance, but that he still needed to  be buried in Jesus`s blood in Jesus`s name for his sins to be removed. "  And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report  of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me,  Brother Saul, receive thy sight.

And  the same  hour I looked  up upon him. and  he said, The God of  our fathers hath chosen  thee, that thou shouldest   know his will, and see that  Just One, and shouldest hear the  voice of his mouth. For thou shalt  be his witness unto all men of what  thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest  thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,  calling on the name of the Lord." ( Acts 22: 12-16 ) (  Also see Acts 9:17-18 ).

             Two  more references  that sins are not  washed away at repentance  is with two other Christians  found in the book of Acts. In  Acts 16:14-15, a certain woman named  Lydia, which worshiped God, heard Paul  preaching. The Lord opened her heart that  she attended unto the things which Paul spoke.  She was then baptized, and her house; once she believed.  The Bible says that she worshiped God , obviously she was repented  of her sins. But God still opened her heart to Paul's preaching, to  finish His good work in her, and she was baptized. If all she needed  to do was repent, why then did God open her heart to be baptized? "And  A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira,  which worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended  unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household,  she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house,  and abide there. And she constrained us." ( Acts 16:14-15 ) Also, in Acts 18:7-8 a certain man named  Justus, one that worshiped God, and Cyprus believed on the Lord. And many Corinthians who heard believed and  were baptized. Once Again, Justus worshiped God; but after he believed he was baptized. God fulfilling His promise  again that whoever believes will receive remission of sins. 

             1  Peter  3:20-21  says, " Which  sometime were disobedient,  when once the longsuffering  of God waited in the days of  Noah, while the ark was a preparing,  wherein few, that is, eight souls were  saved by water. 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: " The flood  that saved Noah and his family from the wrath of God  on the sinful world was a parallel to baptism which is  now come through Jesus Christ. The part that says, " The like  figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us ..." When we  are buried in baptism, we are buried into the death of Christ. And  when you rise, you rise to new life in Christ Jesus. " Buried with him  in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation  of God, who hath raised him from the dead." ( Colossians 2:12;) ( read Romans 6:1-4 )Baptism  wouldn`t work without the Son of God buried first. John`s baptism didn`t wash away sins because  God`s blood wasn`t shed yet; and we couldn`t be buried into Him without Him first being buried. If  we are baptized in Jesus Christ`s name, then we are buried with Him and covered in His blood. The Bible  makes it clear that our act of baptism doesn't save us, it`s the blood we are being buried into that saves  us. In Galatians 3:26-27, Paul says, " For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many  of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." In other words, Paul was saying , " You guys are God`s  children because you`ve put your faith in Him, not that you can earn it. For any of you who were baptized in Jesus Christ`s  name have put on Christ." Baptism isn`t a work it is faith. Our actions can never save, so baptism isn`t a work. We receive Christ`s  work in being buried by faith in His blood, which we are baptized into.

                If  we are  baptized we  didn`t earn salvation  through    baptism,  we received  it through faith  in baptism of His  blood. In John 3: 1-7,  verse 5 ," Jesus answered,  Verily, Verily, I say unto thee,  Except a man be born of water and  of    the  Spirit,  he cannot  enter the kingdom  of God." This means  baptism in Jesus name  and the receiving the Holy  Ghost. Realize Jesus said water  and the Spirit. He didn`t say "THE    WATER",   He only said  water but he clarified  Which Spirit. There is a  specific Spirit we must be  born of, the Holy Ghost, but  there is no specific water. If  He had said "THE WATER", as he did  with "The Holy Ghost". But He made  it clear that He simply meant physical,  literal water-- baptism. " There was a man  of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of  the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and  said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher  come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou  doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him,  Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he  cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man  be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother`s   womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, Verily, I say unto thee , Except  a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom  of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the  Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." ( John  3:1-7 )

              It`s  so important  that Jesus, knowing  that He is our example,  told John to baptize Him. Matthew  3:13-15 " Then cometh Jesus from Galilee  to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be  baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus  answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for  thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he  suffered him." Baptism was part of what was to to fulfill all  righteousness, so he did it as an example.

