Belief in the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ is the primary requirement, as seen in Acts 8:12 :
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12
The Kingdom of God
- God will establish His Kingdom under the ruler-ship of Jesus at the return of Jesus to this earth.
- The saints, now sleeping in the dust of the earth, will be resurrected and given immortality and will help Jesus to rule the Earth.
- Jesus will take control from the current human governments and establish a just, equitable government to the glory of God.
- Jesus and his immortal saints will be the rulers and the mortal survivors of the end times will be the subjects.
- Jerusalem will be the capital city and the nation of Israel plays an important part in God’s plan.
- Conditions will be wonderful – there will be no war and no famine and all will seek to learn God’s ways.
The Name of Jesus Christ
- Jesus came to save us from our sins.
- Jesus was and is a reflection of God – he manifested God to mankind.
- Jesus taught us the way of self–sacrifice and service to God – making the ultimate sacrifice for us – shedding his blood so that our sins can be washed away – giving his life as a ransom for us.
- Jesus told us to take up our cross daily and to follow him.
- Those who take on the name of Jesus through baptism into his death, rise from the waters of baptism to a live a new life, dying to the service of sin and living to serve God, following the example of our Lord.
Jesus gives some good advice about becoming his disciple in Luke 14:27-33:
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27-33
It is a serious commitment to follow Jesus and one which should not be undertaken without weighing up the consequences in our life. We need to understand what we are entering into and be prepared to make the changes that are necessary to put Christ and God first in our life.
We also need to distinguish the true gospel from the corruptions of the gospel which have proliferated since the original gospel delivered by Jesus and his disciples.
Faith is essential before making the decision to be baptised. What is faith? It is belief. To believe something, you have to know about it and know the evidence for the truthfulness of the claim.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); (9) because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. (13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (14) How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (15) And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” (17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:8-17