Question:

I do have a question: Acts 2:38 says repentance comes before baptism. So does that mean a baptism is invaild if there was no repenting prior to it?

In my case, when I was baptized, I just believed what the preacher was saying about Jesus was true, and knew Jesus said we had to be baptized. I was too scared to get baptized that morning, but was baptized during the evening service. I do not remember thinking about repenting or anything. I'm not sure if I even really knew what the word meant, even though I probably heard it a lot. This was a while ago. After the baptism, my family didn't go back to church for a month or two, so our (and my) attendance was not very faithful. I just figured I did what was neccessary to be saved.

It wasn't until a few years later that I actually started to read the Bible on my own consistently. That's when everything changed, and I actually started to grow and become more committed to God and following His ways.

So, where I'm going with this is, I don't think I did any repenting before baptism. I don't even know if I knew what it was. I've done a lot of repenting over the past years since I started reading God's word. Should I be rebaptized? I go back and forth with it. Maybe me wanting to get baptized is a form of repentance or something. Should I have had a Bible study with someone prior to my baptism? I'm trying to get this figured out before I die.

I would appreciate your input.


Answer:

Repentance is turning from sin and turning to God. Yes, repentance comes before baptism. You cannot remain in your sins and then commit yourself in covenant with the Holy God. But Christianity is about growth was well. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (II Peter 3:18). You didn't know much at the beginning, but you've grown and you've treated your commitment to God seriously. Sins later in your life does not invalidate your prior covenant.

I'll give you the same advice I've told others. If you have doubts about your original baptism being correct, then get baptized again. One of the two will definitely be valid.