Re-baptism: A Response to the Gospel
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 19:5
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There’s a recurrent theme in the book of Acts – the book of the New Testament that chronicles the birth and growth of the church. When people heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, the response of those who accepted it was that they believed and were baptized.
Some purport that only belief is necessary for salvation or praying a sinner’s prayer. And they teach it convincingly to others. It’s simply false. It’s not correct information.
It’s puts me in mind of the Exonerated Five – how they were basically made to say things that were not true and people believed it. The police wanted a specific response and they did everything that they could to get those young boys to say what they wanted to hear.
Some journalists can be like that, too. Their headlines are what riled the public into angry mobs against five innocent children. They were not in the right mindset to be questioned. Putting yourself in the mind of when you were a teenager – still a kid – can bring about a different response than when you are an adult. You might say anything when you’re being harassed on an unending basis – especially to get your harassers and persecutors to stop. People can sometimes say things that are false under unusual and stressful circumstances that appear to be anything but that. It’s called figments of the imagination.
And the teaching that all one has to do is say a prayer to be saved comes across as very sincere, but it is false. In Acts 19 we see what the real response to the gospel message of Christ was and should be today.
There’s nothing below that isn’t indicative of the norm and there hasn’t been.
The normal response to the gospel throughout the book for those who believed was obedience.
When Paul went back to Ephesus, he found some disciples who had not received the Holy Spirit. They said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). They then responded that they had only been baptized into John’s baptism (v.3).
It’s likely since the disciples were at Ephesus that they were taught by Apollos, who had the way of the Lord explained to him more accurately by Aquila and Priscilla since he only knew of John’s baptism, too.
But Paul said to them, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (Acts 19:4). As noted previously, there are different baptisms in the Bible and in Christendom today. But Christ says there’s only one baptism that counts (Eph 4:5). Christ’s baptism and John’s baptism were different.
When those 12 disciples heard it, “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5). They responded to the gospel like everyone else in Acts. So a person can be religious and still not be saved, since Jesus said that the person who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).
The twelve followers of Christ had not obeyed the gospel because they did not know the full gospel message. They had been baptized once but with the wrong baptism. They didn’t have accurate knowledge when they were baptized. And, I am safe.ly going to say that the same can and does happen today.
If you were baptized already, why were you baptized? Was it baptism for salvation or for some other reason? If it was not done with the knowledge of Christ’s baptism being necessary for salvation, then, like the 12 disciples in Acts 19, it calls for a re-baptism with the baptism of Christ and knowledge of why you are doing it.
What will your response to the gospel be?
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