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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

The One, True Gospel & God's Saving Grace


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The One, True Gospel & God’s Saving Grace
(Part 1)

 

Recently on the forum there have been those who have taught the doctrine that the gospel of some “dispensations” may have included certain works as a requirement for eternal salvation.  I am presenting the following study in order to examine that doctrinal teaching.

________________________________________

The Universal Reality

Every single human individual (except God in human flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ) has committed sinfulness against the Lord God of heaven and earth.

Genesis 8:21 – “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”

Psalm 58:2-3 – “Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

Ecclesiastes 7:20 – “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

Isaiah 53:6 – “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 64:6 – “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Romans 3:9-18 – “What then?  Are we better than they?  No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Galatians 3:20 – “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

Ephesians 2:1-3 – “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
 

The Universal Problem

Because every single human individual has committed sinfulness, every single human individual stands eternally guilty and condemned before the holy judgment of the Lord God.

John 3:18-20 – “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Romans 1:18-21 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Romans 3:19 – “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death.”

Galatians 3:10 – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

Ephesians 2:3 – “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
 

The Universal Impossibility

Standing eternally guilty and condemned before the Lord God, it is impossible for any single human individual to merit justification or salvation through any good or righteous works.

Psalm 130:3 – “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?”

Psalm 143:2 – “And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.”

Romans 3:20 – “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Galatians 2:16 – “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Galatians 3:11-12 – “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.”

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The One, True Gospel & God’s Saving Grace
(Part 2)

 

The Divine Savior

Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Genesis 22:18 – “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

Isaiah 45:21-22 – “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time?  Who hath told it from that time?  Have not I the LORD?  And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

Isaiah 53:5-12 – “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?  For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Matthew 1:20-23 – “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Luke 2:10-11 – “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:29 – “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

John 3:14-18 – “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 6:33 – “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”

John 6:35 – “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

John 6:47-48 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.”

John 6:51 – “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 10:9-11 – “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

John 11:25-26 – “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

John 12:46 – “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”

John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 20:30-31 – “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Acts 4:11-12 – “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Romans 3:24-25 – “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

Romans 4:25 – “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

Romans 5:15-19 – “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Romans 8:3 – “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

Romans 8:31-34 – “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Galatians 3:13-14 – “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Galatians 4:4-5 – “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

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

Ephesians 2:13 – “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Colossians 1:14 – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:19-22 – “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”

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 7:25-27 – “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”

Hebrews 9:11-15 – “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  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: 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?  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Hebrews 9:24-26 – “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

1 Peter 1:18-21 – “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

1 Peter 2:24 – “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

1 John 5:11-12 – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

Revelation 1:5-6 – “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 5:6-10 – “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

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The One, True Gospel & God’s Saving Grace
(Part 3)

 

The Divine Method              

Because it is impossible for any individual to merit justification or salvation through any works, the Lord God has determined to provide eternal justification and salvation unto all by the method of His grace through the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.  Furthermore, this method of God’s grace by its very definition excludes any merit through works.

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

Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 4:14-16 – “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 5:15-21 – “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 11:5-6 – “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Galatians 2:21 – “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Galatians 5:4 – “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

Ephesians 1:3-8 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”

Ephesians 2:4-9 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. cFor by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

2 Timothy 1:9-10 – “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Titus 2:11 – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

Titus 3:4-7 – “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Hebrews 2:9 – “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

The Divine Requirement

Because the Lord God has determined to provide eternal justification and salvation by His grace, the only requirement from the lost sinner is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as God the Son and as personal Savior from sin (that is – a repentance of sin before God that leads to a decision of faith in Christ).  Indeed, eternal justification and salvation are through faith specifically in order that they may be by God’s grace.

Luke 26:46-47 – “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 3:14-18 – “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 5:24 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

John 6:29 – “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 6:35 – “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

John 6:40 – “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:47 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

John 11:25-26 – “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

John 12:46 – “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”

John 20:30-31 – “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Acts 10:42-43 – “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

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.”

