Immersion In Water

The following is from:

THE PLAN OF SALVATION MADE PLAIN TO THE SINNER.
IN THREE PARTS.
BY JOHN H. HUNDLEY,
A MINISTER OF JESUS CHRIST.
MOORESVILLE, LIMESTONE COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1858.

IV.—IMMERSION IN WATER.

This forms the fourth condition in the order of salvation. About it there has been the greatest dispute among religionists; and there is to this day the greatest variety of opinions. After what our learned brother Campbell has done towards setting the world right in regard to this institution, it would be presumption in me to undertake any lengthy argument concerning it; and I shall not attempt such a thing. Still I shall endeavor to prove from the Bible that it is an essential to salvation, which I think is a proposition very easily sustained.

The error in regard to this ordinance is twofold. The first is as to the mode ; and the second is as to the importance of it.

The error in regard to the mode is, that immersion is denied to be the only way in which it can be administered, sprinkling and pouring being considered equally proper and efficacious. There are three objections to be urged against this opinion; either one of which is sufficient to overthrow it.

1st. The proper and primary meaning of the word in the original Greek is immersion, – or rather the verb is, to plunge, to dip, etc.

2nd. Immersion, it is conceded, was the practice of the primitive Christians, even up to the third century; about which time infant baptism was introduced, and it being found difficult to immerse infants, sprinkling or pouring was resorted to, as being a more feasible method.

3rd. The connexion in which baptism is referred to in the Bible, with the attendant circumstances. Paul says that we are buried with Christ in baptism. Common sense teaches us that a burial must necessarily be a covering up of the whole person. Again, in reference to John, the Immerser, it is said that he baptized in a certain place, because there was muck water there. The inference is plain. And then in the case of Philip and the eunuch, it is related that they both went down into the water. Was there any need of this, except it was immersion which Philip administered? Could he not have very easily taken up a little water in his hand, and wet the forehead of the Ethiopian? – for such is the custom of the sects of this day.

But I shall come now to consider the institution as essential to the pardon of one’s sins. There is not a proposition in the whole Scriptures of Divine Truth more clearly set forth than this. We find it in Christ’s commission to his Disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” If there be any sense in language, baptism is here as necessary for salvation as is faith.

Again, on the day of Pentecost, when the three thousand believed, and requested what they should do to be saved, Peter replied, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.”

Now, if a man can repent because his sins have been forgiven, then our Baptist brothers are right in their interpretation of this passage, viz: that a man should be baptized because his sins have been remitted. No man in his senses, however, is willing to believe that a remission of sins ever causes sorrow. It is too absurd a proposition to be entertain- ed for a moment. Of course, then, repentance and baptism are for one and the same thing—to-wit, re- mission or pardon of past sins. Paul’s conversion proves this. For three days he was a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and most bitterly all that time did he repent him of his iniquities. If faith brings salvation, Paul surely ought to have been pardoned long before Ananias visited him. Or, if repentance alone secured remission of sins, Paul ought to have been pardoned before Ananias visited him. But what did Ananias say to him so soon as he came into his presence? Did he ask after his experience? Did he say, “Brother Paul, you have been most signally visited by our gracious Lord, for I understand you have seen a great light and heard a mighty voice, by which means God has informed you that you are an accepted son and child of glory?” Oh, no. But Ananias said to him on this wise: “Why tarriest thou, brother Paul? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Can any man doubt now that baptism is for the remission of sins? If he can, he doubts God’s Word, and is at heart a scoffer and an infidel. Here we have a man who has believed and repented, and who is yet told to arise and wash away his sins by immersion. If he had been saved by faith, as I re- marked a while ago, there would have been no sins to wash away. So neither would there have been had he been saved by repentance. But God’s plan is the more perfect one, and here we see it exemplified. Paul is told to wash away his sins by baptism – not that the virtue is in the water, but simply because God has chosen to make that His ordinance. Under the Mosaic Law it was customary for the priest to take a goat, and laying hands on him to send him forth into the wilderness, and God promised that thus the sins of Israel should be carried away, and hence this was called the scape-goat. Does any man think the virtue to bear off sins was in a goat? Of course not. It was God’s command, and there lay all the merit. So in the case of water baptism. God has commanded us to per- form the ordinance in order to remission, and it is obedience to God’s Word that ensures salvation and cleanses us from all sin, and not the mere washing of water. Or, as Peter has expressed it, for doubt- less the same objections were urged against this institution then as now, “The like figure where unto baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good con- science toward God, ) by the. resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

This much will suffice on the subject of immersion, for if a man will not believe the Apostle Peter, he will not even listen to anything which I might feel inclined to write.

