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This is a question that should be considered carefully. Today, we have many in the world who have not been baptized according to  the Lord's command, and thus have been led to believe that they are  members of His Divine Institution, the Church. There are many in the  church of Christ who have asked about their baptism. They are  concerned with the destiny of their soul...and they should be.

Some people have been baptized in order to qualify themselves  to become a member of some organization that the Lord knows nothing  about (Matthew 7:21-23), because He did not have anything to do with  establishing it. In fact, the trend today seems ot be that as long as  you were baptized, you are all right and are a member of the Lord's  Body. Many times, often years later, they become concerned about their  baptism and whether or not the Lord really added them to His  Church.

In this article, I intend to deal with the teachings of the Apostles  in their preaching of the Gospel, showing that this teaching is not only  important, but that this way - and this way ONLY - makes one's baptism  Scriptural.

When Paul wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus, he said, "There is  ONE BAPTISM" (Ephesians 4:5). What kind of baptism did the Apostle have  in mind when he penned these words? It is agreed that this one baptism was  WATER BAPTISM, and that it must be ministered Scripturally in oreder to  make one a Christian (a follwer of Christ) and remit one's sins and ADD  one to the Church.

The Lord, upon giving the authority to His followers, expressed the  need to TEACH them first. In Matthew 28:19-20, His words were "Go ye  therefore, and TEACH ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the  Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe  ALL things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always,  even unto the end of the world". Again, in Mark 16:15-16, He said, "Go  ye into all the world, and PREACH  the Gospel to every creature. He  that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth NOT  shall be damned".

Today, we have a lot of mis-taught people in the world, and (although  they have been baptized - even immersed), their purpose of baptism has been  converted into a shameful representation, rather than the divine command of  God. Thus, it becomes void.

I am determined to teach as the Lord gives the authority, and I cannot  accept the fact that one can be TAUGHT WRONG AND BAPTIZED RIGHT. When one  is Scripturally taught, he will understand what baptism is for and what  happens when he is baptized, according to the New Testament. When one is  rightly taught, he will be baptized for a number of purposes:

  1. For the remission of sins (having repented of them). (Acts 2:38)
  2. He will be added to the right and ONLY CHURCH. (Acts 2:41,47)
  3. He will arise from the water a Christian, a Child of God. (Romans 6:3-4)
  4. He will be a new creature IN CHRIST.
    (Romans 6:1-4)
  5. He will have hope of life Eternal, if faithful until death. (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 24:13)

We cannot join this body, the church. The Lord does  the adding, when we have properly obeyed His Gospel.

Many deceived persons today are baptized, thinking and confessing that  their sins have already been forgiven, thus making baptism non-essential  and only for the purpose of entering some man-made denomination. THE NEW  TESTAMENT GIVES NO SUCH DESIGN FOR BAPTISM. One can read the record in  Acts chapter 8, concerning the conversion of the Eunuch, and see that he  had to be taught right so that he might be baptized right. He was taught  by the inspired teacher (Philip) and was taught the RIGHT reason for being  baptized, because he asked what hindered him to be baptized (Acts 8:36).  If we are taught by the Apostles, we will have nothing to worry about. This  man - after being taught right - was a subject of baptism, and  not before.

In Scripture, no one can find a SAVED PERSON BEING BAPTIZED, and no one  can produce AN ACCOUNT OF AN UNBAPTIZED SAVED MAN! Thus, we ask you, dear  reader: Are you willing to take a chance on your baptism? Are you willing  to stand before Christ in judgement and take a cance of NOT being baptized  Scripturally, thus not being added to the Lord's church, thus  standing as ETERNALLY LOST? Is it worth a chance, when the Gospel is being  taught, and it is so simple and so sure?

It has been said that those who were baptized in wather - no matter  what they have joined - are Christians and should be accepted into the Lord's  Body as such. But it seems to me that is this is true, then the ONE GOSPEL, the  ONE FAITH, the ONE CHURCH, the ONE WAY, has been classed as being  unimportant in the teaching of God's word, and the way that one is  baptized is not essential to one's salvation. Subjects of the ONE BAPTISM  must have been TAUGHT the Gospel, BELIEVED it, REPENTED of their sins, and  CONFESSED their faith in Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:37,  7:30; Romans 10:10). Because of these teachings, one is baptized right, and  is a member of the right church.

Now, if you were sprinkled as a baby, you WERE NOT SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED!  Why not? Because you were mis-taught, otherwise you would have been buried in  the waters of baptism (Romans 6:1-4). If you were not immersed, you were not  baptized - no matter how old you were! If you were baptized and then became a member of an organization that is not heard of in the New Testament (one that  you cannot read about), then you were not baptized Scripturally. May I add too,  that NO ONE has the authority to say that you can be accepted into the Church  of Christ having been baptized, and having been mis-taught.  I do say that one  may be taught right and then be baptized right, even though they were previously  "baptized".

But why take a chance? Even if you have been added to the Lord's church and  were taught wrong, all you will be doing is getting wet. But on the other hand,  if you haven't been added to the church because of having been mis-taught, IT  WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD when you stand in judgement!

As long as this world stands, and every day that you live, you still have  an opportunity to be taught right, and baptized right. Don't let it pass by.  DO NOT BE MISLEAD.

On my desk, I have a leaflet with the following words:

The simple plan of salvation is that you are a sinner. Because you are  a sinner, you must die, or else believe on Christ, Who was your substitute and  died in your place. Just call upon God and live, realizing that you are a sinner.  Ask Him to have mercy upon you and save you for Jesus' sake. Then, just take His  word and - by faith - claim salvation. You say, 'Surely that is not all that is  necessary to be saved.' YES, it is absolutely all.

This is being misled/falsely taught, and anyone who acepts this teaching HAS  ACCEPTED FALSE TEACHING that is contrary to every teaching of the New Testament  (in respect to the alien sinner). But this is no worse than accepting false  teaching of any kind and being baptized because of having been mis-taught and  having been worshipping God in a way that is unpleasing and unacceptable to Him.

Perhaps some will say (about me) that this fellow is narrow-minded; I do not  deny this in the least. The New Testament IS narrow, and the teachings are narrow.  Just ONE WAY is taught in the Word of God, and I want to be in that WAY and be  classed witht the few that will see inside of the GATES of Heaven. This, my friends,  is the very reason that you should be interested in your soul and YOUR BAPTISM! Read  Matthew 7:13-14.

Why not seek out a gospel preacher today, and be sure of your being taught right  and baptized right?

- Mel Myers (Indianapolis, IN); Truth Magazine
Vol. 7, #1, October 1962, p.8

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