2/12/15

From Jim McGuiggan... Pray in the Spirit

Pray in the Spirit

What does it mean to "pray in the Spirit"? Christians are called to do various things "in" the Spirit. The Greek preposition en usually means either "in" or "by" and it’s only by looking closely at the context we can determine which rendering is best. But our grasp of the context doesn’t always help us sufficiently so serious students of scripture remind us that a given text could equally be translated "in the Spirit" or "by the Spirit". While the meaning of these two prepositions can overlap they can and sometimes do send us in two distinct directions. Then, again, there are times when there is no preposition, just a simple dative case (as in pneumati) but the question remains whether we should render it "in" or "by".
Occasionally there is a dispute whether the Greek word pneuma in such a context is the human spirit or the Holy Spirit but most of the time there’s agreement that the Holy Spirit is in view. Certainly it appears to be the Holy Spirit that Paul has in mind in Ephesians 6:18. Paul speaks of people "beginning" their life with God in Christ in/by the Spirit (Galatians 3:3) "walking" (living, says NIV) in/by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and "living" in/by the Spirit in 5:25. Christians, Jews and Gentiles in context, access the Father in/by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) are made into God’s dwelling place in/by the Spirit (2:22). The Colossians "love" in/by the Spirit (1:8) and so forth.
When Paul says we live or love or walk (behave or conduct ourselves) in/by the Spirit what does he mean? Would it be the same if he said we live or love or walk in/by the Father? Would it be the same if he said we live or love or walk in/by the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, yes and no. We’re certainly told that it’s in/by Christ that we live and have access to God; but while the same work is accomplished by the triune God working in concert it’s clear that there are specific roles maintained by the Father, Son and Spirit (the "economic" Trinity as it’s sometimes called).
Yes, but what does it mean to do something "in/by" the Spirit? For us the word "by" is clear enough. We’d immediately think of the Spirit enabling or empowering us so that if Paul says, "we live by the Spirit" we can easily understand him to mean that the Spirit empowers us; that it’s because of what the Spirit does that we are able to live. We could just as easily understand him to mean we live by (the teaching, guidance or in accordance with) the Spirit. We might think of God's statement to Israel that humans live "by every word that comes from God". If Paul says we live "in" the Spirit we find that a little harder to grasp but the dative of sphere is common enough to us. There are people who live "in" fear and there are those who live "in" faith. This locates them in a particular realm or setting. Obviously they aren’t physically located "in" faith or fear the way people sleep "in" a room; faith or fear is the boundary within which they live. So it is with those who live or walk or pray "in (the) Spirit". The Spirit, so to speak, is the realm in which they move, the atmosphere in which they breathe, the parameter within which they think or shape their prayers or behaviour.
So what does it mean to "pray in the Spirit"? It means to allow the Spirit to be the shaper of our prayers, the guide and teacher on the things for which we should pray and the purifier of our motives in praying such prayers. It means we won't pray for something that is contrary to what the Holy Spirit aims for or nurtures.
But what does that mean? Does he mean we are to say nothing until the Spirit puts the specific words and subjects into our minds; as if he literally whispered into or minds something like, "Here’s what you are to pray for, here is how you will word the prayer and here is the motive from which you should pray it"?
I’m sure that’s not what Paul has in mind. He seems to think the Christians have more personal input into the matter than that. He isn’t asking the Holy Spirit to do the praying he calls on the Christians to do the praying. Yes, but if the Spirit shapes and enables us to pray what do we have to do with it? Look, we need to work with scripture and life and stop thinking as if lives were like already played chess games and that we’re mindless pawns or a limp rag flopping in the wind. This section in Ephesians is a call to war! Certainly it is God that enables, protects and sustains us but we are up to our necks in the battle, we are supposed to exert ourselves, we are to engage the enemy. Paul says "pray!" He tells them to pray not in terms of "the flesh" (in selfishness, self-reliance or with personal agendas) but in terms of the Spirit. We are to think of who and what he is, who and what he stands for, what his agenda and ultimate purposes are and within those parameters—pray! 
He calls them to pray for him and he calls them to pray all the time for all the saints. And how, by the grace of the Spirit, are we to get to know the Spirit? Well, whatever else we are to do we must in community with the saints wield the Spirit’s sword, wear the gospel on our feet and carry the shield of faith and pay attention to the armor he speaks of. Experience of the Spirit as we know him in and through Jesus Christ (for he is the Spirit of Christ!) will purify our conceptions of him and more and more we’ll pray "in the Spirit". This section is martial and prayer is part of the equipment of our warfare!

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

What's So Important about Jesus' Resurrection? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=1082

What's So Important about Jesus' Resurrection?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

