Archive for September, 2010

Christ Died For All Who Have Died Spiritually, Not Just The Elect

September 25, 2010

II Corinthians 5:14 reads, For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead

• The Calvinist and I agree the "all" who were dead in II Cor 5:14 is not limited to the saved/elect, but is unlimited; it includes the non-elect.

• The "all" who Jesus died for would be the same in this verse as the "all" who were dead.

• Therefore the "all" who Jesus died for is not limited to the saved/elect; instead it is unlimited!

Jesus "died for ALL" !

Another Response By Michelle To Tony’s Article

September 20, 2010

Michelle makes a second response to the recent "Doctrine Matters" message (Sept 10) that proves water baptism is necessary to salvation:

was the thief on the cross baptized?

Michelle – Your question comes up frequently in the controversy over whether or not water baptism is necessary to salvation. Put your thinking cap on with me for a moment …

Don’t you believe a person has to believe in the resurrection of Christ (Romans 10:9) to be saved in this present New Testament dispensation? The thief couldn’t have done that since he lived and died before Jesus’ resurrection. That should clue us in to the fact that the thief and others who are described in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John must not have been bound by the same law we are bound by.

The truth is the thief on the cross didn’t need to be baptized for basically the same reason Moses and a host of other Old Testament children of God were not baptized, that is, the New Testament law had not come into effect yet – Hebrews 9:15-17 ("And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament … For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth"). So the thief on the cross does not provide an example of New Testament salvation. He lived while the Old Testament law was still in effect.

Remember these facts:

· The thief was forgiven before Jesus died, and Jesus’ death is when the old law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14).

· The thief on the cross died before the “great commission” of Mark 16:16 was ever given, and so of course he wouldn’t be amenable to the water baptism that the great commission requires.

· And according to Luke 24:47 – new covenant preaching and remission were to begin “at Jerusalem.” That would be a reference to the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death (Acts 2), many days after the thief died and was taken to paradise.

I Peter 3:21 says "baptism doth also now save us" – it is impossible to make it any clearer than that.

Rich Responds To Tony’s Article On Baptism

September 15, 2010

Rich responds to the recent "Doctrine Matters" on the necessity of water baptism:

Mr. Donahue, Please look at Acts 9:15. Please interpret the word (for) in this verse. It has the same idea as because. Just as in Acts 2:38.

Thanks for the good query Rich.

The word "for" in Acts 9:15 would carry the idea of "because of," but is not translated from the same Greek word "eis" that is found in Acts 2:38.

Our English word "for" can go either way, for example:

– the team got six points "for" (because of) a touchdown

– the team threw a long pass "for" (in order to obtain) a touchdown

But the Greek word "eis" is in the new testament 345 times, and it never points back to something that has already happened. Remember the following quotes from the Greek language experts?:

· "I do not know of any Greek Lexicon which gives to ‘eis’ the meaning of ‘because of.’" (Carl H. Morgan, Dean, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

· "Normally ‘eis’ looks forward, and I know of no case in the New Testament where it looks back." (D.A. Penick, Professor of Classical Languages, University of Texas)

So water baptism in Acts 2:38 is for/eis (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.

It turns out Acts 2:38 means exactly what it says after all.

For a debate on the subject of "Salvation By Faith Only" with fair representation from both sides, go to:

Reply To Michelle’s Response To Tony Hudson’s Article

September 12, 2010

The following is how Michelle responds to the last Doctrine Matters article (Sept 10) that proved water baptism is necessary to salvation:

In Acts 2:38-39 the word in the original language is “because” … not “for”

Here is my reply …


Thanks for your kind response.

The Greek word translated “for” in Acts 2:38 is “eis” and is never translated “because.” The Greek word “hina” (not “eis”) is the word that means “because of.” Notice what the following Greek scholars say about our word “eis”:

· “I do not know of any Greek Lexicon which gives to ‘eis’ the meaning of ‘because of.'” (Carl H. Morgan, Dean, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

· “Normally ‘eis’ looks forward, and I know of no case in the New Testament where it looks back.” (D.A. Penick, Professor of Classical Languages, University of Texas)

The only translation considered more accurate than the King James is the American Standard Version done in 1901. Notice how it translates the pertinent part of this verse – “repent ye, and be baptized … unto the remission of your sins.” My point is that “unto” points forward, not backward.

Notice the following definitions given for “eis” in Acts 2:38 by Greek lexicons:

· “’Eis aphesin hamartion,’ to obtain the remission of sins” (Thayer, page 94)

· “That your sins may be forgiven.” (Charles B. Williams, Baptist Translator of the New Testament and a student of Edgar J. Goodspeed)

Here are some other reasons we know that eis/for cannot mean “because” in Acts 2:38.

· The verse doesn’t just say baptism is “for” the remission of sins, it also says “repent” is “for the remission of sins.” If “for” means baptism is because a person’s sins are already forgiven, then the verse would also mean repentance is because a person’s sins are already forgiven. That would mean a sinner would be saved without repenting of his sins. I know you don’t agree with that Michelle. Just like the word “and” in Acts 3:19 means “Repent” and “be converted” are both necessary to sins being blotted out, the word “and” in Acts 2:38 means “Repent” and “be baptized” are both necessary to sins being remitted.

· Acts 2:38 also makes receiving “the gift of the Holy Ghost” conditioned upon being baptized. All agree the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost is an indication of salvation / God’s approval (Ephesians 1:13, Galatians 4:6). So regardless of what “for” means in Acts 2:38, the verse still makes baptism necessary to salvation because water baptism is said to be necessary to receiving the Holy Ghost.

