LCMS

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Psalm145 3, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Psalm145 3

    Psalm145 3
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    I would like to use this opportunity to share my testimony of God's saving grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I grew up a member of LCMS - Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. I was Baptized when I was a baby, and Confirmed when I was a teen. They taught me that I became a Christian when my parents had me Baptized, so I was never encouraged to seek the new birth through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Years later, through the study of Bible prophecy and apologetics, God opened my eyes and showed me that the Holy Bible is God's absolutely inerrant Word. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had always claimed to believe the Bible, but now I KNEW without a doubt that the Bible is God's pure infallible Word. The words of Scripture started to come alive to me. I began sensing guilt, I knew I didn't measure up to the things I was reading in the Bible.

    John 3:3 says, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

    I had no idea what "born again" meant. I knew I was a sinner. The Lutheran church always taught me to remember that I was Baptized, but that didn't give me any peace. The Lord showed me that I was a lost man heading to Hell. I knew I had to be born again.

    Slowly, I began to understand that justification is by grace and faith alone in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism didn't save me. I had to repent and personally put my trust in the Savior, who shed His blood and died on the Cross to satisfy God's justice for me, then He rose from the dead.

    The Bible says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So, I cried out to God in repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him to make me born again.

    The Lord saved me and worked a bunch of new desires into my heart. The Bible became a joy to read. My prayers weren't bouncing off the ceiling anymore. Some of the things I used to love to do, like drinking, started making me feel guilty, so I had to put that stuff away. The Lord has been changing me ever since then. He has given me blessed assurance of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Now, when I read verses like John 6:47, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" I have the witness of the Spirit. That verse really means something to me now. Those words are the witness of the Holy Spirit to my spirit that I'm a child of the King!

    Since then I got out of that apostate church I was in and found a Bible believing gospel preaching independent fundamental local baptist church and was baptized scripturally, by immersion, upon my profession of faith and joined the fellowship.

    If there are any Lutherans reading this, (or anyone else for that matter), let me encourage you to make sure you are born again by the Spirit of God by grace alone through faith alone in the blood of Jesus Christ alone. Baptism doesn't make anyone a Christian. Only the blood of Christ can wash away your sins, through faith in His Name.

    To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    Here are some links to articles about Lutheranism. Most people don't know that the Lutheran churches teach a false gospel. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    BEWARE OF LUTHERANISM'S INFANT BAPTISM

    MARTIN LUTHER and Baptismal Regeneration
    Martin Luther's Sacramental Gospel

    Baptismal Regeneration and Bible Salvation
     
  2. Jude

    Jude
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    Baptismal re-generation was the belief of the Church -east and west- from the beginning. Only the Reformers -some- denied this truth.
     
  3. MEE

    MEE
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    Very accurtely quoted! [​IMG]

    MEE [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeffrey H

    Jeffrey H
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    Help me out here. Anyone. I'm a Baptist, but I've always understood that that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod was a fundamentally conservative Lutheran church that the believes the Bible is the whole Word of God. I also understand they are orthodox in historic, essential Christian doctrine. They have never appeared to me as an "apostate" church.
     
  5. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    The LCMS is not apostate nor do they teach a false gospel. All LCMS people I know believe one is saved by Grace through Faith alone in Christ alone. Yes, they do teach baptismal regeneration though in fairness to them, they do not teach the infused grace version of it that Roman Catholicism teaches.
     
  6. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    How do you reconcile grace through faith with baptismal regeneration?

    It's either grace through faith - or it's baptismal regeneration (or some other work or works) - it cannot be both!
     
  7. music4Him

    music4Him
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    ~Psalm145 3~ Thats such a wonderful testimony! [​IMG]
     
  8. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    Let's Remember it was the Lutherans who used the term Faith Alone! Grace Alone and Christ Alone! long before there was a Baptist Church. (Bracing for an attack from my Landmark brothers [​IMG] Really all Protestants, including Baptists have their roots in Luther's Reformation.

    I don't agree at all with the Lutheran view of baptismal regeneration but it is important we understand what they mean before we start calling them apostates. It is not the same view found in Roman Catholicism.

    Lutherans believe that baptism creates faith in a infant and as that child matures that faith will become visible. Luther would probably say that the faith that he exhibited in his mid 30's that led him to rejected the Roman Catholic view that you are saved by works and to embrace Salvation by Faith Alone had it's root in his baptism. They do believe as one gets older, that they should manifest this Faith outwardly.