            One  last thing,  Mark 16:15-16  says, " And he  said unto them, Go  ye into all the world,  and preach the gospel to  every creature. He that believeth  and is baptized shall be saved; but  he that believeth not shall be damned."  Why did Jesus say, "... and is baptized shall  be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.''  Is baptism essential? YES Jesus was, in other words, saying,  whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved. But if one doesn't   believe , then baptism will do him no good, since he doesn't even believe  on my name. Don`t even worry about baptism unless your willing to repent and  believe. It`s so important that Jesus told us not only to preach the word, but  to baptize them that repent of their sins. Realize in all these scriptures, the Bible  says that believing Jesus is God is not ACTUALLY BELIEVING; but actually turning to Him  in repentance and faith. Then baptism will wash away our sins, because His blood won`t cover   us without us first turning to Him with our hearts. ( Hebrews 10: 22 ) When we repent, we are  forgiven; and when we're baptized, our sins are washed away.

     -- So  in short,  YES! baptism  is essential to  salvation.

Jesus' Name or Father, Son and Holy Spirit

                Since  baptism  is  essential,  how  do  you  get  baptized?  Is it in Jesus` name  or in the   name of  the Father,  Son,  and Holy Ghost?

               Throughout  the  Bible  we  see  that  the  name  of  God  is  what  saves  us,  through  His  blood.  Everything  is  to  be  done  in  His  name.  The  apostles  preached,  healed  the  sick,  raised  the  dead,  and  cast out  devils  all  in  Jesus` name. When  Goliath  came  to  battle  David  he  brought  weapons  with  him.  Yet  David  came  against  him  in  the  name  of  the  Lord.  ( 1  Samuel  17:45 ) .  David  being  a  mere  boy  killed  Goliath  with  a  simple  stone  through  God`s  name.  Jesus  constantly  tells  us  to  call  upon  His  name;  that  those  who  believe  can  work  miracles  in  His  name.  Mark 16:17-18, " And  these  signs  shall  follow  them  that  believe; In  my  name  shall  they  cast  out  devils;  they  shall  speak  with  new  tongues;  They  shall  take  up  serpents;  and  if  they  drink  any  deadly  thing,  it  shall  not  hurt  them;  they  shall  lay  hands  on  the  sick,  and  they  shall  recover."  Everything  in  the  Bible  has  been  done  in  Jesus`  name.  So  wouldn`t  baptism  be  done  in  His  name  as  well?

           In Acts  4:12  it  says,  " Neither  is  there  salvation  in  any  other:  for  there  is  none  other  name  under  heaven  given  among  men,  whereby  we  must  be  saved."  The  Bible  says  that  no  other  name  can  save  us  but  Jesus;  we  MUST  use  His  name  or  we  are  simply  not  saved.  There  is  only  one  way  to  Heaven (  John  14:6 )   In Luke 24:47,  it  says,  " And  that  repentance  and  remission  of  sins  should  be  preached  in  his  name  among  all  nation,  beginning  at  Jerusalem. "  You  can  cross  reference  the  part  that  says  " ... remission  of  sins should  be  preached  in his  name..."  with  Acts  2:38,  where  it  says  baptism  in  Jesus`  name  is  for  the  remission ( removal ) of  sins.  " 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. " It clearly  says   to  baptize  in  the  name  of  Jesus.

            Jesus,  while  praying  to  the  Father ,  said  to  sanctify  His  children  through  His  word. ( John  17:17 ) "  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth:  thy  word  is  truth." 

            Revelation 19:13  says  that  Jesus`  name  is  the Word  of  God. " And  he  was clothed  with  a  vesture  dipped  in  blood:  and  his  name  is  called  The  Word  of 

God."  We  are  sanctified  by  God`s  word,  and  the  Bible  is  clear  that  Jesus`  name  is  the  word  of  God;  we  are  sanctified  by  His  name.  

The  Bible  is  very  clear  that  throughout  scripture,  we  must  be  saved  by  Jesus`  name  alone. ( Acts 4:12 ).

The  one  part  people  get  caught  on  is  Matthew  28:19,  which  says,  " Go  ye  therefore,  and  teach  all  nations,  baptizing  them  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost: "  So  which  is  it?  In  Jesus`  name,  or  in  the  name  of  the Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost?  Listen  to  these  key  words  Jesus  said  that  will  answer  that: 1)  Jesus  said  to  baptize  them  in  the  NAME of the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  He  said  NAME,  singular.  He  didn`t  say  baptize  them  in  the  names  of,  but  in  the  singular  name  of  the  Father,  Son,  and Holy  Ghost.  He  was  merely  clarifying  that  the  Father,  Son,  And  Holy  Ghost  have  one  name  and  are  one  God. ( Deuteronomy  6:4 )  " Hear,  O Israel:  The  LORD  our  God  is  one  LORD: "  The  disciples  understood  this  quite  clearly;  they  only  baptized  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  He  was  merely  giving  us  the  name  of  the  God head.  And 2)  notice  that  again,  he  said,  NAME  of  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost are  not  names,  they  are  titles. 

