Did you know that one of the main reasons, why there are so many denominations and fractures, within the church, is that people misread the Bible?
I know that's hard to believe. But seriously, there are countless issues that has caused division, within the church. Most of them arise out of misreading the scriptures. One of these is the self imposed requirement to be baptized, in order to be saved. This church fallacy comes from misinterpreting Mark 16:15-16
"Later, Yeshua appeared to the Eleven as they were eating, and he reproached them for their lack of trust and their spiritual insensitivity in not having believed those who had seen him after he had risen. Then he said to them, “As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation. Whoever trusts in it, then immersed are saved. Whoever does not trust will be condemned."
and John 3:5.
"Yeshua answered, “Truly and Faithfully I affirm unto you, unless one is born out of water and Spirit, one will not enter the Kingdom of God."
First of all, let's look at Mark 16:15-16 again. Please notice that Y'shua was talking about their lack of trust. Also, Mark 16:15-16 ends in two separate statements. One states that those, who put their trust, in the previously mentioned Good News, and then immersed are saved. Notice, it doesn't say, 'will be saved'. That's a very important distinction.
All of Y'shua's teachings contain the 'If/Then structure. If you do this, then either this will happen or your will do this. When you trust, you follow. When you trust, you obey. When you trust, your first act of obedience is baptism. It drives the point home, in the last statement. 'Those, who do not trust, will be condemned.' Notice, it doesn't say anything about those, who do not get immersed. Immersion or Baptism is not required, but a result. Baptism is an act of obedience following putting your trust in the Lord.
Now, let's look at John 3:5, again. Y'shua could either be talking about Baptism or a well know Jewish idiom, 'The Daily Washing', at the Laver. Since Nicodemus appears to not understand, 'Born Again', Y'shua begins to approach it from a Torah, Old Testament angle. This is evident, when Yshua breaks into the example of the serpent, being lifted up in the desert.
So, what was Y'shua talking about? The Jewish idiom, 'Washing in the Laver', is describing our daily washing within the scriptures. He is saying that you won't understand being 'Born Again', unless you are born out of the scriptures, not literally water. You could say, 'Unless you are Baptized in the Word of God and his Spirit.', not Baptism in Water.
Don't take my word for it. Let's ask our Lord, Y'shua.
Remember, when Y'shua said to the woman, who wanted to be saved, in Matthew 9:22, "Your faith has saved you. And the woman was made whole from that hour." Amazing, no baptism.
Don't forget the theif, on the cross, when after giving his trust in Y'shua. Y'shua told him, 'Today, you will be with me in Paradise.' Again, no baptism.
Now let's stop right and pause a moment. There are some that will say that the women and the thief were under the old covenant. Ok, that's fine, but wasn't Nicodemus under the old covenant in John 3:5? If Y'shua was telling Nicodemus to be baptized, in order to be saved, wouldn't he have told the women and the theif to be baptized, since all three were "under the old covenant"? You can't have it both ways.
Finally, let's not forget, Ephesians 2:8-9.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Why do people want to add to what the Messiah did on the cross? He did it all. He doesn't need our help. However, he does want to act like you trust in him.
...and that's what you'll find, When You Search For The Truth.