Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 1)

Someone who just loves me to death and has fought tooth and nail for the observance of baptism by immersion in water as the only acceptable and biblical way to baptize new converts, asked me to read Ironside’s complete article on baptism and refute it point by point and not simply dismiss it out of hand. So, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

Baptism

BAPTISM: WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE?

By Dr. H.A. Ironside

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

Several years having elapsed since the first publication of this booklet, and a new edition being called for, I have considerably revised my former paper, though altering nowhere the teaching therein set forth.

Further study and experience have only confirmed what was first written, although I believe I see many kindred truths in a much fuller, broader way than I did some years ago.

The revision consists largely of additional matter which I hope may make clearer what is now sent out, and commended to the prayerful consideration of the people of God into whose hands it may fall.

The great essential is Christ, not baptism; but they who love His name will seek to keep His word.  But in this it is well to remember that an unkind, critical spirit is far more to be deplored than divergent views and practices in regard to ordinances, however precious. (Emphasis added)

If the great essential is Christ (and I wholeheartedly agree), then no argument in favour of baptism by immersion in water being an essential part of Christian doctrine is feasible, let alone it  being a sign of God’s approval, as Dr. Ironside later indicates in his dissertation on baptism.

We would do well to remind ourselves of God’s own testimony regarding his Son because that and that alone magnanimously proves that Christ is God’s “Great Essential.” Nothing else is needed.

For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.

Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.

Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:7-13)

Jesus’s earthly ministry was initiated by his baptism in water which served as a preliminary, anticipatory sign or symbol of the way in which He would accomplish man’s redemption through his blood, referring to his death by which his earthly work was terminated, and thereby accomplishing and fulfilling all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15).

Jesus’ baptism in water could never have been a fulfillment of all righteousness if He hadn’t been baptized (been wholly submerged and immersed in death). Hence his words in Luke 12:50: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”

Several people have asked me: “Why was Jesus distressed until He was baptized when He had already been baptized in water by John the Baptist?”

Hadn’t He already been baptized by John the Baptist? Yes, He was. But this baptism, when the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended from heaven upon Him simply gave Him the mandate, authority and power to accomplish the essential baptism into death on the cross.

Hence John’s magnanimous words in 1 John 5:6 “This is he who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” Indeed, there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood.

To assert that a convert’s baptism is a testimony or a sign or a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is to suggest that God the Father’s own testimony regarding his Son is insufficient.

Yes, a saved and blood washed saint’s testimony is great but God’s testimony is much greater.

He has already fulfilled all righteousness in and through Christ Jesus who came by water and blood.

It is finished; nothing more in terms of God’s testimony in and through water and in and through blood is needed. What is required of a saint is to testify by word of mouth. What does the Bible say?

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)

It is not a once-off ritual that testifies to our death, burial and resurrection with Christ.

It is the unsurpassed power of our daily spoken word (our verbal testimony) to the unsurpassed power of the blood of the lamb that testifies to our death, burial and resurrection with Jesus Christ.

A once-off ritual which has absolutely nothing to do with salvation is powerless.

Hence Paul’s exhortation in Romans 6 that our identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection is made effectual by our own cognitive reckoning (faith) that we have indeed been baptized (immersed) into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

I sincerely believe that the devil is using a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a tool and a ploy to divert the saints attention from the genuine and practical way to overcome the devil, our own fleshly nature and the world, and that is to use our God-given reasoning (reckoning) faculties to reckon that we have indeed been baptized into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

Although baptism was initially a Jewish ordinance and later used by John the Baptist and the early Christian church which was uniquely Jewish in the beginning, it has developed into a ritual accompanied by the speaking in tongues and slain in the spirit, both of which have become tools in the hands of Satan.

Dr Ironside then wrote:

H.A.IRONSIDE
Fruitvale, CA, March 1915

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION

While, in the pages that follow, controversy has been so far as possible (consistently with the object of presenting what I believe to be the truth as to Baptism) sedulously avoided, yet it is hoped a careful perusal may prove helpful even to those who have been troubled by conflicting views.

The pamphlet presents the conclusions I have been obliged to come to after utterly denying for a number of years any present importance attaching to this ordinance, and after a careful study of what others have put forth on the subject, as well as much time spent, I trust before the Lord, over the word of God.

The apology for its publication, if such be needed, can be stated in a few words.

In going about, now for some years, seeking to “do the work of an evangelist,” I have been importuned again and again for a paper expressing my thoughts on this question.

