October 5th, 2004, 4:22 am #11

I have complete faith that I am going written in the Lamb's book of life. I was simply trying to see if someone would tell me that because I am not a member of the CoC that I am going to hell. Is this truly the general consensus? I haven't a doctorate in theology, nor am I being backed by a minister or am I trying to throw the entire doctrine of the CoC down the gutter. I truly love the way that there is focus on the New Testament. But I see that the CoC is against many of my church's practices. My question is this: why would they concern themselves unless they believe it is directly related to my salvation?

1: I take communion, but not every week. I do it in remembrance of him because he commanded us to fulfill all righteousness. I am, in no way, going half-heartedly about my life as a Christian. Every aspect of my life should be directed by Christly ambitions.
2: I’m utterly against infant Baptism and sprinkling baptism.
3: I’ve been baptized and did so for Christ, it was for no man. However I disagree with the CoC’s standpoint on Water Baptism. We know each others’ standpoints on this issue and I can easily go to another page in these forums to read it so a lengthy description of this is not needed. (I know I sound brash, but I’m simply trying to get at the answer here.)
4: The pastor of my church is not a woman nor do I ever attend sermons where women preach. This is an issue I am currently praying over and am seeking answers too through a lot of reading.
5: Homosexuality is sin.
6: I have a difference in opinion over musical worship.
7: The Bible is perfect, uncontradictory and of Divine Origin.
8: Salvation by faith is my belief, but without faith you would not repent and confess and be baptized. I have done all of these to make myself pleasing to God. I didn’t do it for membership of a denomination or to satisfy anyone but God.
9: I love everyone, but that is not a call for me to throw aside his commandments and my service to him. However, that’s quite the contrary. If I have the love of Jesus, a godly love, then I’ll love my father in heaven and do his bidding.
10:Lastly, the only doctrine my church goes by is the Bible.

Those are my beliefs as a Baptist. I want to know if any of these things will send me to hell, in your opinion. I am doing this to get a better understanding of the CoC, not to put it down or judge it. My best friend goes to a Church of Christ and we study the bible together constantly. He is even going to a satellite school of Sunset Bible Institute (A Church of Christ School). I love each of you and I know you have nothing against me.

Feel free to e-mail me, I'm not hiding anything and I'm serious that I simply want to understand the CoC better. I've seen many people blast the Church of Christ and visa versa, but I am not one of those people. I have an open ear to you and I hope yours are open to me.

I WELCOME you into the Body of Christ. What we have in COMMON is Jesus and that is the most important thing to have in common. Really, nothing else matters. Despite what some may say here, you ARE a member of the BODY and NOTHING can change that.

You have probably solicited the WRONG people for approval in this matter as some here would say you need to be a member of the CofC to be a "Christian". that is SO sad. I am a member of a CofC, but consider myself a member of the BODY of Christ as a whole, which includes a variety of Christians from other churches.


Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 5th, 2004, 7:30 am #12

NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.

Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Joseph D. Meador

The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.

John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:

They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).

Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).

The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?

Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).

He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.

There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)

The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."

The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.

When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.

Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.

We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).

(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling [512] 282-2438.)

Much has already been covered since your initial post, although not in great detail. At least these topics have been mentioned—being interdenominational (what is that versus non-denominationalism); worship, the Communion, the role of women, pastors and elders, instrumental music, apostasy, the old covenant, the new covenant, the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, etc.

I would like to study only the subject of baptism at this moment. I believe we agree that neither sprinkling nor pouring qualifies as the scriptural way of baptism, which literally means an immersion. Discussions regarding baptism in itself can be lengthy, so, let me just briefly mention what it is designed for and when it occurs. Remember, that the life of an individual is not one continuum from his physical birth until death without regard for when his spiritual journey actually begins.

