Progressive Churches of Christ: Baptism

progressive So the subject is Sacraments, and we’ve talked about the Lord’s Supper. That leaves baptism. And we’re much better at our baptismal practices than our Eucharistic practices. At least, some of us are.

I visited one church that had a baptism. Immediately afterwards, the congregation got out their seats, formed a huge circle around the outside of the auditorium, held hands (including the newly baptized member), and sang “We love you with love of the Lord.” It was a touching ceremony.

Plenty of churches surround new converts with hugs and shouts of celebration.

My own congregation has gotten into the habit of applauding and celebrating with the convert.

We also encourage parents to baptize their own children. And, yes, sometimes the mom stands in the baptistry with the dad. There’s no scripture to the contrary, and who are we to make up rules God didn’t make? It’s important that parents take ownership of the salvation of their own children. And there’s no joy quite like baptizing your own child. Why would we deny that to our parents?

We’ve started including baptisms in the order of worship. Not always, but most of the time, the preacher knows the baptism is coming. Rather than pretending that this was a response to the invitation and going late, our preacher arranges the service around the baptism — letting the Sacrament be a structured part of our worship — which is very cool, and you just really have to try it.

I do not like baptisms conducted separate from the assembly. I just think it’s a good thing for everyone to get to join in the celebration. It’s a great teaching moment — not on the necessity of baptism but on the meaning of the Sacrament — why we do it. This is not a time to debate Baptist baptismal theology. Rather, it’s the time to talk about the baptism of Jesus, Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit, what it means to die to Jesus, what repentance really means, what faith really means — get basic. Remind us where our Christian journey began — not with a decision to adopt better baptismal theology but a decision to follow Jesus.

Yes, baptisms outside the assembly take. But if someone were to be adopted into my family, I think I’d want the family to know. I’d want them to be there. I’d want them to welcome their new brother or sister.

If someone feels the need to be baptized right now, good. That’s why God made text messaging. Send the word out. Gather a crowd. Do it now — but only after the text has gone out for the family to gather at the baptistry.

I mean, this is momentous and the moment needs to be shared.

We once had a youth minister who had the audacity to teach our teens that baptism is the greatest moment in their lives. Bigger than graduation. Bigger than getting engaged or married. Bigger than prom. A huge, gigantic, wonderful moment to be celebrated. Crazy, right?

And so he baptized one of the teen boys, who had the audacity to believe it. And when he came out of the water, he shouted “Yahoo!” with a fist pump into the air.

And the church responded in spontaneous applause, whoops, and hollers. And ever since, we applaud for those being baptized.

Funny how these things start. It started with a story about the importance of this moment, and the story changed how the church sees baptism and so how it sees itself.

I think every church should have its own traditions and stories. This shouldn’t be uniform and cookie-cutter. It needs to be something special about this particular congregation. It’s your chance to tell your story, to welcome a new family member in your own unique way — the way Jesus made you to be.

And if we would do that, if we’d loosen up and let a celebration be celebratory, well, it would change us in a very good way.

Baptism has many meanings and effects. One that we often overlook is spiritual formation. It should shape us. Seeing someone baptized into Christ should shape us just a little bit more into Jesus’s shape. Something about the event should be cross-shaped — not at all in a funereal sense. But it should take us back to basics about what it all means, why we made that same decision.

Just as going to a wedding reminds us of what our love felt like at the beginning, baptisms should renew our commitment and faith and hope. We should all feel a little like a brand new Christian once again.

How we do that is with tradition and stories. We need to work on it.

We need to see the Sacraments as opportunities to shape us and our believing communities into the shape of Jesus. This is not our chance to prove our superiority hermeneutics to the denominations down the street. This is, rather, a ceremony invented by God to teach us about his Son.

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.
This entry was posted in Baptism, Lord's Supper, Progressive Churches of Christ, Sacraments, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Progressive Churches of Christ: Baptism

  1. Jay Guin says:


    The examples in Acts are in the context of missionary activity. There was often no established congregation. Of course they didn’t wait for an assembly — there was no one to assemble. Plus, our revival preachers have sometimes read things into the text that aren’t quite there.

    (Act 9:17-19 ESV) 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.

    So where was Paul baptized? It’s unlikely that a home in Damascus had a mikveh. I’m not aware of archaeologists finding residential mikvehs outside of Judea. Maybe in Galilee. But it required some considerable cost to pump water into a house in those days. Most mikvehs were in the local synagogue.

