By John W. Hedge
Baptism in the name of Christ is commanded of God. (Matt. 28:18-20. Acts 2:38. Acts 10:48.) God’s commandments as found in the New Testament were given to two accountable classes known as “the saved” and “the Lost,” or as children of God or children of the devil. This command (baptism) was given to only one class and certainly not to both classes. If it was given to those who were already saved, then salvation precedes baptism; but if the command was given to the lost, then baptism precedes salvation. It is just that simple. To settle this matter beyond doubt, one only has to read the book of conversions known as The Acts Of The Apostles. Here you will find the apostles of Christ instructing people what to do to be saved; in the epistles written to Christians you will find the things made binding upon them. Here is what you will find…
1. Always the command to be baptized was given to those who were lost and never to the saved.
2. Never in all the writings addressed to Christians will you read where baptism is made binding upon them along with other “Christian duties.”
3. All “Christian duties” recur. If baptism is commanded of Christians, why be baptized just once? Why not repeat it along with other Christian duties?
Truth Magazine, XVIII:2, p. 12
November 8, 1973