After the widow’s son of Zarephath died, Elijah prayed to God, “and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived” (1 Kings 17:22). A few years later, the prophet Elisha raised the dead son of a Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32-35). Then, after Elisha’s death, a dead man, in the process of being buried in the tomb of Elisha, was restored to life after touching Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21). When Jesus was on Earth, He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 8:21-24,35-43), as well as the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-16) and Lazarus, who had been buried for four days (John 11:1-45). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Matthew recorded how “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (27:52-53). Then later, during the early years of the church, Peter raised Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-43), while Paul raised the young man Eutychus, who had died after falling out of a three-story window (Acts 20:7-12). All of these people died, and later rose to live again. Although some of the individuals arose very shortly after death, Lazarus and (most likely) the saints who were raised after the resurrection of Jesus, were entombed longer than was Jesus. In view of all of these resurrections, some have asked, “What is so important about Jesus’ resurrection?” If others in the past have died to live again, what makes His resurrection so special? Why is the resurrection of Jesus more significant than any other?
First, similar to how the miracles of Jesus were worked in order to set Him apart as the Son of God and the promised Messiah, even though all others who worked miracles during Bible times were not God in the flesh, the resurrection of Jesus is more significant than any other resurrection simply because the inspired apostles and prophets said that it was. Many people throughout the Bible worked miracles in order to confirm their divine message (cf. Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:1-4), but only Jesus did them as proof of His divine nature. Once, during the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, a group of Jews surrounded Jesus and asked, “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24)? Jesus responded to them saying, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me…. I and My Father are one” (John 10:25,30). These Jews understood that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God in the flesh (cf. 10:33,36), and Jesus wanted them to understand that this truth could be known as a result of the miracles that He worked. They testified of His deity (cf. John 20:30-31). Why? Because He said they did (10:25,35-38; cf. John 5:36). The miracles that Jesus performed bore witness of the fact that He was from the Father (John 5:36),because He said He was from the Father. A miracle in and of itself did not mean the person who worked it was deity. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Peter, Paul, and a host of others worked miracles, with some even raising people from the dead, but not for the purpose of proving they were God in the flesh. The apostles and prophets of the New Testament worked miracles to confirm their message that Jesus was the Son of God, not to prove that they were God (cf. Acts 14:8-18). Jesus, on the other hand, performed miracles to bear witness that He was the Son of God, just as He claimed to be (cf. John 9:35-38).
Likewise, one reason that Jesus’ miraculous resurrection is more significant than the resurrections of Lazarus, Tabitha, Eutychus, or anyone else who was raised from the dead, is simply because the inspired apostles and prophets in the early church said that it was more important. Like the miracles He worked during His earthly ministry that testified of His deity, His resurrection also bore witness of His divine nature. There is no record of anyone alleging that Lazarus was God’s Son based upon his resurrection, nor did the early church claim divinity for Eutychus or Tabitha because they died and came back to life. None of the above-mentioned individuals who were resurrected ever claimed that their resurrection was proof of deity, nor did any inspired prophet or apostle. On the other hand, Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). His resurrection was different because of Who He was—the Son of God. Just as the miracles He worked during His earthly ministry testified of His divine message, and thus also of His divine nature, so did His resurrection.
Second, the significance of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that He was the first to rise from the dead never to die again. Since no one who has risen from the dead is still living on Earth, and since there is no evidence in the Bible that God ever took someone who had risen from the dead into heaven without dying again, it is reasonable to conclude that all who have ever arisen from the dead, died in later years. Jesus, however, “having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). Jesus said of Himself: “I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:17-18). All others who previously were raised at one time, died again, and are among those who “sleep” and continue to wait for the bodily resurrection. Only Jesus has truly conquered death. Only His bodily resurrection was followed by eternal life, rather than another physical death. Although it has been argued by skeptics that “it’s the Resurrection, per se, that matters, not the fact that Jesus never died again” (see McKinsey, 1983, p. 1), Paul actually linked the two together, saying, God “raised Him from the dead,no more to return to corruption” (Acts 13:34, emp. added). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews argued for a better life through Jesus on the basis of His termination of death. One reason for the inadequacy of the old priesthood was because “they were prevented by death.” Jesus, however, because He rose never to die again, “continues forever” in “an unchangeable priesthood,” and lives to make intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:23-25).
A third reason why Jesus’ resurrection stands out above all others is because it alone was foretold in the Old Testament. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter affirmed that God had raised Jesus from the dead because it was not possible for the grave to hold Him. As proof, he quoted Psalm 16:8-11 in the following words:
I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence (Acts 2:25-28).
Peter then explained this quote from Psalms by saying:
Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses (Acts 2:29-32).
The apostle Paul also believed that the psalmist bore witness to Christ, and spoke of His resurrection. In his address at Antioch of Pisidia, he said:
And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” Therefore He also says in another Psalm: “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:32-39).
Where is the prophecy for the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter? When did the prophets ever foretell of Eutychus or Tabitha’s resurrection? They are not there. No resurrected person other than Jesus had his or her resurrection foretold by an Old Testament prophet. This certainly makes Jesus’ resurrection unique.
Fourth, the significance of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that His resurrection was preceded by numerous instances in which He prophesied that He would defeat death, even foretelling the exact day on which it would occur. Jesus told some scribes and Pharisees on one occasion, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40, emp. added). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recorded how Jesus “began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21, emp. added; cf. Mark 8:31-32; Luke 9:22). While Jesus and His disciples were in Galilee, Jesus reminded them, saying, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 17:22-23, emp. added). Just before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus again reminded His disciples, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again” (Matthew 20:18-19, emp. added). Jesus’ prophecies concerning His resurrection and the specific day on which it would occur were so widely known that, after Jesus’ death, His enemies requested that Pilate place a guard at the tomb, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day…” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp. added). They knew exactly what Jesus had said He would do, and they did everything in their power to stop it.
Where are the prophecies from the widow’s son of Zarephath? Had he prophesied of his resurrection prior to his death? Or what about the son of the Shunammite woman that Elisha raised from the dead? Where are his personal prophecies? Truly, no one mentioned in the Bible who rose from the dead prophesied about his or her resurrection beforehand, other than Jesus. And certainly no one ever prophesied about the exact day on which he or she would arise from the dead, save Jesus. This prior knowledge and prophecy makes His resurrection a significant event. He overcame death, just as He predicted. He did exactly what he said He was going to do, on the exact day He said He was going to do it.
Finally, the uniqueness of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that He is the only resurrected person ever to have lived and died without having committed one sin during His lifetime. He was “pure” and “righteous” (1 John 3:3; 2:1), “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). He was “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19), “Who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). No one else who has risen from the dead ever lived a perfect life, and then died prior to his or her resurrection for the purpose of taking away the sins of the world (cf. John 1:29). Because Jesus lived a sinless life, died, and then overcame death in His resurrection, He alone has the honor of being called “the Lamb of God” and the “great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14). “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many,” and because of His resurrection “those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
Whether or not Eutychus, Tabitha, Lazarus, etc., rose from the grave, our relationship with God is not affected. Without Jesus’ resurrection, however, there would be no “Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Without Jesus’ resurrection, He would not be able to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Without Jesus’ resurrection, we would have no assurance of His coming and subsequent judgment (Acts 17:31).
Most certainly, Jesus’ resurrection is significant—more so than any other resurrection ever to have taken place. Only Jesus’ resurrection was verbalized by inspired men as proof of His deity. Only Jesus rose never to die again. Only Jesus’ resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament. Only Jesus prophesied of the precise day in which He would arise from the grave, and then fulfilled that prediction. Only Jesus’ resurrection was preceded by a perfect life—a life lived, given up, and restored in the resurrection for the purpose of becoming man’s Prince, Savior, and Mediator.

REFERENCES

McKinsey, C. Dennis (1983), “Commentary,” Biblical Errancy, pp. 1-4, February.

From Mark Copeland... What About "Re-Baptism?


                              "BAPTISM"

                       What About "Re-Baptism?"

