When the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and Saul asked what would you have me to do, we read in Acts 9:6, “Then the Lord said to him ‘Arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do’”. What was Saul told that he must do? We read in Acts 9:10-17 that the Lord sent a man, named Ananias, to Saul to tell him what he must do. In Acts 22:16 Ananias told Saul, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Saul was not saved and his sins were not forgiven by the Lord three days earlier when he met the Lord on the road to Damascus, as some people would like for us to believe. Saul still had all his sins that were to be washed away when he was baptized. Saul was told by Ananias, the Lord’s messenger, that he must be baptized to wash away his sins. If one desires to obey the Lord he will be baptized to wash away his sins.
Nichodemus came to Jesus and asked Him how to be born again. “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5). To become a part of the kingdom of God, one must be born of “water and the Spirit”. Romans 6:3-4 tells us how we are born again, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even we also should walk in newness of life”. When one is raised up out of the watery grave of baptism to walk in newness of life, he is born again. If one wants to be in Christ, as the verse says, he must be “baptized into Christ”.
It is a privilege to be a child of God. John in writing to other Christians says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1). According to the Bible, how does one become a child of God? God’s instructions are given in Galatians 3:26-27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The preposition “for” tells how one becomes a child of God by being baptized into Christ. Until one is baptized into Christ, he/she is not a child of God.
Jesus asks the question, “But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). If we accept Jesus as our Lord, we will do what He says. Jesus says, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Many people laugh at Jesus’ requirement that one must be baptized, in order to be saved. If one really wants to be saved, he will do what the Lord says and for the reason He says in order to be saved.