Letter to a Friend (2o3)

Dear Friend, (continued 2o3)

The church is to be subject to Christ in all things (Ephesians 5:23,24). Jesus is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22,23), not any representative on earth. The church that belongs to Christ requires a “thus saith the Lord,” a scriptural reason for everything that it says and does (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1Peter 4:11; 2 John 9; Revelation 22:18,19). The church cannot go beyond that which is written. If a man teaches something other than the truth he is to be cut off from the church (Galatians 1:6-10; 2 John 9-11). That means the church will do what Christ has authorized; no more, no less (Colossians 3:17; Acts 4:7). There must be a “thus saith the Lord” before the church can act. As the army of Christ, composed of soldiers of Christ, it cannot advance unless given the command of Christ.

The commands of Christ are found in the New Testament, Jesus took the Old Testament out of the way, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:12-14; Ephesians 2:14-17; Galatians 3:1-5, 17-29; 4:21-5:5; Hebrews 8:1-28; 12:18-29; 13:11-12; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18). We are not under the Old Testament, for Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).

The conditions for pardon and fellowship are given in the New Testament. Those who receive pardon and are accepted into the fellowship of the church are:

  • those who, having HEARD the word of God, and have FAITH (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1,6);
  • those whose faith causes them to REPENT (Acts 17:30; 2Peter 3:9);
  • those who CONFESS their faith in Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 8:36,37; Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 10:32,33);
  • those who are IMMERSED in water in order to obtain the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Galatians 3:26,27; 1Peter 3:21);
  • those who REMAIN FAITHFUL in obedience, for those who walk disorderly are rejected John 15:1-6; 2Peter 2:20-22; Revelation 3:15,16). Any other conditions are commandments and doctrines of men.

The church is subject to Christ in organization. There is no organization revealed in God’s Word larger than the local congregation. The local congregation is to have a plurality of men who watch over that congregation who are known as elders, overseers, bishops, and pastors (Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; Titus 1:5-7; Ephesians 4:11). This is not one individual, but a group of individuals. These men must meet all of the qualifications set forth to serve (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). There is no record of a singular pastor over a congregation. The local congregation also has deacons who meet the qualifications (Philippians 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13). 

The local congregation also has preachers, or evangelists (Acts 21:8; 2Timothy 4:1-5). The church no longer has living apostles or prophets (Acts 1:21-26; Ephesians 2:20).  There is no separation of clergy and laity, for all are priests unto God (1Peter 2:5,9). A congregation can exist without elders, deacons or a preacher.  But no man has the right to assume the eldership without the correct credentials.  We cannot make up our own government for the church.

The church is to be subject to Christ in its worship. The local church meets together in one place upon the first day of the week, every week, and partakes of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; Matthew 26:26-30; 1Corinthians 11:17-34). The church as it gathers together sings without instrumental music nor specialized singers (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). The worship also includes prayer (Acts 2:42; 12:5), preaching (Acts 20:7), and a free will contribution (1Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6,7). During the assembly the women are to keep silence (1Corinthians 14:34,35; 1Timothy 2:11-15).

  • Friend, do the “churches” that you are attending realize and teach that the church is the saved, and since it is that which Christ shed his blood for, and is the Savior of, you must be a part of the church to be saved?
  • Do the “churches” that you are attending teach and practice that Christ is the head of the church, rejecting all creeds and councils for the church, and accepting the New Testament as their only creed book?
  • Friend, Do the “churches” that you attend justify their actions from the Old Testament? or do they abide by the doctrine of Christ?
  • Do the “churches” you attend teach and practice the conditions of pardon and fellowship that the apostles revealed by inspiration, or do they have other conditions?
  • Friend, do the “churches” you attend have the organization found in the New Testament? or do they have a state, regional and/or national organization?
  • Do the “churches” you attend follow the New Testament plan for worship in partaking of the Lord’s Supper every week, having congregational singing without instrumental music, praying, preaching the word, and having a free-will contribution?