It is really important for the Bible student to rightly divide God’s word. The book of Acts speaks of the various conversions that took place at Pentecost during the establishment of the church of Christ in Jerusalem. In Matt. 16:18-20, it foretold the coming of the kingdom, when Christ told Peter He would build His church, gave to him the keys to the kingdom. Surely, Peter preached to the would-be Christians, and please note that those (cf. Acts 2:47) that gladly received the word were baptized and were ADDED unto the church about 3,000 souls. In other words, we DO NOT JOIN the church—we are ADDED TO the church and added ONLY AFTER baptism.

While we agree on the truth regarding the significance of faith in salvation, God’s abundant grace, the redeeming power in the blood of the Lamb or that works of righteousness are not requirements in order to receive redemption, it is very important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as “remission of sins that are past.”—not future or uncommitted sins a Christian has to deal with later on. Romans 3:25 clearly expresses this—“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.”

There are numerous passages that deal with baptism. However, I would like to strongly emphasize Acts 2:38, because when understood correctly, the purpose of baptism is clearly in order to receive forgiveness—which does NOT occur before submitting to it. And look at the preceding verse first, Acts 2:37—Now when they HEARD this, they WERE PRICKED (BELIEVED) in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What were those that heard the gospel and believed supposed TO DO NEXT? The answer is in the following verse.

NONE of the following 16 translations uses “BECAUSE OF” in ACTS 2:38—and it could have been easily placed in the translated text. The GREEK preposition “EIS”—when translated as “FOR”—does NOT CONTRADICT the OTHER MEANINGS of “EIS” in THE 1ST CENTURY NEW TESTAMENT GREEK usage of the preposition; it also means: INTO, SO, SO THAT, IN ORDER TO, TOWARD, UNTO—all in “forward”, not “backward” direction.

VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The “interpretation” of “eis” to mean “because of” destroys the false tenet that the benefits of (1) receiving the forgiveness of sins and (2) receiving the Holy Spirit’s gift should PRECEDE both requirements of (1) repentance and (2) baptism [immersion in water]. Why? Why? Why? Consider another little Greek word, the conjunction “kai” (which, surprisingly, no one denies that it means “and”—joining two elements of equal import). The TRUTH in the passage is that BLESSINGS, BENEFITS OR RESULTS (forgiveness and the Spirit’s gift) simply CANNOT PRECEDE either of the requirements or conditions. The verse also says “REPENT” (one of the conditions) which CANNOT BE SUBSEQUENT TO being forgiven beforehand. Is this making sense? (To those who are Calvinists or Pentecostals, please do not interject your theory that the immersion here refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong, in the first place, as there are many passages in the rest of the book of Acts to support water baptism. Besides, we’re discussing the significance of the tiny word “eis”—however insignificant that is to you.)
  • Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New International Version (NIV)]

    Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New American Standard Bible (NASB)]

    Peter said, "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [The Message (MSG)]

    And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Amplified Bible (AMP)]

    Peter replied, "Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New Living Translation (NLT)]

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [King James Version (KJV)]

    And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [English Standard Version (ESV)]

    Peter said, "Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit. [Contemporary English Version (CEV)]

    Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New King James Version (NKJV)]

    Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [21st Century King James Version (KJ21)]

    And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [American Standard Version (ASV)]

    Stop your wrong ways and turn back to God,' answered Peter. `And then everyone of you can be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Your wrong ways will be forgiven you, and you will receive the Holy Spirit. [Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)]

    and Peter said unto them, `Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, [Young's Literal Translation (YLT)]

    And Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptised, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for [unto, to, toward] remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Darby Translation (DARBY)]

    And Peter said to them, Do ye penance [Penance, he said, do ye], and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, into remission of your sins; and ye shall take the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Wycliffe New Testament (WYC)]

    Peter replied, Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for [unto, to, toward] the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [New International Version - UK (NIV-UK)]
Both the remission of sins and the receiving of the Spirit’s gift do not precede repentance, do they? Baptism does not precede repentance, does it? Repentance does not precede belief or faith, does it? Belief or faith does not precede hearing the gospel does it?