Acts 17:30 – “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”

Acts 20:20-21 – “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Acts 26:19-20 – “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

Romans 1:16-17 – “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.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Romans 3:21-30 – “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.  By what law?  Of works?  Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only?  Is he not also of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also: seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”

Romans 4:5 – “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 4:13-17 – “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

Romans 10:1-13 – “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it?  The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

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.”

Galatians 2:15-16 – “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Galatians 3:6-14 – “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Galatians 3:22 – “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

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The One, True Gospel & God’s Saving Grace
(Part 4)

 

Conclusion

1.  All have committed sinfulness against the Lord God.

2.  Because all have committed sinfulness, all stand guilty and condemned before the Lord God.

3.  Because all have committed sinfulness, and thus all stand guilty and condemned, none can merit justification and salvation through any good works.

4.  Because none can merit justification and salvation through good works, the Lord God has sent forth His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as His chosen Savior for all sinners.

5.  Because none can merit justification and salvation through good works, the Lord God has provided unto all sinners the gift of justification and salvation by His grace (which by definition excludes any merit through good works).

6.  Because the Lord God has provided the gift of justification and salvation by His grace through the saving work His Son, He only requires repentance and faith from any sinner in order to receive the gift of justification and salvation.

7.  Even so, any doctrine of the gospel that includes any good works as a requirement for eternal justification and salvation before the Lord God for any group of individuals during any period of time is a false doctrine concerning the one, true gospel and stands in direct contradiction to the grace of God

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12 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

7.  Even so, any doctrine of the gospel that includes any good works as a requirement for eternal justification and salvation before the Lord God for any group of individuals during any period of time is a false doctrine concerning the one, true gospel and stands in direct contradiction to the grace of God

Pastor Scott,

Thank you for the study on the doctrine of sin, works for salvation, and the doctrine of justification by grace, through faith alone, in any dispensation. Although it was a long study it merits careful scrutiny by all of us. Justification by grace, through faith, in any dispensation, is the theme of the entire Bible and the purpose of the death of the Lord Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.

We want to thank you for your careful study and presentation.

Alan

 

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3 hours ago, Alan said:

Pastor Scott,

Thank you for the study on the doctrine of sin, works for salvation, and the doctrine of justification by grace, through faith alone, in any dispensation. Although it was a long study it merits careful scrutiny by all of us. Justification by grace, through faith, in any dispensation, is the theme of the entire Bible and the purpose of the death of the Lord Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.

We want to thank you for your careful study and presentation.

Alan

 

Amen! What Alan said!:D Thank you very much Pastor for your excellent postings on this.

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As you read through Acts you will notice as soon as a person was saved they were immediately baptized. Salvation wasn't attained through baptism; baptism was the immediate act of public testimony of being born again.

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On 2/1/2016 at 11:56 PM, John81 said:

As you read through Acts you will notice as soon as a person was saved they were immediately baptized. Salvation wasn't attained through baptism; baptism was the immediate act of public testimony of being born again.

Still doesn't explain why Peter said what he did. Doesn't matter if people got baptized right away or not. That's not a gospel message you would preach today. It's clear from the verse that you needed to be baptized to receive the Holy Ghost. Who would tell someday Acts 2:38 as is if they asked you how to be saved?

More evidence that people force the bible to say something it doesn't when it doesn't to fit their theology. 

 

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4 hours ago, Critical Mass said:

Still doesn't explain why Peter said what he did. Doesn't matter if people got baptized right away or not. That's not a gospel message you would preach today. It's clear from the verse that you needed to be baptized to receive the Holy Ghost. Who would tell someday Acts 2:38 as is if they asked you how to be saved?

More evidence that people force the bible to say something it doesn't when it doesn't to fit their theology. 

As a Baptist preacher once said, this is an old, old heresy which eventually led to the formation of the Catholic church.  It takes a little knowledge of english grammar if one gets caught up with this verse meaning a work has to be done.  The phrase "be baptized" is a passive act referring to something previously done (verse 21), they are already saved.  A rock-n-roll church I once attended held to this same heresy but added even more works, you had to be good to get the baptism of the Holy Spirit after you were baptized with water.  Nonsense!  

