Your question is, why do I, jmcrae, believe that Baptism is necessary for salvation?
Salvation is not a simple thing. If you want to pick one thing that “saves” you will never find it, because we are not saved by one thing, unless it is the grace of God - but we get the grace of God by living an on-going Christian life that encompasses every single activity of our lives - work, play, art, family - and yes, even religion.
By the grace of God, we are saved by Christ, through our obedience to Christ - which means that we need to find out what Christ commands us to do.
My first question was, How can I hear Christ? I cannot see Him or hear Him, so I need to find out what it was that He left behind, to teach me His ways.
Some people say that Christ left us the Bible, and that the Bible is all we need - but when I take a serious look at the Bible, I realize that, first, Christ Himself didn’t write any of the New Testament, and only a few verses of the Old (the Ten Commandments, which He wrote on tablets of stone and gave to Moses, which were then copied into the Torah of the Old Testament, which today we refer to as “the Penteteuch,” if we follow modern scholarship, or the “Books of Moses” if we’re a little more old-fashioned).
This shows me two things: First, that the Commandments are very important to Jesus, and secondly, that although obviously the Bible came out of what Jesus left behind, the Bible itself is not the thing that Jesus left behind.
Secondly, when I take a serious look at those who make the Bible their sole authority, the first thing I notice is the sheer variety of different interpretations that they come up with. Obviously, then, reading the Bible all by itself isn’t going to help me very much, unless I myself am a god, and can succeed in interpreting it where everyone else seems to have failed.
However, when I take a serious look at the New Testament, I come to the end of its first five books with one inescapable conclusion - Jesus founded a Church and it is in this Church that I will find His commands to me.
When I go looking for that Church, I know from the Scriptures we have read that Peter was its chief Apostle.
I also know that Jesus promised to preserve His Church from harm until the end of the age, which tells me that His Church is still here today.
So, I find the one Church that is still here today, that claims to have had Peter for its first leader.
I locate that Church, and I discover that it teaches that Baptism is necessary for salvation.
This is why I believe that Baptism is necessary for salvation.
I hope this helps you.