The act of baptism is well recorded in Scripture. Not only was it a tradition among the Hebrew people for centuries, but it is what at least one Bible character was know by (John the Baptist) and it was something that Jesus the Messiah did himself. (Matthew 3:13-17) Some other questions about baptism have been answered through the BSF such as exactly what it is and what Scripture says about its purpose, but is baptism required or necessary for salvation?
Many religious leaders today would say, “No!” To conclude that baptism is required for salvation, they would argue, would make salvation “works-based” thereby mitigating or eliminating God’s grace. Their “Scriptural basis” for this would likely come from Paul’s definitive statement in Ephesians 2:4-8 that we are “saved by grace.”
From AllAboutGod.com – Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation – The Conclusion
Is baptism necessary for salvation? If the question is concerning water baptism, the answer is no. We are not saved by ritual or works but by “grace through faith.” “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).”
This is classic “Scripture weighting” – where a conclusion is drawn based on one or just a few verse/verses, then all other passages are interpreted through the lens of that conclusion. It also directly contradicts letting Scripture interpret Scripture. Paul says “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), not “some Scripture is more inspired than other Scripture.” So let’s look in God’s word to consider all that He says and then draw some conclusions.