Shelby G. Floyd
There are only three aspects of baptism:
(1) The subject of baptism—a person old enough to be accountable for their actions;
(2) The action of baptism—by immersion since the original means to dip, plunge or immerse; and,
(3) The purpose of baptism—for, in order to, unto the forgiveness of sins; to put one into Christ where all spiritual blessing are to be found, and to induct one into the body of Christ—the church purchased by his blood.
When Paul gave an account of his own baptism, he related that the preacher Ananias said,
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16, ESV).
The act of baptism is both active and passive. It is active in that the subject must choose to obey the command to be baptized. But it is also passive in that one does not baptize himself, but is assisted by someone to immerse the candidate and then bring that person back up out of the water. This is expressed by the passive verb, “Rise and be baptized…”
If Paul was saved before his baptism, then he was saved while still in his sins. He was commanded to be baptized to wash away his sins! And Jesus said baptism was to be saved from sin:
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mk. 16:15-16, ESV).
Paul was not saved before his baptism. Paul was a strict, zealous persecutor of the church and he thought he was doing the right thing. But he was lost without Christ. But, when he did what Christ commanded him to do by the preaching of the gospel, he was saved like everyone else then and like all are today.
Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142