When Paul met the disciples of John in Ephesus in Acts 19, he did not ask them the regular questions a Baptist would ask, today. He did not ask them to give their “salvation story” or their “personal experience with Jesus,” Paul ask them a question the Baptist church STILL cannot answer!! “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?” Paul’s question was very apropos, had these people already been Christians, they would have already known of God’s gift to all who had been baptized into Christ. God’s plan to sustain them as Christians was not revealed BEFORE Christianity existed! The Baptist Church will tell you today about its “once saved always saved” program, but will never relate to you how God intended to keep his children pure “in Christ.” Their only doctrine on the Holy Spirit is the miraculous work done in the first century. They do not realize that God “gives the Spirit to all them that obey Him” so we who have been saved from our sins by the blood of Christ, can get all the way home, safely! Acts 5:32 The very fact that they know nothing about this tells the whole story.
The Baptist Church does not teach in any sense the gift of the Holy Spirit! The baptism of preparation and perfection must never to be confused! Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who come from the Baptist Church into the Lord’s church thinking that they do not have to be baptized as they say, “again.” Preachers of the gospel who do not understand the difference between the two baptisms sometimes allow them entrance into the membership of the body of Christ on their Baptist baptism and keep them from entrance into the kingdom of God! They may not mean any harm, but they keep the individuals that they accept on their Baptist baptism from the blood of Christ. A person cannot “be taught wrong and baptized right!!” One cannot be taught they are saved before they are baptized, as do the Baptist, and still be baptized to be saved! Entering into the gates of heaven has but one path-Christ said He was the way, and no man comes in any other way will will!!
The Baptist are always asking about the thief on the cross. Did anybody ever asked the thief on the cross if he’d received the Holy Spirit? Why?? One of the easiest ways to explain the difference in the baptism of preparation and the baptism of salvation is what the apostle Paul through inspiration of the Holy Spirit expressed to the 12 at Ephesus! The genius of the question is seen in the clarity this expresses to explain the difference in the two baptisms. When discussing the question of baptism with a member of the Baptist Church, it is a good thing to ask if they have received the Holy Spirit and particularly stress the word since you believed! What means this since you believed? Jesus commanded “he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” It is obvious that people do not understand what is meant by the command believe. Thayer says in the New Testament sense, it means conviction and trust impelled by a certain inner prerogative and law of the soul, to trust in Jesus as able to aid either in obtaining salvation or doing something to be saved. Now, if a person does not trust the Lord nor does he believe what Christ has said, he cannot be said to be a believer. If one is not a believer he is not invited by our Lord to be baptized! The difference between the invitation of the Lord and Baptist preacher is extremely great!! It matters IN WHOM you have put your trust when you are baptized, if you to go to heaven!! Meeting the blood of Christ in the water of baptism can never be a reality for a person who is not a believer IN CHRIST. The baptism of John, then, is not in any way like the baptism for salvation that Jesus had preached by His apostles, so no one baptized in the Baptist Church would ever be considered a member of the Church of Christ!! The baptism of salvation, in water, is always demanded of one who wants to be baptized into the Christ. By the way, the thief on the cross was never a member the Church of Christ or of the Baptist Church, either!! He died before either of them came into existence!! He is the favorite of error in trying to show baptism is not essential but in fact, he shows the opposite.