Jan 23

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The question has been and still is being raised, even among members of the churches of Christ, is baptism necessary to salvation? Yet, through the years preachers in the churches of Christ have debated this subject hundreds of times; while affirming that baptism is necessary unto remission of sins. It may also be said, that preachers in the churches of Christ have debated Baptist preachers so many times and converted so many members of the Baptist Church, that the Baptists stopped debating the subject!
Now, it is not uncommon for Baptist preachers to write on their “blogs” great swelling and bold articles, but when challenged, not a word is heard from them. Here is one question, a bold Baptist preacher put forth: “If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my salvation have to wait until the plumber showed up? If I were to die before then, would I go to hell? If obedience to water baptism is the means of forgiveness of sins, then I would.” (Bold words are his.) Let us just ask him, if I die before I believe, will I go to hell? If I did not repent before I die, will I go to hell? No answer is necessary! Is it so hard to locate enough water to immerse a person in?
Here is another of his questions: “If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water, and it is possible for me to “lose my salvation” and go to hell after being baptized, then wouldn’t my best chance of going to heaven be to drown in the baptistry?!! – before I had a chance to sin so as to be lost again? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of heaven, isn’t that my best opportunity?” Here I will let John the apostle of Christ answer: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). First, John is writing to those who have had their sins forgiven. Of course, our brave writer is teaching against “falling from grace,” therefore, I shall allow Paul to answer the question: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Did Paul teach that one can fall from grace? Yes, he did and that is the end of the debate! It does not matter how one falls from grace, if it can be done, it can be done! (If you would like to look the page up: The quotes were taken from: David Martin, pastor of the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 5893 Old Brownsville Rd. E, Bartlett, TN 38135 USA; phone: 901-634-1622).
Now, let us get back to the subject of baptism. Turning to another Baptist preacher, Oscar Gibson, who writes under “Providence Baptist Ministries” while addressing “Baptists and Beliefs;” he writes: “We come now to answer the question of so many people, ‘why don’t Baptists accept the baptism of other faiths?’ I believe I can make it quite clear.” So, just how does he make it clear? Here are his own words: “The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper were not given to any individual, but to the church that Jesus built. Since Baptist churches are the only churches in the world without human origin, and go all the way back to Jesus Christ, we contend that Jesus gave the ordinance of baptism to these churches.” Before continuing, here is good time to look at the word “ordinance.” The English word “ordinance” means “an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command.” However, in Ecclesiastical terms, it refers to: an established rite or ceremony, a sacrament, the communion. It is best to see how the inspired writers of the New Testament used the words, but there are more than one such Greek word which needs attention: 1) “dikaioina,” means: “that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law” and is found in Luke 1:6 and is used referring to the Law of God; 2) “dogma,” means: “doctrine, decree and is found in Ephesus 2:15 and is used of the Law of Moses ; 3) “ktisis,” means: “the act of founding, establishing” and is found in 1 Peter 2:13 and is used of ordinance of man. These are given to show that the word “ordinance” is not limited to baptism and the communion. Though is it clear that Baptists so limit it! However, Gibson writes: “All Protestants received their authority to immerse and administer the Lord’s Supper from the Roman Catholic church, or from the church from which they went out in protest.” This means that the baptism of all other churches is not acceptable to the Baptist!
Did I hear a protest? Did I hear someone say, this is just not so? Let Gibson speak for himself: “Thus we do not accept the baptism of other faiths.” He also made the point that Baptists do not teach that baptism has anything to do with salvation! He wrote: “Understand, we are not talking of salvation. We are speaking of baptism.” There it is as clear as it can be stated; baptism has nothing to do with being saved! Yet, Jesus said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Yes, it is true, that baptism is only for those who believe the gospel and being saved follows being baptized!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/baptism-2/