Paris Reidhead on humanism in the church.

This short video is from Reidhead’s sermon Ten Shekles and a Shirt and can be listened to in its entirety on this previous post.

Here’s a quote from the sermon not found in the video:

If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of “the plan of salvation” in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airways and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God and the law of God, until sinners would cry out, “What must we do to be saved?” Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Such drastic action is needed because we have gospel-hardened a generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding why they need to be saved.


62 thoughts on “Paris Reidhead on humanism in the church.

  1. Mercy! Since the Lord delivered me from myself in 1994 and from Arminian Dispensationalism a few years ago, I have begun to see how much of what Mr. Reidhead is rightfully protesting. I shall listen the whole thing soon.

    Many thanks!

  2. This is the 2nd sermon I ever heard as a Christian.

    I dont believe there has been, outside of the Bible, a better sermon preached.

    What makes this more amazing is that Paris preached this without any notes; he lost them befire he got to this conference.

    May this sermon continually do a work in those who hear it!

  3. Wow!. I have come across this sermon lots of times but never listened to it. I have never heard the gospel preached that way. I will listen to this again as there is a lot I need to take in. There is also an issue in my life that I seem to have the answer for. If only sermons like this were preached today the church might be full of true converts. Really, if the gospel was preached like this there certainly wouldn’t be seeker sensitive churches. How far the churches have fallen. I also needed to hear this to get a clear perspective on my life at the moment. Thanks Pilgrim. Bless you

  4. Yes, and I fall far short. Those people sold themselves into slavery so they could preach the gospel to slaves!!!!! Amazing! When lots of things go wrong in life, I can get lost in my problems. I really needed a message like that to get me focused again. I am downloading sermons, as soon, we will not be able to find good preaching. We are all being really blessed at the moment to be able to listen to godly men, but it’s not going to last.

  5. First I would like to comment on the written part of the sermon where it talks of stopping all preaching of the gospel for two years because people have grown hard to it. I point to John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Yes, people have grown hard, just as Pharoah’s heart grew hard. We must stick to sharing the Gospel as presented to us, and let God draw them to Christ. We can not “win” people to Salvation. We must do our job and share! As to the people that will argue and argue about how Christians can love God and the world I point to James 4:4-8 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” And as I hear people argue and defend the false teachers of the apostate church I go to John 8:42-44 “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 10 speaks of the sheep knowing the Shepherds voice and running from all others. If you are not running, be ware!

  6. Ah, Truther – sometimes the voice of the deceived/deceiver is so close to the Truth, the point of departure not critical, etc. that we can easily convince ourselves to stay. BUT ONE LUMP WILL LEAVEN THE WHOLE BATCH! So indeed, we MUST FLEE from the falsehoods, lest we deceived.

  7. Humanism is rampant in the church.

    We just have to have it all make sense, don’t we?

    God can’t act in baptism, can He? He can’t give little ones (babies) faith in Him in baptism, can He?

    Our humanism causes us to believe more strongly in ourselves, and to discount what God can do.

    When John the Baptist lept for joy at the presence of the Lord while they were both still in the womb, that surely was just something made up for effect.

    ‘Real babies’ are not capable of trust like that…are they?

    Humanism. You can have it.

  8. Dear theoldadam;

    I’m not sure what this post (on humanism in the church) has to do with the doctrine of Paedobaptism, but that unbiblical concept has been addressed here on DefCon already and we collectively reject this hold-over Roman Catholic doctrine.

    I don’t believe any of us have a desire to rehash what’s already been debated, so please see the following posts and their subsequent comments.

    Thanks.

    A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism by John Macarthur (Transcript)

    A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism by John Macarthur (Sermon)

    Mediator of What?

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  9. I believe it is humanism that keeps so many from believing that God could actually be present in a bowl of water accompanied by His Word of promise.

    It just doesn’t make any sense to us.

    Even though, many do believe that God can and does actually live in their heart.

    It is humanism, in my opinion, that makes us believe that babies are incapable of faith. ‘Why..what could they know?’

    It is a trust in the wisdom of man over the power of God to create faith, when and where He wills.

    My opinion.

  10. In order to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ one must have faith. How does faith come? By hearing!

    By hearing what? The Gospel and then believing that Gospel (trust in the Lord Jesus Christ).

    Infants cannot do this and if you’re suggesting God somehow overrides this problem and imparts faith to a baby, then I would ask that you please provide Scriptural support for this.

    Thanks.
    – The Pilgrim

  11. OK, I will.

    St. Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us in “sighs too deep for words”…right?

    God certainly quicked John the Baptist, when he was still in the womb, right?

    Jesus told us that “we need to become as these little ones” right?

    There is no minimum age cited in the N.T. for baptism…right?

    Acts 2:38 says that in baptism we recieve the Holy Spirit….right?

    I think it’s humanism that is the reason so many people object.

    From about 500-1500 just about every Christian that came down the pike was baptized as a baby.

    All the reformers were baptized as babies. None of them (that I am aware of) were re-bapized.

    The Lord certainly can make people “hear” (in sighs too deep for words) in baptism.

  12. I still don’t see the correlation between what you cited and infant baptism. Those who believe are baptized. A baby has no profession of faith.

    I have followed the argument on the comments on those links I provided you above and still see no biblical justification for infant baptism. A lot of side verses and “this probably means that,” but nothing whatsoever in Scripture that teaches it. And since baptism is a sacrament of the church (and is spoken of a lot) one would think there would be at least one clear, concise teaching (or example) of infant baptism.

    Additionally, those baptized infants who have genuine faith (as you would suggest some have) will have to have been born again at an age when they can’t even comprehend the world around them yet, let alone repent or turn away from their sin to a Savior.

    So when someone can find me a born again baby that does not lie, steal, and practice sin as he/she grows into childhood, I’d be more inclined to lend an ear to your thesis. But as of yet, every child (baptized or not) is a sinner in need of saving grace.

    You see, as you would probably agree, a true Christian is marked by a changed life. If a child can have true saving faith as an infant, then all those books on parenting could be thrown in the trash because all one would have to do is baptize their baby. The baby would then become a new creation and not practice sin. So obedience, lying, stealing, etc. would not be an issue.

    I am not an expert in this topic by any means, and as I said, I have no desire to rehash the issue, I just wished to let you know where DefCon stands on the issue. But know this, if you (or anyone else) could PROVE IT FROM SCRIPTURE, I would most certainly “join the team.” However, until someone can clearly prove this Roman Catholic hold-over doctrine from Scripture (without conjecture and speculation) I will remain steadfast that baptism is for true believers only (no matter their age) as long as they can have that saving faith the Bible says can only come which only come by hearing.

    Until then, I recommend you check out MacArthur’s sermon on the subject found here.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  13. “If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years.”

    I suppose this quote could be defended by saying that the preacher is talking about some false “plan of salvation” which excludes the Biblical Gospel, or by saying that we are not saved by a “plan;” we are only saved by Christ, or by God’s grace, so we shouldn’t call it a “plan.” And I’m sure someone could post a dozen Paul Washer clips to prove how “Gospel-hardened” people are these days.