Think of baptism as being immersed with Christ into His death. Think of baptism as putting on Christ

Col. 2:12—“BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also ye are RISEN WITH HIM through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Rom. 6:4—“Therefore we are BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH: that LIKE AS CHRIST WAS RAISED UP from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

I Peter 3:20-21—“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of NOAH, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were SAVED BY WATER. The LIKE FIGURE whereunto even BAPTISM doth also now SAVE us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Gal. 3:27—“For as many of you as have been BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST have PUT ON CHRIST

Dustin, yours is undoubtedly an honest question. Are you “going to hell” because of your belief and practice regarding redemption in the blood of the Lamb PRIOR to baptism? Let’s be realistic here. No one on earth should make that call. Since we have the Holy Scripture that explains how the first century folks became Christians, let it make that judgment. In light of what the scripture tells me, there’s not a single example or instance in which one is a Christian first (or SAVED already) before submitting to baptism. For this reason, I believe it’s OK to rethink one’s position with a really open mind. And the big question is: What if I had thought all along that I was saved (or became a Christian) prior to baptism—when in reality I wasn’t? Again, paraphrasing Acts 2:38—the unbeliever (sinner) is to: (1) Repent AND (2) be baptized in order to receive WHAT? … (3) to receive the forgiveness of sins and (4) to receive God’s Spirit’s gift.

One final reminder, a parallel passage to Acts 2:38 is Acts 3:19—(1) Repent ye therefore, and (2) be converted, (3) that your sins may be blotted out, (4) when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.


Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

October 5th, 2004, 2:50 pm #13

Donnie, thanks for your review of baptism. I recall that when I resigned as organist from the Southern Baptist church, I cited a host of reasons for leaving, one of which was their erroneous take on baptism. That kindled the ire of the pastor, who shot a rather hot email message to me, claiming that there was not one single passage in the Bible which required baptism for salvation, that no passage ever stated that baptism was efficacious or regenerative. This denominational pastor operated, as do many, under the misconception that the C of C uses baptism solely as a physical means of purging sin and gaining salvation. Somehow, they just cannot get it straight that because Christ linked baptism with faith for salvation (Mark 16:16), it is not the physical water which does the saving, it is the submission, the OBEDIENCE through baptism. After fulfilling the New Testament's requirements of hearing the Word, believing the Word, repenting of and turning from a past life of sin, confessing publicly that Jesus is the Son of God, and being baptized, THEN, Christ adds us to His church. But many refuse to accept the New Testament's requirements for salvation.

Dustin B.
Dustin B.

October 5th, 2004, 8:41 pm #14

My Church does not have a Doctrine, but the Bible is my church’s Doctrine. I study my bible daily and I have found 1 John to be an extremely helpful book. I like to call it the “Acid Test of Faith”. In this Book, John tells us how to know whether or not we are Saved.

1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

We are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to get baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness. Therefore if anyone teaches that we are not to be baptized, they are not teaching the Gospel. This is why I consider myself interdenominational, because if a preacher of any church came to me and told me otherwise I can show him my Bible and say he is wrong, not my church doctrine. I agree with you one hundred percent that Baptism is a commandment, and by what John tell us, you aren’t in Truth (Saved) if you do not follow his commandments. In other words, if they don’t want to be baptized they walk not in the light and never knew him in the first place.

1Jo 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Therefore I love every member of Christ’s family, be they CoC members, Baptists or any denomination. Not only that, but I love every thief, murderer, drunkard, homosexual, terrorist and baby killer out there. Are we not commanded to love these people? Christ died for us while we were still sinners, therefore he loved us. It is by love that I spread the gospel, not for my merit. Every one of those people have a soul that god prizes, I should love and pray for them every chance I get.

1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

I cannot wait until I can leave this world, but while I am here I am going to follow his word to a “T” and do my best to please him.

1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

I most DEFINITELY do not deny the Son. I’ve made my point on this already.

1Jo 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jo 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

That speaks to me so much because there he tells us a major point. We’ll know we’re saved because WE KNOW. God’s spirit dwells in us so that we feel him. This is, above all, how I KNOW that I am saved. Because he said that I will know!

