Q: Do you have to be baptized to be saved?
A: Look to what Jesus said to the thief on the cross.
But your question may be leading and may not be asking what actually needs to be considered and asked. Words like “have to be” or “should do” create a bias in the question that is legalism instead of using words that talk about the results of a changed heart and the Word of God being written on our hearts to lead us as a new creation in a new direction that isn’t about us “living up to” or “meeting the requirements” — but is about our wanting to “give God all the glory for what He has done for us”.
Those who do not believe that God has done much for them will not love Him, will not truly worship Him, will not be publicly baptized, will not share this Good News as far and wide as they can, will not live a life that brings God glory , will not bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, etc. But those who have been forgiven much love much.
Q: What is the call given to those who have surrendered their lives to The Way and love and seek God with their whole heart?
A: Acts 2:38 says, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
What? Repent AND be baptized
Who? every one of you
How? in the name of Jesus Christ
Why? for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
People can build logical justifications fir their rebellion based on their natural man resisting things they hear with “have to” and “should” type of wording — but understanding and believing that the Why is true — should have us excited about the What, the Who, and the How.
God bless you, friends!