Blood Before Water And Christ Before the Church

By J.H. Grime

The Church of Christ (Campbellites) believe you are not saved until after you are baptized. This article Blood Before Water And Christ Before the Church explains why this is wrong.



Lebanon, Tennessee, November 11, 1926.

Part One

Part Two

Is salvation conditional? If so, who meets these conditions? A condition is that without which another thing cannot exist. If baptism is a condition of salvation, salvation cannot exist without it and all who are not baptized are doomed to hell. If a condition then it is an essential. If it is an essential it is indispensable. Where an exception is admitted, it ceases to be essential and is no longer a condition. The difficulty lies between a sovereign God and dependent man. Diplomatic relations are broken, and God has issued his ultimatum, “The soul that sins shall die.” All have sinned, therefore all must die. The matter is final. Communication has ceased. If reconciliation is brought about it must come through another; God alone had a right to state the conditions and there was one alone in this universe that could accept them, and that one was Christ.—”the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Rev. 5:15). He met the conditions on the cross and in the resurrection, as our substitute. “If one died for all, then were all dead” (2 Cor. 5:14). God accepted this sacrifice and is reconciled. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). Now God can “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). And now “ambassadors for Christ” are going forth with the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24; 2 Cor. 5:19). They go telling the sinner that the conditions have been met, the debt has been paid. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). And now “according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7), we “are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). How this lifts us above the doctrine that requires poor, puny man to pay the debt and meet the conditions. If God lays down certain conditions of salvation, and requires us to meet them, and we meet these conditions and God saves us because we have met them; in that case Christ is left out, and obedience, and not grace, is the basis of our salvation, and Paul truly said: “If righteousness come by law (any law, for there is no article before law), then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21).