Archive for January, 2010

Acts 22:16 Proves That Baptism Is Necessary To Our Sins Being Washed Away

January 31, 2010

In Acts 22:16 Ananias told Saul of Tarsus, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Last time (message) we concluded that Saul (the apostle Paul) was not saved at the point of his faith, because Acts 22:16 proves he still needed his sins washed away at least three days (Acts 9:9) after he believed that Jesus was Lord. An important point we didn’t mention is the fact that Acts 22:16 tells us that baptism is the point at which God washes our sins away. As we’ve already seen, forgiveness does not occur at the point of faith; instead it occurs at the point of our water baptism led to by our faith (Mark 16:16).

The word "and" is used in Acts 22:16 to show that the second joined clause is dependent upon the first clause like the following example sentences:

· James 4:7 – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

· everyday example – Cut my yard, and receive your five dollars pay

So in Acts 22:16 the washing away of Paul’s sins was contingent upon Paul being baptized.

Acts 22:16 is just another verse that clearly proves that baptism is necessary to our salvation.

Acts 22:16 and the Conversion of Saul

January 30, 2010

A common denominational position is that a person is saved at the point of faith, that all you have to do is "accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour." But this theory is disproven by the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (later known as the apostle Paul). Baptists conclude that Paul was "saved on the road to Damascus" because he believed at that point. And it is true that Paul did believe when Jesus appeared to him on the road (Acts 9:5-6, 22:8-10, 26:15-18). Not only that, Acts 9:11,9 shows that Paul prayed and fasted, indicating that he had also repented of his sins. But was Paul saved from his sins at the point of his faith on the road to Damascus? The answer is decisively no, because we read in Acts 22:16 of Ananias telling Paul something to do in order to get his sins washed away, and that was at least three days after Paul believed in Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was still in his sins at least three days after he believed in Jesus as Lord! Paul’s conversion account clearly proves that a person is not saved at the point of faith. The apostle Paul’s sins were not washed away until at least three days after he believed (at his baptism).

Limited Atonement vs. Romans 14:15,23

January 26, 2010

Romans 14:15,23 reads But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, … Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. … he that doubteth is [condemned] if he eat, because he eateth not of faith …

“Condemned” in this passage is translated from the same Greek word as “destroy” in Matthew 10:28b: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in [everlasting punishment].

This is the same Greek word as “condemned” in Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.

There is no stronger word to mean spiritually lost than “condemned.”

So Romans 14:15,23 teaches that some for whom Christ died will be destroyed, that is, condemned.

This contradicts John Calvin’s “limited atonement” position that all for whom Christ died will be saved.

Conclusion: Christ’s atonement is not limited to the saved/elect.

Second conclusion: The doctrine of “once saved always saved” is not true, because Romans 14:15,23 shows the possibility of a brother in Christ becoming condemned.

Matthew 7:18 A Good Tree Bringeth Forth Good Fruit

January 24, 2010

Matthew 7:18 reads, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

A Calvinist recently quoted the above verse in an email to me to try to prove that man does not have the ability to choose to do right or wrong, that God unchangeably predetermines that for each and every man. But what the Calvinist forgets is that a person has control over what kind of tree he will be, and whether or not he will stay that kind of tree.

It is true a person which is a good tree, that is, has a "honest and good heart" (Luke 8:15) will choose to believe and obey Jesus, but passages like Ezek 18:31 shows that each person is to "make you a new heart," so we have control over what kind of heart (tree) we will have/be. And passages like Heb 3:12,1 show that "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (good tree, honest and good heart) can change their mind and develop "an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." In other words, once a person chooses to be a good tree and brings forth good fruit and is saved, he does not then turn into a robot.

To teach that God picks out some and forces them to do good and picks out others and forces them to do bad flies in the face of passages like Acts 10:34-25 that says that "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." Any theory that says that man has no choice in the matter contradicts hundreds of plain passages. Josh 24:15, reads, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in those land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." "Choose" in Josh 24:15 means "choose," not "forced."

Matt 7:18 is saying the same thing as Matt 7:7b which reads, "seek, and ye shall find." God does guarantee that true seekers (good trees) will find (bring forth good fruit). But the fact that he commands us to be a true seeker (good tree) necessarily implies that we have a choice in the matter. You can be a good tree and obey God and be saved (Heb 5:9, Matt 7:21), or you can be a bad tree and obey the devil and live with him forever. It is your choice.

