Making Baptism Sure (Vance Hutton)

Making Baptism Sure (Vance Hutton)

There is one baptism commanded of all accountable people (Ephesians 4:5).  That is the correct, true baptism of the New Testament to last until the end of time (Matthew 28:18-20).  Peter wrote of making one’s calling and election sure, and we certainly want to make baptism sure.  The matter is too important to be otherwise.  One cannot afford to be wrong about it.  This baptism puts one into Christ (Galatians 3:27), puts one in contact with the blood of Christ (Romans 6:3), washes away sins (Acts 22:16), and renders one faithful to the Lord (Acts 16:15).

Baptism is a part of obedient faith.  The jailor had done this by saying he “believed” in God (Acts 16:32-34).  In Acts 19:2, 3, Paul in conversation with twelve disciples, would use the word “believe” to sum up what they had done, including baptism.  Every example of conversion in Acts is consummated with baptism.  Not one example can be shown in New Testament conversions apart from baptism.

Bible baptism is immersion in water (Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:35-39).  It is preceded by hearing (Acts 18:8), believing (Acts 8:37; Mark 16:16), repenting (Acts 2:38), and confessing our faith in Christ (Acts 8:37).  It must be followed by faithfulness until or unto death (Acts 2:42; Revelation 2:10).  Bible baptism is for or unto the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21).  It is in the name of, or under the authority of, the Lord (Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 19:4, 5).

An example of twelve disciples is given in Acts 19:1-7, who had not made their baptism sure.  They had been baptized unto John’s baptism after it was obsolete or had been rendered invalid.  This baptism was immersion in water, preceded by faith and repentance, and for remission of sins.  But, faith in relation to this baptism was in the Lord that should come (Acts 19:4).  At the time of their baptism, Christ had come, had died, had been buried, and had arisen the third day.  Paul immediately knew that something was not right in their conversion.  They had been baptized with a baptism that then offered no promises.  Having heard this (Acts 19:5), they made their baptism sure.  They did it correctly.  They had partially obeyed, but such was not good enough.  These twelve saw the difference and readily obeyed.

Many today in denominational churches have been sprinkled for baptism.  Some were baptized as infants.  Some have not made the confession of the Bible.  Almost all have not been baptized for the remission of sins.  They have confessed that God for Christ’s sake had already pardoned their sins.  Many have waited a week or two or a month or two before baptism.  That clearly reveals that their baptism was not unto remission of sins.  It only takes a little to make baptism unsure.  Many were baptized to please some other person.  Some have been baptized because someone else was.  One says he or she did it to obey God.  So did these twelve.  We must believe the right things and understand that baptism is done to obtain remission of sins and to place one into the precious kingdom (church) of our Lord.

These twelve in Acts 19 did what all should do who have questions about their baptism.  Do you need to do it correctly?  Some refuse because it would make them appear to have been wrong in the past or because it would make others appear to have been or be wrong.  Friend, you cannot afford to be wrong in this, and there is no excuse when one learns better.  These twelve were willing to make it as sure as they could.  Will you?  Is there doubt concerning your baptism?  DO IT RIGHT.


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