Archive

Archive for the ‘baptism’ Category

12 Benefits of Christian Baptism

June 17th, 2007

(The following list has been adapted from the respected scholarship of G.R. Beasley-Murray, in his book, Baptism in the New Testament. “Baptism saves, not because water washes dirt from the body, but as the occasion when a man is met by the risen Christ” (pp. 264-265).

1. The forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
2. The cleansing from sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11).
3. Union with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
4. Union in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-6; Col. 2:10-12).
5. Release from sins power and guilt (Romans 6:1-11, 17-18).
6. Participation in Christ’s Sonship (Gal. 3:26,27).
7. Consecration to God (1 Cor. 6:11).
8. Membership in the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
9. Possession of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2:38).
10. New life in the Spirit and regeneration (Jn. 3:5; Tit. 3:5).
11. Help to live according to the will of God (Rom. 6:6-7; 11-14).
12. The answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Pet. 3:21).

From time to time, we meet people who have been exposed to a denominational type of Christianity, who reject what the Bible says about baptism. They make up their own little creeds about baptism and recite the doctrines of men rather than what the Scriptures affirm about it. They contend that baptism is an outward expression of an inward grace, and so forth. But, as the above scripture references confirm, Calvinistic–saved at the altar type experiences–are but human substitutes for the Word of God—“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21).

Would you obey the command to be baptized and become a New Testament Christian today? The benefits are for those who are Scripturally baptized.

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Acts, baptism, Bible, christian, New Testament Tags:

Why Some Fail to Understand Acts 10— The Conversion of Cornelius

August 27th, 2006

In an attempt to deflect the New Testament teaching regarding Christian baptism, some will introduce the conversion of Cornelius, with its irregular circumstances. But, when the ubject of Christian baptism is studied (Matt. 28:18-20; Jn.3:5; Acts 2:38;22:16; Rom. 6:3-5,17; Gal. 3:26,27; Tit. 3:4-6; 1 Pet. 3:20,21) apart from human “tenets” and “cardinal doctrines,” it is plain to see how it is essential to the plan of salvation. Then, why do some fail to understand the conversion of Cornelius in Acts 10? Well, to begin with, a bias is already in place when one’s church creed presupposes to tell its members what the Bible says on any subject, including baptism. (Mk. 7:8,9). Those supported by a particular church organization receive their salaries from these institutions. When these ministers cease representing the tenets of these organizations, they will cease being remunerated.

THREE FAULTY ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ACTS 10:

Assumption 1—Acts 10 may be isolated from Acts 11 without any consequences. Assumption 2—Cornelius was saved when he spoke in tongues (10:46).
Assumption 3—Luke’s main point—inclusion of the Gentiles (see 10:15,22,28,34, 35,45; 11:12) may be marginalized; while the Holy Spirit is made to appear as the primary subject of the chapter.

THREE SCRIPTURAL CORRECTIONS ABOUT ACTS 10:

1. Assumption 1 is refutable because Acts 11 contains relevant information not mentioned in Acts 10. 11:14, for example, clearly places salvation in the message of the Holy Spirit, not in the manifestation (Compare10:22, 33 with 11:15).
2. Assumption 2 is refutable because it dismisses the command of 10:48. It is based upon the presupposition that Acts 2:4 (“the beginning,” Acts 11:15) was the moment of salvation; but, in fact, the command of Acts 2:38 and 10:48 remains to be obeyed as a divine condition for the moment of salvation from sin.
3. Assumption 3 is certainly refutable because the Holy Spirit “fell on them,” in a special manifestation (Acts 11:15); whereas, salvation (in the New Testament) is always based upon faith, repentance, confession, and baptism in the name of Jesus (see Acts 11:18; 43, 48).

The Acts 10 error is only believable by ignoring Acts 11; the command to be baptized for the forgiveness of sin; and, changing the primary subject of Acts 10.

