All I can do on this one is go by what the Bible says. A good place to look is the first gospel sermon, preached by Peter on the Day of Pentecost, which is found in Acts chapter 2. After explaining to his hearers that Jesus is the Messiah–the Son of God, that he was killed for our sins, and that God raised him from the dead, the people accepted the message and were cut to the heart. They asked, "What shall we do?" Peter responded; "Repent and be baptized every one of you for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit." From this passage, we see that in order for us to be forgiven of our sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we must repent and be baptized. A number of passages support the idea that the point in time at which we actually are saved is when we are baptized. Key to this is Galatians 3:26-27. You are all (speaking to the Galatian Christians) sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you where baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. The key phrase here is BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST. Baptism is how and when we come into Christ. Of course, this does not negate that we are saved by the blood of Jesus or that we are saved by faith. Without repentance, baptism is meaningless, but the Bible is clear that we die with Christ and participate in the death of Jesus in baptism (Romans 6:1-7).
Can anyone be saved (forgiven of sins, receive the Holy Spirit which is a deposit, guaranteeing our salvation)? The best I can tell from what I read in the Bible, the answer is no. Baptism is when we are saved.
I could continue for many pages explaining the role of the grace of God, the blood of Jesus, our own personal faith and repentance and so forth. If your question is not answered, please be more spedific.
I am including below a study on baptism I have used. It may prove helpful.
Matt 22: 1-14 stop at v. 12.
The man with the wrong clothes.
Q: Who is this guy?
•- wrong clothes
•- surprised. He thought he had the right clothes.
•- HE WAS MORTIFIED
Who is this guy?
-at the banquet
-thought he was prepared thought he was saved
-big surprise; he was not he’s going to hell.
Is it your neighbor? Is it the student next to you in class? Is it you?
The man was not clothed with Christ.
Not baptized into Christ
The only concept in NT associated with into Christ is baptism.
DEFINITELY NOT pray into Christ, or
Repent into Christ, or believe into Christ. Why?
Do you get clothed with Christ/received into the banquet/saved by repenting?
By believing? The man at the banquet probably believed.
By praying Jesus into your heart?
ROMANS 6:1-7 into Christ again. V. 3
Paul uses the phrase In Christ constantly his favorite phrase to describe a saved person, rather than disciple. (2 Cor 5:17 Eph 1:13, 2:13, 1 Pet 5:14)
v. 4 The man at the banquet had not been buried with Christ.
Buried with Christ. What does that mean? Contact the blood. A mystery.
Clothed with Christ=
Baptized into Christ=
Buried with Christ.= ready for the banquet.
v. 5 united with him in his resurrection. Hold onto that.
v. 7 Anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Rhetorical Q: The opposite? Anyone who has not died, has not been freed from sin?
Q: Have you died? Have you been freed from sin? When?
TRICK QUESTION: Are we saved by baptism?
1 PET 3:21,22 It saves you. Q: What saves you?
Illustration: a child in a burning building, standing in a window. Parents beg him go jump.
Was he saved by jumping? NO! He was saved by his parents!
But… Was he saved by jumping? Yes! But the kid would not have been saved if he had not. EXACTLY!
How? By the resurrection of Christ.
Now even Rom 6:5 makes sense. In baptism we are buried and raised with Christ.
Q: is baptism HOW we are saved?
No. Absolutely no. We are saved by the blood of Christ, by the grace of Christ, through our faith. (coll 2:9-15)
Romans 3:21-26 through faith. Could a baby be saved? No!
REV 7: 13,14
The man at the banquet needed to get his clothes washed in the blood of the lamb!!
The blood of Jesus does the washing!
If baptism is not how we are saved, washed, clothed, then what is it.
Baptism is WHEN we are saved. That is where there is so much confusion. God chose to have a definite, defineable, memorable, unforgettable point in time when we are saved.
Not just a warm feeling
Illustration (of when, not how): Marriage.
Who created Marriage? God! Genesis 2:24
Go on and on about when is it OK to have sex?
Why? We need a point of reference. Before, not married, now married.
But baptism, like a marriage ceremony is more than a point of reference. It is a complete and utter change in your life.
Paul, ACTS 22:2-21
When was Paul saved? When were his clothes washed? When did he get into Christ?
v. 8 when he believed?
v. 10 when he made Jesus Lord? Confessed Jesus as Lord? Became a disciple
v. 11 when he obeyed
(Acts 9:9) For 3 days he did not eat or drink.
When he repented? No!!
When he was baptized.
Satan wants the religious world to be confused on this point.
Last point. Who is ready to be baptized?
A baby? Mark 16:16
Matt 28:18-20 Someone who acknowledges that Jesus is who he said he is?
A disciple. Study that out with someone here.
Acts 2:36-41 Repent
Back to Matthew 22:11 Many, many people are this man.
Anyone who thinks they are saved, but are not!
Most people in America.
Some day they will be absolutely mortified. They will ask you: why didn’t you tell me….