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BobbyH

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As a few of you may know, I am not what you guys call an "independent Baptist" however; I am in my 2nd year of Bible College online that is independent Baptist 100%. I had never heard of this doctrine until I studied Church History. My roots are Missionary Baptists. I have always thought of the church as both local, visible and "universal" but not in a Catholic concept (nor as a Protestant) concept. I just felt that all the truly born again believers were part of Jesus' Church. I was not baptized to become a member of a church, but to show publicly my attachment to Christ and to typify His death, burial and resurrection. I have read more on this topic in the last month that I care to admit. Pros and Cons. Every time I am almost persuaded I will read another scripture that brings me back to the beginning. A sermon I read last night ( don't remember who it was by) says this scripture below is the proof text for the model church start. I would like to go through it and get input to my interpretation.

Acts 2:40-47 King James Version (KJV)

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word (they became born again, saved) were baptized (no mention of this being for church membership as we know it today): and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (called out assembly "church"- this was all the born again, saved at that time)

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added (Jesus does the adding) to the church daily such as should be saved. (No mention of baptism here, baptism is not part of salvation. It is an ordinance given by Christ to show Who you are committed to. I do not find where the Bible says baptism is "for" church membership.)

 

Edited by BobbyH

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 1Cor 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. 

Since this was written to the church at Corinth I believe that this is saying that baptism baptizes us into the local church. If we are baptized into one body (local church) then that is when we become members of that local church. I find no justification for being baptized into any universal church composed of all believers. This is foreign to both Scripture as well as Baptist doctrine. 

Our forefathers, the Ana-Baptists refused to accept what they called alien baptism from churches that were not of like faith and order. This alone tells me that the Scripture refutes any kind of universal church, otherwise there would be no reason to not accept just any church's baptism.

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If this is true, does it apply only to the church at Corinth? What about the general epistles which church are they directed to? I read this to mean the baptism by The Holy Spirit we all receive upon being born again. Water baptism by immersion is a separate act IMO. Jim, I appreciate your input. I just do not see baptism and church membership tied to each other. That again IMO is like saying I am not going to accept someone's salvation if they were not saved in a Baptist church. I quote again " Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." I am saved, I was baptized by immersion in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and therefore I believe I am part of His church. I am a member of Brookside Missionary Baptist Church by their choice and mine through mutual agreement.

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Bro. Bobby, This is probably too many issues to address in one reply. Perhaps you should break your questions presented here down into different threads. I will address your first concern where you said: "does it only apply to the church at Corinth?"

I would answer NO it does not only apply to the church at Corinth. I used that instance as an example to show that when we are baptized, we are baptized into "one body" and that one body is the local church, wherever it may be. To be baptized into a local Baptist church is to become a member of that one body. This is the Scriptural and historic method of becoming a member of a Baptist church.

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"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body",

I would like to stay on this point for now. I read this as the initial baptism of The Holy Spirit (at the time of regeneration) into the body of Jesus Christ. I do not think Paul is here referring to water baptism which is still to come to show publicly our regeneration. Which I would then say after water baptism you can become part of a local church.

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It is difficult to respond to this due to much misunderstanding and controversy surrounding the subject of The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. But I'll give it a try. First I would ask if you can provide Scripture showing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on an individual at the time of salvation? I consider this crucial to this topic.

In my experience and study I have determined that at the time of someone's salvation they are indwelt of the Holy Spirit. I see no Scripture indicating any baptism of the Holy Spirit on an individual at the moment of salvation.

I believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a one time event that happened on the day of Pentecost. This was bestowed on the first church as the fulfillment of this Scripture:  Lu 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. In other words I do not believe that individuals are included in this, but rather, the first church. It gave them the power and authority to carry out the great commission and commands of Jesus as a church.

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As far 1 Cor 12 is concerned, understanding the nature of "the body" being spoken of is of utmost importance. 

Is this body some sort of universal group or is it a local church?

One important verse in determining this is: 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

How can all the members suffer if this is a universal group? The overwhelming majority of the members of a universal group have no idea that an individual member is suffering.

In a local church there is at least potential for all the members to be affected.

In fact there is no reason throughout the whole chapter to think of the word "body" as having a universal application.

If then the "body" is local and not universal, how does that affect the understanding of verse 12?

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2 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

In my experience and study I have determined that at the time of someone's salvation they are indwelt of the Holy Spirit. I see no Scripture indicating any baptism of the Holy Spirit on an individual at the moment of salvation.

Jim, I believe the very Scripture you used  before  confirms this Holy Spirit baptism.  "1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body"

 

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2 hours ago, DaveW said:

If then the "body" is local and not universal, how does that affect the understanding of verse 12?

There is only one body. We are united in spirit, not of this world. Instruction to the local churches are used to teach us all what kind of spirit we should have. If one is hurt we all are hurt. If one is in need we are all in need. It is a spiritual context. The apostles doctrines are applicable to us all.

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You obviously are not interested in actually studying the passage, which is all I asked you to do.

I have no way of providing the help you need.

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4 hours ago, BobbyH said:

Jim, I believe the very Scripture you used  before  confirms this Holy Spirit baptism.  "1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body"

 

The one Spirit is the Holy Spirit and the one body is the local church. Anything other than this is an argument for universal church, which it seems like you are pointing to in your posts. Scripture knows nothing of a universal church. Jesus only built one kind of church and that church was local in nature.

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I am not saying or implying that there is a universal church. I am saying that all true local churches are part of One body, The body of Christ. Which one local church is the body?

1 Cor 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 2 1 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

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22 hours ago, DaveW said:

You obviously are not interested in actually studying the passage, which is all I asked you to do.

I have no way of providing the help you need.

Wow! I guess I spoke out of turn. I did study the passage. I cannot make it fit your stand. I am not a "universalist" as you may assume. I just believe that all true churches that follow the Scriptures are part of the body of Christ of which He is Head of All.

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On 2/22/2019 at 4:06 PM, BobbyH said:

I just felt that all the truly born again believers were part of Jesus' Church.

According to this statement you made in your original post, this statement plainly says you believe in a universal church. This is why you are easily confused regarding the true nature of a New Testament Church. You seem to be incapable of distinguishing the difference between The baptism of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

So, I guess I have to admit that I, like Bro. Dave, can't help you with the help you asked for because you refuse any help and argue against it.

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