What does it mean to “believe” in Christ?
“The word believe in the Bible means more than simply agreeing in our minds that something might be true. It means “trust”—that we believe so strongly in God that we are willing to commit our lives to Him and live the way we know He wants us to live.
Suppose you were walking along a path and you came to a bridge which crossed a deep canyon. You might look at it and believe that it would hold you, and you might even see other people walking across it so you know it would hold your weight. But so far, your “belief” in the bridge is only in your head. When do you really believe the bridge will hold you? You only really believe it when you are willing to commit your life to it and actually walk across it.
It is the same way with Christ. Yes, we can believe that God exists, but God wants us to come to know Him personally. And He has bridged the gap between us by sending His Son to remove the barrier of sin and become that “bridge.” To believe in Christ is to commit our lives by faith to Christ—to trust Him personally as our Lord and Savior. Our prayer is that you will come to truly believe in Christ.” ~ANSWERS, Billy Graham Association
“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:1-5).
Proposition. There are many confessing Christians who should be rebaptized since they believed in the name of Jesus.
There are countless millions of people who, over the centuries have been baptized, before they believed in the name of Jesus.
In this sense, these precious people are like those who were baptized unto John’s baptism. They have not heard of anything else. They have not given the matter any real thought. If asked, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” “Have you been baptized since you believed in Jesus?” the answer would be, “No. We have not heard about such a thing.”
The baptism of a vast multitude has never been of their own choice. That decision has been made on their behalf by well-meaning parents, or by government officials who demanded social conformity.
Each entity that has baptized children, or adults, without their will being involved, has done this “for the person’s own good,” or, “to maintain a collective religion.”
Many good and godly people believe they have a theological basis for baptizing an individual before the person has consciously believed in Jesus.
Many parents want their children, or god children, to be part of the New Covenant, even though the actuality of the New Covenant is reserved until there is a divine work in the heart according to the will of God.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:16-18).
No one has ever been made a partaker of the New Covenant without being regenerated by the Holy Ghost.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
Regeneration is predicated on faith in Jesus Christ.
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:8-10).
It is true, in a household in which all who hear the Word of the Lord, and all who believe, are to be baptized.
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:31-33).
Baptism is Scripturally reserved for every individual who personally believes in Jesus. One’s person’s faith in Christ is not transferable to another, no matter how much faith, or hope, might be expressed on their behalf.
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).
The promise of the New Covenant fulfilled is for all who believe, not for all who might someday believe.
The child of a Christian parent can enjoy the gospel promise of salvation, but believe the child must, if they want to truly be a partaker of the New Covenant.
No one is ever made a partaker of the New Covenant by simply being given the sign of salvation. Baptism is not that arbitrary.
But Baptism can be a meaningless ritual to millions who feel safe in their unbelief.
They have been told they are part of a New Covenant.
If they so choose, they can confirm what was done to them, and what was done for them.
What the Church needs is to have the elect know what was done in them. Then, the sacrament of baptism becomes significant.
A convert is buried in the likeness of the Lord’s death, and raised again in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in the newness of life.
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Without any clear Scriptural evidence of any infant being baptized, armed only with a presuppositional belief there must have been some infants in a household that was baptized, the practice of subjecting little ones to a holy sacrament before they believe has pressed forward.
Today, infant baptism is a fixed tradition in Christendom.
However, no other major Christian doctrine, or practice, is rooted in the silence of Scripture, except this one.
The Bible does command Christian parents to bring their children up n the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
However, the sign of the covenant is not to be given until a person is baptized since they believe in Jesus.
The issue of who is a proper candidate for baptism is an unnecessary controversy. The Enemy has come into the Church to divide God’s people on this issue. It need not be an issue, and will not be when there is the same obedience to the words spoken to Brother Paul, who had seen, heard, and believed in Jesus.
“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22: 10-18).
I urge professing Christians to reconsider what was done to them, and seek to be baptized again, like John’s disciples, since they believed in Jesus.
It will be a blessed experience that will never be forgotten, or regrated.
Come, and be baptized, or, re-baptized, since you believed, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.