Archive for January, 2018

What Does The ‘Washing Of Regeneration’ Refer To?

January 25, 2018

Titus 3:5 reads “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” I’ve heard many brethren say the phrase “washing of regeneration” in this verse refers to baptism, but I don’t think that is exactly right. Instead it refers to the forgiveness of our sins – which does occur at baptism according to passages like Acts 2:38.

Compare the phrase to a similar phrase in Rev 1:5b “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” When the Bible uses the word “wash” to refer to the shedding of Jesus’ blood for our sins, it is using an analogy to compare our spiritual cleansing to something we might physically wash. Our salvation is the cleansing of our sins since our sins are what cause us to be lost, that is, in need of salvation (Rom 6:23).

And that exact point is made in Tit 3:5. This washing/forgiveness of our sins (in the mind of God) happens when we are regenerated according to the verse. That confirms what John 3:3-5 is saying. Salvation from sin occurs when we are “born again” or regenerated. Additionally, being “born again” involves being “born of water and of the Spirit.” That tells us the “washing of regeneration” occurs when we are baptized in water.

Acts 22:16 (“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”) mentions another phrase parallel to Tit 3:5’s “washing of regeneration” – Saul was told to “wash away thy sins.” Both phrases are referring to the forgiveness of our sins, and Acts 22:16 confirms again that that happens at our baptism.

The phrase “remission of sins” in Acts 2:38 (“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”) is another parallel to Tit 3:5’s “washing of regeneration.” And Acts 2:38 also tells us this spiritual washing/cleansing occurs at the point of baptism.

The phrase “washing” of Tit 3:5 is not an illusion to the incidental physical washing the water of baptism might do, but is referring to the washing away of our sins (via the blood of Christ) that occurs when we are born again. That does happen to occur when we are baptized, but we learn that from other passages (not Tit 3:5).


I Cor 13:8-10 – Mixing Apples and Oranges

January 18, 2018

I Corinthians 13:8-10 reads “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” A contrast between the “part” and the “perfect” (complete) is being made in this text. Let me illustrate something we can learn from that contrast …

If Fred offered Ethel a piece of an apple, and Ethel replied, “no thank you, I want a whole one,” would Ethel be asking for a whole apple, or for a whole orange? Ethel would be asking for a whole apple, not necessarily for the same apple that the piece offered came from, but a whole apple nonetheless. How would Fred know Ethel wanted a whole apple and not a whole orange? Because the whole would be of the same nature as the part.

Similarly in I Cor 13:8-10 – the perfect (complete or whole) is being contrasted with the part. The existence of this contrast indicates that the whole must be of the same nature as the part. Since the parts are the means by which they received the revelation of God’s will in parts (not a partial second coming of Christ), and since the whole must be of the same nature as the parts, then the whole (the perfect) must be the means by which we receive the revelation of God’s will in whole, that is, the completed New Testament law.  Since the New Testament has been completed (perfected), and since the parts were to be “done away” when the perfect came, therefore the parts (the miraculous gifts including tongues and prophecy) have been done away.

What Is The Perfect In I Cor 13:10?

January 11, 2018

I Corinthians 13:8-13 is admitted by all to teach that the miraculous spiritual gifts would cease “when that which is perfect is come.” But what does “that which is perfect” refer to? Many claim it is referring to the second coming of Christ, but consider the following illustrations …

• I am going to quit my two part time jobs when I get a _____.

□ glass of water

□ full time job

• The power being out, we read by candle light till the electric _____ came back on

□ shaver

□ lights

• When they moved to Dallas, they rented an apartment until they could buy a ____.

□ box of fried of chicken

□ house

• Instead of hamburgers I would rather go get a _____.

□ box of fried of chicken

□ house

• God’s revelation in parts will be done away when _____ in whole is come.

□ the 2nd coming

□ God’s revelation

Conclusion: The perfect of I Cor 13:8-10 is the complete New Testament law/revelation, and therefore the miraculous gifts ceased when the New Testament law was all completely revealed and put into one place (in the Bible) – so listeners could use it to verify what is being preached to them.

A Typical Response To The Bible Crossfire Radio Program

January 6, 2018

Following is what Anton Bergen from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) wrote on Facebook on Jan 2, 2017 regarding one of my Bible Crossfire radio programs …

So my friend Patrick Donahue actually believes that unless you’re baptized, you can’t be saved, you can’t get to heaven. What say you, my Facebook friends, do you agree with Patrick? I do not, and I’m willing to stand alone on this. … Why do I keep pointing this out? Patrick has a megaphone, a half hour program on satellite radio with possibly millions of people tuned in on Sunday nights. I find that he’s not careful enough in his teachings. Most of the calls he gets is from people who disagree with him and argue his points. …

Notwithstanding Anton’s stance, what do the following passages clearly teach on whether or not a sinner has to be baptized to be saved?:

· Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be [condemned].

· John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

· Acts 2:38 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 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

· I Pet 3:21 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: