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Baptismal Regeneration (revisited)

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I was baptised into the Church of Christ when I was about (guessing) 7 or 8 years old. Later in life after attending many different churches, I was saved under the ministry of an IFB and followed the Lord with believer's baptism.

Some years ago I had a relative and member of the Church of Christ pass away. After the services there was a meal at the church. During discussion among family and old friends, membership at this church was discussed. A deacon of the church mentioned that I was still carried on the membership roll. I said I had since been saved and become a Baptist. Another person said, "But you were baptized here!" No discussion of salvation or receiving Christ as personal Savior and Lord occurred. I was thankful a distraction occurred at that point and freed me from having to answer any other questions or continue on that path. This was not the time to debate baptismal regeneration. I knew this church taught your salvation required baptism to be complete.

So, I'm wondering...do all Churches of Christ teach you must be baptized in addition to believing in Christ to be saved?

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I was baptised into the Church of Christ when I was about (guessing) 7 or 8 years old. Later in life after attending many different churches, I was saved under the ministry of an IFB and followed the Lord with believer's baptism.

Some years ago I had a relative and member of the Church of Christ pass away. After the services there was a meal at the church. During discussion among family and old friends, membership at this church was discussed. A deacon of the church mentioned that I was still carried on the membership roll. I said I had since been saved and become a Baptist. Another person said, "But you were baptized here!" No discussion of salvation or receiving Christ as personal Savior and Lord occurred. I was thankful a distraction occurred at that point and freed me from having to answer any other questions or continue on that path. This was not the time to debate baptismal regeneration. I knew this church taught your salvation required baptism to be complete.

So, I'm wondering...do all Churches of Christ teach you must be baptized in addition to believing in Christ to be saved?


Tim, I will attempt to answer your question. First, let me say that I take exception with the "Title" of this thread. The BIble, which is our sole source of authority, does not teach "baptismal regeneration." The church of Christ is often accused of believing in "water (baptismal) regeneration" which it does not. That being said.....

Yes, the church of Christ does teach that one must also be baptized in order to be saved. The question is, is the church of Christ doing so because it is just some idea some man has come up with or is it something that the Bible teaches. The simple answer is that the Bible teaches it.

We could examine Acts 2 and see that in verse 37 the Jews asked what they had to do to be saved. Peter answered they had to "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." We could examine Acts 16 and notice in verse 30 the Philippian jailor asked what he must do to be saved. Paul and Silas responded that he must believe. Then they taught him that he might believe (keep in mind that faith comes from the word of God (Rom 10:17). Then what happened? Notice in verse 33 that he was baptized. We could study the conversion of Saul (Paul) in Acts chapters 9, 22, and 26 and see that Jesus told him to go into the city and wait and he would be told what he must do in order to be saved. He was told to arise and be baptized (Acts 22:16) calling on the name of the Lord washing away his sins. We could study Simon the sourcer in Acts 8:10ff and notice that he and the others were baptized.

We could read of the importance of baptism in Rom 6:3ff, Col 2:12, Gal 3:27, 1 Peter 3:20ff, Eph 4:5 (cf Acts 19:1ff) etc. These passages all teach us that one must be baptized in order to have his/her sins remitted (be saved). It is at this point that one is added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:41, 47).

You seem to indicate that it is your belief that one is baptized in order to "join" the church of Christ. This is not the case. As a matter of fact, it seems from my studies that one must be baptized in order to be a member of the baptist church. It is easier (in the baptist mind) to be saved than to join the baptist church. At least, that is what it seems from my studies.

Let's be clear about something else. We are are often accused of believing in baptism over faith. This is not true. One must have faith in order to be baptized. It would be of no benefit whatsoever to immerse a person in water who did not believe in Christ, but neither does it do any good to "believe" and not actually OBey the will of God.

I hope that I have answered your question. If you have any further, please, let me know.

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....
I knew this church taught your salvation required baptism to be complete.

So, I'm wondering...do all Churches of Christ teach you must be baptized in addition to believing in Christ to be saved?

