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Ecclesiastical Subjection, Unity, and Like-mindedness

Posted by Curt Wildy on December 20, 2014

Ecclesiastical Subjection, Unity, and Like-mindedness…

 (Some Needful Lessons Learned This Year)

Introduction

Fairly recently, I heard a sermon from Brother Jesse Gistand that really reinforced (in my own heart and mind) the importance of order and divinely ordained structure and authority. Unfortunately, I cannot remember which sermon it was. Whichever it was, I have thought about the matter much since. The following represents my own thoughts on it, my own meditations on the matter; I’m not trying to be a teacher here, just putting forth my own understanding so that I can edify others if it is edifying or be corrected if there is error.

Hierarchical Subjection/Submission

Our Lord Jesus Christ is Master, Lord, King, and God; He is in absolute authority over the whole of creation — both physical and spiritual. So it makes sense to me that He would establish order here on earth, both in the secular world and amongst His made-faithful people in general and His made-faithful congregations in particular. Amongst His people, this order is not patterned after the current, fallen, secular order; instead, our Lord patterns made-faithful ecclesiastical order after His own Self, His own example (particularly as set forth during His earthly incarnation). Seeing that God our Saviour is the One who establishes these authority structures, then as with the worldly, so with the ecclesiastical, we are to heed the exhortations found in Romans 13:1-2 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” –and in– Titus 3:1-2 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”

The Holy Spirit through the writer of Hebrews put it this way “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7-9) and again in v17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Paul adds in 1 Corinthians 16:10-11, 15-16 “Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also [do]. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren…15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.”

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul also stated “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (1 Timothy 5:17-21) and in Philippians 3:14-19 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (for many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things). For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Clearly this ecclesiastic authority, set forth by God, is worthy of our honour and respect. God, through Peter, declares “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder” (1 Peter 5:1-5a).

The elders, bishops, are to rule with kindness, gentleness, as blessed examples, and with much love for both Christ and His people as we read in 1 Timothy 4:12b “…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” However, we read in 2 Corinthians 13:10 “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction” and 2 Corinthians 10:8-11 “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: that I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For [his] letters, say they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such [will we be] also in deed when we are present.” So we see that the elders have the power, the God-ordained authority, to use sharpness to maintain godly order and faithfulness to the word of God, the Holy Scriptures.

If any think that this power of sharpness was for the Apostles only and not for the elders/bishops, then consider Titus 2:13-15 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee;” and Titus 1:13-14 “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth;” and 2 Timothy 4:1-5 “I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

In light of these passages, I see now, far more than ever, that to rebel against true, righteous, God-ordained ecclesiastic authority is to rebel against God Himself for He, and not man, sets this order. Thus, we read in 2 Thessalonians 3:14 “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count [him] not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.” We are not to fellowship with those who despise authority. If they go on life-long, unrepentantly, how do they differ from those spoken of in 2 Peter 2:10 “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” and Jude 1:8 “Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities;” seeing that “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God…” I cannot walk with those who routinely, unrepentantly, and after the first, second, third, and many other admonitions, revile either the secular or (faithful) ecclesiastic powers ordained of God.

When those elders/bishops and deacons who otherwise profess the true Gospel without compromise, engage in serious doctrinal or moral error, they are just as accountable to the brethren as anyone else. We can reject their error, speak out against their error, as John the Baptist did with Herod and as Paul did with Peter, but we are not to attack their persons, revile them, mock them. Sometimes the distinction isn’t clear but the clarity lies in this: is the focus primarily on the error or on the person; is the focus designed to highlight the error or cast down the person; and is the focus set on righting the error (as God enables) or in condemning the person bringing the error? We also have to remember that we can make as much of an idol out of refuting an error as an idol has been made of the error being refuted. An over-emphasis on any truth, to the neglect or overshadowing of other (more pertinent/needful) truths, can become as much a problem as anything else. Wisdom and moderation is key in all things. Gentleness, humility, and long-suffering are likewise vital… again lessons learned and that I am still learning.

Also, as we read in Galatians 2:11 “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed…” note that it was one in authority who withstood the one in authority. I truly believe that, as much as is possible, this should be the norm. An Apostle rebuked an Apostle, and told all, because of the great harm that it could cause. Likewise, whenever a great doctrinal harm exists, an elder/bishop should be the one rebuking the elder/bishop before all (in love, humility, and with the aim of recovering that brother) for the good of the body; however, in those cases wherein no elder/bishop appears to be stepping up to that role, I must wonder how long the “laypeople” whose consciences are pricked and hearts are burdened can remain silent. Yet, whatever is spoken by them, it must be spoken aright or else they risk falling into the same (general) condemnation.

Lateral Subjection/Submission

We who are not in ecclesiastic authority (as elders/bishops or deacons) are also to be subject one to another. We read in 1 Corinthians 14:32 “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets;” and Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God;” and in 1 Peter 5:5-6: …Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

There should be no doubt that in addition to being subject to the higher authority, we are to be subject (albeit in a different manner) to one another. The elders/bishops, and even deacons, have powers, authority, that the individual does not have. Though all are to mark those who cause divisions and to have no company with them (due to heresy or outward, unrepented of sin), not all have equal power/authority to set things in order. It is the God-ordained leadership of the assemblies (as 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, etc., makes clear) that has the greater weight and responsibility of seeing that God’s will be done amongst His people — not as lords, not as legalists, and not with cruelty — but in love, as examples; yet, nonetheless having (as those with the power and authority to do that which God has specifically called them to do) the authority to rule even with sharpness and strong rebuke if need be.

Yet we who are not elders/bishops or deacons are to indeed be subject to one another. How? By heeding the godly exhortations, encouragements, admonitions, reproofs, and rebukes that come our way; by suffering rather to be defrauded when wrong is done unto us by the brethren; by not seeking our own but the things of others; by viewing ourselves as being the lesser; by knowing when to hold back meat from those who can only handle milk. We are to do all in love and for love; love for God in Christ and love for His people – seeing that He first loved us and gave His life for us.

Also, seeing that God the Word temporarily left the perfection of glory to be clothed in the dust of humanity, to suffer what He suffered in life as our perfect law-keeper (in the midst of wicked, hateful men), and even more so to suffer as the elect’s aggregate sin-bearer under the full wrath of the Father unto His self-sacrificial death on the cross (all to effect a righteousness, ransom, and atoning redemption For His people – and His people only); seeing all such things, how much more should we humble ourselves and love, obey, and respect Him (and in so doing, loving and respecting His people and His order as well) — remembering that Christ, even aside from being Saviour, still deserves perfect obedience as Master, Lord, and King. It is in this light that we read in Philippians 2:1-5 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

The Safeguards Against The Abuse Of These Exhortations

Some may object “aren’t the elders/bishops likewise subject to the brethren” or “if we, who are not elders/bishops, are subject to one another does that mean we have to accept, adhere to, or obey whatsoever another brother says to us or commands of us?” When it comes to the subjection of under-shepherds to the flock, or the subjection of the members of the flock to one another, or the subjection of the members of the flock to the under-shepherds, God gives us some very clear guidelines — and I want to wrap up with these:

1. We are to submit ourselves to those who walk (as an example) orderly, godly, not bringing immorality and false doctrines into the midst. Moreover, we are to submit ourselves to the true brethren; not to the Calminian, Arminian, and other such false prophets, brethren, and teachers…

The Bible is clear that we are to resist such — we are not be subjected to them. The Apostle Paul set this example when He said in Galatians 2:4-5 “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

Likewise, we read “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men… [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” (Titus 3:1-2, 8-11) –and– “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18); and “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:5-7).

2. We are to submit ourselves to those who value the word of God (and thus the Word of God, for they are His words) and not the doctrines, commandments, traditions, or opinions of men. If a doctrine cannot be substantiated by Scripture, it ought not be enforced, made a point of contention, nor made a point of separation.

We read in Colossians 2:4-8,18-23 “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ…18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

3. We are to submit ourselves to the truth that is being brought no matter, and without regard to, who is bringing it. When they speak biblical truth, we are to agree with our friends and adversaries alike whilst in the way with them (see Matthew 5:25); we are to receive the biblical words, commandments, and exhortations that God by grace and providence brings to us through men, rejecting no truth, but being quick to keep it, hide it, even to guard it in our hearts so as to do — as God enables (see Proverbs 2:1-12; 4:1-13; 8:1-21). When that hard truth is spoken, even when you do not want to hear it, per James 4:7-10, “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. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” seeing that “open rebuke [is] better than secret love” (Proverbs 27:50) and “[It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5).

The natural temptation is to revile and judge those who bring those hard words to us but we are exhorted in James 4:11-12 “speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” Consider the Lord Jesus “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [Himself] to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). If we, following the pattern of Christ, are to endure reviling without reviling, and cursing without cursing, how much more should we endure needful truth without engaging in such wicked things. I found it helpful to think upon 2 Samuel 16:5-12 in this regard.

4. We are to submit ourselves to those who are humble enough, wise enough, and lovingly-kind enough to hear our words without rejecting them off-hand. Those who are quick to reject the positions of others often lack wisdom themselves and are stuck in their own traditions. We read in Proverbs 18:13 “He that answereth/rejecteth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him;” and Job 29:16 “I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I searched out; and John 7:51 “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” and Proverbs 18:17 “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” When one is so steeped in the mire of tradition that they can neither hear nor consider a position other than there own, then per the biblical language, this is shameful folly. Those who are gentle shepherds and not hirelings do not lord their views upon others with sharpness immediately but first labour patiently, long-sufferingly, with kindness and love, to correct the error and to set the wayward one straight. They do not simply declare, affirm, and decree — as if they are to be believed based upon their fame, name, or title — no, they encourage the ‘wayward one’ to search the scripture as they do so themselves, with the recognition that they, themselves, only see in part and may be the one in error.

Remember, we read in 1 Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Those who rule well, and who labour in the word and doctrine, are the ones worthy of the double honour. To labour in the word and doctrine is not to routinely fall back upon the words of Spurgeon, Gill, Beebe, nor any other notable one; instead, it is to compare spiritual things with spiritual, scripture with scripture, as a means of coming to truth and refuting error — all as the Father ordains and the Holy Spirit enables. I am convinced that many can point to the works of men; few will do the work themselves to see if these things be so. We read in Acts 17:11-12 “[The Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”

The Bereans did not simply accept the truth because it came from certain men; they were not respecters of persons in that regard. Instead, despite the fact that it was Paul and Silas bringing truth, they searched in out anyway. Moreover, they didn’t reject it offhand either, as something that conflicted with their preconceived notions, convictions, and traditions. Instead, they submitted themselves, by God’s grace, to the word of God (holy writ). This ties in with 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” or as the LITV/KJ3 more clearly puts it “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things, hold fast the good. Keep back from every form of evil.” Thus, all Christians (whether in positions of authority or not) are to test all doctrines, all teachings (prophesy) being brought forth. They are to hear them readily but view them completely in the light of scripture. They are to hold-fast to those doctrines that the Bible affirms and they are to hold-back from (keep from, abstain from) from all forms of doctrinal evil, that is, all that scripture refutes (seeing that “to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them,” Isa 8:20, at least as it pertains unto the subject they are addressing).” When we adhere to this method, we affirm the principle that “a wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5).

Therefore, we must be patient, long-suffering, and zealous (all with much endurance) to labour in the word and to seek out Truth therein, seeing that “it is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). This we will do if our ‘delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth we meditate day and night’ (Psalm 1:2); remembering that “we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21) and that “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Apostle Paul set the example of patience and labouring/enduring in the word when he “went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing [dialoguing, reasoning] and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God;” I have no doubt that he reasoned from Scripture (or, in His case, direct revelation) and not from the traditions, notions, nor opinions of men. He did for three months what many of us find difficult to do for three days… He also exhorted all to follow this example, the elders/bishops first, but all as well (as God gives strength and ability seeing that some are infirmed or otherwise incapable to labour to the same degree). We see such exhortations in 1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee; and 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine;” and 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth;” and of course (albeit from the Psalmist and not Paul) Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Conclusion

We are to be subject to the authority that God ordains; submitting ourselves to them (both to the secular powers and to the godly ecclesiastical ones). We are to submit ourselves to one another, being ready to heed the godly advice, exhortation, and rebuke given. We are to walk in unity, to be like-minded (even of one mind and Spirit); yet we can only do this aright if the word of God forms the basis of our beliefs, doctrines, and actions. Yes, the Holy Spirit must lead us and guide us but He does so through His made-living word and not through notion, feeling, or conviction. We walk together, submit ourselves to one another, and endeavor to be like-minded when we, like the Bereans, search the scripture to see if these things be so. If they are indeed so, then we must be subject to the biblical truth being spoken.

Finally, notice the God-ordained hierarchy within the body: we have the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the word of God, the faithful under-shepherds, the deacons, and the faithful flock (with fathers/husbands, mothers/wives, and children found therein) — this is the order and the structure that God has given us and that must be respected, honoured, and obeyed. But notice that in between (1) the Godhead (tri-equal in divinity and Persons but subordinate in their role on this Earth) and (2) the saints, there is the word of God. God gives us His word (amongst many other reasons) to ensure that no man rises above the word. So if we want to know how each of us ought to submit to one another, and the authorities that be, let us search the Scripture and find the answer therein (and therein alone) — knowing that as we do, if we be Christ’s, what we will find is the very pattern already set by our Blessed Lord. All godliness, obedience, virtue, every right example we are to follow, was already set by Him. He is wisdom, humility, love, obedience, right authority, patience, and everything else that is godly — *personified.* Seeing how we ought to live and conduct ourselves is seeing how He, Himself, lived and ever lives; it is seeing His way, His path, His character. We cannot do anything aright without an Eye set on Him within us, fixed on Him for us. The more we look to Christ; the more we are manifestly transformed and conformed to His image (and to His pattern and example), the more we will be able to walk as He would have us walk. Nonetheless, this is all of God. God ordains our works; purposes our works; determines the set time for those works; and effectually brings them about — all unto His glory. In godly things we are to labour, strive, and be diligent, but only with the mindset that all must, and all does, come from Him.

