By J.D. Williams
I was discussing baptism with a person quiet advanced in age. He told me he had been a member of his denomination most of his life but had never been baptised. The reason he gave was that he wasn't good enough! Some day he said, "I hope I can reach a state of perfection then, perhaps I'll be good enough." I tried to explain to him he couldn't be a member of the Lord's church without first being baptised. And secondly, not one soul in the Lord's church is perfect or ever will be. But we can still live a righteous and acceptable life before God. That's the reason he gave us perfect laws so they might guide us into a higher plane of life. This thinking is a variation of the old Roman church doctrine dating back to around the time of the Emperor Constantine (ca. AD 325).
The belief then was that it was okay to ' join the church' but one should postpone being baptised until near the end of their life because it was taught after one is baptised and then sins, they could lose their souls or at least not enjoy the glory in heaven they would have had they not sinned after baptism.
Apparently many fail to grasp the concept of why Christ created a perfect church for imperfect people. Romans 3:25 says 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' Jeremiah wrote that it was not in man to direct his own steps — Jer.10:23. That's why man had to have a perfect example to follow. When the Lord established his church he gave it perfect laws. Every command, teaching or doctrine is without flaw. Why should man let sin keep him out of the church Christ created for his salvation?
Some people feel they shouldn't attend church because they may have had a bad day or week, because they recognise their behaviour is not up to God's standards, so they feel unworthy to attend. But those are exactly the ones that should be attending! Admit your faults, confess your sins to God, learn your lesson and get on with your life.
Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 9:27,'I buffet my body and bring it into bondage he struggled constantly to keep his fleshly desires under control. In Rom.7:19 he said, 'for the good which I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I practice.' In the 24th verse he called himself a' wretched man.' Paul is saying no matter how hard I try, I cannot live my life without sinning. Does that sound like a perfect man? No it doesn't. And if the truth be known he is probably describing 95% of the Lord's people on any given day!
Our Lord was born into the human race with all the characteristics of any other human. He had the same weapons to fight Satan as we do…God’s word and a strong will to obey. God created man in a perfect state. He created him without sin. Man by poor judgement or lack of understanding goes astray for the same reasons our great grand parents dam and Eve did, by not listening to God's instructions. It is not because they sinned that we do, but for the same reasons they did, not listening! Every person is born without sin but goes astray at some point in their lives (Psalms 58:3) through no fault of God's, Adam or Eve or any one else's. Only your own! How foolish to claim that God created man with a defect or some inherent sin transmitted from dam and Eve to all other humans. The scriptures plainly teach, it is after we are born that we become sinners by violating God's word, not before. Sin committed yesterday should not keep us from worshipping God today. And understanding today why we sinned yesterday will help prepare us for tomorrow.