I can't speak for the CoC denomination, but most Gospel churches will insist on baptism before church membership & communion. Whether that means believers' baptism by immersion or sprinkling, or infant baptism followed by a clear profession of personal faith will depend on the individual church.

I suggest we do not discuss the mode of baptism here. Regarding infant baptism, if we insist on immersion, we dismiss the all KJV translators as unbaptised, & seriously deficient in their understanding of Scripture.

Regarding the necessity of baptism, is there anywhere in Scripture that the Gospel is preached without the command to be baptised? The Gospel command on the day of Pentecost was:
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.

In the next chapter, the lame man is OBviously saved when he is lifted up, & immediately shows his salvation: Act 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. He is even arrested for his witness. Peter's sermon is rudely interrupted before he can preach repentance & baptism, Act 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

Paul assures his readers: 1Cr 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Gal 3:26 ¶ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism is paramount for a Christian - to contemn baptism, or not bother, is to cast doubt on one's profession of faith. Faith is first & foremost OBedient to Christ. The professed believer who refuses baptism should not be accepted as a believer in good faith.

BUT, baptism does not save nor regenerate, but the new believer should be baptised as soon as possible after salvation.

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I can't speak for the CoC denomination, but most Gospel churches will insist on baptism before church membership & communion. Whether that means believers' baptism by immersion or sprinkling, or infant baptism followed by a clear profession of personal faith will depend on the individual church.

I suggest we do not discuss the mode of baptism here. Regarding infant baptism, if we insist on immersion, we dismiss the all KJV translators as unbaptised, & seriously deficient in their understanding of Scripture.

Regarding the necessity of baptism, is there anywhere in Scripture that the Gospel is preached without the command to be baptised? The Gospel command on the day of Pentecost was:
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.

In the next chapter, the lame man is OBviously saved when he is lifted up, & immediately shows his salvation: Act 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. He is even arrested for his witness. Peter's sermon is rudely interrupted before he can preach repentance & baptism, Act 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

Paul assures his readers: 1Cr 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Gal 3:26 ¶ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism is paramount for a Christian - to contemn baptism, or not bother, is to cast doubt on one's profession of faith. Faith is first & foremost OBedient to Christ. The professed believer who refuses baptism should not be accepted as a believer in good faith.

BUT, baptism does not save nor regenerate, but the new believer should be baptised as soon as possible after salvation.


Covenanter,

Let me begin by stating that the church of Christ is not a denomination. I know that most if not all on here will say that I am incorrect, but I can’t control what others wish to say; the Bible clearly teaches that it is not and I will stand with the Word of God rather than any man.

Biblical baptism is by immersion. We could do a good study on that if anyone is interested. I believe that most on here would agree with that fact though.

You are correct that baptism is taught and one can not get around it unless he simply ignores what the Bible says. I can’t agree with your statement about the man in Acts 3. The fact that Peter healed him physically does not show that he was saved.

As to whether baptism saves, read 1 Peter 3:20-21. Baptism does save us. We are saved by many things: faith, the blood of Christ, baptism, hope….

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As to whether baptism saves, read 1 Peter 3:20-21. Baptism does save us. We are saved by many things: faith, the blood of Christ, baptism, hope….

So, coc333, when does a person actually become regenerated, that is, pass from death to life? At the moment of faith? At the praying of a prayer? At the moment of baptism? Somewhere in between? It's all well and good to say that these things (which IMO are all metaphors for the same thing) all "save" a person, but perhaps we're not being precise enough with our speech here. What say you?

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It seems to me that I am seeing a debate between that I have come to understand is CoC doctrine or tenets and Baptist (IFB if you like) with the CoC folks asking what we believe and then sitting out to show/prove us wrong. Kinda of like the new kid on the block determining that now his is the way and only way to believe. As to the translators, if what they did outside of the translating and how we came to understand the truth of the KJB because of the translating, meaning now people had the Word of God to go to rather than some man's interpretation. Are we to say because because Westcott and Hort were wicked and nonbelievers we should be too.
beatdeadhorse.gif

Paul was told that he would be told in what he was to do after his conversion on the Damascus road, after he got to Damascus not what he had to do to be saved. Peter said, "...repent , (comma) and be baptized ..." then Acts 2 goes on to say, 3000 were baptized and added to the church not just 3000 saved. Even in every instance of Christ preaching or teaching not all in attendance responded in conversion, as a matter of fact He rebuked those that disagreed with Him.

