Why get Baptised?
The Lord Jesus Christ gave instructions to his disciples to baptise all believers.
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> And Jesus came and spoke 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 Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matt 28:18-20
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At Grovely, no one is pushed into being baptised. Whilst we would encourage all believers to be baptized we regard this matter as a personal decision - 'the answer of a good conscience toward God' (1 Peter 3:21).
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> For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16
> For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:8-9
> But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:7
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What then do we make of verses such as Mark 16:16 which, at a superficial reading, could be interpreted as implying baptism as a precondition for salvation?
> He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16
The clear message of this verse is that without belief, no one will be saved (he that believeth not shall be damned). Baptised or not - without believing faith in Christ you will be eternally separated from God. The baptism that is mentioned is clearly connected with faith (He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved). Someone who is baptised but does not believe will fare no better in judgement than the unbeliever who is not baptised.

Other verses also seem to indicate that the act of baptism is a necessary part of forgiveness of sin:

> Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38

> ... arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 22:16

However, given the clear message of the gospel; that is, salvation by grace, through faith (Eph 2:8); it is obvious that baptism is used here as a symbol of the cleansing provided by the blood of Christ. The thing that is visible (baptism) is used in place of the thing that it represents (the cleansing of the blood of Christ). In a similar way the Lord Jesus was able to break bread and say, 'Take, eat; this is my body' (Matt 26:26). We know of course that it was not his body they were eating, but bread. He could have said, 'Take, eat; this is bread that symbolises my body', but such a statement was unnecessary. The reference to the emblem as that which it represents is not a cause of confusion, but rather a powerful statement of its significance.
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Read next: What does Baptism mean?
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