    Or there were the Greek baths — but these involved nudity and, in places, immorality and so weren’t places the Christians frequented (although this likely varied from place to place).

    And then there was the river. Many ancient cities were built on a river or sea.

    So the text says “He rose and was baptized.” This likely means he went to the city center, entered the synagogue, asked the head of the synagogue for permission to use the mikveh, and if Jews and Christians were on good terms, the head of the synagogue gave permission, and Paul and Ananias entered to baptize him.

    But these were very small towns compared to what we imagine today. Have you visited the ruins of Pompeii? Had Paul and Ananias gone to the synagogue, they would have gone on foot and, along the way, have passed many fellow Christians, who could have easily gathered friends and families to attend the baptism. And in that culture, where the local church was seen as a family or household, it would have been unthinkable to have a baptism and not allow the church to gather.

    Besides, this was a Jewish church at the time, and the Jews typically lived in a part of town segregated from the Gentiles — largely by choice at the time. And so the Jews would have been crowded together into tiny Damascus apartments on very narrow streets, all concentrated in one part of town, such that Paul could not have gone to the synagogue invisibly. Nor would he have wanted to.

    There was no concept of personal privacy in those days. There was no glass in the windows. The apartments might be only one or two very small rooms. Anyone walking by could see who was in a room. The fact that Paul had been blind and in prayer would have been well known to his neighbors. His healing would have gossip-worthy news. Word would have spread from door to door very quickly. He conversion would have been even bigger news. Paul would have been something of a celebrity — a rabbi who had persecuted Christians now being converted. Both Christian and non-Christian Jews would have been fascinated by the story.

    There’s no way Paul was baptized apart from the Damascus church. The congregation would have gathered to welcome him in and to celebrate his conversion. They may even have felt the need to protect him from potential enemies. He likely arrived at the synagogue with nearly the entire church surrounding him. How could they not follow him to his baptism? If you were part of the church and had heard that Paul, the rabbi and persecutor of the church was about to be baptized into Jesus in the synagogue, wouldn’t you have followed him there? It’s easy to imagine a procession as the Jewish Christians approach the synagogue in a throng, spontaneously singing hymns to Jesus as they make their way through the crowded, narrow streets.

    They may not have waited until Sunday, but neither would they have been baptized apart from the new congregation — except in a mission setting where there was no church there to gather.

    It’s only the modern world where we live separated from our brothers and sisters perhaps by miles, when someone could be baptized even in a church building just him and his baptizer. That would have been unheard of in the ancient world, once a congregation was established. The issue wouldn’t have even come up, because there was no way to slip into a synagogue unseen and be baptized.

  2. Larry Cheek says:

    I had been taught all of my life that we are instructed to follow the flow of the instructed events in scripture, I do not see that we have given the option to use our imagination of what could have happened to delay an event such as Saul’s baptism. Ananias was speaking to Saul, and Saul verified that he was asked the question in verse 16, which agrees with the text in 9:18. You desire to interject your concept to extend the time to allow the church or a majority of the church to be gathered together to witness this event. You suggest there may not have been a place available to perform the baptism nearby. But, I believe that there is another factor in this event that should help us to notice the importance of fast action in this case. All text, both the original Acts 9 and Paul’s re-accounting in 22 suggest that it was an immediate action. Adding to that we should remember the condition of Saul’s physical body at that point in time.
    Act 9:9 ESV And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
    Both texts state that he was baptized prior to verse 22:19 taking food, and recovering for some days, before entering the synagogues.

    Act 22:12 ESV “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
    Act 22:16 ESV And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

    Act 9:18-22 ESV And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; (19) and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. (20) And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (21) And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” (22) But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

    Do I really have to modify my understanding of the text because I do not know where the act was done? You have suggested several concepts that may have entered into the picture to thwart the concept of an immediate baptism. Since all those ideas were just assumed, could we not just as easily assume that provisions were made available by God for the act between his arising up and the act of being nourished, considering his condition of health? Of course, we could then even question where did they get the food, did they wait until the next meal was prepared?

  3. Jay Guin says:


    My point was that the baptism was not done apart from the church. And the point of the main post is that we should endeavor to have the church present at baptisms. It’s not just between me and God. It’s about entering a new family and new nationality. It’s worth waiting a half hour to text people so no one is baptized alone. The question is much more about seeing baptism as initiating a relationship with God’s family than timing.