    But the problem is that when Spirit-filled preachers preached in the Bible, they never declared a moratorium on ANY part of the message of salvation. They preached the sinfulness of man AND the grace of God. I am sorry that Reidhead felt America was an exceptional case where only holiness, righteousness, and law should be preached for one to two years until people felt the need to cry out for a Savior. That is pragmatism and man-centered thinking, and it is not Biblical.

    “For the wages of sin is death; BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, emphasis added)

    What Reidhead calls “such drastic action” is not “needed.” What is needed now is the same thing that was needed in Jerusalem and Athens, and Ephesus and Thessalonica, and everywhere and at all times since: the bold unadulterated proclamation of the Gospel as it is stated in the Word of God.

  14. It is funny to me how people get caught up in needing to be baptized in water to be saved or that baptism in water is what saves you.

    Acts10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    Acts10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

    These people were saved prior to water baptism. The proof is that they received the Spirit. A lost person cannot receive the Spirit.

    Acts10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    After they received the Spirit they were then baptized in water. If baptism saves you or you must be baptized to be saved, then would have these believers at Cornelius’ house lost their salvation? Was it being baptized that gave them the Spirit?

    Gal3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

    Then I guess probably the next question would be if an unbaptized baby dies would they go to hell?

    I would have to agree with John MacArthur on the infant death question.
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    After they received the Spirit they were then baptized in water. If baptism saves you or you must be baptized to be saved, then would have these believers at Cornelius’ house lost their salvation if they were not baptized? Was it being baptized that gave them the Spirit?

    I had to edit my above post. left out part of a sentence

  15. John 3:5
    “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

    1st Peter 3:20,21
    “..who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”

    Romans 6:3,4

    “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

    Acts 2:38,39

    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all that are far off, every one to whom the Lord our God calls to him.”

    Galatians 3:27

    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

    Which view is more centered on what God does, and which view (credobaptist – or paedobaptist) would be more humanistic?

    I’d say that paedobaptists are more apt to have faith in faith. And paedobaptists are more apt to have faith in God.

    Anyway, I really didn’t expect to change any minds here, but I did want you to know that we have very good reasons from verses of the Bible, to believe as we do.

    I always prefer clarity to agreement.

  16. Did the gentiles recieve the Spirit at Cornelius’ house by hearing the Word and believing or did they receive it by being baptized in water?

    To say that you have to be baptized in water in order to be saved, then you are saying that God contradicted Himself in Acts 10 by giving the Spirit to lost people before they were baptized in water in order to be saved.

    I would say that if a person is a professing Christian that chooses not to be baptized that person is probably not a Christian at all.

    Then again I used to be a hyper-hyper-Arminian. A person had to get saved all over again everytime they committed some “great sin”. Which only takes a person to the conclusion that you would have to get baptized all over again as well. That came from people trying to spiritualize/allegorize Revelation 2:5 into meaning Jesus is talking about a persons salvation.

    Fortunately I am justified by my faith alone and not what I can do. If my salvation was dependant on me to do some type of work then I would truly be in trouble. Especially since all my works are filthy rags.

    I guess it is one of the things people will be debating until Jesus comes back.

  17. The Lord can work in the hearing of the Word, and He can work in baptism and the body and blood.

    He commanded that we do all those things.

    He never commanded that we do anything without Him being there in it…for us.

    So, someone who has never been baptized can be saved…and someone who has been baptized (at any age) can be saved.

    Bear in mind that God is the One doing the actual baptizing (not the preacher, or priest, or pastor).

    We believe that baptism is totally a work of God.

    Anyway, thanks much!!!

  18. theoldadam – The doctrine of baptismal regeneration is Romanism at heart and most damnable as it has caused myriad people to think they are born again creatures when in fact they are twofold the children of hell. No faith is needed, no evidence of good fruit, no understanding of the gospel or who Jesus is, no evidence of a changed life testifying that old things have passed away, just a little sprinkling on the head and one is on the fast track to heaven.

    I was raised under this doctrine and sprinkled as an infant and I testify I was most assuredly dead in trespasses in sins. As were all those around me who also were sprinkled as infants. Yet arrogant we were for we knew we were on the fast track to heaven because of what our false religion taught us.

    If baptism saves, they why not rustle up as many folks as you can and start dunking away? Is this not what the Mormons do for the dead?

  19. The Lord saves…one at a time. As a person grows, he is taught the great promises that God has made in his baptism. he either trusts in those promises, or does not.

    Many walk away from their baptisms. And many trust in it.

    Don’t you also think it is a terrible thing for people to put their faith in their faith, rather than putting their faith in God?

    We don’t take a garden hose and baptize because that is not how the Lord told us to do it. We baptize (His command) and we teach. Notice the order there.

    Listen to this:

    http://lightofthemaster.com/Faith.html

    I do think the pastor answers some of your concerns.

  20. drive through baptismal. Call it “Dunkin Converts”
    put one in each city in the Unites States. If it does good expand to the overseas market.

    slogan “We don’t care what religion you practice, we’ll get you to Heaven the fastest!” or “Over 1 billion saved”

    Sorry, I couldn’t help but make a lame joke.

  21. theoldadam,

    The doctrine of baptismal regeneration, which is Roman Catholic at heart as brother Michael said, has long been considered a false teaching. Any time somebody trusts in something other than the finished work of Christ on Calvary for their salvation, they have added to the message of the gospel. You are correct that people place their faith in anything other than the free gift of salvation.

    The problem is that you are in essence stating, “Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for dying for my sins on the cross. I know you said, ‘It is finished’, but that just wasn’t good enough. I need to perform the work of baptism and trust in that which I can accomplish. In this manner, I can feel like I had something to do with my salvation as well.”

    Sorry, but that is not biblical and will damn many to hell. As for me, in the words of the old hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!” Any pastor that teaches otherwise is not a faithful expositor of Scripture.

    The Desert Pastor

  22. Desert Pastor,

    We baptize infants (and anyone) because we believe it is pleasing to Christ.

    Why would He command that we do it, if He wasn’t going to be in it?

    Our Lord was not into empy religious ritual.

    Thanks.

  23. @theoldadam

    You baptise infants because of tradition I gather?

    There is a difference between simply baptising a baby (Sproul takes this view) and baptising a baby thinking it is regenerated as a result……….

    The latter is heresy. The former a tradition.

  24. We baptize because the Lord commands it.

    The Lord said “Go… baptize in his name and teach…”

    He said “ponta ethnae” that’s all people. Notice no age distinction.

    If God gave the command to circumsize infants…why would He have a problem with baptizing infants?

    So, it’s not tradition, it’s not ritual..it’s God’s command and His Word.

    If He wants to give a child His Spirit in baptism that is His business.

    You guys are actually the sectarians here. Most of the world’s Christians baptize infants and have been doing so long before the Anabaptists objected to it.

    I actually love the practice. It is pure gospel and there is no greater picture of putting grace before faith (the proper order) than infant baptism.

    Calvin, Luther, and all the other Reformers were baptized as infants.

