Q. The Bible teaches us that if we believe in Jesus and are baptized we are saved. I believe it. What concerns me very much is the large amount of people who do believe in Jesus but are not baptized of their own free will and accept their infant baptism as sufficient. I notice that the subject is not widely addressed,even in your answers about being saved once we believe.Please do not see this as criticism, I love your site and the wonderful work you do but it just seems to me an aspect that is not high lighted sufficiently. English is not my mother tongue please pardon any mistakes in expressing my thoughts. May God richly bless you and your work in this new year.
A. Adult baptism is a public declaration of a private decision, whereas infant baptism is the parents’ way of dedicating their child to the Lord. Even though some denominations practice infant baptism, it doesn’t reflect the baby’s decision to accept the Lord as his or her Savior. Most adults who were baptized as babies and become born again elect to be baptized again, usually by immersion. It is a dramatic way to symbolize the old person dying and the new one being born.
That said, it’s not at all clear that baptism is necessary to achieve salvation. It is simply a way to make a public declaration that one has accepted the Lord’s death as payment for his or her sins. Jesus never personally baptized anyone (John 4:2). And the thief on the cross was admitted into Paradise without being baptized. Paul bragged that he had only baptized a few of the people in Corinth. (1 Cor. 1:13-17) and that he wasn’t called to baptize people but to preach the Gospel.
I would encourage anyone who is born again to be baptized, but I don’t believe the failure to do so will prevent a person from receiving salvation. Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Paul also wrote that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). And Jesus said that the only work God requires of us is that we believe in the one He sent (John 6:28-29).