To God be the glory!

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1 Corinthians 12:13 Amplified By Ephesians 4:4-6

Posted by Curt Wildy on December 7, 2014

1 Corinthians 12:13 Amplified By Ephesians 4:4-6

Ephesians 4:4-6 [There is] ONE BODY, and ONE SPIRIT, even as ye are called in One Hope of your calling; 5 ONE LORD, One Faith, ONE BAPTISM, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For as the Body is One, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE BODY being many, are ONE BODY, so also [is] Christ [our ONE LORD]. For by ONE SPIRIT, are we all BAPTIZED [with the ONE BAPTISM] into ONE BODY whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all MADE TO DRINK into ONE SPIRIT.

If the ONE BAPTISM in Ephesians 4:5 is (physical) water baptism then — “for by ONE SPIRIT are we all baptized into ONE BODY” (1 Corinthians 12:13) — must require water baptism. If water baptism is required to be baptized into the ONE BODY which is the same as being baptized into Jesus Christ [who is the ONE LORD and who is the Head of the Body], which is our great deliverance, then we all should quickly join the Church of Christ (i.e. the heretical denomination) and get immersed for our salvation. If, however, being baptized in/by/with (“en”) the One Spirit into the One Body is spiritual — then how can this verse be used to support a water ordinance?

Moreover, the words “made to drink” are from the same word translated “drink” in Matthew 10:42 — “And whosoever shall give to DRINK unto one of these little ones a CUP OF COLD WATER only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” This same word for “cold water” is found in Revelation 3:15 “I know thy works, that thou art neither COLD nor hot: I would thou wert COLD or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither COLD nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Now if we make the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13, which is the same baptism as Ephesians 4:5, a physical water baptism, if we make it earthly water — then shouldn’t the “drinking,” or being “made to drink,” also relate to physical, earthly water in these other verses? For the sake of consistency, shouldn’t we presume that when God says “And whosoever shall give to DRINK unto one of these little ones a CUP OF COLD WATER only…” He has in view nothing more than giving them some water with a little extra ice in it — as opposed to giving them the clean/pure/living waters spoken of in Scripture? When God states that a congregation is lukewarm shouldn’t we just think of it as them not having any cold (physical) water, or hot (physical) water to give people when they are thirsty or in need of a warm bath? But remember, the Holy Spirit is specifically called the living waters. So to be made to drink into One Spirit is to be made to drink into these same living waters, clean waters, and pure waters. Note that the fact that the water (physically-speaking) was deemed living related to it running — it was coming down from colder regions and it was refreshing… it wasn’t stagnate, putrid water that festered with disease and waste and was lukewarm and good for nothing. So cold water is the blessed running water, which typifies the spiritual living water (moving, working, effectual, fit for the cause) and this points to the Holy Spirit and His work in us through the word. It is because of Him that these cold waters, living waters, are deemed clean and pure.

So I do not say these things to mock, or to antagonize, but to try to drive home the folly of trying to make that which should be (and is) spiritual into something that should not be (and is not) carnal. The Bible is clear, we were spiritually circumcised, baptized, crucified, and buried, with Christ on the cross. As a result, we are risen, quickened, and Justified with Christ from the cross. Our life is ‘hid in Christ’ and ‘it is Christ‘ and when He was raised and quickened so were we. However, when upon our receipt of newness of life when we are born again, we are indeed baptized into Christ, baptized into His body, and the efficacy of the cross is yoked to us in that regard. This is why I say the two acts are united in one, though separate in time. This is why we can be both baptized with Christ on the cross and baptized into Him when the Spirit quickens and converts us in time (giving us that newness of life) and it still be the One Baptism.

In light of this, what place does an obsolete water ordinance have in all of these things? All it does it give men room to boast, to talk about how they were (supposedly) “led by the Spirit into immersion and believers baptism” (or vice versa if they are sprinklers or aspersionists and make such statements). It causes division amongst the true church when, as an ordinance, it should have ended at the cross when it was nailed thereon with the other abrogated OT ordinances, rules, and regulations. Water baptism (the ordinance) allows us to glory in the flesh – spiritual baptism (which is the Gospel) declares glory in Christ and His finished work on the cross and be satisfied therein.

To God be the glory!

Posted in 01. Godhead (Triune), 10. Wildy, Curt, Baptism, Body of Christ, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, Salvation, Work of Christ | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Death Knell of Water Baptism

Posted by Curt Wildy on December 7, 2014

The Death Knell of Water Baptism
[Colossians 2:8-23]

Colossians 2:8-23 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also YE ARE CIRCUMCISED WITH THE CIRCUMCISION MADE WITHOUT HANDS, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh BY THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST: 12 BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also ye are RISEN WITH [HIM] through the faith of the operation of God, who HATH RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, HATH HE QUICKENED TOGETHER WITH HIM, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES; 14 BLOTTING OUT THE HANDWRITING OF ORDINANCES that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS;

15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 LET NO MAN THEREFORE JUDGE YOU IN MEAT, OR IN DRINK, OR IN RESPECT OF AN HOLYDAY, OR OF THE NEW MOON, OR THE SABBATH [DAYS]: 17 WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore IF YE BE DEAD WITH CHRIST FROM THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, WHY, as though living in the world, ARE YE SUBJECT TO ORDINANCES, 21 (TOUCH NOT; TASTE NOT; HANDLE NOT; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) AFTER THE COMMANDMENTS AND DOCTRINES OF MEN? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

Introduction

This post is meant to be read in light of my recent post on The One Spiritual Baptism. That post builds up a larger, much more significant, context upon which this post can stand firm and grow. With that being said, few passages in the Bible do more to evidence the cessation of water baptism than Colossians 2:8-23. It is powerful for many reasons but in this post I only want to focus on it as it relates to the biblical use of patterns. We have to beware of “one of these things is not like the other”-type scenarios when interpreting scripture. For instance, if there are things listed in succession that all follow a certain rhythm or flow, you cannot make something in that line break from the pattern just because such a break would support your closely (but erroneous) held doctrines or traditions.

The Previous Example [Ephesians 4:4-6]

Concerning this matter of biblical pattern consistency (a subset of proper biblical exegesis), in my last post I included the example of:

Ephesians 4:4-6 “[There is] One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope of your calling; 5 One Lord. One Faith, One Baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.”

