Vol.IX No.IX Pg.3
November 1972

Simon Says

Jim R. Everett

When I was a boy, we played a game called, Simon Says. One person was selected who had the authority to direct the game, but what he said was to be obeyed only if he said, Simon says. It didnt matter what Simon said —- Play dead, roll in the grass or kiss a girl (yuk!) — if you were going to play the game you had to do it. Therefore, one could be put out of the game by failing to do what Simon said, or by acting when Simon hadnt said to do it.

Simon (Peter) says to people who believe in Jesus and want to be saved from their sin: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38). In the game, pretend-Simon might have said: Take two steps forward for a soda water. Every child playing the game would have obeyed that command carefully —you see, soda waters were precious.

While every little boy and girl would know exactly what for meant, some claim today that for doesnt mean for and refuse to do what Simon says that they might be saved. Jesus said, For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for (eis,) same Greek word as in Acts 2:38, —JRE) the remission of sins, (Mt. 26:28). And we understand that his blood had to be shed in order that sins be forgiven.

Years later Simon wrote to the elect scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, etc., and said: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us... (1 Pet. 3:21). Aha, says someone, Baptism is only a FIGURE. Indeed it is, but Simon says it is a figure of NOAHS salvation by water —as Noah was saved by water, we are saved by baptism. Dont presume that Simon said that baptism was a figure of OUR salvation.

Simon explains the scriptural baptism that saves by saying, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh (i.e., not washing the body, JRE), but the answer (interrogation or appeal) of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism that saves is that which Simon said was for the remission of sins.

One lady said that Simon could not have been teaching that baptism saves (even though thats what he said), because Peter knew that men were saved by the grace of God. But, that is exactly what Simon said; hence, the baptism of which he speaks must be in complete harmony with Gods grace.

In the game, Simon Says, the difficulty was not in understanding what Simon said, but rather in willingness, at times, to condescend to the commands of the leader. Simon says that we must repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and some pretend that it is too hard to understand. But I suspect that it may be too costly for them to obey.

Do not think, however, that Simon originated such teaching. JESUS commanded Simon and other apostles to go and preach the gospel to every creature, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved... (Mk. 16:16).