Finding no publication that seemed to me altogether suitable (so few being at all full without being exceedingly controversial), I have tried to give as clearly and briefly as possible, what I believe to be the scriptural teaching upon it.

The query as to whether baptism brings its subject into the Kingdom of Heaven, the House of God, or the Body of Christ, has not really been touched.

Here I need only to say that I do not believe it brings one into any of the three.

To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval.

I presume that those known as Friends, or Quakers, with numbers of other Christians who recognize no ordinances (though they assuredly lose much by such neglect), are yet in the Kingdom, the House and the Body.

At least, I know of no Scripture that teaches, directly or indirectly, otherwise. (Emphasis added)

Ironside happily concedes that baptism by immersion in much water has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, i.e. to bring the convert into the Kingdom of God, or the Body of Christ or the House of God.

Yet, he makes much ado about baptism being the expressed will of the Lord Jesus for his disciples and therefore should be of great interest to all who desire His approval. If this is true, then the one criminal who was crucified next to Jesus was allowed to enter into God’s Paradise without his approval. And guess why? Well, we all know that he wasn’t baptized by immersion into much water, which according to Ironside,. is a sign of God’s approval.

The most shocking thing about Ironside’s statement, “To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval,” is that it distorts the meaning and purpose of God’s revealed will and therefore deceives the many who are captivated by his remarks.

If water baptism in lots of water gains God’s approval, then Paul of Tarsus was peculiarly lacking in God’s approval because he wrote:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (1 Corinthians 1:17)

Every single will or resolve of the Father expressed in the Bible has a purpose and ultimately a single-minded goal in view.

He never says: “OK you guys, listen up, this particular will or command of mine cannot benefit you in the very least. It has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification; it cannot bring you into my Kingdom; it cannot gain you access into the Body of Christ and it cannot bring you into the House of God. In fact it is completely impotent and cannot do anything for you. Nonetheless, you MUST obey it if you want to obtain my approval.” Really? REALLY???

A simple example will suffice. In 2 Peter 3:9 God expresses his will that none should perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved.

Any old Tom, Dick and Harry will tell you there is a magnanimously divine purpose in this.

His purpose is to grant everyone an opportunity to repent because it is his will that all of mankind, without exception, should enter into his Kingdom and the Body of Christ and the House of God.

No! saith the great Ironside, “To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, . . .”

But my dearest Lord Ironside, can’t you see that this was precisely why Jesus became man? “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8).

God’s entire plan, purpose and will for mankind is to get them all into his Kingdom and yet you demand that we adhere to a ritual that has absolutely no value whatsoever so that we may obtain his approval?

Even the most basic man-made command contained in a country’s constitution has a specific purpose and that is to benefit law abiding citizens and punish the lawbreakers.

But you, Mr. Ironside, demand that we keep a command that benefits no one. Really??? REALLY???

In that case we may as well desist from being baptised by immersion in water because it does not bring us into God’s Kingdom and neither does it bring us into hell.

What then is the expressed will of the Father and his only begotten Son?

Surely if their expressed will was the baptism by immersion in much water so that his disciples may obtain his approval (which replicates a works-based salvation, although many would deny it), then Luke 19:10 should rather read as follows, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost and to baptise them by immersion in great quantities of water so that they may obtain my Father’s approval.” Really? REALLY???

This borders on blasphemy because it denies the efficacy of Christ’s death on the cross, his burial and resurrection. Indeed, it suggests that you have to do something, albeit being baptised by immersion in water, to obtain his approval. Really? REALLY???

Fancy that, Ironside admits that baptism by immersion in water does not save but audaciously declares that it obtains God’s approval.

The result of his immoderate statement suggests that all who are not baptised by immersion in great quantities of water like rivers, dams, swimming pools and the likes, do not have God’s approval. Let’s briefly look more closely at the meaning of the word “approval.”

The Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus defines “approval” as follows:

  • the belief that something or someone is good or acceptable : a good opinion of someone or something
  • permission to do something : acceptance of an idea, action, plan, etc.

Adherents to baptism by immersion in water claim that converts who’d been washed in Christ’s blood (i.e. been saved) are the only approved candidates for baptism by immersion in water.

But wait a second. If salvation through the blood of Christ alone permits him/her entrance into the Kingdom of God, the House of God, and the Body of Christ because God deems them good and acceptable (suitable) for his Kingdom – through the blood of his Son, of course – what kind of approval does baptism by immersion in water offer the repentant sinner?

