In the salvation of man's soul there are 2 necessary parts: God's part and man's part. God's part is the big part, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory" (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, His sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God's part in salvation. Though God's part is the big part, man's part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man's part can clearly be set forth in the following steps, otherwise known as the "Plan of Salvation:"
Hear the Gospel.
"How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).
"And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him." (Hebrews 11:6).
Repent of past sins.
"The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent." (Acts 17:30).
Confess Jesus as Lord.
"Behold here is water; What doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:36-37).
Be baptized for the remission of sins.
"And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38).
Live a Christian life.
"Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9).
Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?
The word baptize comes from the Greek word "baptizo" and literally means, "to dip, to immerse, to plunge." In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection.
Is infant baptism practiced?
No. Only those who have reached the "age of accountability" are accepted for baptisms. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand and believe the gospel are considered fit subjects for baptism.