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Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
Source of this article is https://carm.org/is-baptism-necessary-salvation by Matt Slick
One of the most nagging questions in Christianity is whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. The answer is a simple, "No, water baptism is not necessary for salvation."
But, water did not save Noah.
This is why Peter excludes the issue of water baptism being the thing that saves us because he says, "not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God." Peter says that it is not the application of water that saves us but a pledge of the good conscience.
Therefore, baptism here most probably represents the breaking away of the old sinful life and entrance into the new life with Christ--in the same way that the flood waters in Noah's time was the destruction of the sinful way and, once through it, known as entering into the new way. Also, Peter says that the baptism is an appeal of a good conscience before God. Notice that this is dealing with faith. It seems that Peter is defining real baptism as the act of faith.
Acts 22:16, "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."
Is the washing away of sins done by baptism, the representation of the circumcised heart (Col. 2:11-12) which means you are already saved; or is it by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7)? Obviously it is the blood of Jesus, and the washing here refers to the calling on Jesus' name.