    Did the Lord keep them in the promise of their baptisms?

    It would sure appear so, even though we all know that we walk by faith and not by sight, anyway.

  25. Having been an ex-calvinistic baptist and then later PCA, I understand some of the more or less cookie cutter standard traditionalism answers to Luther. Basically they come from lack of knowledge to a lot of doctrine in the church’s history combined with the temptation of the old Adam in all of us to ascend to heaven via our secret works through fallen human reason, affections or experiences. In some sense there is so much underlying the varying paradigms it would nearly impractical to cover in this small forum. E.g. Some of the reaction is reaction akin to a pavlonian response. Ring the bell and the dog salivates. Say “absolution” and the enthusiast responds, “Rome”, missing the entire point that the very essence of the Gospel is Jesus saying, “I forgive you Bob, Frank, Susan, Steve, etc…” in the particular just as Christ forgave in particular the prostitute. In a very real sense to have not heard the “for me/you” in the particular in the Gospel is to never have really heard the Good News nor received it.

    Rome of course abused this and made it works. What does that prove? Is the Word of God nullified because devil’s abuse it. Not at all, Satan is the master of taking God’s very Word and merely inverting it, thus it has plausable deniability that it is “the Word of God”, says Satan. Thus, heretics can use terms and speak of justification, faith, good works, sanctification in a inverted way, using all biblical language and quotes, yet be preaching entirely another gospel which is in the end a cursed message. Works salvation rarely comes packaged so blatantly within the doors of heterdox or orthodox confessions. Many protestants would be shocked to know that Rome would deny that she preaches works salvation, in fact she would attribute it all to grace (infused grace which is not at all different than the protestant version of the same thing, it’s just not called “infused grace”). God “gives you the power” says Rome, and so did Arminious and so did Calvin.

    So one should never look at the superficial language on top but dig deep down into what the doctrine in essence preaches and teaches. For even religions outside of Christianity might conceive of an idea of God since all men have an innate sense of their Creator, and many might even conceive of the idea of grace. Then they would turn to us and say, “We believe in God Who is gracious, why do you Christians then insist upon all this legalistic works salvation that Jesus is the only way, truth and life.” If one can begin to see the answer to that, then one might begin to see the answer to the sacraments as the Word and the Gospel.

    That being said, for those truly wishing to understand why Christ and Him crucified is so strong in Luther and Lutheranism I would recommend a short book entitled “Law and Gospel – Foundation of Lutheran Ministry”, by Robert Koester. A very good and nice distinction between the religions of Rome & the various strains of sacramentarian confessions (Calvin, Anabaptist, Baptist) on one side versus Luther on the other. It will not answer every question and peeling apart many of these takes time and study. But it is time well invested non-the-less so that quite gross ignorant answers such as “that’s just an old hold over from Rome” are unearthed for what they are.

    What really are the differences and why is it that Luther is on one side of the argument and really the Reformed/baptist/anabaptist and Rome on the other side actually doctrinally together on many points? Why did Luther say, “Where there is forgiveness there is salvation and life” versus Calvin on the other side who would have phrased it, “Where there is salvation and life, there is forgiveness”, which is fundamentally Roman Catholic?.

    A little foretaste from Koester:
    “For Luther, justification began as an objective fact. In other words, the basis for his hope was not that Christ justified Martin Luther by faith, but that God justified the entire world before anyone actually received the benefit of Christ’s work by faith.” We see this in Luther’s exposition of the Lord’s Prayer fifth petition (very eye opening – this is just how faith creating and powerful the Lord’s Prayer is though said very infrequently among Christians, “This is why there is great need here again to pray and cry: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not that He does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; for He HAS GIVEN us the gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, EVEN BEFORE we prayed for it or ever thought about it. What we are concerned about in this petition is that WE MAY RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT THIS FORGIVENESS.”
    The key to understanding the connection between Rome, Calvin and Arminians of all versions is that underlying their systems was a different system than Luther’s. We can see this in the sinner asking what his/her problem? Surely most would say, “sin”, even Rome. All would generally say, “Sin is my/our problem”. But what do you mean by “sin is my problem?” Is it “that I need power to over come it?” OR is it “that I need it forgiven!” This is a fundamental nexus between Luther and all others, a very big difference in sin being a problem and thus the differing systems that emerge from them. Here equally we see Rome, Calvin and Arminian thought. Synergism is in all of them, only Luther held to the bondage of the will, total depravity is in the end not the utter bondage of the will from which only true monorgism comes. In these other systems of doctrine (Rome, Calvin, Arminius) this power to choose comes to bear somewhere in the system and the “choosers” are the saved. Grace is seen (somewhere in the train of doctrine) as this “power” in some form or another. Rome officially called it “infused grace”, Arminians would see it as that “natural ability to choose God”, and Calvin just simply moved it to the naked immediate operation of the Spirit on the person. All see it as this power for more or less “a faith” whose ultimate goal is a moral reform of some sorts (often labeled sanctification or growing in holiness) with forgiveness at best tangential to it. And every single one of these three different but fundamentally exact systems can say, “Yea but God gave the power ergo monorgism”. But that’s simply the Pharisee’s, “Lord I give you thanks…” type of monorgism. How does this more or less “infused grace”, whether named that or not, come about? For Rome it was via the sacraments, this infused grace is given, ex opera operato. For Arminians it is that created reality within all men. For Calvin it is this secret operation immediately upon the soul. All three cases can and do say, “God gives it to us”, therefore they claim incorrectly a form of monorgism. But its really synergism disguised as monorgism.
    For Luther, however, and here is the BIG difference, grace is that utter objective before all things reality and disposition of God toward the sinner, not a force nor later power that comes solely through the Word of forgiveness which comes in the naked Word and the Word-Sacraments. So when Luther spoke of the “means of grace” he was not interested in the reforming of the sinner but rather ‘the assurance that God has forgiven me”. This goes back to why Luther said, “Where there is forgiveness of sin there is salvation and life”. Not a “power” given through the sacraments (Rome) nor nakedly (other protestants), but that the sacraments actually give and deliver the Gospel point blank. To reject the sacraments is to reject the Gospel. Thus, the sacrament, Luther said, is the Gospel.

    Koester even goes into some analysis of recorded conversions. Without detailing in general he places on one side those like Augustine’s, Calvin’s, and Wesley’s and others who were of some form in which their main problem, so they thought, was their bondage to sin in the sense that they needed this “power to break free from it” to become “holy and righteous”. On the other side he shows Luther’s and Bunyan’s conversion in which they really were not concerning themselves with their “sin” as in needing “power to over come it”, but wanted to know that God INDEED had forgiven them of their sin period end of story!

    Again, Koester goes to show how this plays out in the two’s concept of the kingdom of God. For Luther the Kingdom is nothing less than the forgiveness of sin. This is why the Gospels open with the saying, “the Good News of the Kingdom” and why men cannot normally see it being blinded by their concept of “God” and Kingdom being more or less law and morality. Luther makes this clear in many places. For e.g. in his commentaries on Genesis discussing Abraham’s home, “Consequently the Word of God is continually heard there, and Abraham’s home is nothing else than a kingdom of forgiveness of sins and of grace, yes, a very heaven in which dwell the angels of God, whom he receives reverently. In short, in Abraham’s home there is nothing but grace and life.”

