Re: Is Baptism Important?
We’ll have to agree to disagree on the John 3:5 interpretation, I guess.
Here’s my take on baptism…. Yes, we’re told to do it. It’s similar to communion in that sense. And I do believe that, if one is truly a Christian, one should want to be baptized as an act of obedience. Again, like observing communion. So, I see it as something of a litmus test for the sincerity of one’s commitment to Christ. If someone’s not willing to be obedient in the act of baptism simply because they don’t feel like it, then that person has not made Christ the Lord of their life.
Similarly, James says that faith without works is dead. Does that mean that we actually earn our salvation? Of course not. It means that a natural result of true faith will be works of obedience to Christ.
I still see that holding the belief that baptism is a requirement for salvation is holding the position that Jesus making the payment for our sins is insufficient for salvation. For that matter, if baptism is required for salvation, Paul is lying–or at least misleading–in Romans when he said otherwise. He clearly says “you will be saved.” If baptism is required to be saved, then Paul’s words are incorrect.