". . . What Doth Hinder Me to be Baptized? "
Did Philip the evangelist answer this question? Did the preacher tell this man what he could fail to do so as not to become a Christian? Did Philip stress the fact that the eunuch had to believe in Christ?
What about repentance? There is no indication that Philip informed this man that he had to repent. Did he repent? Peter preached repentance on the day the church was established (Acts 2:38).
"And said Philip, if thou believest from whole the heart, it is lawful. And answering he said, I believe the Son of God to be Jesus Christ." (Interlinear Greek-English New Testament)
The King James Version reads . . . "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."
Did Paul mean what he said in Romans 10:8-11? "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
"Ashamed of what, Paul?" Ashamed to confess Him as God's Son?
Jesus said in Matthew 10:32 . . . "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."
Jesus also said . . . "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16).
Do we believe that Philip complied with this command? Do we for one second doubt that Philip preached repentance in Samaria as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ?
I am convinced that as did Philip, we must begin at the same place and preach the suffering and death and resurrection of the Son of God, or we leave the gospel out of our preaching: Repentance, confession and baptism will mean nothing, without a deep-seated knowledge and faith in Jesus as the Lamb of God who went to the cross for the sins of the world.
This is the first time that man has an opportunity to confess the Son of God before men (Acts 8:37) Can we rely upon the King James translation to be sufficient to follow?
The longer I preach the Gospel of Christ, the stronger I believe we need to do that which will cause one to be humble in the sight of God and of menand it takes a humble man to confess with his mouth that he believes 'Jesus Christ to be the Son of God'
It would indeed be impossible for one to stand before men and say that he did, when he did not! Have you ever been asked the question, "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" What would be your answer?
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 12, pp. 8-9