My wife and I have a visit to make this Tuesday. A young lady who professes to having come to faith in Christ wants to be baptized. The problem is that she is living with a boyfriend. She has 2 sons by a previous relationship, so sexual immorality has been an ongoing issue in her life for quite a while. I tend to immediately respond to things in a cut and dried way. John said, "bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance." If there is not evidence of repentance, then she should not be baptized. But then, I wonder, what if in talking to her she (1) does give a credible profession of faith, and (2) acknowledges that she knows her cohabitating is sin and that she and her boyfirend have definite plans to make this right. I GUESS WHAT I AM STRUGGLING WITH IS THAT NO NEW CONVERT HAS EVER BEEN BAPTIZED HAVING COMPLETELY PUT EVERY SINFUL PRACTICE ASIDE. Living together in sexual immorality is a more obvious sin than a new believer struggling with the use of bad language and yet I think I'd realize the need for spiritual growth and sanctification and discipleship in the latter case and would probably baptize one who acknowledged that bad language is sin and that only with God's help can he as a Christian stop using bad language. The other factor is that others are more likely to know that this person is cohabitating and it would seem as if our church is making a mockery of baptism. It isn't a sin that is more hidden than others and would more likely give our church a bad testimony.
What is your advice? How would you deal with this woman if there is definite evidence of the work of God's grace in her life?