Michelle, have you considered a passage like Matthew 26:28? It is the same in the Greek and the English as Acts 2:38. Both have “eis aphesin hamartion” (“for the remission of sins”). Nobody would think Matthew 26:28 is teaching that Jesus shed his blood because people’s sins were already remitted, so why should anybody think that about Acts 2:38? No, just like Matthew 26:28 teaches Jesus died in order that people sins can be remitted, Acts 2:38 teaches sinners need to be baptized in order that their sins be remitted (by the death of Christ).

In Christian love,


Belief or Baptism, What Saves Us? – by Tony Hudson

September 10, 2010

In Acts 2 Peter preached that Jesus, who had been crucified by those listening, was the Christ their Lord. We read this in Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

When the people listening to him heard this, the Bible says they were “pricked in their heart.” They believed the things Peter was preaching about Jesus. Their belief that they had indeed been party to the crucifixion of the very Messiah they had hoped for led them to ask Peter what they should do. We can read this in Acts 2:37, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

It was a question worthy of being asked. The Jewish people had waited a long time for their Messiah to come. They had hoped for him with great anticipation. Then when he came, they did not believe in him. They crucified him. Peter was explaining this to them in his sermon, and many of those listening believed. What could be done now? This was the question posed to the apostle Peter.

Peter answered their question, and we can read his answer in Acts 2:38-39. These verses say, “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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

This answer was faithful to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus told the eleven apostles who had been faithful to him what he wanted them to do in Matthew 28:19. He said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

We read of Jesus telling them the same thing in Mark 16:15-16. This passage says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

This seems to make the answer to whether it is belief or baptism that saves us simple. Jesus said both were called for. However, some believers turn to passages such as John 3:16, which says, “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.” Does this passage not teach that salvation is offered to those who believe?

John 3:16 is not the only passage that teaches belief. We can turn to the story of the Philippian jailer also. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas have been in a Philippian jail. They are freed by an act of God, when the earth quakes and the doors of the jail are opened. The jailer thinks his prisoners have escaped, and he prepares to commit suicide. Paul cried out to him not to hurt himself. No one has escaped. This jailer falls down before Paul and Silas and asks for salvation. This is recorded for us to read in Acts 16:29-30, “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”

We would think the answer would be the same as Peter’s in Acts 2:38, but it is not. The answer here is recorded in Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Are there two different answers to this question? Why does Peter tell the Jews to repent and be baptized, and Paul and Silas tell this jailer to believe? Does the Bible contradict itself? Does Paul preach a different gospel than Peter?

The answer, I believe, is best found by looking not at the question, but at the one(s) being asked the question. Think about these two events. In Acts 2, the Jewish people who heard the gospel believed it. The Bible tells us that “they were pricked in their heart.” In other words, the gospel had penetrated their heart. It had found its mark, and these hearers were moved to believe.

Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The gospel is the good news of what Jesus has done for us. He has paid the debt we owe. In him, God will forgive us of our sins. It is supposed to penetrate the heart, and turn the heart to God. It had done this in Acts 2. These hearers had believed. That is why they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

There was no reason for Peter to answer by telling them to believe. They had already believed. And it was not enough that they believed. There was more to do. They needed to repent or turn away from their sins. They needed to be baptized for the remission of their sins.

The Philippian jailer, on the other hand, had not yet been taught. He needed to hear the gospel and believe it. Notice that Paul and Silas tell him to believe in Acts 16:31, and then they teach him what to believe in Acts 16:32, “And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”

We do not ask a person to repent and be baptized when they have not yet heard the gospel. Notice too that once this jailer and his household had heard the gospel in Acts 16:32, they were baptized in 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.”

We may rightly conclude from these examples that one must first hear the gospel and believe it and repent of his sins and be baptized for the remission of his sins, and the forgiveness or remission of sins is salvation. Therefore the answer to the question, is it belief or baptism that saves us, is that God calls for the gospel to be taught, heard and believed, which will lead a faithful heart to confess, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

We see forgiveness following baptism in Acts 2:38, which we looked at earlier in this article. Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…”

We see it also in the account of Paul’s conversion to Christianity. Jesus appeared to Paul as he traveled to Damascus. Paul believed in Jesus and asked what he should do. We read this in Acts 22:10, “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said unto me, ‘Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.’” So Paul went into Damascus, and God sent a man named Ananias to him. Ananias told him that God had chosen him to be a witness unto all men. And he told him in Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

If Paul’s sins had not yet been forgiven, he had not yet been saved. His salvation came when he was baptized, washing away his sins. Peter compares this to the sins of the world being washed away by the great flood in the days of Noah. The waters of the flood lifted the ark up and saved the eight souls who obeyed God. Peter writes of the flood and baptism in 1 Peter 3:21, “The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us…”

The gospel must be preached, and forgiveness is given to those who hear, believe, confess that belief, repent of their sins and are baptized.

Sabbath Law Was Only For The Jews

September 3, 2010

The Sabbath law of the Old Testament was a sign between God and Israel, commemorating His bringing them out of Egyptian slavery, meaning it was peculiarly given to Israel, those whose ancestors had come out of Egypt. Gentiles were never required to keep it. The following Bible passages prove that:

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations

Exodus 31:16-17 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, … It is a sign between me and the children of Israel

Ezekiel 20:10,12 I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness … Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them

Deuteronomy 5:15 remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence … therefore the Lord … commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Gentiles then were no more obligated to keep the Sabbath (or any part of the law of Moses – Galatians 5:3) than we are obligated to build an ark today. Today, no one is under obligation to keep any part of the Old Testament law, the law of Moses (Ephesians 2:14-16).