1Jo 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.

He sums it up right there, doesn’t he? I may not have a PhD and I might just now be on my road to a Post-secondary education, but I am capable of picking up God’s word and seeing what it is he wants. Thank God that we all are! Thank you for your replies and I appreciate your care for souls, it is obvious you are ready to help anyone that needs it. Thank you JD for your words! I love hearing that phrase, Body of Christ! It is true that every denomination and church name means little when we get down to it. If we are truly washed in the blood of the lamb then we are ALL brothers! I also thank Dr. Crump and Donnie Cruz who obviously have been endowed with a deep knowledge of the scripture. If I ever have a question that I ask, then I know people like you guys are out there to help me.

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 7th, 2004, 8:05 am #15


Thanks for your kind response. I agree with you on the faith issue especially in the life of a Christian. Since it is possible for a Christian to “fall from grace” with Christ becoming ineffective in his life (Gal. 5:4) or to be diverted from the straight, narrow path, he is constantly admonished to live a life of love and service to his Master. And there are numerous passages that remind us to be fervent, to persevere and to remain faithful to the end so that the faithful ones will receive the crown, the promised eternal life in the end. As one has clearly stated, “It is a long road between the cross and the crown.” One key reference is for the Christian to “take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:12).

My personal feeling is that interdenominationalism does not paint the true and real picture of what the church, the body of Christ, really is. If the body of Christ is comprised of denominations, how is that possible when each denomination is a religious body in itself? The church or body of Christ is not a conglomerate of different religious bodies. If denominations comprise the one body of Christ, what gives a person the right to make exceptions or to accept some denominations and reject others as being members of that body? My understanding is that the body of Christ is comprised of INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS or DISCIPLES wherever they may be … … … … NOT RELIGIOUS BODIES with varying and contradicting sets of doctrines, beliefs and practices. [That’s just a side note, since it was brought up.]

The discussion of salvation can really get very confusing without a thorough understanding of God’s scheme of redemption. [Remember the two little Greek words “eis” and “kai” to which I alluded in my earlier post?] I say “thorough” because Christians are responsible for making it clear to the lost as to what God’s plan of redemption really is. Otherwise, the repercussion is that if we “professed” Christians tell others [the would-be converts] the wrong plan, then, we will be held accountable for teaching error.

All the wonderful references you quoted pertain to Christian living. This is the period in which our faith is to produce good works or works of righteousness, since the life of a Christian is that of service—he is a disciple and SERVANT of his Lord. I’m afraid, though, that often we fail to delineate a sinner’s previous life from the point at which that sinner becomes a Christian, who strives to remain faithful to the end of life on earth.

Here’s my point, e.g.: Mr. John Sin, who was born in 1965, had lived a sinful life [robbery, immorality, atheism, etc.] until he became Mr. John Christian in 1990, 25 years later. By contrast, another individual, Mr. Peter Moral, who had done what appeared to be “works of righteousness” prior to his conversion, became Mr. Peter Christian 22 years later. In either case, regardless of how sinful or how good a person is, he is outside of Christ until by God’s grace he is redeemed from his past sins by the blood of the Lamb (please read Romans 3:25).

The question is not about the cleansing power in the blood of the Lamb or the great suffering and sacrifice that our Savior made. The question is not about God’s abundant grace. The question is not about faith—which is obviously necessary before a sinner becomes a Christian. The BIG question in the CONVERSION PROCESS is—WHEN DOES THE REMISSION OF SINS TAKE PLACE? Does it occur BEFORE or AFTER repentance and baptism?

It is not necessary for the unconverted to know the importance of the Greek words “eis” and “kai” in Acts 2:37,38. However, I have already stressed the point in my earlier post that it is really important in the evangelism effort to explain to the unconverted that Acts 2:38 truly means what it says.

