First of all, we should pay attention to the “doctrines of baptisms” as written in Hebrews 6:2. According to the Bible, there are three different baptisms; the baptism of John the Baptist for repentance, the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, and our water baptism as a ritual.
The baptism that we receive is a confession of our faiths in the baptism of Jesus. That is to say, we are baptized in order to confess our faiths that we believe Jesus was baptized to take away all our sins and also died on the Cross to atone for them. Now you can understand Matthew 3:15 where it says, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Here, “for thus” means that Jesus Himself bore all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of all humankind.
It was the profound plan of God to save us from the inevitable trap of sin. The Lord God “has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) and has granted us His righteousness. “Righteousness” here means “Δικαίωση (dikaiosune)” in Greek, which also signifies “fairness and justice.” It tells us that Jesus bore the iniquity of all humankind in the most fair and just way by being baptized in the form of the laying on of hands.
We have been saved by our strong faiths in the baptism, the death on the Cross, and the resurrection of Jesus. The power of the spiritual circumcision (Romans 2:29) of His baptism, which cut off all our sins from our hearts, has washed away the sins in our hearts. Therefore, the Apostle Peter said to the people, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38) on the Day of Pentecost.
All sinners should obtain the forgiveness of sins in their hearts by believing in the name of Jesus. What’s the meaning of His name? “You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus means ‘the Savior’ who saves His people from all their sins. How did He save us from all our sins? Jesus has saved us from all our sins through His baptism and death on the Cross.
When the Apostles of Jesus Christ preached the gospel, they ensured a clear understanding of the baptism of Jesus and the Cross, so they taught the true gospel, and then baptized those who believed in it. Accordingly, we’re baptized to confess outwardly that we believe in the baptism and the death of Jesus deep in our minds. When we’re baptized, we confess, “Thank you, Lord. You bore all my sins through Your baptism, died for me and rose again to save me. I believe in Your gospel.” We are baptized in water by ministers as a symbol of our faith in Jesus’ baptism and His death on the Cross, just as He was baptized by John the Baptist. Thus, the saints in the early church were baptized as proof of their beliefs, after they confessed their faith in the gospel and had redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The ritual of baptism is not a necessary condition to be saved. Even though it is very important to clarify our faiths, our water baptisms have nothing to do with our salvations. We can only be saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the blood. The Bible states that we are baptized into Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27) when we believe in His baptism.
Then, how could we be “baptized into Him”? It is possible only when we believe in His baptism since the flesh, our old selves, could be united with Jesus and crucified with Him only by our faith in His baptism. Consequently, since Jesus bore all our sins by His baptism, His death was the judgment for our iniquities. Therefore, we also died on the Cross with Him. In other words, our flesh, which cannot but commit sins until death, died to sin and we have been saved from all our iniquities in union with Jesus through His baptism.
Those who are united with Jesus through His baptism and death can also be united with His resurrection. His resurrection is not only our resurrection from our deaths to sin, but it also allows us to be born again as the children of God and the consecrated, who are pure and sinless in front of Him.
If we had not passed our sins onto Him by distrusting His baptism, His death and resurrection might have been meaningless, having nothing to do with our salvation. Those who have laid all their sins on Him with faith are united with His death on the Cross, allowing them to be born again as the righteous. However, those who have not laid their sins on Him by not believing in His baptism, have no relationship with His death and resurrection whatsoever.
The baptism of the believers is trustworthy just as we can admit a husband and wife as a legal couple through a wedding ceremony. The baptism of the saints is an outward proclamation of such an inward belief. When we proclaim our belief in His baptism and the Cross in front of God, saints, and the world, our belief becomes more immutable.
Having misunderstood the true meaning of the baptism that Jesus has received by John the Baptist, we should not believe that we could be saved if we do not believe in His baptism and its significance. It’s simply a cunning trick of the devil. We can receive the remission of sins and be welcomed to Heaven by truly believing in the baptism of Jesus in our hearts instead of believing in our own baptisms.