James A. Allen
All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:18-20).
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned (Mark 16:15-16).
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38).
They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (v. 47).
But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:12).
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:35-39).
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:49).
And he called for lights and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God (Acts 16:29-34).
And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized (Acts 18:8).
And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16).
Every man in all the nations, unto the end of the world, must do what the above Scriptures command him to do to be saved. To be unsaved and lost is to be ruined world without end. A man can have assurance from the Word of God that he is saved only when he does what the Word of God commands him to do.
No man can be baptized without believing in Christ. Hence infants are not subjects of baptism. Not until they can hear the gospel and believe can they repent and be baptized.
Sprinkling and pouring are not baptism. There must be a “going down into the water” and being baptized, and after baptism a “coming up out of the water.” Baptism is a burial and a resurrection. No man has been baptized unless he was “buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
No man has a communication from the Spirit directly from heaven, giving him to know that he is saved without doing what the Word of God commands him to do to be saved. The Spirit does not speak to any man except through the Bible. The Spirit does not come to any man and communicate any thing that contradicts what the inspired men of the Bible said “as the Spirit gave them utterance” (2 Pet. 1:21).
There are no unbaptized Christians. A man is not a Christian until he is “baptized into Christ.” He cannot be a Christian out of Christ. He may be very active in some man made church, and may be a good neighbor and a prominent citizen, but whatever else he is, he is not a Christian until he obeys the divine command to repent and be baptized. Only those who are saved are Christians. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” A man who has not been baptized does not have the promise of Jesus that he “shall be saved.”
All Christians are members of the same church. The same thing that makes a man a Christian makes him a member of the church. God adds to the church every one who is saved. Hence all who are saved are members of the same church. Any church that a man can be saved without being a member of is not the church to which God adds all who are saved. Any church that a man can be a Christian without being a member of is not the church that Christ established.
When people decide that they will get away from “the precepts and commandments of men” and be guided only by what God says in his Word, then—but not until then—will they “make their calling and election sure.”