INTRODUCTION

1. In our study of baptism we have seen that it is...
   a. Essential
      1) To salvation - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
      2) To becoming disciples of Christ - Mt 28:19-20; Ga 3:27
   b. Immersion, not pouring or sprinkling
      1) The Greek words can only mean immersion
      2) Pouring and sprinkling do not fit the FIGURES used to describe
         baptism in the NT.
      3) Scholars are unanimous that immersion was the practice in the
         NT
   c. For penitent believers
      1) For sinners with faith in the Lord Jesus who have repented of
         their sins
      2) Not infants, who are incapable of faith and repentance

2. Another question that is often raised:  "Is there ever a need to be
   re-baptized?"
   a. What about those who were sprinkled?
   b. What about those baptized as infants?
   c. What about those baptized believing they were already saved?

[This study examines the question of re-baptism, first by noticing...]

I. A CASE OF "RE-BAPTISM" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

   A. RECORDED IN ACTS 19:1-5...
      1. Background information is found in Ac 18:24-28
         a. Apollos had been teaching the baptism of John
         b. But he himself was taught more accurately by Aquila and
            Priscilla
      2. Paul finds some "disciples" at Ephesus - Ac 19:1-3
      3. Upon further examination he has them "re-baptized" - Ac 19:4-5

   B. SOME OBSERVATIONS...
      1. They had been previously "baptized"
      2. But their baptism was lacking in some way
         a. Even though it was immersion
         b. Even though it was "for the remission of sins" - Mk 1:4
      3. But their baptism was not in the name of Jesus, i.e., by His
         authority - Ac 2:38; 10:48; 19:5
         a. Which would have been a baptism into the name of the 
            Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son - Mt 28:19
         b. Which would have been a baptism into the death of Christ,
            by which they would have been clothed with Christ - Ro 6:
            3-7; Ga 3:27
   -- Because their first "baptism" lacked an essential element, 
      "re-baptism" was necessary!

[May we not conclude that if an earlier "baptism" lacks some essential
element, then "re-baptism" is necessary?  To determine whether 
"re-baptism" is required of us, consider...]

II. WHEN "RE-BAPTISM" IS APPROPRIATE

   A. FOUR "ELEMENTS" CONSTITUTE BIBLE BAPTISM...
      1. The proper mode:  a burial (immersion) - Ro 6:3; Col 2:12
      2. The proper authority:  in the name of Christ - Ac 19:5
      3. The proper purpose:  for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 
         22:16
      4. The proper subject:  a penitent believer - Ac 2:38; 8:37; 
         Mk 16:16

   B. WHEN ONE ELEMENT WAS LACKING, "RE-BAPTISM" WAS COMMANDED...
      1. In Ac 19:1-5, the proper authority was lacking
      2. Even though their previous baptism had the right mode, 
         purpose, and subject, "re-baptism" was commanded!

   C. APPLYING WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED...
      1. If we were baptized by sprinkling or pouring:
         a. As practiced by Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians,
            Episcopalians, Methodists and others
         b. Our baptism lacked the proper mode (immersion)
         -- "Re-baptism" would be therefore be necessary
      2. If we were baptized by the authority of anyone other than
         Jesus:
         a. Such as Ellen G. White (Seventh Day Adventists), The Watch
            Tower Society (Jehovah Witnesses), Joseph Smith (Mormons),
            and others
         b. Our baptism was not by the right authority (Jesus Christ)
         -- "Re-baptism" would be therefore be necessary
      3. If we were baptized as a public confession of faith (thinking
         we were already saved):
         a. As practiced by most Baptists, Assemblies Of God and others
         b. Our baptism was not for the right purpose (remission of
            sins)
         -- "Re-baptism" would be required to ensure we have been 
            scripturally baptized
      4. Finally, if we were baptized but were not penitent believers:
         a. As is the case when people are baptized...
            1) When all their friends are doing it
            2) Because their spouse, fianc‚, or parents are pressuring
               them to do it (and they do it to please them, not God)
            3) As infants incapable of faith or repentance
         b. Our baptism was lacking the right subjects (penitent
            believers)
         -- Our need for "re-baptism" would be just as great as any
            other!

CONCLUSION

1. In summarizing what has been said in this study:
   a. If our baptism lack any of the four essential elements of Bible
      baptism...
      1) The proper mode - immersion
      2) The proper authority - Jesus Christ
      3) The proper purpose - for remission of sins
      4) The proper subject - a penitent believer
   b. Then "re-baptism" is both appropriate and necessary to ensure
      that our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus!

2. But perhaps I should clarify:
   a. When one is baptized because their "first" baptism lacked an
      essential element...
      1) It is not really "re-baptism"!
      2) Technically speaking, the person is being baptized 
         scripturally for the first time!
   b. When one has been scripturally baptized once...
      1) There is never a need to be baptized again!
      2) For once we have clothed ourselves with Christ in baptism:
         a) The blood of Christ continually cleanses us of our sins
         b) As we repent and confess our sins to God in prayer 
            - Ac 8:22; 1Jn 1:9

Have you been scripturally baptized?  If you desire assistance, please
feel free to let me know!  May God bless you in your efforts to do His
Will!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Mark Copeland... What About Infant Baptism?


                               "BAPTISM"

                       What About Infant Baptism?

INTRODUCTION

1. In the previous studies we have seen that baptism...
   a. Is essential to:
      1) SALVATION - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
      2) BECOMING DISCIPLES OF CHRIST - Mt 28:19-20; Ga 3:27
   b. Is immersion, for:
      1) The Greek words can only mean immersion
      2) Pouring and sprinkling do not fit with figures used to 
         describe baptism in the N.T.
      3) Scholars are unanimous in pointing out that immersion was the
         practice in the Bible and early church

2. Two more questions remain which are often in the minds of people:
   a. Should infants be baptized?
   b. Is there ever a need to be "re-baptized?"

[This study shall consider the question "What about infant baptism?"  
My first point is to suggest that...]

I. "INFANT BAPTISM" IS NOT BIBLE BAPTISM

   A. BIBLE BAPTISM REQUIRES IMMERSION...
      1. We have seen that pouring or sprinkling is not baptism
      2. Therefore "infant baptism" as commonly practiced is really a
         misnomer
         a. "Infant pouring" or "infant sprinkling" would be a more
            accurate description
         b. Only if the infant is immersed could it be called "infant 
            baptism"
      -- Of course, immersion is not the only thing which constitutes
         Bible baptism...

   B. BIBLE BAPTISM REQUIRES CERTAIN PREREQUISITES...
      1. Bible baptism requires FAITH - Ac 8:35-38
         a. Notice the eunuch's question, and Philip's response
            1) "See, here is water.  What hinders me from being
               baptized?"
            2) "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
            -- If one believes, they may be baptized - cf. Mk 16:16
         b. Infants, however, are incapable of belief!
      2. Bible baptism requires REPENTANCE - Ac 2:38
         a. If one is a penitent believer, they may be baptized
         b. But infants are incapable of repentance!