If we pay close attention to the pattern, we see that there is::

  1. One SPIRITUAL Body [The body of Christ per 1 Cor. 12:12 and Rom. 12:5].
  2. One SPIRITUAL Holy Ghost [self-explanatory]
  3. One SPIRITUAL Hope [Christ and His Gospel per Col. 1:23 and 1 Tim. 1:1].
  4. One SPIRITUAL Lord [Even Christ, God the Word made flesh per John 1:14]
  5. One SPIRITUAL Faith [being God-wrought, see 2 Cor. 4:13; 1 Cor. 12:9; Gal. 5:5].
  6. One SPIRITUAL Baptism [see Colossians 2:8-14 above].
  7. One SPIRITUAL God and Father [God the Father is a Spirit per John 4:24]

Now if we have a long pattern of things spiritual and we then say, ‘well no, we have to make one of these things carnal…’ — we have a problem. If all else is spiritual and we say that the one baptism is not spiritual, but carnal, it breaks the clear flow and intent of the structure of this passage. You simply cannot insert an ordinance, an earthly type, when none of the other parts of the picture being painted can be deemed carnal, symbolic, or an ordinance of some type. Consistency dictates that we view the “one baptism” in the same manner and light that we deem all of the other listed “One’s” — and that is as something spiritual and not natural/ physical/carnal.

Our Current Proof-Text Considered

Likewise, Colossians 2:8-23 has a similar structural pattern. Before looking at it, consider that the passage as a whole is a warning from God commanding us not to be spoiled through the philosophy and vain deceit of men. We are not to allow the commandments and traditions of men, their vain arguments and reasonings, to bring us into the bondage of the rudiments of the world. The entire passage is an exhortation to stand fast in our true Christian liberty and to not be enslaved again with nailed-to-the-cross ordinances. We are not under circumcision! Nor are we under Old Testament side (pre-cross) diverse washings / baptisms. That which is Spiritual has done away with that which is carnal; the blessed Antitype has made the types representing Him obsolete; so, as with physical circumcision, so also with the divers (physical) baptisms (washings).

Notice that in verse 11, we see circumcision (spiritually discerned) and we know that physical circumcision, for religious purposes, was done away with in the New Testament when the spiritual was accomplished at the cross. Now skip down to verse 16 and note how the old ordinances concerning food and drink prohibitions were done away with. Notice that in the same verse holy days, new moons, and Sabbath observances were done away with. They were done away with because they were all shadows of things to come; when the Antitype came (Christ) and when He completed His work (the Gospel) there was no longer any needed for blood, water, food, drink, or day-related shadows — Christ, through His spiritual baptism on the cross, fulfilled them all — including John’s Baptism which pointed to Him and His work.

If we go down to verse 20, the question is asked “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances?” We then see in verse 21 that we are free from unscriptural “touch not; taste not; handle not” mindsets along with the commandments and doctrines of men. But did you notice something? Did you notice something exceedingly important and glaring? Did you notice that in the midst of those things that are now obsolete (circumcision, food/drink prohibitions, holy day observances, ordinances, the commandments and traditions of men, etc.) God mentioned baptism. The ordinances of ceremonial sprinklings, pourings, and dippings (be it with blood, water, or ash) are done away with; again, this includes John’s Baptism, or what most simply deem as “water baptism” in our day.

Christian churches (whether true or counterfeit) continue to engage in John’s Baptism even though all such baptisms (plural), all such divers washings, have been done away with at the cross. Water baptism is just as obsolete as physical circumcision because these types are no longer necessary (which is why the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, mentioned spiritual baptism right after spiritual circumcision). Water baptism is just as obsolete as the subsequently mentioned dietary restrictions, holy day observances, etc. The context is clear; thus, we simply cannot state “all of these other things are clearly obsolete, and written specifically in this passage to highlight their obsolescence, but we are going to ignore baptism because we want this particular water ordinance for our day.”

When we read in verse 11 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” we can know that this spiritual circumcision, this cross-work circumcision, makes physical circumcision of no spiritual worth. We are not to hang onto it in remembrance of the spiritual circumcision; we are to leave it be (as far as any religious use or meaning goes). Likewise, our spiritual baptism (wherein we are buried with Christ in baptism) likewise makes physical (water) baptism obsolete. Now just in case people miss this, God drives the point home even further by declaring meat and drink rules, obsolete; respecting of holy days, obsolete as well; new moon and/or Sabbaths, likewise obsolete; taste not, touch not, handle not mentalities – also done away with as obsolete; the traditions and commandments of men, altogether done away with completely.

One is hard-pressed to argue that all of these things are done away with except the ordinance of water baptism. I think it is abundantly clear that, as with all such ordinances, John’s baptism (which is what water baptism is in our day) was nailed to the cross with Christ – along side all of these other ordinances. Even though, as I aim to discuss in subsequent posts, some of the believers continued to engage in water baptism during the transitionary period covered in the Book of Acts (along with other such Old Testament practices), nonetheless, water baptism is as gone (for us in our day) as circumcision; prohibitions against pork; the observance of the feast days; prohibitions against touching certain things; etc. It simply took some time for these quickened Jews to let go of their centuries old, Old Testament practices completely.

No Greater Burden [Where is Water Baptism?]

Now, to be as accurate as possible, we should note:

Acts 15:19-20, 28-29 “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and from blood… For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”

The only Old Testament restrictions that carried over were those restrictions that pertained to fornication and to, in a limited sense, diet. Most dietary restrictions were put away per Colossians 2:16,21. However, for the sake of the conscience of the weaker brethren, and seeing that the life of the flesh is in the blood (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11-14; Deuteronomy 12:23; John 6:53-54), a few of the restrictions were reaffirmed. However, notice the absence! There is no mention of a need for circumcision, or for water/blood ordinances (including water baptism), or for the observance of days, or for any of the stricter dietary rules and regulations. When considered in context, water baptism is gone… it has no more to do with us today than prohibitions against pork, requirements for circumcision, or blood sacrifices and the burnt offerings of animals.

Conclusion

Now, I know that the above alone will not be enough to convince many; it is often hard to let go of cherished ordinances and traditions. Nonetheless, when put into the greater context of all of the other proof-texts put forth for spiritual baptism and against a modern day water ordinance, it becomes clear that we should say, along with the Apostle Paul, “I thank God that I baptized none of you… For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:14).

Finally, if you desire to continue on in a water ordinance, that is your choice; I will not judge your salvation. All that I ask is that you do not judge us (those of us who abstain), and that you do not deem us heretics, simply because we see no biblical warrant to continue a made-obsolete-by-the-blood-of-Christ ordinance.

To God be the glory!