I don't believe in baptism as part of salvation, (what do you do about the thief on the cross), what happens to the individual that can't be baptized (car wreck, heart attack, the CoC baptistry is broken, being cleaned ...) are they then condemned or is there special circumstances?

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The "Church of Christ" is a denomination, just because you call yourself "the church of Christ" doesn't make you the actual, literal, church of Christ any more than calling one's self a Latter Day Saint makes one in fact a saint in the latter days. I'm being gracious in calling the Church of Christ a denomination, what they are is a pusher of damnable heresy started by Alexander Campbell in the 1800s, who, like Joseph Smith, thought that it was his jOB to fix the church and the faith which Jude said was "...once delivered to the saints".

Nowhere in the Bible do any individuals get their sins forgiven, or washed away, or anything by water baptism. You have people getting baptized after they're saved, people getting baptized before their saved to identify themselves with the coming Messiah, and you have people getting the Holy Spirit before they're baptized and people getting it after their baptized - but water baptism doesn't save anyone.

Acts is the worst place in the world to build Bible doctrine, because it is an historical account (not doctrinal instruction) of a time in which many things are happening, some of which are:

1. Old Testament to New.
2. Jew to Gentile.
3. Law to Grace.
4. Signs, wonders, and miracles to a complete canon.

Yet, this is the place that the Church of Christ denomination get's their bedrock doctrine from. They take Acts 2:38 (corporate baptism, see the next chapter), ignoring that Paul told us he came not to baptize but to preach the gospel - distinguishing the gospel as being something separate from baptism.

I Cor. 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

The biggest mistake the denomination makes is that it fails to see that not all baptism in the Bible involves water. See this article. Christians are baptized spiritually into the spiritual body of Christ - no water involved.

I Cor. 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

Not to mention the thief on the cross never got baptized, but he went to Paradise.

In my experience with the Church of Christ denomination, putting faith in baptism isn't enough. One must pretty much agree with everything the church says, this is why I've called them "the Church of the Clones" in the past in my dealings with them. If you are not a member of the physical "Church of Christ" - then you are not a member of the spiritual Church of Christ. Absolutely ridiculous. You can't believe in the doctrine of the Godhead, or as some call it - the Trinity, and be saved.

Oh, and they don't think that God hears the prayers of sinners based on this passage, which is just a testimony of a mixed up Jew:

John 9:30-31, "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."

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coc, 1 Peter 3:20 and 21 are often quoted by Church of Christ to say that baptism is an essential part of eternal salvation. But, in fact, it is an incorrect assumption.

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:

Please note the underlined. God tells us very clearly that baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God - the act of baptism has absolutely no bearing on eternal salvation. If, in your post in which you claim we are saved by many things and you are insinuating that said being saved is eternal, you are quite wrong, my friend.

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Covenanter,

Let me begin by stating that the church of Christ is not a denomination. I know that most if not all on here will say that I am incorrect, but I can’t control what others wish to say; the Bible clearly teaches that it is not and I will stand with the Word of God rather than any man.

Do you label your meeting places "Church of Christ" distinguishing them from other churches in the area? And have you a doctrinal basis that all CoC churches assent?

The British FIEC is a group of churches in fellowship, where we agree on a 9-point doctrinal basis, but the officers of the FIEC are in an advisory capacity & have no authority over affiliating churches. Churches that do not give assent every year are liable to be removed from the register.

We get called an undemoninational denomination :rolleyes:

Biblical baptism is by immersion. We could do a good study on that if anyone is interested. I believe that most on here would agree with that fact though.
Pass

You are correct that baptism is taught and one can not get around it unless he simply ignores what the Bible says. I can’t agree with your statement about the man in Acts 3. The fact that Peter healed him physically does not show that he was saved.

