Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
Jesus Christ said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:15-16). He that believeth—what? The Gospel. The idea that all one must believe in order to be baptized is the mere fact that Jesus is Christ did not originate with the Gospel. One may believe the fact that Jesus is Christ, and not believe the Gospel. “He that believeth [the Gospel] and is baptized, shall be saved.”
When a man believes that he is saved before he is baptized, he does not believe the Gospel, and he cannot be baptized, in any Scriptural, valid sense. When one is baptized into a denomination, knows that he is being baptized into one, no matter what he believes about baptism, it becomes an institutional act, a denominational baptism.