He  told  the  disciples  to  baptize   them  in  the  singular  name  of  God,  not  in  titles.  Titles  can  not  save  us.

We  must  be  baptized  in  the  name   of  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  which  is  Jesus.  Remember  whose  blood  was  shed  for  many - Jesus`.

                   So,  baptism  is  in  Jesus`  name  alone  for  remission  of  sins; an  important  part  of  being  born  again.

Sprinkling or Submersion?

              John  3:23  says  John  the  Baptist  was  baptizing  in  AEnon ,  because  there  was  much  water  there.  "  And  John  also  was  baptizing  in  AEnon  near  to  Salim,  because  there  was  much  water  there:  and  they  came,  and  were baptized. "  He  knew  one  must  be  fully  submerged  in  baptism.  If  it  was just  sprinkling  he  would  not  have  needed  "  much  water ". (  Matthew 3:16-17 )  "And  Jesus,  when  he  was  baptized,  went  up  straightway  out  of  the  water:  and,  lo,  the  heavens  were  opened  unto  him,  and  he  saw  the  Spirit  of  God  descending  like  a  dove,  and  lighting  upon  him:  And  lo  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying,  This  is  my  beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased. "  For  Him  to  come  up  out  of  the  water  he  had  to  be  in  it.  When  Philip  baptized  the  Eunuch In  Acts  8:38-39,  "  And  he  commanded  the  chariot  to  stand  still:  and  they  went  down  both  into  the  water,  both  Philip  and   the  eunuch;  and  he  baptized  him. And  when  they  were  come  up  out  of  the  water,  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  caught  away  Philip,  that  the  eunuch  saw  him  no  more:  and  he  went  on  his  way  rejoicing."   Romans  6:4  says,  "  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. "  This  verse  says  we  are  buried  with  Christ  in  baptism.  Buried  means  to  be  completely  covered  in  dirt,  not  just  sprinkled  by  it. " Hebrews  10:22  says, "Let  us  draw  near  with  a  true  heart  in  full  assurance  of  faith,  having  our  hearts  sprinkled  from  an  evil  conscience,  and  our  bodies  washed  with  pure  water."   The  word  sprinkled  is  used,  but  notice  something: Hebrews  9  and  10  weren't    giving  instruction  on  how  to  be  baptized,  nor  was  it  telling  the  Hebrews  to  be  baptized .  These  chapters  were  simply  saying  that  the  old  testament  sacrifices  were  a  shadow  of  things  to  come  in  Christ  Jesus.  That,  as  once  animals  had  to  be  killed,  now  Jesus  laid  himself  down  as  the  spotless  lamb,  being  the  final  sacrifice.  That,  as  once  they  needed  animal's  blood  as  a  temporary  covering,  they  now  needed  Christ's  blood  alone.  It  was  showing  that  Jesus  Christ  had  fulfilled  all  the  old  testament  ordinances.  But  notice  in  Hebrews  10:22,  it  says,  "having  our  hearts  sprinkled  from  an  evil  conscience,  and  our  bodies  washed  with  pure  water."  When  it  did  speak  on  literal  baptism  it  said, "and  our  bodies  washed  with  pure  water."  It  put  a difference  between  the  two  words  "Sprinkled"  and  "Washed".  It  says  our  bodies  are  to  be  washed  in  pure  water.  In  order  for  the  body  to  be  washed,  you  have  to  go  down  into  the  water,  you  can't  just  sprinkle  your  head.  Every  time  someone  is  baptized,  it's  shown   to  be  under  water  in  the  Name  of  Jesus. 