Robert M. Housby

Categories: Acts, baptism, Bible, conversion, New Testament, Spirit Tags:

Your Church Membership: Not the Watered-Down Version

July 2nd, 2006

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit”

(1 Corinthians 12:13)

We are living in a society that attempts to devalue Christ and his church. There is a real tendency, these days, to water-down the gospel. When Paul wrote that baptized believers were “made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:27) we are persuaded that he did not mean watered-down benefits. Nor, does God intend that we return to him watered-down service. The basics of church membership mean—

1. The baptized are the members (1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 18:8). Only the washed are justified in the name of the Lord and the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:11). The Lord adds people to his church at the point of baptism (Acts 2:41,47)—not before. Immersion in water for the remission of sins is essential (Acts 2:38; 22:16). To break with the plan of salvation is to dilute the message with the traditions of men (Mark 7:6-9).

2. All members are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). When Paul told the early church that they were the body of Christ, he affirmed (1) that they belonged to Christ and, (2) that they now had a function (1 Corinthians 12:15, 19). We are aware that the Lord, himself, went about doing good while in his earthly body (Acts 10:38). In the same way, the body of Christ, the church, was meant for good works (Ephesians 1:22; 2;10; Romans 12:3-8).

Christ and his church are one“For we are members of his body, of His flesh and of his bones” (Ephesians 3:21; 5:30-32). If, today, you find yourself out of touch with the body of Christ—perhaps you have forgotten just how important church membership is—may these reminders serve to re-dedicate your service in the body, which is the church of Christ.

-Robert M. Housby

The Agnostic and Water Baptism

June 19th, 2005

(The following reprint comes from, As A Man Thinketh, Batsell B. Baxter, Washington Industries, P.O. Box 1301, Nashville, TN 37202, 1966. It is adapted with comments and scriptural references by Robert M. Housby, Cape Girardeau Missouri Church Bulletin,

June 19, 2005)

Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) an American lawyer, politician, and writer, often lectured on his creed of agnosticism, and in other ways displayed animosity toward orthodox Christian beliefs.
During his travels in England on one occasion he was staying in a small hotel somewhere in the midlands, at the same time a preacher happened to be staying at the same hotel. Upon learning that the famous Ingersoll was a fellow-guest, the preacher asked for an interview and sat down to talk with the noted agnostic. In the conversation the preacher asked, “Mr. Ingersoll, some months ago I wrote to you challenging you to a debate concerning the Bible. Why did you not respond?” Mr. Ingersoll asked, “Do you believe that baptism is necessary for salvation?” The preacher responded that he did not believe that it was required. Mr. Ingersoll asked for a copy of the Bible, and when he received it he opened it to the sixteenth chapter of Mark and the sixteenth verse. He read, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.” Mr. Ingersoll then explained, “Why should I debate the Bible with you? You don’t believe it either.”
Christian baptism is a belief and practice of the early church, as commanded by Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins (Romans 6:3-5; 6:17; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; 22:16). This is the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5, and the “washing of regeneration” of Titus 3:5. There is water in the plan of salvation as surely as there was water in the plan for Noah (1 Peter 3:21). This baptism is an action “into” Christ by faith (Galatians 3:26,27). We are raised in baptism by God to receive the benefits of the resurrection (Colossians 2:12). Become a New
Testament Christian today! Accept the Bible alone: without creed or catechism.

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: baptism Tags:

“The Cave of John the Baptist”

August 22nd, 2004

(Newsbreak: Wednesday August 18, 2004)

 

“This is he of whom it is written,
Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
Who will prepare your way before you”

(Luke 7:27, ESV)

The Toronto Star (Wednesday August 18, 2004) recently reported, “Archaeologists said Monday they have found a cave where they believe John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples—a huge cistern with 28 steps leading to an underground pool of water. During a tour of the cave, archaeologists presented wall carvings they said tell the story of the fiery New Testament preacher…British archaeologist Shimon Gibson, who supervised the dig… said the cave was carved in the Iron Age, somewhere between 800 and 500 B.C., by the Israelites, who apparently used it as an immersion pool. It apparently was adopted by John the Baptist, who wanted a place where he could bring people to undergo their rituals. Gibson further posited, “…a foot washing stone… also constituted strong circumstantial evidence that John used the cave ” (Karen Laub, Associated Press).