    I added that I’m not concerned about what God will do if someone dies before Sunday or pressuring people into quick decisions. But that’s a very secondary point. I just want us to appreciate that baptism should ordinarily involve the church.

  4. Neal says:

    Wow, this gives creadance to Faith in Jesus’ Cross the only possible point of salvation. Faith motivates a believer to follow Jesus, to the water, to receive the Spirit, to obedience, and sanctification. To turn the events in Acts into processes is the beginning of all of the foolishness of man. Jay posited the idea that Baptism is an event of the assembly, a way for us to be built up together. It has brought out all too much a spirit of get it right righteousness. Process does not not now save anyone. Jesus does. Panels, committees, groups, trustees, blah-blahs. Show us Jesus’ Kingdom.

  5. I know of one instance where the church was excluded from a baptism in a way that resulted in hurt feelings. A young teen girl was baptized by her grandfather after morning worship, but she wanted it to be a private (fleshly) family affair. It happened to be a Sunday when the church was enjoying its monthly ‘pot-luck’ fellowship dinner. When it became known that a baptism was about to take place, naturally people wanted to be present – but we’re told they weren’t invited. Bad beginning to that girl’s walk with Jesus!

  6. Price says:

    Jay, I’m glad you commented on the illustration of one dying on the way to the water. Of course if a person believes that baptism in and of itself is salvific then I guess one MUST believe that the person is forever damned.. Can’t say that God demands it but then looks the other way if you were going to get around to it sooner or later… But, whatever.. Not sure how anybody could claim being immersed into Grace was part of their own doing… seems illogical… Almost an oxymoron.

    I’m hoping you’ll get around to some of the OTHER stories things that really do impact the world… Like divorce and remarriage.. How much different would the Progressive sect of the CoC differ from the Ultra Conservative CoC on this one… Married, beaten up by husband who ended up being a drug dealer… thrown in prison… two kids to raise …. decides to remarry a person she was introduced to at a church… Baptist…

    How about this one… My college Professor says that there is not a single piece of evidence that proves that the Earth is 6,000 years old.. He says ALL the available data suggests an ancient earth… You want me to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and there seems to be some evidence for that but why must I believe the earth is 6,000 years old ? “Poof there it is” seems to be lacking… And I can’t find that scripture that says instruments can’t be played…

    See the LS and Baptism might impact “US”.. But, “US” isn’t the real problem.. the Real problem is the totally unchurched.. The Lost… Those not redeemed… When a church stops meeting the need of it’s community, perhaps it is no longer needed…

  7. Skip says:

    Jay said, “The examples are in the context of missionary activities”. When we share our faith in a mall, it is a missionary activity. If I share my faith on a business trip, it is a missionary activity. I was baptized on a Tuesday night after a Bible study where I was convicted. I only knew a handful of church members. I quickly got to know the church in the following weeks. I just get nervous when we turn sacred baptisms into Sunday church rituals when the vast majority of baptisms in Acts were individuals or small groups.

  8. Dwight says:

    In regards to the church, we are indeed baptized into the church, that is to say Christ who is the head of the church who then adds us to the church that he oversees. There is no scripture that ever places a baptism in relation to a local congregation as being present. The converted were baptized, then they assembled with those other saints. Paul was not received well by other brethern because of his past persecution of saints, even though baptized. He even tried to join with other disciples and was temporarily rejected. Tody we preach through the local assembly, but then they preached one-on-one Jesus and then people recongnized others like them and met together.
    Now if we believe that baptism does indeed place us into Jesus in a covenant relationship, then there should be a sense of urgency involved. A.S.A.P.W.W.I.P. (as soon as possible where water is present)
    Now in regards to believeing that one might be saved without it, if we go by what the scriptures, then we must be baptized. Ironically we argue that the silence of the scriptures doesn’t condemn IM, because we can’t place an unsaid concept or conjecture into a blank space and yet here we are doing it in regards to being saved with the intent of being baptism. It might be true, but we should count on it or even suggest it as it is beyond our abilty to know and confirm it.

