When it comes to asking how one is saved, many think that we who call ourselves “Church of Christ” believe that all one has to do to be saved is be baptized in water. Many think that we don’t believe that one is saved by grace and faith. But that’s just not true.
First, as Christians we do not believe that all one has to do to be saved is get wet in baptism. The Bible does not teach baptism that way and so neither do we. What the Bible does say, and what we believe and obey, is that one has to believe in their hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came to this earth and died on the cross for our sins, and that God raised Him from the dead on the third day (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). They must repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38). They are to confess their faith before men (Romans 10:9-13). And THEN they are to call upon the name of the Lord in baptism for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). This is what the Bible teaches and so this is what we follow. If someone came today and said they wanted to be baptized, but they didn’t believe in Jesus or they didn’t want to repent of their sins, then they could get baptized all day long and they still wouldn’t be saved.
Second, we absolutely believe and confirm that we are saved by the grace of God and through faith in Jesus Christ. Many believe that baptism contradicts grace and faith. However, the Bible clearly shows that grace, faith, and baptism are connected. The Bible says that by “grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). With that the Bible teaches that by God’s grace He has made known to us that if we are baptized into Christ we will be saved. Galatians 3:26-27 – “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Also Romans 6:3-6 – “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
Furthermore, look at 1 Peter 3:20-21, “God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.” Peter tells us that the power of baptism has nothing to do with the water and ALL to do with the power of God through Jesus Christ. That’s what we believe because that’s what it says.
Again, Colossians 2:11-12 – “In [Christ] also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” FAITH in the POWERFUL WORKING OF GOD through BAPTISM.
You better believe that when we are baptized in the way the Bible teaches, we understand that it is only by the grace of God that any of us can be saved and that we have full faith that God’s power works through Jesus Christ in baptism as the Scriptures teach.
Ananias tells us that we call upon the name of the Lord in baptism (FAITH) and that in baptism our sins are washed away (the power of GOD). Read Acts 22:16.
We believe Paul’s teaching on the subject. We believe Peter’s teaching on the subject. We believe Ananias’ teaching on the subject. Above all we believe JESUS’ teaching on the subject of baptism. It is His instruction and plan after all.
Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Mark 16:15-16, “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.'”