Monday, May 19, 2014

The One Baptism #4

Some may be asking, “Why is all this discussion about the one baptism so important, anyway?” This is a very good question and one that deserves an equally good answer. First, let me suggest that it is a biblical topic and therefore it is important. God does not concern Himself with how you brew your tea or weather you drink sweet or unsweet but He is concerned and therefore has revealed to us the process of obeying the gospel (Rom. 10:13, 16-17).
Second, as revealed in God’s inspired revelation, baptism stands between, as a doorway to some very important and necessary items for the lost sinner:
Baptism stands between the alien sinner and...
 Salvation from his sins - Mark 16:16.
 Having his sins washed away - Acts 22:16.
 Being saved - 1 Peter 3:21.
 Putting on Christ - Galatians 3:27.
 Reaching Jesus’ death - Romans 6:3.
 Walking in newness of life - Romans 6:4.
 Belonging to Christ - 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.
 Being in the One Body - 1 Corinthians 12:13.
So, what would hinder a person from submitting to the one baptism? A lack of faith (Mark. 16:16; Acts 8:37); a lack of repentance (Acts 2:38); a lack of knowledge and understanding of divine revelation (Rom. 10:17); a rejection of the counsel of God (Luke 7:30); or maybe procrastination (Acts 24:25).


Monday, May 12, 2014

The One Baptism #3

How does one go about properly applying Scripture without offending someone? It is impossible to do so, by definition. Scripture is designed by God to change the heart of man so that he might follow the heart of God. The harder the heart of man - the greater the offense. On one occasion, Jesus asked His disciple, “Doth this offend you?” (Jho. 6:61). That which offended them was His statement, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (Jho. 6:51). At the end of that discourse, the text says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (v. 66). Nor can one properly apply the truth on the most distorted theological subject of our day, without offending someone - if something is important it is worth clarity, so here goes…
· If a person was baptized by sprinkling or pouring, as practiced by Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodist and others - they lack the proper mode in baptism and therefore, need “re-baptism” (Rom. 6:3f; Col. 2:12).
· If a person was baptized by the authority of anyone other than Jesus, such as Ellen G. White (7th Day Adventists), the Watch Tower Society (Jehovah Witnesses), Joseph Smith (Mormons), and others - they lack the proper authority (Jesus Christ) and therefore, need “re-baptism” (Acts 19:5; Mat. 28:19; cf. Jho. 14:6).
· If a person was baptized as a public confession of faith (thinking he was already saved), as practiced by Baptist, Assemblies of God and others - they lack the proper purpose (remission of sins) and therefore, need “re-baptism” (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
· If a person was baptized but was not a penitent believer, as is the case when people are baptized because their friends are doing it; because they desire to please their spouse, fiancĂ© or parents, not God; or was baptized as infants incapable of faith and repentance - they are not the proper subjects (penitent believers) and therefore, need “re-baptism” (Acts 2:38; 8:37; Mark 16:16).1


1 A special thanks to Mark Copeland of Executable Outlines; and Wayne Jackson of the Christian Courier.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The One baptism #2

Recently a Baptist preacher sent me an email regarding one of the YouTube videos we promote. In response to the video, Why I Left the Baptist Church, “Pastor Mike” wrote, “The word ‘for’ in for the remission of sins means because of, baptism is a testimony of your salvation, not the way for it to come to pass. ” What “Pastor Mike” has written is consistent with ever Baptist preacher I have corresponded with over the years. In fact, there is not a single “Baptist” preacher that would disagree with what “Pastor Mike” has written.
I bring this up in our discussion because there are some, who, over the years have been misguided regarding what the Baptist church practices concerning the doctrine of baptism. In fact, this might be a good time for us to address the four necessary items of a proper, biblical baptism. A baptism is biblical when it has the proper...
· Mode: a burial, an immersion (Rom. 6:3; Col. 2:12).
· Authority: in the name of Christ (Acts 19:5; Mat. 28:19).
· Purpose: in order to receive the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
· Subject: a penitent believer (Acts 2:38; 8:37; Mark 16:16)
When one element was lacking, “re-baptism” was commanded (cf. Acts 19:1-5). In this context the proper authority was lacking. These men, well after John’s baptism had ceased, had been baptized into John’s baptism and “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5).
There are many today, like those in Acts 19, thinking their baptism correct, who are still aliens, foreigners and strangers to the commonwealth of Christ. One must get into Christ (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 1:3), in order to posses the spiritual blessings of Christ, including redemption and forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7).