Lutherans have corrupted the Gospel by teaching that the act of water baptism is the means by which a person is saved. Martin Luther clearly taught Baptismal Regeneration was mandatory for salvation. The Bible disagrees with Mr. Luther. There are many solid Biblical arguments against the teaching that water baptism is required for salvation. Here are a few:
First, no one in the Old Testament was ever recorded as being water baptized to be saved. To claim that water baptism is mandatory today for salvation is to errantly teach that there are multiple gospels. Genesis 15:6 plainly tells us that Abraham’s faith in the Lord was counted for righteousness. According to Acts 10:43, people in the Old Testament were saved the same way we are today, by faith in the Messiah.
Second, the thief on the cross was never baptized.
Third, the Epistle of 1st John was written to assure believers of their salvation (1st John 5:13); yet water baptism is not mentioned even once.
Fourth, Paul plainly stated that Jesus did not send him to water baptize. 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” If water baptism were required for salvation, then the Apostle Paul never would have made such a statement.
Fifth, water baptism is a human work, which is not allowed in the imputed righteousness of God. Water baptism is the believer’s public profession of faith, identifying him with a rejected Savior. Jesus was water baptized to identify Himself with a rejected people, the Jews. Water baptism is an act of Christian obedience to the Lord, and not a part of saving-faith.
— David J. Stewart
Jesus indicated that water baptism is a good work:
Matthew 3:13-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
John Baptizes Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him,
*******“Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.*******
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [a]He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The important, automatic, baptism is to baptized by the Holy Spirit into the death and resurrection of Christ at the moment if belief. It is a travesty that the true resurrection is neglected for a water ritual.
— Curtis Smale