Baptism is a necessary step that every person needs to take as part of God’s plan of salvation. It is the moment when a person submits to God’s will and, by the power of God, has their sins washed away. By considering two old testament events, we quickly see how powerful and necessary baptism is.
Noah and his family were saved by a flood that cleansed the earth of evil (Genesis 6-8). Peter tells us that they “were brought safely through the water” by God (1 Peter 3:20). The powerful floodwaters, brought about by God, saved Noah and his family from the sinful world around them. But what if they had not entered into the ark?
The nation of Israel was saved as they passed through the waters of the Red Sea and then watched as the Egyptian army was completely destroyed. When that water came crashing down, the Israelites were saved by God who parted that sea, who enable and instructed them to pass through, and who buried the enemy that had enslaved them for generations. But what if they had refused to cross on dry land?
In addition to numerous New Testament examples of baptism, explanations of its purpose, power, and necessity, Peter writes very plainly, “baptism now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21). It is by God’s power that we are cleansed of sin, that the enemy which once enslaved us is destroyed, and we are saved by the waters of baptism “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). But what if we refuse to be baptized?