 

 

Baptism – Antitype

1 Peter 3:21 (NKJV)

21 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,

The following is from:
Letters From Peter, Bruce Oberst, College Press, Joplin, Missouri
http://www.collegepress.com/cp/pdf/21%201%20and%202%20Peter.pdf

Expanded Translation
Which (that is, water) also now saves you in the antitype-baptism, which does not have to do with the removal of dirt from the flesh (i.e., the body, the outside of one), but to provide ground or reason for having a good conscience toward God (which comes when the one is right on the inside). All this is possible because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

which also after a true likeness doth now save you
LIKENESS – antitupos, meant first of all a thing formed after some pattern (Heb, 9:24), then a thing resembling another, its counterpart; hence, something in the Messianic times which answers to the type prefiguring it in the Old Testament. It is this very word from which we have the English word, “antitype.”
We understand that God was responsible €or their salvation, and it was through His mercy and love that He provided a means whereby they could escape the doom of the world, But the means He chose was water. Had Noah refused to accept the means God had provided, we could only call him rebellious, and he would have been lost.
Today, God has also provided a means whereby we may avail ourselves of His salvation, and where we may meet the blood of Christ. He has provided it in His mercy, kindness and love, but we must accept what He has provided. The Holy Spirit says baptism “doth now save you.” God saves us through the blood of Christ, BUT THE MEANS HE HAS CHOSEN IS WATER!

not the putting away of the filth of the flesh
BILTH-h~upos, filth, squalor, dirt. The purpose of baptism is not to obtain an outward cleansing. We can take care of that matter in the bathtub.

but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God
INTERROGATION-eperofema, W. E. Vine states that the word is not here to be rendered “answer.” It was used by the Greeks in a legal sense, as a demand or appeal. The word is often rendered “seeking.” The meaning is easily seen when this phrase is compared with the previous. The purpose of baptism is not to cleanse the outside. Rather, it is to gain a clean inside, that is, to gain or obtain a clear conscience toward God. Any true Christian can testify to the truthfulness of this verse in his own experience. When he met the blood of Christ in the baptismal waters by faith, and arose to walk in newness of life, his conscience no longer condemned him and the purpose for which he was immersed – to meet the blood of Christ-was fulfilled. He was “seeking” and he found! “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered’’ (Psalm 32-1). If you have not obtained a clear conscience in baptism, then it has not fulfilled its purpose in your life!

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
That is, all this is possible through the resurrection of Christ. If He had not arisen, our baptism would have been in vain and Christ would have no power to save us. See I Corinthians 15:12-14. His resurrection showed His power over death. For the exact relationship between His resurrection and our baptism, see Romans 6:l-6.

How was Noah’s family saved “through water”?
Of what is this a “true likeness”?
How can water save us? Is not the principle of the Jews true, “who can forgive sins, but God alone”? (Luke 5:21.)
What is baptism not for, according to Peter?
What does it obtain for one?
Explain the phrase “interrogation of a good conscience toward God,” v. 21,
Baptism is effectual because of what great event in the life of Jesus?

Sins on the Cross

1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Expanded Translation
who himself carried the burdens of our sins in his own body upon the cross, in order that we, after having died (ceased from) sin, might live for righteousness; by whose bloody wounds ye were healed, (restored from a state of sin and condemnation). For you were misled and wandering about like lost sheep, but are now returned (brought back) unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Letters From Peter, Bruce Oberst, College Press, Joplin, Missouri
http://www.collegepress.com/cp/pdf/21%201%20and%202%20Peter.pdf

“He himself bore our sins”, who is Peter talking about here? He is talking about Jesus the Christ, the savior of the world for all who choose him.
It was known at the time who the only one who could save us from our sins was God, so here Peter states what in some ways is theobvious and in other ways what is new.

He goes on to state “in his body on the cross”. Why? It is important for us to realize that God sent his only son, born of a virgin to become a man. A full flesh and blood man who was capable of sin but did not sin. He was in this human form when he was put on the cross to bear our sins. As we think about this it is easy to say he boar the sins of the world, but not so easy to say, the Lord God of the universe, creator of all things, more than we could ever imagine, came to earth to bear MY sins on the cross. HE DIED FOR ME! That part is not so easy sometimes. He not only did this for the world he did this for ME! He also did this for you, if you let him, that is if you accept the grace he offers.

He suffered and died in my place! There are times when I can not comprehend the true meaning of this phrase. I know the logic behind it but how much I have hurt God by the things I have done and thought. Yet with all this, even if it had only been for me, he sent his son. There are times when the idea of this brings me to my knees and I weep because I do not feel worthy, WHY LORD? Why would you die for someone so unworthy? His reply is always LOVE! Because I Love you so much I sent my son to die for you so we could have the opportunity to be together forever!

“by his wounds you have been healed.” The important part here is that we are healed! Reconciled to God, forgiven, made righteous. Does this happened automatically? NO, God offers it as a gift, one we must accept. We get to choose life with God or life without God! Then also this translates to Eternity with God or Eternity without God. All this is offered to us but we must accept the gift.

Have you accepted the gift?  Are you allowing Jesus to die for your sins or are you carrying them yourself?  Don’t take them down off the cross, accept the gift and leave them on the cross, let God love you with all that he has.

 

1 Peter 2:24 Puzzle, Scrambled Scriptures

Who am I

Matthew 16:15-17 (NKJV)

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

God was a living God because he had interacted with the Jewish nation so many times. He was the creator of the universe and all that is in it, us included, and he knows the very hairs on your head.

Jesus was his son, the Word, who came into the world to seek and save the lost. All who understand this and turn to him as he declares shall be saved.

