Churches of Christ...Continued

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by bmerr, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. bmerr

    bmerr
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    To All,

    bmerr here. DHK has requested we start another thread to continue our discussions, as the other one is now 32 pages long. I don't know how that translates into webspace, but it's got to be pretty bulky!

    I guess if we're careful, we can bring the discussions/debates from there to here. Those with copy/paste know-how will be a great help.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  2. Charles Meadows

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    Bmerr,

    OK.

    Let me preface with this. None of us denies that Christians are to be baptized or that Jesus did in fact command us to be baptized. That which is in question is the role or the significance of baptism. Romans is a very doctrinal letter - it is a good example of Paul trying to lay out Christian theology in a clear manner. With Jesus' resurrection we have the offer of salvation for free. Jesus paid the price - all we have to do is accept the gift. We cannot eran or deserve it. That is one of the big points Paul makes. It is our faith that saves us. Gone are the days of the old temple-sacrifice system in which one would have to perform a ritual in order to continue right standing in God's eyes. The idea that we are not saved unless we do this or that work (like baptism) implicitly means that faith is insufficient - and that clearly goes against the entire NT.

    Can one be saved without being justified? Being justified means being given a right standing before God. That occurs for us only because of God's generosity. We are justified when we believe. The idea that justification is by any work (like baptism) is alien to the NT and is explicitly refuted in Romans. The answer to the question is of course "no".

    Can one be saved and still be in his sins? Again the answer is "no". But the one who is justified ( and thus no longer in sin ) is so because of his/her faith.

    Again none of us here will argue that we are commanded to undergo baptism. That is given. But the Bible nowhere ascribes justification to the physical act of baptism. Romans 10:9 is clear there. It is the faith that saves. Tell me how you can localize salvation to the work and not the faith and still remain in the new testament!! That is nothing less than a return to the Torah. Now no one would doubt that the one who claims faith but whose life speaks otherwise is quite likely not truly saved. This is what James speaks of regarding faith without works.

    I agree with you that the one who makes a profession but refuses baptism is lilely not saved. But the reason is not because he/she did not perform a work - rather it is because he/she lacked true faith (as evidenced by refusal to submit to baptism).
     
  3. bmerr

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    Charles,

    bmerr here. The question of the role and significance of baptism is also one that is answered by the Scriptures. I think where we run in to conflict is when the Biblical answers to the above question don't line up with the doctrine of salvation by "faith only", which is your position, unless I've misunderstood your posts.

    It gets back to reading passages that plainly state that we are "saved by faith", and interpreting them to mean we are "saved by faith only".

    If we do this, we are forced to interpret other passages, such as 1 Pet 3:21, to mean other than what they say.

    You said, and I would agree, that one cannot be saved without being justified. James tells us that we are justified (and thus, saved) by works, and not by faith only. Paul tells us that we are justified by faith. They are in complete agreement, unless and until one insists that Paul taught we are "saved by faith only".

    I previously stated, and I think you would agree, that we are not saved by works of the Law, or by works of personal righteousness. The Scriptures bear such out, also.

    The only way for Paul and James to both be right is to leave room for obedience. They both use Abraham for their example. Offering Isaac was not a work of the Mosaic Law (Paul's point). Nor was it an act of personal righteousness, which I think we can both assent to.

    So what was it? It was obedience to God's command. Nothing more, nothing less. When Abraham obeyed, he was justified. His belief, or faith in God was evidenced by his obedience to God's command (James' point).

    Paul battled against those who would merit salvation.

    James battled against those who would enjoy salvation apart from appropriate works.

    The NT command to be baptized is neither a work of the Law, nor a work of personal righteousness. It is a command of God to be obeyed. It's arbitrary. It has no real purpose to the human mind. Nevertheless, the Bible answers the who, when, how, and why of baptism. It is for us to accept or reject the council of God.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  4. J. Jump

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    That's exactly what I mean and that's exactly what the Bible says.

     
  5. J. Jump

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    Well if you go back to the text and take a look at what is being discussed just prior to their question is not a qestion of what shall we do to be saved, but rather a question of what shall we do to right the wrong of killing our King.

    "Therefore let all the house [SIZE=-1]R100[/SIZE] of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord [SIZE=-1]R101[/SIZE] and Christ--this [SIZE=-1]F58[/SIZE] Jesus whom [SIZE=-1]R102[/SIZE] you crucified."

    First part of 37 - Now when they heard this, they were pierced [SIZE=-1]F59[/SIZE] to the heart

    When they heard what? That they just crucified their Messiah, the Annointed King of Israel.

    So the answer to your question
    is a definite yes, it is way too much of a stretch of the imagination, because that just wasn't what they were talking about.

    So the rest of your post makes no sense. Plain and simple Scripture just doesn't support your stance unless you force, twist and destory the very Scripture you are reading. It's just not there.
     
