What benefits does Baptism give?
It works for forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare. So we see that baptism is a really big deal! My heart is grieved over those churches who have diminished the efficacy of the Sacraments of Water Baptism and the Eucharists as Means of Grace. Scripture has so much more to say about baptism. Mark 16:16 says we must believe and be baptized to be saved, or ignore this and be condemned. Christ discusses his Passion as a baptism of suffering in Mark 10:35-39 and Lk 12:50. Acts 2:38 says baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. Christ says we MUST be born of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:5). Acts 22:16 says baptism washes away sins. We are baptized into Christ and buried with him when we are water baptized (Romans 6:2-4). 1 Cor. 10:1-5 says quite powerfully that the children of Israel were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
The famous Ephesians 5 passage about husbands loving their wives says that Christ sanctifies the church by cleansing her by the washing of water with the Word. I love Titus chapter 3: Titus 3:5–7 (ESV) says that we are saved by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit renews us, it must be the washing of baptism that regenerates us. And finally, 1 Peter 3 is the greatest proof of baptismal regeneration. 1 Peter 3:21 is the verse that says baptism saves us, but the entire chapter relates baptism to Noah being saved from the floodwaters by the ark. Was Noah literally saved or symbolically saved from the flood? He was truly saved. Baptism truly saves. Yes, we are saved by faith alone, through grace alone, but baptism is a means of grace, through which our salvation is given and the Spirit is poured out. God can work salvation where and when he chooses.
Ezekiel 36:25-27I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from everything that defiles you. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you. I will remove from your body a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh in its place. 27 I will put my Spirit in you and make you follow my statutes and my ordinances