The Salvation of the Christians: The Cross, Part 4 (Baptism, Part 1)

Bible and crossI admit it. I’m still recovering from back surgery. I’ve been in a lot of pain for a long time. And I’m running low on patience. I’m especially impatient with the endless repeating of the Church of Christ vs. Baptist arguments on baptism.

It’s not that the issue isn’t important, but —

1. It’s not nearly as important as we imagine. If it were, then every third word of the NT would be “baptism” or “Sinner’s Prayer.” And it’s just not. The NT authors seem to have had other priorities.

2. Quoting your pet verses while ignoring the other side’s pet verses is not Christian argumentation. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy. It’s self-deceiving. The other side’s verses are just as true as yours, regardless of how many times you put your verses in all caps, bold, italics, and underlined — with exclamation points.

3. Therefore, any honest-to-God solution to the riddle begins with admitting that there’s a riddle to be solved and with honestly seeking to find an outcome that fits ALL the verses.

4. The old arguments are wrong. On both sides.

5. And the most tiresome part of the debate is the false assumption that there are only two possible outcomes. It’s assumed, without proof or even reflection, that if one side is wrong, the other side is right — when, in fact, it’s entirely possible that both sides are wrong — or, at least, not entirely correct.

Yes, there is no passage that says “faith only” saves, but there are several that say “everyone with faith is saved. “Everyone” could be reasonably interpreted to mean “everyone.”

Quote James 5,000 times, and the fact remains that when Paul and John use “faith” they include in their meaning faithfulness and trust. No one is arguing the antinomian position, that is, no one believes that saved people can act in rebellion against God’s known will and remain saved. Some people believe that saved people cannot so rebel (I would disagree with that), but no one claims that that rebellion and salvation can co-exist in the same person.

The “Sinner’s Prayer” is foreign to the early church and the NT. There are references to calling on the name of the LORD (taken from Joel 2), which Peter explicitly associates with baptism in Acts 2. Acts 22:16 is a plain allusion to Joel 2:32, which is the proof text Peter uses in Acts 2:38. I can find no example of someone “calling on the name of the LORD” apart from baptism.

Yes, 1 Pet 3:20 says that “baptism … now saves you.” But it also says “baptism … now saves you … as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Grammatically, the “appeal to God” is in fact baptism.

On the other hand, even those in the Churches of Christ readily admit that the power of salvation is not in baptism but in the cross and the resurrection.

The early church always associated baptism with salvation. Even when salvation was disconnected from baptism, as in the case of Cornelius, the church couldn’t imagine an unbaptized Christian. Cornelius was saved before he was baptized, but he was baptized nonetheless.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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31 Responses to The Salvation of the Christians: The Cross, Part 4 (Baptism, Part 1)

  1. Sam says:

    Jay, whenever I sit down to discuss differences in scriptural interpretation, there are some guidelines, or underlying principles, which I like to know are firmly in place. They seem strongly appropriate for the discussions you’re talking about here. Without these guidelines, much scriptural discussion is destined to be acrimonious and futile. They are:

    1) All scripture is inspired; but more than that, all scripture is EQUALLY inspired. No argument can be won just by saying, “Yeah, but THIS scripture says. ..”
    (Which leads to. . .)

    2) All scripture agrees. No scripture, properly understood and applied, will contradict any other scripture properly understood and applied. If two passages seem to disagree or seem to be in contradiction, then our understanding of at least one of them (and possibly both) is faulty.
    (Which leads to. . .)

    3) We must seek out the whole counsel of God. In our quest to show a certain understanding to be true, we cannot ignore passages that may seem to argue against the position we are taking. We must take it all and determine how it all works together. We must determine the meaning of a passage in the context of its chapter, its book, its testament, and in the context of the whole Bible.

    If we could get disputants to acknowledge and practice these, maybe we could get somewhere with a discussion.

  2. laymond says:

    “The “Sinner’s Prayer” is foreign to the early church and the NT. There are references to calling on the name of the LORD (taken from Joel 2), which Peter explicitly associates with baptism in Acts 2. Acts 22:16 is a plain allusion to Joel 2:32, which is the proof text Peter uses in Acts 2:38. I can find no example of someone “calling on the name of the LORD” apart from baptism.”

    As for calling on the name of the Lord.

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    As for baptism being necessary.

    Mat 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
    Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

    NLT
    But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
    Footnote:
    * 3:15 Or for we must fulfill all righteousness.