I did not suggest that the fact of healing saved him. Many were healed by Jesus & not saved. (e.g. The 9 lepers.) He showed his salvation by his witness, & standing with Peter & John when they were arrested.


As to whether baptism saves, read 1 Peter 3:20-21. Baptism does save us. We are saved by many things: faith, the blood of Christ, baptism, hope….

Many things? There are many aspects to salvation, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit giving us new life from our natural dead in sins state that is the act of salvation. That new spiritual life expresses itself. Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

To be baptised in the name of a condemned criminal requires true faith.

1 Peter 3 is not proof of the saving power of baptism, per se, It is a figure for being in Christ, just as those in the ark were saved. It's not the washing - the water - but the significance - the application of the cleansing blood to the conscience. As Hebrews says in ch. 9 in his teaching on baptism (9:10 various baptisms) Hbr 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Peter begins by speaking of that sprinkled blood: 1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto OBedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
There is a comprehensive doctrine of the significance of baptism in Scripture, with examples from the OT rituals, so the priests and Levites expected the Christ to baptise. (John 1:25)

It is of interest to note that the red heifer ritual for cleansing from contact with the dead (Num. 19 & Heb. 9) is requested by David in Psa. 51 after his sin with Bathsheba & Uriah.
Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

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The "Church of Christ" is a denomination, just because you call yourself "the church of Christ" doesn't make you the actual, literal, church of Christ any more than calling one's self a Latter Day Saint makes one in fact a saint in the latter days. I'm being gracious in calling the Church of Christ a denomination, what they are is a pusher of damnable heresy started by Alexander Campbell in the 1800s, who, like Joseph Smith, thought that it was his jOB to fix the church and the faith which Jude said was "...once delivered to the saints".

Nowhere in the Bible do any individuals get their sins forgiven, or washed away, or anything by water baptism. You have people getting baptized after they're saved, people getting baptized before their saved to identify themselves with the coming Messiah, and you have people getting the Holy Spirit before they're baptized and people getting it after their baptized - but water baptism doesn't save anyone.

Acts is the worst place in the world to build Bible doctrine, because it is an historical account (not doctrinal instruction) of a time in which many things are happening, some of which are:

1. Old Testament to New.
2. Jew to Gentile.
3. Law to Grace.
4. Signs, wonders, and miracles to a complete canon.

Yet, this is the place that the Church of Christ denomination get's their bedrock doctrine from. They take Acts 2:38 (corporate baptism, see the next chapter), ignoring that Paul told us he came not to baptize but to preach the gospel - distinguishing the gospel as being something separate from baptism.

I Cor. 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

The biggest mistake the denomination makes is that it fails to see that not all baptism in the Bible involves water. See this article. Christians are baptized spiritually into the spiritual body of Christ - no water involved.

I Cor. 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

Not to mention the thief on the cross never got baptized, but he went to Paradise.

In my experience with the Church of Christ denomination, putting faith in baptism isn't enough. One must pretty much agree with everything the church says, this is why I've called them "the Church of the Clones" in the past in my dealings with them. If you are not a member of the physical "Church of Christ" - then you are not a member of the spiritual Church of Christ. Absolutely ridiculous. You can't believe in the doctrine of the Godhead, or as some call it - the Trinity, and be saved.

Oh, and they don't think that God hears the prayers of sinners based on this passage, which is just a testimony of a mixed up Jew:

John 9:30-31, "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."


Thunder! Thank you for the time you took to pull this together. I'm 100% with you.

Now, like the penitent theif many are saved on their death bed receiving Christ as their savior. Why would someone from the CoC bother going to the death bed of the lost? They can't sprinkle the individual because they believe baptism is by emersion. So, why does the minister of a CoC bother going? The dying person's profession of faith is of no use to the CoC, they died in their sins because they were not baptized. What does the CoC minister say to the family after the person passes into eternity? Does this minister or a lay person console the family and tell them the person was saved; which according to CoC is a lie. Or possibly they say sorry friend but your dearly departed is now in hell, we couldn't baptize them in time to save them.

Is Christ coming again wondering how many baptised He will find? Or, is He coming again wondering if He will find faith?
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

How many times does Christ say thy baptism hath made thee whole?