Is it a special kind of approval that surpasses and exceeds the approval repentant sinners receive who’d been washed and cleansed of all their sins in the blood of Christ? Let met put it this way. The blood of Jesus Christ’s gains God’s approval for repentant sinners to be “delivered . . . from the power of darkness, and . . . [to be]  translated  . . . into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). However, God’s approval of the repentant sinner is only ratified the moment he or she is baptised by immersion in a lot of water in public, AFTER they had been saved. Surely, this gives the “whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose” kind of baptism precedence over Jesus’ kind of baptism.

I hope you can see that, although the adherents to baptism by immersion in water proclaim that baptism has nothing to do with salvation, they are inadvertently or deliberately exalting baptism above salvation, because “it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples (all those who’d already been saved), and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval.

If baptism by immersion in large quantities of water, like a river, a large tub, a swimming pool or whatever, was the will of Jesus Christ for his disciples [including Judas), the Holy Spirit would at least have mentioned it somewhere in Scripture.

The fact is, however, that there is no record in Scripture that any of the disciples went to John the Baptist to be baptised in the Jordan. (John 4:1-2).

Some may argue that the disciples must have been baptised because they themselves baptised new converts (Acts 8:35:39).

As matter of interest; If the phrase “come up out of the water” meant that the convert must be immersed in water and then come up out of the water, it would follow that both Philip and the eunuch were baptised, because Acts 8:39 clearly says that they both came up out of the water.

Among his band of disciples only Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, not to set the example of how future converts should be baptised, but to fulfil everything which He had come to accomplish (Matthew 3:13-17).

The righteousness Jesus had to fulfil (completely accomplish the right thing) was to end the old of which John the Baptist was the last prophet and to bring in the new.

Dr Ironside continues to write:

Baptism certainly is connected with the sphere of profession; that is not disputed, but insisted on; only let there be profession and not infantile unconsciousness.

The Word is simple: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.3:27).

This can only be true of professed believers, who, in this act, publicly put on Christ, or, in other words, acknowledge Him as their Lord.

That it is not, properly speaking, a Church ordinance, but a Kingdom ordinance, I also admit and teach, because, unlike the Lord’s supper, baptism had a place before the Church began, and will have one after it has been taken to heaven; but whether tribulation saints will enter into its import as Christians can is very questionable. (Emphasis added)

Paul often used traditional military and traditional Roman dress codes to illustrate Christian values and truths. Most Christians are thoroughly accustomed with Ephesians 6 where he uses Roman body armour to describe the spiritual armour of God.

He uses something similar when describing what it means to be clothed with Christ in Galatians 3:27.

When a youth came of age in Roman society he was given a special toga which demonstrated that he earned the full rights of his family to be honoured as an adult.

The entire nation of Israel were kept under the disciplinary teaching of the Law and as such were regarded as children being tutored to receive Christ as their Messiah (verse 24).

Jesus Christ, having fulfilled the law (including the old Jewish law of baptism as it was administered by John the Baptist), has given us the right to no longer be regarded as children under the Law but as adult sons through faith, never to be reckoned again as being under a Jewish slave-guardian.

Paul reminded the Galatians Christians that they no longer needed to be UNDER the Law but that they had been COMPLETELY ENVELOPED (covered, clothed) with Jesus Christ (who had fulfilled the Law) the moment they were baptized into Him spiritually by the Holy Spirit.

What we need to discern is whether Paul was referring to the ordinance of baptism by immersion in water or spiritual baptism with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. salvation proper.

Ironside seems to think it refers to the ordinance of baptism subsequent to salvation since he says it can only “be true of professed believers, who in this act [baptism], publically put on Christ, or, in other words acknowledge Him as their Lord.”

The act of baptism by immersion in water in public is therefore equal to the putting on of Christ like a new garment. Whoa! That’s dangerous, very dangerous it suggests that water baptism itself is salvation proper.

A more careful and thorough reading of the passage shows that Paul did not maintain that the putting on of Christ like a new garment occurs in public when the professed believer acknowledges Him as Lord through baptism.

Paul simply said: The moment you were baptized into Christ, that was the moment when you put on Christ.” (Isaiah 61:10). The verse says it so plainly and clearly in the Amplified Bible:

For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.

Water baptism cannot possibly bring a repentant sinner into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One.

