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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."
It is clearly the gospel that saves us, but what exactly is the gospel? That too is revealed to us in the Bible. It is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." The gospel is defined as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. Baptism is not mentioned here.
Paul said that he came to preach the gospel--not to baptize: "I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else). For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel . . . " (1 Cor. 1:14-17).
If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul downplay it and even exclude it from the description of what is required for salvation? It is because baptism is not necessary for salvation.