If baptism by water emersion were important for salvation then why didn't Jesus mention this when telling of Lazarus and the rich man?

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

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If baptism by water emersion were important for salvation then why didn't Jesus mention this when telling of Lazarus and the rich man?


Brother, you hit the nail on the head right there. Over, and over, and over again salvation is said to be by faith alone, easily over a hundred times. Campbellites find about five OBscure verses that can easily be reconciled with the other one hundred that say it's faith only.

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I always read this verse:

Acts 2:38 (KJV) 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.

For example, a judge telling a criminal to go to jail ("be baptized") for the crime he committed ("remission of sins"). So, the remission of sins (saved, born again) happened and then you were baptized.

Another simplistic look at scripture I guess, I don't know. Go to jail for the crime you committed. You don't say "Go to jail for the crime you are going to commit".

:puzzled3:

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You got it right, brother. And what you said there fits with all the rest of the New Testament. "For" is an important word to get right, and this is an excellent example why it's best to go with the weight of Scripture.

"Jump for joy": jump because of joy, not jump to recieve joy.

"Christ died for our sins": Christ died because we sinned, not Christ died so we could sin.

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I've encountered similar prOBlems with the Christian Church. While some of their pastors say they don't really teach that baptism saves, that churches own writings and teachings do. Unfortunately, I have some family members who were baptized in a Christian Church and they view this as making them okay with God. :icon_sad:

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So, coc333, when does a person actually become regenerated, that is, pass from death to life? At the moment of faith? At the praying of a prayer? At the moment of baptism? Somewhere in between? It's all well and good to say that these things (which IMO are all metaphors for the same thing) all "save" a person, but perhaps we're not being precise enough with our speech here. What say you?


A person is saved at the point which the Bible states that he is. Let us simply look at what God's Word says. Mark 16:16 says that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....." Notice it does not say that he that believeth and is saved shall be baptized. Now just wait and see, someone will protest that the second half only says that :he that believeth not shall be damned" and says nothing about baptism. Two prOBlems: 1. this argument simply ignores what Christ said in the first part of the statement and 2. one who does not believe will benefit nothing from being immersed in water. Romans 6:3ff teaches us that we are buried through baptism (the dead is buried) and that we then rise a new creature (are then alive spiritually).

The Bible speaks for itself. We would all do so much better if we would simply listen to it.

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It seems to me that I am seeing a debate between that I have come to understand is CoC doctrine or tenets and Baptist (IFB if you like) with the CoC folks asking what we believe and then sitting out to show/prove us wrong. Kinda of like the new kid on the block determining that now his is the way and only way to believe. As to the translators, if what they did outside of the translating and how we came to understand the truth of the KJB because of the translating, meaning now people had the Word of God to go to rather than some man's interpretation. Are we to say because because Westcott and Hort were wicked and nonbelievers we should be too.
beatdeadhorse.gif

Paul was told that he would be told in what he was to do after his conversion on the Damascus road, after he got to Damascus not what he had to do to be saved. Peter said, "...repent , (comma) and be baptized ..." then Acts 2 goes on to say, 3000 were baptized and added to the church not just 3000 saved. Even in every instance of Christ preaching or teaching not all in attendance responded in conversion, as a matter of fact He rebuked those that disagreed with Him.

I don't believe in baptism as part of salvation, (what do you do about the thief on the cross), what happens to the individual that can't be baptized (car wreck, heart attack, the CoC baptistry is broken, being cleaned ...) are they then condemned or is there special circumstances?


Jim, I asked a question about IFB so that I might learn what the IFB believe and teach. I asked honestly and am thankful that people answered me. I was asked a question and did my best to answer it with and honest heart. I do not apologize for that.

What would you have me to do when someone does ask me a question? Am I to tell them something I do not believe? Am I to tell them that though they have a question I will not answer? If someone wishes to ask me a question through private message, I will be happy to answer in that mode but if they ask me here I can do nothing but answer honestly.

I do not understanding your issue with KJV. I will say that I do use the KJV myself.