And yet Ironside seems to think so. Listen again carefully to what he says: “This (Galatians 3:27) can only be true of professed believers, who, in this act, publicly put on Christ, or, in other words, acknowledge Him as their Lord.”

He says in effect: “All who profess to believe in Jesus Christ (“infantile unconsciousness” cannot profess anything) can and will only put a stamp of approval on their professing faith (and thus obtain the aproval of God), and make it true when they publically put on Christ in this act (baptism by immersion in water) and thus declare Him to be their Lord.

Jesus Himself does not think too highly of people who profess to be believers and acknowledge Him as lord in public (Matthew 7:22).

I’m not suggesting that Ironside was lost. I am merely saying it is dangerous to propound something contrary to what Paul teaches in Galatians 3:27 because it can and does indeed mislead millions into an erroneous soteriology.

Paul never even once mentions that the putting on of Christ must of necessity take place in public.

Ironside sanctimoniously taps those who are guilty of eisegesis (to read something into the text that is not there) over the knuckles but fails to see his own eisegetical blunders.

Yes, of course, if the putting on of Christ is a baptismal ritual, then it must be done in the public eye, as all the adherents to baptism by immersion in water so demand.

However, if the putting on of Christ is salvation proper then it need not be in public. Most salvations occur in private where the repentant sinner is alone with God to reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:28).

Dr Ironside continues:

I am not wholly ignorant of what esteemed brethren? to whom I am indebted for much, have penned on “Household Baptism,” etc., though I remember that others, equally gifted and godly, have differed radically from them; so I would beware of following either unless I have a clear Scriptural basis for so doing.

I confess that while reading the books of the former, their theories seemed very plausible and had certain charms for me; but when I turned from their writings to the word of God I could not find the theories.

It seemed to me that they had read their teachings into Scripture, not out of it; rather eisegesis, than true exegesis. (Persons desirous of investigating the question of the baptism of children in households, in order to weigh what may be said for the practice, will find the leading arguments clearly and graciously stated in “Christian Baptism,” by Waiter Scott; “Reasons for my Faith as to Baptism,” and “A Review of Objections to Household Baptism,” by F.W.Grant. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.” The principle, at least, of this verse is doubtless applicable here.)

I ask an equally careful comparison of my statements in the following pages with the unerring guide, the Word of Truth. ” Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. ”

H.A.IRONSIDE
Oakland, CA, April, 1901

The “esteemed brethren” who “have penned on ‘Household Baptism” are those who argue that the household baptism of Cornelius and his family must have included infants. Whether “infantile unconsciousness” forbids infants to be baptised, remains to be seen in the next edition of my series on “The Importance of Spiritual Baptism.” – Thomas Lessing

Read:  Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 2)

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Hi Thomas

Nope, comments are still open, let’s check the SPAM section. Check the SPAM section, gosh, I really don’t know what happened to your comment Thomas. Sorry. I am very confuzzled.

jrdavis

I have followed this particular conversation with interest regarding the “importance of Baptism”.
There is however something I would like clarification regarding the “church” and the “apostles”.
Speaking of Peter, John and James, Thomas wrote on 1st November/9.50 am;
“They were just as famous and well-known in the church as Paul”.
I understand that most Christian teachers teach that the “church” was a mystery revealed to Paul, or at least that Paul started the “church” after Pentecost; thus the apostles/Israel are NOT part of the church? Are they or not?

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Thomas

>> Let anyone who seeks to be baptized, be baptized but they dare not tell me that anyone who is not baptized by immersion in water is a professing Christian and not saved. That, to me, is arrogance in the extreme.

I agree with you Thomas. I would never do that.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Thomas

Baptism needs to take place by full immersion under water and not by sprinkling of water as a baby. Baptising babies is not biblical as a baby has not believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal saviour and they don’t understand what the baptism is all about.” (Emphasis added)

Neither do babies understand what sin is. However, here is my question.

Do all babies when they die go to heaven? And please, try not to ignore me.

I am not ignoring you Thomas, I am attentively paying attention to what you are saying and learning :) And yes babies go to heaven when they die.

jrdavis

Thomas,
Thank you for clarifying what you believe to be the inauguration of the church.
But when I use that wonderful tool called “Bible Gateway”, I discovered that in Matthew 16.18 and 18.17, it would appear that the church started then? Or at least there is a clear mention of it. Or is this some sort of Roman Catholic teaching, as I have heard Catholics quote these verses as regards the beginnings of their church, which they believe to be the true church.
But without this Roman muddying of the waters, in view of these Scriptures, I would have thought the so-called “Apostolic church” originated then?