[The first thing to realize about "infant baptism" is that it is not 
baptism in the strict sense of the word; nor is it the baptism spoken
of in the N.T., which was only for those who possessed faith and a 
penitent heart.

Another point to consider is...]

II. "INFANT BAPTISM" IS NOT NECESSARY

   A. THE RISE OF INFANT BAPTISM IN CHURCH HISTORY...
      1. Even those who later approved of infant baptism admit that one
         could not prove it from the Scriptures...
         a. "It cannot be proved by the sacred Scriptures that infant
            baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun by the first
            Christians after the apostles." (MARTIN LUTHER, On
            Rebaptism)
         b. "Infant baptism was established neither by Christ nor the
            apostles. In all places where we find the necessity of
            baptism notified, either in a dogmatic or historical point
            of view, it is evident that it was only meant for those who
            were capable of comprehending the word preached, and of
            being converted to Christ by an act of their own will."
            (JACOBI, Article on Baptism in Kitto's Cyclopedia of
            Biblical Literature, Vol. I, p. 287)
      2. If this is true, when did the practice of "infant baptism"
         begin?
         a. The earliest mention of infant baptism is around 200 A.D.
         b. The practice began only after the doctrine of "original 
            sin" had been developed
            1) "The early theological development of the doctrine of 
               original sin contributed to the importance of infant
               baptism." (Christianity Through The Centuries, p. 160)
            2) The whole basis of "infant baptism", therefore, lies in
               the assumption that infants are born in sin

   B. ARE BABIES BORN IN SIN?
      1. Of course, the doctrine of "original sin" means different 
         things to different people
         a. Some understand it to refer only to inheriting the "fallen
            nature" of Adam, and not any personal guilt of his
         b. But the common conception includes the idea of inheriting
            the guilt of Adam's sin as well, meaning that babies are
            born in sin and guilty of sin
         c. It is this latter understanding that led to the practice of
            infant baptism
      2. People are not held accountable for the guilt of their
         forbears!
         a. God has clearly said that He does not hold the child guilty
            for the sins of the father - Ezek 18:20
         b. Paul described a time in his life when we was alive before
            he became a sinner - Ro 7:7-11
            1) According to the common idea of original sin, this would
               have been impossible!
            2) But not if children are born free from the guilt of sin
               and remain so until they reach an age of accountability
      3. Consider also the nature of the NEW COVENANT - He 8:6-13
         a. One of the notable features about the new covenant is:
            1) "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his
               brother, saying 'Know the Lord'..."
            2) "For all shall know Me, from the least of them to the
               greatest of them."
         -- In other words, no one enters into this new covenant 
            without already knowing the Lord!
         b. Unlike the OLD COVENANT...
            1) Where people entered the covenant by virtue of birth
               into the family (Israel)
            2) Where males entered the covenant by virtue of
               circumcision when eight days old
            3) Where as they grew older they had to be taught to know
               the Lord!
         c. When "infant baptism" is practiced, this distinctive 
            feature of the new covenant is no longer present!
            1) Children, who have supposedly entered a covenant 
               relationship with the Lord, still need to be taught as
               they get older
            2) They have to be taught to know the Lord!
         d. This distinctive feature of the new covenant is true only
            when:
            1) Baptism (the means by which we enter a covenant 
               relationship with the Lord today) is administered to
               penitent believers
            2) Those who enter the covenant have already been taught
               about the Lord (via the gospel of Christ)

CONCLUSION

1. Should infants be baptized?  The answer is "yes" if we can show...
   a. One example in the N.T. where infants were baptized
   b. That they meet the prerequisites of faith and repentance required
      of all those baptized in the N.T.
   c. That they can know the Lord somehow before they enter into the
      relationship baptism places them, and so do not need to be taught
      to know the Lord

2. But the Biblical facts are...
   a. There is not one case of "infant baptism" in the N.T.!
   b. Only those who believe and have repented may be baptized!
   c. To baptize infants would make the point of He 8:11 without
      meaning!

3. The logical conclusion from the Biblical evidence is that babies...
   a. Are born into this world without the personal guilt of their
      ancestors
   b. Are not lost and in need of salvation
   c. Are "safe" (not "saved," for they were never "lost")
   d. Remain safe until they reach an accountable age where they become
      guilty of their sins, and in need of salvation

4. What if you were "baptized" as an infant?
   a. Most likely you were not actually baptized (immersed), simply
      "sprinkled"
   b. Even if immersed, it was not "Bible baptism", which requires 
      faith and repentance
   -- Thus you are still in need of obeying the Word of the Lord!

Don't place your faith in the traditions of men, or in the doctrines of
some church; place your faith in God's Word, and obey it accordingly!

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From Mark Copeland... Baptism: Sprinkling, Pouring, Or Immersion?


                               "BAPTISM"

                   Sprinkling, Pouring, Or Immersion?

INTRODUCTION

1. In the preaching and teaching of the apostles, we saw that baptism
   is essential to:
   a. Salvation - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
   b. Becoming disciples of Christ - Mt 28:19-20; Ga 3:27

2. But even when the necessity of baptism has been established,
   questions often remain:
   a. Is baptism to be immersion, pouring, or sprinkling?
   b. Should infants be baptized?
   c. Is there ever any reason to be "re-baptized?"

[This lesson examines the first of these questions:  "Is baptism to be
sprinkling, pouring or immersion?"  Let's begin by examining...]

I. THE GREEK WORDS FOR "BAPTIZE" AND "BAPTISM"

   A. THE WORDS ARE "BAPTIZO" AND "BAPTISMA"...
      1. Note that the words "baptize" and "baptism" are not actually
         TRANSLATIONS of the Greek words
      2. They are TRANSLITERATIONS (where Greek letters in a word are
         simply given their English equivalents)
      3. To confirm the actual meaning, we must go to authorities on
         the Greek language

   B. THE FOLLOWING GREEK LEXICONS DEFINE "BAPTIZE" AS "TO IMMERSE, TO
      PLUNGE, TO DIP"...
      1. Greek-English Lexicon Of The N.T. (THAYER)
      2. Greek-English Lexicon, 7th Edition (LIDDEL & SCOTT)
      3. Greek Lexicon Of The Roman And Byzantine Periods (SOPHOCLES)
      4. Biblio-Theological Lexicon Of N.T. Words (CREMER)
      5. To quote VINE'S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF N.T. WORDS: "baptism,
         consisting of the processes of immersion, submersion and
         emergence"

   C. NOT ONE STANDARD GREEK LEXICON DEFINES "BAPTIZO" AS "SPRINKLE" OR
      "POUR"...
      1. In fact, there are completely different words in Greek for
         "pouring" (CHENO) and "sprinkling" (RAINO)
      2. It is important to keep in mind concerning "baptize" and
         "baptism":
         a. That they are simply "transliterations"
         b. That they were transliterated instead of translated in our
            Bibles to avoid offending those who practice pouring or
            sprinkling
         c. But when translated into English, they can only mean "to
            immerse" and "immersion"!

