Articles

What does the Bible say About What Saves Us?

What does the Bible say About What Saves Us?

Bible Verses on What Saves

 Many things work together to save us.  It is our observance of all of these things which work to perfect our faith.  It is one’s faith complete that saves.   James 2:22 “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”  We are saved by all of what the Word of God says that saves us. 

God Saves Us
Isaiah 12:2
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

1 Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”

Jesus Saves Us
1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Hebrews 5:9, “And being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”

The Spirit Saves Us
1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Grace Saves Us
Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”

Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Love Saves Us
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Mercy Saves Us
Titus 3:5, “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

The Cross Saves Us
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Jesus’ Blood Saves Us
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

The Name of Christ Saves Us
Acts 4:10, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

The Word Saves Us
Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

James 1:21, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Preaching Saves Us
1 Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Mark 16:15-16, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  There is a response required when we hear the gospel preached.

Baptism in Water Saves Us
1 Peter 3:20-21, Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  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

Calling on the Name of the Lord Saves Us
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Working Saves Us
James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” 
Acts 10:34-35, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 
Romans 2:7-10,  “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed“. 
Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Obedience Saves Us
Hebrews 5:8-9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him

Endurance Saves Us
Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Patience Saves Us
Hebrews 6:12, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Revelation 14:12-13, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

The Love of the Truth Saves Us
2 Thessalonians 2:10, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Fear Saves
Jude 23, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We Can Save Ourselves
Acts 2:40, “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”  How do we save ourselves?  The Bible tells us:
1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  By heeding and continuing in the doctrine of Christ. 

The way of Salvation:

Hearing Saves Us
Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Believing Saves Us
Hebrews 11:6, “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.”  The account of the Philippian Jailor in Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Repentance Saves Us
Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Confession Saves Us
Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Baptism saves Us
Mark 16:16
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Faithfulness unto Death Saves us
Revelation 2:10
“...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

No one thing in and of itself will bring salvation.  All the things that scripture teach that save us work together in unison to bring about our salvation.  Leaving anything out is to leave the commandments of God unfulfilled and our salvation undone.  God played a role in our salvation.  Man did not deserve it, cannot earn it or pay for it, and can never repay it no matter what works he may accomplish in the name of Jesus Christ.  Our hope for salvation was offered by the grace of God.  Grace is defined as an undeserved, beneficial disposition towards someone.  Grace is a comprehensive term which represents God reaching down to fallen man from heaven with a plan for life. 

Man has a role to play in his redemption as well.  Man’s role is accomplished by faith.  Faith is a comprehensive term which represents fallen man reaching up to God in hope for life through obedience to His will. 

God did His part, we must do ours.  God’s grace and man’s faith working together towards the eternal purpose of the Father.  By grace we are saved through faith.  

 

Article Link:

http://www.granbychurchofchrist.org/Reference/WhatSavesUs.htm

 

This Article Provided Compliments Of:

Chickamauga church of Christ, P.O. Box 555, 105 Crittenden Ave., Chickamauga, GA 30707

Questions, Comments and/or Bible Study Welcome

www.chickamaugachurchofchrist.com



What does the Bible say About What Saves Us?

What does the Bible say About What Saves Us?

Bible Verses on What Saves

 Many things work together to save us.  It is our observance of all of these things which work to perfect our faith.  It is one’s faith complete that saves.   James 2:22 “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”  We are saved by all of what the Word of God says that saves us. 

God Saves Us
Isaiah 12:2
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

1 Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”

Jesus Saves Us
1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Hebrews 5:9, “And being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”

The Spirit Saves Us
1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Grace Saves Us
Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”

Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Love Saves Us
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Mercy Saves Us
Titus 3:5, “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

The Cross Saves Us
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Jesus’ Blood Saves Us
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

The Name of Christ Saves Us
Acts 4:10, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

The Word Saves Us
Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

James 1:21, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Preaching Saves Us
1 Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Mark 16:15-16, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  There is a response required when we hear the gospel preached.

