In the Gospel Jesus tells us what we must do to find salvation (a better life on earth and everlasting life in heaven after we have resurrected). All things we do in order to achieve this, save baptising, are ‘works’.
a) having faith: believing the Gospel.
b) repenting: feeling regret for your past and current sins, you repent: you set aside all practices unacceptable to God.
c) baptizing: by your own choice, in the name of Jesus Christ, allowing your self to be submerged in water, to then be lifted out of the water.
Some other examples of works: to refrain from stealing, not fornicating, doing charity, loving your neighbours, not being greedy, not be selfish, preaching the gospel, giving to the poor, in Jesus’ name.
But Jesus tells us that works alone cannot save us, and neither can faith alone. We must first have faith, then repent, and then baptise in his name.
None of the above works can or shall save you: no matter what you do, save you repent and baptise: for, doing this, you enter the agreement to naturally do all these good works, all your life: and only then, you receive salvation.
Here Jesus confirms:
JOH 3: 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
ACT 4: 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Baptising is also being referred to as being ‘Born Again’.
Because we wash away our sins and cast away the old person, so replacing the old with the new-born, ‘Christian’ person. This new person is also HOLY, to God.
EPH 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
EPH 2: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Grace, in the Gospel, as you may know, is a Metaphor for ‘Christ’.
So through Christ you are saved, doing what he demands you do ‘repent and baptize’, and you only do this if you have faith, and so you are saved by grace, through faith.
Remember that WORKS cannot save you, only faith and works; as explained above: faith = believing, works = repentance, repentance = shed evil and embrace good. And these prepare you for a receptive baptism (as I call it) meaning a baptism that actually has the effect is should and cleanses you of your sins, rendering you, ‘born again’ and ‘Holy’.