Ask the preachers if they have a creed book. Ask them if they have a ruling council. Ask the preachers if they justify their actions by the Old Testament. Ask them what it takes to become a member of their denomination. Are the answers to these questions the answers which are given in the New Testament? Are they the church you read about in the New Testament?

(continued next week)

MANIFOLD wisdom pt8, the DOCTRINE of Christ

There is a DOCTRINE of Christ to be followed.

This last lesson is about the Doctrine of Christ. Some would have you believe the error that there is no law under the New Testament. They will claim that there are no commands to be followed, worship is personal and that Jesus accepts you as you are without repentance. This also includes that a person cannot so sin as to lose their salvation. This is wrong.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” [2John 1:9]

Since there is a DOCTRINE of Christ, what is it and what are we to do with it?

As we begin this study, let’s be reminded of the words from Jesus;

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

[Luke 6:46]

This article is unable to give you every point about the Doctrine of Christ, nor shall it be a creed. The Doctrine of Christ is the New Testament scriptures. I will address 8 key points about the Doctrine of Christ.

Doing some of Christ’s Doctrine would not do if we haven’t completed the primary part. That is to obey the Gospel for salvation. The gospel is the Death, Burial & Resurrection of Jesus [2Thess 1:8-9; 1Cor 15:1-5; Heb 5:8-9]. How do you obey the DBR? Our Baptism is the culmination of our Faith in Christ. When we’ve Heard the Gospel, Believed it with all our heart, Repented of our sin, and Confessed that Jesus is the Christ, we become eligible to follow Christ into His Death, Burial & Resurrection [Rom 6:3-4]. God working through our faith [Col 2:11-12].

It then follows that OBEDIENCE to the Doctrine becomes the way of life for the Christian. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [1Tim 4:16; cr. Rom 6:17-18]

Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Mat 28:18]. What this means is that CHRIST has all authority. We as the created have no authority to make up a law of requirements for other men to follow. CHRIST, as the Head of the church, has that authority. He has given us all thing pertaining to Life & Godliness and we are to do our best to follow. [2Peter 1:3-5]. This is not limited to the ‘words in red.’ The entirety of the New Testament are His commands as given to the Apostles & inspired writers through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. [1Cor 14:37; John 16:13; 1Peter 1:20]

After Jesus commanded that we obey the gospel, He then said that His doctrine was to be TAUGHT to these new creatures. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” [Mat 28:20; cr. 2Tim 2:2] It would not do for the Christian to remain in their former understanding of morality [1Cor 6:9-11]. The Christian is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” [2Pet 3:18; Heb 5:12; 1Peter 2:2; 2Tim 3:15-17].

The Doctrine of Christ teaches that it’s possible to neglect, sin, and shipwreck our faith [Heb 2:3; Gal 5:4; 1Tim 1:19]. Therefore, we are to be on guard and REMAIN Faithful. This would be easy if our faith wasn’t under attack [1Peter 4:12; Eph 6:10-17]. Christ calls us to remain faithful even if it causes our death. [Act 2:42; Rev 2:10]

Christ, through His Doctrine, also expects us to INCREASE our faith, to abound in Love, Good Works and thanksgiving [2Pet 1:5-12; 1Co 15:58; 2Co 8:7; Php 1:9; Col 2:7; 1Thess 4:1; 2Thess 1:3; Rom 15:13]. Christians grow, mature, and produce, each according to their ability & opportunity.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:” [1Thess 3:12]

Throughout the Old Testament we see warnings for the people of God not to revert back to their former sinful ways. It should come as no surprise that the Doctrine of Christ has this same warning and admonition. We are to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER Turn Back! The Apostle Peter said it in a very descriptive way; “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” [2Peter 2:22] When you understand that a Christian has their sins “washed away” [Acts 22:16; 1Cor 6:9-11] then this verse makes perfect sense. Do you suppose that a Christian that quits the faith, “turning to his own vomit” “a sow wallowing in the mire” is going to heaven? There are so many passages warning us to NEVER turn back. [Heb 6:4-6; 10:29; the Book of Galatians; Lu 9:62]