Going back to the “Importance of baptism”, it would appear that baptism has NO salvific power at all, and is nothing more than a church sacrament? In view of this then, why are some folk so against infant baptism, especially in the light of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16.33? It doesn’t mention babies, but it does say “all his”, likewise with Lydia in Acts 16.15.
Obviously a baby cannot have faith and repentance toward God, but likewise how many adults have been baptized, wrongly believing in some kind of regeneration from being dipped?
Certainly I believe adult baptism has a value in regards making a public confession of one’s faith. I say “public”, but rather among church members.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Thomas

>> If all babies go to heaven when they die (are saved, in other words), what prevents them from being baptized when they are still babies?

All babies are babies until the age of accountability (age is different in every child). You will have to wait till they are older to baptise them when they know who Jesus is.

>> What makes them any different from adults who are saved and are baptized subsequent to their salvation?

Nothing, they are the same.

Sally Forth

Thomas, I am not ignoring you. I have come to realize that any discussion with you is futile.

Yes, babies/children are covered to go to heaven until the age of accountability.

It is inane and preposturous to suggest that it would be appropriate for babies to be considered for BELIEVER’S baptism. Babies are NOT BELIEVERS. They are innocents not capable of believing and by God’s mercy they are covered by His grace until they reach such an age to comprehend the plan of salvation. To perform the ordinance of BELIEVER’S baptism on a baby would be akin to sacrilege and a mockery.

And to respond to your accusation – I NEVER at any time suggested that you were not saved. And to answer your question, I refer to CHRISTIANS as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I addressed you respectfully and courteously as a brother in Christ, trying to reason with you, only to be spurned and treated condescendingly.

You are deceived about this issue and I sincerely hope that you come to know the truth.

Sharon

“The church was inaugurated on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. Matthew 16:16 is a reference to this day.

The Word CHURCH means a called out assembly. The church did NOT begin at Pentecost. Jesus called his disciples together and basically blessed them and warned them and sent them forth into the world to preach the gospel.

The church was given the power and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Prior to Pentecost there had been baptisms and the Lords Supper. Of course we know that those are the only ordinances for the church. No infant baptism, no salvation outside of Jesus Christ.

Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

According to this verse of scripture it says that the church was already in existence. If not then who were the “added unto them?” These folks trusted in Jesus Christ, were then baptized and then they were “added unto the church” that was in existence already.

JMO

Sharon

Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Mark9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

I’m believing that God the Father & God the Son are very interested in children. Man went against God and have tried for eons to add to or take away from the perfect, Holy & Inspired Word of God.

All a baby gets if baptized is wet and possibly that at both ends. :o)

Thomas
>> If all babies go to heaven when they die (are saved, in other words), what prevents them from being baptized when they are still babies?
Nothing prevents them from being baptised as babies, however babies are babies until the age of accountability (different in every child). You will have to wait till they are older to baptise them when they know who Jesus is.
>> What makes them any different from adults who are saved and are baptized subsequent to their salvation?
Nothing, they are the same.

Sharon

Thomas if I may say, babies that die are SAFE. They have no knowledge of sin & good. They are innocent and unable to understand that God even exists. When Davids first child with Bathsheba died King David said referring to this baby, he cannot come to me but I will go to him. That meant that the baby was in heaven and that David would see and get to know his son in heaven. Babies go to heaven because God intercedes for them. They are SAFE in heaven. It doesn’t matter who their parents were. Calvinists that I know of believe if the parents were of the “elect” then the baby would go to heaven. But if the babies parents were not elect then they went to hell. That is another lie of the Calvinist persuasion.

The baby goes to heaven, not based on themselves, or their parents. They go to heaven because of who God is. My post at the bottom of the page has verses about what God/Jesus says about babies. Those people that have aborted babies and never repented the blood of that baby cries up to God just like when Cain killed his brother Able. His blood cried up to God. When the day comes for judgment I cannot help but believe God will revenge the murders of all of the billions of children that has been abused and murdered.

One thing is clear, Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus love the little children of the world. That is a song from my childhood. I grew up knowing Jesus loved me.