Christ is Savior. He died on the cross for the sins of the world, to pay the penalty for us because we could and can not do it ourselves. He only ask us to receive this gift and follow him. To reject this gift means we take the penalty on ourselves for all eternity. To accept the gift means we get to spend eternity with a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Jesus is the Christ (Savior) the son of the Living God! Will you walk in darkness or in light? He loves us but gives us the choice because he loves us, we can accept or reject the choice but we can not deny his love.

Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

——

So what do you think about the Nicene Creed, is it something that should be brought back into churches? There was a time when this and other items were said in churches on a regular basis. It was a way to draw people closer to God, to affirm their faith. We have moved away from this, why? I believe because those leading the church have moved more to the pop/new songs and items and away from the traditions and in some cases the solid Word of God.

So many churches are moving away from the truth! God’s word is truth! Recently I read an article of a group of pastors working to legalize gay marriage. Not because of the word of God but so they can “love” every one the same. I believe it is a poor argument, where does it stop? When you walk away from God’s Word where do you draw the line, how can you then say one thing is write and another is wrong. Do they not love other sinners because their sin might not be “legal”? Wrong, we love all but we hate the sin. We love and show love in the name of Christ, to try to draw folks closer to Him. To argue you can’t show love to a sinner because their sin is not legal is wrong!

Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thank goodness Christ did not feel that way, he died for us while we were still sinners. He wanted us to move away from sin, to repent of our sins, but he still loved us and died for us while we were in a state of sin. Thank God he did not say, I will change truth then I can love you. No he said I love you, I love Truth, and I will die for you so that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Freedom is not staying in sin, freedom is accepting Christ and moving away from sin. You will not be perfect right away but in this life as a Christian you should always be moving the the direction of Christ and his perfection and away from sin. We will stumble and fall but He is there to lift us up and help us back on the path to Him.

So take some time in prayer and meditation to move closer to God, use the Nicene Creed as a guide for your prayers for a week and see how it effects your life.

John 8:31-38, Are You Free?

John 8:31-38

John 8:31-38 (NKJV)
The Truth Shall Make You Free

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

Many believed in Jesus as the Christ because of his words. He encouraged them to stay true to his teaching, to rely on the promises he gave them, and to be on guard against the temptations of the enemy. If they did this they would be his disciples, they would teach his word to those who would come to know Him as well. Their hope wold lie in Jesus, no matter what would come. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts suffer the draw of the carnal body.

To speak to the disciples of the loss of property, bondage, captivity of the body and they would not agree with you. Speak to them of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan and the liberty of Christ and they totally understand what you are all about. Share this with the world he told them.

Jesus reminded them that the man who practiced any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which is the case with most of them. Christ offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. We walk in spiritual freedom, but struggle with the carnal body. Often we see persons disputing about liberty to every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.

If Jesus sets us free then why do we continue to walk in carnal lust? Focus on Christ and all that he teaches, He gives us the word to teach us how to follow him. Will we get it right? Not all the time but his grace covers us as we move forward to draw closer to Him.

Prayer.
Lord, help us draw closer to you, help us as we struggle with our worldly lust, the things of this world that draw us away from you. Help us to move ever closer to you. When we fail, Lord, lift us up again and draw us into your presents so that we can stand before you. May your grace cover us all the time, protecting us in spirit from the one who seeks to draw us away from you. In Jesus Name!

Comforted

Isaiah 40:21-26; God’s people are comforted.

Wow, since the foundations of the earth, those who are ignorant are willingly ignorant of God’s Creation.  Isaiah tells us that that God sits above the “Circle of the earth”.  God created and rules over the earth.

In Romans 1:18-25 Paul emphasizes the same theme, God created everything and the creation points to God.  Those who do not know this willingly ignore God and the items that point to him.

God is He who created all, who knows all.

Lord thank you for all creation and your word to point us to you.  Forgive us and hel us to walk in your ways all the days of our lives.

John The Baptist Prepares The Way!

Mark 1:1-8, John The Baptist Prepares The Way

When God sent his Son into the world he took care to prepare the way, and when he sends him into the heart of man he takes care to prepare the way.  The most eminent saints have always been the most humble.  God gives grace to those who repent and are baptized into Christ.

John preached with nothing, for the coming of Christ, he was willing to give up all he had and lead people to God.  He had nothing but the love of God.  So where are we when it comes to sharing the Word of God?  Are we willing to give up all we have in order to preach the word of God?  Can we even come close?

God show me your way, oh Lord help me to live for you and share your word with those around us

 

Were You There?

Where you there?

When you get near the end of Job, Job has finally reached a point where he questions God.

God responds with
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?, Job 38:4a

I think this is an important question when we question the history of the earth, which has been in the news lately with a few debates being on the web. One such debate was between Bill Nye and Ken Ham (http://debatelive.org/).

I wonder if it is presumptuous of man to think he could know what happened in the beginning (no matter when that was). What makes man today think he can know more than the creator of the universe? If you have doubts about who and when created the universe then read Job 38-42. Then go back and read Genesis 1, then Exodus 20. See if you still think it could have taken a long time to create all that we know and see today.

Romans 1:18-23
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.