Is Water Baptism an element of salvation or an act of obedience that follows salvation by “repentance” and “faith” in Messiah as Lord?
Actually, water baptism is interpreted by the Father as “work” or an “act of obedience” depending upon the heart and intent of the one seeking to be baptized. This truism possesses eternal consequences.
Water Baptism as a work of self-righteousness nullifying salvation,
If one seeks water baptism in order to attain righteousness (a right standing) with the Father relevant to salvation, eternal life, their baptism is interpreted by the Father as a work, self-righteousness, a filthy garment (Isaiah 64:6) and no one is saved from Hell by their self-righteous works (Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9); therefore, the one who seeks water baptism to supplement the sole-sufficiency of Messiah’s blood as atonement will be rejected (1 Peter 1:19; John 3:16-18).
Water Baptism as an act of obedience,
If one is obedient to Jesus’ command concerning water baptism “subsequent salvation” by repentance and faith (Matthew 28), their baptism honors Jesus the Father and the Holy Spirit as their participation in Water Baptism accurately reflects what has previously transpired within their heart by faith, alone, in Jesus, alone.
Water Baptism, concerning covenant relationship with the Father, is a self-righteous work if done to supplement the work of Messiah at Golgotha; Water Baptism, concerning covenant relationship with the Father, is a loving act of obedience that glorifies the Father, Son and Spirit when engaged in as an outward sign to the World of what has already transpired within the heart of the redeemed by faith in Jesus as Messiah.