    Again it shows up with Calvin, Arminian and Roman thought on one side and Lutheran on the other concerning election in which both Calvin and Arminian thought reject the paradox that is required of faith against fallen sinful human reason. Arminians attempt to resolve the tension by putting ability in man to believe and Calvin attempts to do so in speaking that God only elects some. Koester writes, “In addition to rejecting our own powers in coming to faith, we believe that if a person rejects God’s grace, the fault lies completely with that person and not with God. Lutherans also reject the error of Calvin who limited the scope of God’s salvation. Indeed God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).” Koester continues, “These BELIEFS (emphasis mine) create a paradox. They cannot both be embraced simultaneously by sinful human logic. According to our logic, there has to be a difference either in (1) how people use their power of “free choice” or (2) how God deals with people. But faith accepts both “conflicting” truths of salvation by grace alone, and God’s intent that all be saved (in the face of the fact that all are not)…Lutherans have realized from Scripture that the teaching of “by grace alone” must stand secure or Christianity will fall. If the door is left open to our efforts or works (on one hand), we are back under the dominion of the law. The paradox, which is part of the teaching of grace, must remain intact also. To doubt God’s will for me (on the other hand), or to rely on my own strength to contribute to my faith, will ultimately led me away from God.” Koester asks, “Why do Calvinists and particularly Arminians (and for that matter, Roman Catholics) reject the paradox? Is it because they cannot understand that words of Scripture? Is it because they are less astute than Lutherans? The answer to both questions is no. The reason they reject Scripture’s emphasis on “by grace alone” is that their initial focus prior to their “conversion”, their conversion itself, and there subsequent Christian focus lead them away from grace and ultimately from the gospel. How and why does it do this? Simply put, whenever anyone shifts his focus of Christianity (the shift is from singular forgiveness of sins to moral development somewhere down the road – ldh), as the Evangelical/Reformed do, his “faith” is no longer a miracle the Holy Spirit works through the gospel. We must realize that there is in man a natural desire to want to keep the law. While most consider this desire to be an example of the innate goodness of man, or the “prevenient grace” of the Holy Spirit, the Bible tells us that in the true spiritual sense, no one yearns for the law or for the true spiritual sense, no one yearns for the law or for the true spiritual means of fulfilling it in their lives (Rom. 3:10,11; 8:6,7). What, then, is this yearning that so many experience? Lutherans have called this the opinion legis, or the natural (and sinful) desire of a person to gain something for himself by keeping the law, whether that happens to be heaven or God’s temporal blessings on earth. We hold that even the desire to be moral is a sin-unless that morality is fostered by a love for the Lord. But such love can only come when a person first knows that God has loved and forgiven him.”
    –End Quote, Koester

    In Christ Alone,
    Larry

  26. Having been an ex-calvinistic baptist and then later PCA, I understand some of the more or less cookie cutter standard traditionalism answers to Luther. Basically they come from lack of knowledge to a lot of doctrine in the church’s history combined with the temptation of the old Adam in all of us to ascend to heaven via our secret works through fallen human reason, affections or experiences. In some sense there is so much underlying the varying paradigms it would nearly impractical to cover in this small forum. E.g. Some of the reaction is reaction akin to a pavlonian response. Ring the bell and the dog salivates. Say “absolution” and the enthusiast responds, “Rome”, missing the entire point that the very essence of the Gospel is Jesus saying, “I forgive you Bob, Frank, Susan, Steve, etc…” in the particular just as Christ forgave in particular the prostitute. In a very real sense to have not heard the “for me/you” in the particular in the Gospel is to never have really heard the Good News nor received it. Rome of course abused this and made it works. What does that prove? Is the Word of God nullified because devil’s abuse it. Not at all, Satan is the master of taking God’s very Word and merely inverting it, thus it has plausable deniability that it is “the Word of God”, says Satan. Thus, heretics can use terms and speak of justification, faith, good works, sanctification in a inverted way, using all biblical language and quotes, yet be preaching entirely another gospel which is in the end a cursed message. Works salvation rarely comes packaged so blatantly within the doors of heterdox or orthodox confessions. Many protestants would be shocked to know that Rome would deny that she preaches works salvation, in fact she would attribute it all to grace (infused grace which is not at all different than the protestant version of the same thing, it’s just not called “infused grace”). God “gives you the power” says Rome, and so did Arminious and so did Calvin. So one should never look at the superficial language on top but dig deep down into what the doctrine in essence preaches and teaches. For even religions outside of Christianity might conceive of an idea of God since all men have an innate sense of their Creator, and many might even conceive of the idea of grace. Then they would turn to us and say, “We believe in God Who is gracious, why do you Christians then insist upon all this legalistic works salvation that Jesus is the only way, truth and life.” If one can begin to see the answer to that, then one might begin to see the answer to the sacraments as the Word and the Gospel.

    That being said, for those truly wishing to understand why Christ and Him crucified is so strong in Luther and Lutheranism I would recommend a short book entitled “Law and Gospel – Foundation of Lutheran Ministry”, by Robert Koester. A very good and nice distinction between the religions of Rome & the various strains of sacramentarian confessions (Calvin, Anabaptist, Baptist) on one side versus Luther on the other. It will not answer every question and peeling apart many of these takes time and study. But it is time well invested non-the-less so that quite gross ignorant answers such as “that’s just an old hold over from Rome” are unearthed for what they are.

    What really are the differences and why is it that Luther is on one side of the argument and really the Reformed/baptist/anabaptist and Rome on the other side actually doctrinally together on many points? Why did Luther say, “Where there is forgiveness there is salvation and life” versus Calvin on the other side who would have phrased it, “Where there is salvation and life, there is forgiveness”, which is fundamentally Roman Catholic?.
    ————————————————————————————————
    Part I of II (sorry for the length)

    Having been an ex-calvinistic baptist and then later PCA, I understand some of the more or less cookie cutter standard traditionalism answers to Luther. Basically they come from lack of knowledge to a lot of doctrine in the church’s history combined with the temptation of the old Adam in all of us to ascend to heaven via our secret works through fallen human reason, affections or experiences. In some sense there is so much underlying the varying paradigms it would nearly impractical to cover in this small forum. E.g. Some of the reaction is reaction akin to a pavlonian response. Ring the bell and the dog salivates. Say “absolution” and the enthusiast responds, “Rome”, missing the entire point that the very essence of the Gospel is Jesus saying, “I forgive you Bob, Frank, Susan, Steve, etc…” in the particular just as Christ forgave in particular the prostitute. In a very real sense to have not heard the “for me/you” in the particular in the Gospel is to never have really heard the Good News nor received it. Rome of course abused this and made it works. What does that prove? Is the Word of God nullified because devil’s abuse it. Not at all, Satan is the master of taking God’s very Word and merely inverting it, thus it has plausable deniability that it is “the Word of God”, says Satan. Thus, heretics can use terms and speak of justification, faith, good works, sanctification in a inverted way, using all biblical language and quotes, yet be preaching entirely another gospel which is in the end a cursed message. Works salvation rarely comes packaged so blatantly within the doors of heterdox or orthodox confessions. Many protestants would be shocked to know that Rome would deny that she preaches works salvation, in fact she would attribute it all to grace (infused grace which is not at all different than the protestant version of the same thing, it’s just not called “infused grace”). God “gives you the power” says Rome, and so did Arminious and so did Calvin. So one should never look at the superficial language on top but dig deep down into what the doctrine in essence preaches and teaches. For even religions outside of Christianity might conceive of an idea of God since all men have an innate sense of their Creator, and many might even conceive of the idea of grace. Then they would turn to us and say, “We believe in God Who is gracious, why do you Christians then insist upon all this legalistic works salvation that Jesus is the only way, truth and life.” If one can begin to see the answer to that, then one might begin to see the answer to the sacraments as the Word and the Gospel.

