THE UNBAPTIZED BELIEVER
by A. A Davis
Much is said today in religious circles about baptism. One school of thought says baptism is of no importance, it makes no difference whether you are baptized, how you are baptized, or why you are baptized. This school plays down the divine command. Another school of thought takes the opposite position, that baptism is everything, that you cannot be saved until you are baptized, that you are not born again, cannot have peace with God, cannot be reconciled with God, cannot have your name in the Lamb's Book of Life, cannot have your sins forgiven, cannot be justified, cannot be redeemed, cannot pass from death to life, none of these until you are baptized.
Many born-again believers in Christ have not been baptized, being victims of the former school of thought. Many who have been baptized (humanly speaking, not scrip rurally) have never been born again as believers in Christ. These are victims of the latter school of thought. To the former, we say positively, no fear of the successful contradiction; there is no verse of Scripture which says "He that is baptized not shall be damned." To the latter we say with the same force; there is no Scripture which says "He that is baptized shall be saved."
The people called Baptists reject both these positions as absurd and
unscriptural. If the former school of thought be correct, then Christ and the Apostles were in error. If the latter school of thought be correct, then "He that lives closest to the creek, lives closest to the Lord." The following facts we submit:
1. The unbaptized were not added to the church (Acts 2:41) therefore, were not members of the New Testament church.
2. The unbaptized were not present at the Lord's table (1 Cor. 11:18), the church observed the supper, and they were not members.
3. The unbaptized were not commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel or to baptize anyone (Matt. 28:18-19; Acts 1:22).
4. The unbaptized were not commissioned to teach the baptized disciples (Matt 28:19; Acts 1:22)
5. The unbaptized have not been planted in the likeness of His death (Rom. 6:5).
6. They have not been raised in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5).
7. They have not given answer to a good conscience (1 Pet. 3:21).
8. They have deprived themselves of great joys (Acts 8:39).
9. They have no visible divinely appointed evidence that they have gladly received His word (Acts 2:41).
10. They have not been raised in symbolic faith in the resurrection of Jesus (Col. 2:12).
11. They have not identified themselves with the blessed Trinity of the New Testament faith (Eph. 4:5).
12. They find themselves in embarrassing company (John 14:21; 15:14; Matt. 5:19).
13. Unregenerate world walks in disobedience to God (Eph. 2:1-4).
14. They are not in symbolic union with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
15. They declare as useless and meaningless the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:15-17).
16. In hypocrisy they call Jesus, "Lord" (Luke 6:46).
17. They are little in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:19).
18. In their disobedience they live under divine chastisement (Psa. 89: 29-34; Heb. 12:5-10).
19. They reject the symbols of the great salvation (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
20. Since they are not members of the New Testament church (Acts 2:41), they are not continuing steadfast in the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42).
21. They are not contending for all of the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3; Eph. 4:5).
22. They are faced with the same puzzling questions Jesus asked the chief priests and Pharisees (Matt. 21:25).
23. They encounter difficulty in convincing others that "they have gladly received His word" (Acts 2:41).
24. They are not in full harmony and obedience to the divinely revealed will and practice of Jesus Christ (John 4:1).
Excerpted from. The Baptist Story, Sermons on the Trail of Blood, by A A. Davis, pp. 196-198. Softback, 242 pages, available from Baptist Heritage Press, P. O. Box 366, Watertown, Wisconsin 53094. $9.95.