Romans 10:9-17 explains for the most part the steps in the conversion process;
  • The gospel is <font color=blue>PREACHED</font>
  • One <font color=blue>HEARS</font> the word of God
  • Hearer <font color=blue>BELIEVES [HAS FAITH] </font> in him of whom he has just heard
  • One who has faith <font color=blue>CONFESSES</font> the Lord Jesus toward salvation
Acts 2:37,38; Acts 3:19 explain what the early disciples of Christ experienced during their conversion at Pentecost:
  • Peter <font color=blue>PREACHED</font> (Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 2:14)
  • They <font color=blue>HEARD</font> the risen Christ preached (2:30-31,37)
  • They were <font color=blue>PRICKED [BELIEVED] </font> in their heart (v. 37)
  • Must do what then? <font color=blue>REPENT</font> (2:38; 3:19)
  • Must do <font color=blue>ALSO</font> what? <font color=blue>AND [kai] BE BAPTIZED or [BE CONVERTED] </font>
  • Why? <font color=blue> SO THAT [eis] YOUR SINS WILL BE REMITTED</font>
  • And also Why? <font color=blue>AND [kai] RECEIVE the Spirit’s gift [refreshing, clear conscience] </font>
The above passages clearly specify the design and purpose of immersion—that the remission of sins in the precious blood of Jesus DOES NOT OCCUR prior to immersion. There is no power in the water. Baptism by immersion is a physical act that symbolizes being BURIED WITH Christ, burying the past sinful life. And it also symbolizes being RESURRECTED WITH Christ in order to begin newness of life—the beginning of a new Christian life. There is not a single scripture that points to the notion that baptism is a “test of obedience” after-the-fact. Indeed, it is a condition, a step or a requirement that the unbeliever must follow IN ORDER TO have sins remitted or become a Christian.

Baptism is described as “putting on Christ.” When one puts on Christ in baptism, he is then entitled to wear the name of Christ, thus, “Christian.” But NOT BEFORE baptism! Can this be any clearer picture: burying sins in baptism or putting on Christ in baptism? Therefore, the key solution to the key question of WHEN the unbeliever receives forgiveness and becomes a Christian is found in Acts 2:38. “Repent and [“kai”] be baptized for [“eis” or so that, to, toward, unto] the remission of sins and [“kai”] the receiving of God’s Spirit’s gift (or refreshing, clear conscience).”


Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 8th, 2004, 7:36 am #16

The conversion process—God’s scheme of redemption—has been discussed for centuries. No consensus has been established, the main reason being that students of the Bible have varying views on whether or not the process is a one-time “done deal”—meaning: from here on to eternity … or something else. Whether salvation occurs prior to or after baptism is a colossal issue that has not been settled and will not be settled unless we honestly rely on the Holy Scripture for the answer. It is a major issue—and we should never undermine doctrines that are “salvation issues” [ah, you’ve heard that phrase before]. After all, “how to receive salvation” is the crux of the gospel—the good news of God’s grace and love made available to the entire humankind, including the “predestinated” selected few (as claimed, i.e.). The Holy Scripture has it settled, though, but man’s opinions have not. The open-minded reader will just have to make that judgment as to which interpretation is correct—one Bible … but varying, opposing, and confusing interpretations, all claiming to be correct.

The initial salvation received after following God’s requirements, including baptism, has been discussed in preceding posts. The forgiven sinner becomes a Christian at that point. To reiterate: there is a “starting point” from which the just-converted sinner begins his new Christian life. What must a Christian do from here on? The first of 3 segments below summarizes the conversion process discussed earlier. The other segments deal with the Christian journey and expectations in the end—the receiving of the reward.