  3. Richard constant says:

    WelS good morning J
    I have a friend and I think you’re related to him.
    Well maybe anyway.
    And he’s about 43 years old, about six foot one, you know one of those guys that don’t have a neck!
    I saw him Wednesday afternoon,
    And so I said ,
    he’s always getting broken ribs and stuff like that.
    Dave you going to go out and catch hockey pucks tomorrow!
    well you guessed it he’s the goalie on a hockey team.
    And they just go out and play for fun.
    and so J here you are and my analogy of this conversation is.
    So you’re going to go out and catch hockey pucks today…
    hope you got all that brand new gear, big kid!
    rolling over laughing out loud.
    Blessings J

  4. Richard constant says:

    I hate to bail on you there big kid,
    and maybe I’ll say something when everybody goes to bed.
    but as I have stated before!
    I are ignorant!
    🙂
    may God go with you! and always remember J.
    don’t forget your helmet.

  5. Jim H says:

    I’m weary of this topic also! Al Maxey had a good essay on this, “Do we treat baptism as a sacrament?” Or something like that, meaning, as I understand him, that the definition of a sacrament is that (the physical act of baptism) itself bestows grace. I think many in our tribe believe that; many can’t wait for their child, or a soon to be son or daughter-in- law to
    get dunked, so the family can relax with the thought “their now in the fold of saved believers.” Really! Is that all there is to it? Baptism in OT Judiasm and early church history was far different in its view. It’s faith in the sin offering of Jesus that saves and that faith is symbolized in baptism Rom 6.

  6. Dwight says:

    Sam, very profound and true.
    Even among the most conservative who push for some things, they don’t apply all scripture equally. If we warn strongly against wine to the point of almost condemning it based on Prov.23, we don’t and wont condemn food based on Prov.23, even though drunkneness and gluttony are within the same passage and wine and food are within the same context. This is bad and not playing fair with the word of God. And then for some reason we will use parts of Prov. as law and not other parts, even when Proverbs was never used as law by the Jews. They used the Law as law. But then again the Pharisees made up many rules as law and it seems we are not far behind.

  7. laymond says:

    Sam said; “All scripture is inspired; but more than that, all scripture is EQUALLY inspired.”

    Sam, The word “scripture” appears over thirty times in the “New Testament” and every time it refers back to writings in the
    “Old Testament” . as a matter of fact the places you have to be referring could not have been referring to “New Testament” writings. Because they did not exist at the time.

    Here Paul is speaking of the “Scripture” that Timothy studied as a child, which had to be the Jewish bible.

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    And we for sure know what Peter is talking about, because he designated the time of which he speaks. (prophecy came not in old time )
    2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    So yes we can question what men of faith wrote, you state that men of today do not understand the bible, so why do you believe that men two thousand years + ago were infallible in their understanding.

  8. Sam says:

    Laymond, before I answer anything else, I should be certain that I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying that what we call “the New Testament” is NOT to be considered holy scripture on the level of what we call “the Old Testament”?

  9. laymond says:

    No, Sam what I said was when we make a statement as you did, we should be prepared to back it up with scripture from the bible. I am waiting for your directions to that backup scripture.

  10. David Newhouse says:

    The “model” for baptism that fits all Biblical verses is halfway between the Baptist and Church of Christ models.

    We were not saved by baptism because we did a required deed commanded by God. Baptism is the “deed” to our salvation. A land deed is said to convey ownership of land because it is the tangible evidence that the previous owner wishes to convey ownership to a recipient. In the same way baptism is said in the Bible to convey remission of sins and salvation to a believer. The deed is not the reason for the transfer of land or salvation, but the evidence the land or salvation is being transferred. It is common to count the handing over of the deed as when ownership changes hands. In ancient times a deed or ritual was performed by the buyer and seller to finalize a land transfer. Baptism is a ritual performed by a pentitent believer and one standing in for Christ in which the gift of salvation is handed over because of God’s grace. Someone of the church “signs” the deed to salvation.

    In the NT it was strongly insisted or commanded that believers be baptized. In the same way, if I were giving my grandchildren some land, I would insist or command that they accept a deed from me. If one of them didn’t, I would wonder if they really appreciated the gift or if they planned to make use of the land.

    Ownership of land can be transferred without a deed, at least in Texas. Continual occupation of the land for a number of years can count for ownership. I see it the same way with salvation. However, if I am receiving land, I want the deed. If I am receiving salvation, I want the baptism.