For What Reason? – Acts 2:38 and Matthew 26:28 (by Dan Peters)

January 18, 2010

Jesus said, "for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins" (Mat. 26:28). Jesus’ blood was "poured out" on the cross as he gave up his life. The shedding of His blood was "for the forgiveness of sins". If someone says it was not for that reason, we would surely wonder why Jesus said this if it were not true.

Peter also said "for the forgiveness of your sins". He said this is what baptism is for. "And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins". But many denominations tell us that baptism is not for this reason. Then I must wonder why Peter said it if this is not true.

Then a preacher will step forward, as has been done many times and try to tell us the Greek words here are different, with different meanings. Well you don’t have to know Greek to see that the phrases are the same.

"for forgiveness of sins" (Mat. 26:28).

"for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38).

The only difference between these two phrases is one is general – "of sins", and one is more specific – "of your sins" . If the blood of Jesus was shed "for the forgiveness of sins" then baptism is also "for the forgiveness of your sins".

Baptism without the blood of Jesus would be worthless. But also the blood of Jesus without access to it does a person no good. Jesus chose and decreed baptism as our means of access to His blood. Baptism is a work of faith, says Paul, "having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God…" (Col. 2:12). Do we have enough faith to believe in His blood? Do we have enough faith to be baptized? Do we have enough faith to follow God’s word and not the preacher?

Some Verses Mention Only Faith ?

January 16, 2010

By far the most common method for trying to prove "faith only" salvation is to quote verses that predicate salvation upon our faith and mention no other conditions, John 3:16 being a prime example. But as we will show, this is not a sound argument.

There are many, many passages stating conditions for salvation, yet not one (that I can remember) even states both belief and repentance in the same verse. Yet everybody agrees that both belief and repentance are prerequisites to salvation from sin. According to the above reasoning, how could repentance be necessary to salvation, when repentance is not mentioned in John 3:16? For that matter, according to the above reasoning, how could faith be necessary to salvation, when only repentance is mentioned (and not faith) in Luke 13:3?

Following are some other salvation texts that demonstrate the fallacy of the reasoning we are addressing is this message:

Matt 6:14-15 only says we must forgive others in order to receive forgiveness of our sins from God. Does that prove neither faith nor repentance are necessary?

John 5:25 only says we must hear God in order to receive forgiveness of our sins from God. Does that prove neither faith nor repentance are necessary?

Rom 10:9-10 only says we must believe and confess in order in order to be saved. Does that prove repentance is not necessary?

Acts 2:38 only mentions repentance and baptism as conditions of pardon. Does that mean faith and confession are not necessary?

I Pet 3:21 only shows that water baptism is a condition of salvation. Does that prove faith and repentance can be left off?

To counteract this point, knowledgeable Baptists debaters say that belief is sometimes used as a package word or synecdoche. A synecdoche is a commonly used figure of speech where a part of something stands for the whole of that something. For example we might say "twenty head of cattle" when we mean twenty whole cows. I Peter 3:20 speaks of eight souls being saved by water, when it was the whole person that was saved in the flood, not just the soul.

Notice the following quote from one of the more experienced contemporary Baptist debaters – "Faith (is) a ‘package word’. … The Bible package contains repentance, trust, love and the presence of the Holy Spirit" (quote from Bob L. Ross in the "Elkins-Ross Debate," pages 205-206).

Since Mr. Ross admits "faith (is) a package word," and says that faith includes things other than faith (trust) itself, including repentance, love, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, his position cannot be proven by a passage simply because it only mentions faith, because he admits the word includes other contributions.

The question then becomes → does faith, when used as a package word (sometimes called a synecdoche), include obedience to baptism or not?

To answer this, both Mr. Ross and I use the method as put forth by another Baptist (Owen): "If Scripture speaks of something as necessary for eternal life, that ‘something’ must be part of true belief."

So it all comes back to → do the baptism passages teach the necessity of baptism to salvation? The faith passages do not reflect on the baptism passages, because complete faith could (does) include obedience (James 2:22b) to baptism; as Mr. Ross puts it, "faith (is) a package word."

