Many churches schedule special services where one must wait one to two weeks, if not longer, after making it known his or her decision to be baptized. Ultimately this is because many do not understand the importance of baptism. Furthermore, those ready to be baptized believe whole heartily that they have already been saved; hence, the postponement of baptism.
It should be admitted that the Scriptures teach that baptism was done immediately after the preaching of the gospel. Luke recorded, “That same day” (Acts 2.36-41), “What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8.35-38), “Can any man forbid water?” (Acts 10.44-48), “In the same hour of the night” (Acts 16.30-33), “On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19.5) and “Why are you waiting?” (Acts 22.16). Every example found within the pages of Acts tells and shows us that baptism was not delayed.
Those who heard (Rom. 10.17; Acts 2.37), believed (Acts 16.31), repented of their sins (Acts 2.38) and confessed their faith in Christ (Rom. 10.9-10) were immediately baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2.38).
Why the rush to be baptized? Baptism stood between them and being saved (1 Peter 3.21), forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2.38; Acts 22.16), having a new life (Rom. 6.4), being in Christ (Gal. 3.27), becoming a child of God (Gal. 3.26-27) and being in the kingdom (John 3.5).
Those who teach that baptism does not save see no reason why to be immediately baptized. However, Jesus commanded it and we must obey Him to be saved (Matt. 7.21; Heb. 5.8-9). He said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16.16). Since Jesus taught that belief plus baptism equals salvation, we should not postpone baptism for some special service as if it is unimportant thereby risking our opportunity for salvation. – Bryan Garlock
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5.8).
Since the gospel of Jesus Christ creates peace in a world where there is none (Col. 1.13-23; Rom. 5.1; James 4.4), Christians are called to be peacemakers (Matt. 28.18-20; 2 Tim. 2.2; Acts 8.4).
Sharing the peace Christ offers with others is exclusively accomplished through the spreading of the gospel. Therefore, we must not hinder the gospel by our lack of love or peace God has called us to exemplify (Rom. 12.18; Phil. 4.7-9; Heb. 12.14). If we do not love peace, how can we expect others to obtain such? – Bryan Garlock
God has always expected His people to follow the pattern of His word in their worship and service to Him. For example, He told Moses, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you” (Deut. 4.2). This is accomplished by following the pattern of God’s word. God told Moses, “…See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain” (see Heb. 8.1-5). Further, Paul penned, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1.13).
If a dressmaker fails to follow the pattern, he or she will make a different dress than was intended by the patternmaker! Likewise, if we fail to follow the pattern of worship and service to God, we will not provide the worship and service that He purposed and planned.
Therefore, when it comes to worshiping God, nothing short of true worship is acceptable to Him (John 4.19-24). Jesus tells us that true worship consists of two aspects – spirit and truth. “Spirit” here means the same as “sincerity” in Josh. 24.14. “Truth” is God’s word (John 17.17).
Thus, we must follow the pattern of worship and service that has been provided us by God Himself, for He has every right to determine how we should worship Him. We are like dressmakers, but He is the patternmaker. - Bryan Garlock
Many today have the mindset that God is pleased with multiple interpretations of the Scriptures. They believe wholeheartedly that God gave us His word, apparently not to be understood alike, but differently! Interestingly, if any interpretations contradict, it does not matter for, “We are all going to heaven, just taking different roads,” or so they say. Further, one only has to travel a few blocks to note the different denominations and religious groups; each with their own name, doctrines, beliefs, etc. One can only imagine the chaos this would cause if each group were to worship together under the same roof!
The above truth is the result of false teachers and their deceived followers. It is also a misconception that there may be at least two interpretations on any given topic. Either it is the case one is right and the other wrong or both are wrong! Therefore, as we approach a topic of this nature, it would do us good to agree on the following: First, the Scriptures are truth (John 17.17). This does not mean that there are several truths (interpretations); this means there is only one truth. Consequently, all other sources are false. Second, they are inspired (2 Tim. 3.16-17) and within them contain no contradictions. It is also important to note that since the Scriptures come from God, multiple interpretations cannot exist or else God would be the author of confusion and chaos. Finally, since the word of God will judge us (John 12.48), this raises the question, “If multiple interpretations suffice, which interpretation will God judge us by?”
Next, since the facts above are obviously true, it is vital to our salvation to accept the following: God commands us to understand His will for us (Eph. 5.17). To understand, we must first obey the command to study His word (2 Tim. 2.15) and to grow in the knowledge of the Scriptures (1 Peter 3.15, 2 Peter 3.18; Heb. 5.11-6.2). His will can only be made known when we read (Eph. 3.3-4). Thus, all can equally share in the blessings of God through His word when we read, study and learn His will (John 6.44-45). Finally, if we are searching the Scriptures daily (Acts 17.11) and testing Bible teachers’ words against God’s word (1 John 4.1), we can come to understand the Bible alike. Paul commanded, “…all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1.10). God’s desire for us is to “…maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…” (Eph. 4.1-6). These truths prove, therefore, that we can understand the Bible alike! -Bryan Garlock
We must have standards for all we do in life. Standard is defined: “as a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable; ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior; something that is very good and that is used to make judgments about the quality of other things" (Merriam-Webster). Thus, without standards we would and could not agree on anything and disunity and chaos would follow. For instance, the employee policy hanging on the wall at work is the standard by which all employees must measure themselves. If an employee is found lacking in a particular area, his or her employer has the necessary tools to either help the employee improve or, if the employee continues to spiral down, terminate them. Therefore, we understand the policy to keep the employee working effectively and efficiently.
Another standard worth mentioning is the handy dandy tape measure. Without it our buildings would be crooked and unstable and our furniture would be uncomfortable to look at and sit on! This is because we would never agree to the length of a piece of wood. One builder might say the length is 10 inches, while another argues the length is 14 inches. Thus, to eliminate disunity and chaos, these builders would have to adopt a standard by which they measure each piece of wood.
In the religious world, the Bible is our standard. With it we measure our faith (2 Cor. 13.5; James 1.25), our maturity in Christ (2 Tim. 3.16-17; 2 Peter 1.3) and our eternal outcome will be measured by our faithfulness (Rev. 2.10). Since God’s word will be the judge, that is, our standard, it would do us well to heed and obey the words of Christ in all things (John 12.48; Col. 3.17). BG
"Standard." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/standard>.