  11. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    David N,

    I don’t know Texas law, but in most states, land cannot be conveyed except by deed due to the Statute of Frauds, which we inherited from the English. But Texas is different from other states in countless ways. (Community property, for example.)

    In Alabama, a better analogy would be marriage. Whether it’s a church wedding or a judge wedding, we expect to be married in fact at the moment the wedding ceremony takes place. As a rule, no ceremony, no marriage and sex is fornication. The ritual matters and defines the moment that the marriage covenant goes into effect.

    But under the common law — the English law most states inherited from Great Britain — a couple can become married by agreeing to be presently married (as opposed to agreeing to marry in the future) and by evidencing this intent in some objective manner, such as introducing themselves as Mr. and Mrs. And they are just as married as if they held 20 licenses, submitted to 50 blood tests, and were married by 100 bishops.

    Most states have restricted or eliminated common law marriage, but Alabama remains true to its British forebears. We recognize the marriage at common law as a perfectly good marriage — and it requires a full-fledged divorce to end it. There is no common law divorce.

    However, to enter into a common law marriage is foolish because it leaves open the question of whether you really are married, and many a lawyer has earned a nice fee arguing for or against a common law marriage — and many a widow has been denied death benefits because she couldn’t prove her common law marriage. The ceremony, the witnesses, and the license matter because they remove any doubt as to whether the couple truly intended to marry presently.

    Just so, baptism is the normative moment when we enter into covenant relationship with God. Even the Baptists and Calvinists admit that there has to be a moment when someone transitions from lost to saved — when the Spirit is received. We aren’t saved by percentages. It’s all or none. And baptism fits the bill pretty nicely and has quite a lot of both scriptural and historical support in being the normative rite when covenant is made. Just like a wedding.

    But common law marriage exists for a reason. If the couple truly intends to be presently married and they’ve truly committed to be in covenant relationship with each other, then it’s better to treat them as married than as fornicators. After all, they did as much to get married as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Maybe more. And marriage is ultimately about the heart and commitment to be faithful (in the Greek, to have faith), not the wedding ceremony.

    So it’s no insult to weddings to honor marriages at common law, nor does it make weddings truly optional. Very few in Alabama consider a wedding optional because of the common law alternative. And it would be irresponsible to encourage couple to forego a wedding. Indeed, many a couple married at common law eventually go to the courthouse, buy a license, find a judge, and “make it legal” even though it really was already legal. But it’s easy to see why people do that, and I would never criticize such a decision.

  12. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rich,

    If the guy is healthy, 6′ 1″, and an athlete, we cannot possibly be kin. Or one of his parents way up.

  13. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Sam,

    You have a very good approach, but I’ve too often not seen it work. We become so emotionally tied to our positions that we just aren’t willing to let them go. Sometimes we want to feel superior to “the denominations” too much. Sometimes we’ve been taught we’ll be damned if we shift positions. Sometimes we’ll lose the love of our families if we shift. The joy of Thanksgiving dinner with family often depends on refusing to budge from an indefensible position.

    I can’t count the times I’ve been disappointed by the blindness of an otherwise very intelligent, thoughtful brother or sister in Christ.

    On the other hands, every once in while, someone comes up to me and says something like, “Do you remember how mad I got at you in Bible class 10 years ago? The horrible things I said about you? Well, I went home, pulled out my Bible, and looked for verses to prove you wrong — and you were right. Thank you. Sorry that it took this long for me to see it.”

    So the Spirit sometimes finishes an argument that we only begin to make. I imagine that are many people persuaded after the fact who’ve never told me. Which is fine. I’ll hear about it after the resurrection.

  14. David Newhouse says:

    Jay

    Marriage is a good analogy for baptism. The deed analogy answered a question for me. It has sometimes been said that baptism does not procure salvation but it is the instrument God uses to convey salvation. My question always was, “Why does God need an instrument to convey salvation?” Now I realize He doesn’t need an instrument, we need the instrument. As in transferring property, the seller, except to obey State laws, has no need for the legal instrument, the deed, he gives the buyer. If the buyer pays for the land. the deed is neither here nor there for the seller. As far as I know, In Texas, one does not have to accept a deed to own the property. I do know that it is the buyer’s responsibility to record the deed. The buyer can toss the deed in the trash without recording it, but it may cause him grief later down the line,

  15. Larry Cheek says:

    Jay,
    Considering your post regarding the marriage law in Alabama. Several weeks ago I mentioned that there are many widows and widowers in my area of the country who live together both maintaining homes which they alternate between. They never marry because of the financial impact of the loss of benefits from the previous spouse. I questioned the concept whether God might see them as married because of a committal they made to each other, this seems to fit the Alabama law perfectly. Most of these individuals cannot be found associating with a church or Christians for fear of, or because they have been counseled that they are sinning and would be condemned for their actions. Could the Christians be in error and actually out of order?