Instead of picking out one verse to the exclusion of others, the proper method should be to take what every verse says. Jesus says in Matt 4:4 that we should live by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." All conditions listed by the new testament law as being necessary, are necessary, no matter what verse we find them in.

Acts 2:38 And Baptism For The Remission Of Sins

January 14, 2010

Acts 2:38 reads, "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 should seem clear from this verse that today the "remission (forgiveness) of sins" and the "gift of the Holy Ghost" are contingent upon a person being baptized in water, but many want to argue against this conclusion. Some say "be baptized … for the remission of sins" means because of the remission of sins, meaning a person is baptized because their sins are already forgiven. Admittedly our English word "for" can mean "because of," but the Greek work in this case ("eis") never looks back. The meaning of the Greek word makes it clear that baptism is order to obtain the remission of sins.

Aren’t those making this argument forgetting that Acts 2:38 also has "repent … for the remission of sins"? If the verse means be baptized because of the remission of sins, then it would also be mean repent because of the remission of sins, meaning a person repents because his sins are already forgiven. Repentance would not be necessary to salvation from sin according to this false theory.

Compare Acts 2:38 to Matthew 26:28. They are the same in both the Greek and English in the respect we have been discussing. But nobody believes Jesus shed His blood because our sins were already taken care of first (by another method). No, we all understand that for/eis means "in order to" in Matthew 26:28, and consistency demands that it means the same in Acts 2:38.

Doctrine matters (II John verse 9). Baptism is supposed to be done "for the remission of sins." If it is done for another reason, then it wouldn’t be scriptural baptism, would it?

Addictions – I Corinthians 6:12

January 12, 2010

Someone getting into a driving accident after having been drinking should show us the dangers of alcohol. Why ever do it at all? Anything you have to eat or drink to make you “feel happy” will only serve to make you always feel “sad” unless you consume more. Alcohol is addictive. Meaning once you start drinking, it is hard to stop. And the best way to make sure you never get addicted is to never take your first drink. Any drinking of alcohol will hurt your example before Christians and non-Christians alike (Rom 14:21). If they know you drink, they will have a hard time respecting what you are trying to teach or stand for religiously.

Illegal drugs are even worse. And even drugs prescribed by the doctor can be dangerous for the same reason (and because they usually have bad side effects). Be careful in this regard.

Smoking is also addictive. People have the hardest time trying to stop smoking. At work I see people standing out in the freezing cold and rain just to smoke a cigarette. They have become a servant to nicotine. Coffee can be the same way. Ever wonder why some people have go to Starbucks twice a day? Because they are slaves to caffeine.  (I don’t put coffee in nearly the same category as alcohol, drugs, and smoking)

Notice the following translations of I Corinthians 6:12 …

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. (New International Version)

You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. (Complete Jewish Bible)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (English Standard)

Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life. (God’s Word Translation)

Someone will say, “I am allowed to do anything.” Yes; but not everything is good for you. I could say that I am allowed to do anything, but I am not going to let anything make me its slave. (Good News Translation)

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything. (Holman Christian Standard)

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (New American Standard)

“I am allowed to do all things,” but all things are not good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. (New Century Version)

Some of you say, “Everything is permitted for me.” But not everything is good for me. Again some of you say, “Everything is permitted for me.” But I will not be controlled by anything. (New International Reader’s Version)

You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. (New Living Translation)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (Revised Standard Version)

Everything is allowable to me, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable to me, but to nothing will I become a slave. (Weymouth New Testament)

And II Peter 2:19b reads in the ESV – “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”

The Difference Between The Basis And Conditions Of Salvation (by Phillip Owens)

January 6, 2010

Failing to see this difference leads to confusion over salvation, especially when the question is raised, “What must I do to be saved?” “I believe we are saved by the blood of Jesus; you believe we are saved by baptism,” some say. The truth is, our salvation is not an “either/or” when it comes to the above.

Defining basis and conditions

Concerning our salvation from past sins, there are two major components or sides. First, there is God’s side (the basis) of our salvation. Second, there is man’s side (meeting conditions God has set forth) of our salvation. Understanding this simplifies much confusion many have with some Scripture.