When to Baptize and Who can baptize

             The  Bible  is  very  clear  that  once  somebody  repents  and  puts  their  trust  in  Jesus  Christ,  they  are  ready  to  be  baptized.  Acts  22:16  says,  "And  now  why  tarriest  thou?  arise,  and  be  baptized,  and  wash  away  thy  sins,  calling  on  the  name  of   the  Lord."  In  this  chapter,  Paul  had  already  repented  and  put  his  trust  in  Jesus  Christ.  When  Ananias  came  to  Paul,  he  knew  that  Paul  was  already  a  Christian,  so  he  told  him  to  not  wait  any  longer,  but  to  be  baptized.  There  was  nothing  more  to  wait  for.  Throughout  the  Bible,  we  see many  instances  where  the  apostles  met  other  Christians  who  hadn't  been  baptized  yet.  Immediately   they  would  be  baptized  (Acts 19:1-7;  Acts 16:14-15; Acts  18:7-8.)  Many  of  these  Christians  actually  did  not  know  that  they  had  to  be  baptized.  Several  years  went  on  before  they  actually  got  baptized.  But  Jesus  promised  to  finish  His  good  work  in  them (Philippians 1:6.)  So  weather  one  is  a  new  convert  or  if  they  have  been  a  believer  for  sometime,  there  is  never  the  "right time''  for  a  Christian  to  be  baptized.  They  don't  have  to  wait  for  anything  else.  Once  you  repent  and  trust  in  Jesus  you  are  forgiven,  and you  are  then  ready  for  your  sins  to  be  washed  away  by  his  blood  in  baptism. Scripture  never  shows  anyone  other  than  a  believer  baptizing  a  believer.


Baptizing Babies:

             Some  people  don`t  understand  that  babies  don`t  need  to  get  baptized.  Baptism  is  only  for  those  who  repent  and  trust  in  Jesus.  Babies  and  children  (  usually  up  to  about  six  to  seven  years  old  )  are  too  young  to  be  able  to  make  that   decision  on  their  own.  They  don`t  understand  sin.

"Moreover  your  little  ones,  which  ye  said  should  be  a  prey,  and  your  children,  which  in  that  day  had  no  knowledge  between  good  and  evil,  they  shall  go  in  thither,  and  unto  them  will  I  give it,  and  they  shall  possess  it."

~  Deuteronomy  1:39

 The  Bible  says  that  if  one  does  not  understand  sin,  then  sin  is  not   held  against  them.

 "  Jesus  said  unto  them,  If  ye  were  blind,  ye  should   have  no  sin:  but  now  ye  say,  We  see;  therefore  your  sin  remaineth. "

~  John  9:41

 Baptism  is  to  wash away  sins.  If  Jesus  doesn`t  hold  sin  against  babies  and  children,  then  there  is  nothing  to  wash  away.  The   Bible  says   that  they  are  innocent  and  belong  to  God.

"  Moreover  thou  hast  taken  thy  sons  and  thy  daughters,  whom  thou  hast  born  unto  me,  and  these hast  thou  sacrificed  unto  them  to  be  devoured.  Is  this  of  thy  whoredoms  a  small   matter,

(21)   That  thou  hast  slain  my children,  and  delivered  them to  cause  them  to  pass  through  the  fire  for   them?  "

~  Ezekiel  16:20-21

"  Lo,  children  are  an  heritage  of  the  LORD:  and  the  fruit  of  the  womb  is  his  reward.  "

~  Psalms  127:3

"  Then  were  there  brought  unto  him  little  children,  that he  should  put  his  hands  on  them,  and  pray:  and  the  disciples  rebuked  them.

(14)  But Jesus  said,  Suffer  little  children,  and  forbid  them  not,  to  come  unto  me:  for   of  such  is  the  kingdom  of  heaven. "

~  Matthew  19:13-14

Jesus  said  that  we  must  become  as  little  children  to  enter   the  kingdom  of  heaven.

"  And  Jesus called  a  little  child  unto  him,  and  set  him in  the  midst  of  them,

(3)  And  said,  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  Except  ye  be  converted,  and  become  as  little  children,  ye  shall  not  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  " 

~  Matthew  18:2-3

The  Bible  is  clear,  children  do  not understand  sin, therefore  God  does  not  hold  it  against them.  And  because  of  this,  they  belong  to  God. 

So, children  do  not  need  to  be  baptized.

Baptized In Running Water:

              Some  think  that  one  must  be  baptized  in  running  water  to  be  saved,  but  the  Bible  doesn`t  say  that.  Running  water  is  never  mentioned  as  being  necessary  in  baptism.  The  Bible  is  clear  that  the  saving  power  of   baptism  isn`t  found  in the  water,  but in  Jesus`  Name.  It  is  His  blood  by  His  name  that  we  are  cleansed  in  baptism,  being  completely  submerged. 

