Examples for Practice
“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
There is no end to the examples which I could present in this chapter. I selected a few dealing with salvation which should illustrate several of the points that I have made. Examine each sample and determine which line of poor reasoning is being used.
The following comes from a discussion I held with a man in the spring of 2002. It represents a unique argument to the question of baptism.
Was water baptism a part of the Law? The answer is "yes"! In the Old Testament it was called "cleansing" -- or "water cleansing". Here is one example of "water cleansing" in the Old Testament, of which Israel was under the Law, of those things that were not clean. Leviticus 11:32, "it "must" be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed ( read the context , by reading verses 22 thru verse 47).
Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, and thus was "water baptized" - "water cleansed". Jesus Christ said this is my body which is given for you - "take eat", and this is my blood of the new and everlasting covenant, take and drink. Before Jesus Christ could offer himself, he needed to fulfill the law of "water cleansing" - "water baptism". John "cleansed" - "baptized" with water, which fulfilled the law. This is the "reason" that Jesus Christ was baptized with water. Another record of water cleansing is in Leviticus 15:13. Jesus Christ had no need to be water cleansed, as he was sinless. But he came also to "fulfill" the law of Moses, also called the Law of God.
So, is there a "need" to be "water baptized" anymore ? NO ! The Law has been fulfilled, and there is no need to continue to "do" the law. If we were to continue to "do" the law, then Christ has been made of no affect unto you , and you then who have been saved , fall from grace -
Galatians chapter 5.
The following came from a mass mailing sent to preachers across the United States in December of 2003.
For many years the churches of Christ have used Matthew 28:19 as a baptism that adds to the church that was built by the word of the Lord that went forth from Jerusalem, a baptism that was not present when Israel was told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Search the scriptures and you will not find this commandment in Jerusalem as the Lord's church was being opened to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you look at the dates of these writings you will find that Matthew was not inspired by the Spirit to write the book we know as Matthew until the church had been established for about seven years. If the church of Christ that came by the preaching of the gospel of Christ on the day of Pentecost was built complete seven years before Matthew by the Spirit of God revealed it in the book that carries his name, why are men destined to bring Matthew 28:19 into the church today which is as unlawful as no baptism at all into the lives of the people which cannot forgive sin?
Where is the power of God that will save the people from their sins? Study the promise that Jesus made to the disciples at John 14:26 & John 16:13, this is where you will find the power of God that will save the world from sin. What God translated by His Spirit has harmonized every word that Jesus said to the disciples as long as He was in the world. There is no baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for the remission of sins that will add anyone to His church. It was not present on the day of Pentecost for the church, it is not present for the church today. Let God lead you into His kingdom, and give up this doctrine that has no strength to save anyone. All scripture is given by the inspiration which is profitable for correction.
I did respond with a letter giving details of why this man’s teachings were false. His response to my letter is also instructive.
From what I have just read in your response, you might just as well have discarded it. You understood nothing about what was written in the Letter of Concern. When you are born into the kingdom of God, that birth must be in the name of Jesus Christ, through the head of the church. Matthew contributed nothing to the establishment of the church on the day of Pentecost. If you do have some understanding of the inspired scriptures, you will see that Peter was the only apostle to receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, Mt.16:19. Matthew was not included in this promise as Peter was, therefore, the church came into the world through the exact words that came from the mouth of Peter, and that my friend is the sum total of what Jesus revealed by the Spirit of God on that great day. Every time Matthew 28:19 is brought into baptism in the Lord's church, what Jesus promised in the gospel of John has been made void, and nothing and nobody is saved.
Yes, I am an ignorant man when it comes to the perfection of God, but by reading some of these e-mails, I can truthfully say, some men are only a step behind me. Men build themselves up in their own eyes, and in their own ability to teach others, and these men are not teachers at all, and will probably remain babes as long as they live.
I am truly sorry that this discussion has gone this way, I was honest in what I wrote to the churches of Christ, but some men are not yet prepared to receive the simplicity that Jesus has offered to them. I am not to hurt or offend any man, and Jesus says; It is impossible that offenses come, but woe to that man through whom they come. Think before you write, and what you have written has not offended me at all, but what you have written may have offended the Lord. Be careful.
The following is taken from a discussion of whether baptism is necessary for salvation. This response illustrates several ways to refute the obvious.
In Acts 22 Paul said, "Arise and be baptized. and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Does this verse not say that being baptized washes away ones sins?
No! In the first place, the word "and" between "arise" and "be baptized" is not in the Greek text. In the next place, in the Greek text this sentence consists of two clauses each consisting of a command and a participle:
1. Arising, be baptized
2. Be washed, having called
The two verbs (arising and having called) are aorist participles meaning that the action of the participle comes before the action of the command. In other words, when we take into consideration the construction of the Greek text and the meaning of the participles, an accurate interpretation would be that arising comes before baptism and calling comes before washing. A proper translation, then, would be "now that you have called on the Lord and had your sins washed away, arise and be baptized." The chronological order of the various elements is as follows: calling, washing, arising, and baptizing. This verse does not teach that baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sins.
The same author wrote the following concerning Acts 2:38.
Take two aspirins for a headache. Does that mean that you take two aspirins and you will have a headache? No! You take two aspirins BECAUSE OF a headache. Likewise one is baptized because his sins have been remitted. Baptism is for Christians, not people who are still in their sins.
While strongly written, the following does show the attitudes of many to the truth.
With imbeciles it's easier to "rear back" as you put it... "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved". Repentance is a given. Want to see if you can complicate it a little more? Remember when Christ roamed the earth preaching, he preached to a very uneducated people. That's why there are so many parables in the Bible, that's the only way he could make them understand. You idiots that think you have to take the Bible absolutely literally, are delusional and will remain that way until you wake up. This is not complicated folks, all you have to do is believe and accept, it's that simple, it really is. And to add a little more fuel to the fire, once you are saved, you belong to God, you are always saved, you cannot lose your salvation - PERIOD. So all you "educated" fruitcakes that think you know the Bible can come out of the woodwork now and "prove" me wrong. I could use a good laugh right now.