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:” [Heb 12:25]

The Doctrine of Christ teaches us to perform a self-EXAMINATION as to whether we’re even in the faith. This self-EXAMINATION is to be done daily, and weekly in worship [1Cor 11:1; 2Cor 13:5]. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

When we recognize that there IS a Doctrine of Christ, it follows that it is to be kept & obeyed. “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,” [Titus 2:7]. The doctrine also recognizes our weaknesses & failures. It gives instruction, hope, and assurance about that as well. [1Joh 1:5-10].

There is only one DOCTRINE of CHRIST and we are not to change it by adding to it or taking from it. [2John 9; Rev 22:18; De 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:6]. Neither do we blend it with the Law of Moses. [Col 2:14]

All MUST Obey the Gospel

MANIFOLD wisdom of God pt 1

All MUST obey the Gospel.

The first and foremost truth that will answer many objections is the fact that everyone MUST obey the gospel to be saved.

This is easily shown by looking at the New Testament Scriptures.

2Thess 1:8 …rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

see also; Rom 1:5; 10:16; 16:26; [emph mine seb]

Denominational people will come to you saying

  • “Baptism is not essential to salvation.”
  • “No works of man can save you.”
  • “Ask Jesus into your heart and you’ll be saved.”
  • “What about the thief on the cross?”
  • “By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.”

They will especially appeal to emotionalism

  • “Do you mean to tell me my mother, that godly woman, who was a (insert denomination here) all her life is lost?”
  • “What if you’re on the way to be baptized and you die?”

They may even quote a few scriptures out of context

  • Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
  • Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I believe all these passages, and I hope you do as well. However, I believe them in their context as well as in context with everything else Jesus said about salvation including baptism.

WHAT SAVES US?

Let’s answer one of the main objections to baptism. It is stated this way; “No work of man or from God can save you. If you get baptized, you’re working for & trying to earn your salvation.”

Colossians 2:11-14.

When you’re accused of salvation by ‘WORKS’ reply, “Yes, but it’s not me doing the work. Let’s look at Col 2:11-14.”

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

“…the working of God,” [ASV]

First, It’s God who is WORKING when we are baptized. It is God’s work, [Isa 29:14; Hab 1:5; Acts 13:41]

“…raised with him through faith…”

Obedience to God’s command is never considered earning anything. He’s working through OUR faith, our trust in His working. Our obedience is part of faith. James wrote, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” [Jas 2:17]

wherein also ye are risen with Him…”

When we are baptized, we are being buried as dead sinners, then God’s working allows us to be RAISED with Christ being made alive, being forgiven of all our trespasses. [v13; Rom 6:3-4]

“…he make alive together with him;” [v13]

This scripture lets us KNOW what we’re doing in baptism, understanding that it is God working through our faith. It is not a blind faith, nor just a feeling. We may KNOW that we have eternal life. [2Tim 1:12; 1Jo 5:13]

“…having forgiven us all our trespasses;” [v13]

Lastly, because it’s God WORKING through OUR faith and that we are being RAISED with Christ, KNOWING we’ve obeyed the commands of God, we can be certain that we’ve worked out our SALVATION with fear and trembling. [Php 2:12; Acts 2:40] “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”

The Book of Acts, a book of conversions

Conversions in the Book of Acts

A mistake that is made in learning what we must do to be saved is by consulting only the books written to the saved without looking at what else is said in Scripture.

For example, many will quote the book to the Roman Christians; (Rom 10:9) without considering what Paul taught the Romans when he dwelt there for two whole years. [Acts 16:30]

They will quote the book written to the Ephesian Christians; (Eph 2:8-9) without considering what Paul taught the Ephesians [Acts 19:1-5].

These two examples show us why we must look into the book of Acts to see what lost people did. Those who heard the gospel and either obeyed it or rejected it. This is why it could be called the book of Conversions.

