Does Baptism Cleanse an
Some brethren teach that an alien sinner can marry and divorce several times, then be baptized with the assurance that God will forgive all of his sins. They say that baptism cleanses an adulterous marriage. With the increase of divorce it is convenient to believe this. But does the Bible teach this?
Suppose an alien sinner steals a car? Afterward he hears the gospel and decides to obey its commandments. Can he keep the car and still repent of his sins, confess his faith in Christ and be baptized for the remission of his sins?
This would be mockery! He cannot repent as long as he keeps the car. Repentance must be complete and it must precede baptism. The application is too plain to be misunderstood. When an alien sinner repents he quits sinning and makes restitution when possible.
If a man has killed someone he cannot restore life. Saul of Tarsus killed before he became a Christian, but he did not continue to kill after he became a Christian. Baptism cleansed him of all his past sins because he repented.
After he was baptized he devoted his life to preaching the gospel.
Many brethren can understand what is involved in repenting of killing and stealing. Why don’t the same principles apply to repenting of an adulterous marriage? Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, go and sin no more. He did not say continue to commit adultery. Those who continue an adulterous marriage continue to commit adultery or continue to live in adultery. Those repenting of an adulterous marriage sever it. They will quit the adulterous marriage. Baptism will then cleanse them of their sins! But as long as they continue their adulterous marriage they are in sin. Baptism does not cleanse an adulterous marriage.
I realize that what I have written on this subject is not popular, but I believe it is right. We need to preach and teach the truth on this matter. This is especially the responsibility of preachers and elders.
By Quentin Dunn
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