If Someone Receives the Holy Ghost Before Baptism, Does that Mean Baptism Isn't Essential?

                There  are  several  scriptures  that  show  some  people  are  baptized  before  they  receive  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  that  others  receive  God's  Spirit  and  then  were  baptized.  There  is  no  specific  order  for  these  two.  In  the  book  of  Acts,  Paul  received  the  Holy  Ghost  before  he  was  baptized.  This  also  happened  several  times  throughout  Acts  (Acts 10:44-48)  But  in  other  scriptures,  some  were  baptized  first,  then  received  God's  Spirit  (Acts 19:1-6.)  In  both  cases,  baptism  was  necessary.

Outward Sign of an Inward Change?

                  Baptism  isn't  to  show  the  world  you  take  a  stand  for  Christ,  but  for  remission  of  sins.  In  the  New  Testament,  baptism  was  constantly  incorporated  in  the  plan  of  salvation.  Jesus  also  said  foot  washing  and  communion  ( The  Lord's  Supper)  were  for  Christians,  but  the  Bible  never  mentions  those  things  when  someone  is  saved.  If  baptism  is  merely  a  sign  that  you  are  a  Christian,  then  the  apostles  wouldn't  have  constantly  applied  it  to  those  who  repent.  Even  Jesus  told  us  to  preach  the  gospel  and  baptize  the  ones  who  believe  ( Matthew 28:19.)  Baptism  is  always  emphasized  when  one  is  saved. Before  Jesus  died,  John  the  Baptist  would  baptize  people  unto  repentance.  This  baptism  was  merely  an  outward  sign  of  an  inward  change.  Jesus  hadn't  shed  His  blood  yet,  so  no one  could  be  covered  in  it.  But  after  Jesus  died,  baptism  was  no  longer  a  symbol,  it  was  now  in  Jesus  Name  for the remission  of  sins.

Is Baptism a Works Trip:

                   Many  people  think  that  baptism  isn`t  essential  because  we  are  saved  by  grace  through  faith.  They  consider  baptism  to  be  a  works  trip.  The  Bible  actually  says  the  opposite.  Yes,  we  are  saved  by  grace  though  faith  alone,  but  that  doesn`t  eliminate  the  need  to  repent.  Just  the  same,  we  are  saved  by  grace  through  faith;  but  that  doesn`t  eliminate  the  need  to  be  baptized. 

Galatians 3,  Paul  explains  that  we  are  saved  by  grace;  no  works  at  all.  But  then,  at  the  end  of  the  chapter  he  correlates  baptism  with  faith.

"  For  ye  are  all  the  children  of  God  by  faith  in  Christ  Jesus.

( 27 )  For  as  many  of  you  as  have  been  baptized  into  Christ  have  put on  Christ.

( 28 )  There  is  neither  Jew  nor  Greek,  there  is  neither  bond  nor  free,  there  is  neither  male  nor  female:  for  ye  are  all  one  in  Christ  Jesus.

(  29  )  And  if  ye  be  Christ`s,  then  are  ye  Abraham`s  seed,  and  heirs  according  to  the  promise.  " 

Baptism  is  literally  an  act  of  faith.  Just  as  repentance  is,  baptism  is  faith.  Just  as  you  have  faith  in  Christ  to  forgive  you  when  you  repent,  you  have  faith  in  Christ  to  wash  away  your  sins  when  you  are  baptized,  being  covered  in   in  His  righteousness. This  is  faith  with  works,  not  works.  Our  "act"  of  baptism  has  nothing  to  do  with  our  salvation.  "  Our  getting  "  baptized  doesn`t  save  us;  it  is  the  blood  of  Christ  that  we  are  buried  in  through  Jesus`  name  in  baptism  by  faith  in  His  blood.   It  is  not  a  works  trip,  it  is  applying  God`s  blood  by  faith.