   D. WHAT ABOUT MODERN ENGLISH DICTIONARIES?
      1. It is true that they define baptism as sprinkling, pouring, or
         immersion
      2. But their definitions reflect common usage of words by people
         TODAY
      3. To know exactly what was meant by Jesus and His apostles, we
         must consult authorities who define how words were used IN
         BIBLICAL TIMES!

[That of course is where Greek lexicons like those referenced to above
are helpful.  They define words according to their meaning at the time
used by the New Testament writers.  Now let's consider...]

II. FIGURES OF SPEECH USED TO DESCRIBE BAPTISM

   A. BY PAUL IN ROMANS...
      1. In baptism, we are "buried with Him...into death" - Ro 6:3-4
      2. Baptism is a "likeness of his death" - Ro 6:5

   B. BY PAUL IN COLOSSIANS...
      1. In baptism, we are "buried with Him"
      2. "in which, you were also raised with Him" - Col 2:12

   C. WHICH ACTION (IMMERSION, POURING, SPRINKLING) IS:
      1. A "burial?"
      2. A "likeness of His death?"
      3. A "likeness of His resurrection?"
      -- Only immersion (followed by an emersion) fits Paul's
        description of baptism

[Paul's use of such figures of speech would make no sense if baptism
were either pouring or sprinkling.  It is also interesting to note...]

III. THE TESTIMONY OF VARIOUS SCHOLARS

   A. WHOSE DENOMINATIONS PRACTICE POURING OR SPRINKLING...
      1. EPISCOPALIAN
         a. "This passage (Ro 6:4) cannot be understood unless it be
            borne in mind that the primitive baptism was by immersion"
            - CONYBEARE & HOWSON (Life And Epistles Of St. Paul)
         b. "Baptism means immersion; and it was immersion...Unless it
            had been so, Paul's analogical argument about our being
            buried with Christ in baptism would have had no meaning.
            Nothing could have been simpler than baptism in its first
            form.  When a convert declared his faith in Christ, he was
            taken at once to the nearest pool or stream of water and
            plunged into it, and henceforward he was recognized as one
            of the Christian community." - CUNNINGHAM (The Growth Of
            The Church)
         c. "Baptism is the grave of the old man and the birth of the
            new. As he sinks beneath the baptismal waters, the believer
            buries there all his corrupt affections and past sins; as
            he emerges thence he rises regenerate, quickened to new
            hopes and a new life.  This baptism is an image of his
            participation both in the death and resurrection of
            Christ." - BISHOP LIGHTFOOT (Commentary)
      2. METHODIST
         a. "Alluding to the 'immersion' practiced in the case of
            'adults,' wherein the person appeared to be buried under
            the water, as Christ was buried in the heart of the earth;
            His rising again the third day, and their emerging from the
            water, was an emblem of the resurrection of the body."
            - ADAM CLARKE (Commentary on Colossians 2:12)
         b. "'We are buried with him.' Alluding to the ancient manner
            of baptizing by immersion." - JOHN WESLEY (Notes)
      3. LUTHERAN
         a. "The sacrament of baptism was administered in this century
            (the first) without the public assemblies, in places
            appointed and prepared for that purpose, and was performed
            by an immersion of the whole body in the baptismal font."
            - MOSHEIM (Mosheim's Church History)
         b. "For the explanation of this figurative description of the
            baptismal rite, it is necessary to call attention to the
            well-known circumstance that in the early days of the
            church, persons, when baptized, were first plunged below
            and then raised above the water." - THOLUCK (Commentary on
            Romans)
      4. CATHOLIC - "For thirteen hundred years was baptism an
         immersion of the person under water." - BRENNER

   B. HOW DO THEY RECONCILE WITH THEIR DENOMINATIONS' PRACTICE?
      1. Since these scholars (and many others) admit and affirm that
         immersion is the only "form" of baptism taught in the Bible,
         are they to be charged with dishonesty and insincerity because
         they practiced "sprinkling" or "pouring"?
      2. Not necessarily; rather, they fell into the fallacy of
         assuming:
         a. Apostolic commands and examples are not binding
         b. Human wisdom may alter specific Bible teaching in what they
            call "rites" or "customs"
      3. But Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day for
         making the same mistake! - Mt 15:1-9; Mk 7:1-13
         a. Laying aside the commandments of God, they were keeping
            traditions of men
         b. By keeping certain traditions, they were not keeping the
            commandments of God!
      4. When one practices pouring or sprinkling...
         a. They are keeping traditions of men, not the commandments of
            God
         b. They render the commandment of God to be immersed (baptized) of no effect!
      5. Though sincere, one is not necessarily right; we are right
         only when we do the Father's will! - Mt 7:21-23
         a. Love for Jesus will be manifested by keeping His commandments - Jn 14:15; 15:10,14
         b. Love for God is manifested the same way - 1Jn 5:3

CONCLUSION

1. What have we learned?
   a. That the Greek words mean "immersion"
   b. That "sprinkling" or "pouring" is inconsistent with the FIGURES
      OF SPEECH used in the Bible to describe baptism
   c. That there is no question "immersion" was the mode of baptism in
      the Bible and the early church

2. As a final confirmation, consider the account of Philip and the
   Ethiopian eunuch - Ac 8:35-39
   a. "both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water"
   b. "he baptized (immersed) him"
   c. "they came up out of the water"

3. What of yourself?
   a. Was your baptism like that described in Ac 8:38-39?
   b. If you were sprinkled or had water poured upon you...
      1) You were keeping a tradition of man
      2) You have not yet kept the commandment of God!

