We Believe in Christ. We Belong to Christ. We Serve Christ.
Luke records these words in Acts 2:44, “And all who believed were together and had all things in common” (ESV). One of the characteristics of the early church was that they enjoined church purity. It was a church composed of those who “had all things in common,” in other words, they were all believers. Jason Duesing in his article “The Believers’ Church,” stresses the value in a church who through believers’ baptism, results in the purity of the church. While many might look to tradition in such church matters, the biblical mandate is that those who repented of their sins and received Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, displayed that transformation, being obedient to the command to be baptised by immersion as believers. Many down through history such as the Anabaptist in the 1600s and the early Baptists later in England and America gave their very lives for such a courageous stand and conviction.
The importance of believers’ baptism, as opposed to infant baptism, is not only vital to the present-day church, but if not practiced leaves a legacy of a church full of both believers and unbelievers. Therefore it is not only the privilege of today’s believers to practice believers’ baptism, it is also the responsibility for the present-day church to leave a biblical legacy for the future church. In his article, Duesing highlights that though some may view such an issue with indifference, he writes that without this kind of commitment, the legacy we leave for the next generation lacks the biblical purity to make a difference, in other words, an even greater apathy in days to come. This was certainly not the pattern of the New Testament church.
As a church moving forward, there is a great importance in a baptized church of true believers. Not only in this issue, but this also reminds us of the importance of all our actions as a church and how it might affect both the present-day church and how it may affect future generations. Apathy in all spiritual matters is a great hindrance to the church, and steals from the church its responsibility to protect those who come after us. This reminds us of the importance that our direction must come from the Scriptures and not dictated by tradition. Later in Acts as that early church grew and Philip was preaching, Luke records this, “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12). Those who had believed in Christ, had repented of their sins, were baptized. What a wonderful truth today and what a great legacy to leave the church of tomorrow!