By Larry Ray Hafley
In Bible discussion involving the place of baptism with respect to forgiveness of sins, sectarian preachers, especially Baptists, often ask, “If baptism is for the remission of sins, must a Christian be baptized every time he sins?” Often Protestant preachers project this query to provoke and promote prejudice. It is an attempt to ridicule the truth. Of course, a ludicrous baptismal scene is painted in the minds of people. Every saint sins, therefore, baptism must be repeated daily by every Christian. That is absurd, thus, baptism for the remission of sins is equally absurd. That is the idea the. false teacher hopes to arouse.
There is no “if” about baptism being “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). There is the responsibility to show the plan -of forgiveness for the Christian (Acts 8:12-24; 1 Jn. 1:9). This must be done for the benefit of the honest hearted hearer. It must not be overlooked when dealing with facetious men.
But the “baptism again and again” idea proves to be a boomerang. The Baptist reasons that if you believe baptism is for remission of sins, then you must be baptized every time you need to be forgiven. The Baptist, however, says one is baptized “because of” the remission of sins. So we may ask him, “Since you say baptism is ‘because of the remission of sins, must every saved person who sins and is forgiven be baptized ‘because of that forgiveness?” It is fair then to paint the same baptismal scene for the Baptists. The Baptist preacher pictured all the members of the church of Christ being baptized every time they sin, so we will just picture all the Baptists being baptized every time they are forgiven of sins. If baptism for the remission of sins was excluded because it was made to appear ridiculous, then Baptist baptism is also excluded for the very same reason. It is a poor rule that will not work both ways.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:42, p. 7
August 29, 1974