    That being said, for those truly wishing to understand why Christ and Him crucified is so strong in Luther and Lutheranism I would recommend a short book entitled “Law and Gospel – Foundation of Lutheran Ministry”, by Robert Koester. A very good and nice distinction between the religions of Rome & the various strains of sacramentarian confessions (Calvin, Anabaptist, Baptist) on one side versus Luther on the other. It will not answer every question and peeling apart many of these takes time and study. But it is time well invested non-the-less so that quite gross ignorant answers such as “that’s just an old hold over from Rome” are unearthed for what they are.

    What really are the differences and why is it that Luther is on one side of the argument and really the Reformed/baptist/anabaptist and Rome on the other side actually doctrinally together on many points? Why did Luther say, “Where there is forgiveness there is salvation and life” versus Calvin on the other side who would have phrased it, “Where there is salvation and life, there is forgiveness”, which is fundamentally Roman Catholic?.

    A little foretaste from Koester:
    “For Luther, justification began as an objective fact. In other words, the basis for his hope was not that Christ justified Martin Luther by faith, but that God justified the entire world before anyone actually received the benefit of Christ’s work by faith.” We see this in Luther’s exposition of the Lord’s Prayer fifth petition (very eye opening – this is just how faith creating and powerful the Lord’s Prayer is though said very infrequently among Christians, “This is why there is great need here again to pray and cry: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not that He does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; for He HAS GIVEN us the gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, EVEN BEFORE we prayed for it or ever thought about it. What we are concerned about in this petition is that WE MAY RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT THIS FORGIVENESS.”

    The key to understanding the connection between Rome, Calvin and Arminians of all versions is that underlying their systems was a different system than Luther’s. We can see this in the sinner asking what his/her problem? Surely most would say, “sin”, even Rome. All would generally say, “Sin is my/our problem”. But what do you mean by “sin is my problem?” Is it “that I need power to over come it?” OR is it “that I need it forgiven!” This is a fundamental nexus between Luther and all others, a very big difference in sin being a problem and thus the differing systems that emerge from them. Here equally we see Rome, Calvin and Arminian thought. Synergism is in all of them, only Luther held to the bondage of the will, total depravity is in the end not the utter bondage of the will from which only true monorgism comes. In these other systems of doctrine (Rome, Calvin, Arminius) this power to choose comes to bear somewhere in the system and the “choosers” are the saved. Grace is seen (somewhere in the train of doctrine) as this “power” in some form or another. Rome officially called it “infused grace”, Arminians would see it as that “natural ability to choose God”, and Calvin just simply moved it to the naked immediate operation of the Spirit on the person. All see it as this power for more or less “a faith” whose ultimate goal is a moral reform of some sorts (often labeled sanctification or growing in holiness) with forgiveness at best tangential to it. And every single one of these three different but fundamentally exact systems can say, “Yea but God gave the power ergo monorgism”. But that’s simply the Pharisee’s, “Lord I give you thanks…” type of monorgism. How does this more or less “infused grace”, whether named that or not, come about? For Rome it was via the sacraments, this infused grace is given, ex opera operato. For Arminians it is that created reality within all men. For Calvin it is this secret operation immediately upon the soul.

  27. Are you of the belief that baptism ALWAYS results in regeneration?

    If so, I hope not though, you are far more in line with a Roman Catholic.

    I was baptised as an infant and lived like a devil for 23 years.

    Baptism is an ordinance, not a means of salvation.

  28. For Lutherans, Holy Baptism is not like a rabbit’s foot, or a guarantee of entering Heaven.

    It is a promise of God, that He makes to us to be our God. He adopts us.

    The promises of God are always good. Although, we can walk away from them and not trust in them…so then what good are they to us? When that happens, there is no benefit to the adopted child whatsoever.

    But that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. We, then, have abandoned Him.

    Check out this short post, which may shed some light on why we (Lutherans) place so much stock in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion:

    http://fivepintlutheran.blogspot.com/2009/10/assurance-of-election.html

    Thanks very much!

  29. Dear theoldadam:

    You wrote:

    We baptize infants (and anyone) because we believe it is pleasing to Christ. Why would He command that we do it, if He wasn’t going to be in it?

    And therein lies the problem.
    1). You “believe” it is pleasing to Christ yet tradition does not always equal “pleasing to God.”
    2). God did NOT “command that we do it” (baptize infants). You have still provided no Scriptural support or example of one infant being baptized. God commanded us to make disciples and baptize them (in the name of the Trinity). You can’t make a baby a disciple. They have yet to be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, repent of that sin, and turn to Christ as the propitiation for their sins.

    You also wrote in a different comment:

    If God gave the command to circumsize infants…why would He have a problem with baptizing infants? So, it’s not tradition, it’s not ritual..it’s God’s command and His Word.

    1). Again, God did NOT command us (the NT Church) to baptize our children. He DID command the Israelites to circumsize their boys on the 8th day. In fact there’s plenty of instruction and example of circumcision in the OT, yet baptism of an infant is absent from the NT. You’d think if there was a correlation between the two there would be at least on expressed teaching on it or example so that proponents of infant baptism wouldn’t have to bend texts here and there to make the Scripture fit their tradition.
    2). Only boys were circumcised in the old covenant. Do you only baptize boys in your church?
    3). Be very careful, don’t let baptism be to you as circumcision was to the Judaizers (see Galatians).

    And finally, you said:

    Calvin, Luther, and all the other Reformers were baptized as infants.

    Calvin, Luther and all the Reformers are not my standard of truth; the Scriptures are. Let us also not forget, for all the great things Calvin and Luther brought about, they were still imperfect men (one of which had another man put to death and the other of which was an anti-Semite).

    As I said before, if you can prove infant baptism from the Bible (not from what men have practiced) I would join your side. But so far no one has proven this practice from Scripture.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  30. Dear ‘The Pilgrim’,

    Christ commanded it. He never mentioned age other than to say ‘all people’.

    If you can prove from scripture that infants are NOT to be baptized…then I will join your side.

