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  • J. Randal Matheny 6:03 am on 2016-02-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, , details, ,   

    Details do matter. Just ask Jeb Bush. 

    Seems someone over at the (American 2016 Republican primary) Bush campaign made a boo-boo. (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 2:09 pm on 2016-02-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism,   

    2-12-2016 “Religion Doesn’t Matter–We’re All Going To The Same Place” 

    In a city “given over to idols” (Acts 17:16 NKJV), The Apostle Paul said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious” (Acts 17:22 NKJV). They were religiously wrong, not believing in Jesus Christ, Who said, “”He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Paul preached in Ephesus to men who had been baptized in John the Baptist’s baptism: “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:4-5 NKJV). They had believed in Jesus, but been baptized for the wrong reason. Everyone is not going to the same place, regardless of their religion!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

    • tiffanystttt 11:38 pm on 2016-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      As indeed is echoed in Matthew 7:13-23:
      13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

      15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

      21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  • John T. Polk II 8:21 am on 2016-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, ,   

    1-29-2016 Say And Do Not 

    Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4 NKJV). Saying but not obeying only deceives one’s own self. Commands “in Jesus’ name” are “His commandments.” Jesus’ Apostle Peter commanded, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38 NKJV). To claim “remission of sins” before repenting and being baptized, means a person has not kept “His commandments.” Jesus said of Pharisees, “they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23:3 NKJV). Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21 NKJV). Do you love Jesus Christ?

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 4:46 am on 2016-01-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Four Significant Statements) 


    Statement # 1: “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” (The inspired apostle Peter, I Peter 3:21 [KJV, with all other English versions stating the same truth]).

    Statement # 2: “The reader may notice the following items in the texts: baptism was customarily an immersion in water; it was administered to believing penitents; and it was understood as bringing the forgiveness of sins. All are present in the Barnabas passage (III.1). Only a few Gnostics on the remote fringes of Christianity denied water baptism or its necessity for the remission of sins” (Dr. Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries, 3rd Edition, p. 32). Dr. Ferguson’s observation came following his citation of a number of second century Christian sources, including Barnabas, Hermas, the Didache, Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and others, concerning the action and purpose of baptism as taught and practiced by the early church. I would think that the company of the Gnostics is not the kind of company that those who truly love the Lord and seek to honor His word would want to keep!) (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 11:00 pm on 2015-12-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, decently, , in order, ,   

    12-4-2015 New Birth Order 

    “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NKJV). No better example of this is found than Jesus’ statement: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Baptism is into Jesus’ death. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3 NKJV). Any salvation offered before baptism is without the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. If not, why not? There is not one passage of Scripture where baptism and salvation/remission of sins are mentioned together that places salvation before baptism. If salvation comes to a sinner without being baptized into Jesus’ death in order to obtain remission of sins, then, as far as their “salvation” is concerned, “Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 3:29 pm on 2015-10-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, into Jesus' death, non-essental   

    10-2-2015 Baptized or Not 

    Jesus’ last word on salvation was: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV). It is baptism, not faith, that puts one into the saving benefit of Jesus’ death, as the Apostle Paul wrote: “do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3 NKJV). Pitting verses on “faith” against verses on “baptism” was the kind of thing Pharisees did that Jesus condemned. “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6 NKJV). Some say, “baptism is non-essential,” but Jesus said it was. Since “baptism” is into Jesus’ death, how can anyone be saved before it?

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • Ron Thomas 8:53 pm on 2015-08-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, , , , under foot   

    God’s Will under One’s Foot 

    The devout gentile, Cornelius, in the time during the first century was most fortunate to have an angel come to him (Acts 10:1-8). The angel gave him no words from God wherein at that moment he was saved, but he was told by the angel to send for one apostle, Peter, that belonged to God. From Peter he would hears words that must be heard and obeyed. Did Cornelius know what he was going to hear? Not exactly, but he knew that from God’s servant he was going to hear something, and we can be sure that Cornelius expected to hear something relative to spirituality. Dutifully and full of excitement Cornelius sent messengers to call for Peter. Peter comes to the house of Cornelius, teaching the truth of God. Cornelius obeyed the message he heard, becoming a Christian.

