BAPTISM, AN ACT OF FAITH - A SIGN OF FAITH
ACTS 8:35-38 NKJ
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Some people have put a real emphasis on being baptized. Jesus commanded us to baptize in the passage referred to as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). So, it's easy to conclude that baptism is obedience to what Jesus has asked us to do.
The key is to get the order right. Phillip proclaimed Christ; he preached Jesus to a man from Ethiopia. When the man saw water and asked about being baptized, Phillip questioned him on whether or not he believed in Jesus. When the Ethiopian confessed his belief, only then did Phillip baptize him.
Salvation is based on believing in Jesus with our hearts then confessing Him with our mouths (Romans 10:9). This is all that is required to go from death to life, darkness to light, lost to saved. Once that action of believing and confessing is made, then we are baptized. Baptism is an outward sign of what has taken place in our hearts spiritually.
I have had people contact me concerned about loved ones who have died but were not baptized. Their concern is that they were not saved. But the only question I ask is, did they have a relationship with the Lord? Baptism is a witness to the world that you have identified with Jesus' death and burial, and like Jesus, you have risen with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4). So, baptism does not save us. It is an act of faith as we obey the Lord's command and a sign of our faith in Him to others.
If you have never been baptized, I encourage you to do so. You'll be blessed for your act of faith. And invite others that you know to witness that you now have a new life through Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Father, for the salvation that is available to all who believe in Jesus. I am a believer, and I'm glad to be identified with Him.