The basis of anything involves the bottom or foundation of something, its principle component, its first principle or cause. Insofar as our salvation from sins is concerned, the basis of it is with God. He is the first principle or cause. Even “before the foundation of the world,” God made provisions for our redemption from sins through Jesus’ coming into the world and shedding His blood (see I Peter 1:18-20).

Understanding this makes passages that emphasize God’s love and grace as parts of our salvation simple. They do not nullify conditions on man’s part; they simply emphasize God’s part – the basis of our salvation.

The basis of our salvation involves what God has done; conditions involve what we must do. Neither excludes the necessity of the other.

For example: “But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved)” (Eph. 2:4-5). And another, “But when the kindness of God our savior, and his love toward man appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Tit. 3:4-5). These passages do not teach that man is to do nothing, but they rather emphasize what God has done to provide our salvation. Qualities of God’s character such as His mercy, love, grace, and kindness are emphasized and shown to be the basis, the first principle of our salvation. Without these wonderful attributes of God, we would have no hope.

Conditions are prerequisites, stipulations, or terms upon which the fulfillment of an agreement depends. Whenever God gives terms or conditions for our salvation, these do not nullify the basis of our salvation, they simply emphasize a different aspect of it.

Understanding this makes passages that emphasize man’s part in our salvation simple.

For example, when Jesus told the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature, and anyone who believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mk. 16:15-16), belief and baptism are then conditions the Lord set forth that allow us to enjoy salvation Jesus made possible. What is its basis? Jesus, the gospel, God’s love, etc. What are conditions? In this passage, faith and baptism. God provided the basis of our salvation; our meeting His conditions makes it possible in our individual cases.

When Jesus said, “except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (Jno. 8:24), He did not nullify God’s grace or what He Himself would do – shed His blood; He was simply emphasizing what people need to do. When Jesus and Peter told people to “repent” (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), they were not discounting God’s grace or love, but were rather emphasizing what people had to do to be saved – conditions of salvation.

Therefore, the basis of our salvation (God’s part – His love, grace, kindness, Christ’s blood, etc.) does not mean that we do nothing, that our salvation is wholly of grace. It simply means that God is the original cause, the foundation, the first principle of our salvation.

Yet God has set forth conditions we must meet (man’s part – our faith in and obedience to His gospel). If that is not the case, one must admit universal salvation, which Jesus Himself denied (Matt. 7:13-14).

This means that our salvation is not based only, solely, or wholly on any one thing. But some teach that it is. While many Baptists claim the Bible as their guide and do not follow a formal creed, their own historians state that “The New Hampshire Confession was prepared by a committee appointed by the New Hampshire Baptist Convention and was adopted by that body in 1833” (The Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual, p. 144). Furthermore, from their writings we read, “We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace” (Church Manual designed for the use of Baptist Churches, J. M. Pendleton, p. 47). This denies conditions, including faith! “Wholly” means “complete, to the exclusion of anything else” (Webster). The Bible teaches otherwise.

Illustration

Lauderdale County supplies water to the church building here on Elgin Hills Drive. At some point years ago, those in local government made provisions for county water in this area, even before the church building was built. They likely thought it was good for the area and would stimulate growth for housing and businesses. Therefore, our having water piped in was based on someone’s forethought, and how it would improve this area (the basis of our having water). However, in order to “tap” into the water supply and continue to enjoy it, certain legal actions at the beginning had to be followed (established address, perhaps a connection fee), and monthly bills have to be paid (all of which are conditions).

Most understand that both were and are necessary for county water to be enjoyed.

The simplicity of this is equally seen in our salvation. When the apostles preached the gospel (good news about what God had done to provide our salvation) throughout the book of Acts, they also gave conditions sinners had to meet to access that great salvation God made possible.

Let us give thanks for God’s part, His grace, all Jesus has done, and for all the elements of our salvation that only God could make possible – the basis of our salvation. And let us never forget our responsibilities – conditions He gave.

Different Views On Belief And Baptism

January 4, 2010
  • Atheist – He that believeth and is baptized shall not be saved (doesn’t see the need for salvation)
  • Catholic – He that believeth not and is baptized shall be saved (infant baptism)
  • Baptist – He that believeth and is baptized not shall be saved (doesn’t see obedience as being required)
  • Jesus – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16a)