Posted in 10. Wildy, Curt, Baptism, God the Son, Incarnation, Systematic Theology, Word usage studies, Work of Christ | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The One Spiritual Baptism

Posted by Curt Wildy on December 6, 2014

The One Spiritual Baptism

Our Baptism ἐν (in/with/by) Christ on the Cross
Made Applicable and Effectual in Time via
Our Baptism ἐν (in/with/by) the Spirit into Christ
Being the One Baptism That Doth Now Save Us
And The End/Cessation of (John’s) Water Baptism
(Which is Still Practiced by Most Churches in Our Day and Age)

Introduction to Purpose

This page is designed to link together in an easier format, with easier access, many of the key arguments that men have understood over the centuries to prove that water baptism is obsolete in our day. Amongst true Christians, nothing has been more divisive and has led to more contention and strife, than this doctrine. It is my ardent belief that there is no biblical warrant for it in our day because the Antitype, Christ Himself (and His finished work), has obviated the need for it. The goal is to show, in various parts, the irrefutable evidence for spiritual baptism being the one baptism; that it has replaced the water ordinance; that water baptism is not a confession of our faith; that it is not an answer for, or demand of, a good conscience; that it is not the means by which one joins, or becomes a “member of” the “local church;” it doesn’t scripturally serve to “prove our willingness to be obedient to God or our willingness to follow Him unto death;” it isn’t a means or mechanism by which God bestows or imparts “added grace” unto us; and it doesn’t do or support many of the other such claims that people make in our day to defend or support this now obsolete ordinance. Most often, it is simply not a reminder, or pointer, to true spiritual baptism — instead, it more often than not serves as a distraction and detraction from it — the proof of this lies in how little people know about, and expound upon (in a cohesive manner), true spiritual baptism.

Moreover, this endeavor is also designed to be a defense against the hasty and warrantless charge of heresy. Though I judge no one’s salvation for insisting in engaging in this ordinance of water, many; even within circles that claim to uphold free and sovereign grace, have even gone so far as to say that those who refuse water baptism are unsaved heretics. Too many times, either the implication or the outright accusation has gone out that if one is not sprinkled, poured upon, or immersed with the physical water of this water ordinance, one is either clearly unsaved, or else their salvation should be seriously questioned. This is such a weighty accusation, such a thorough slander, that (though desiring to be as careful as possible concerning the matter) I thoroughly look forward to refuting these charges and traditions — as God enables.

Introduction to Method

We must keep in mind that it is scripture that must ultimately define all things in scripture; God’s own words are the final arbiter of His intended meaning. We read in:

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

The Holy Spirit teaches through scripture for the words therein, they are spirit and life (when He makes them effectual); they are the spiritual things that we must compare. Not only must we compare scripture with scripture as it pertains to how God uses specific words throughout the Bible but we must also be careful to note the words that He yokes together; God makes much use of synonyms and we would benefit by recognizing them. We should also note how God uses the same original words when they are translated differently in different parts of the Bible. For instance, consider:

Mark 7:4 And [when they come] from the market, except they wash they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

Luke 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

Baptizing Is Scripturally Synonymous with Washing, Cleansing, Purging, and Purifying.

The words wash/washed are most often translated as baptize/baptized and the word washing is simply a noun form of baptism used in a plural sense as in the following verses:

Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Therefore, when we see baptism/baptizing/baptize (and related forms) we should immediately have in view washing, cleansing, purging, and purifying. The Lord makes this clear (continuing from verse 38 above) in:

Luke 11:39 Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”

This word clean is translated as some variation of clean twenty-four (24) times; purge three (3) times; and purify three (3) times. So we need to see baptize/wash/cleanse/purge/purify as synonymous; they also tie-in to the concept of sanctify. This becomes very important to the proper understanding of several of the verses below. Likewise, seeing that baptizing, washing, cleansing, etc. are synonymous, then we must note that anything that effects these things serves as a mode of these things. Thus, if sprinkling, pouring, mersing, whelming, etc., can cleanse, purify, purge, or wash, or if they (along with anointing) can sanctify, then they can likewise baptize. This will be clearly evidenced below. Moreover, if certain elements, substances, or Persons serve as the agents by which one is cleansed, purified, purged, or washed, or by which one is sanctified, then those agents can also be used to baptize. We will see this clearly with the Holy Spirit, water, the words of God, blood, fire, and oil. However, the Bible allows for an even wider range when we compare scripture with scripture. Therefore we must pay careful, careful attention to all of the following terms and phrases (in their various forms) and their synonyms:

Keywords: sprinkle, pour, dip, overwhelm, compass, overflow, flood, submerge, immerse, cover, sink, set in the depths (intuspose); lay in the pit; burn; try; purify; refine; purge; wash; cleanse; sanctify, anoint, stain, dye, Spirit, water fire, oil, the word, etc.

Vital Understanding to Remember: If we are to understand the one baptism aright, we must get this very important principle down: There is only one cleansing, one washing, one purifying, one purging. We are not cleansed many different ways, washed many different ways, purged many different ways, or purified and sanctified many different ways. All of these things took place at the cross, in Christ’s baptism on the cross (His finished work), and the efficacy of it is spiritually received when the Spirit of God works in us that newness of life, raising us, and quickening us in time — seeing that we were already raised with, and quickened with Christ from the cross.

Therefore, whether it be by blood, water, oil, fire, the Spirit, it is one. Whether by sprinkling, pouring, mersing, intusposing, whelming, it is one. There may be many facets, many points of view, many interrelated aspects, but they all focus in on the one truth – Christ and His substitutionary, redeeming, atoning, and propitiatory work. If we insist of separating things that ought not be separated then we will indeed miss the point, fail to understand what God would have us to understand, and fall back on carnal (even water) ordinances.

A Key Baptismal Connector Word

Certain words are used heavily to link key concepts. One such word is the word “en” [ἐν; G1722]; in the AV/KJV it is translated as “in” 1,902 times; “by” 163 times; and “with” 140 times (amongst other things, but these three being the bulk and most important for this study). In the verses I am about to explore, the words in, by, and with (all legitimate translations of this word “en“) each make perfect sense in the given context. This may seem insignificant, but consider the flow carefully, noting the key (capitalized) words:

Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8 I indeed have baptized you (in/by/with; G1722) water: but he shall baptize you (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that One Body, being many, are One Body: so also [is] Christ. For (in/by/with; G1722) One Spirit are we all baptized into One body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.

Baptized In, By, and With the Holy Ghost — The One Baptism

There is no distinction between Mark 1:8/Acts 11:16 and 1 Corinthians 12:13; between baptism with the Holy Spirit and baptism by the Holy Spirit — there is no distinction in the Greek (neither in word nor form). Being baptized with the Holy Ghost is spiritual baptism and it is the one baptism, the only baptism, for our era. This can be easily proved by looking again at…

1 Corinthians 12:13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that One Body, being many, are One Body, so also [is] Christ. For (in/by/with; G1722) One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.

