An anonymous writer1, who goes by “student of the word”, says the following about the spiritual condition of a person who is not baptized.
The simplest answer is that I finally realized that any question having to do with the fate of an unbaptized believer is an abiblical question. In other words, the bible never contemplates such a question. If we seek an answer to a question about whether or not God commands obedience, the bible speaks directly to that.2 If we ask whether God commands baptism, there is plain scripture that shows He does.3 Even if we question the fate of a person who doesn’t have faith while claiming that he does, we find a direct answer.4 However, when it comes to looking for a verse that speaks about the fate of a person that believes in Jesus but hasn’t been baptized, there is no scripture that addresses the subject. The New Testament never considers the situation. It’s not in the bible. It’s abiblical.
According to “student of the word”, the Bible never contemplates the fate of the unbaptized. It’s an “abiblical” question which the Bible doesn’t answer. This is simply not true because it matters whether you are baptized. The Bible does answer the question on baptism and shows the spiritual condition of the unbaptized.
The New Testament says that faith and Baptism are commanded. The New Testament also says that purpose of Baptism which necessarily proves the spiritual condition of the unbaptized. What is the purpose of Baptism?
Because the Scripture shows what happens – by God’s saving power in the blood – at baptism, it also shows that the unbaptized remain in their sin and are unsaved.
The Bible does give an answer about the spiritual condition of those who have not been baptized.
The problem is not that the Bible is unclear about the condition of the unbaptized, it’s that people like the anonymous writer have an agenda to be in fellowship with those denominations who do not practice Biblical Baptism (You’ll need to read his article and the magazine it is found in to understand this conclusion). You see the author knows that the Bible commands Baptism, but he is unwilling to acknowledge the obvious conclusion of not being baptized. If you believe what the Bible says about Baptism, its mode and its purpose, then you have to conclude that the unbaptized are still in their sins.
The anonymous author of the article in question has the same difficulty in understanding the need that faith be seen. God’s requirement that people be baptized is not the same as requiring that an eight day old child be circumcized. Faith is present in one and not in the other. The so-called “student of the word” does not like the “formula” of Mark 16:16, where Jesus says those who believe and are baptized shall be saved. But the same author seems to fully accepts the man-made “formula” for salvation such as often repeated, but never Biblically cited, “Believe in Jesus and say the sinner’s prayer and you will be saved.”
What if God did ask only that we pray for salvation? If that were His will, I would have no objection. Why would I object to what God says? If in fact God wanted us to pray for the remission of sins, instead of repenting and being baptized, then that is what I would teach. Even then there would still be the same necessity, that we emphasize receiving Baptism, that it be of faith without trusting in the act itself (in which case it would be the act of the prayer) to save. So it is with the Baptism that God requires, it must be united with faith in the saving power of the blood in order to save. Eddie Parrish writes in the Jan. 2009 issue of Think,
“The New Testament affirms that immersion in water is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; see also Mark 16:16). But the efficacy of baptism lies not in the water necessary to accomplish the deed. The power is in the blood of Christ (Revelation 1:5; Mt. 26:28) and in His resurrection from the dead.”
The author, who chooses to remain anonymous, may be in your congregation in a teaching position where he would not otherwise be permitted to speak if his true positions were known. Why else must he remain anonymous? A person who doesn’t understand Biblical baptism should not be trusted to teach at all in the local congregation.
Categories: faith and works