Paul was not converted on the road to Damascus. Acts chapters 9, 22, and 26 clearly demonstrate this fact.
The comma is not in the original. I understand your position on the KJV and will simply leave that issue alone. Again, I use the KJV myself.

I am missing the distinction you are making with 3,000 being baptized and added to the church and not just 3000 saved. Acts 2:47 clearly shows that we are added to the church at the point of salvation. The Bible doesn’t make a distinction.

You are of course free to believe what you wish. As I have pointed out before, the thief on the cross was still under the OT law. He was not required to be baptized. Also, Christ while on earth had the power to forgive sins on earth. I will also say that there is nothing that says he was not one of those baptized by John, though it does not say that he was.

You mention all of these possibilities, but that is assuming that these individuals have never had previous opportunities to OBey the Gospel. I will say that if someone came to me, day or night, who wanted to OBey the Gospel, I would find a way to help them do so.

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The "Church of Christ" is a denomination, just because you call yourself "the church of Christ" doesn't make you the actual, literal, church of Christ any more than calling one's self a Latter Day Saint makes one in fact a saint in the latter days. I'm being gracious in calling the Church of Christ a denomination, what they are is a pusher of damnable heresy started by Alexander Campbell in the 1800s, who, like Joseph Smith, thought that it was his jOB to fix the church and the faith which Jude said was "...once delivered to the saints".

Nowhere in the Bible do any individuals get their sins forgiven, or washed away, or anything by water baptism. You have people getting baptized after they're saved, people getting baptized before their saved to identify themselves with the coming Messiah, and you have people getting the Holy Spirit before they're baptized and people getting it after their baptized - but water baptism doesn't save anyone.

Acts is the worst place in the world to build Bible doctrine, because it is an historical account (not doctrinal instruction) of a time in which many things are happening, some of which are:

1. Old Testament to New.
2. Jew to Gentile.
3. Law to Grace.
4. Signs, wonders, and miracles to a complete canon.

Yet, this is the place that the Church of Christ denomination get's their bedrock doctrine from. They take Acts 2:38 (corporate baptism, see the next chapter), ignoring that Paul told us he came not to baptize but to preach the gospel - distinguishing the gospel as being something separate from baptism.

I Cor. 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

The biggest mistake the denomination makes is that it fails to see that not all baptism in the Bible involves water. See this article. Christians are baptized spiritually into the spiritual body of Christ - no water involved.

I Cor. 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

Not to mention the thief on the cross never got baptized, but he went to Paradise.

In my experience with the Church of Christ denomination, putting faith in baptism isn't enough. One must pretty much agree with everything the church says, this is why I've called them "the Church of the Clones" in the past in my dealings with them. If you are not a member of the physical "Church of Christ" - then you are not a member of the spiritual Church of Christ. Absolutely ridiculous. You can't believe in the doctrine of the Godhead, or as some call it - the Trinity, and be saved.

Oh, and they don't think that God hears the prayers of sinners based on this passage, which is just a testimony of a mixed up Jew:

John 9:30-31, "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."


Just because you call the church of Christ a denomination does not make it a denomination either, does it? I suppose we can argue back and forth but I will simply stick with the Word of God and let you believe what you choose. I will continue to simply ignore the name calling. It seems that is what you are best at and it is a waste of time arguing with someone of such a heart. I will say this, you and others often argue that the church of Christ was founded by Alexander Campbell. This shows that 1 of 2 things is true. Either you are simply ignorant of the facts (history) or you are choosing to ignore it. I suggest that either way you look at the facts. Barton W. Stone was working in the restoration movement prior to either Alexander or his father Thomas coming to the US. So, there goes your whole Campbellite view point. The church of Christ is not a name but simply shows ownership.

I don’t know what Bible you read but Acts 2:38 shows that the Jews were baptized to have there sins remitted (saved), Acts 8:10ff shows individuals, including Simon, who were baptized to be saved, Acts 9, 22, and 26 shows Saul (Paul) who was baptized to be saved….