  6. genesis12

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    I'll agree with JJ and Charles, although I think Charles final paragraph in post #2 is a little strange.
     
  7. bmerr

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    gen12,

    bmerr here. You agree with JJump? Have you read many of his posts? Or are you just disagreeing with me. Either way is okay with me, I was just wondering.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  8. bmerr

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    Jjump,

    bmerr here. Based on your posts, I'd stop short of calling you a brother in Christ. What you're preaching is beyond the doctrine of Christ, which puts you (at the least) out of fellowship with Christ and all who are faithful to Him (2 John 9).

    How did you get into Christ?

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  9. J. Jump

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    Bmerr you are a funny man. So now you just decide to stop dealing with Scripture and call me unsaved. :laugh:

    I think you and mman should have stopped while you were ahead, but I'm glad you all kept on going, because I think if people take an honest look at the two threads there's no way in the world they are going to buy your false teachings after all your Scripture twisting and dodging. I know you all are going to deceive your fair share, but I pray that there will be just as many and more that are spared from the unScriptural teaching of the CoC.
     
  10. DHK

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    That is sad but typically true.
    I can't speak for all of them, but many of the COC churches believe that unless you are baptized by a COC pastor in a COC church with a COC baptism you cannot be saved. Thus only those in the COC are truly saved. This is what makes it truly a cult.
    Bmerr believes that because I was not baptized until two years after I was saved that I would not have gone to heaven during that two year period of time. If my understanding is correct he still doesn't believe that I am saved. But these are the marks of a cult.
    Again, as I posted before, and neither bmerr or mman replied to it: The COC plan of salvation is one of works and not by grace through faith.
    They believe that there are five different "works" to salvation:
    faith + belief + repentance + confession + baptism = salvation.

    All of the above five are works. You add them together to get salvation. All must be included. Salvation is thus by works and not by faith.
    DHK
     
    #10 DHK, Jul 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2006
  11. mactx

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    The way i was taught it, the 5 "works" are, hearing the word, believing the word, confessing the word repenting of past sins, and being baptized.
    Faith is the thing you have, its not something you do. You would not do the work if you did not have the Faith.
    Yes salvation is a gift. So is the check uncle john sends at Christmas, but can you spend that check?
    Nope not until you cash it. Cashing it is the acceptance of the gift, just as baptism says you understand and accept the blood of Christ to cleanse you of your sin.
    i enjoy reading these posts, even though no one has shown the verse that removes the command of Acts 2:38, and others where baptism is directly related to remission of sins.

    i know works do not save us, that does not mean there is no work to do, actually Jesus says there is work to do, and not enough workers to do it.
     
  12. DHK

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    This much is true. Faith we already have. It is confidence, trust.
    Romans 6:23 says that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, I'll accept your answer--salvation. But in the times of the Apostles there were no checks, and God doesn't write them. A gift is a gift. It is given and received, just like at a birthday party or at Christmas. There is no waiting period involved. It is instantaneous.
    If thou shall call upon the name of the Lord thou shalt be saved (now, instantaneously).
    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (now, instantaneously).
    Nope not until you cash it. Cashing it is the acceptance of the gift, just as baptism says you understand and accept the blood of Christ to cleanse you of your sin.
    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

    What is the difference between the grammatical constructions of these two verses? The words for in Acts and unto in Mat. are the same Greek word "eis." What did John do? Did he baptize in order that they would repent, or did he baptize because they had already repented?
    He baptized "unto repentance," that is because they had repented.
    Peter commanded: repent and be baptized "for the remission of sins" The same word is used (eis), as is used in Mat.3:11?
    The same question then can be asked. Did Peter insist on baptism in order that they might receive forgiveness of sins (contrary to the teaching of John)? Does the Bible contradict itself?
    Or did Peter command baptism because their sins had already been forgiven (which the latter meaning of eis would indicate). This is more consistent with the rest of Scripture and does not contradict the totality of Scripture in the Bible.

    Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (faith not baptism)

    You are right. There are lots of works to do, after salvation.
    First baptism, and then prayer, Bible study, witnessing, etc. There is plenty to do in one's walk with Christ--after salvation. Baptism is just the first step of obedience in the Christian life after one is saved.
    The problem with the COC is that instead of looking at faith as the underlying basis of salvation, they divide it all up into different works and make the religion into a works religion. Examine what you said. 1.hearing the word,--That is necessary. But it is a work. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The presentation of the gospel is the obligation of the Christian witnessing to the unsaved. Yes they must hear the Word of God. That is a given. We are speaking of what must a man do in order to be saved. Hearing the gospel message is a given. It is understood.
    It is the part of the Great Commission that says GO. Surely we don't have to repeat that much.

    2. believing the word,--believing is the faith that you mentioned of in the beginning of the post. Believe on the Lord. Have faith in him. That alone is the one requirement of salvation.