Baptism in Water Saves Us
1 Peter 3:20-21, Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  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

Calling on the Name of the Lord Saves Us
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Working Saves Us
James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” 
Acts 10:34-35, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 
Romans 2:7-10,  “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed“. 
Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Obedience Saves Us
Hebrews 5:8-9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him

Endurance Saves Us
Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Patience Saves Us
Hebrews 6:12, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Revelation 14:12-13, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

The Love of the Truth Saves Us
2 Thessalonians 2:10, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Fear Saves
Jude 23, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We Can Save Ourselves
Acts 2:40, “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”  How do we save ourselves?  The Bible tells us:
1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  By heeding and continuing in the doctrine of Christ. 

The way of Salvation:

Hearing Saves Us
Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Believing Saves Us
Hebrews 11:6, “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.”  The account of the Philippian Jailor in Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Repentance Saves Us
Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Confession Saves Us
Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Baptism saves Us
Mark 16:16
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Faithfulness unto Death Saves us
Revelation 2:10
“...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

No one thing in and of itself will bring salvation.  All the things that scripture teach that save us work together in unison to bring about our salvation.  Leaving anything out is to leave the commandments of God unfulfilled and our salvation undone.  God played a role in our salvation.  Man did not deserve it, cannot earn it or pay for it, and can never repay it no matter what works he may accomplish in the name of Jesus Christ.  Our hope for salvation was offered by the grace of God.  Grace is defined as an undeserved, beneficial disposition towards someone.  Grace is a comprehensive term which represents God reaching down to fallen man from heaven with a plan for life. 

Man has a role to play in his redemption as well.  Man’s role is accomplished by faith.  Faith is a comprehensive term which represents fallen man reaching up to God in hope for life through obedience to His will. 

God did His part, we must do ours.  God’s grace and man’s faith working together towards the eternal purpose of the Father.  By grace we are saved through faith.  

 

Article Link:

http://www.granbychurchofchrist.org/Reference/WhatSavesUs.htm

 

This Article Provided Compliments Of:

Chickamauga church of Christ, P.O. Box 555, 105 Crittenden Ave., Chickamauga, GA 30707

Questions, Comments and/or Bible Study Welcome

www.chickamaugachurchofchrist.com



Feelings or rational Thinking?

Feelings or Rational Thinking?

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord.

– Isaiah 1:18
Have you ever heard someone say, “trust your feelings?” Today, most religious organizations push personal feelings and emotions as the source of our faith and authority. They say, “

feel

in your heart that you are saved.”

To understand what these organizations and the Bible have to say about personal feelings and authority for actions, we must first define some key words.

  • To Feel: coming to believe on the basis of emotion, intuitions, or indefinite grounds.
  • Emotion: any strong feeling.
  • Emotional: determined or actuated by emotion rather than reason.

Now contrast…

  • To Know: be cognizant or aware of a fact.
  • Fact: a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is the case or has happened; a concept whose truth can be proved.
  • Knowledge: the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning.
  • To Reason: draw or come to a conclusion; present reasons and arguments; think logically.
  • Logical: capable of correct and valid reasoning; marked by an orderly, logical, and consistent relation of parts; based on known statements or events or conditions.
  • Rational: consistent with or based on or using reason.

What does the Bible say should be the basis for our faith and actions? Amazingly, the Bible no where teaches that one can feel he is saved. Proverbs 28:26 states,

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

Those who trust in what their hearts tell them are foolish. More to the point, the Bible condems those who walk without understanding.

