Mark 16:15-16
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
The Lord Jesus clearly gave the first disciples the recipe for true salvation. The recipe has two vital ingredients. The first ingredient is BELIEVING. The second vital ingredient is BAPTISM.
Being baptised without believing doesn’t save anyone! We must not rush to baptise people without ensuring that they have truly surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m sure that’s why we have so many “strange” Christians nowadays. Some of them are baptised sinners. Yet the Bible teaches that it’s only believers who qualify to be baptised.
On the other hand, believing and neglecting baptism is disobedience. Unbaptised believers have not yet fulfilled Jesus’ requirements for salvation. I know that theologians say baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. There is truth in that I’m sure. But it doesn’t mean baptism is unnecessary! In order to be truly saved, we must follow the Master’s recipe.
Let us help our friends and family to fulfil Jesus’ blueprint for salvation. And if you have surrendered your life to God but haven’t been baptised, arrange to make things right as soon as possible. Refuse to be an unbaptised believer. If you were baptised before you believed, also urgently talk to your Pastor so that you can rectify the situation. The order matters!
Let me illustrate. What do you do if you want to be a driver? In short, you must pass a Theory Test and a Road Test. The order is important. You can’t attempt a road test before passing the theory test. You’re only awarded a Drivers License after you’ve have fulfilled both conditions in the right order. So it is with salvation. The order matters.
No wonder our churches nowadays are quite strange! How can they not be weird if they are a mixture of baptised sinners, unbaptised believers and a few genuinely baptised believers? The early church wasn’t like that. They didn’t waste time debating the Lord’s recipe for salvation. They didn’t look for excuses. They believed, promptly got baptised, received the Holy Spirit and walked in righteousness and power. So should we. Let us be a church of truly saved people. Then we’ll enjoy the blessings God reserves for authentic saints.
Pastor Josh