  16. Richard constant says:

    ok now, I’ll see if I can keep this simple jay,
    now then what did Jesus say to the disciples about what the Advocate would do and how and why he do it. that way
    the advocate is going to glorify the word As the word glorified the father. I’m using the words this way for the purpose of putting into perspective what I would call the chain of command based on mutual respect Of schema redemption.
    the purpose becomes the promise, and the promise is what blessing, and sO.
    so now how let’s have a look at this word baptism.
    Acts 2:38 now what were these folks guilty of, and since there is a relationship here with God through the word by the Holy Spirit , and so now the Advocate has come he will bring to remembrance everything that Jesus told his disciples Jesus told him not to worry about the words that they were going to speak because spirit who represents Christ will be with them and give them the words that they need. now let’s talk about this blessing that these Jews needed.
    also what would these Jews understand.
    God is conducting a relationship based on love and understanding of the creation.
    Jesus lived in his community for 30 years understand learning to understand exactly what the conditions were like in his world and also how to deal with it.
    so I would say that these Jews really understood and related to what God. That they needed or would Jesus taught that they needed which was a washing of forgiveness.
    go to the Sumerians what was their problem look at the woman at the well pretty sure they knew who the apostles were I wonder if it’s that they felt so guilty about their situation then it was hard for them to develop the base that was necessary without the apostles coming now these would be the representatives of Christ who had the representative of Christ the spirit who basically laid their hands on them and the spirit and they got the spirit so the relationship is sealed.
    this is all about relationship and faithful relationship that is initiated by God through Christ.
    noW let’s have a look at Paul.
    what did Paul need Site he was blind and he thought he saw very well and he was doing righteous things for God.
    Well we’re all wrong in many ways what did Jesus tell him to do I want you to go to this address and find this guy and do exactly as he says. well Paul is in no position to argue or to negotiate so he took the Lord’s advice.
    paul got exactly what he needed he got it he got a bath and wash away his sIn.
    they needed personal blessings meaningful personal blessings from someone that understood and can convey it to them so if you can look at this true all the rest of those words maybe that might allow you to put the handle on what really baptism is all about .it is so about a personal blessing That God offers thru his son EpH the first chapter.
    think it’s Hebrews that through fear of death they were subject to slavery all their lives.
    think about Abraham and his wife.
    although what I’m really saying is is that true the clay jars that the Gospel was held in the Word of God the spirit was giving other ants as they needed it check out John 15 16 17 about the Advocate and his mission and how he would conduct himself then go back and look for a pattern on baptism and how the Holy Spirit through the apostles created a relationship with the father’s son can be real interested to know how that works for you you know me and Bibles blessings if this doesn’t make sense to you I’ll study it
    I

  17. Richard constant says:

    w asn’t Paul In Corinth for 18 months. wasn’t he able to give them exactly what they needed

  18. John F says:

    Of course, most states have laws regarding adverse possession, so the analogy fails . . . I don’t think God allows salvation by adverse possession 🙂 Or does someone sitting in”church” for 50 years without ever becoming a “child of faith” gain salvation:(? I think we ALL would agree that “church attendance” does not equate with discipleship.

  19. Price says:

    Jay… regarding the “Sinner’s Prayer.” ….. I would submit that scripture is FULL of pleas to God to save.. While it might not be in the form of some rote phraseology as it seems most prayers are today, they were a plea nonetheless.. The psalms alone are testimony to a cry for help.. The prophets pleaded with God to save their people regularly… In fact, IMO, it seems that God seems to like it when we get to the bottom of the barrel and cry out .. The “clay” seems to be more moldable at that point. But, I’m likewise tired of trying to play God or to put God in some time capsule in order to determine some exact point of salvation… Believe and do what He says to do seems to be the appropriate admonition.. And if one does that, the will be baptized.. So much more to life and the sanctification process than to determine the starting point of the journey.. It can be a long road…

  20. David Newhouse says:

    John F

    In the deed analogy, the unconverted, but baptized person would correspond best to one issued a deed by mistake. Yes, the church sometimes baptizes unconverted people. But all analogies fail on some points or they would not be analogies. Both the deed and marriage analogies fail when we include the governments’ role in regulating them.