4. If you have not been baptized (immersed) as commanded by Jesus and
   His apostles...
   a. You are still in your sins! - Ac 2:38; 22:16
   b. You have not yet put on Christ and become His disciple! - Ga 3:27; Mt 28:18-20

   'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash
   away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (Acts 22:16)


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From Mark Copeland... Baptism In The Teaching Of Peter


                              "BAPTISM"

                    Baptism In The Teaching Of Peter

INTRODUCTION

1. In our first lesson we saw where Peter included baptism as part of
   his apostolic preaching...
   a. He commanded the people at Pentecost to be baptized - Ac 2:36-38
   b. He commanded the household of Cornelius to be baptized - Ac 10:
      47-48

2. From the accounts in Acts, we saw that for Peter baptism was...
   a. For the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
   b. An act that involved water - Ac 10:47

3. But one might properly ask:  was Peter teaching...
   a. That baptism was for the forgiveness of sins, and therefore
      necessary for salvation?
   b. That one is saved by baptism in water?

4. Fortunately, we do not have wonder, for in his first epistle Peter
   wrote...

   "There is also an antitype which now saves us; baptism (not the
   removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good 
   conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"
                                               (1Pe 3:21)

[As stated in the KJV, "...baptism doth also NOW save us"!  But while
teaching that baptism saves us, Peter is careful to explain in what 
way.  Let's take a closer look at the text to see what Peter is saying
about baptism...]

I. BAPTISM IS AN "ANTITYPE"

   A. DEFINING "ANTITYPE"...
      1. The Greek word is antitupon {an-teet'-oo-pon}, which means "a
         thing formed after some pattern; that which corresponds to a
         type"
      2. So you have two things that some how relate or correspond to
         each other; one is a type, the other is the antitype
      
   B. HOW BAPTISM IS AN ANTITYPE...
      1. In the text, the waters of the flood are the "type", and the
         waters of baptism are the "antitype" - 1Pe 3:20-21
      2. In his commentary, Albert Barnes says...
         a. "The meaning here is, that baptism corresponded to, or had
            a resemblance to, the water by which Noah was saved; or 
            that there was a use of water in the one case which 
            corresponded in some respects to the water that was used in
            the other; to wit, in effecting salvation." (Commentary on
            1st Peter)
         b. "The apostle does not say that it corresponded in all 
            respects; in respect, e.g., to quantity, or to the manner
            of the application, or to the efficacy; but there is a 
            sense in which water performs an important part in our 
            salvation, as it did in his." (ibid.)
      3. Thus Peter was comparing Noah's salvation with our own...
         a. Remember that Noah was saved by:
            1) Grace - Gen 6:8
            2) Faith - He 11:7
            3) Water - 1Pe 3:20
            -- Grace was God's part, faith was Noah's part; water was
               simply an element by which God carried out His plan to 
               save Noah
         b. So we are saved by:
            1) Grace - Ep 2:5
            2) Faith - Ep 2:8
            3) Water - 1Pe 3:21
            -- Grace is God's part, faith is our part; baptism is 
               simply an element by which God carries out His plan to
               save us through the blood of Christ

[Because baptism in water is somehow related to our salvation, Peter
could speak of it as an antitype that saves us, just as Noah and his
family were "saved through water"!

How can this be?  Aren't we saved by the blood of Jesus?  Of course!  
The answer can be seen as we continue to note what Peter taught 
concerning baptism...]

II. BAPTISM SAVES THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

   A. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS NOT FOUND IN THE "WATER"...
      1. As Peter makes clear when he says "not the removal of the 
         filth of the flesh"
      2. For indeed it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ one 
         can be saved
         a. We are justified through His blood - Ro 5:9
         b. We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of 
            sins - Ep 1:7
      3. To this Peter would definitely agree - 1Pe 1:18-19

   B. SALVATION IN BAPTISM IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF
      CHRIST...
      1. If He had not been raised, we would still be in our sins
         a. As Paul declares in 1Co 15:17
         b. Without His resurrection, His death would have been 
            meaningless
      2. But because Jesus was raised from the dead...
         a. Those baptized into His death can rise to walk in newness 
            of life - Ro 6:4
         b. Those united together in the likeness of His death (i.e.,
            baptism) can share in the power of His resurrection 
            - Ro 6:5
      3. In other words, the same power of God that raised Jesus from
         the dead is what saves us in baptism so we can be "made alive"
         - cf. Col 2:12-13

[By God's saving grace and resurrecting power, then, baptism can indeed
save us!  Not because of any cleansing power in the water, but because
of what GOD is doing at that moment through the blood of Jesus and the
regeneration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Tit 3:4-5).

But notice finally, how Peter teaches that baptism saves because...]

III. BAPTISM IS AN APPEAL FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE

   A. "THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE" (NKJV)
      1. A difficult phrase, but it most likely means "an appeal to God
         for a clear conscience"
      2. This is supported by the following translations:
         a. "the craving for a conscience right with God" (Goodspeed)
         b. "the prayer for a clean conscience before God" (Moffat)
         c. "the request unto God for a good conscience" (Rotherham)
         d. "an appeal to God for a clear conscience" (RSV)
         e. "an appeal to God for a good conscience" (NASV)
      -- Thus one is baptized because they desire a clear conscience
         (i.e., to have their sins forgiven)

   B. THIS COINCIDES WITH THE EVIDENT PURPOSE OF BAPTISM...
      1. In apostolic preaching, baptized was commanded:
         a. "For the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
         b. To have one's sins "washed away" - cf. Ac 22:16
      2. In N.T. times people who realized they were sinners were 
         anxious to be baptized as soon as possible - cf. Ac 8:35-38
      3. Therefore one is baptized...
         a. To have a good conscience before God; indeed, to have their
            conscience "purged" by the blood of Christ - cf. He 9:14
         b. To have their sins washed away by blood of Jesus and so
            they can rise to a new life through the same power of God
            that raised Jesus from the dead!

CONCLUSION

1. Does baptism save us?
   a. Many say "Baptism does NOT save us!"
   b. But Peter clearly taught "...baptism doth also NOW save us" (KJV)

2. How does baptism save us?  According to Peter...
   a. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
   b. As an appeal for a good conscience!

3. This helps us to understand...
   a. Why he commanded it for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
   b. Why he commanded it even for those who had in some sense received
      the Spirit - Ac 10:47-48

Yes, through the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, working
in conjunction with our faith in the blood of Jesus, baptism does 
indeed save those who are making an appeal for a clear conscience!