    Also, sincerely,

    Steve Martin (the Old Adam)

  31. I used to be an automotive mechanic. One time I was working on a customers car that had a medalion in it. It read something to the effect of “if you are wearing this medalion when you die you will go straight to Heaven” or some type of balogne anyways, and it had some picture of a “saint” on it.

    I wish I would have asked the customer where they got that. I would like to have one.

    Afterall, my faith in Jesus’ completed work on the Cross may not be enough to get me into Heaven.

    They should put those in gumball machines at grocerie stores so everyone could get in. Or maybe the same guy that mailed out all of those Jesus movies could send one to everyone.

  32. Shane – you’re joking, right? About “Jesus’ completed work on the Cross may not be enough to get me into Heaven”? Please tell me you merely forgot to add the sarcasm tag.

  33. Shane,

    Man, you are absolutely right.

    Medalions are just medalions.

    If, on the other hand, the Lord had commanded us to wear medalions, in His name…that would be a different story.

  34. I thought that it would be ovious that it was sarcasm. My bad.

    “The Pilgrim
    3). Be very careful, don’t let baptism be to you as circumcision was to the Judaizers (see Galatians).”

    I would have to agree with the Pilgrim there. Faith + nothing

    I alse believe that if a person is a professing Christian and they don’t want to be baptized then their is deffinately something wrong with their salvation.

  35. It’s kind of like the movie “Time Changer”. If you’ve ever watched it then it brings us down to a point of — if we share the morals but don’t share where the morals come from then it would be better NOT to share the morals. Sharing only the morals without sharing the God who created the morals brings us to where we are today! We live in a culture where there are NO morals or post-modern morals! Sadly enough, so many pastors share one side of God who created the morals (making a caricature of God) but refuse to share that God is holy, righteous, and just.

    What good does it do to talk about salvation and a Saviour without knowing why you need salvation and a Saviour? What good is grace, mercy and love without knowing that we are abominable in God’s sight and one day HIS wrath will be poured out upon us (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God – by Jonathan Edwards)! Our very goodness is as filthy rags and nothing we can do will bring us to God but the Holy Spirit does the drawing…not man! What a powerful message! Thanks, Pilgrim, for posting it!

  36. Dear theoldadam, you said:

    If you can prove from scripture that infants are NOT to be baptized…then I will join your side.

    You have skirted most of the questions and points brought up by myself and others in this comment thread. Now you are grasping at straws. You have resorted to making an argument from silence.

    My recommendation is to put tradition, practice, and preconceived notions aside. Read the texts on baptism as they are without all the baggage that you are bringing with it, and then maybe you will come to see that baptism FOLLOWS faith which comes by HEARING the preaching of the GOSPEL.

    You’re putting the cart before the horse and to suggest (if you are) that this infant baptism has anything to do with saving the baby, then you are adding to the gospel and are to be rebuked as the Judaizers.

    Please deeply reconsider the implications of your stance on this Roman Catholic tradition.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  37. “Now you are grasping at straws. You have resorted to making an argument from silence. ”

    Ridiculous accusation.

    I have shown passages that certainly imply that infants can have faith.

    You cannot prove otherwise.

    Jesus said that we ought become as these little ones?

    Why?

    Did He say that just for kicks.

    Christians have been baptizing whole households that most certainly included babies, for a long long time before the Roman catholic Chrurch came into being.

    You arguments show a desperation and real humanistic bent.

    But I would not expect anything else from someone who places so much emphaisis on faith first…rather than grace first.

    With God, all things are possible. Not so with men.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Martin

  38. Dear theoldadam:

    Children can have faith. Infants who can’t speak, formulate thoughts, or communicate, certainly cannot hear, understand, and receive the gospel. It gets no simpler than this. To suggest otherwise is to interject mere opinion into the matter (as Scripture gives no teaching, instruction, or even example of babies ever being baptized . . . NOT EVEN ONE).

    You have not “shown passages that certainly imply that infants can have faith.” You have offered verses that justify your tradition after a little bending here and there, and with a little indoctrination sprinkled on it. You can use these verses to “imply” pets being baptized as well. But when one interprets Scripture with Scripture, the “implied” ideas fall apart.

    I have debated Mormons, Catholics, and JW’s and I’m seeing some of the same reasoning they use to justify their extra-biblical doctrines. As I mentioned at the onset, I did not wish to rehash this same argument that has already been tackled elsewhere. When facing one’s deeply-held traditions, reason and Scripture often can make no inroads. This seems to be the same case here.

    I and others have tried throughout this thread to get you to answer certain points and questions. They have been left unaddressed.

    Once again, till you can prove from Scripture that infant baptism is necessary, needed, essential, or even warranted, I (and we) are not going to add Rome’s tradition to our lives.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

    P.S. To those not sure about this issue or who have questions, listen to all the pro-baby baptism messages you desire, but then make sure you listen to MacArthur’s sermon on this topic (which can be found here). He is spot on and it will obliterate all the weak, smoke-and-mirror arguments of those who would have us follow Rome’s traditions.

  39. Mormons don’t baptize babies, either.

    That ought to tell you something.

    Look, I said that I was sure that I wasn’t going to convince anyone here, nor is that my purpose.

    My purpose in bringing this up was to say that many are humanistic in their thinking…especially about baptism and what God can do.

    And I wanted you to know that we don’t baptize babies out of tradition or ritual, but that there are good reasons that we do so.

    Grace before faith. God baptizes, not us.

    That you don’t believe it is fine.

    I, and plenty of Christians do believe that God is active in baptism.

    I guess we’ll have to leave it at that.

    Thanks!

  40. The Pilgrim said, “it will obliterate all the weak, smoke-and-mirror arguments of those who would have us follow Rome’s traditions.”

    One more good reason to disassociate from the term Protestant. Too many traditions came out of Rome and labeled “Reformed” or “Protestant.”

    The Roman Catholic Church could never be reformed which is at least one area where Luther went wrong.

    The Desert Pastor

  41. Dear theoldadam, you said:

    Mormons don’t baptize babies, either.

    That ought to tell you something.

    Well . . .

    1). The Mormons at least have more of a biblical ground to argue for their practice of baptizing the dead by proxy. Scripture contains a brief mention by the Apostle Paul to the baptism of the dead.

    This is more than can be said for infant baptism.

    2). I can easily change that argument to read:

    Roman Catholics baptize their children. That ought to tell you something.

    As for this discussion, I appreciate all the stances you have taken on DefCon in the past, but on this issue you are wrong. You have been provided ample opportunities to defend this view through the myriad of comments on this thread but they all fell on deaf ears.

    If you desire to continue this discussion (as I doubt you are . . . like me) then I recommend you start by answering the prior questions and points presented in this comment thread. Until then, there’s no point in continuing while those valid challenges to infant baptism are left ignored.

    Dear readers of DefCon:

    If there’s anyone out there who has changed their opinion, or even been challenged about their belief against infant baptism by the arguments posed here by theoldadam, I’d love to hear from you. What was said (written) that has begun making you look at infant baptism as a legitimate biblical practice?

    I’m very curious.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  42. While there are many errors in the R. Catholic theology, I would not want to say that there aren’t Christians there.