    The LCMS website answers many of these questions. Here is one.
    "Q. You teach, as did Martin Luther, that man is justified by grace alone, through faith alone. Yet I also read your position on baptism and it seems to me that you also teach baptismal regeneration. You clearly state that a person (infant) comes into the blessings of grace (salvation) through their baptism. How can this be if the scripture teaches that faith is the means of apprehending salvation? I may simply be misunderstanding what you are saying in the section on baptism, I hope I am. If not, then I must insist that there would then be no difference between the LCMS and the Roman Church on its view of justification and salvation. Please help me understand where I am misunderstanding you.

    A. Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Baptism, we believe, is one of the miraculous means of grace (together with God's written and spoken Word) through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person's heart (see Matt. 28:18-20; Act. 2:38; John 3:5-7; Act. 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5-6; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13).

    Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. This faith cannot yet, of course, be expressed or articulated, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., 1 Peter 2:21; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Matt. 18:6; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13). This faith needs to be fed and nurtured by God's Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die. Those who have been baptized, but who no longer believe, will not be saved. (By the same token, those who truly believe and yet have not had opportunity to be baptized [like, for example, the thief on the cross] will be saved.)"



    http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2608
     
  9. Jude

    Jude
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    The early Church, and those who have followed it's teaching, believe in baptismal regeneration. This does not negate 'faith' in any way. Baptism brings one INTO the Body of Christ, it washes away sin. BUT, Christian life doesn't stop there. At some point, an adult response must happen. Baptism creates the 'environment' (inner and outer)where personal faith can develop and mature. And of course, in my view, that response is a daily thing.
     
  10. gb93433

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    The early chruch did not separate baptism from salvation as we do in America. Considering the historical context it would be easy to to understand Acts 2:38, "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

    When one was baptized it meant that they were naming Christ as their Lord. By naming Christ as their Lord meant also that they were renouncing the emperor as their lord. By being baptized and naming Christ as their Lord it meant that the emperor could have that person executed. Naming Christ as Lord was much like telling the emperor that he was not their Lord but Christ is.

    Baptism was a public display of who their Lord was and their faith in Christ.

    The response to the gospel mesage was in being baptized. But being baptized had a very different meaning than a dunk in a tank or a sprinkle inside of a church building.

    I Peter 3:21 speaks of this well, "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

    Baptism is more than just getting wet by a pastor. Baptism is not salvation but the early chruch did not separate them the same way we do. They proved their obedience by getting baptized knowing that they could possible be executed. Some were executed because of their new faith. If one were to be baptized and naming Christ as their Lord in the face of possible execution I would have no problem saying they are saved.
     
  11. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    So since it not absolutely necessary (as in the thief on the cross), then what benefit is baptism? Is the baptised infant just "more likely" to come to saving faith?
     
  12. John Gilmore

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    In my youth, I attended several Anti-Baptismal Regeneration churches. None of these churches taught salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the blood of Christ alone. Instead, I was taught to make a decision for Christ and I would by saved by my response to the gospel.

    Over the years, I made many decisions for Christ. Each time I failed in my commitment to Christ. Each time, I thought my decision had not been sincere enough. Finally, I gave up and stopped going to church together.

    Years later, I attended a Lutheran Church. The preaching was very different from the Anti-Baptismal Regeneration churches. The Pastor taught that that no man makes a decision for Christ but that Christ makes a decision for man. The Holy Spirit works faith without man’s reason, decision, or response to the gospel. And even an infant can believe in Christ and be regenerated through Baptism because salvation is God’s work alone.

    I no longer doubt my salvation because I know that my salvation does not depend on my response to the Gospel but on God’s grace alone. I trust in Christ’s promise, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Christ can never lie or deceive but men can and do lie.

    If there are any Baptists (or anyone else for that matter) who have doubts because they are trusting in their own decision for Christ or their work of baptism for salvation, repent and trust in Christ alone.
     
  13. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
    "...that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
    I do not doubt my salvation because God said He gave it to me. "God said it. I believe it. That settles it."

    Since it has been previously stated by holders of this position that baptism does not "force" someone to believe unto salvation, and that someone can believe unto salvation without having been baptised, then why baptise infants???