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Ephesians 4:17-19

(NKJV)

The NIV translates “being past feeling” as “having lost all sensitivity”. These people no longer felt that what they were doing was wrong. They had been de-sensitized. Did that make their actions right? No! You simply cannot trust your feelings because they can be wrong. Paul warns Timothy that people will sear their consciences (same as being de-sensitized), which will result in following false teachings and becoming hypocrites.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…
1 Timothy 4:1-2

(NKJV)

Instead of guidance by feelings, the Bible stresses rational, logical thinking.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 1:18

(NKJV)

Let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.
Isaiah 43:26

(NKJV)

When Paul was before Festus, he was accused of being mad. Paul responded,

I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.
Acts 26:25

(NKJV)

God has never demanded unfounded faith. On the contrary, our faith is to be based on evidence:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the

evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

(NKJV)

Our faith should come by taking a logical and rational step forward from existing evidence and knowledge.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

(NKJV)
The Bible tells us that we can

know we have eternal life

:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may

know that you have eternal life… 1 John 5:13

(NKJV)
This in contrast to

feeling

we are saved. This means that there must be an objective, knowable truth that can be understood, otherwise how can we know we are saved? (Recall that “to know” means to be cognizant of a fact, and a “fact” is something that can be proven to be true!) What are the written things that help us obtain this knowledge?
…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

(NKJV)

We are to be diligent in our studies of these words.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

(NKJV)

By implication, one can wrongly divide (or understand) the word of truth. How does one rightly divide God’s word? Through study, knowledge, and logical, rational thinking!

Article location:

http://www.bibleschoolresources.net/rationalthinking.html

 

This Article Provided Compliments Of:

Chickamauga church of Christ, P.O. Box 555, 105 Crittenden Ave., Chickamauga, GA 30707

Questions, Comments and/or Bible Study Welcome

www.chickamaugachurchofchrist.com



A History of the “Baptism” Apostasy

A History of the “Baptism” Apostasy

By Wayne Jackson

The theme of “baptism” is one of the simplest and easiest to understand of most any theological subject in the New Testament. How tragic it is, therefore, that there should be so much confusion, indeed such uncommon error in the community of “Christendom,” regarding this important New Testament doctrine.

According to

The Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament (Kohlenberger, et al. 1995), the Greek verb bapto, together with its derivatives, occur some 116x in the New Testament, in various verbal and noun forms. (1) Bapto (to dip) is found 4×. Translators have had no difficulty in translating that term literally (cf. Luke 16:24; John 13:26; Revelation 19:13) in these passages. (2) The verb baptizo (77x), signifies “to dip in or under,” “to sink,” “to immerse” (Kittel, 1985, 92). In most English versions today the original term has been anglicized, i.e., the Greek form is retained, but with English letters, thus obscuring the meaning of the original word. To translate the word into the English expression, “immerse,” would scarcely be feasible commercially in a world where the mode of the procedure has been altered radically by the “sprinkling” or “pouring” of water. (3) Two noun forms, baptisma (19x), and baptismos (4x) are generally rendered as “baptism” (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), or “washing” (Mark 7:4; Hebrews 9:10), depending upon the context. (4) Baptistes

(12x), “one who immerses,” is used to depict “John the Baptist.”
A careful consideration of these texts in concert with one another clearly reveals that: (1) the term most commonly refers to a ritual in water, and at a place with sufficient water to accommodate immersion (Matthew 3:6; John 3:23). It required going “down into” the water, and coming up “out of” the water (Acts 8:38-39; cf. Mark 1:20). (2) The immersion was preceded both by “faith” (Mark 16:16) and “repentance” (Acts 2:38), as requisite to the act. (3) The ritual resulted in “forgiveness,” or having the guilt of one’s sins “washed away” (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 3:21). (4) Genuine baptism transitions one from

outside of Christ “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27), or to say the same thing in another way, into the benefits

of the Lord’s death (Romans 6:3). This act of obedience constitutes one a member of the “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13), of which Christ is the Savior (Ephesians 5:23).

Departures From the Sacred Plan

There are a number of instances in the New Testament where inspired writers warn of an impending apostasy from “the faith” system once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 3-4). Paul spoke to the Ephesian elders regarding “wolves” that would invade the flock of God, and even from within the leadership, and men with base motives of self-interest would proselyte their own disciples (Acts 20:28-30). It was foretold that the time would come when some would no longer endure sound doctrine, hence would depart from the faith, exchanging truth for error (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1ff; 4:1-4). The fact is, such lawlessness was beginning to work even at an early stage of the church’s existence (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; esp. v. 7; see also Revelation 2, 3). Virtually every epistle in the New Testament deals with some sort of error beginning to manifest itself in the church of the apostolic age.