Let’s examine just a few of the conversions in this book to see how they responded to the preaching of the Gospel as commanded by Christ Jesus. [Mat 28:18-20]

Jews at PENTECOST [2:14-47] This represents the first gospel sermon after the DBR of Christ. The beginning of the church that Jesus promised to build [Mat 16:18] and the first example of those being saved. “Be saved from this perverse generation.” What happened? They HEARD the gospel [22-36]. They believed [37]. It must be inferred that they CONFESSED Jesus as the Christ the Son of God [Mt 10:32]. They were told to ‘REPENT & be baptized’ [38]. They were BAPTIZED into Christ [41] and 3,000 were added to the church. Then we see them ‘CONTINUING steadfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, which is from Christ [42; cr. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; 1Cor 14:37].

THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH [8:26-39] This man is reading from Isaiah and struggling with its meaning. Philip approaches him and is invited by the Eunuch to explain the passage. We then are told, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” What Happened? He HEARD the gospel of Jesus [35]. He BELIEVED [36-37] It is inferred that he REPENTED [Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30]. He CONFESSES that Jesus is the Christ [37]. He is BAPTIZED with water, by immersion, into Christ [38-39 cr. Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]. He went away REJOICING [39].

The Apostle PAUL (Saul of Tarsus) [9:1-18; 22:6-16; 26:12-19]. While on his way to persecute the church of Christ, Saul saw Jesus risen from the dead. He HEARD & BELIEVED [9:5-6]. He was REPENTANT [9-11]. He CONFESSED [5-6]. He was BAPTIZED [18]. When retelling of this event, he states that baptism was the moment his sins were washed away [22:16].

CORNELIUS [10:1-11:18] This story tells of the first Gentile conversion. We must read chapters 10 & 11 to get the full picture. They were told to HEAR and they HEARD [6, 22, 33-43; 11:14]. It is inferred that they REPENTED & CONFESSED [Luke 13:3; Act 17:30; Mat 10:32]. They were BAPTIZED in water [47]. They received remission of sins [43].

Chapter 11:1-18 contains the retelling of this event by Peter to those of the circumcision who contended with him about being with gentiles. This retelling is necessary to show that God had made the same gospel plan of salvation available to every nation [Mat 28:18-20]. Up to this point, the preaching had been only to the Jews. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” [Rom 1:16] The “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” only occurred twice, here and at Pentecost. It was done to show God’s approval at the beginning.

As you can see, the book of Acts shows people obeying the Gospel. The same method can be applied to…

LYDIA [16:14-15]

THE JAILER [16:25-34]

THE CORINTHIANS. [18:8]

THE EPHESIANS [19:1-5]

The same Gospel requires all after Pentecost to HEAR, BELIEVE, REPENT, CONFESS, be BAPTIZED in water & have FAITHFULNESS. God shows no partiality, no bigotry. The Gospel is for all and all must obey the Gospel in the same way. God is no respecter of persons.

He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” [Hebrews 5:9; cr 2Thess 1:8-9; 1Cor 15:1-4] –Spencer

Preaching JESUS in order

Preaching JESUS.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.[1Cor 1:17]

Many will cite the above verse as proof that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. Does it really mean that? Not if you understand the context of the passage and the problem of sectarianism that existed in the church at Corinth.

Another point can be drawn out of this passage; preaching the gospel of Christ out of order. Because denominations reject baptism so vehemently, we often place baptism at the front of preaching of the Gospel.

It reminds me of a preacher trying to reach a denominational group. He said, “I think I’m only making them better Lutherans.”

We often preach against certain sins and unscriptural practices of denominationalism. (ie. instrumental music, social gospel, false worship etc.) While we are preaching the truth, there are preeminent truths.

Here’s an illustration of what I am saying. Before a child can run, they must first build strength to crawl, then stand, and then walk.

Another illustration is the building a house. We never begin to build with the roof! We begin with pouring a foundation, then the walls, and then the roof.

