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Imperfect Baptism pt. 3

  

“But consider the plight of someone who is raised outside the Churches of Christ. They look “baptism” up in the dictionary, and the dictionary says “baptism” includes pouring and sprinkling. And countless commentaries and study Bibles say the same thing. They read the arguments on infant baptism, and learn that many of the greatest scholars in church history favor infant baptism.

My point is that it’s entirely possible to be a much better student of the Bible than most and yet conclude that the New Testament approves infant baptism, sprinkling, or pouring. You’d be wrong, but not because of a hard or rebellious heart.

Thus, the question becomes: if someone approaches God with a genuine faith in Jesus, with a penitent heart, and a defective baptism, will God reject such a person? I think the scriptures say no, for several reasons.”  Jay Guin, One In Jesus

To what does Jay attribute “imperfect baptisms”?

 Jay seems to attribute “imperfect baptisms” to a simple misunderstanding.  The individual has genuine faith and love for God but due to some kind of mental quirk fails to arrive at a correct understanding.

 

Can we determine God’s will in regard to baptism?

 To Jay’s credit, he admits that we can.

 

What is the first step in coming to Jesus and understanding His will?

 If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.  (Matthew 16: 24)  If we fail to understand, when the word is readily available, we have probably failed to deny ourselves.  Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

(Matthew 7: 7)  This, I believe, is still true.

 

Is it possible to be a “much better student of the Bible than most” and yet arrive at imperfect conclusions concerning baptism?

The Scriptures tell us that some are ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.  (1 Timothy 3: 7)  The context shows that these are not “better students” but lovers of self and opposed to the truth like Jannes and Jambres.  In this land, we have countless seminaries that are filled with better students of the word but never come to a knowledge of the truth.  Why?  Why?

  

What is the opposite of self-denial?

 Trust in self.  (Luke 18: 9)

 

Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?

 Why do you call Him, Lord? Lord and not do his will?  (Matthew 7: 21)

 

Lord we genuinely love you.

 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandment; and His commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5: 3)

 

Lord, our church teaches that one must only believe to be saved.

 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless. (James 2: 20)

 Lord, my church has had a continuous existence from the beginning and our tradition teaches us to baptize our infants.

 But in vain do they worship Me. Teaching as doctrine the precepts of men.         (Matthew 15: 9)            

 

 Lord, I read this commentary, which led me to an imperfect conclusion about baptism.

 You search the Scriptures, because you that in them you have eternal life; it is these that bear witness of me.  (John 5: 39)  Commentaries are sometimes helpful, but they are only the opinion of men.  The Scriptures are the words of life.  Trust the Scriptures not the commentaries!

 

Lord our pastor told us that baptism can be by pouring or sprinkling, and the he is a recognized authority.

 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.  (Acts 17: 11)  Surely their pastor was no greater authority than the Apostle Paul, yet the Bereans checked Paul out.

 

Lord, our pastor told us that baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace; hence I concluded that baptism is not that important.

 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.  (John 7: 30)  You have to admit that this is a pretty catchy phrase but catchy phrases that don’t give us the complete will of God are empty phrases.  Did your pastor not tell you also that your sins are washed away at baptism; you are born again at baptism and you are united with Christ at baptism?

 

Lord, my folks are really good people and I was simply following in the steps of my parents religion.

 If any one comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.   (Luke 15: 26)

 Lord I didn’t know that one had to believe before being baptized.

 And as they went along the road they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized.”  And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may.”  And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”  (Acts 8: 36, 37)

 

Lord, we must baptize the little ones for they are tainted with original sin?

 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  (Matthew 19: 14)

 

Lord, I listened to my preacher and he gave us incorrect information.

 As a result we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by the waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming,  (Ephesians 4: 14)

 

And the man said,  “The woman Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”  Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”  And the woman said, “the serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  

 

We have all heard the good words and fair speeches.  Deception is the tool of Satan,  Beware!

God bless

Arland  Pafford  

 

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Last Update   09/26/12