…and comparing it to…

Ephesians 4:4-5 [There is] One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope of your calling; 5 One Lord. One Faith, One Baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Note how 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Ephesians 4:4-6 are directly interrelated:

  • Ephesians 4:4-6 speaks specifically of One Body, One Spirit, and One Baptism.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 speaks specifically of One Body, One Spirit, but says of the One Baptism “For [in/by/with; G1722] One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body,

The One Spirit baptizes us into both the One Body and the One Lord through the One Baptism which, as the Gospel, forms our One Hope and constitutes the substance of our One Faith — all by the sovereign will, mercy, and grace of our One God and Father. Consider the pattern, the natural flow, in that there is:

  1. One SPIRITUAL body.
  2. One Holy SPIRIT.
  3. One SPIRITUAL hope.
  4. One SPIRITUAL Lord.
  5. One SPIRITUAL faith.
  6. One SPIRITUAL baptism.
  7. One SPIRITUAL God and Father.

Now if one tries to make the One Baptism water baptism, i.e. a ‘physical water’ ordinance, then one of these things is truly not like the others. If everything else is spiritual, and one desires to make the One Baptism carnal then there is a real exegetical problem given that it disrupts the clear pattern and, what I believe to be (and I think with very good reason) the clear intent.

The One, Spiritual Baptism and the Cross of Christ

In light of the cross of Christ, i.e., His spiritual baptism on the cross, I would like to consider the following passage yet again (this time focusing on the last part of the last sentence):

1 Corinthians 12:13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that One Body, being many, are One Body, so also [is] Christ. For (in/by/with; G1722) One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.

Notice that connected with the One Body, the One Spirit, and the One Baptism, we read of a drinking – “and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.” So we see baptize yoked with a drinking – where have we seen this before? Consider this wording in light of the following passage:

Luke 12:49-50 “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”

Matthew 20:22-23 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And He saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of *My* cup, and be baptized with the baptism that *I am* baptized with…

Notice how the Lord speaks of them being baptized with His Baptism (not “a” baptism but His baptism) and of them drinking of His cup (not “a” cup but His cup); and yet, in light of Christ’s cup and baptism, we are also baptized into One Body and made to drink into One Spirit. Notice the beautiful unity of these two passages and teachings:

  1. Christ was spiritually baptized on the cross.
  2. The elect were spiritually baptized with Him on the cross with His baptism.
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into One Body.
  4. This is one united act (the One Baptism) that is manifested in two separate points in time.

Also,

  1. Christ spiritually drank of the cup on the cross.
  2. The elect spiritually drank of the cup in/by/with Him on the cross.
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually made to drink into One Spirit.
  4. This is one united act manifested in two separate points in time.

The One, Spiritual Baptism in Light of Romans 6:3-6 and Colossians 2:10-13

We see the same Truth expounded upon in the following passages; notice, however, how the scope is widened to connect the spiritual baptism of Christ on the cross, and our baptism in/by/with Him thereon, to our spiritual quickening and resurrection in/by/with Him (the second temporal aspect of the same One Baptism).

Romans 6:3-6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [His] resurrection: 6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The baptismal cross meets the baptismal quickening and conversion, the latter flowing directly from the former and the former making possible the latter by the Spirit of God – all as one unified whole. Note the parallels:

  1. Christ was spiritually baptized on the cross [unto death].
  2. The elect were spiritually baptized in/with/by Him on the cross with His baptism [into His death].
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into Jesus Christ [which is the same as being baptized into One Body for Christ is the Head of the Body], being buried with Him by baptism into death and raised together with Him unto newness of life (quickening).
  4. This is one united act (the One Baptism) that is manifested in two separate points in time.
  5. Christ was physically and spiritually crucified on the cross [unto death].
  6. The “old man” of the elect was crucified with Christ on the cross [unto death].
  7. Christ was raised from the dead after His crucifixion (after His spiritual baptism).
  8. The elect were raised from the dead after their crucifixion in/by/with Christ (spiritual baptism).
  9. As a result, the body of sin of the elect is destroyed that we should not serve sin.

Again, this is all one act manifested in two separate points in time, being described in different language, but all pointing to the same thing, painting the same Gospel picture, which is spiritual baptism – which is both the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Person and work of Christ made spiritually effectual in our quickened lives. We see these same truths reiterated in:

Colossians 2:10-13 And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: 11 (In/by/with; G1722) Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 22 buried with [Him] (in/by/with; G1722) baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. 13 and you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Note the parallels once again:

  1. Christ was spiritually circumcised on the cross.
  2. The elect were spiritually circumcised in/with/by Him on the cross.
  3. Christ was baptized on the cross.
  4. The elect were baptized in/by/with Him on the cross.
  5. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into Jesus Christ [which is the same as being baptized into One Body for Christ is the Head of the Body], being buried with Him by baptism and raised together with Him and quickened together with Him.
  6. This is all one united act manifested in two separate points in time, being described in different language, but all pointing to the same thing — the Gospel (which is spiritual baptism, the Person and work of Christ!).

See how closely related (spiritual) circumcision, (spiritual) baptism, and (physical and spiritual) crucifixion are; they are yoked together in the above passages because they point to the same thing, which is the Gospel.

The One, Spiritual Baptism that Actually Now Saves Us (1 Peter 3:21-22)

I have covered this passage before and wish to do so again because it is a great starting point in the process of proving that true, spiritual baptism, the one baptism, saves us. The preaching of it is the power of God unto salvation because it is synonymous with the Gospel and the cross of Christ. Likewise, as we have noted before, this ties-in directly with our spiritual raising (resurrection) and, thus, our quickening in/by/with Christ.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (AV/KJV) …when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water [lit. through water]. 21 The like figure [Antitypos; G499; the antitype; that which the type (the noahic flood account) typified] whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answerof a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (LITV/KJ3) …when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, an ark being prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 Which Antitype now also saves us; baptism, not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a demand of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

1 Peter 3:20-21 (YLT) …when once the long-suffering of God did wait, in days of Noah — an ark being preparing — in which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water; 21 also to which an antitype doth now save us — baptism, (not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the question of a good conscience in regard to God,) through the rising again of Jesus Christ…

Please consider the following facts as affirmed by the most faithful alternative translations to the AV/KJV as well as being affirmed by the original, God-ordained, God-used, Koine Greek text itself.

  1. The Noahic Ark account typified the true. spiritual baptism which even doth now save us.
  2. This one spiritual baptism, which even now saves us, is the antitype of that which typifies (i.e. the Noahic account).
  3. Scripturally, and in general usage, an antitype does not picture another type. An antitype is always either that which typifies or that which is typified. The Noahic ark account cannot be a type of a water ordinance because the water ordinance would, itself, be a type (unless one holds to the heresy of water baptismal regeneration in which case, though it is still only a type, the adherent to this error fails to see it as such).
  4. It neither makes sense as to divine word choice nor to contextual meaning and intent to make the ark typify an ordinance, that typifies the real thing. The insertion of the “middle man,” the unnecessary intermediary step, only serves to confuse and to uphold the traditions of men. Thus,
  5. This passage has nothing to do with water baptism (i.e. not the putting away of the filth of the flesh). It does have everything to do with (1) the death of Christ (wherein He was baptized, circumcised, and crucified and we also in/by/with Him); (2) the burial of Christ (wherein we were buried with Him in baptism), and (c) the resurrection of Christ (wherein He was raised/quickened and we were raised in/by/with Him) — all according to the Scriptures.
  6. This one, true, spiritual baptism doth even now actually, truly, and effectually save us because it is the Gospel applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, and ties-in with everything else we have seen so far.