Much of our preaching emphasizes baptism without laying first the foundation of the Authority of Christ. We rightfully understand that the ‘steps’ of salvation are; Hear, then Believe, then Repent, then Confess, and then be Baptized. Once we become Christians we Grow and Endure. Unfortunately, we get caught up cramming faithfulness and baptism verses down the throats of those who haven’t truly yet believed in the Preeminence of Christ. [Col 1:18]

Jesus gave us the order when He gave what is commonly called “the Great Commission.” “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” [Matt 28:18-20]

An evangelist named Philip met up with a Eunuch where we read that he “preached unto him Jesus.” [Acts 8:35]. While nothing else is revealed about his preaching, we can necessarily infer that ‘preaching Jesus’ included submission to His authority.

How can we preach Jesus?

Philip…preached unto him…

JESUS, Acts 8:35; Matt 28:18-20 ‘Go ye…’

We begin with showing that

JESUS is the Christ, and He has all authority.

Mat 28:18 “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.”

Hebrews 1; Mark 9:7 ‘Hear ye Him.’

Hearing is first, and hearing leads to Believing. [Rom 10:17; John 20:30-31]

Preaching Jesus must include the

EXAMPLE of His life leading to His Death, Burial, and Resurrection.  

This is the GOSPEL. 1Cor 15:1-4

Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must

SUBMIT to His will,

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Mat 7:21-23; John 14:15; 15:14; 1John 5:3]

“And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” [Col 3:17]

This teaches us about Repentance from sins and Confessing Him.

Preaching Jesus must include teaching that we must go

UNDER the water to come in contact with His blood,

The Eunuch, upon hearing the preaching of Jesus, concluded baptism was necessary for Salvation. [Acts 8:35-38]

Matt 26:28; Rom 6:3-4

Only after laying the foundation of Hearing, Believing, Repenting, Confessing, will we have laid the foundation for scriptural Baptism. Mat 28:19

With a foundation in the Authority of Jesus, they’ll also believe they’re

SAVED if they Grow and Endure until the end.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2Peter 3:18

“But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 24:13

Matt 28:20; Rev 2:10

Spencer

Fifth of Seven Musts of Salvation; BAPTISM

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” [1Peter 3:21]

When presented with this passage and the others in this article, you’d think that a believer would jump at the opportunity to obey the commands of God & His Son Christ Jesus. Sadly, most will argue using denominational dogma to argue against God.

We didn’t invent baptism for salvation, God did. It perfectly matches His word. It matches what Jesus did. He died, was buried and was resurrected. [1Cor 15:1-4]

We’re commanded to obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9], but how does one obey DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION?

BAPTISM in water through faith in the working of God!!!

#5, we must be BAPTIZED: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. Matthew 28:19
  • Mark 16:16
  • Acts 2:38
  • Acts 10:48
  • Acts 22:16
  • Rom 6:3-4
  • Gal 3:27

These are just a few of the many verses that command & show a believer must be water baptized to have their sins washed away and be saved. We didn’t bring this up, God did.

What is

BAPTISM? Mat 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:35-33; 22:16

It is a BURIAL and a resurrection. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

It is AUTHORIZED by Christ’s command. [Mark 16:16]

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is PART 5 of conversion. [Acts 2:38]. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and be BAPTIZED.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It TRUSTS God’s working, not our own. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

We are baptized INTO Christ & a putting on Christ.

[Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism SAVES you. [1Pet 3:21]

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”

It is done at MIDNIGHT, midday, or the same hour upon H-B-R-C. Not a scheduled monthly social event. [Acts 16:33]

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

If your denomination schedules baptisms, they don’t believe it is essential for salvation. People in the bible obeyed God IMMEDIATELY, the same hour. [cr. Acts 8:36]

Spencer

6 MORE simple objections pt5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

The Objection goes like this: “If baptism was important, how come Jesus didn’t say, ‘and is NOT baptized’ in the second part of Mark 16:16. If both parts are not present in the second half, then the part omitted is unnecessary.”

