Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 13, 1950

"If Thou Believest With All Thine Heart ...."

Charles Heron, Arlington, Texas

It will be remembered by every student of the Bible that this statement was made to the eunuch when he asked Philip to baptize him. "What hinders me. . ." was, in substance, what he asked. Philip makes him to know; that it was not possible for him to be baptized without believing, with all his heart. There are a number of points which might be well to consider by many in the church, and out. We shall study a few.

1. THE NECESSITY OF FAITH. Philip says lack of faith will hinder—one cannot be baptized unless he believes. If this were the only passage in all the Word of God that emphasizes the need of faith it would be enough for the honest person. One cannot be baptized without believing! That is not a debatable issue! In his statement to the eunuch, Philip did not say that we must believe, but the sequel shows that, at least, one of the things one must believe is the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ. Of course, that is not all one must believe; but no person can be baptized until he believes that! No person was ever baptized (during the Christian dispensation) who did not believe and confess that truth!

Now, there is more, here, than appears on the surface. The above facts prove some other matters of utmost importance: first, that no baby can be baptized. Everyone knows (if he knows anything) that a baby does not—cannot believe in the divine Sonship of Christ. Note that Philip did not say that no one could be put into the water and immersed, he did not say man could not pour or sprinkle water on those who do not believe. That is being done every day. Philip said one cannot be baptized without believing this truth!

Second, this proves that men must not attempt to be baptized in order to please some relative, or "join" his wife's church. There are a great many persons who make just such moves as these. Some go through a form of obedience, and make an impression on the public; but not until one believes in Christ as the Son of God can he be baptized!

Third, this also proves that men must be thoroughly taught before they can be baptized. At the time that Philip commenced to preach to the eunuch, the eunuch was not a believer in Christ. In the preaching Philip had taught him. In listening to Philip preach "Christ" unto him, he learned that he should be baptized. "They all shall be taught of God," says Jesus. "Every man, therefore, who hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me." (Jno. 6:45.) Many persons are emotionally stirred, and perhaps scared into making a move. This practice has filled the congregations over the land with unconverted persons. These persons who are not converted become a great problem to the leadership of the congregation. Too, such persons have no better chance of eternal salvation than the person who has made no move at all Men must be taught of Jesus Christ, and believe in Him before they can be baptized! Baptism is for the penitent believer for the remission of sins. Attempting to baptize the untaught, disbeliever, or the infant, or to attempt to baptize for any purpose other than the remission of sins is sacrilege.

2. BELIEVING WITH ALL THE HEART. Since Philip asserts that this is necessary, we need to concern ourselves with just what it means. It is possible for one to believe and not believe with all his heart, or else Philip would not have so admonished.

To believe with all the heart is more than to give mental assent to the truthfulness of a statement, or proposition. The heart includes the will, emotions, arid the intellect. With the heart man loves, (Matt. 22:37) hates, (2 Sam. 6:16) and sorrows, (Neh. 2:2.) With the heart man thinks, (Matt. 9:4.) With the heart man purposes, (2 Cor. 9:7.) Thus, we see the functions of the heart.

Most of us believe that George VI is King of England, but that doesn't mean that we love him or care to serve him. Many believe in Christ after that fashion. That is not the sort of belief that saves, —that is not believing with All the Heart.

It may be said of a man that he believes in God, but just will not obey him. But no person believes in God with all his heart and refuses to render complete obedience unto him. To believe with all the heart is to become obedient to Christ, and to continue to submit to Him in all thinks. It means to continue to serve Him despite all the opposition. It means to trust in Him implicitly, though others, all others, may doubt. It means to stand with other men if possible, but if not, then, stand alone! It means to completely trust Christ to fulfill every promise given. It means to live by the high and noble standards of Jesus Christ. To believe with all the heart means to put the kingdom of God and his righteousness first in our lives. (Matt. 6:33.) That delinquent, irregular, unconcerned, worldly-minded church member does not believe in God with all his heart. When he claims to believe with all his heart he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him, at least, concerning that point.

It will be good, indeed, to think for a moment on some of these matters. The degree of our faith is seen in the degree of service we render. The man who believes in God with all his heart is not catering to the contaminating things of the world. And though we may stand identified with the congregation of the Lord's Church, that alone will not prove our faith. If we love Christ, and believe in Him with the whole heart we will be found serving Him. "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I command you?"