  “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” (Acts 10:47)

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19)

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Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 ¶  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 ¶  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15  O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18  Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

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I'm still wondering why the continual promotion of false means of salvation are now accepted here when so many in the past were not allowed to do and were quickly dealt with. What has changed?

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1 hour ago, John81 said:

I'm still wondering why the continual promotion of false means of salvation are now accepted here when so many in the past were not allowed to do and were quickly dealt with. What has changed?

I could be wrong, but it seems as though there's a marked difference in the participation of the moderators.

Also, I'm still flabbergasted as to why Critical Mass (who introduced himself as an agnostic) is arguing scripture. Has he renounced his agnosticism and is now saved? 

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2 hours ago, Oὐ Νικολαΐτης said:

I could be wrong, but it seems as though there's a marked difference in the participation of the moderators.

Also, I'm still flabbergasted as to why Critical Mass (who introduced himself as an agnostic) is arguing scripture. Has he renounced his agnosticism and is now saved? 

I recall you posting his initial post some weeks ago and I recall him saying that he was a Christian whom later became agnostic (but I may be recalling it incorrectly), then I believe Heb 6: 4-6 comes into play making that sequence of salvation, then adultery against God impossible.

Maybe he could elaborate?

flabbergasted is a fine word BTW: Does that make a sound when it happens, it sounds like it would make 2 distinct noises in succession?

 

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2016 at 10:29 PM, Critical Mass said:

Please explain Acts 2:38. And please do it without "grasping the true meaning with the original languages".

Indeed, I shall provide an explanation for Acts 2:38 as you have requested; and I shall not (as you have further requested) make even a single reference to the original, Holy Spirit inspired and preserved Greek.  However, I most certainly shall place a significant focus upon the Holy Spirit inspired grammar of the verse.

 

Concerning Acts 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.”

First, let us recognize that according to the context of Acts 2 as a whole, the apostle Peter was filled with the Spirit when he made this statement.  Therefore, we should recognize that this statement presents doctrinal truth that is not in any contradiction to the whole of New Testament doctrine concerning the gospel.

Grammatically, Peter’s statement presented a compound sentence of three independent clauses, with each independent clause being joined by the conjunction “and.”  The first two of these three independent clauses presented a two-fold instruction, and the third of these two independent clauses presented a result.  Indeed, the first of clause of instruction is completely bound up in the single word of instruction, “Repent.”  Then the second clause of instruction encompasses the statement, “And be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”  Finally, the clause of result encompasses the statement, “And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

1.  The First Clause of Instruction – “Repent.”

This single verb of instruction provides the first requirement of the gospel that the apostle Peter proclaimed unto his hearers.  Indeed, the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ’s first coming actually began with the preaching of His forerunner, John the Baptizer; and the message that John preached was a call to repentance. (See Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3)  Then when our Lord Jesus Christ Himself began His preaching and teaching ministry, He also preached a call to repentance. (See Matthew 4:17; 9:13; 11:20-21; Mark 1:14-15; 2:17; Luke 5:32; 13:2-5)  In addition, during His ministry of preaching and teaching, our Lord Jesus Christ also sent forth His disciples to preach a call to repentance. (See Mark 6:12) 

Furthermore, after the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but before His ascension into heaven, when He gave His commission unto His disciple to preach the gospel unto the lost world, He instructed them to preach a message of “repentance” and of “remission of sins” as a result of that repentance. (See Luke 24:46-47)  Indeed, He commissioned them to preach that message of “repentance and remission of sins” “in His name,” and to do so “among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”  Even so, when the apostle Peter preached the message of the gospel, he obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ by preaching a call to repentance. (See Acts 2:38; 3:19)  Even so also, when the apostle Paul preached the message of the gospel, he also obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ by preaching a call to repentance. (See Acts 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:20)

Thus we recognize from this that repentance is a Biblical requirement of the gospel.  Furthermore, we recognize from the whole doctrine of the New Testament that faith in Christ is also a Biblical requirement of the gospel.  So then, we are brought to the question – What is the relationship to each other between this requirement of repentance and this requirement of faith?  Now, the only passages from which we may discern this relationship are those wherein both the requirement of repentance and the requirement of faith are presented.  Two of these are presented in Scripture (see Acts 19:4; 20:21); and in both of these passages, the requirement of repentance is presented as that which precedes the requirement of faith.  Even so, I would contend that this requirement of repentance means a change of heart attitude concerning an individual’s sinfulness before the Lord God which moves that individual to a heart-faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation from that personal sinfulness.

