Baptism- VS- Salvation
Let us begin by allowing me to make this statement concerning Acts 2:38; itis one of the most miss-understood verses in the Bible. With a proper view of God's Word, it is plain to see that it does not teach baptismal regeneration. Rarely is doctrine ever formed from a single verse. We need to look at all of what God's word says about a given subject in order to accurately allow the Holy Spirit to minister unto us.
Acts 2:38 ; is not stating that you must be baptized in order to be saved. It is declaring that baptism is the outward representation of one's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. It is not the act of baptism that saves us, but what Christ did that saves us. Peter says to them "Repent, and be baptized.". Water baptism would be the evidence that they had repented, That they had come to Christ and had put their trust in Him. Peter then says to them "Be baptized...in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.---rather than bringing a sacrifice to be offered in the temple". You see their baptism would be a testimony to the fact that Christ is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. It is the reality of His death which we receive by faith Rom. 5:1.This is consistent with the acts of the apostles and the facts (doctrine) given by the apostles. It was the apostle Peter who is quoted in Acts 2:38, and yet in his first epistle he stated the reality of salvation apart from any mention of water baptism 1 Peter 3:21. It would be inconsistent with doctrinal teaching to suggest that one would receive the Holy Spirit through the act of water baptism. Ephesians 1:13 is very clear on how the Holy Spirit is received. Obtaining salvation is never by do's and don'ts... salvation is DONE. Salvation cannot be achieved by a religious performance... it can only be received by faith John 1:12
The act of baptism is not our salvation. It is not even a part of salvation. It is something someone does who is already saved. Acts 2:38 accompanied by other verses on baptism emphasize the importance of believer's baptism. Anyone who professes to know and follow Jesus Christ would want to give testimony by baptism of what Christ Jesus has done for them by virtue of the gospel (death, burial, resurrection). Thank God salvation is by grace through faith alone.
Rev William A Tyler Sr