CAN A PERSON LIVING IN ADULTERY BE BAPTIZED?
by Garland M. Robinson
Is God willing to forgive every sin? Can a thief, liar,
murderer, homosexual, idolater, hater, fornicator, adulterer,
drunkard, etc., receive forgiveness? Second Peter 3:9 says,
"The Lord...is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance." Therefore, a person living in any of these sins
can receive forgiveness in baptism IF HE/SHE REPENTS. Water baptism
saves (1 Peter 3:21). Sins are washed away in the blood of Jesus at
baptism (Revelation 1:5; Acts 22:16).
The KEY to forgiveness of any and all sins is REPENTANCE.
Repentance means to change one's mind, to think differently,
reconsider. Repentance manifests or exhibits itself in a change of
life and practice. Therefore, those guilty of adultery stop
committing adultery. Those guilty of lying, drinking, hating,
stealing, fornicating, sodomy, etc., stop practicing these sins.
The Bible gives an example of those guilty of such sins stopping
their practice of them and receiving forgiveness. "Know ye not
that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not
deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with
mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,
nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such
were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but
ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit
of our God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Some at Corinth had been
adulterers but they repented and stopped.
Can an adulterer be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts
2:38) and continue in adultery? The answer is obviously NO. Can one
continue the practice of stealing, lying, sodomy or drinking and be
scripturally be baptized for the remission of sins? Certainly not!
Jesus said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it
be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:
and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery"
(Matthew 19:9). To divorce one's husband/wife (except for
fornication) and marry again places one in an adulterous marriage.
To repent means the adulterous marriage must be dissolved. One
cannot be right with God and continue in adultery any more than one
could continue lying, stealing, drinking, etc.
Adultery can be forgiven, but repentance must take place first.