What is Water Baptism?
Impact Christian Church believes Jesus established water baptism as a public, outward testimony that indicates a personal, inward faith. It gives evidence of the inner change that has already occurred in the believer's life when he or she was "born again" through faith in Jesus Christ.
Baptism identifies the believer with the message of the gospel, the Person of Jesus Christ, and other believers. It associates the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and signifies the believer's death to the old life and his or her resurrection as a new creation in Christ (see Romans 6:1–8; Colossians 2:12).
This was something Jesus instructed us to do as part of the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).
Why are We to be Baptized?
We are to be baptized because Jesus Christ commanded it (Matthew 28:19), and because we love the Lord. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Throughout the Book of Acts, we read how the early church gave importance to water baptism (see 2:41; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:47–48; 16:15, 33; 19:3–5).
Are you only saved if you are baptized?
The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith and according to God's mercy (see Ephesians 2:8–9; Titus 3:5). The Bible contains no record of Jesus baptizing anyone—a strange omission if baptism was essential for salvation. The Apostle Paul declared, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…" (1 Corinthians 1:17). This clearly indicates that salvation is a response of faith to the gospel—not the act of baptism. Therefore, water baptism is not an act of salvation, but an act of obedience.