One area of corruption came in the doctrine concerning baptism (as summarized at the commencement of this essay). Progressively there was a departure from the faith regarding: (1) the

manner of administering the rite; (2) the proper subject for whom it is designed; and (3) the divinely specified purpose

of its role in the scheme of human redemption. Let us reflect upon the elements of change that have evolved with the passing of the centuries.

The Corruption of Immersion

As indicated earlier, the word “baptize” is an anglicized Greek term literally meaning “immerse.” It never means to “sprinkle” or “pour” water upon a subject. In fact, it is carefully distinguished from those actions. Note this text: “And the priest shall take of the log of oil, and

pour it into the palm of his own left hand; and the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before Jehovah” (Leviticus 14:15-16 – LXX). The difference between the verbal actions is easily discerned. New Testament baptism is a burial

in water (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
By the middle of the 2nd century, however, conviction was yielding to convenience. The first historical reference to a substitute for immersion occurs in a document known as the

Didache

(ca. A.D. 120-150). A passage in chapter 7 reads: “Now as regards baptism, thus baptize: having first rehearsed all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water. But if you have not running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot in cold, then warm. But if you have neither, pour water upon the head three times …” (ANF, 7.379).

A few years later, Cyprian (ca. A.D. 200-258), a church dignitary in Carthage, made the first recorded defense of sprinkling when he wrote:

“You have asked also, dearest son, what I thought of those who obtain God’s grace in sickness and weakness, whether they are to be accounted legitimate Christians, for that they are not to be washed, but sprinkled, with saving water. … In the sacrament of salvation, when necessity compels, and God bestows his mercy, the divine methods confer whole benefits on believers; nor ought it to trouble anyone that sick people seemed to be sprinkled or affused, when they obtain the Lord’s grace” (

Epistle

Ixxv.12; ANF, 5.400-401).
It clearly will be observed that even at this point in time sprinkling is advised only upon cautious grounds, “when necessity compels,” and thus was not the normal practice. And, as with the previous quotation, the plea is too late to have the approval of

apostolic

authority.
The first known case of sprinkling involved a man by the name of Novatian who lived in Rome. Eusebius (ca. 263-340), known as the “father of church history,” says of Novatian that he was “attacked with an obstinate disease, and being supposed at the point of death, was baptized by aspersion, in the bed on which he lay.” Again, though, this was considered abnormal, for Eusebius subsequently observes that restrictions were put upon Novatian because: “It was not lawful that one baptized in his sick bed by aspersion, as he was, should be promoted to any order of the clergy…” (

Ecclesiastical History

, 1955, 266).
Even as late as the 8th century, Pope Stephen III in France authorized pouring water on infants’ heads only “in cases of necessity” (

Edinburgh Cyclopedia; quoted by Rowe, 1957, 456). In fact, the Council of Nemours (A.D. 1284) limited “sprinkling to cases of necessity” (Schaff, 1894, I.201). Finally, at the Council of Ravenna (A.D. 1311), it was officially made law (human law) that the candidate for baptism be given his choice between sprinkling and immersion. What of God’s

choice?

Infant Baptism

Since both faith and repentance are conditions leading to New Testament baptism, naturally infants are excluded (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Infants have not the mental capacity to believe in Christ, and they cannot repent for they “have no knowledge of good or evil.” (Deuteronomy 1:39) Hence, the practice of “infant baptism” is unknown to Holy Scripture.

