What Must Happen BEFORE Baptism?

Because I have no ability to read a person’s heart, I’m very careful to ascertain what a person understands before baptizing them.

It would be a tragedy to baptize someone who doesn’t understand it properly and they go through life, and possibly death, without having truly obeyed the gospel.

We know that it is important from an account found in Acts 19. There were some disciples of John the baptizer who didn’t know about Jesus and needed to be ‘re-baptized.’ (there’s really no such thing as ‘re-baptized.’ You either were or you weren’t.)

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” [19:5] 

We know that denominationalism practices baptism incorrectly; they utilize the wrong mode & often the wrong reason. Even when they do practice it by immersion, it’s usually NOT for the reason God commanded it. It’s a tragedy that some are walking around with a false hope of Salvation. It’s for this reason we ask the question…What happens BEFORE baptism?

Paul asks a few questions about obeying the gospel in Romans 10. He writes, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not BELIEVED?” [Romans 10:14a; cr. Acts 22:16 calling on the name of the Lord is connected to baptism]. Before anyone can obey the gospel, there must be BELIEF. This simple concept eliminates babies & young children from being eligible for baptism.  

He writes in the same verse about something that precedes belief, “and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? We see then that the candidate for true baptism must have EARS TO HEAR. [cf. Mr 7:16] This is describing understanding the word of God. Mockers accuse us of baptism only salvation. There’s nothing of the sort. A person must HEAR & BELIEVE, but are those the only requirements?

In the first gospel sermon at Pentecost, Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” [Acts 2:38a]. “FOR the remission of sins must be understood that baptism is the moment our sins are washed away. Some would try to confuse you by saying, ‘you’re baptized BECAUSE your sins are remitted.’ This false doctrine is easily proven by the Apostle Paul’s own retelling of his conversion. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” [Acts 22:16] Peter would later write about baptism, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of

the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” [1Peter 3:21]. The eligible candidate is baptized to remove their sins, ‘FOR the remission of sins.’

While we’re on this subject, what if you’re immersed when there’s no sin being imputed toward the person? Babies & young children are NOT being charged with sin by God [Mark 10:13-16]. Youth baptisms need to be done with great care. If God is NOT imputing sin toward them, then they are not being baptized FOR the remission of sin.

The eligible candidate must obey the gospel in its proper ORDER. As we’ve already seen, HEARING comes first, which brings about BELIEF about Jesus. Some would say that one is saved at the moment of belief, placing salvation in the wrong ORDER. Belief is essential, but salvation is NOT BY FAITH ALONE. [James 2:24] Being saved comes after baptism [Acts 2:40]

There are 4 essentials that precede true baptism. They are in order; HEARING, BELIEVING, REPENTING & CONFESSION. Jesus commanded, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:3]. Peter preached REPENTANCE at Pentecost [Acts 2:38]. Likewise, one must CONFESS that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We see the Ethiopian confessing just prior to being baptized by Philip. [Acts 8:37-38; cf. Mat 10:32]

Lastly, some teach that you can never lose your salvation. This too is false. Therefore, the eligible candidate for true baptism must sit down and count the cost of being Christ’s disciple. [Luke 14:25-33]. The eligible candidate must know that Christ EXPECTS him to remain faithful until death, that he can so sin as to lose his salvation. [Rev 3:10; Jas 2:24; Luke 6:46]

Fifth of Seven Musts of Salvation; BAPTISM

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” [1Peter 3:21]

When presented with this passage and the others in this article, you’d think that a believer would jump at the opportunity to obey the commands of God & His Son Christ Jesus. Sadly, most will argue using denominational dogma to argue against God.

We didn’t invent baptism for salvation, God did. It perfectly matches His word. It matches what Jesus did. He died, was buried and was resurrected. [1Cor 15:1-4]

We’re commanded to obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9], but how does one obey DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION?

BAPTISM in water through faith in the working of God!!!

#5, we must be BAPTIZED: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. Matthew 28:19
  • Mark 16:16
  • Acts 2:38
  • Acts 10:48
  • Acts 22:16
  • Rom 6:3-4
  • Gal 3:27

These are just a few of the many verses that command & show a believer must be water baptized to have their sins washed away and be saved. We didn’t bring this up, God did.

What is

BAPTISM? Mat 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:35-33; 22:16

It is a BURIAL and a resurrection. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

It is AUTHORIZED by Christ’s command. [Mark 16:16]

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is PART 5 of conversion. [Acts 2:38]. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and be BAPTIZED.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It TRUSTS God’s working, not our own. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

We are baptized INTO Christ & a putting on Christ.

[Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism SAVES you. [1Pet 3:21]

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”

It is done at MIDNIGHT, midday, or the same hour upon H-B-R-C. Not a scheduled monthly social event. [Acts 16:33]

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

If your denomination schedules baptisms, they don’t believe it is essential for salvation. People in the bible obeyed God IMMEDIATELY, the same hour. [cr. Acts 8:36]

Spencer