  9. Dwight says:

    Skip, Amen. Salvation is a personal connection and comittment to God and Jesus, not a group or assocation activity. The Ethiopian eunuch was saved and then went on his merry way. We assume he might have assembled later, but that is only if there were those in the area he could assemble with, but he wasn’t saved within the context of any local assembly.
    Typical order of events as recorded in Acts. People taught other People about Jesus, then they were converted and bound to Jesus and into Jesus and then they were added to the congregation of who Jesus is the head, then they assembled with others who were also bound to Jesus, when they could. This is NT Conversion 101.
    I am not against doing it the way we do it, but there are advantages to doing it the other way, and the biggy is that you are not converting into the local church or local church system or local church association, but rather Jesus. Then a saved person can choose to congregate with us or with others. We can guide them to groups, but we are not recruitment offices.

  10. Royce Ogle says:

    Jay when you say a baptism “takes” what are you saying? “Takes”?? Really? So some immersions save and some don’t? Or is salvation by faith? For the life of m ed I can never quite get a grip about what you believe about the efficacy of immersion. I know what you say but you contridict your own statements so I’m left not knowing what you really believe.

  11. Royce says:

    Isn’t it true that if one has faith in Christ and is baptized he is saved? And, isn’t it also true that if a person does not have faith in Christ and is baptized he is not saved? Baptism is only one more meaningless religious rite unless the one being immersed has his or her faith in Christ who alone can save sinners. So, Jay is right of course when he says one with faith in Jesus who dies on the way to the baptistery is going to be safe. And, he is right too that those with faith in Christ Jesus who have not been taught about water baptism will be saved too. Every one is saved by grace through faith.

    So it puzzles me that anyone would say that someone with faith in Christ was baptized and it didn’t “take”. That is very odd. What can you mean that it didn’t “take”? It sounds like some how the water is mysterious that it sometimes heals and sometimes doesn’t.

    I think if we are honest, all of us have seen people who seemed sincere, who said they would follow Jesus, that they trusted Him and that He would be the Lord of their lives, go into the waters of baptism and then soon turn back to their old way of life. Was that baptism’s fault? Of course not. It was that the person was in fact not truthful. Would you say the baptism didn’t “take”? I hope not.

    It’s the same water, the same words are said, and the same action is done if the person being baptized has faith in Christ or is an impostor with no faith.

  12. Dwight says:

    I have problems with the concepts stated, “So, Jay is right of course when he says one with faith in Jesus who dies on the way to the baptistery is going to be safe. And, he is right too that those with faith in Christ Jesus who have not been taught about water baptism will be saved too.”
    as they cannot be verified by scripture and fall into the realm of hopeful conjecture.
    In the case of Apollos,”This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.” In Acts 19 the people that were baptized into John were rebaptized into Jesus.
    So just knowing about Jesus doesn’t mean that you are “in Jesus” and we can’t place faith in possible exceptions. This is whittling on God’s end of the stick and we have no say in this.
    This goes back to the ground on which Abraham walked. God said some of it was holy, even though it looked just like the unholy ground. Abraham didn’t argue with God, but approached it just as God said. You are possibly right, but God never puts these things on the table in this way.

  13. laymond says:

    Dwight said; “This is whittling on God’s end of the stick” some here have taken the stick from God’s hand, and given it to his son.

    Monty, I don’t know how you see “created” were you created by your parents coming together , or were you found in a pumpkin patch. You were created by God’s plan that both male and female participate in creating children. Both God, and Mary participated in the creation of Jesus, you may not like the idea but the bible says it is so.

  14. laymond says:

    Monty, Matthew said Jesus was conceived, this is the definition of conceive.
    Conceive – Merriam-Webster to think of or create (something) in the mind. : to become pregnant.

    Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (this was when Jesus was created in the mind of God)

    Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
    (this is when Jesus was created in the womb of Mary)

  15. Jay Guin says:

    Laymond, Dwight, and Monty,

    I have no interest in yet another discussion on the Trinity. Laymond has argued his case more than once. It’s not pertinent to the present conversation. Let’s not get off track.

  16. Jay Guin says:

    John F.,

    Midland, TX.

  17. Neal says:

    Thank you, Jay. Good thread comes with good content.

  18. Skip says:

    Laymond, Of course.

  19. Skip says:

    We did have a drunk walk in to service one time and go forward after the invitation to be baptized. The whole church family witnessed the baptism. The preacher never challenged him to repent but merely automatically baptized him. We never saw the stranger again. Critical to a healthy conversion has to be ongoing supportive relationships.

  20. Dwight says:

    Skip, interesting. What I have seen are people that have been going to church for awhile, say a young person, then they come forward and are immediately challenged on what they know or don’t know to be baptized. It is not enough to be in Christ, we must challenge thier intentions and knowledge. I’m surprised we don’t ask for a reference or resume. It is kind of like that Shaving Club commercial where men go to the store to buy razors and find them locked up in cases and the narrarator says, “It is almost like they don’t want you to buy their stuff.” We present it as needed and good, then make it hard to get to.

