In the denomination which I grew up it is taught whole heartedly that we cannot he saved if we are not baptized by immersion in water. I do not believe it is possible that actual water baptism saves us and I have read some of the conversations on this forum about baptism but I need more information. I would like to know how I can explain through scripture that the act of water baptism is not what saves us.
Here are some scriptures referenced by those who believe we cannot be saved until we are actually baptized by immersion in water:
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:38 NIV.
They teach we must repent and be baptized to be saved.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Mark 16:16 NIV
They teach that our salvation by grace through faith is given in baptism. “And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."* (I Peter 3:21). They believe Peter does not attribute saving power to baptism by virtue of its use as a religious ordinance but that he speaks of baptism as that which saves because it is the means by which one connects with and receives access to the resurrection power of Jesus.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Romans 6:1-4 NIV
Here again they believe this is referring to water baptism and that we cannot be buried with Christ and live a new life if we have not been baptized in water because it is that baptism which puts us in contact with Christ’s death and burial.
How can I explain how we can know when the scriptures are referring to water baptism or another type of baptism? These scriptures are so obvious to those who believe we are saved at the point of water baptism that they cannot fathom why other denominations do not also believe that we cannot be saved unless we are baptized by water. Thank you for any insight you can give about this topic.