    Baptism, and are understanding of it while similar, is not exactly the same.

    Where the Roman Church has gone wrong is their emphasis on the work of the believer, the primacy of the pope, purgatory, etc.

    There are definitely Christians and non-Christians in that barnicle ladened church, as there are also the same in yours and mine (churches).

  43. Theoldadam:

    All discussion of the Biblical basis of infant baptism aside —

    I fail to see how interpreting scripture in the following way is humanistic (which was your original point):

    1. A man is confronted with God’s Law.
    2. Said man is convicted.
    3. Said man repents and is justified.
    4. Man is baptized.

    How is this a humanistic doctrine? Humanism says “Oh, God has a perfect plan for my life?! Wow! What a coincidence, so do I!!!” humanism is about pleasing self.

    Whereas this doctrine REQUIRES the man to be confronted by the gravity of his offense.

    How is this doctrine humanistic?

  44. Jason,

    My point was that God commands that we baptize and partake in His Supper…so, He is in it. He would never command us to do anything wherein He would not be present in it, acting in it (somehow) for our benefit.

    That man just can’t get his head around this, so he would refuse to believe it, reflects his humanism.

  45. Well, then the theif on the cross must have been the greatest humanist ever–he had the audacity to ask Jesus to remember him in paradise, and then just go and die right in front of Him! forget baptism, I’m self-serving!

    Baptism and communion are neither required nor causal of salvation. Neither are sufficient, nor are they necessary.

    They are beautiful things. but to insist that it is self-serving/satisfying to require a person to first recognize that they were wretched before they are identified with the death (symbolizing the death of “theoldadam”<–a pun!), the burial (symbolizing the putting away of the flesh), and the resurrection (symbolizing having become a new creation) of Christ is ludicrous.

    What you are saying is that it is self-gratifying/satisfying/serving to require conscious repentance before identifying a person as a part of the Body of Christ.

    Oh, and two other things.
    1. Of course my first statement above was total sarcasm. don't be offended. I haven't had anyone to talk to all day.

    2. Yes. It is possible for God to be present in a bowl of water or a jug of incense or a hat or a pencil or anything. He is God and can do whatever He wants. But just because He can do whatever He wants doesn't mean man gets to make a doctrine about something God didn't say.

  46. Look, the Lord commanded baptism…not me.

    It might have been a littlr tough for the thief on the cross to get baptized at the moment.

    The Lord can and surely does save whom He’ll save.

    The Lord can surely save apart from baptism, and He can surely save in Baptism (1st Peter 3:20,21)

    I don’t have a problem with that, I am not a humanist when it comes to the freedom of God to save sinners.

    I have a feeling that many would not have a problem with that if they thought about it for 5 minutes.

    Jason,

    No offense taken!

    This stuff can get us a little edgy at times.

    I am no exception!

    Thanks, my friend!

    – Steve

  47. In each and every account in the Bible, when it comes to baptism, its says first that the party believed. And THEN that they were baptized. Baptism does not impart the faith to believe. Baptism is a response to God. It doesn’t save. Quoting 1 peter 3 to say that it saves is incorrect. It says that Noah in the water was a TYPE of baptism. A picture. Not literal.

    If it, in fact, does not impart faith, but rather requires faith in the first place, what would baptizing an infant to young to have conscious faith actually accomplish? To say “God is in it” doesn’t mean a whole lot. Osteen says God is in what he does. :P

    I live in Spain. And its time for me to go to bed. So I’m going to do that. So, I won’t be looking at this anymore today.

    I’ll just echo what someone said above – Be careful that you don’t add to the Gospel. To add baptism as a requirement (which the Bible doesn’t do), is to make yourself a Judaizer. Be careful.

  48. Jason,

    “In each and every account in the Bible, when it comes to baptism, its says first that the party believed.”

    When Jesus commands us to “Go…baptize and teach…”He says nothing about picking out believers first.

    He says baptize…and he says all people (ponta ethnae) .

    Even repentance is something that God gives us. If it were a work that we do on our own, then the cross would have been in vain.

    In Acts 2:38 we are told that in baptism we recieve the gif of the Holy Spirit. And that promise is to our children, as well.

    Since we believe that God is actually the one doing the work in baptism, we don’t think there is any danger at all of becoming a Judaizer. It is not something that we say to DO, but God is saying it.

    The same goes for receiving the body and blood. God commands that we do it…but He is doing the work (since He commanded it).

    Thanks, Jason

    Buenas noches!

    – Steve

  49. A person can worship anything instead of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. To say that you have to be baptized to be able to be saved is works because you can then depend on the baptism to get you to heaven just like saying a little prayer. Just because someone said a little prayer doesn’t send them to heaven. Just because someone is baptized doesn’t send them to heaven. In fact, baptism was supposed to be an outward show of what Christ did in your life and it sounds like Matthew 28 is the only verse you can seem to come up with to support your beliefs. There should be absolutely NOTHING that we are supposed to do to depend on but you are telling us that we can depend on baptism to get us to heaven?

    In a previous post where Pilgrim shared something his wife had written about her step-dad, you made the comment that she could depend on him going to heaven because of his baptism. Are you telling us that just because a person is baptized they can depend on the fact that they are going to heaven…even if there is NO fruit in the life? The Bible is very clear that if there is NO fruit there is no salvation…whether he was baptized or not. It still sounds like you are depending on baptism to get you to heaven. Paul makes it clear that we need to check up on our salvation regularly to, “see if we are in the faith!” NO ONE can say that just because they were baptized that they are a believer…that’s paramount to saying, “God, all I need is the baptism to make sure I go to heaven. Thanks, now I don’t need YOU!” The only real way to depend on whether or not you are saved is continual growth. Even the thief, who died on the cross beside the Lord, showed understanding (that only the Lord could give him) by saying that they indeed deserved what they got and justly but Jesus didn’t!

    Yes, I truly believe that even the very faith that we have can only come from God because we can’t work it up in ourselves. Even the growth that comes in our lives comes from God because we couldn’t grow without HIM changing us! The desire to pray, the desire to do what we are supposed to do can only come from God because before I was saved…I was dead in trespasses and sin. It is the Lord that convicted my heart of my sin, it was the Lord that gave me understanding, it was the Lord that saved me from my sin, it was the Lord that gave me the desire to glorify Him, it was the Lord that changed me as I fought tooth and nail to stay the same. Anything I have done that is pleasing to Him is the working of the Lord in my life as I can do absolutely nothing outside of HIM! If I had to depend on the baptism then I could say, “Well, this baptism is going to get me to heaven. Thankfully, I was baptized so now I don’t have to worry about anything else outside of that!” Your teaching makes no sense and it sounds like baptismal regeneration, which is contrary to Scripture. You take Scripture out of context to make it say what you want. Be careful that you don’t depend on this baptism of yours to get you to heaven because it will send you to hell.

