Archive for September, 2020

Why Did The Acts 19:1-7 Disciples Need To Be Rebaptized?

September 24, 2020

Why did the Acts 19:1-7 disciples need to be rebaptized? I think Paul gives us a clue as to the reason in verse 4 – “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.”

John’s baptism, when it was valid, required candidates to believe on the Messiah to come. When a person believed that, and repented of their sins, they received the remission of sins (Mark 1:4). But later, after Jesus had completed his ministry, died, and been resurrected, one had to believe in the resurrected savior Jesus Christ as the Messiah (Rom 10:9). Though believing in Jesus’ resurrection is required for scriptural baptism now, that would not have been possible when John the Baptist was baptizing, as Jesus had not been resurrected yet. Evidently the disciples of Acts 19:1ff had been baptized with John’s baptism, based upon a belief in the Messiah to come, after Jesus had been resurrected and the baptism of the great commission became requisite, and said baptism requires a belief in Jesus’ resurrection.

If someone today was immersed based upon a belief the Messiah was soon to come, we would immediately recognize that person’s baptism was invalid. Such would need to be taught Jesus Christ the Son of God has already come, died, and been resurrected (past tense). And then rebaptized based upon that updated truth.

And can we see the parallel to one who has been baptized, but not “for the remission of sins” as Acts 2:38 requires? If a sinner was immersed thinking they already had received the remission of sins at the moment they believed on Christ, then they would need to be retaught about the Biblical purpose for baptism, and then rebaptized with that correct purpose in (their) mind.

How Are We Purified In The Sight Of God?

September 17, 2020

A form of the word “purify” is used several times in the New Testament. One of the definitions of the word “purify” according to dictionary.com is “to free from guilt or evil.” That should be the goal of every person, but just how is that accomplished?

First consider from Tit 2:14 (“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works”) that Jesus died for us that we might be purified. I think this is primarily talking about the forgiveness of sins we get from the blood of Christ, but notice that our response to that redemption should be that we are “zealous of good works”; our choices are involved.

Acts 15:9 reads “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” So for us to be purified by the sacrifice of Christ, we must have faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6).

But faith alone will not save (James 2:14-26). I Pet 1:22a says “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.” See, we have to have faith (“know … God”) and “obey … the gospel of … Christ” to avoid being lost eternally (II Thess 1:8-9). “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb 5:9).

And after our souls/hearts are initially purified by obeying the gospel, we need to follow through on that commitment. James 4:8 reads “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” The blood of Christ purifies us (washes away our sins, Rev 1:5), but God expects us to do our part in remaining clean.  We must “purify” our hearts; it is up to us to stay out of the mud, i.e., the sins of the world (II Pet 2:20-22).

What Does It Mean To Worship God In Spirit?

September 10, 2020

John 4:24 reads “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” We know worshipping God in truth would mean worshipping God according to his word, because John 17:17 says “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” God’s word defines for us what the truth is. But what does it mean to worship God “in Spirit”? From the verse starting off with “God is a Spirit,” we know it must have something to do with worshipping God with our spirit. But the following three verses might shed some more light on just what it means …

Josh 24:14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

I Sam 12:24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

II Chron 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.

Three Cases Where God Does Not Forgive A Person Even If He Repents

September 3, 2020

Passages like II Pet 3:9, Acts 3:19, 8:22, and I John 1:9 teach that as a general rule, if a person repents of a sin, God forgives him of that sin (based upon the blood of Christ – Rev 1:5). But there are at least three exceptions to this rule …

First, it doesn’t matter how much a non-Christian repents of his sins, if he is never baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), he will never be forgiven for all those sins he has repented of.

Second, even a Christian will not be forgiven of a sin, no matter how much he repents of that particular sin, if he is not willing to forgive others of their sins against him (Matt 6:14-15, Luke 17:3, Matt 5:7).

And third, nobody can be forgiven of the “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” (Matt 12:31-32) no matter how much they repent of committing it – it is the unpardonable sin.