This falls under the silly category, not just the simple. Yet, I was given this objection recently in an online discussion. NO, the second part of verse 16 doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized,’ and it doesn’t need to. The second part is contingent upon the completion of the first part. Look at the following illustration.

OMISSION of the second part is completely logical without the presence of the first part. “He that has food & eats it shall be nourished. But he that does not have food will perish.” If you don’t have the 1st part, the second part avails you nothing.

When you TAKE AWAY any part you won’t be saved. The person without belief is condemned already. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:18] “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” [Heb 11:6]

6 More Simple Objections pt4; What if I’m in a desert?

What Really Turned the Sahara Desert From a Green Oasis Into a ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #4; What if you’re in a DESERT?

I heard his objection and the next one just this week in my public evangelism. They really are being used. An associate pastor [I don’t know what an associate pastor is] said, ‘What if you’re in a desert and want to be baptized, then what?” I replied, ‘Let me show you a bible passage.’ He ignored me and walked away. Folks, these are not straw man arguments, they are being used by error to justify disobedience to God. Let’s reason together and learn how to answer them.

The Objection goes like this: “Baptism isn’t required because if a believer was in a desert or on a battlefield, they would not be able to be baptized.” These kinds of “what if” arguments prove nothing and don’t change what God has said. They actually lead to error, ie, Sprinkling instead of immersion. God can extend mercy as He sees fit however, we are not God and only know what God has revealed to us. [Deut 29:29]

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

[1Thess 5:21]

DON’T GO beyond the word of the Lord. I cannot go beyond or below the word of the Lord. Consider carefully these passages about adding to or taking away from God’s word.

  • Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. [Deut 4:2]
  • What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. [Deut 12:32]
  • For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [Rev 22:18]
  • Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. [Prov 30:6]

EXCLUDING one command that saves EXCLUDES them all. What saves us? Look at the chart on the last page. All of these are essential.

SALVATION is at the place God puts it. Forgiveness is at faithful baptism. God drew the line of salvation at baptism. We’re not the final judge. All we can say is that such a person does not have a Biblical hope of salvation.

  • And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. [Acts 22:16]
  • Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Acts 2:38]
  • He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Mark 16:16]
  • The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1Peter 3:21]
  • And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? [Acts 8:36]

EXCEPTIONS come from God, not man. God gave the children of Israel an exception to the Passover timing [Num 9:9-13]. God gave it, not man. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord to do good or to do evil. [Mat 7:21-23] It’s presumptuous to speak where God is silent. “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” [Deu 18:20] While we have no authority for stoning law breakers, the principle still applies. God makes the rules. [cf. 2Timothy 2:5] There are no exceptions to baptism.

REPLACING commands of God has been tried & failed. Naaman tried that. [2Kings 5:1-14]. A key verse: “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” [v13]

TURNING AWAY from the command of God is rebellion & blasphemous. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” [1Sam 15:23; John 12:42; 6:66]

This objection leaves us to wonder if it’s really about ability or willingness.

–Spencer

6 More Simple Objections pt3; What if I die on the way to baptism?

Apologetics Press - Do We Die to Sin Before Baptism or In Baptism?

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #3; What if someone dies on the way to be baptized?

The Objection goes like this: “What if a person believes in Jesus and is saved, but on the way to be baptized they are killed before they can be baptized? I think God will save them because they were actively seeking to do the will of God.”

How to Answer: The first thing to note is that a usual part of this objection is the line, ‘they are saved after believing.’ There is no salvation by faith alone. It’s a subtle twist in the objection, so be sure you note it and correct it. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:16]

Once that is addressed, you can move on to answer the main objection. What if I die GOING to the water?

First, remind them of GOD’S PLAN. We don’t get our authority through ‘I think, my opinion’ etc. The Bible states that we must first believe the Gospel, that Jesus is the Son of God, repent from our sins and to be baptized for the remission of our sins:

  • “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
  • “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
  • “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:47).

Repent means to turn away from your sins. Remission means forgiveness.