    Later, in Jerusalem, Peter explained himself when called upon by others to do so (Acts 11:1-18).

    There are some points we do not want to lose sight of in these two chapters of Acts (chapters 10 and 11). First, Cornelius was called upon by God (through an angel) to hear words that would come from Peter (Acts 10:6). Second, when Peter explained this situation to those who questioned him, he made clear that the words spoken were the words of eternal life (Acts 11:14). Third, as Peter spoke to those who assembled together to hear him, the Holy Spirit came down upon “all who heard the word” (10:44). This point of the Holy Spirit coming down on them was to confirm in the mind of Peter (others) that God accepted more than just the people of Jewish heritage (11:17). In 11:19, one can see how this new way of thinking was an initial struggle for those who came out of Judaism. Fourth, that which Paul taught the Philippians jailor (Acts 16:31-33) was the exact same as that which Peter taught Cornelius (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:17; 15:11). Thus, fifth, though the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and those who heard the word, they were not saved until they had believed and were baptized (10:48). Peter called this “repentance to life” (11:18).

    Objection considered. Someone might reply that Cornelius had to be saved before baptism because in Acts 11:17, the gift was received because they believed in the Lord. This means they were saved before baptism. First, look at the verse again. Peter referred to himself and those of Jewish heritage in receiving this gift from God (Acts 2:1-4). Second, with this recognition that Cornelius did indeed believe on the Lord, because the Almighty included baptism and repentance in His plan of salvation (John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38), to relegate baptism as unnecessary to salvation is to take God’s will and put it under one’s foot because of doctrinal ideology, not biblical teaching. Third, Peter knew that baptism in the name of the Lord was “with a view to” the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Acts 2:38), since he taught it by inspiration and the authority of the Holy Spirit. There is no biblical reason, there is no emotional reason and there is no logical reason for him to say (or accept) but that their salvation was contingent upon them submitting to the death of the old life and the resurrection of the new in the watery grave of baptism.

    Therefore, the purpose of Holy Spirit’s outpouring in Acts 10 was not toward salvation, but with a view toward confirmation (cf. Hebrews 2:1-4). RT


  • Eugene Adkins 4:00 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, , , ,   

    Does grace and faith by default do away with water? 

    Many people in the religious world contend that water has nothing to do with our salvation today because salvation from God comes by grace through faith. In other words, salvation by grace and faith, so it is thought, leaves no room or need for the water, but is that the case?

    Did you know that Noah was saved by grace through faith and water? He sure was!

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

    By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)

    who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20)

    Now if God’s plan of salvation in the past could consist of saving someone by grace through faith and water, then what makes a person think that grace and faith does away with the water today?

    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,” (1 Peter 3:21)

    • docmgphillips 8:13 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. Unfortunately, we are a “milk” generation, and need more lessons on the basics.

    • marciasettles 8:52 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on A Mom Looking Up.

    • marciasettles 9:03 pm on 2015-08-23 Permalink | Reply

      6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 1 John 5

      • Eugene Adkins 6:31 am on 2015-08-24 Permalink | Reply

        Great scripture reference, Marcia. And thanks for the reblog too. I appreciate that.

  • John T. Polk II 8:35 am on 2015-06-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , baptism, , , , ,   

    6-9-2015 Are You Double-Tongued? 

    Many people praise God and curse mankind with the same tongue. “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10 NKJV). It is only because God, not Evolution, created us that humans should be treated with a dignity above animals. People who say, “Pets are humans, too” have elevated animals to having the image of God, and that is idolatry! They have “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:25 NKJV). Because baptism washes away sins (Acts 22:16), it is not for animals!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 10:54 am on 2015-05-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, , , Jesus' blood   

    5-4-2015 Let’s Keep Jesus In Baptism 

    Why are people “dirty” when there is so much water on earth? Are they clean because they simply SAY they are clean? Isn’t it because they have not followed the principle of applying soap AND water?

    Why are people still in their sins, even though they have SAID they were saved before they were washed in the blood of Jesus’ death? “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 NKJV). Cleansing from sins is applying Jesus’ blood in baptism. Jesus’ blood is the soap of the soul, and water baptism is where it is applied.

