What are the results of baptism? We’ve assembled a list of the top four results of baptism found in Scripture. Where does “it’s an outward showing of an inward commitment” rank? Check out our top four results of baptism…and comment below.

How Scripture answers "Top 4: Results of baptism?"

The top four results of baptism are that one is:

  • Born again1,2, having died to the life of sin3 (e.g. “body of flesh”6,13), receiving the Holy Spirit1,8,9,13,15,
  • Forgiven of their sins3,5,9 and washed clean2,7,8,12,15,
  • Raised from the water burial2 to now be in Christ3,6,11,14,15, sanctified and made holy12 by the gift of His Spirit8,9,15, and worthy to be added by the Father10 as a member of the church4 – Christ’s body15 and kingdom1,
  • Adopted as children of God13,14 and an heir to the inheritance of His spiritual promises13,14.

Scripture never mentions baptism being “an outward showing of an inward commitment/grace“. Certainly, it’s an outward showing of one’s obedient response9 — an “appeal to God” as Peter puts it7, but it’s so much more1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,11,12,13,14,15!

Have you been buried in baptism to be washed clean of sin2,5,9, made holy and sealed by His Spirit8,9,15, and put into Christ’s body3,4,6,10,13,14,15? If not, you cannot enter God’s kingdom1.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered him [Nicodemus] with a truism in stating that one must be born again to see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus didn’t understand and asked how someone who is old could be born again as he couldn’t enter back into his mother’s womb.  Jesus answered by expounding on the same truth adding that unless one is born of water and the Spirit [born again] he cannot enter [see] the kingdom of God.
Jesus is approached at night (in secret) by Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “ruler of the Jews” (vs 1).
Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism (e.g. “born of water”) is a spiritual rebirth – being “born again” – without which one cannot see/enter God’s kingdom.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Souls that have been purified by obeying the truth should earnestly and sincerely love one another from a pure heart.  They should be doing this since they were born again of an imperishable seed through the enduring word of God. Unlike grass which grows, blooms and dies, God’s word remains forever and it’s this same word that was preached to them.
Peter is writing to the “elect” of the “dispersion” – Christians that have been scattered throughout Galatia and Asia Minor.  He is encouraging them to stand firm in the face of current persecution and reminding them of the promise they have in and through Christ.

A portion of this passage is quoted from

Isaiah 40:6-8
.
Scripture-block application to this question

Those who “purified” (e.g. washed) their souls are “born again”1.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
What’s the conclusion then?  We should never continue in sin just so that God’s grace will be magnified. We can’t continue to live in sin after dying to it.  It was our baptism into Christ Jesus that united us in His death.  Our baptism was a death burial together with Him so that just as He was raised to glory by the Father, we too will be raised to have a new life.

Paul is making the broader point of the richness and fullness of God’s grace toward sinful man (chap 5) before turning to man’s response (and responsibility) for salvation. Through the beginning verses of chapter 6, Paul correlates Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to the Christian’s “death, burial, and resurrection” to a new [spiritual] life.

Scripture-block application to this question

In his conclusion, Paul makes the direct connection to baptism and Christ’s death. In other words, nobody shares in Christ’s death except through baptism. He further states the benefits of “dying with Christ” as:

  • being united with him in resurrection (vs 5)
  • no longer being enslaved to sin (vs 6); being “free from sin” (vs 7)
  • living or alive with him (vs 8)

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.

Just as our bodies have many body parts that all together form one body, so it is with Christ’s body.  Regardless of whether you are Jew or Greek, slave or free, we were all baptized in one Spirit into one body, drinking of the same Spirit.

Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth addresses many serious and difficult issues they were facing.  Division among the body was a recurring theme – addressed in chapter 1 as following after certain prominent men (instead of Christ) – and here in chapter 12 as boasts in various spiritual gifts.

Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism puts one into the body of Christ (the church).

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

Don’t delay, rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Paul is testifying to the Jews about his personal salvation while he was alone three days with Ananias.

Also told by Luke (9:1-19) and again by Paul (26:12-18).

Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism washes away one’s sins.

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

In Christ, you were circumcised by being buried with him in baptism.  This wasn’t a literal circumcision done with hands, but a removal and burial of your carnal intents. And you were raised with him out of baptism through faith in the powerful working of God, who also raised him from the dead.

Paul is writing the church in Colossae to encourage them and resist the false teaching, specifically “philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition” or anything that is not according to Christ (vs 8).  He continues by specifically calling out the Mosaic Law (“a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees”) – the law that Christ replaced.  Under the same theme of not falling away, he tells them not to allow others to judge them against things pertaining to the Mosaic Law such as food, drink, feasts, Sabbath days (vs 16).   In Christ, they are not obligated to observe those things.

Scripture-block application to this question

One is “buried” and “raised” with Christ through baptism.3

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
Baptism, like Noah being saved through the water, isn’t a bath in the physical sense of bathing. It “saves you” and is your commitment to God for a good conscience by Jesus’ resurrection, the same Jesus that ascended to heaven and is at God’s right hand, with all angels, authorities, and powers made in subjection to Him.

Peter is comparing the way in which Noah and his family were saved (through water) to the way baptism now saves (also through water).  Importantly, he’s not discounting or negating the gift of God’s son and His sacrifice which makes it all possible.  Those elements that make salvation possible at all are alluded to, it’s just not his main point right here.