If you want to ignore what is taught in the book of Acts, we can turn to the other books of the NT. How about we look in Romans (Romans 6:3ff), or maybe we should look in 1 Cor 12:13 were we are taught that we are to be baptized, or maybe we should look at Gal 3:27 or perhaps Col 2:12, or maybe we can look at 1 Peter 3:20-21…We might also recall that these epistles were written during the time that we read of the book of Acts….

Paul did not in fact say that he did not baptize anyone as a matter of fact he names those he baptized at Corinth. Also, notice that Christ did not actually baptize though He had His apostles do so (John 4:1-2).

Why is it that all the Baptist can do is turn to the thief on the cross? I will simply point you back to my previous response above on that issue.

Where do you get this stuff? The church of Christ teaches according to the Word of God the Godhead (trinity).

Perhaps you should actually check about what you say before you say it. That is why I actually ask what the IFB believes prior to accusing you of believing something

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coc, 1 Peter 3:20 and 21 are often quoted by Church of Christ to say that baptism is an essential part of eternal salvation. But, in fact, it is an incorrect assumption.


Please note the underlined. God tells us very clearly that baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God - the act of baptism has absolutely no bearing on eternal salvation. If, in your post in which you claim we are saved by many things and you are insinuating that said being saved is eternal, you are quite wrong, my friend.


I have read the passage and it does in fact teach that one must be baptized in order to be saved.

Um...I have not said anything about "once saved always saved," if that is what you are speaking about. No, I do not believe in such, but that is another issue from what we are speaking about.

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A person is saved at the point which the Bible states that he is. Let us simply look at what God's Word says. Mark 16:16 says that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....." The Bible speaks for itself.

Look, I could proof text as you have just done, and say that works save a person. Here goes: James 2:24: "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified."
The prOBlem with such proof texting is that I (and you above) just ignored a ton of Scripture dealing with soteriology. I yanked out one verse that seemed to indicate salvation by works, and made my case. This is hardly a responsible usage of Scripture. In order to get a complete idea of true, biblical soteriology, one must actually study all of the verses on that subject. Here are some more for you:

Luke 18:42 (blind man): And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. (But the man hadn't been baptized...yet was pronounced "saved" by Christ Himself.)
Luke 7:50 (woman): And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Again, no baptism, yet Christ says she has been saved.)
Acts 16:30-31 (Philippian jailer): 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. (No mention of baptism here. The jailer was baptized later on.)
Romans 10:9, 13: 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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And...Jesus' response to the thief on the cross (along with the sick woman and blind man) does indeed expose a fatal flaw in your position. If Christ Himself says that the thief will be in paradise with Him that day, without being baptized, it totally contradicts your theory. Let's see...who to believe: coc333 or Jesus Christ? Hmmm...That's a no-brainer. :) But, you say, the very same person--Jesus--said that we are saved by baptism in the other passage you quoted. So...Jesus contradicts Himself? Uh...no. The answer is that you have to dig deeper than just isolated proof texts.

These are just a few of MANY verses which teach salvation by faith alone. The thing is that in ancient times, baptism followed very closely on the heels of salvation; it was the way for new believers to immediately and publicly confess Christ...much like our prayer for salvation is today (which focuses on the "confessing with the mouth" part). It is not "the prayer" that saves, just like it isn't "the baptism" that saves; these things are merely outward manifestations of what has happened in the heart. Those who are trusting in baptism, prayer, walking an aisle, etc., for salvation have misplaced their faith in that they are trusting in a work that they themselves did instead of the work that Christ did in their hearts.

We would all do so much better if we would simply listen to it.

True...and ya gotta listen to ALL of it to get an accurate picture of what it says.

EDIT: Look, I grew up in a church that proof-texted like crazy: "See, James 5:19 says you can lose your salvation! It's right there!" We were not taught to use the Bible responsibly...to seek the whole counsel of God...to compare, study, reconcile, etc. We would just take a few isolated verses that seemed to indicate a particular idea, and then twist the whole weight of Scripture which seemed to indicate the opposite idea to fit the mold of the few verses. Irresponsible hermeneutics, to say the least! That's exactly what you are doing here.

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The building is just a building. The only “doctrine” that we have is the Bible. We do not have any “creeds” etc. I suppose that is different from denominations.