    3. confessing the word--A man that believes confesses. This again is part of faith. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart thou shalt be saved...with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. You confess Christ when you believe on him. When you trust him, and pray, confessing his name. It is still part of believing.

    4. repenting of past sins,--true beliefe includes repentance else it isn't believing.
    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    True belief includes repentance.

    Salvation comes through faith and faith alone.
    Baptism is a work, and if included in the necessity for salvation makes salvation a works salvation. It lessens Christ's work on the cross. It implies that Christ's work was insufficient to pay the penalty for our sin. Christ paid the penalty for all of our sins. Baptism didn't pay for any of it. That is a totally ridiculous concept. What sins did your baptism pay for?
    DHK
     
  13. J. Jump

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    Baptism is an outward show of that yes, but it doesn't have anything to do with salvation. Salvation occurs before baptism. There are many, many Scripture evidences to this. You can go back and read through my posts on this subject to see some that have been dealt with from both the OT and NT.

    If baptism is required for salvation then the NT absolutely destroys OT types, instead of providing required antitypes. That is an impossibility with a Perfect God. He's not going to state one thing in the OT and then destroy the teaching in the NT.

    That's because it hasn't been removed. But contextually it doesn't have anything to do with eternal salvation. That wasn't even in the picture.
     
  14. bmerr

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    DHK,

    bmerr here. I personally have not heard this teaching, but that doesn't mean it's not out there. If I were to hear it, I would speak against it.

    From what I understand of the Scriptures, the important thing is that the candidate for baptism has been taught and believes the truth about Christ, has repented of past sins, confesses Christ as Lord, and is submitting to baptism by the authority of Jesus Christ, for the remission of his sins. Near as I can tell, the one administering baptism doesn't even have to be a Christian.

    Frankly, many members of the church will not go to heaven, due to unfaithfulness.

    The Bible says, (and I believe) that Saul was still in his sins three days after he had seen and believed on the risen Christ. Can one be saved while still in his sins? No.

    If Saul was still lost, you were too. One must know the truth in order to be made free (John 8:32). One is made free by obeying the truth (Rom 6:17-18). One must abide in the doctrine of Christ to remain in Him (2 John 9).

    The Bible, and the church of Christ, preach and teach salvation by grace through faith. This is different from preaching and teaching salvation by grace alone through faith alone, which doesn't even make sinse, but still seems to be the dominant view here.

    The five steps of salvation are all grounded in Scripture, which I will post again if you like.

    They are consistent with the pattern of conversions found all through the book of Acts, and referred back to often in the epistles.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  15. DHK

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    There aren't five "steps" "acts" "works" to salvation. There is but one requirement, and that is faith. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

    Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    Faith alone is the only requirement for salvation. Hundreds of verses bear this out. If I had the time I would post them all for you. Rather you hang all your theology on maybe 2 or 3 verses going against the entirety of Scripture.
    DHK
     
  16. bmerr

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    DHK,

    bmerr here. And how does one call upon the name of the Lord? What were the Pentecostians told when they asked? They believed what Peter had preached to them, yet what did he tell them to do?

    What did the jailer believe about Jesus Christ when he was told this? Had he heard the gospel yet? If he had, why didn't he already understand that he was saved? Why would he go the same hour of the night and be baptized? What was the point in that? Why did he not rejoice until after he was baptized? If he were saved as soon as he believed, would he not have rejoiced then?

    Suppose one had repented, but refused John's baptism. What then? He would have rejected the council of God against himself, wouldn't he?

    Instead of comparing how one word is used in two places, how about the whole phrase, "for the remission of sins"?

    Matt 26:28 - For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    Acts 2:38 - Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Now, when Jesus used the phrase, did He mean that people's sins were already forgiven, and He had to prove it?

    Something else you might consider is that John's baptism and NT baptism are two separate things. Apples and oranges. They don't equate.

    (Faith, not "faith only") Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar (Prov 30:6).

    So what the bananas (to borrow a phrase) were you doing for the two years between your alleged "salvation" and your baptism?

    Nobody has excluded faith. We're discussing baptism. In fact, Mark 16:16 has been cited numerous times, which has both "believeth", and "is baptized" coming before "shall be saved". The fact that faith has not been spoken of in every post is no reason to assume that mman and I don't think it's neccessary. Same way with the Bible. Just because baptism isn't mentioned in every reference to salvation is no reason to conclude it's not neccessary.

    Remember this, folks.

    So "faith alone" includes repentance and confession, but ecldes baptism. Does anyone else see the blatant contradiciton here? Anyone? Is this thing on?

    Again, the only people who claim that baptism earns anything are those who deny it's essentiality. Baptism earns nothing. Yet, it is commanded by God for the remission of sins.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  17. J. Jump

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    The Jews as Pentecost didn't ask how to call on the name of the Lord. That has already been shown to be incorrect in view of context.

