November 20, 2017

Have You Been Scripturally Baptized?

By Earl Fly

Baptism Is Essential To Salvation


Scriptural baptism is essential to the salvation of the soul. Therefore no sinner can enter heaven without
it. Since this fact is denied by many, we quote the following Bible passages which clearly prove the necessity
of baptism to salvation. As you read them remember this passage: "For what if some did not believe? Shall their
unbelief make the faith effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar . . . " (Rom. 3:4). This
statement by Paul concerning the Jews' unbelief is also applicable to every unbeliever and denier of God's word
today.


Bible Proof


"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" (John 3:5). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). "Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"
(Acts 2:38). "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us . . . " ( 1 Pet. 3:21 ). Salvation
is IN Christ (2 Tim. 2:10) ; we become as children of God by faith when we are baptized INTO Christ (Gal.
3:26-27). The blood of Christ washes away sins (Rev. 1:5) ; it was shed IN his death (John 19:34) ; we are
baptized INTO his death (Rom. 6:3). Hence Saul of Tarsus was told to "arise, and baptized, and wash away
thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).


There Is One Baptism


While there are many unscriptural baptisms preached and performed in religions of men, there is only one
baptism approved and accepted by God (Eph. 4:5). This one baptism must be according to the scriptures. Any
other baptism is rejected by God, hence is null and void of value. The following Bible example is proof of this.


"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts
came to Ephesus, and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
believed? And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said
unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily
baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should
come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord
Jesus" (Acts 19:1-5).


The evidence indicates clearly that these religious people were honest, sincere and conscientious. They
actually thought they had been baptized to obey God. But they had received John's, baptism, which had been
superseded by Christ's baptism. Though the people had been buried in water once commanded by God for the
remission of sins (Mark 1:4), though they believed on Christ, yet they were required to be baptized again. Why?
There are two reasons: (1) Wrong authority. They had been baptized by John's authority, not Christ's. (2)
Wrong faith. They believed on Christ that should come, whereas Christ had already come. This proves that
one cannot be baptized right by the wrong authority and/or upon the wrong faith. Therefore, to determine
whether we have been scripturally baptized we must compare our baptism with God's requirements on every
point. What are the requirements of Bible baptism?


Right Subject Required


(1) One must be TAUGHT the gospel of Christ first. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
them. . ." (Matt. 28:19). "And he said unto, them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature" (Mark 16:15). "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will
raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man
therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44-45).


(2) After being taught the right doctrine to produce the right faith (Rom. 10:17), one must BELIEVE before
he can be baptized. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned"
(Mark 16:16). "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said, See here
is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou
mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37).


(3) The next step is to REPENT. "Then Peter said un,.) them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts
2:38). Repentance precedes baptism.


(4) After repentance one CONFESSES with the mouth unto salvation. "For with the heart man believeth
unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). What is this
confession? The eunuch confessed, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37). The wrong
confession would disqualify one from being scripturally baptized. Some confess, "I believe that God for Chrl
st's sake has pardoned my sins." This shows that the person was taught wrong and believed wrong, for one is
NOT pardoned of sins before baptism. Regardless of sincerity, such a confession of falsehood renders the
baptism null and void.


After scriptural teaching, belief of truth, sincere repentance and the right confession, one is a scriptural
subject for scriptural baptism. Obviously no infidels or infants can be scripturally baptized in view of these
requirements. An infidel does not believe, hence will not repent or confess. An infant has no sins and
consequently does not need baptism; but it could not be a scriptural subject anyway, for it cannot believe,
repent or confess.


Right Element Required


Some religions of men teach that the Holy Spirit and fire are elements of baptism to be administered today,
as well as water baptism. One preacher used rose petals as the element in his baptism! But there is, only ONE
baptism (Eph. 4:5). Jesus instructed MAN to administer it until the end of the world (Matt. 28:18-20). What
is it? Man never has and cannot now baptize people with the Holy Spirit. Man certainly must not immerse one
in fire! God will do that at the judgment (Rev. 20:15). Therefore the one baptism to be administered by man
until the end of the world is water baptism. We have many Bible examples as proof (See Acts 8:38-39).


Right Action Required


Many human churches offer a choice of sprinkling, pouring or immersion, as if there are three ways to
baptize. What does the Bible say? "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom.
6:4). "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God
...(Col. 2:12). Both Philip and the eunuch had to go down into the water (Acts 8:36-39). No man on earth can
cite one scripture where anyone was ever instructed to be sprinkled or poured for baptism, and neither is there
any example of such being done. Furthermore, no one was ever offered a choice. Therefore, if one has been
sprinkled or poured he has not been scripturally baptized.


Right Design Required


Some baptisms are wrong in purpose. Some say they are baptized to show the world they have already been
saved. But Bible baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) ; to wash away sins (Acts 22:16) ; to get into
the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3), where the cleansing blood was shed (Rev. 1:5; John 19:34) ; to be saved (1 Pet.
3:20-21 ; Mark 16:16). In Bible baptism God performs the operation "in putting off the body of sins of the flesh
by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11-13). The wrong purpose renders the baptism void.


Right Authority Required


Bible baptism is by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38), not by the authority of a church or the vote of the
people. We are to be baptized in the name (by the authority) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).
But the baptism is not made valid merely by the preacher saying, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit." These words are said when babies and adults are sprinkled, and at baptisms for the wrong
purpose. They could be said while baptizing a goat but would mean nothing! No man can baptize by the authority of Christ unless he has had the right subject (one who believes the truth, repents and confesses the right
thing), the right element (water), the right action (burial), and the right purpose (to be saved).


Conclusion


Dear reader, have you been scripturally baptized? Or have you received one of the many false baptisms
of men? Compare your baptism with God's requirements. Were you taught the gospel of Christ or a doctrine
of man before baptism? Did you believe truth or error? Did you believe your baptism was to bring salvation
from Christ (truth), or that you were already saved (error) ? Did you sincerely repent? Did you confess that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or did you confess the falsehood that you had already been saved through
Christ? Do not be afraid or ashamed to admit error and change to truth. Your eternal salvation depends, on
being scripturally baptized. If you find your baptism to be in error, then be baptized like those in Acts 19:1-5
to please God. Do it today! Call the nearest gospel preacher or any member of the church of Christ for
assistance.

Truth Magazine, V:2, pp. 18-20
December 1960

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