  21. Alabama John says:

    Skip, That person walking in and then disappearing was probably laymond or an angel checking out how you would respond.

  22. laymond says:

    Randall said; “So if one does not have this theological understanding (and to what extent must we have it as you explained it) is that person “truly baptized” or not. Is there any additional theological understanding that one must have beyond I believe Jesus is the son of God and he wants me to be baptized? E.G. Would a Trinitarian qualify? or a person who is infantile in their knowledge of theology?”
    Randall, How are we going to be baptized by our trust in Jesus Christ if we don’t know who he is or where he came from.? Isaiah 11, and Isaiah 42, tells the story of Jesus’ beginnings , and purpose.
    It is not hard to read, and really easy to understand.
    As Jesus said baptism is to complete all righteousness , Peter said it was for forgiveness of all sins, In order to believe this we have to believe in Jesus and that he was who he said he was, and that Jesus trusted Peter to carry on his work. I understand that to complete all righteousness, and forgiveness of all sins are one and the same thing. When you believe that Jesus is the servant of God almighty, and Peter is the servant of God through his belief in the word of God delivered by Jesus. you are ready to be freed of your sins and be accepted into God’s kingdom here on earth.
    and start your journey of service and obedience. Until you truly know what is expected of a Christian, I have doubts you can become one. Words alone won’t do the job.

  23. laymond says:

    Skip, I want you to know that I was not that drunk, that visited your congregation , I have my doubts that it was Gabriel either.

  24. Skip says:

    Laymond, I didn’t think it looked like you up in Columbus, Ohio. And I wasn’t aware that Gabriel visited churches drunk.

  25. Alabama John says:

    my attempt at some poking at laymond and also some serious thinking about the drunk you mentioned you never saw again.
    He just appeared from who knows where, asked for and received. maybe it was an angel in disguise seeing how ya’ll would react.
    We don’t know how many times in life that has happened to us. Talking a good game is great, but how we react in real life is even greater.
    There will be a judgement after all and making that call is much easier if folks are tested in real life.

  26. Skip says:

    Alabama, I agree with you but this thinking is outside of the CoC wheelhouse.

  27. Dwight says:

    Or do a breathalizer test.
    Baptism from what I understand requires just one thing…an understanding that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior and we are lost without Him.
    OK, maybe two or three things, but surely not the long list we place on people and they are very basic things. Those in Acts 2 didn’t have much, but they had enough.
    OK maybe soberness as well, but that I think would be a given.

  28. Skip says:

    Before baptism at minimum we must surrender all to Jesus and follow him. If we don’t want to give up a sin then we cannot be saved. Luke 9:22-25 and Luke 14 : 25 -33 show Jesus demands that he be Lord. In Acts 2: 38 Peter demands repentance.
    Somehow someone currently drunk does not seem to be a candidate for immediate baptism (at least until they sober up and repent). Neither a small child that does not grasp the concept of following Jesus or repentance.

  29. Randall says:

    I must be in dire straits indeed. I am 65 years old and was baptized when I was 12. I find that I still struggle with sin that I don’t want to give up. In my entire life I never had anyone hold a gun to my head and force me to sin. I always did it b/c I WANTED to, b/c that’s the kind of person I am, Apart from the work of God in my life I’d never get anything even close to right. Seems Paul describes a similar struggle in Romans 7. Do you still struggle with sin? Is there even faint hope for our salvation if we do. I must inform you Jesus knows me very well and he is my sure hope of salvation despite my depravity.

  30. Skip says:

    Randall, There is a big difference between struggling with temptation and wholesale surrender to sin. I think the issue at hand in being saved is the heart that decides to repent of all sin even if that repentance is daily for the rest of my life. Sounds like you have been doing that. I can’t imagine people were baptized on Pentecost who wanted to join the church but did not want Jesus to be Lord.
    An example is my marriage. I chose my wife to be the only woman I would love for the rest of my life. I have held to that commitment ever since 1978. I have been tempted at times but my love for her has made the temptations far apart. Same is true of my love for the Lord.
    Do we join a church or do we fall in love with Jesus. The former will lead to all kinds of chronic struggles and the later can lead to a glorious, victorious life.