    Let’s Keep Jesus In Baptism!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 2:56 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, hindered, Jesus preached, , saved before the cross   

    3-20-2015 What Hinders Baptism? 

    When Phillip “preached Jesus,” the Ethiopian eunuch asked, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:35-36). If you have been hindered from being baptized, is it because Jesus wasn’t preached to you, for He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV)? Were you hindered because you were taught God didn’t require it, when Jesus commanded “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)? Or were you hindered because you were taught to pattern yourself after someone saved before Jesus died on the cross, for after Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, the Apostles commanded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV)?

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 2:54 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, , ,   

    3-19-2015 A Commandment of Men 

    Israelites were commanded to “Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12), but Pharisees and scribes had claimed whatever they might use to honor parents was “Corban,” or devoted to God (Leviticus 1:2). Jesus exposed their using the Bible to contradict the Bible by saying, “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:3-6 NKJV). Did Jesus contradict other Scriptures when He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV)? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV). Since “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), then it is a “commandment of men” to make Paul cancel Jesus’ requirement for salvation.

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 2:53 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, contradicted, ,   

    3-18-2015 Did Jesus Make Baptism Essential to Salvation? 

    Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV), and placed baptism after believing but before salvation. Why is this so? If Jesus had felt baptism had nothing whatever to do with salvation, He would have (1) left it out altogether, but He included it;(2) mentioned it after salvation, but not one passage of Scripture where baptism and salvation/remission of sins are mentioned together that places salvation before baptism; (3) specifically said that it had nothing whatever to do with salvation, but no New Testament writer ever taught this ; (4) warned His disciples that it contradicted God’s other commandments but Peter did not think it contradicted any passage dealing with “works,” “grace,” “love,” or “faith” when he said “baptism doth also now save us “ (1 Peter 3:21 KJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 2:51 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism, good conscience, good doctrine, , non-essential,   

    3-17-2015 What Non-essential Follows Faith? 

    When Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV), there are people who say, “You are saved at the point of faith without being baptized.” Paul told Timothy “faith and love” are in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14 NKJV), do these same people say “love” is non-essential? “having faith and a good conscience” (1 Timothy 1:19 NKJV), is a “good conscience” non-essential? Paul was “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Timothy 2:7 NKJV), is “truth” non-essential? A “good minister of Jesus Christ” is “nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:6 NKJV), is “good doctrine” non-essential? A false argument that tries to get of baptism for salvation also rules out: love, a good conscience, truth, and good doctrine!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

    • Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad 6:17 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      What about the thief on the cross? He wasn’t baptised, but Jesus said he would see him in paradise. Are there special circumstances where baptism is not essential to salvation? I didn’t get baptised until I was 16, and I came to Christ when I was 12, and knew Him very closely for all those years in between. Does that mean I knew God without being saved? Is that possible? These are honest questions, I’m still trying to work out in my own heart if baptism is absolutely essential. 🙂

      • Johnny Polk 1:06 pm on 2015-03-20 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your sincere question, which is often asked. Before Jesus died on the cross, He could save anyone on any terms, for He was God in the flesh (Matthew 9:1-8), but after He was raised from the dead, He gave His terms for salvation (Mark 16:15-16), and never changed it for anyone, not even Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22:1-16).
        Since John the Baptist preceded Jesus in preaching the coming kingdom (Matthew 3:1-6) and Jesus continued that message (Matthew 4:17, 23-25), no one may say for certainty that the “thief on the cross” definitely “wasn’t baptized,” since he might have been, but then condemned for thievery.
        If you “think” you were saved at age 12, but not baptized until age 16, then you may have been confused by false ideas. Before he was baptized, the Apostle Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) “thought” he “must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9-15). It’s possible to believe a thing to be true, when it is not. To help our spirit know what we must do, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This is how “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16-17), not that He endorses whatever we do, but that we do what He has written for our obedience of faith (Romans 16:25-27).
        There are people who believe in Jesus, but do not follow through with complete obedience (John 12:42-48). My prayer is for you to complete your obedience and keep Jesus set apart (“sanctified”) in your heart (1 Peter 3:15).
        May God bless you.