  21. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Price wrote,

    I would submit that scripture is FULL of pleas to God to save.

    In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.” Certainly the scriptures frequently attest to someone crying out to God for help, is common in the Psalms, but not just the Psalms, but to be a justification for the Sinner’s Prayer, the crying out has to be by a lost person seeking to become saved under the new covenant of Christ.

    Obviously, a cry for deliverance from enemies or disease is a very different thing. I would certainly never argue that God doesn’t respond to our pleas. I just don’t find an example of God saving someone based on a Sinner’s Prayer — and the verses usually cited in support of the SP actually say more about baptism.

    In fact, the best argument for the SP is found in Joel —

    (Joe 2:32 ESV) 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.

    Peter applies this passage to the Kingdom in Acts 2 at Pentecost, but he interprets “LORD” (YHWH) to refer to Jesus Messiah, and he instructs his hearers to call on the name of the LORD by submitting to immersion in the name of Jesus Messiah.

    So while Peter would seem, by simple logic, to have built the perfect case for the Sinner’s Prayer, he actually goes a different direction — and this cannot be without significance.

    Just so, when Ananias goes to Paul, urging him —

    (Act 22:16 ESV) 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

    “Calling on his name” is another clear reference to Joel 2:32. “Calling” is a participle modifying the indicative verbs “rise,” “be baptized,” and “wash”. “Calling” is not an independent act but a consequence of the preceding indicatives (Compare Eph 5:19, where singing, giving thanks, and submission are participles showing what results from being filled with the Spirit.) In other words, this is not how a Greek speaker would express “while calling on his name through prayer” much less “having previously called upon his name.” Rather, Ananias is saying that by arising, being baptized, and washing away sins, Paul would be calling on the name of the Lord.

    And in the act of being baptized his invocation of Jesus as Lord would declare the dominant power in his life henceforth[FN 23].

    [FN 23] His invocation of the name of Jesus meant that he was baptized “in the name” (or “with the name”) of Jesus in the sense of 2:38; 10:48.

    F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988), 418.

    Of course, I’m not arguing that therefore the Baptists are damned, just that the Sinner’s Prayer practice has very little in scripture to commend it — and so it’s hardly surprising that the practice only goes back to the revival meetings of Billy Sunday in the late 19th Century — sometimes called the Third Great Awakening. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinner%27s_prayer#Origins

    So I’m not enamored with the Sinner’s Prayer as somehow superior to water baptism, but then there’s much about traditional CoC practice that is lacking — such as our failure to see baptism as the beginning of a walk with Jesus. We treat is in the pagan sense that we’ve somehow so pleased God by getting wet and saying the magic incantation that we’ve forced God to save us by our actions. Our teaching generally lacks any sense of grace or of entry into relationship with Jesus.

    In fact, we are so focused on atonement that we read Rom 6 as being about how to get saved when it’s actually what baptism means in terms of how we should live as baptized people. We are just so focused on atonement practice that it’s hard to even discuss any other question.

  22. Price says:

    @ Jay… not to try and support the “SP” … but I was thinking about a couple of passages from Psalms… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. [Psa 51:10 ESV]
    Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. [Psa 51:11 ESV]
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. [Psa 51:12 ESV] and perhaps the whole of Psalms 61… Not even to support “salvation” per se.. but to point out that God is listening to the plea of a man in need.. When David cries out “restore to me the joy of your salvation”, I wonder what he was thinking ?

  23. Larry Cheek says:

    Price,
    Your analogy would match very well with anyone who already had a relationship with God similar to David’s. But, men have attempted to apply this relationship to a plea from a Pagan or an Atheist. Someone who previously refused God. David never was guilty of rejecting God.

  24. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Price asked,

    When David cries out “restore to me the joy of your salvation”, I wonder what he was thinking ?

    I don’t read this as David asking to become saved after having been lost due to sin. Rather, I read it as a plea to continue in God’s salvation, and to keep the Spirit, despite having sinned in an intentional, high-handed way.

    The plea is not “return to me your Holy Spirit” but “take not your Holy Spirit from me.”

    If that’s the case, then I would take “restore to me the joy of your salvation” very literally. He’s not asking for the restoration of salvation but the restoration of joy in his salvation. That is, he is present uncertain of his fate. He’s afraid God will take the Spirit from him, as God did with Saul. He has lost his confidence in his relationship with God, and therefore he finds no joy in that relationship. To have the joy restored, he needs God’s assurance that he is forgiven.

