Archive for September, 2015

False Arguments For The Truth On Baptism

September 24, 2015

Quite frequently we hear false arguments made for the truth. Unfortunately many Christians repeat such arguments without investigating them for themselves.

One such argument that I’ve heard often is that whenever baptism and salvation are mentioned together, baptism is always mentioned first. Though intentions may be well meaning, this assertion is simply not true. One of the best arguments for the truth that water baptism is necessary to salvation is that both Colossians 2:11 and 13 mention the forgiveness of sins, and right in the middle of that – baptism is mentioned in verse 12 as the event at which that forgiveness occurs. But did you notice that salvation from sin is referenced in this passage one verse before baptism is?  A second example of a passage that mentions becoming a child of God before baptism but yet proves baptism is necessary to becoming a child of God is Gal 3:26-27.  Read it and see for yourself.

Another false argument for the truth is the claim that every conversion example in the book of Acts mentions baptism. This is simply not so. I think if you will really study Acts for yourself, you will find no less than 17 examples of conversion in the book of Acts where water baptism is not mentioned. (But none of these examples mitigate against the truth that baptism is a necessary step in conversion.)  Unfortunately many preachers teach there are zero such examples, because they have been told that over and over, and it never occurs to them they ought to check for themselves. If you like, request via email and I will send you these examples. Or perhaps you can find them for yourself?

Why use these trivial arguments anyway, when you can just turn to Acts 2:38 and 22:16 and read straight out that baptism is for the remission of sins, and is the point at which our sins are washed away?

Have You Ever Heard A Sermon On Public Debating?

September 16, 2015

When was the last time you heard a sermon defending public religious debating? There are plenty of verses that do just that, and we can’t just ignore them. If we say such debates are not approved of God, or do no good, or we just don’t like them, following are some of the verses we will have to cut out of our Bible:

· For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate Acts 18:28 NIV

· And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God Acts 19:8

· he (Paul) departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years Acts 19:9-10

· This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them Acts 15:2 NIV

· And after there had been much debate Acts 15:7 ESV

· he (Paul) … disputed against the Grecians Acts 9:29

· Then there arose certain of the synagogue … disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake Acts 6:9-10

· Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him Acts 17:17

· A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him (Paul) Acts 17:18 NIV

· I am set for the defence of the gospel Philippians 1:17

· that ye should earnestly contend for the faith Jude 3

· Debate thy cause with thy neighbour Proverbs 25:9

· They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them Proverbs 28:4

· One of the teachers of the law came and heard them (Jesus) debating Mark 12:28 NIV

Does The Thief On The Cross Prove Sinners Today Can Be Saved Without Water Baptism?

September 11, 2015

First, we do not know that the thief (of Luke 23:43) was never baptized. He could have been baptized with John the Baptist’s baptism before he was put up on the cross.

Second, Rom 10:9 reads “… if thou shall … believe … that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The thief couldn’t have believed in the resurrection of Christ (as an accomplished fact) – so obviously he lived under a different covenant than we do (else he couldn’t have been saved according to Rom 10:9).

Third, the thief on the cross didn’t need to be baptized for basically the same reason that Adam, Moses, and a whole host of other Old Testament children of God were not baptized; that is, the New Testament law had not come into effect yet. We can see that from a passage like Heb 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.”

Keep in mind:

· The thief was forgiven before Jesus died (therefore was not forgiven based upon New Testament law).

· The thief on the cross died before the “great commission” of Mark 16:16 was ever given (therefore was not amenable to the command to be baptized in the name of Jesus in order to be saved).

· Luke 24:47 new covenant preaching and remission were to begin “at Jerusalem” (after the thief died)

Verses like Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and I Pet 3:21 prove a sinner must be baptized in water to be saved. The story of the Thief On The Cross doesn’t contradict those passages.

All Gave Some, Some Gave All by Jefferson David Tant

September 4, 2015

For over 60 years, our neighboring town of Alpharetta has had an “Old Soldiers’ Day” parade to honor those who have served our country in times of peace and war, and thus preserved our freedom. The title, “All gave some, some gave all,” refers to the fact that all of our service men and women have given their time and effort to serve, and some have given all, in that their very lives were given and sacrificed on the altar of freedom.

But is there not an application for us as Christians? We recall Paul’s admonition to Timothy: “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (II Tim. 2:3-4).

Are not all Christians soldiers—soldiers of the cross? We sing the song “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” How would you answer that for yourself? While those in the U.S. Armed Services can retire after years of service, I was not aware there was a temporal retirement for those in the Lord’s Army. Oh, we are promised a great “retirement” one day, but not in this life.

What do we expect of our soldiers—the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard? We expect diligence, alertness, readiness. As Christians we have a Commander in Chief, not the president of the United States, but the commander of a great host. When young David approached Goliath, he said “I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (I Sam. 17:45).

What would happen to a soldier who went into battle, sought for a nice shady tree, and then sat down to watch the battle unfold? One of two things would happen. (1) He would quite likely end up dead, or (2) he would be court-martialed for “dereliction of duty.”

Why is it that so many Christians are content to sit on the sidelines? Oh, they faithfully attend church services, and are careful to avoid sinful conduct, but what are they doing in the way of being engaged in the battle for truth? Consider another of Paul’s admonitions to Timothy: “This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare” (I Tim. 1:18). The word “warfare” (ASV) is from the Greek “strateia,” which Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines as “military service, i.e. (figuratively) the apostolic career (as one of hardship and danger):–warfare.”

While most of us who read these lines may not be facing hardship and danger, that does not mean that we cannot be actively engaged in using the “weapons of our warfare.”

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints’ (Eph. 6:13-18).

This is more than filling the pews on Sunday, more than paying our taxes, more than obeying the traffic lights, and more than being nice to our neighbors. What do our soldiers do when one of their comrades is captured in battle? They set out to rescue him! What do we do about friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, store clerks, etc. that have been captured by our greatest enemy, Satan? Do we complacently go about our daily lives and make no effort to save them from eternal hell?

James encourages us to “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jas. 1:22) “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Jas. 5:20).

Yes, there are those in the world today who have given all. Many of the young girls who were captured by the Boko Haram in Nigeria some months ago were Christians. And there are Christians in other Islamic strongholds who are suffering slavery, torture and death.

While we may not be able to rescue them from temporal death, we can work to save souls from eternal death. God expects no less. He expects us to give, and give more than lip service.