        • Mercy M Hass 3:07 am on 2015-03-22 Permalink | Reply

          Hey Johnny! Thanks for your reply! Spurred by your answer, I was listening this morning to a sermon by a man I respect, John Piper. http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/what-is-baptism-and-how-important-is-it#full-audio
          Among other things, he makes the analogy that baptism is like the rings in a marriage. It’s a “sealing of the deal,” if you will, a public expression of something that happens between you two and God. He concluded that baptism is a very important expression, for a Believer, but does not exclude them from being a Believer if they’re not baptized. Based on everything Piper says in this sermon, and my own experience and study, I’m going to agree with his position. I know people, even close friends and strong believers, who would disagree with me on this. But one thing I like about Christians is that, while disagreeing, we can still live in fellowship. 🙂 I know that I was saved when I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, even though I wasn’t baptized until years later. God’s presence was there, and His Spirit filled me. I was a super-thoughtful, depressed kid trying to figure out the meaning of life, and when God presented Himself to me, I took Him and have known Him from that point on. At the right time, God put me under the conviction that I should make this public expression of faith, and I did. But I don’t count the beginning of my faith to be my baptism.
          I like the analogy of a marriage that Piper makes in this message, though. The exchanging of rings is a public declaration that you are married. But those rings aren’t what makes you married. If someone got married and made vows before God, but didn’t exchange rings, they are still married. Rings are important, it’s really important to make the public declaration. But if you haven’t, that doesn’t make you less married.
          It’s not a foolproof analogy, ha ha, but it struck a chord with me. 🙂 To sum it up, I do believe baptism is important, but it can be an important step in obedience, but NOT necessarily essential to salvation. 🙂

        • RichardS 12:05 am on 2015-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          Since the “thief on the cross” was saved before the new covenant had taken effect it doesn’t make any difference if he was baptized or not. According to Acts 19:3-5, the baptism of John the Baptist would not have been valid after the church was established.

      • Eugene Adkins 4:07 am on 2015-03-23 Permalink | Reply


        I would encourage you to realize that the scriptures never make the analogy that Mr. Piper does pertaining to baptism only being the sealing of the deal in a covenant already agreed upon, particularly in comparison to a marriage, and therefore encouraged but unnecessary to the relationship. On top of that, I would point out that the Bible teaches that one is sealed with the Holy Spirit after our submission to God through baptism – not before (Acts 2:38).

        Salvation is enjoyed when we agree to God’s terms of the covenant that he offers (which places baptism before salvation – Mark 16:16) and not through any other “vow” that we make which may be contrary to his will. Keep in mind that analogies aren’t needed when plain scripture has spoken (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5; Galatians 3:26-27; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

        God bless as you study his word.

        • Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad 7:16 am on 2015-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks for the detailed response! I do think baptism is important, I just don’t believe, based on a plain reading of the Word, that you’ll go to hell if you put your faith in Jesus, yet we’re not baptised. There’s too many other verses that simply say, in essence, if you put your faith in Christ, you will be saved (Jn 1:12, Jn 3:16, Jn 3:36, Jn 5:24, Jn 20:31, Rms 10:9, Rms 10:13, Acts 2:21, Acts 16:31, 1 Jn 1:9, 1 Jn 5:11-13, etc.). Now, one point I’m not sure about is if you have to be baptised in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But I don’t think it says anywhere. 🙂 Again, I agree that baptism is important, but I don’t think it’s an issue of salvation, based on the fact that so many verses talk about salvation, and the ones that talk about baptism don’t seem to make salvation conditional upon that. 🙂

          • Eugene Adkins 9:06 am on 2015-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            Let me ask you more question(s) to help you understand that when the Bible talks about necessary faith it’s not talking about faith alone:

            1) Does a person have to repent to be saved? (refer to Acts 17:30 and Luke 13:1-5) If your answer is yes, and I hope it is, then does it mean repentance is not necessary to be saved because Paul didn’t say anything about repentance in Ephesians 2:8-9?

            2) Must a person call upon the name of the Lord to be saved? (refer to Romans 10:13 and 1 Corinthians 1:2) If your answer is yes, and I hope it is, then does it mean calling upon the name is not necessary to be saved because all you have to do is believe according to the other scripture references you gave, save the Romans 10:13 reference. The reason I ask this one is because I believe you may have failed to notice that “calling upon the name of the Lord” is not the same as belief. All you have to do is look at Romans 10:14 to see that a person must believe then they can “call upon the Lord” (see Acts 22:16 for an example of calling upon the name of the Lord – something that is necessary for salvation according to the very scripture list that you provided, but also something that is separate from belief according to Paul himself in 10:14).