Next, the objection stands if you can find just ONE PERSON who doesn’t need to be baptized. If so, then nobody needs be baptized. They want the made-up exception to be the rule. We have no authority to make exceptions to God’s commands.

IMMEDIACY is seen in the text. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16; cr. Acts 16:33).

NOBODY is saved until they obey the Gospel. [2Thess 1:8; Rom 10:16-17]. Believers Baptized in water is the dividing line.

GOD KNOWS the end from the beginning. If questions will lead to every kind of disobedience. Here’s one, what if a person is on the way & will hear the Gospel and would have believed, but dies before hearing? I’ve had folks tell me the person would be saved! That means they’re saved before BELIEF! This is an egregious error based on ‘what if’ scenarios. ‘What If’ questions have no part in determining authority. The Word from God written in His scripture is our source for information. [Col 3:16]

Now, what does baptism represent? It represents Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Rom 6:3-6). [cr. Col 2:12; Acts 8:35-37; Acts 22:16; Gal 3:27]

 

–Spencer

6 more SIMPLE OBJECTIONS pt1

Nice ways to say you're wrong in English - The London School of ...

 

6 more SIMPLE OBJECTIONS pt1.

These are called simple objections because they could have been easily answered by the questioner through a casual reading of the text. In some cases, the objection has a mocking tone and aren’t very serious. Even then, with the application of a bit of reason they are easily answered.

God has said, “Come now, and let us reason together,” [Isaiah 1:18]

Faith in God is not blind. There is a preponderance of evidence that we may reason & consider. [Heb 11:1,6]

These simple objections are presented with this in mind, Let’s Reason Together.

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #1; Was Saul (later called Paul) saved on the road to Damascus?”

This objection sounds like this; “Saul (later called Paul) saved when he fell off his horse on the road to Damascus.”

The Objection may be answered this way: Not everyone mentions a horse, but when they do you should recognize that this person either hasn’t read the passage or isn’t handling it aright. A casual reading of [Acts 9:1-9; 22:1-16; 26:12-20] will show that no horse is ever mentioned. This is a clear example of someone ADDING to God’s word.

This is an important first defense to many objections, are they accurately portraying what the text actually says? By going to the text, many misunderstandings could be readily cleared with a careful reading of scripture.

Here are 4 more answers to this simple objection:

If Paul was saved on the road to Damascus then why was he SAD, SCARED & SIGHTLESS for 3 days? For a saved person, he is the saddest saved person on record. Everyone else is rejoicing for their salvation. [Acts 9:6; 18; 22:10-16; cr Acts 8:39]

He was told to ARISE and go into Damascus to be told what to do. If he was saved on the road, he was saved without his knowledge of the gospel or the things he must do. ANANIAS had to tell him what to do. [Acts 9:6; 22:10].

His sins were yet UNWASHED. If he was saved on the way to Damascus, he was still in his sins. Ananias said, “arise and be baptized, washing away your sins.” [Acts 22:16] Can anyone assert that salvation occurs with one’s sins? This doesn’t make any sense.

Saul still needed to LEARN what he must do. Jesus didn’t tell him he was saved. For 3 days he waited Sightless & Afraid, deep in prayer and fasting. Why? Because he, as do we all, needed to hear the words of eternal life. Just as Cornelius in Acts 10:6, 22, 33. Romans 10:14, which Paul (previously Saul of whom we’re speaking about) wrote, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Instead of telling him what to do to be saved, Jesus sent him to Damascus where a preacher, Ananias, would tell him the words on how to be saved.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

[1Cor 1:21 emph. mine seb]

No, Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved when he obeyed the Gospel. The message hasn’t changed for us today. [Rom 6:3-4]

We must Hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, Believe it, Repent of our sins, Confess that Jesus is the Christ and be Baptized for the remission (removal) of our sins. We are then to live faithfully until death. It was the same for Saul, it is the same for us, it is the same for everyone. God is no respecter of person.

 

–Spencer