It Does Make a Difference
“Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being only acquainted with the baptism of John” (Acts 18:24-25).
Apollos effectively taught much truth. Did it make a difference that his belief and teaching about baptism were wrong? Yes, it did. Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately (v. 26).
“Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ And they said, ‘Into John’s baptism’” (Acts 19:1b-3).
These disciples’ baptism was correct in some ways: it was immersion in water of penitent believers for forgiveness of sins. Did it matter that it was not correct in some other aspects? Yes, it did. Paul explained to them how John’s baptism was different than what Jesus requires under the great commission. “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 5).
What is baptism? Who should be baptized? When and why should one be baptized? Most every church today practices something they call baptism, but the answers to these questions (and therefore common practices) differ widely. Does it make a difference? Perhaps many would say it does not. These New Testament examples say otherwise. Get out your Bible, read what it says about baptism, and make certain you have obeyed.