The first possible allusion to infant baptism is by Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 140-203), a 2nd century theologian in Gaul. “He [Christ] came to save, through means of himself, all who through him are born again unto God, infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men” (

Against Heresies,

2.22.4;ANF, 1.391). But a contemporary, Tertullian (ca. 150- 222 A.D.), a scholar in the Roman province of Africa, opposed the practice:
“Let them come while they are growing up; let them come while they are learning, while they are being taught to what it is they are coming; let them become Christians when they are susceptible of the knowledge of Christ. What haste to procure the forgiveness of sins for the age of innocence! … Let them first learn to feel their need of salvation; so it may appear that we have given to those that wanted” (

On Baptism,

xviii; ANF, 3.678).

Augustus Neander, a Lutheran historian, made this important comment: “Tertullian appears as a zealous opponent of infant baptism; a proof that the practice had not as yet come to be regarded as an apostolical institution; for otherwise Tertullian hardly would have ventured to express himself so strongly against it” (1850, 1.432). Neander also acknowledged that: “Baptism at first was administered only to adults,” because baptism and faith were “strictly connected” (1.430).

Although Tertullian opposed infant baptism, he did “fertilize the soil” for its ready acceptance by others. He taught that the human spirit, like the body, is transmitted from parent to child (Strong, 1976, 493). Thus, man inherits both a blemished soul and body. Cyprian, in the 3rd century, reasoned:

“But again, if even the chief of sinners, who have been exceedingly guilty before God, receive the forgiveness of sins on coming to the faith, and no one is precluded from baptism and from grace, how less should the child be kept back, which, as it is but just born, can not have sinned, but has only brought with it, by its descent from Adam, the infection of the old death; and which may the more easily obtain the remission of sins, because the sins which are forgiven it are not its own, but those of another” (

Epistle,

lviii.5; ANF, 5.354).

Origen (ca. A.D.185-254), another post-apostolic writer, erroneously declares:

“Little children are baptized for the remission of sins. Whose sins are they? When did they sin? Or how can this explanation of the baptismal washing be maintained in the case of small children, except according to the interpretation we spoke of a little earlier? No man is clean of stain, not even if his life upon the earth had lasted but a single day” (

Homilies in Luke,

xiv.5; Lienhard, 1996, 58).

The practice of infant baptism did not become common until the 5th century, after the writings of the North African theologian Augustine had popularized the theory of “original sin.” Even Philip Schaff, a member of the Reformed Church, and a strong pedo-baptist advocate, was forced to admit that “adult baptism was the rule, infant baptism the exception” until the church was fairly established in the Roman Empire. He points out that Augustine, Gregory Nazianzen, and Chrysostom had “Christian” mothers, yet these men were not baptized until early manhood (1884, I.210).

H.A.W. Meyer (1800-1873) was one of the most prominent commentators produced by the German Lutheran Church. He thus had no intrinsic bias against infant baptism, yet in his commentary on Acts [16:15], he wrote: “The baptism of the children of Christians, of which no trace is found in the N.T., is not to be held as an apostolic ordinance, as, indeed, it encountered early and long resistance; but it is an institution of the church, which gradually arose in post-apostolic times…” (1883, 312).

The practice of “baptizing” infants is a

human

tradition, utterly void of biblical sanction. It instills a false sense of confidence in youngsters as they grow up, and is a hindrance to genuine obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Church Fathers on Baptism’s Purpose

The divine connection between baptism and the forgiveness of past sins was universally acknowledged by writers of the post-apostolic age. They recognized, and appealed to, the divine authority of the Scriptures for this conviction (Mk.16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Tit. 3:5; I Pet. 3:21, etc.). George P. Fisher (1827-1909), a professor at Yale Divinity School and prominent church historian, wrote: “Very early, baptism was so far identified with regeneration as to be designated by this term. This rite was considered essential to salvation” (1890, 83).

In his outstanding volume,

A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs,

David Bercot, an Anglican scholar and an attorney, lists approximately eighty-five references from the writings of the early “Church Fathers,” highlighting their conviction that water baptism is essential to divine pardon from one’s past sins (1998, 50-56). This proposition was universally conceded for centuries following the establishment of Christ’s church. There are more New Testament texts connecting baptism with forgiveness than there are passages explicitly identifying Jesus Christ as “God”! How incredible it is, therefore, that this connection should be so flagrantly repudiated by a significant portion of modern “Christendom.”

