Jerry C. Brewer
The Fairview Baptist Church in Elk City, Okla. posted the following message on a sign at its building a few years ago: “Obey what the Bible says, not what men say it says.” That’s a good sign and the best advice one can give. But the Baptists who posted the sign teach that, “no one is a scriptural subject for baptism till he is already saved.” (J. G. Bow, D.D.,What Baptists Believe And Why They Believe It, Issued by The Sunday School Board of The Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tenn., n.d.). That’s what men say the Bible says.
But Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). The copulative conjunction “and” joins both belief and baptism in salvation. One is neither saved by faith alone, nor baptism alone. It is in baptism that one’s faith is complete and Peter emphasized that point, saying, “The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us…” (1 Peter 3:21). Peter did not say baptism “alone” saves us, but that baptism is simply part of God’s requirements for our salvation. No man is saved without being baptized into the death of Christ where His saving blood forgives sin (Rom. 6:3-5). Indeed! “Obey what the Bible says, not what men say it says.”
The Baptist Church should take its own advice.