Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
You are sealed as God's when you are baptized. Without this seal on your soul, it is lost. Some versions read 'clothed with Christ', instead of 'put on Christ'.
The story of the Pharisees below, asking him about paying tax to Caesar, shows this to be truth. The things with Gods seal are his, period. Baptism in Faith puts the seal on us.
Matt 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.
This story below shows again how you must be 'clothed with Christ'. The 'wedding garment' is the seal and comes from being water baptized into Faith in Christ.
Mat 22:12-14 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
Here we see Paul asking some new believers about their faith. Again, must be baptized.
Act 19:2-5 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
---The Great Commission---
Matt 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:14-18 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.*Jesus own words tell us to be baptized.
---Archetypes of baptism, Old Testament---
Before I relate these we must establish one of the things that is taking place during baptism. The old life (flesh) is being buried when we go under the water and upon coming out we are rising into new life (Spirit) in Christ.
1. Noah's ark
The old life (the world Noah lived in) was totally sinful according to Gods Word. It had to be destroyed, and was by flood. Those who were saved (Noah's family) passed through the water, and entered into new life. So we can see how the old life buried in water, those who were saved passed through it safely due to Faith and then entered into new life once the flood was over.*The ark represents Faith, as Noah had to build a huge boat on dry ground no where near water. How absurd from a human viewpoint and what great faith!
2. Release from bondage in Egypt
The old life is slavery in Egypt, which Israel was in due to disobedience to God. The water to be passed through this time is the Red Sea. The Israelite's passed through the sea safely (showed Faith in God) when God miraculously parted the waters and they entered into new life on the other side.
In both stories above we see:
- old life being left behind
- passing through water
- entering into new life
This clearly shows how passing through water is needed to enter into new life. That is what the Old Testament is doing; pointing to Christ and His coming, and how it is to take place.
---Faith and works---
These verses from James show part of the essential need for water baptism. The belief, and an act that followed in each case. Water baptism has many facets and one is that it is the first step of obedience in the flesh for any believer in the Gospel of Christ.
James 2:20-26 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
These next verses are talking about different works, works of self-righteousness.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Also, we also have the story of Nicodemus:
Joh 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
What is trying to be related here is that water baptism must happen. It is part of Faith in Christ. Baptism alone, in and of itself, does not save you. Likewise, without repentence you have nothing. We are saved by Grace through Faith, but Faith without water baptism is dead and isn't faith at all. Baptism is part of the foundation of Faith in Christ. And without a true foundation we know nothing stands.
Please see my section on Know Jesus to understand more about coming into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Rom_10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Humble yourself! Kneel before God and ask forgiveness for your sins! Then do this everyday.