Once one realizes that he or she is in an unsaved state, what then? Is that the point at which one is saved? Or, perhaps one has to take another step such as make a public statement of their desire to be in Christ. Or, maybe he or she makes a statement (or offers a prayer) to God, expressing their need to be saved.
As in everything else, we need to examine the Scriptures for answers to our question, “When is one saved?” There is a very clear pattern shown to us in the NT. Jesus himself said in Mark 16:16 that, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” There it is in a nutshell. Believe and be baptized.
But some would argue that we are saved by faith and not by works. They then state that baptism is a work and thus it is not the point at which one is saved. One problem with this logic is that the person being baptized is NOT doing a work; he/she is submitting to God’s plan of Salvation. If allowing another to baptize me is a work on my part, then the same logic would say that my choosing to believe or confess Jesus are also works. If one accepts this erroneous logic, it says I cannot be saved simply by expressing my belief in Christ.
The Bible gives us a clear path to Salvation, and the first four steps do involve some action on our part. Hearing the good news (Romans 10:17), believing (Romans 1:16), repenting of our sinful life (Acts 2:36-38), confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Romans 10:10), and being baptized for the remission of sin (Acts 2:38) in accordance with Jesus Christ’s command in Mark 16:16 cited earlier. That last step is all important, and it is not a work on our part. The work was done by a Man hanging on a cross almost 2000 years ago.
In the early church, before corruption set in, believers were baptized for the remission of sin. We have no right to ignore or twist the Scriptures to fit preconceived notions of other professed believers who do not follow the Scriptures. Pray.