    So, having said that, outside of this baptism that you carry on about, when did you come to a knowledge that you were completely in your sins and in need of a Saviour? Notice I didn’t ask when you were baptized because I don’t care when you were baptized…I care when the Lord convicted your heart of sin and you realized that you were totally undone before a holy and righteous God, that you needed HIS righteousness to cover your worthlessness (just as all of us do)? If you can only tell about a time when you were baptized in this conversation then there are problems!

  50. “Children can have faith. Infants who can’t speak, formulate thoughts, or communicate, certainly cannot hear, understand, and receive the gospel.” (Pilgrim)

    Actually, you might be surprised to know that infants can hear and understand a great deal. It is their inability to respond appropriately that gives one the impression that they do not understand. I know, because I remember being one.

    However, that being said, I would agree with you that infant baptism is meaningless. As an analogy, I would say that faith and baptism are like marriage and a wedding. A couple can have the wedding and still live adulturously or separately. In this case, they were not made right by the ceremony. However, a couple can also live like they were married, co-habitate and have children, yet never get married and have a wedding, but the lifestyle alone is not enough to make things right. Both baptism and a wedding are ceremonies indicating the initiation of a change in loyalties and lifestyle. Both exist as a person’s interaction with the society around him. Both are good and necessary. Niether rite can make the lifestyle or loyalty changes come to pass, but niether rite can be acceptably omitted, except in circumstances where the rite is impossible, or where a person exists in isolation from society. Jesus said to repent and be baptized. Make the change, and then make it official to the people around you.

  51. theoldadam –

    You must really stop with the humanism slander which is totally uncalled for. John the Baptist was a major exception and you have no warrant to use him as a case for all infants. How you can do this is amazing for the Scriptures show John was in NO way like ANY other infant for it is written:

    1. John was the greatest of the prophets.
    “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist” (Luk 7:28)

    2. John was a light pointing unto Christ.
    “He was a burning and a shining light” (John 5:35)

    3. John was Elijah of whom it was prophesied would prepare the way of the Lord.

    “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” (Mal 4:5)

    “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Mat 11:10)

    “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.” (Mat 17:10-12)

    “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mar 1:4)

    4. And most importantly, John was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb!!! All with NO baptism! This is why he leaped for joy as the spirit in him testified to Christ.

    “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luk 1:15)

    5. Finally, John was instructed of God who Jesus was.

    “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (Jn 1:32-34)

    So if John is your case study for infants being baptized and having faith from the womb, you really need to look elsewhere.

  52. “theoldadam
    You guys are welcome to your feelings, your fruits, your having faith in your faith.”

    woohoo. I have faith in my faith just like a prosperity gospel proponent. : )

  53. I don’t have “faith in my faith”.
    I have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus to save me.
    All of my righteousness is as filthy rags.

    I would say that believing you have to do things to please God and justify your salvation is humanism. Depending upon your self to do what God has already done. Depending upon human means to save yourself. I would say that is humanism.

    Like some people in my family. To them, salvation is maintained by them being able to live “a good enough life” and making sure they ask forgiveness of all of the sins they have committed in a day before they go to bed at night so they don’t lose their salvation. I would say that is humanism.

    To be justified by the sacrifice of Christ alone, that is just Christian.

    Rom3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Rom5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Gal3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    To say that a person is saved by baptism or must be baptized to be saved, wouldn’t that be another Gospel contrary to what Paul preached?

    1Cor2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

  54. God WILL save whom He wills and it’s not through baptism. Just because there are a few verses here and there that mention baptism does NOT mean that everyone has to go get baptized for salvation.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 say, “For by grace are ye saved through faith (funny, I don’t remember seeing that it’s through baptism) and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” If a person uses baptism as the means of salvation, it then becomes of ourselves and not of God! You can’t have it two ways!

  55. theoldadam,

    I am afraid that you have worn out your welcome. All are invited to come to DefendingContending and read and even comment. However, when your sole purpose is NOT to learn but to subvert the truth and to teach your false doctrine – you have crossed the line.

    At no point have you shown a willingness to learn, but continue to spill forth a myriad of words holding forth the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. You give forth a false hope and a false doctrine that is completely contrary to the Word of God.

    To top it off, you continue to flaunt the term “humanism” against those who hold that salvation is by grace through faith ALONE for their eternal salvation. We at DefCon do not espouse baptism as having anything to do with salvation in anyway. It is but an outward sign of an inward possession. If a person who has placed their faith in Christ alone dies and is NOT baptized, they WILL go to heaven based on the promises of God’s Word.

    You are more than welcome to continue reading here and we pray that you will search the Scriptures and learn the truth of God’s most Holy Word. If you desire to comment again, we recommend that you first read the Rules of Engagement.

    Sincerely,

    The Desert Pastor

  56. theoldadam:

    I have to agree with DP’s decision on barring you from the further spread of your heretical (yes, I mean that) doctrines.

    DefCon is here to defend the faith from false doctrines, and for us to provide a platform for you to continue to preach the heretical notion that we are saved by anything but the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ (while doing so under the guise of Christianity) is not only counterproductive to our mission, but it would be sin on our part.

    You have claimed that my wife’s stepdad (a high level Mason who died rejecting Christ) could somehow be saved when you commented:

    I pray that the Lord has kept your wife’s stepfather in the promise of his baptism.

    As if there’s some magical power in baptism that is equal to or greater than the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If baptismal regeneration was even remotely valid, Paul would not have said:

    For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:17)


    You also keep repeating the lie that “Christ commanded it.” He did no such thing! He never once taught that infants should be baptized. That is a man-made tradition! You proof-text this with “Forbid not the children . . .”. What in the world does this have to do with baptism? These children were not baptized and Jesus never said they should be. He blessed them, He did not baptize them. This was just one or your plethora of misused Scriptures to justify this false doctrine.

    You then proceed to say that God can save people through baptism (a work) and that there are possibly 20,000 ways God can save (this comment was removed by DP). Utter blasphemy! If there was any other way, God the Father would have provided it when His Son prayed for it in the Garden of Gethsemane. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!

    The Judaizers only added to the gospel of Christ, you are suggesting an alternative . . . baptism. You are teaching another gospel!

    If anyone should doubt the reason for my stern rebuke, here’s an additional quote from theoldadam’s blog:

    This morning out little grandbaby ‘Chloe’ will be baptized. She will be adopted into God’s family and given all the promises and love and forgiveness that all of God’s children receive. Her old sinful self (she’s almost 8 months old!) will be put to death in the water and the Word of baptism (she will participate in Christ’s death), and the new person will be raised out of that water and the grave by God’s Word and the resurrection of Jesus Christ Himself.

    Please repent of your false gospel Steve, lest you perish in your sin!

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  57. John the baptist “never” baptized anyone without first repentance…Samething Peter said at Pentecost in Acts 2-38, the bapizm in Acts 2-38 was of the Mightier One that John spoke of to come..

    Water baptism is a co-dependency salvation of works, and is not necessary, but repentance is absolutely necessary, with out it there can be no salvation. If one desires to be water baptised in ernest to please the Lord that is fine, but it is not necessary…There are a 1000 Jesus PLUS doctrines going around today…All is mans vanity.

    keep Jesus love and give it to others
    bill

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