The One, Spiritual Baptism and the Great Commission

Seeing that spiritual baptism actually saves the elect sinner, this casts a whole new light on certain passages often thought to pertain to only a water ordinance (though it is not a knew light because others have seen it for centuries, and I trust, more).

Matthew 28:19 (AV/KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach [mathēteuō; G3100; literally, to disciple or make disciples of; a different word than the teaching in verse 20] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.Amen.

Matthew 28:19 (LITV/KJ3) Therefore having gone, disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, as many [things] as I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age. Amen.

Matthew 28:19 (YLT) having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them — to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age. Amen.

Which (as we shall see below, in light of all above) is parallel to:

Mark 16:15-16 (AV/KJV) And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mark 16:15-16 (LITV/KJ3) And He said to them, Going into all the world, proclaim the Gospel to all the creation. 16 The [one] believing and being baptized will be saved; but the one not believing will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16 (YLT) and He said to them, ‘Having gone to all the world, proclaim the good news to all the creation; 16 he who hath believed, and hath been baptized, shall be saved; and he who hath not believed, shall be condemned.

Those hearers who believe (not temporally, not carnally, not with stony or thorny hearts, but), those who believe and are spiritually baptized with ‘the baptism that even now doth save us,’ shall be saved. We who truly believe the Gospel of Christ (the baptism of Christ on the cross), with God-given faith, have already had that Gospel applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit (through baptism in/by/with the Spirit into one body, even into Christ); such as these shall indeed be saved. Therefore, the Great Commission (as related to the two passages above) have nothing to do with sprinkling, aspersion, or dipping/immersing as part of an obsolete water baptismal ordinance (which is nothing but John’s Baptism being continuously carried out in our day). Nothing about water baptism (in terms of a physical ordinance) can ever be associated with “shall be saved;” water baptism has no power to save anyone at all. However, everything about spiritual baptism pertains to “shall be saved” because spiritual baptism is actual salvation — it takes the work of Christ on the cross and makes it effectual, in time, for the quickened, elect saint.

When the Gospel is preached, and the hearers savingly believe by God’s grace (i.e. they are spiritually baptized) then, per Matthew 28:19-20 above, those preaching have truly (1) discipled or made disciples of the hearers (hence, “teach/disciple all nations” – though only God can spiritually make disciples); (2) baptized the hearers (hence, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – though only God can spiritually baptize); and (3) taught the hearers (hence “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” – though only God can spiritually teach — for it isn’t flesh and blood that can reveal these things — they must be taught of the Father through the Holy Spirit). We read in:

1 John 2:20,21,27 “But ye have an unction [anointing, (same word as below)] from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth… 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and Ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

Seeing that it is God, and not man, that must teach us spiritual things, why does it seem that God is telling faithful men to do what only He (God) can do? The answer is clear, we are divinely counted and made (i.e. spiritually equipped to be) co-labourers with Him. God does all of the work but He works through means and we are the means used of God (if we are quickened saints) to bring about the salvation of His people. This is clear in:

1 Corinthians 3:6-9 “I have planted [same word used in Matthew 15:13 concerning the work of the Father], Apollos watered [made to drink (same word used in 1 Corinthians 12:13 concerning the work of the Holy Spirit)]; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are One [in the one labour/work, in light of the One faith, One hope, and One baptism, all in light of the One Spirit, the One Lord, and the one God and Father]: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 for we are labourers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building.

I will quote the other passage again, as a refresher, to see more clearly how the above is affirmed and tied-in:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that One Body, being many, are One Body, so also [is] Christ. For (in/by/with; G1722) One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.

Notice that the Apostle Paul states I have planted and yet we read in Matthew 15:13 “…Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted [same word], shall be rooted up.” Only God can plant, though He uses men to do so; only God can water [make to drink] with the living, life-producing (spiritually applied) water of the word, yet He uses men to proclaim the Gospel. Only God can make disciples, baptize, and teach, yet He does so through men. It is through the faithful proclamation/witnessing of the word that spiritual baptism (in the hearts of quickened saints) takes place.

Another point evidencing that the Great Commission was not about sprinkling, pouring, dunking, etc., and that it was about spiritual baptism, is the words of the Apostle Paul. He may have been an Apostle born out of season but he was an Apostle. Whatever applied to the others would have applied to Him; and yet, notice how the Apostle Paul can honour the Great Commission and yet still say in…

1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ sent me not to baptize [that is, in water, per the context], but to preach the Gospel [that is, to go into the world, proclaiming the Good News of Christ and His finished work, and thereby discipling, baptizing, and teaching those who hear with God-given ears to hear]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

As stated in a recent post,

The Apostle Paul is declaring that the Lord Jesus never sent him to continue on in John’s (water) baptism but to preach the Gospel (which is used of God unto true, spiritual baptism). The Holy Spirit, through Paul, affirms that the preaching of the cross IS the power of God unto us who ARE SAVED. Note, however, that the term “are saved” is based upon a Greek present-passive-participle; the present participle is dependent (time-wise) upon the main verb. What is the main verb? Again, it is “esti” which is “IT IS.” Therefore, the are saved verb is contemporaneous with the IT IS verb — so the preaching of the cross (“preaching” here, being a noun and not a verb; it is the word Logos), when this preaching is declared before elect men and women, IT IS the power of God to those who contemporaneously believe it. The cross is preached to them, at some point during the preaching God quickens them, God causes them to hear with spiritual ears and gives them God-wrought faith and repentance unto their sealing by the Holy Ghost.

Notice the emphasis, the Apostle Paul came not to water baptize but to preach the Gospel. Water baptism is set at variance with Gospel preaching. Consider this as we look at the following passages, noting how the Gospel (and the preaching of it) is directly yoked to the activity in/by/with the Holy Spirit… thus, spiritual baptizing is declaring the Gospel (the baptism of Christ on the cross) and having God take that Gospel truth and apply it to the hearts of those whom He is contemporaneously saving (quickening and converting). To preach the Gospel in/by/with the Holy Spirit is to baptize in/by/with the Holy Spirit when that Gospel is heard with ears to hear and applied to the hearts of quickened saints by the Spirit of God. Hence:

1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” [Note: becoming followers is synonymous with being made true, spiritual, disciples per Matthew 28:19-20].

Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

Notice the tie-in here, between the passage immediately above and the one immediately below, concerning how the preached Gospel is yoked to sanctification, cleaning, and washing, which is yoked (through scriptural usage) with purifying, and purging, which all points back to spiritual baptism. Remember how we saw above that baptism is synonymous with washing and was even translated as such in various passages. Therefore, please consider:

Ephesians 5:25,26,30 husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it [lit. her]; 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water (in/by/with; G1722) the word… 30 for we are members of His (One) Body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

We are sanctified with the Holy Ghost at the same time we are sanctified with the washing of water in/by/with the (spiritually applied word). The word word here is rhēma and it used to denote not God the Word (the divine Logos) but the words that He gives us in the Bible, holy scripture. When the living and life-giving (when spiritually applied) words enter into our soul we are indeed washed, cleansed, and baptized by it. There is no true salvation without faithful Gospel proclamation.

So we see again that washing/sanctifying/cleansing, etc. are all absolute, unequivocal, synonyms for baptizing (as is anointing which is directly tied into sanctifying). Thus, we may as well read Ephesians 5:26 as “That He might baptize her with the baptism of water (in/by/with; G1722) the word…” — with that water being not the water of a carnal ordinance, but the spiritual, clean water, even the pure water, which is the living water of the Holy Spirit as mixed with the word of God. Being washed with the water of the word is no different than being washed with the living/clean/pure water of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit operates through the words of God. The word of God is water and the Holy Spirit is water because the two are yoked in operation to cleanse, wash, purify, and baptize us. Hence…

John 7:38-39 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Now this verse doesn’t tie-in directly to spiritual baptism because the focus is on what flows out of us. It has to do with being filled with the Holy Ghost, which itself pertains to boldness in Gospel witnessing, and it is separate from spiritual baptism though it can only occur after one has been spiritually baptized (i.e. quickened and converted by the Gospel truth, the spiritual baptism of Christ on the cross, when made our own, in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost). Nonetheless, it does prove that the living water is the Holy Spirit. We see Him and His connection to the words of God in the various passages below.

Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart [Note: even a spiritually circumcised heart] also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. [Note: where are God’s statutes and judgments found in our day? They are found in the Bible and yet applied spiritually to our hearts as we read it].

Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts SPRINKLED from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure/clean [katharos; G2513; pure (17x), clean (10x)] water.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [Note: this water is not the water of the mother’s physical womb, but the words of God, that must be used, or applied, by the Spirit of God to save us — this is in keeping with the scriptural usage].

Psalm 119:9 …Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to Thy word.

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by/through the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Here we see washing, cleansing, sprinkling, etc. yoked with both the water (God’s word spiritually applied) and the Spirit (who applies God’s spiritual words). This all evidences to us that we are saved by spiritual baptism, and not by (physical, H2O) water baptism; clearly this spiritual must be the One Baptism in the New Testament era. Remember, there are not separate spiritual washings, separate spiritual cleansings, or purgings, or purifyings, or sanctifyings… they are all simply different aspects of the one finished work of Christ and the Holy Spirit’s application of it to our regenerate lives.

More on the One Baptism in Light of 1 John 5:6-8

Please consider the following passage; it is important in that it ties-in both (spiritual) water and (spiritual) blood in light of the spiritual work of the Holy Ghost.

1 John 5:6-8 (AV/KJV) This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not (in/by/with; G1722) water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth. 7 For there are Three that bear record/witness [Note: same word] in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One. 8 And there are three that bear record/witness in earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three agree in One (or, more literally, “are into one ” or “be into One”).

I John 5:6-8 (LITV/KJ3) “This is the [One] having come through water and blood, Jesus Christ; not (in/by/with; G1722) the water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the [One] witnessing, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For Three are the [Ones] bearing witness: in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these Three are One. 8 And there are three who bear witness on the earth The Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are into the One.

I John 5:6-8 (YLT) “This one is He who did come through water and blood — Jesus the Christ, not (in/by/with; G1722) the water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) the water and the blood; and the Spirit it is that is testifying, because the Spirit is the truth, because Three are Who are testifying in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these — the Three — are One; and three are who are testifying in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one.

Some want to make the water and the blood water baptism and earthly wine in the sense of ordinances or sacraments, when in reality, what bears witness is the The Gospel message, proclaimed and applied to our hearts, which is the sprinkling of clean water upon us and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ on our hearts. When the spiritual water and the spiritual blood is applied to our spiritual hearts and minds, then we know that the Lord Jesus Christ has already come unto us.

Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Once again we see the connection between sanctifying, sprinkling, purifying, blood, and Spirit — for they all point us right back to spiritual baptism. It is the baptism of, and into, Christ that ties-in the sprinkling, sanctifying, purifying, purging, and other such related terms. As proof-text, Consider:

1 Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Summary:

There is so much more ground to cover but, to keep this first post from getting too long, the rest will be addressed in separate parts (sub-pages) of this page. I want to address the fire aspect as found in Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying to all, ‘I indeed with water do baptise you, but he cometh who is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to loose the latchet of his sandals — he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire…” I also want to revisit the question of whether water baptism is an answer/demand of a good conscience; whether it is our confession of faith; etc. I would also like to further explore the blood aspect of baptism; how spiritual baptism relates to Pentecost; the transitionary period of Acts in regard to water baptism; John’s Baptism (in his day); common objections and rebuttals; core definitions; as well as a component that I have not touched on and that is our continued experience of the One Baptism throughout our sojourn here (which manifests in the fiery trials and sufferings that we are to endure which, really, ties back into “he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire…“). There is much to cover and it is a blessing to be able to do so.

To God be the glory!

Posted in 10. Wildy, Curt, Baptism, Body of Christ, Eternal Life, Eternal Vital Union, Faith / Belief, Glory of God, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, Resurrection, Righteousness, Salvation, Sanctification, Substitution, Work of Christ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Introduction to Systematic Theology (GBCWMM-JG-005)

Posted by Curt Wildy on November 18, 2014

To listen to these studies at your own (potentially accelerated) pace, please visit the main page from whence these studies originate: http://www.grace-bible.co/mens-meeting-top.htm


An Introduction to Systematic Theology

(GBCWMM-JG-005)

Paterology: The Study of God the Father In All of His Attributes

Pastor Jesse Gistand
 GBC Weekly Men’s Meetings
Saturday – 02/28/2009
32 min | Matthew 23:1-9

Matthew 23:1-9 “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

Comment: This is the fifth available study in a series on systematic theology; this one addresses the matter of Paterology (Theology Proper) in light of the preeminence of the Father in Heaven. I love the warnings contained herein against pride, legalism, and self-righteousness — they are truly needful for me. Moreover, it is a blessing to see God, particularly God the Father, put forth so zealously as the first cause and absolute sovereign of all things. These are but nuggets, the recording ends before Brother Jesse really begins. Nonetheless, what is packed into these relatively few words has much weight and value.

Listen:

Alternative Link: An Introduction to Systematic Theology (GBCWMM-JG-005)

Main Site Link: http://www.grace-bible.co/mens-meeting-top.htm

Posted in 0. Gistand Jesse, God the Father, Systematic Theology, X. Legalism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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