Is baptism essential to salvation?  Let the preaching and teaching of
Christ's apostles provide the answer!  I believe that when we do, we
can see why one should takes Jesus' own words with no equivocation:

   "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does
   not believe will be condemned." - Mk 16:16

It is my prayer that if you have not yet properly responded to the Word
of the Lord, you will heed the same words given to Paul:

   "And now why are you waiting?  Arise and be baptized, and wash
   away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - Ac 22:16

Have you made an appeal to God for a good conscience by being baptized
into Christ?


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From Mark Copeland... Baptism In The Teaching Of Paul


                              "BAPTISM"

                    Baptism In The Teaching Of Paul

INTRODUCTION

1. In our first lesson we saw where baptism played a prominent role in
   apostolic preaching...
   a. In every case of conversion described in the book of Acts,
      baptism is mentioned
   b. As G. R. Beasley-Murray, a Baptist scholar, observed:  "Baptism
      is...a part of the proclamation of Christ. In an Apostolic sermon
      it comes as its logical conclusion." - G. R. Beasley-Murray,
      Baptism In The New Testament, Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans
      Publishing Co., 1962, p. 393)

2. And what did the apostles proclaim regarding baptism?  We noticed
   that...
   a. It was commanded "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
   b. It was done to "wash away sins" - Ac 22:16
   c. It involved "water" - Ac 8:36-38; 10:48
   d. It was done "immediately", with no delay even if after midnight
      - Ac 16:25-33

3. This would certainly suggest that baptism is necessary for 
   salvation...
   a. But is this a fair conclusion drawn from the "preaching" of the
      apostles?
   b. Is this conclusion consistent with the "teaching" of the
      apostles, as found in their epistles?

[In this lesson, we will examine what Paul taught in his epistles
regarding baptism.  Let's start with by noticing what he said about
baptism...]

I. IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS

   A. BAPTISM IS A BURIAL AND RESURRECTION WITH CHRIST...
      1. It is a baptism into the death of Christ - Ro 6:3
      2. It is a burial with Christ into death (His death, we are 
         crucified with Him!) - Ro 6:4
      3. It is done in order that we might walk in newness of life 
         - Ro 6:4-5
      4. It involves crucifying the old man, that the body of sin may
         be destroyed - Ro 6:6
      6. It thereby frees us from sin as we die to sin, that we might
         live with Christ - Ro 6:7-11

   B. NOTE CAREFULLY...
      1. Paul does not say that baptism "symbolizes things which had
         already occurred"
         a. Many say this is the purpose or design of baptism, often
            quoting this passage
         b. But read the passage carefully;  Paul says no such thing!
      2. But rather, Paul describes baptism into Christ as WHEN such
         things occur
         a. We were buried with Him "through baptism into death" -
            Ro 6:4
         b. It is in baptism we are buried with Christ into death (His
            death); we thereby die to sin in baptism
         c. We were buried with Him, why?  "That just as Christ was
            raised...even so we also should walk in newness of life" 
            - Ro 6:4
         d. We are baptized in order to rise to walk in newness of life
            just as Christ did!
      3. Note also Paul's preface to these remarks: "as many as were 
         baptized into Christ Jesus were..."
         a. What blessings he describes pertain only to those who had
            been baptized!
         b. What of those not baptized?  The blessings described would
            not apply!

[In his commentary on Romans, Martin Luther wrote:  "Baptism has been
instituted that it should lead us to the blessings (of this death) and
through such death to eternal life.  Therefore IT IS NECESSARY that we
should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His death."  (Commentary On
Romans, Kregel Publications, p.101).

Though believing that we are justified by grace through faith (and he
would say "by faith alone"), Luther understood that salvation by faith
did not preclude the necessity of baptism!  Why, we shall see shortly;
but let's go on to consider what Paul wrote of baptism...]

II. IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS

   A. BAPTISM IS HOW WE PUT ON CHRIST...
      1. From Ga 3:26-27 we learn that baptism is involved in the
         process of becoming sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus
      2. The "for" beginning verse 27 begins an explanation as to HOW
         we become sons of God through faith
      3. Baptism is therefore the means by which we "put on Christ",
         and become sons of God!

   B. NOTE CAREFULLY...
      1. Paul wrote:  "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ
         have put on..."
         a. "For as many" means no more or no less
         b. Only those who have been baptized into Christ have really
            received Christ into their lives!
      2. Many teach "receive Jesus Christ by saying the sinner's
         prayer..."
         a. But the Bible nowhere teaches that this is how one 
            "receives Christ"
         b. Rather, one "puts on" (or receives) Christ when they are
            baptized into Christ!

[In his commentary on this verse, Luther concluded:  "Wherefore baptism
is a thing of great force and efficacy." (Commentary On Galatians, 
Kregel Publications, p.222).  How true, if in baptism we "put on 
Christ"!

How this is possible without being a form of works-salvation becomes
clearer as we consider what Paul taught concerning baptism...]

III. IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS

   A. BAPTISM IS A WORK OF GOD...
      1. A "spiritual circumcision" in which sins are "cut away" 
         - Col 2:11
      2. A burial with Christ, and also a resurrection with Him 
         - Col 2:12
      3. Made effective "through faith in the working of God" - Col 2:12
      4. In which GOD makes us "alive together with Him, having
         forgiven you all trespasses" - Col 2:13

   B. NOTE CAREFULLY...
      1. Here we learn that baptism is a work of God, not man
         a. Just as it was God who raised Jesus, so it is He who makes
            us alive, having forgiven our sins! - Col 2:13
         b. Our part is "faith in the working of God" as we are buried
            with Christ in baptism - Col 2:12
      2. God is the "Great Physician", who is cutting away our sins
         (through the blood of Christ)
         a. We are simply the patient, who humbly submits in faith to
            the surgeon's scalpel
         b. He is the One who makes us alive, that we might rise to 
            walk in newness of life

[Again, this is something Martin Luther clearly recognized, when he
responded to those who would call this a kind of works-salvation:  

   "Yes, it is true that our works are of no use for salvation.  
   Baptism, however, is not our work but God's."  (as quoted by 
   Jack W. Cottrell in Baptism And The Remission of Sins, College
   Press, 1990, p. 32-34)

Finally, let's consider what Paul taught concerning baptism...]