The Error of Baptismal Regeneration

Eventually, as the centuries of the post-apostolic age multiplied, an almost magical aura began to be associated with baptism, resulting finally in the doctrine of “baptismal regeneration” (power in the water itself). It was only natural that a reaction against this erroneous perception would develop eventually. But, as with many doctrines in church history, the reactionary pendulum swung too far to the opposite extreme.

“Baptism,” as administered by the Roman Catholic Church, reflects a form of “baptismal regeneration” that is wholly at variance with the New Testament. A leading Catholic authority defines “baptism” in the following fashion: “A sacrament of the New Law instituted by Jesus Christ, in which, as a result of washing with water accompanied by the words ‘I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,’ a human being is spiritually regenerated, and made capable of receiving the other sacraments” (Attwater, 1961, 45). On the same page, the author contends that even the “insane” may be administered this baptismal rite; additionally, he says an aborted fetus “must be baptized.” Protestant reaction against baptismal regeneration was manifest through various outlets.

Salvation by “Faith Alone”

Jacobus Faber (ca. 1455-1536), known also as Jacques Lefevre, a French Roman Catholic priest, was a harbinger of the Protestant movement in France. Though he never formally severed himself from the Catholic Church, through his influence (largely due to his translation of the New Testament from the Vulgate into French – 1523) French society was cultured for the advancement of Protestantism. Faber has been characterized as the “forerunner of the Reformation.” Five years before Luther’s formal rebellion against Catholicism (October 31, 1517 – the declaration of his 95 Theses), Faber published his

Commentary on the Epistles of Paul,

in which he argued that justification before God is by faith without attendant works. Faber failed to distinguish works of law (cf. Rom. 4:1ff), and works of human merit (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), from works of obedience enjoined by God (John 6:27-29; Romans 1:5; 16:26).

A few years later, Martin Luther declared: “I, Doctor Martin Luther, unworthy herald of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, confess this article, that faith alone without works justifies before God” (D’Aubigne, 1955, 56). So convinced of this was Luther that he altered the text of Romans 3:28 to read: “a man is justified by faith only.” He further rejected the inspiration of the book of James because of its stress on works (obedience) as a demonstration of faith. James declared that: “You see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (2:24).

Luther’s position on baptism was confusing. At times he argued that baptism is “necessary for salvation”; at other times he contended that “baptism is no more than an outward sign,” and if one “cannot have it,” or even if he “refuses it, he is not condemned, so long as he believes the Gospel” (Harvey, 1964, 38).

There is little doubt that Martin Luther significantly prepared the way for that modern and monstrous sectarian doctrine which asserts that: “Baptism is not essential to salvation.”

Sources/Footnotes

  • ANF – Ante-Nicene Fathers. Roberts, Alexander & James Donaldson, eds. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. 1994. 10 Vols.
  • Attwater, Donald. A Catholic Dictionary. New York, NY: Macmillan. 1961.
  • Bercot, David W., A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. 1998.
  • D’Aubigne, J. H. Merle. The Life and Times of Martin Luther. Chicago, IL: Moody).
  • Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 1955.
  • Fisher, George Park. History of the Christian Church. London, Eng: Hodder & Stoughton. 1890.
  • Harvey, Van A. A Handbook of Theological Terms. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1964.
  • Kittel, Gerhard, et al. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament – Abridged. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 1985.
  • Kohlenberger, John, Edward Goodrick, James Swanson. The Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 1995.
  • Leinhard, Joseph T., Translator. Origen: Homilies on Luke. Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press. 1996.
  • Meyer, H. A. W. Commentary on Acts. New York, NY: Funk & Wagnalls. 1883.
  • Neander, Augustus. General History of the Christian Religion and Church. London, Eng. Henry Bohn, 1850. 7 Vols.
  • Rowe, John. A History of Reformatory Movements. Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate. 1955.
  • Schaff, Phillip. ed. Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. New York, NY: Funk & Wagnalls Co. 1884. 4 Vols.
  • Strong, Augustus H. Systematic Theology. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell. 1976.