    Second, the psalmist prays for restoration of joy (v. 8). Joy is the result of God’s work in man (cf. Isa 65:17–18). Even as God’s displeasure with sin brings judgment, metaphorically described as broken bones (v. 8, cf. 32:3; 42:10), so his pleasure brings joy of heart (vv. 8, 12). The joy is more than an emotional expression; it is a contented resting in God. The security of having been reconciled with the Lord and of having peace with him (cf. Rom 5:1) is of the greatest import. This joy is hence known as “the joy of your salvation” (v. 12; from yēšaʿ; cf. 9:14; 13:5; 35:9).

    Willem A. VanGemeren, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, 1991, 5, 382.

  25. Price says:

    @ Jay.. I can go with that… The more I allowed the “joy” of our salvation to sink in I was impressed on that this is a message that needs to be preached. The bickering that exists today and the claims to exclusivity to salvation that some faith heritages and individual assemblies maintain I believe are clear indicators of a group or assembly that has truly lost the JOY of their own salvaiton…. Thanks !

  26. Robert Whitehead says:

    I grew up in the Baptist Church. I decided to prove to myself what Ibelieved in the 70’s about baptism. I struggled with it for awhile not really wanting to change from my heritage, but finally accepted baptism as God’s way for one to accept the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sin.
    I prayed that God would show me His truth and opened the scripture to the book of John. I read about the blind man wanting to be healed, and Jesus spat in the dust and applied the mud to his eyes with the command that he wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. God at this point opened my eyes. The blind man’s healing is a direct parallel to baptism. The water didn’t heal him. God healed him !!! But only after his faithful obedience. Then I studied the account of Naaman the leper and how he obediently dipped seven times in the Jordan River and also how Joshua’s army obeyed God in order for God to fell the walls of Jericho. The act of obedience never caused the promise to be fulfilled. Baptism doesn’t wash away sins. Only Jesus’s blood washes away sin

  27. Mark says:

    Price,
    How can you be joyful about salvation if you aren’t sure you will receive it?

  28. Price says:

    Mark… I guess one who is unsure would not be joyful.. Thankfully, we can trust that Jesus is quite capable of saving those who place their faith in Him.. Otherwise, we should all be quite sad since we can’t save ourselves.

  29. Monty says:

    Many denoms used to have the mourners bench(perhaps some still do), and many folks would go there week after week sometimes, trying to “pray through” waiting for the reception of the Holy Spirit. Many left sad week after week desirous of receiving their salvation but feeling turned away. So, they’d go back the next week and watch some other fortunate soul receive it but not them. They believed they lacked enough repentance or faith or whatever to make it happen. If that’s not works then what is? Believing that it’s me getting myself into such a state where God would save me. The restoration preachers came along and proved the Scriptural way was trust in Jesus that he would save when we repented and were baptized looking to Jesus for salvation. They gave people a time and a place where they could know they were saved based in promises trusting in the fact that God will not lie. It took a burden off of many to be “good enough” to be saved. Can baptism be misused and misunderstood by people thinking all they have to do is get wet? Sure! But it’s my opinion that they have been mistaught as those who tried to “pray through” getting their hearts right were. I have heard Baptist preachers talk about some of their people who have “gotten saved” for the umpteenth time asking Jesus into their hearts again and again. Every group has their issues.

  30. Robert Whitehead says:

    I left the Baptist Church after realizing that the proper response to the gospel was baptism, not the sinners prayer which has no scriptural basis. I joined a Curch of Christ, but soon became disallutioned with them because they preached a gospel of the church. That by joining a Church of Christ, takin

  31. Robert Whitehead says:

    I’ll complete my above comment. Sorry for the goofup. The gospel of the church says that one must be a member of a Church of Christ to be saved. Jesus said that he is the way, the truth and the life. The Ethiopian eunuch was converted on a desert road when he by faith obeyed the gospel of grace. Another gospel I would hear was the gospel of works. Folks would view God as balancing their good works against the bad. They could have no assurance of their salvation until the day of God’s judgement. The only true gospel is that Jesus’s death on the cross is full payment for my sin. The wages of just one sin is eternal death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. I have earned death and hell, but by God’ grace Jesus paid the price for my sin. (Isaiah 53:6)
    I, in turn, have the righteousness of Christ when I stand before God in His judgement.
    ” Clothed in His righteousness alone. Faultless to stand before His throne”.

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