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

I feel like I’m being deliberately ignored. I asked several quesitons and no one answers me. I have one question left for Deborah and Sally.
Deborah wrote:
Baptism needs to take place by full immersion under water and not by sprinkling of water as a baby. Baptising babies is not biblical as a baby has not believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal saviour and they don’t understand what the baptism is all about.” (Emphasis added)
Neither do babies understand what sin is. However, here is my question.
Do all babies when they die go to heaven? And please, try not to ignore me.

Sally Forth

Thomas, you obviously had great respect for Dave Hunt and TBC. I have followed Dave’s ministry for many years and have admired his humble spirit and strong stand for truth based upon solid biblical ground.

Here is a portion of the TBC Statement of Faith:

10.We believe that two ordinances, neither of which is essential to salvation, are to be observed in obedience to our Lord by all believers until Christ’s return: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

I have not dodged your questions. In fact I have answered some that didn’t make much sense. Call me a hypocrite or whatever name you wish. I am done here.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sally

It’s an interesting question that Thomas poses, “Once again: Have you baptized anyone yet?” Thomas is not being silly by asking this question.

He asks this question for a reason, please answer him.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

An article on Baptism by TheBereanCall

Question: I keep encountering the teaching that water baptism has no place in this dispensation; that the entire subject of water baptism is Jewish….Can you help me?
TBC Staff

Feb 1 1995

Question: I keep encountering the teaching that water baptism has no place in this dispensation; that the entire subject of water baptism is Jewish;…that all mention of “baptism” in the Pauline epistles is baptism of the Holy Spirit;…[and that] baptism in the gospels and the Acts applies to Jewish believers only….Can you help me?

Response: Testing this theory against the Scriptures quickly disproves it. In the Great Commission, Jesus very clearly tells the disciples (and us today) to “preach the gospel to every creature [i.e., to every race, tribe and individual, not only to the Jews]. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk 16:15-16). It is clear that while failure to be baptized does not damn the soul (not one verse says so), and although it is not part of the gospel (“Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” – 1 Cor:1:17; see also 1 Cor:15:1-4), yet all who believe the gospel are to be baptized. Christ told the disciples to teach or disciple “all nations [i.e., not only Jews but every nationality], baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mt 28:19). The Great Commission required the disciples to teach their converts to obey everything Christ had commanded them (v 20). Thus each new convert was also to make disciples and teach them to obey all that Christ had taught the original twelve—which included, then and today, baptizing converts from every nation.

We have the record that every Gentile convert was baptized. The Corinthians, who were surely not all Jews but mostly Gentiles, were baptized (1 Cor:1:14-17), as was an Ethiopian when he believed the gospel (Acts:8:35-39). So were the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his relatives when they believed (Acts:10:47-48). Likewise the Philippian jailor (a Gentile) and his house were baptized after they believed on Christ (Acts:16:30-33). There are other scriptures, but these should be sufficient to show that baptism is for today and for all (not just Jews) who believe the gospel. If this generation is to preach the gospel, which it is commanded to do, then it must continue to baptize all who believe it. If only Jews are to be baptized, then the gospel must be only for them. But that is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved. The gospel is “to the Jew first , and also to the Greek [non-Jew]” (Rom:1:16). [Emphasis added]

While baptism doesn’t save, it is an act of obedience on the part of believers who are saved, a declaration to the world that they have been saved not by their good works but by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, of which baptism is a symbol: “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” (Rom:6:4). Baptism is therefore inappropriate for infants who have made no choice to believe the gospel. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians:1:14-17 that baptism is not part of the gospel; one is saved without being baptized. But those who believe are baptized and since salvation is for all, baptism is for all, Gentiles as well as Jews.

source: http://www.thebereancall.org/content/february-1995-q-and-a-1

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Thomas Reply:

The question should not be whether baptism is for Jews and Gentiles. The question should rather be whether John’s baptism was instituted for the Jews and the Gentiles. If John’s baptism was instituted by God for both the Jews and the Gentiles then we should ignore John’s words in 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: (Mat 3:11). Jesus’ baptism superseded that of John. John’s baptism was an “unworthy shoes bearing” baptism. That’s what he said, not I.

I don’t know whether Dave Hunt baptised believers. If not, then he was downright disobedient. And there is no point in saying that he left it to others in the church. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 is NOT for the hierarchy in the church (that started in the RCC) but for all believers. If we are to make disciples of individuals from all nations, then we should baptise them as well. Most Christians, when you ask them, “Have you baptised believers with the believer’s baptism?” they usually say NO! So, who is being disobedient to Christ and his Great Commission?