    Even in the verse quoted above, and others that are similar, that mention baptism, notice that it is always "believeth and is baptised", and not "is baptised and then believeth." I was baptised to show the world what I believed.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Look, it comes down to this. If you're a practicing Lutheran, and you've accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, then you're saved, regardless if you've been baptized as an infant or not.

    If you want to get baptized as an adult, the bon apetit. If you don't, then don't. If you're happy in the LCMS or ELCA, and it's supporting your relationship with your Lord, then stay. If it's not, then don't. Take what people tell you on the board with a grain of salt... inclusing me.
     
  15. Chemnitz

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    Now here is a title guarenteed to get my attention.
    Especially when the opening post calls the LCMS apostate, we have our problems in the LCMS but our theology is pure. Ps 143_5 tells part of the story but not the whole story and in all actuality sounds like the product of either his own carelessness about his spiritual life or preaching/teaching that wasn't completely clear.
    The underlying premise that he and the links provided work with is that Baptism is the work of man. When in actuality it is a work of God. It is a gift that God has given to us as a means of conveying His grace to us, otherwise the apostles Paul and Peter would not have spoken in such language concerning Baptism. If it were a confession of faith they would have called it as such.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Baptismal regeneration fails on the grounds of Romans 10 and on the grounds of Peter's own statement about what "Baptism really is".

    1 Peter 3:21
    21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. BobRyan

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    Interestingly - Calvinists are the only ones with a theological structure for soteriology that could justify Baptismal regeneration - and they don't teach it.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
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    Theological structures are only needed by those who wish to change God's clear promises into meaningless symbols.
     
  19. Schrack

    Schrack
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    This is not entirely true. While you may be able to quote from many early writings that baptismal regeneration was believed by some, you would be hard pressed to prove that it was a universal belief among all churches then in existence.

    For example, the account of the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas demonstrate that while these women were still catechumens (i.e. not yet baptized) they were regarded as Christians. The standard Catholic position, however, is that one is not truly a Christian until he/she is baptized into the church. The Catholic catechism is all too clear on this point:

    1241 The anointing with sacred chrism [i.e. at baptism], perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one "anointed" by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.

    1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.

    1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification...Thus the whole organism of the Christian's supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.


    Martin Luther, though a reformer, was bacially Catholic in his theology, and likewise upheld this basic position of Catholicism in his preface to the Large Catechism, which is quoted by the LCMS on their website:

    This sermon is designed and undertaken that it might be an instruction for children and the simple-minded. Hence of old it was called in Greek catechism, i.e., instruction for children, what every Christian must needs know, so that he who does not know this could not be numbered with the Christians
    nor be admitted to any Sacrament....


    Consequently, Luther validates what was an age-old Catholic position, which was that a catechumen is not really considered a Christian until baptism has taken place. This is at odds with the late-second to early their century account of Perpetua and Felicity, who were considered as Christians even before their being baptized. Consequently, just from this document alone it can be easily demonstrated that not all churches everywhere held the position that baptism made a Christian but that the Christian was made for baptism.

    In addition to this, there are some early church documents, such as Justin's writings, that can be legitimately argued as not teaching baptismal regeneration. But I won't get into that here for the sake of brevity.

    In my studies of church history, I have found that not everything is as it seems to be, or I should say, it is not always how Catholicism (in whatever form– Roman, Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc.) has portrayed it to be. Far too often the facts are ignored, obscured or skewed in order that they might perpetuate their particular view of what true Christianity is.

    SchracktheBaptist
     
  20. Schrack

    Schrack
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    As an addendum to the above, theological grounds for rejecting baptismal regeneration can be easily produced from the Scriptures, such as when Paul said:

    for in Chirst Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Cor. 4:15

    Just a few chapters earlier, Paul had stated:

    For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel. 1 Cor. 1:17

    Clearly, the apostle distinguished between baptism and the Gospel, and states emphatically that the Corinthians were begotten (regenerated, born again) in Christ through the latter and not the former. This, then, puts all the Scriptures regarding baptism into perspective: baptism does not make the Chirstian but the Christian is made for baptism, as I stated in my previous post.

    This is not to say that baptism is without significance, for it clearly is significant to the Christian who has believed on Christ for salvation. It just means that, biblically, baptism doesn't have the same significance that baptismal regenerationists wish it to have.

    SchracktheBaptist

    [ April 22, 2004, 02:03 AM: Message edited by: Schrack ]
     

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