  • <font color=blue>
  • Acts 22: [16] And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
  • Romans 6:[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. … [18] Being then made free from sin [AFTER BAPTISM], ye became the servants of righteousness.
  • Ephesians 2:[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.</FONT>

Once the individual has changed his status (converted from) “SINNER” to “CHRISTIAN,” the Bible strongly suggests that the Christian is to maintain good works—that he must persevere to the end, maintaining that strong relationship with his Lord and Master that he is to serve. This truth does not negate the constant that we are still under God’s grace as Christians, and that we’re not being pessimistic, either, as we strive to fulfill our responsibilities as SERVANTS to obey His commands.
  • <font color=blue>
  • Ephesians 2:[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
  • I John 2:[3,4] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
  • Matt. 7:[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
  • I John 2:[17] And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
  • James 2:[14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? [17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. [20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? [24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. [26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
  • Titus 3:[8] This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
  • Luke 13:[24] Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
  • Phil. 2:[12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
  • Hebrews 5:[8,9] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
  • Matt. 10:[22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
  • Matt. 24:[13] But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
  • Mark 13:[13] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
  • Hebrews 12:[1] Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, [2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith….</font>
  • <font color=blue>
  • Romans 2—“[5] … against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; [6] Who will render to every man according to his deeds: [7] To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.”
  • I Timothy 6:[12] Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. … [19] Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
  • Titus 1:[2] In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
  • Titus 3:[7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
  • I John 2:[25] And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
  • Jude 1:[21] Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
  • John 6:[27] Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
  • James 1:[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
  • Hebrews 9:[15] 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.
  • Heb. 10:[23,36] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) … For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
  • Hebrews 4:[1] Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. … [9] There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. [10] For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. [11] Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
  • Rev. 2:[10] … Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.</font>


Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

October 8th, 2004, 3:08 pm #17

I don't see how anyone could make it any clearer or wrapped up so that one must INTEND to "reject the counsel of God" to reject it.

"Legalism" would try to find LOOPHOLES. That which MIGHT hinder the eunuch from being baptized was NOT believing that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God.

A Cornelius would glorify God as a confession in the "tongue" of the Jews and Peter said, in effect, that no one could REFUSE baptism to them. Peter was sent to tell him what he must do: what he did was to baptize Cornelius. God's election is God's invitation: one who "rejects the counsel of God by rejecting baptism" will be shut out of the wedding because they have no OIL for their LAMPS.

You have PREACHED THE GOSPEL and that preaching has only one possible response. A person who has not had their sins remitted is still a sinner. BELIEVING never remits sins.
  • <font color=blue>For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1 Pet 4:17

    And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1Pe.4:18</font>

Dustin B.
Dustin B.

October 11th, 2004, 6:47 am #18

Can one that is not "Saved" receive the holy spirit/ghost? Because when you have the Holy Ghost, you know for a fact of your salvation (as stated earlier in 1 John).

Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

October 11th, 2004, 5:40 pm #19

For most of church history there was never any concept that the "holy spirit" was a PERSON separated from the Godhead. Even trinitarians explain God as Father (thought), Son (Word) and Spirit (breath or the interchange of truth from the UNKNOWABLE Spirit world to us).

Jesus speaking as the SON or WORD set up a relationship with the FATHER. As God Incarnate the man Jesus contained FULL DEITY: He said that both the Father and Spirit were within Him. In John 6:63 He discounted the FLESH body and said "My WORDS are spirit and life."

As "Son" or word He spoke only what He heard from the Father within. He defined the clergy as sons of the Devil because "they speak on their own."

The concept of MEASURES of spirit I think means this as John wrote:

Jn 3:31 He that COMETH from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is ABOVE all

Jn 3:32 And what he hath SEEN and HEARD, that he TESTIFIETH; and no man receiveth his testimony.
  • John 1: He was WITH God because He WAS God. He is Beginning and Ending but not two people. He is Alpha and Omega meaning that His Godhead is continuous even though vested in the body.

    When the Christ "laid aside" His majesty and glory HE personally came to dwell "in a body prepared for me." This is why the FATHER sent the SON or the THOUGHT OR MIND sent His Word.

    In Isaial 11 the SPIRIT which will rest on the BRANCH is like seven spirits or LIGHTS which rest on the candlestick as Menorah in the Holy Place. ALL of these "spirits" relate to forms of DIVINE KNOWLEDGE. That is why Jesus died to build a SCHOOL and not a pagan worship center.

