Preaching on Bible baptism is as vital today as it has ever been. This is true, first because it is a part of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16). In every case of conversion beginning in Acts 2, sinners who put their trust in Christ were baptized as a part of their initial response to the gospel. When sinners wanted to be saved from their sins, they by faith in Christ were baptized in water immediately – “the same hour of the night” (Acts 16:33) – without delay. The same clear instruction is needed today if sinners are to be saved by the blood of Christ.
Second, the need of such teaching is urgent because denominationalism fills people’s minds with prejudice, resentment, and resistance on this subject. Brethren have taught much on Bible baptism and must teach much on it still. False teachers have poisoned the minds of many that ‘faith only’ saves despite the fact the bible teaches otherwise (Jam 2:19-26). Constantly gospel preachers have to remind the denominational world that the thief on the cross was not subject to the gospel of Christ because he died under the Mosaic law and not under the law of Christ. The gospel was first preached in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost.
A third reason we need to teach much and often on Bible baptism is that some among us “depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-2). These men make “shipwreck concerning the faith,” contradicting the great truths they once preached and defended (1 Tim. 1:19). As the disease of apostasy progresses, such men “overthrow the faith of some” others who are not well grounded (2 Tim. 2:17-18).
Where these apostates once preached with emphasis and exclamation marks, they now speak with speculation and question marks. Their sermons used to be girded with the bands of Book, Chapter, and Verse quotations, but now with the spaghetti strings of what modern theologians and pop psychologists have to say. Frequent, pious reminders are given of how much we have to learn from denominational leaders by men who now are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).
Men who used to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” now earnestly defend denominational doubts, dodges, and dogmas on baptism (Jude 3). As these sweet-spirited souls granulate into sugar, they have temper tantrums and go into tirades crying out against “legalism.” A “legalist” in their eyes is someone who insists, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). These liberal minded brethren insist conservative brethren are “legalist” or “Pharisees” for following the letter of the law (1 Cor 4:6 f; Rev 22:18,19). Yet, Jesus commanded his own disciples to obey the Pharisees, but not to do as they did, for they said and did not (Matt 23:2,3). If Liberals believe Conservatives to be “legalists” or “Pharisees”, then obey what they say. Even so, liberals are twice worse than the Pharisees because they neither say or do. There is much talk by these apostates about searching for “common ground” they are always finding more and more of it with their denominational neighbors, less and less of it with their brethren who insist upon a “thus saith the Lord” for all things.
Let us not be intimidated by the vast numbers of the lost, by the vast power of denominationalism, or by the rash railings of false brethren. Let us diligently equip ourselves by immersing ourselves in Scripture so that we may be workmen who need not to be ashamed, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (4:2). You will know it is “out of season” when men falsely accuse you of putting the Bible or the church or baptism above faith in Christ. Preach the gospel without ceasing despite all these things. “Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16).