IV. IN HIS EPISTLE TO TITUS

   A. BAPTISM IS A "WASHING" AND "REGENERATION"...
      1. Is Paul talking about baptism in Tit 3:5?
         a. The figure "washing" certainly alludes to the baptismal 
            waters
         b. We have already seen where in baptism we are:
            1) Raised to walk in newness of life - Ro 6:4
            2) Made alive by God - Col 2:12-13
            -- Does this not suggest a "washing of regeneration..."?
         c. Martin Luther and many others understood this verse to 
            refer to baptism
      2. Thus God saves us in baptism:
         a. It is a "washing of regeneration" - a washing in we are 
            reborn<< Previous | Index | Next >>
         b. It is a "renewing of the Holy Spirit" - a renewal in which
            the Spirit is at work
         -- Just as Jesus said:  "...unless one is born of water and
            the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." - Jn 3:5

   B. NOTE CAREFULLY...
      1. This "washing" and "regeneration" does not occur because we 
         have earned it!
         a. Baptism is not a work of righteousness by virtue of which
            we merit salvation!
         b. We are saved by the kindness, love, and mercy of God! 
            - Tit 3:4-5
      2. It is by God's mercy that HE (not we) saves us!
         a. Which HE does through the washing of regeneration and 
            renewing of the Holy Spirit!
         b. Which HE does when we are baptized into Christ!
      3. Through such mercy in Christ Jesus, we are truly "justified by
         His grace" - Tit 3:6-7

CONCLUSION

1. Paul taught that baptism is...
   a. A burial into the death of Christ
   b. How we die to sin as we are crucified with Him
   c. A resurrection with Christ so we can rise to walk in newness of
      life
   d. A putting on Christ, thereby becoming a child of God
   e. A spiritual circumcision in which sins are cut away
   f. The working of God, whereby we are buried with Christ, made alive
      as our sins are forgiven, and then raised with Him
   g. An act of God's grace and mercy, in which we experience a washing
      of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit
   -- If all these things when one is baptized, how can anyone say that
      it is not necessary?

2. Sadly, many who say it is NOT necessary...
   a. Misunderstand those who say it is necessary
      1) Thinking that they believe in salvation by works
      2) When they truly believe in salvation by grace through faith!
   b. Misunderstand Martin Luther
      1) Whose coined phrased "saved by faith only" they themselves use
         so often
      2) When he differs with them on the necessity of baptism
   c. Misunderstand the apostle Paul
      1) Having him say things about the purpose of baptism he does not
         say
      2) Failing to appreciate what he clearly teaches about baptism
   -- All this, in their zeal to oppose what they mistakenly view as<< Previous | Index | Next >>
      works-salvation!

In his commentary on Ga 3:27, Luther wrote:

   "This is diligently to be noted, because of the fond and 
   fantastical spirits, who go about to deface the majesty of 
   baptism, and speak wickedly of it. Paul, contrariwise, 
   commendeth it, and setteth it forth with honorable titles,
   calling it, 'the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the
   Holy Ghost'.  And here also he saith, that 'all ye that are
   baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.' Wherefore baptism
   is a thing of great force and efficacy." (Commentary On 
   Galatians, Kregel Publications, p. 222)
<< Previous | Index | Next >>
Do we deface the majesty of baptism, in our mistaken zeal to oppose 
what we perceive to be a form of works-salvation?

Or do we, like Paul, commend it by noting his own teaching regarding
baptism, and like Luther, appreciate how that by the working of God it
can be a thing of great force and efficacy?


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading February 12



Bible Reading  

February 12

The World English Bible

Feb. 12
Genesis 43

Gen 43:1 The famine was severe in the land.
Gen 43:2 It happened, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, "Go again, buy us a little more food."
Gen 43:3 Judah spoke to him, saying, "The man solemnly warned us, saying, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.'
Gen 43:4 If you'll send our brother with us, we'll go down and buy you food,
Gen 43:5 but if you'll not send him, we'll not go down, for the man said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.' "
Gen 43:6 Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?"
Gen 43:7 They said, "The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down?' "
Gen 43:8 Judah said to Israel, his father, "Send the boy with me, and we'll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones.
Gen 43:9 I'll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don't bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever,
Gen 43:10 for if we hadn't delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now."
Gen 43:11 Their father, Israel, said to them, "If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds;
Gen 43:12 and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Gen 43:13 Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man.
Gen 43:14 May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
Gen 43:15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Gen 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and make ready; for the men will dine with me at noon."
Gen 43:17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph's house.
Gen 43:18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we're brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys."
Gen 43:19 They came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house,
Gen 43:20 and said, "Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food.
Gen 43:21 When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand.
Gen 43:22 We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don't know who put our money in our sacks."
Gen 43:23 He said, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money." He brought Simeon out to them.
Gen 43:24 The man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder.
Gen 43:25 They made ready the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Gen 43:26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth.
Gen 43:27 He asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?"
Gen 43:28 They said, "Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive." They bowed the head, and did homage.
Gen 43:29 He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?" He said, "God be gracious to you, my son."
Gen 43:30 Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there.
Gen 43:31 He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, "Serve the meal."
Gen 43:32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don't eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
Gen 43:33 They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another.

Gen 43:34 He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.

 Feb. 12, 13
Matthew 22

Mat 22:1 Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to them, saying,
Mat 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son,
Mat 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come.
Mat 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!" '
Mat 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise,
Mat 22:6 and the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them.
Mat 22:7 When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Mat 22:8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren't worthy.
Mat 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.'
Mat 22:10 Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.
Mat 22:11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn't have on wedding clothing,
Mat 22:12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?' He was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness; there is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.'
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few chosen."
Mat 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk.
Mat 22:16 They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter who you teach, for you aren't partial to anyone.
Mat 22:17 Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test me, you hypocrites?
Mat 22:19 Show me the tax money." They brought to him a denarius.
Mat 22:20 He asked them, "Whose is this image and inscription?"
Mat 22:21 They said to him, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Mat 22:22 When they heard it, they marveled, and left him, and went away.
Mat 22:23 On that day Sadducees (those who say that there is no resurrection) came to him. They asked him,
Mat 22:24 saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed for his brother.'
Mat 22:25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first married and died, and having no seed left his wife to his brother.
Mat 22:26 In like manner the second also, and the third, to the seventh.
Mat 22:27 After them all, the woman died.
Mat 22:28 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had her."
Mat 22:29 But Jesus answered them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven.
Mat 22:31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,
Mat 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
Mat 22:33 When the multitudes heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
Mat 22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together.
Mat 22:35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him.
Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
Mat 22:40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Mat 22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
Mat 22:42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "Of David."
Mat 22:43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mat 22:44 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?'
Mat 22:45 "If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?"
Mat 22:46 No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.