Shelby G. Floyd
THE BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
While Paul was beginning his third evangelistic tour, Apollos came to Ephesus. The Bible tells us several things about his character and abilities as a preacher of the word: (1) he was a learned man; (2) he had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures; (3) he had been instructed in the way of the Lord; (4) he spoke with great fervor; and, (5) he taught about Jesus accurately. These things were all positive and good. However, there was one negative—he knew only the baptism of John the Baptist. This means that he baptized people into John’s baptism (Acts 18:24-26). But John’s baptism was not valid after the church was established! Now, the baptism of the great commission as given by Christ after his resurrection was to be practiced (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).
Paul left Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus when he returned to Antioch in Syria, thus ending his second tour. Unlike some, Aquila and Priscilla did not publicly correct him and humiliate him. They took him aside and “taught him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26).
THE BAPTISM INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS
When Paul arrived at Ephesus, he found twelve men who were disciples. They had not received the Holy Spirit because they had been baptized into John’s baptism. After the great commission was given, John’s baptism was no longer valid. Therefore, Paul “baptized them into the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:1-5).
THE NATURE OF WATER BAPTISM
People need to be baptized again if any of the following are not true: (1) who should be baptized? A penitent believer, not an infant or small child; (2) what is the action of baptism? It is by immersion! The action of baptism is not by sprinkling, nor pouring some water on someone; (3) what is the purpose of baptism? It is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21 etc.). It is not because one is saved and then wants to be baptized. If any or all of these are not true in your life, you need to be baptized again!
SALVATION IS BY FAITH PLUS BAPTISM
David Limbaugh in his latest book, Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church, declares over and over again that one is saved by faith only, and that baptism is not connected with our initial salvation from sin. This is very disappointing, since overall the book does a good job outlining the establishment and growth of the New Testament church throughout the Roman world of the first century. James emphatically declares, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).
FAITH AND BAPTISM IS THE WORK OF GOD
What many will not acknowledge is that even “faith” or “belief” is a work of man and God: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29 NKJV). In the same way, baptism is a work of faith and God (Galatians 3:26-29)!
Copyright © 2018 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142