Essentially, then, this discovering speculates that (1) John the Baptist used this cave, and (2) He used the cave for religious ritual purposes. The evidence seems to center around: a. the cave’s proximity to John’s home (Ain Karim) b. carvings which seemingly depict the life of John, and c. that the cistern easily coincides with John’s baptismal ministry. However, Matthew and Mark report that John
baptized, “…in the river Jordan” (Matthew 3:6;Mark 1:5); secondly, near Bethany beyond the Jordan (John 1:28); and, thirdly, “… in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23). If a cave was a part of his ministry we are not told. We are told in Scripture, however, that John “was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light” (John 1:8).

As the world media delights in this latest discovery of a cave near Jerusalem, we, as Christians, remember an empty tomb.

–Robert M. Housby

Categories: baptism, John, Luke, Mark, Matthew Tags:

Baptism for Remission of Sins

July 11th, 2004

“And Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness
of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

(Acts 2:38, NAS)

The following excerpt is taken from brother Walter Scott’s periodical, The Evangelist (Vol. VIII. Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 1840. No. 12) reprinted by College Press. We are including it in this week’s bulletin to assist in the teaching of persons currently under the influence of Calvinism, Baptist, or other denominational error regarding the role of Christian baptism. The article is impressive because it is written a learned Baptist scholar, Dr. John Gale:

“… .I would note to you that one use, and end, and design of baptism, was for the remission of sins; of this we are assured in the express words of scripture. Thus in 1 Corinthians 6:11, after the apostle has enumerated a great many abominable sins and vices, which exclude the unrighteous from the kingdom of God, he adds, “and such were some of you; but ye are washed, i.e. in your baptism you are purified and cleansed from all guilt and pollution of these sins… .Thus saint Peter says to those being pricked in their hearts, and convinced by his preaching, inquired what they must do, Acts 2:37,38… .And so again, chap. xxii.16, baptism is said to wash away sins… The scriptures shew us, that Christ instituted baptism for the remission of sins” (Sermons of John Gale, London, 1724)

We prefer, “a thus saith the Lord,” or a word from an apostle. However, there are many in the world, who, because of their allegiance to their particular denomination, will hear only one of their own speak, we offer the words of Dr. Gale. May all come to accept the words of scripture without human amendment (Rev. 22:18,19).

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Acts, baptism, Bible, New Testament Tags:

Baptism for Remission of Sins

July 11th, 2004

“And Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness
of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

(Acts 2:38, NAS)

The following excerpt is taken from brother Walter Scott’s periodical, TheEvangelist (Vol. VIII.Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 1840. No. 12) reprinted by College Press. We are including it in this week’s bulletin to assist in the teaching of persons currently under the influence of Calvinism, Baptist, or other denominational error regarding the role of Christian baptism. The article is impressive because it is written a learned Baptist scholar, Dr. John Gale:

“…I would note to you that one use, and end, and design of baptism, was for the remission of sins; of this we are assured in the express words of scripture. Thus in 1 Corinthians 6:11, after the apostle has enumerated a great many abominable sins and vices, which exclude the unrighteous from the kingdom of God, he adds, “and such were some of you; but ye are washed, i.e. in your baptism you are purified and cleansed from all guilt and pollution of these sins… .Thus saint Peter says to those being pricked in their hearts, and convinced by his preaching, inquired what they must do, Acts 2:37,38… And so again, chap. xxii.16, baptism is said to wash away sins… The scriptures shew us, that Christ instituted baptism for the remission of sins”

(Sermons of John Gale, London, 1724)

We prefer, “a thus saith the Lord,” or a word from an apostle. However, there are many in the world, who, because of their allegiance to their particular denomination, will hear only one of their own speak, we offer the words of Dr. Gale.

May all come to accept the words of scripture without human amendment (Rev. 22:18,19).

 

– Robert M. Housby