When can a newly baptized believer be received into the fellowship of an assembly?

When can a newly baptized believer be received into the fellowship of an assembly?

Baptism and salvation are indisputably linked (Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36-38), being like twins in the apostolic doctrine. Baptism is the first expression of a genuine believer's spiritual progress. The Spirit of God envisages only "baptized believers" in local testimony (Acts 18: 8; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Salvation, baptism, and reception are a threefold cord (Acts 2:41). In the early church era work was genuine and therefore the steps following conversion were immediate. Today, wisdom would guide shepherds to observe a definite change in new converts, then to baptize and to prepare them for the privileges and responsibilities of the assembly fellowship by instructing them in assembly truth. Local teachers should teach such truth consistently as this is vital for new believers. The Bible-class is very valuable in this respect. The newly baptized believer should manifest a teachable, submissive spirit, desiring to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ (John 2:5). This will avert a prolonged waiting for months in the room of the unlearned (I Corinthians 14:16). When the believer requests to be in the fellowship, it is imperative that answers be given within a short period. This will preserve the young believer from discouragement and frustration. Negligence in these matters is serious and can result in stunted growth. Honesty, care and courtesy are essential. Having a care one for another (1 Corinthians 12:25), "let all things be done unto edifying" (14:26).

A. Hull