  31. Monty says:

    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess ours sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    God cleanses those who come to Him by faith in Jesus. We express our faith in Jesus through repentance and baptism, at which time(normally) we receive the grace of God applied to our account. We receive the washing of rebirth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. We can argue about the sequencing and the timing of events(and we obviously do)but we receive God’s cleansing and then he keeps on cleansing us day by day, because we all still sin.

    Our baptism as stated by Paul in multiple places is a dividing line between the old man of sin and the new man of righteousness, and it certainly means we don’t have to be in bondage to sin any longer, but we all still sin. It still pulls and tugs on us. We’re still being tempted. Before, we were slaves to sin(Paul’s point in Romans 7 under the Law) but now we are freed(in Christ) from it’s bondage.(Romans 6 and 8) We may choose to sin(certainly) but it’s not because we just can’t help ourselves any longer. We have a helper, who if we will submit to willingly, He will defeat the sin in our lives instead of it defeating us. More easily said than done, but still the truth.

  32. Dwight says:

    Skip, Sound reasoning all. David was a man after God’s own heart and was also the man who had an affair with a woman and had her husband killed because of selfish motives and yet he didn’t turn away from God or his part in His sin when confronted with it. David, all in all, followed after God. If we didn’t sin while a saint there would be no need for forgiveness and really no need for Jesus anymore as we have attained perfection on the level with Jesus, just as Monty points out.
    Randall, it sounds as though you are very self aware, which gives you a leg up on knowing yourself and correcting yourself. We need more people who regard themselves as needing God before they regard others as sinful first.

  33. Skip says:

    Laymond, I John verses are written to Christians. John makes that clear. He calls them “Dear Children”. He refers to “Hating your brother”. Talks about people “Claiming to be in the light”. Talks about “hating your brother” and “loving your brother”. John further talks about how “we are called children of God” etc… So I don’t agree I John verses are referring to the unbaptized.

  34. laymond says:

    I didn’t say John was talking to the unbaptized, but I do believe this line was about the unbaptized, and their need to be cleansed.
    John had just finished saying this, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
    Skip, what do you think John was saying “Wellll, maybe not all sin” Or maybe ” But, sin gets right back on you as soon as you are dried, from the dunking”

  35. Skip says:

    I don’t think those verses merit a big debate.

  36. laymond says:

    Dwight when we admit we are a sinful person, and we are sinful because we want to be, even after baptism. Where is the repentance?

    Act 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.

    There is a reason why repentance comes before baptism. If you haven’t changed any, you are not ready for baptism. What was Paul’s reply when they asked him if they should continue sinning so God’s grace could be applied. I believe it was “God forbid”.

  37. Royce Ogle says:

    Laying doesn’t sin Skip.

  38. Skip says:

    Royce, Do you mean Laymond doesn’t sin?

  39. Royce Ogle says:

    Lol. Yes. Ah spell check!

  40. Dwight says:

    Laymond, There is a difference between taking the road of sin and sinning while a Chrsitian or seeking God. David is a good example of this. Again if we do not sin, even as a Christian, then there is no need for repentance and even no need for Jesus. We are then perfect.
    Repentance is a turn to God, not neccessarily from all our sinful ways, but it should be our ardent intent and goal. Acts 8 Simon the sorceror was baptized, then comitted the sin of trying to buy the laying on of hands. The apostles told him to repent, but didn’t tell him to be rebaptized. Simon confessed and repented. Condemnation wasn’t at sin, but in following the sin.
    The context of I John is “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” so he is talking to Christians. Then, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” so he arguing that we cannot be hypocrites where we say one thing and then lead a life of sin (walk). He then argues, “if we say we have no sins, then we lie” ane then “if we confess our sins…forgive us.” God forgives when we see our sin and asks.

  41. laymond says:

    Royce Ogle says:

    March 31, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Laymond doesn’t sin Skip.

    Not intentionally Royce. I did enough of that when I was younger , before I was baptized, and that was the very reason I waited as long as I did to be baptized, I knew I couldn’t live a Christian life. and yes I knew That I would not be counted among the sheep.

  42. Skip says:

    None of us can live the Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit helping us to conquer sin. Even the apostle Paul spoke of his struggle with sin. Peter pulled away from the Gentiles and sinned by his intentional prejudice. He had to be corrected and straightened out.