Many in the church of Christ use the term “undenominational,” I prefer the term “anti-denominational” since that is what Christ was. In John 17 he prayed for unity. Paul called for unity in Eph 4:1ff. He also condemned division in 1 Cor 1:10ff (read the first 4 chapters as a matter of fact.) Paul clearly stated that there is but 1 body (Eph 4:4) and that that body is the church (Eph 1:22-23). Notice he did not say that it was made up of many denominations which teach many different and often contradictory doctrines. Paul spoke pretty strongly against those who teach other doctrines (Gal 1:6-9)

I just can’t agree with you on Acts 3.

I will simply point back to my previous post on these passages. They say what they say. I can say that 1 Peter 3:20-21 says one must be baptized and you can say it doesn’t and it still says what it says. It clearly states that baptism does save. It does say anything about it being a symbol.

Baptism is required and it is clear that it is.

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Thunder! Thank you for the time you took to pull this together. I'm 100% with you.

Now, like the penitent theif many are saved on their death bed receiving Christ as their savior. Why would someone from the CoC bother going to the death bed of the lost? They can't sprinkle the individual because they believe baptism is by emersion. So, why does the minister of a CoC bother going? The dying person's profession of faith is of no use to the CoC, they died in their sins because they were not baptized. What does the CoC minister say to the family after the person passes into eternity? Does this minister or a lay person console the family and tell them the person was saved; which according to CoC is a lie. Or possibly they say sorry friend but your dearly departed is now in hell, we couldn't baptize them in time to save them.

Is Christ coming again wondering how many baptised He will find? Or, is He coming again wondering if He will find faith?
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

How many times does Christ say thy baptism hath made thee whole?

If baptism by water emersion were important for salvation then why didn't Jesus mention this when telling of Lazarus and the rich man?

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


The thief on the cross, as I said, the Baptist can turn to nothing but this one example which does not in any way prove or even suggest what they teach.

What would the Baptist say to the family of the person who died without “professing his faith?” We can both ask these questions. I will simply say that the Bible says what it says and I won’t attempt to give someone a false hope simply because it saddens me for someone to reject the truth.

If immersion was not important then why did Jesus specifically state that “He that believeth and IS BAPTIZED shall be saved…?” 1 + 1 = 2

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Brother, you hit the nail on the head right there. Over, and over, and over again salvation is said to be by faith alone, easily over a hundred times. Campbellites find about five OBscure verses that can easily be reconciled with the other one hundred that say it's faith only.



Excuse me Rick, but you can not provide even 1 passage that says that salvation is by "faith alone." Not 1. I can on the other hand provide one that says that it is not. (James 2:24). I can provide one that says we are saved by Grace (Eph 2:8) which would prove your statement to be false. I can provide one that says we are saved through baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21) which proves your statement to be false. I can continue but this should be enough.

Can you provide even 1 passage that says we can be saved by faith alone? Just show 1?

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The thief on the cross, as I said, the Baptist can turn to nothing but this one example which does not in any way prove or even suggest what they teach.

Ahem....(see my newest post) :)

What would the Baptist say to the family of the person who died without “professing his faith?” We can both ask these questions. I will simply say that the Bible says what it says and I won’t attempt to give someone a false hope simply because it saddens me for someone to reject the truth.

"The Baptist" (along with most mainline Christian denominations) would say that he was quite possibly saved, but that only God knows. The same thing would be true for those who DO "profess their faith," verbally, or by baptism...A profession of faith does not a Christian make!

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I always read this verse:

Acts 2:38 (KJV) 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.

For example, a judge telling a criminal to go to jail ("be baptized") for the crime he committed ("remission of sins"). So, the remission of sins (saved, born again) happened and then you were baptized.

Another simplistic look at scripture I guess, I don't know. Go to jail for the crime you committed. You don't say "Go to jail for the crime you are going to commit".

:puzzled3:


That is simply not what that passage teaches. It does not teach that we are baptized "because of" our sins being remitted. IF it did, it would also teach that we "repent" "because of" the remission of our sins. Is that what it teaches?

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