Alexander Campbell made famous this nineteenth-century expression: “Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.” Basically he was saying that a teaching cannot be said to be “biblical” if is has no Bible verses for its evidence. With this in mind, there are three scriptural evidences that prove the Apostles of Jesus’ generation were baptized as commanded in Acts 2:38.
The Apostles’ Words
Firstly, we have the Apostles’ words to the Jews, Samaritans, and Greeks. In these the Apostles told everyone that if they were to be saved, they must obey Acts 2:38. The following are these accounts:
- Church at Jerusalem…3000 added by baptism after receiving the word. (Act 2:41)
- Church at Samaria…..Believed and were baptized, men & women. (Act 8:12-16)
- Church at Caesarea….Peter commanded them to be baptized (Act 10:48)
- Church at Philippi…….Lydia & the Philippian jailer baptized (Act 16:14-33)
- Church at Corinth…….Chief ruler of the synagogue, Crispus and his household. (Act 18:8)
- Church at Corinth……Paul preached. They believed and were rebaptized. (Act 19:1-6)
- Church at Galatia……Believed Paul and baptized into Christ. (Gal 3:27)
- Church at Colossi……They were buried with Christ in baptism. (Col 2:12)
- Church at Rome……….They died to sin, and then buried in baptism. (Rom 6:1-4)
Testimony and Receiving Of The Holy Ghost
Secondly, we have the testimony accompanying the gentiles receiving of the Holy Ghost. Read carefully how these accounts are worded…
- Act 10:45-47… “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing”
- Act 11:14-17 … “when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ”
- Act 15:7-9… “he made no distinction between us and them”
Did you notice that these testimonies align receiving the Holy Ghost with baptism in Jesus’ name and also with believing the “word of the gospel”?
The Testimony of Jesus
Thirdly, we have the testimony of Jesus. He said everyone had to be “Born Again” of the “water” and the “Spirit” or they could not “see” or “enter” the “kingdom of God” (Joh 3:1-12). Furthermore, Jesus said that “all nations” were to be baptized in His name (Mat 28:18-19), and that the whole world would believe on Him through the Apostles’ words (Joh 17:20). These messages found their fulfillment through what Peter and the other eleven apostles said about being Born Again in Acts 2.
Through these evidences we can infer that the apostles were baptized the same way as their message. This made them partakers of the same salvation that comes through the same gospel. After all, there is only “one gospel,” one baptism, and only one name into which all are to be baptized. If these men had not been “Born Again” according to Acts 2:38, they would have been at best hypocrites, and at worst lost souls.
Jesus said that any who believed and is baptized will be saved, but any who do not believe will be damned (Mar 16:16). I believe this promise is inclusive enough to have also included the apostles.
Copyright © 2010 Thomas K. Burk. All Rights Reserved.