The Thief on the Cross:

                    The  scripture  that  probably  holds  the  most  confusion  for  people  is  the  story  of  the  thief  on  the  cross.  He  was  not  baptized  in  Jesus'  Name,  and  he  had  not  received  the  Holy  Ghost.  All  he  did  was  repent  and  believe  and  Jesus  told  him  that  he  would  be  with  him  in  paradise  that  same  day.  The  Bible  actually  gives  the  answer  to  this  question through  several  scriptures.  In  Luke  16,  Jesus  said,  "There  was  a  certain  rich  man,  which  was  clothed  in  purple  and  fine  linen,  and  fared  sumptuously  every day:  and  there  was  a  certain  beggar  name  Lazarus,  which  was  laid  at  his  gate,  full  of  sores,  and  desiring  to  be  fed  with  the  crumbs  which  fell  from  the  rich  man's  table:  moreover  the  dogs  came  and  licked  his  sores.  And  it  came  to  pass,  that  the  beggar  died,  and  was  carried  by  the  angels  into  Abraham's  bosom:  The  rich  man  also  died,  and  was  buried;  and  in  hell  he  lift  up  his  eyes,  being  in  torments,  and  seeth  Abraham  afar  off,  and  Lazarus  in  his  bosom.  And  he  cried  and  said,  Father  Abraham,  have  mercy  on  me,  and  send  Lazarus,  that  he  may  dip  the  tip  of  his  finger  in  water,  and  cool  my  tongue;  for  I  am  tormented  in  this  flame.  But  Abraham  said,  Son,  remember  that  thou  in  thy  lifetime  recievedst  thy  good  things,  and  likewise  Lazarus  evil  things:  but  now  he  is  comforted,  and  thou  art  tormented."  (Luke  16:19-25.)  Lazarus  was  a  Christian  who  died  before  Jesus'  resurrection,  so  he  did not  go  to  heaven.  Instead,  he  went  to  Abraham's  bosom,  a  temporary  holding  place  for  the  righteous  souls  who  died  before  his  resurrection.  Luke  23:43  says,  "And  Jesus  said  unto  him,  Verily  I  say  unto  thee,  To  day  shalt  thou  be  with  me  in  paradise."  Now  this  man  was  certainly  going  to  be  with  Jesus  in  paradise  that  same  day,  but  where  does  the  Bible  say  Jesus  went  when  he  died  that  day?  It  wasn't  heaven.  Jesus  did  not  ascend  back  into  heaven  until  forty-three  days  later.  The  Bible  says  that  he  went  to  Abraham's  bosom  to  preach  to  the  spirits  that  were  there.  "But  he  answered and  said  unto  them,  An  evil  and  adulterous  generation  seeketh  after  a  sign;  and  there  shall  no  sign  be  given  it,  but  the  sign  of  the  prophet  Jonas:  for  as  Jonas  was  three  days  and  three  night  in  the  whale's  belly;  so  shall  the  Son  of  man  be  three  days  and  three  nights  in  the  heart  of  the  earth."  (Matthew  12:39-40.)  "For  Christ  also  hath  once  suffered  for  sins,  the  just  for  the  unjust,  that  he  might  bring  us  to  God,  being  put  to  death  in  the  flesh,  but  quickened  by  the  Spirit:  by  which  also  he  went  and  preached  unto  the  spirits  in  prison;"  (1 Peter  3:18-19.)  Jesus  hadn't  risen  yet,  but  this  man  was  now  with  Jesus.  They  were  in  Abraham's  bosom.  But  the  Bible  says  what  happened  to  those  spirits  after  Jesus  rose  again.  Matthew  27:52-53 says,  "and  the  graves  were  opened;  and  many  bodies  of  the  saints  which  slept  arose,  and  came  out  of  the  graves  after  his  resurrection,  and  went  into  the  holy  city,  and  appeared  unto  many:"  This  verse  says  that  after  Jesus  rose  from  the  dead,  God  resurrected  the  bodies  of  the  saints  who  had  died  before  Christ's  resurrection.  Why  did  Jesus  raise  them  up?  Because,  the  only  way  one  can  enter  heaven  is  to  be  born  again.  John 3:5  says,  " Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  They  had  not  been  baptized  in  Jesus'  Name,  nor  had  they  received  the  Holy  Spirit.  That's  what  Jesus  was  preaching  to  them  in  Abraham's  bosom.  It's  what  he  commissioned  Christians  to  preach  to  every  creature:  the  Gospel;  that  the  Savior  had  now  come  and  died  for  them,  and  they  need  their  sins  washed  away,  and  to  be  filled  the  Holy  Ghost.  And  that's  exactly  what  Jesus  did  to  them  after  the  resurrection.  They  needed  to  be  born  again,  so  Jesus  raised  them  up  and  finished  his  good  work  in  them.