Belief or Disbelief?

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

This is a pretty easy verse to understand. Jesus specifically states two things that are necessary for salvation – belief and baptism.
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Those Who Will Be Saved

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Shortly before His ascension, Jesus gave His apostles the Great Commission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). This passage succinctly tells us who it is that will be saved. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved.

This order seems pretty simple. A person believes, then they are baptized, and then they are saved. Though this seems simple, many have the order wrong. They think that a person believes, then they are saved, and sometime later they are baptized. This is not what Jesus taught. He taught that those who will be saved are those who believe and are baptized.
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What Is Baptism?


Baptism is discussed numerous times throughout the New Testament. There are also different baptisms that are mentioned. John the Baptist mentioned three baptisms – the baptism of John, the Holy Spirit, and fire (Matthew 3:11). In his letter to Corinth, Paul made reference to baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). There is also the baptism that is done in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). It is this baptism that is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament as being applicable to men today (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:48; 19:5).

Many people have various opinions about baptism. Some believe baptism is unnecessary because they believe we are saved by faith alone. Others believe baptism is merely a confession of faith – an outward sign of an inward grace. Some see baptism as necessary for gaining membership into a local church, but that one is already saved before being baptized. Still others believe that baptism is for the remission of sins and through it one gains entrance into the universal church. It is important that we understand what baptism is. Part of our “platform for unity” is the “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Let us consider what the New Testament teaches about baptism so we can unite around that teaching.
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