Scripture-block application to this question

One’s baptism is an “appeal to God”. It is what “saves you”, which is exactly how Peter used it in answering the crowd on the day of Pentecost9.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

God appeared in the form of Jesus and saved us, not based on our merit but by His mercy, by the “washing of regeneration” and by renewal of the Holy Spirit, poured out fully through Christ.

Paul’s letter of encouragement to a young preacher Titus. Much like his letters to Timothy, Paul instructs Titus regarding the different churches “in every town” (1:5) to which he was ministering. Also, like Timothy, he encourages Titus to “let no one [in the church] disregard” him (2:15).

Scripture-block application to this question

One’s baptism (e.g. “washing of regeneration”) follows God’s gift of Jesus’ appearing (His “mercy” in this passage) and is accompanied by the “renewal of the Holy Spirit”.

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.

When they heard the preaching of Peter and the rest of the apostles, they were convicted by them and asked what they should do [to be saved].  Peter told them that they each should repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ so that they could receive the remission of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This “gift” was the promise made for all Jews, but also all Gentiles — everyone whom God calls to himself.

Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost where he recalled several prophetic statements from Joel and David (vss 16-36). By divine inspiration, Peter interpreted these statements to apply their fulfillment to Jesus and the ushering in of the “last days”.

He also specifically refers to the “promise of the Holy Spirit” earlier – given by the Father to the Son (vs 33). More were continuing to be saved and they began meeting together as the Lord’s church (vss 41-47).

Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism is how one receives (a) forgiveness of their sins, and (b) the promise of the Holy Spirit.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Each day, as they attended the temple and broke bread together in their homes, they received their food with thanksgiving, praising God and enjoying the good will of the people. And God added to their number each day those that were saved.
Describing the days immediately following the Day of Pentecost when 3,000 were saved upon the hearing of the gospel message from Peter and the apostles.  Those “added” or “being saved” has already been defined by verse 41: “So those who received His word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”  Scripture later refers to this group of saved believers as the “church in Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1, 11:22, 15:4).
Scripture-block application to this question

The “Lord” (e.g. God, the Father) adds [to the church] anyone that is saved, which in this context9 is all of those who had responded in baptism.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

To be sure, I [Paul] consider nothing above knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For Him have I suffered the loss of everything, considering it all worthless anyway, in order to pursue Christ and be found in Him, not based on works of my own law-keeping, but based on faith in Christ and the good works that it produces — coming to a knowledge of Him and the power of His resurrection, sharing in His sufferings, becoming dead to the flesh, that at any cost I may achieve life after death.

Paul’s letter to the Christians at the church in Philippi, established during his second missionary journey.
Scripture-block application to this question

Paul recounts his own “faith journey.” He doesn’t explicitly mention his baptism like he does other places5 but states the fact that he can “be found in him” (the result of his baptism).

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Some of you were engaged in these sinful practices, but you have been cleansed [of sin], set apart (e.g. made holy), and reconciled through the authority of Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit.

Paul is addressing the brethren of Corinth that are relatively new to the faith. He lists several sinful practices of the “unrighteous” (vss 9-10) – practices that some in Corinth had taken part of but had turned from them in their conversion.

Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism (e.g. “washed”) sets one apart (e.g. “sanctified”) and justifies them before God.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

As a result, brethern, we are obliged to live not according to the flesh which would result in death, but to the Spirit whereby we live having put to the death the deeds of the flesh.  Therefor, you are sons of God if you are led by the Spirit.

After rejoicing in his own salvation and freedom from “this body of death” (7:24) through Christ, Paul is calling on the Roman Christians to remember their own calling and the triumph they share in Christ (vss 1-2).  He implores them to “live according to the Spirit” (vs 5).

Scripture-block application to this question

Baptism obliges one to be “led by the Spirit” and be considered a “son of God” only if they continue to “put to death the deeds of the body”.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Going back to 6:1-43, Paul has already qualified his audience as those who have “been baptized into Christ”, and is continuing from there to point to the results of their being “baptized into Christ”.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Whoever has been baptized has been clothed in Christ.  Everyone [that’s been clothed] is one in Jesus Christ, regardless if they are Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. Likewise, if you’re clothed in Christ, you are part of Abraham’s spiritual family and heirs according to the promise made to him by God.

Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia (a region).  Chapter 3 specifically argues the Christian’s justification through the [New] law of Christ, not the [Old] law of Moses, while at the same time, drawing strong parallels between the two. He has just stated that those “in Christ” are sons of God.

Scripture-block application to this question

Through baptism one “puts on Christ”, is clothed in Christ, becoming a “son of God” (vs 26) and an heir of the spiritual promises.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Don’t you know that your bodies are joined with Christ’s body? Would I [Paul] then take those joined to Christ and join them with a prostitute? Of course not! Or don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute becomes one with her? For Scripture says that the two will become one. But the one joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Paul is addressing the brethren of Corinth that are relatively new to the faith. He lists several sinful practices of the “unrighteous” (vss 9-10) – practices that some in Corinth had taken part of but had turned from them in their conversion.

He turns to focus specifically on sexual immorality, stating, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (vs 13)

Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24.

Scripture-block application to this question

Paul says that anyone who is a “member of Christ” or “joined to the Lord” is “one spirit”.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Paul has already stated that he’s addressing those who have been “washed” and “sanctified” and “justified” in the name of (e.g. by the authority of) Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (vs 11). Paul’s describing baptism9 — how they became “members of Christ”. He goes on to define explicitly that it’s the Holy Spirit that’s within their physical bodies (vs 19).

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