Would you say that doing things in the right order matters? Or as long as you complete all of the steps, does it matter in what order you did them? Have you ever assembled a bicycle?
Have you ever purchased a piece of furniture from IKEA? Have you ever built a 3,000-piece LEGO set? If so, does it matter in what order you assemble these things? You probably know from experience that if you put together any of these things out of order that it does not end up like it should and you usually have to start over. The order matters!
Have you ever been to someone’s house when they feed everyone grilled hamburgers? Did they put the ground beef on the bun before or after grilling the meat? Did they put the raw beef directly on the bun or the grilled beef on the bun? The order matters!
What about with God? Does the order matter? An example that comes up often today is this—as long as I’ve been baptized at some point, does it really matter when?
Consider one Biblical example. In Joshua 6, God gave the order for taking the city of Jericho. First, march around the city once a day for six days (6:3). Second, in the march, the priests shall go before the ark (6:4). Third, march around the city seven times on the seventh day and the priests shall then blow the trumpets (6:4). Fourth, after the sound of the trumpet, the people shall shout (6:5). Fifth, when all of this is done, the wall of the city will fall down (6:5). Did it matter if God’s people followed His order in this? Or, as long as they did each of the steps, would it matter in what order they did them?
You know that God’s order matters. God told Saul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16). The arising was to take place before the baptizing, and the baptizing took place before the washing away of sins. God said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). The believing is to take place before the baptizing, and the baptizing is to take place before the saving. God said, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The repentance is to take place before the baptizing, and the baptizing is to take place before the remission. The order matters! If it does not, why did God give it an order?
In Acts 19, there were twelve men who had already been baptized, but their faith was in a Jesus who was still to come, when in fact, Jesus had already come. The order (i.e., direction) of their faith mattered, therefore, the order of their baptism mattered also, so they were baptized properly.
God’s order matters! One must believe Jesus is God’s Son, repent of sins, confess faith in Jesus Christ and then be baptized in order to be saved. Have you followed God’s order?
~Via Palm Beach Lakes Church of Christ