About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the

Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial

, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife and life-long partner, Betty.

Article location:

http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1540-a-history-of-the-baptism-apostasy

 

This Article Provided Compliments Of:

Chickamauga church of Christ, P.O. Box 555, 105 Crittenden Ave., Chickamauga, GA 30707

 Questions, Comments and/or Bible Study Welcome

www.chickamaugachurchofchrist.com



From Heaven or From Men

From Heaven or From Men

by: Ken McCurry

 

For your consideration.

 

Have you ever wondered…Jesus Christ said He would build His church, well how many did He build? (Meaning different religious organizations each teaching, believing, obeying and practicing something different from the other.) He built His church…singular, just ONE. Before the day of Pentecost upon which the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit the church was spoken of as being in the future. At that Pentecost and thereafter the church was spoken of as being in existence. (Ref: Acts 2:47 Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.) The Lord wasn’t adding people to something that didn’t exist. The question is again…How many churches did He build / establish / authorize? Just ONE. And at least within the first century the churches scattered throughout the entire region were teaching, believing, obeying and practicing the same things. But it wasn’t long before men started bringing their ideas, their ways and their wisdom into the Lord’s church.

 

Now consider how many different churches / religious organizations that exist today. By last count I’ve read that there are approximately 3000 different main line churches and religious organizations each of whom are teaching, believing, obeying and practicing something different from the other. Most all would claim to get their doctrine from the same book…The Holy Bible. Here’s the thing…If they are teaching, believing, obeying and practicing something different from the other…they can All be wrong but they can not All be right according to the scriptures!

 

Doesn’t man have any responsibility in “searching the scriptures to see if these things are so”? (Ref. Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so; 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.) Does one’s sincerity outweigh Christ authority? Can we all just do as we think best or should we not do what God says, how God says and for the reason God gives. Friends, what Gods book says to you it says to me, what it teaches me it teaches you and everyone else for that matter. Since the scriptures were recorded and God’s word to man through the Holy Spirit inspired writers was finished there has not been new or continued revelation from God through Holy Spirit inspired men. (Ref. Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed; Revelation 22:18-19 I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.) How then does all these different religious organizations / churches justify themselves before God? They tell people it doesn’t matter…just believe in and accept Jesus and join the church or worship at the church of your choice. Friends, that IS NOT a New Testament concept. If it makes no difference what we do in matters of religion, why did God give us certain instructions to follow? (Ref. Matthew 7:13-14 and 21-23 Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it; 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 who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.) Many are following the broad way and sincerity alone will not get you to heaven. If it is documented and confirmed in God’s Word…it is from heaven, if it is not…then it is from men!

 

Do you want to go to heaven? I certainly hope you do. Is the church or religious organization you are affiliated with following the New Testament pattern in teaching and practice? Would you like to see what the New Testament actually teaches in regards to forgiveness and faithfulness? Do you want proof that God exist and that He is our creator? Are you turned off by all this confusion in religion and have just decided to live the best you can and to not be associated with any church? Maybe you have not considered God and you would like to know more about God and His Son Jesus Christ. Please take the time to investigate and consider these matters for eternity is a long time. There is a great day coming…There is a sad day coming!

 

For more information on where all these churches and beliefs came from or for questions, comments, discussion or bible study…feel free to contact me. May God bless you in your seeking Him and His truth. Feel free to pass this information along to others. An excellent book on religious divisions and the Bible is “Muscle And A Shovel” by Michael Shank. Get it…Read it.

 

Ken McCurry   c/o  Chickamauga church of Christ, P.O. Box 555, Chickamauga, GA 30707