Archive for September, 2014

The Key Difference Between The True Biblical Faith And Most Denominations

September 26, 2014

One key difference between the true Biblical faith and most denominations is that the Bible teaches we must adhere to God’s New Testament law if we want to be saved eternally by the death of Christ. Belief, by itself, is just not enough. There are many dozens of passages that teach such, but following are six for your immediate consideration …

Hebrews 5:9 Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him"

Matthew 7:21 "he that doeth the will of my Father … shall enter into … heaven"

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”

James 2:24 "by works a man is justified, and not by faith only"

II Thessalonians 1:8 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”

I Peter 1:22 "ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth"

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The Right Baptism by Ed Bragwell

September 21, 2014

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:1-5).

One thing should be clear from this text — just any baptism will not do. The Ephesians had been baptized, but they needed to be baptized again. They had been baptized unto John’s baptism — a baptism that was no longer in effect. It was not the baptism of the great commission. It was a baptism preparing the Jews for the coming of the Christ. By the time the Ephesians were baptized the Christ had come, died, was buried, and had risen from the dead. He had given the baptism of the great commission. The Ephesians needed to submit to that baptism — baptism “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” One must be baptized to be saved (1 Pet. 3:21), but he needs to be sure that he is rightly baptized.

The Right Authority

The second baptism that the Ephesians received was “in the name of the Lord Jesus” or by His authority. “In the name of” suggests authority. If a policeman says, “I arrest you in the name of the law,” he is invoking the authority of the law. When Jesus gave the great commission he declared that he had all authority and commanded that people be baptized in order to saved (Matt. 28:18-28; Mark 16:15-16)

Bible baptism is not by church authority. No New Testament congregation ever voted on anyone before he could be baptized. It is not by preacher authority. No one is specially “ordained” to “administer baptism.” If one wants to be baptized in the middle of the night, he has the authority of Christ to do so. No church needs to assemble and vote on him. He does not have to find an “ordained minister” and ask if he can be baptized. One can be baptized anytime, by anyone and anywhere there is enough water to do it. He has all the authority that he needs in the word of God.

The Right Element

Baptism “in the name of the Lord Jesus” is not baptism in the Holy Spirit. In Acts 8, after the Samaritans were baptized, Peter and John went down to lay hands on them to miraculously impart the Holy Spirit to them. In explaining why this was necessary, Luke writes “For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 8:16). They had been “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” but the Holy Spirit had not fallen on them. If baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus had been Holy Spirit baptism, then it could not have been said that “as yet he (Holy Spirit) was fallen upon one of them.” When one was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he fell on them (Acts 10:44; 11:15).

Baptism “in the name of the Lord” is water baptism. Notice the connection between “water” and being “baptized in the name of the Lord.” “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:47-48).

The Right Purpose

The purpose or objective of “baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus” is “the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). It is to submit to the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). It is not to please any person on earth. It is not to get into any denomination. There were no denominations in New Testament times. It is not to show that one has been saved, but in order to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). As result of being baptized, one is saved and added to the one body — the church (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13).

The Right Action

Not only is the right baptism in water, it is immersion in water. It is immersion by definition. It is a transliteration of the Greek, baptizo: “to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (used of vessels sunk)” (Thayer). It is immersion by description. It is describe twice as being “buried” in baptism (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12). It is immersion by demonstration. Two outstanding New Testament examples demonstrate that baptism is an immersion. Notice the Ethiopian eunuch’s baptism: “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? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:36-39). The fact that they both went down into the water indicates immersion rather than sprinkling or pouring. Also, “John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized” (John 3:23). It does not take “much water” to sprinkle or pour.

The Right Preparation

Baptism alone will not bring the remission of sins. It must be preceded by the right preparation. Before being baptized, one must be taught the word of God and have faith produced in his heart (Mark 16:15,16; Rom. 10:17). One must also repent of his sins (Acts 2:38) and confess his faith in Christ (Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10). After one has met these prerequisites he is prepared to be baptized. Babies and very young children are not prepared to be baptized. They have no sins of which to repent. They have no need for forgiveness. They are not capable of having faith produced by hearing the word of God. Hence, they have no need to be baptized.

What about your baptism? Is it like the one you read about in the New Testament? If not, you need to consider being baptized correctly.

Ted Clarke’s Argument Against Women Preachers Also Proves God’s Covering Requirement Is Still Applicable Today

September 12, 2014

Gospel preacher Ted Clarke wrote the following against “women preachers” in his Fulton County Gospel News in Nov 1997:

The first reason given for the restrictions on women is the order of creation, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (I Tim 2:13, NKJV). This certainly cannot be said to deal with just a local, temporary cultural situation or with a grumpy old man. This goes all the way back to the sixth day of creation and makes a fundamental argument for the headship of man over the woman – “Adam was formed first, then Eve” (cf. I Corinthians 11:8-9). This explains a basic concept of God’s intended relationship between man and woman.

Now notice how Paul used the same “Order of Creation” to argue for God’s covering requirement in I Corinthians 11:8-9: For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

If the “order of creation” proves God’s prohibition against women preachers is permanent and not just cultural in nature, then why wouldn’t the same argument (both used by Paul) do the same for God’s covering requirement?

The Truth

September 5, 2014

So many religious people don’t seem to think God’s truth matters. They think there are many ways to heaven (Christian, Judaism, or Islam). They think all the different Christian type churches are right even though they all teach different things. Can 2 plus 2 equal 4 and 5 at the same time? If only one answer is right in mathematics then only one answer is right in religion also, and that would be God’s answer, understood by reading His word (Eph 3:4).

Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:38 "what is truth?" It seems most so called Christians don’t know the answer to that question anymore. The answer is "thy word is truth" (John 17:17b). And in the first part of John 17:17, Jesus taught that we are sanctified through that truth. That implies false teaching (religious error) will not cause us to be "sanctified" (made holy, forgiven). John 8:32 reads "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." So only Bible truth will save us from sin. That implies religious error will cause us to be lost. Yet many run merrily along not checking, not caring what they are being taught (Acts 17:11, Matt 15:14).

Not only must we believe the truth, we must obey the truth. Rom 2:8 shows that those who "do not obey the truth" will receive "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish" from God. Gal 2:5 and 14 show that the gospel is the truth, and Col 1:5 shows the "truth of the gospel" is found in God’s word. And II Thess 1:8-9 teaches that if we "obey not the gospel" (the truth found in God’s word), God will "in flaming fire taking vengeance" on us and we will be "punished with everlasting destruction." I Pet 1:22 says we purify our souls in "obeying the truth." And yet many say as long as we believe in Jesus, it doesn’t matter if we obey what He said / the truth (Luke 6:46, Heb 5:9, Matt 7:21)?

Yes the truth is "narrow" (Matt 7:14). But if we want to be saved, we must believe and obey the truth, not the doctrines and commandments of men (II John 9, Matt 15:9). If we love and respect Jesus, and appreciate what He has done for us, then we will believe what He said and do what He told us to do.