You will often hear from some that baptism isn’t required for salvation since baptism is a work and we are not saved by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Since the Bible does say that baptism saves us (1st Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:40-41), it must make us reconsider than line of logic.
So is baptism really a work?
Well, it is not a work of the law (Galatians 2:16) because 1st Corinthians 6:11 tells us that our justification comes from the washing of baptism. So it not that kind of work, what kind of work is it? If anything we must do to be saved is “work” then we must not have to confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9) or repent (Luke 13:3). To follow that train of logic we don’t even need to have faith since Jesus called it a work (John 6:28-29).
Oh, course this doesn’t make much sense. James clearly tells us that works must go alone with faith or faith doesn’t exist (James 2:24-26). So can we then come to a conclusion that baptism isn’t a work?
A preacher friend of mine recently pointed out something else to me that make help to clarify this issue. Most folks that claim baptism is a work, don’t think that repentance, belief or confession of Jesus is one. However consider my friends point, which one of those to we do and which one is done to us? No one can repent for me. No one would think anothers confess of Jesus could be substituted for my own. If you have faith, it doesn’t mean I do. These are act the individual does. That sounds more like a “work” than having another immerse you into water. You “do” those things, some else baptizes you.
The fact is none of these things are the “works” Paul is talking about in Ephesians 2:8-9. They are obedient responses to the grace of God. They are commands of God given for us to follow. They are how God gives us salvation. No command of the Lord can be ignored if you truly want to be pleasing to him. God work is done to us by our obedient faithful response.