1. It means that Peter commanded a non-essential! “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). It therefore reduces the commandments of God to absurdities if any one of them isn’t essential to salvation.
2. It means the remission of sins is not essential to salvation. “Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 ASV).
3. It means that not one single command of God can consistently be construed as obligatory upon man. By the same rule of reasoning by which baptism is deemed unnecessary to salvation, every other commandment can be so deemed. Faith is commanded. So is baptism. Faith is exemplified. So is baptism. Jesus said, “Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24 ASV). He also said, “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
4. It means that Ananias deceived Paul when he told him, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). If Paul’s sins had been washed away prior to his baptism, Ananias did not correctly represent the case to Paul. Paul’s sins had not been forgiven prior to baptism. Neither are men’s sins today.