2.  The Second Clause of Instruction – “And be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” 

Now, it is with this clause of instruction that controversy is developed, primary over the relationship between the instruction to “be baptized” and the prepositional phrasing of result, “for the remission of sins.”  First, this second clause of instruction begins with the instruction of the verb itself, “Be baptized.”  Certainly, in this context this is an instruction to submit unto baptism with water.  Second, this clause grammatically continues with the direct object of the verb, along with its modifying prepositional phrase, “Every one of you.”  This would indicate that every single individual was required to obey the instruction to “be baptized.”  Third, this second clause of instruction then provides the prepositional phrasing, “In the name of Jesus Christ.”  Grammatically, this prepositional phrasing would modify verb the instructional verb, “Be baptized,” and thereby would reveal the specific name in which they were required to be baptized and the specific Person with whom they were to associate themselves through that baptism.  This was not just any baptism.  Rather, it was a baptism specifically “in the name of Jesus Christ,” in order to reveal their association unto Jesus Christ. 

Finally, this clause of instruction concludes with the prepositional phrasing, “for the remission of sins.”  Clearly, this prepositional phrasing reveals a result.  Yet the question may be asked – For what does this phrasing reveal the result?  The answer to this question would be grammatically determined by that in the statement which this prepositional phrasing modifies, and in this statement there are two grammatical possibilities.  On the one hand, the prepositional phrasing, “for the remission of sins,” could grammatically modify the verb of instruction, “be baptized.”  In this case, “the remission of sins” would be the direct result of being baptized.  On the other hand, the prepositional phrasing, “for the remission of sins,” could grammatically modify the immediately previous prepositional phrasing, “in the name of Jesus Christ.”  In this case, “the remission of sins” would be the result of being associated unto “the name of Jesus Christ.” 

So then, which of these two grammatically possibilities is the correct one?  For the answer it would be best to discern which possibility is in unity with the doctrinal teaching of the New Testament.  Are there any other passages that clearly connect the remission (or, forgiveness) of sins to baptism?  I myself am not aware of any.  (Note: Some might present Mark 1:4 & Luke 3:3; however, I would contend that “the remission of sins” is connected to the “repentance” in both of the verses, not to the baptism, which contention would be in doctrinal unity with Luke 24:47 & Acts 5:31.)  On the other hand, are there any passages that connect the remission (or, forgiveness) of sins to the name (or, Person) of Jesus Christ?  Indeed!!!  Acts 10:43 – “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  Acts 13:38-39 – “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Even so, I would contend that the phrase, “for the remission of sins,” in Acts 2:38 is intended as a grammatical modifier for the phrase, “in the name of Jesus Christ,” not for the verb of instruction, “be baptized.”  Furthermore, I would contend that is the association through heart-faith in the name and Person of Jesus Christ that results in “the remission of sins.”  Finally, I would contend that the baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ,” which the apostle Peter instructed of them, was intended as the outward act whereby an individual revealed his or her heart-faith “in the name of Jesus Christ.”  Indeed, by this grammatical understanding for Acts 2:38, there is no contradiction whatsoever to the gospel of eternal forgiveness, justification, and salvation by God’s grace alone through repentance and heart-faith alone.

3.  The Clause of Result – “And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

This statement presents the result for each individual who would obey the two-fold instruction of the previous two statements.  Such obedient individuals would receive (apparently from the Lord God) “the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  Yet they did have to meet the requirements, which in review were as follows:

          A.    To “repent” (of their sinfulness before God).

          B.    To “be baptized” specifically “in the name of Jesus Christ,” as a public revelation of their association through faith “in the name of Jesus Christ.”

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