The answer of a good conscience toward God

The answer of a good conscience toward God

Bill Green was a faithful member of the church I formerly pastored in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He was retired from secular employment when the church called me to be their pastor. He therefore requested permission to accompany me to conferences and preaching engagements. I gladly consented. He and I spent many hours in sweet fellowship during those trips.

On one such occasion, Bill mentioned his first profession of faith. He was at the time of that profession a very young lad. Bill professed his faith at the end of a certain preacher’s message, and was subsequently baptized upon that profession of faith.

On the occasion of my conversation with Bill, he told me that he whole-heartedly believed and delighted in the gospel and the Jesus I preached. But he also had come to realize that the message he had heard in his youth was diametrically opposed to what I preached, for it was “a different gospel” of “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). He also realized that whoever preaches such false doctrine is worthy of being “accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9), and that no one is by such false doctrine saved. He also realized that Christian baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Peter 3:21), and that his former “baptism” was invalid because in it he had professed and confessed a false gospel of a false Jesus, and that he had since then been saved from it.

Bill therefore requested I baptize him. I gladly consented. He in his baptism gave “the answer of a good conscience toward God”.

Many other persons have had a similar experience. They were nominal Christians (i.e., in name only) when they were blessed by divine grace to hear and believe the gospel of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They therefore become convinced of the invalidity of their former “baptism”. They realize that “the answer of a good conscience toward God” cannot be expressed in a sacrament administered to an infant (Acts 8:36f), or of one believing he is not saved until he is baptized (see Acts 16:30-33), or of one heeding the message of a preacher not sent by Christ (see Jeremiah ch.31, especially vv.1f, 21, 32), or of one relying on the efficacy of his own “freewill” in salvation (see John 1:125:406:63-65), or of one boasting of works he performed to merit salvation (see Ephesians 2:8f), or of one believing baptism to be “the removal of the filth of the flesh” (1 Peter 3:21), or of one believing baptism to be the means of obtaining “a good conscience toward God” (ibid), or of one trusting in “a different gospel” of “another Jesus”. They therefore desire to be baptized – not rebaptized, but Scripturally baptized.

In this baptism they profess “the answer of a good conscience toward God”. Daniel Parks.

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