            3) Lastly, (which takes us back to the original point/question you had) did Jesus place salvation before or after baptism in Mark 16:16? And please note this was a command given to the apostles that was meant to be obeyed and applied to the universal gospel they were called to preach (meaning all Jews and Gentiles who would be saved)…and also a command given well after the scene with the thief in Calvary.

            I hope these questions help you to see that when the Bible mentions faith/belief (and it alone) being necessary to salvation, it uses it as a synecdoche (meaning a single part that stands for the whole that is required for our salvation) for the New Testament plainly warns that faith alone is a faith that fails to be save us (James 2:17; John 12:42-43). A faith that saves is a faith that obeys the commands given by God (James 2:21-22), which includes, for us on this side of the resurrection, baptism (again see Mark 16:16).

            I have enjoyed the conversation, and I appreciate the respect that you have shown in your replies. I hope the same can be said from your perspective. Perhaps John will reply too, but if not, I would just encourage you to continue study out the points that he and I have raised.

            • Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad 3:41 pm on 2015-03-25 Permalink

              When you call upon the Lord and put your trust in Him, to me that shows you need Him and realise you’re in sin. A person who loves God will do their best to serve Him with their actions, which, in turn and to others, shows that something has changed.
              That’s my simple view. 🙂 it’s like 2 am here, lol, so my brain isn’t really working 😉 I’ll think about what u said, though 🙂

    • John T. Polk II 3:00 pm on 2015-03-25 Permalink | Reply

      Piper’s analogy of “baptism” with “wedding rings” misses the point. Baptism is the wedding ceremony! “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5 NKJV). According to Scripture, no one has entered Jesus’ death before baptism, and there is no resurrection to a new life without being baptized. God’s glory that raised Jesus from the physical grave has not acted in anyone who “believes” they have been saved before being baptized. Only by burial in baptism has any sinner been “united together in the likeness of His death.” The “wedding” (uniting “together in the likeness of His death”) takes place in baptism, whether or not there are any “wedding rings” exchanged! This being the case, one wonders what Piper would consider to be “rings!”
      But if your opinion is to follow someone else’s opinion rather than the inspired Word of God, then, Mercy, you are on your own, without Jesus Christ, for “not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18 NKJV). Christians are those who have “received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 NKJV). God gave commandments through the Apostles’ written word (John 17:20) and we must obey them. “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:17 NKJV), and not yours or Piper’s opinions.

  • Glenda Williams 10:18 pm on 2015-03-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baptism,   

    "Baptize me, even if I'm dead" 

    Years ago Douglas and I worked in a Campaign for Christ in the state of Georgia with Jerry Humphries. We started early in the morning knocking doors and setting up Bible studies with people. Later we would conduct the studies.

    One of the true or false fill-in questions was, “He that believes and is baptized shall receive a $1,000.00.” Scripture reference was Mark 16:16.

    Doug and I were studying with this older couple, and when we got to that statement for them to answer “true” or “false,” the lady asked, “But we won’t, will we?”

    Our answer was, “No, not a $1,000.00, but something far more valuable: Having our sins washed away and the promise of a home in heaven if we live faithfully.”

    We can’t put a price on the value of our salvation in Christ. Jesus said, “What has a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his soul” (Matthew 16:26). Our soul is the most valuable thing we possess, that we have control over. We can save it, or we can lose it.

    Douglas tells the story of a man who had attended services of the church faithfully, yet never had obeyed and become a Christian. One night when the invitation was being given, he stood and held onto the pew in front of him tightly and didn’t respond once again.

    During the dismissal prayer a loud thud was heard. People looked to see the man lying on the floor. His last words were, “Baptize me, even if I’m dead.”

    How foolish to put off making things right for eternity. Nothing is more important. Today is the day of salvation.

    Matthew 10:28 says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

    There’s a great day coming by and by. Let us make plans now for that day.

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