Common sense comes to the rescue. How in the world can anyone possibly think that God will accept a disobedient child, especially a deliberately disobedient child? My women’s class found at least two dozen passages in the Bible to back up this little bit of wisdom. It took far longer to read them all than to find them, and concordances and topical Bibles put together by men who actually believe that nonsensical doctrine were a big help in finding those opposing passages. Do you see a problem with this picture? It takes distortion of epic proportions to put this doctrine together.
That is not the biggest fallacy though, to my mind. If I somehow had a hundred thousand dollar automobile and told you that you could have it if you would only drive me home first, would you for a minute think you had earned that car by doing so? Of course not, unless you think that your time is worth a whole lot more than I do—almost $100,000 an hour in fact. But I bet every time I needed a ride to the doctor, you would be more than happy to offer it.
To ever equate baptism and good deeds with earning salvation is to completely misunderstand the seriousness of sin, to demean the sacrifice of Christ, and devalue salvation. Obedience can never earn the sacrifice of Deity becoming flesh, living in a world of indignities, becoming subject to sin, temptation, and death, and finally being tortured and killed by the very beings He created. Nothing is equal to that sacrifice, or to Eternity in Heaven with God. Yet that very fact ought to make us even more diligent in our obedience, not less.
No, living a faithful life, overcoming temptation, putting up with persecution on its various levels, or even dying for our Lord will never earn us a spot in Heaven, nor will menial tasks like baptism either. What we do for God is out of gratitude for a salvation we could never have managed on our own and will never be worthy of, except as He has made us worthy with a forgiveness we do not deserve. But if we think the ingratitude of disobedience makes us worthy, we’ve simply lost our minds.
Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and recline at table? Will he not rather say to him, Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty. Luke 17:7-10.