Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation
 

According to the Hebrews writer, the tabernacle was an anti-type, a copy and shadow, of the church to come: "For there was a tabernacle prepared…which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle…which is a figure for the time present" (Hebrews 9:1; 8:5; 9:9).
 
The priests had to be ceremonially washed before they could make sacrifices for the people: "Thou shalt also make a laver of brass…whereat to wash.  And thou shalt put…water therein.  And Aaron and his sons shall…wash with water, that they die not…."  (Exodus 30:18-21)  Once they were washed, they were clothed in garments acceptable to approach the Lord: "And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and bound…the finely wrought garments, for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office" (Leviticus 8:7; Exodus 35:19).

We, as Christians, are all now priests of the Most High God: "…ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).  In order to become priests, we, too, had to be ceremonially washed in watery baptism: "…let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our body washed with pure water," (Hebrews 10:22).  And once we have been washed, we, too, can approach the throne of grace of God boldly, knowing that we have been clothed in Christ: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need" (Galatians 3:27; Hebrews 4:16).
 
"They die not"
– Death was the punishment for those entering the tabernacle without being washed.  What awaits those who refuse to be washed in the blood of the Lamb by submitting to baptism?  They shall be lost in their sins.

"Many will say to Me in that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by Thy name, and by Thy name cast out demons, and by Thy name do many mighty works?'  And then will I profess unto them, `I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.'"  (Matthew 7:22-23)

May God bless you today!

David Ferguson