Some sects of Christianity teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, for example, Roman Catholicism and the Church of Christ. Believing that baptism is necessary for salvation is extremely serious, since this belief undermines the doctrine of justification through faith alone, which is a central teaching of Scripture concerning salvation.
The question, “Is baptism necessary for salvation?”, is not the proper question we should be asking. Since Scripture commands believers to be baptized, a true Christian will desire to be baptized. No true Christian will refuse the clear command of Scripture to be baptized. So, in this sense, baptism is “necessary” for salvation.
A better question to frame this debate is, “At what point is a person saved: upon having faith, or upon being baptized?” Or, in other words, can a person be saved who genuinely professes faith in Christ, yet dies before being baptized?
The individual passages that are used to try to prove that baptism is necessary for salvation are inconclusive. There are legitimate arguments for why they do not actually prove that baptism is necessary for salvation.
The key to this debate is whether the Bible teaches that justification is through faith alone. Of course, true saving faith includes a desire to get baptized soon after having faith, but the question is if a person is saved at the moment of having faith, or at the moment of being baptized.
*[[Does Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?]]*[[Does John 3:5 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?]]*[[Does Galatians 3:27 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?]]