    This is why Paul and others MINISTER THE SPIRIT by preaching. That body of Divine Intellegence is called SPIRIT just as the stuff or disposition of our MIND is SPIRIT but not a little person

    This was the heritage of the Campbell Restoration Movement derived from the RESTORATION MOVEMENT begun by John Calvin. Only in my lifetime has anyone dared to call God THREE PERSONS meaning three PEOPLE. There is no misreading of men like Rubel Shelly who sees this Family of Gods actually holding a conference
Jn 3:33 He that hath received his TESTIMONY hath set to his seal that God is true.
  • And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:10
The Invisible Deity is imaged forth as Father, Son and Spirit. This defines the transfer of information from Father to Son. That information is SPIRIT. "Son" means the "protector and promoter of the Father's Name."

Jn.3:34 For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the WORDS of God:
for God GIVETH NOT the SPIRIT by MEASURE unto him.

In Romans 15 Paul commands "that which is written" as the only way to glorify God. In Ephesians 5 it is SPIRIT and in Colossians the "singing" is the WORD OF CHRIST. Singing silly love songs to God has NO CONNECTION TO THE SPIRIT of God and in fact says "we are NOT OF God."

I don't know how to say it any clearer: the WORDS which the Son Spoke were the Words of the GOD. Therefore, these spirit words are exhaustive as far as we can know God through words:

Jn 3:35 The FATHER loveth the SON, and hath given ALL THINGS into his hand.

Jesus said that THE WORDS which He spoke will judge us. God WASHES us by WATER and the WORD. When we RECEIVE the Words of Christ as Spirit and Life we WILL NOT HESITATE to request baptism. That is the time and place where we REQUEST a good conscience or consiousness or A holy spirit. When our bodies are WASHED God sprinkles our HEART or SPIRIT with His own blood. I wonder if anti-baptismal people are not mortally afraid of the BLOOD of Christ?

Jn 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.

As Donnie has pointed out, the term BELIEVER or BELIEVETH is always retrospective. Of those baptized for the remission of sins it is said that THE BELIEVERS had all things in common.

Historical scholars have always been aware that what we substitute as MUSICAL SINGING was commanded by God through Paul to be SPEAKING the inspired Bible text. The purpose was not PLEASURING but of TEACHING and ADMONISHING one another. When the Jews lifted up their hands it was lifting up the WORD of God: when they READ it as Paul commands they were RECEIVING the Words of God because we are NOW IN the Son just as surely as if God was speaking to us. Jesus said he would be there when we "come learn of me." When people speak SERMONIC STUFF it is God making fun of the and sending them STRONG DELUSIONS because they tell God in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS: "I cannot receive that of Spirit to spirit or worship in the new PLACE of my own spirit in my own closet."

I cannot put into words the revulsion I have alway felt to some extent when I read SERMONS or think about SANGING by those who claim that THEIR words are more important than the Words of Christ which ARE Spirit and Life. I simply DO NOT GO THERE ANYMORE because the pain is beyond endurance. For the musical legalists THERE IS NO LAW OF GIVING so quit letting them FLEECE you and then "craunching your bones."

Here is one thing I did which shows that SPIRIT and MIND and HEART are identical. Paul equated the Holy Spirit to the Mind of Christ.


Sorry about the color but I thin this is the best way to hammer into heads that SPIRIT is never a person unless it is speaking of God Who is Holy or Wholly Spirit without body parts. The next is a series on Romans. The following is the one I have colorized to drive you as crazy as listening to a pompous sermon.


This has to do with SEARCHING THE HEART. It will direct you to some other look at the Holy Spirit in Romans.


Dustin B.
Dustin B.

October 12th, 2004, 12:32 am #20

There is no separate entity, there is one God and he consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I know that the spirit isn't some sort of little guy that hops into your body. But what I was wondering was if the Holy Spirit can be received by those that are not Saved. Since then I've looked into it and here's what I've found:

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

And if the Holy Spirit is in the Saved and not those that aren't Saved, then why did Peter baptize AFTER the Holy Ghost was received?

Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.