  43. Monty says:

    There is a reason elders are supposed to be, well, elderly. It gives men time to mature in Christ and to develop wisdom, and to conquer the passions of youth. I have seen no perfect elders. But certainly better men than they would have been if they were all 25 years old sitting around the same table. Even the Apostle John who wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans, later became know as the apostle of love.

  44. laymond says:

    speaking of John 1 .

    1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    This little vs is why I have asked more than once “what is sin” ?
    is an abomination included in sis, or is abomination that which requires a reprimand instead of a firey distruction.?

    1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    1Jo 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

    Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

  45. Dwight says:

    I think sometimes we don’t understand the Bible in regards to things because we don’t see things as they did. I am going to put forth a radical concept: there is a difference between a sinner and sinning. Follow me on this. In the scriptures we have the concept of drunkeness and gluttonony. In our way of thinking a drunk is one who gets drunk, but when we look at how drunkard and gluttony are used, we find that the concept of addiction or bowing down to is in play. In other words you can get drunk, but this doesn’t make you a drunk. You can over eat, as they did during the feast times, but this doesn’t make you a glutton. In the same sense you can sin, but this doesn’t make you a sinner. It is what we give ourselves over to.
    Now while it is true one sin can condemn us, it doesn’t have to if we repent. I think I John 3:6 makes the point, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not…” If we are a saint we abide in Jesus, but we don’t abide in sin or the world. We may fall as Peter did, but we can be raised up when we humble ourselves and ask God. Living a life of sin in sin will always condemn us.

  46. Skip says:

    Laymond, your implication is that Christians no longer sin at all. Maybe I read you wrong. Peter sinned after conversion but was still saved. I John 1:8. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves.”

  47. Monty says:


    James 5:16 We are to confess our faults one to another. What is a fault? In the same context it says, : 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that, he that converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
    The Hebrew writer says in ch. 6:4-6 that it is impossible to renew those who have “fallen away” to repentance.

    What’s your take on these 3 different types of sinning? 1. in James 5:16 called a fault or a trespass. the 2nd in James called wandering away from the “truth”(which Jay says is faith in Jesus) and certainly seems to be a more serious condition and then the sin the Hebrew writer says, you cannot come back from? Total apostasy.

  48. laymond says:

    Skip, My implication is that Christians no longer sin on purpose, or willingly.
    Hebrews said that was a bad thing.

  49. laymond says:

    Royce, if you were speaking to me, of course?

  50. Randall says:

    So Laymond, If true Christians no longer sin on purpose or willingly, than did they do it accidentally? I think all our acts of iniquity of which we are aware are done willingly, i.e. b/c we wanted to do it. That’s the kind of people we are.

  51. Skip says:

    Laymond, You said, “My implication is that Christians no longer sin on purpose, or willingly.
    Hebrews said that was a bad thing.” Sin is always a bad thing but Christians have sinned ever since the Church began. Your concept of sinless Christians is unbiblical. Your view would then mean that true Christians remain sinless for days, weeks, months, or even years. This is proven not to be true in the New Testament in regards to our brethren in the first century. Peter sinned as mentioned in Galatians and yet he was a Christian and apostle before, during, and after the act. I think you are confused about the concepts of sin, holiness, and grace.
    Luke 17:3 says, “So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.””.
    Jesus acknowledged that a brother or sister can sin and repent and be forgiven.

  52. Dwight says:

    The true tragedy comes when we as many have and judge themselves as sinless or that they as a Christian cannot sin. This is being self-righteous.
    Of course the other tragedy is when we give up and succomb to sin and leave God while still thinking we are Godly. This is rebellion.
    A Christian strives for doing the will God and growing in faith and knowledge and works, but they will never outgrow thier need for Jesus, for mercy and for grace and His interceding on behalf of us.

  53. laymond says:

    Randall, do you believe one can be baptized go about their sinful life and just before they die ask forgiveness, and God will say “sure why not” ?

  54. laymond says:

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    What does this mean, does it mean all sins are forgiven ? it would seem so if John had not went on to say “if we obey his commands “

  55. Skip says:

    Laymond, Just curious, were you sinless in 2014.

  56. laymond says:

    No, but Jesus gave me the right to use his name when I pray to God for forgiveness.
    Which I take advantage of every night, and sometimes in the day. I have faith that I was sin free on the morning of Jan. 1st 2015 when I awoke to greet the morning God had given me.
    Unless I sin while sleeping. Snoring to loud or some other kind of bodily noise, that offends someone else.

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