    In fact you are talking about a people whose history included calling on the name of the Lord when they were in trouble. They didn't need to know how to do that.

    You are putting an assumption on the text, instead of dealing with what it says. Isn't that what we are supposed to do? It says believe and you will be saved. Not believe, confess, repent, be baptized, keep the commandments, keep on believing and whatever else you want to throw into the mix. Just believe and it will be so. That's what the text says.

    Again just because you see the same words or the same phrases in a sentence doesn't mean they have the same meaning. The context for these two statements are different and therefore can not be compared without destroying Scirptural teachings.

    This is funny you quote a passage of Scripture that says not to add unto his words, but that's exactly what you do by saying not faith only. Faith is the only thing mentioned so if something else was needed I think it's safe to say he would have mentioned it.

    No it doesn't it means faith alone. There are even some evangelicals that miss the mark on this one by adding repentance and confession. Those two aren't required either. Just faith. Just believe. That's it!

    That's because you HAVE to deny baptism earns anything because it would totally negate your teaching. But just because you deny something doesn't make it so. And the Bible speaks quite the opposite!
     
  18. Charles Meadows

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    Bmerr,

    It seems we have likely met an impasse. You derive your position from a literal reading of scripture - in my view overly literal. But I do understand where you come from. And once again no one here denies that we are commanded to submit to baptism.

    Here's my main problem. The Bible is clear to distinguish that salvation is by faith and not of works. The point is that Jesus' death and resurrection has bought salvation. We have not merited it. If salvation is not by faith alone then it is by works. Faith+works = salvation by works. Either faith in Jesus' work is enough or it is not. If we need faith plus a work (like baptism) then our salvation is not of Christ but of us.

    Paul, coming from a Jewish background, was very insistent to show that salvation does not come through any ritualistic work. The position that Christians are to submit to baptism is correct. But if you localize the salvation in the baptism and not the faith you have insisted on works for salvation. This is proved by the test case in which we discussed the hypothetical believer who dies before he can be baptized. Your insistence that he was not saved shows that you understand the ritual work of baptism to be necessary for salvation. The New Testament answer to this would be that his faith, the same faith that has led him to plan a public submission to baptism, has saved him. If you localize the importance of baptism in the ritual of it then how are you different than a Torah-observant Jew? Did Paul in Galatians not chastise the Judaizers for adding works (rituals) to the necessity of faith?

    As I said I understand your scriptural case - but I think you have missed the entire thrust of Paul's theology - that faith in Jesus saves. You have dwelt on Acts 2:38 and neglected the rest of the NT.
     
  19. bmerr

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    Charles,

    bmerr here. Honestly, I don't think we're all that far apart. Your statement about Paul emphasizing faith apart from ritualistic works is correct. Specifically he is speaking of the works of the Law. Paul spent alot of effort sorting out problems between saints of Jewish backgrounds and saints from pagan backgrounds.

    Different congregations were dominated by either former Jews, or former pagans. The church at Rome, when Paul wrote to it, was dominated by former Jews, who wanted the brethren of pagan persuasion to be more "Jewish" in their observances. Paul wrote to explain that Judaism, and the Law of Moses had not profited the Jews concerning righteousness, and it would not profit the Gentiles, either.

    Paul's use of Abraham as an example demonstrated that Abraham was declared righteous by God long before the Mosaic Law (which the Jews boasted in) was given. Righteousness without the works of the Law.

    In this same letter, in which it is made clear that righteousness does not come by works of the Law, Paul thanks God that the Romans had been freed from sin when they "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine" that had been delivered to them (Rom 6:17-18).

    The command of baptism for the remission of sins is not a part of the OT Law. The faith that is in Jesus is Christianity, and it involves baptism.

    I've got to get going, I'll talk to you later.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  20. Charles Meadows

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    Bmerr,

    Consider this...

    Let's say I work for you. You entrust me with taking the money from today's business and putting it in the bank. Let's say that two men with handguns accost me and steal the money and leave me pistol-whipped in an alley. You told me to put the money in the bank. Technically I did not do what you asked me to do. But yet would you not agree that you would be unreasonable to claim that I disobeyed you? My actions, altough the money did not actually make it to the bank, would be far different from a person who when asked to do the same job took the money and ran off to Mexico. And is not Jesus more just than you or I are?

    You say that baptism is different than the OT works.

    The NT is different because there is no need for meritorious deeds. Jesus has already merited salvation for us. Your stance on baptism falls short of this. If you make the ritual of baptism and not the faith behind it salvific then you are in the OT. The name of the testament may be new and the name of the work may be new (baptism instead of ritual purification) - but the concept is the same - works being necessary for salvation!

    That's why I assert that you have missed this element of NT theology. The whole idea of works being necessary for salvation is out the window!!
     

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