To use 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 as proof that baptism is inappropriate for infants is really taking it too far. Dave Hunt believed in the universal salvation of all little babies. If baptism is so important then babies who all go to heaven must at least be baptised with the sprinkling of water. Why should they, when Christ’s blood covers them whilst they are still in a state of innocence and incapable of sinning, be excluded from the important rite of baptism? Philip did indeed say to the Ethiopian eunuch “if you believe with all your heart then you may be baptised” (Acts 8:37) but failed to explain to the Samaritans that they could not be baptised unless they were saved (Acts 8:15). In fact, he baptised unbelievers who as yet had not received the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).

If Dave Hunt’s rendition of Romans 6:4 is correct then the symbol of water baptism ratifies our death with Christ and not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The verse clearly says “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism (immersion) into death.” You can either interpret this as: “Therefore we are buried with him by the symbol of immersion into water into death” OR “Therefore we are buried with him by the baptism of the Holy Spirit into death.” The one is an unworthy shoes bearing baptism and the other a Holy Spirit baptism.

Hunt’s rendering would have to be something like “Therefore we are buried with him by the symbol of water baptism into death.” That cannot be possible because it is the Holy Spirit (the Living Water) that baptises believers into death and not a symbol. That is precisely why John said: “I indeed baptize you with water (a symbol)) 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.” The immersion (baptism) here is a spiritual baptism into death.

Apart from Romans 6:4 that allegedly signifies water baptism, I find no other verse in Scripture that says water baptism is a symbol of a believers identification with Christ. Romans 6:4 does not say that our identification is through the symbol of immersion in water but through reasoning (the rational use of our minds). Our reasoning that we are dead and buried is the thing that makes our death and burial a daily reality and not a once-off symbol bearing rite. We should stop teaching people that their victory over sin lies in a once-off symbolic rite of baptism while we fail to tell them what the Bible tells us to tell them – “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. ” (Romans 6:11)

I find it rather strange that Hunt acknowledged that Paul was sent NOT to baptize but to preach the gospel. And yet he seems to suggest that baptism is part of the Gospel. He wrote: “If only Jews are to be baptized, then the gospel must be only for them. But that is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved. The gospel is “to the Jew first , and also to the Greek [non-Jew]” (Rom:1:16).”

“Repent and believe the Gospel” is the only prerequisite for anyone to be saved. Hunt acknowledges this but then says “But that (baptism only for the Jews) is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved.” How does that work for you? Baptism does not save but if you do not baptise both Jews and Gentiles then it will leave the rest of us unsaved? What he says in effect, is: “If baptism by immersion in water was only for the Jews, then the rest of us would have been unsaved.” So much for his statement that baptism is not necessary for salvation. He is combining salvation and baptism into one and the same bundle for salvation. If baptism had been an indispensable part of the Gospel (Good News), then Paul would have baptised everyone he converted to Christ. Who is correct – Hunt or Paul of Tarsus?

Let’s assume that John’s baptism by immersion in water was only for the Jews and not for the Gentiles. Does it thwart or frustrate the salvation of the Gentiles? Does it keep them from being saved? Of course not because John’s water baptism is not an indispensable ingredient of salvation. Nonetheless, Gentiles ought to be baptised, not in water but with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. The obvious conclusion is that BAPTISM is not necessary for salvation (John’s baptism designed for the Jews) but BAPTISM is necessary for salvation (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit). So, it does not matter whether John’s baptism was for the Jews or not; it does nothing to alter the Gentiles’ position in Christ when they are baptised with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Yet, Hunt says: “”But that (baptism only for the Jews) is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved.” Hunt is contradicting himself when he says the notion that John’s baptism is only for the Jews is unbiblical and in the same breath that it has nothing to do with salvation. If John’s baptism is for both Jews and Gentiles, which is the biblical view according to Hunt, then the rest won’t be left unsaved. I don’t think Hunt realized what he was saying when he said it.

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jrdavis

To quote Sharon, speaking of Acts 2.41:

“According to this verse of Scripture it says that the church was already in existence. If not then who were the “added unto them?” These folks trusted in Jesus Christ, were then baptized and then “added unto the church” that was in existence already.

This makes much sense. Just because the Roman Catholic church have twisted the meaning of Matthew 16.18, doesn’t mean the church wasn’t started then upon the Rock which is Christ?
The Church must have originated with His little flock?

Regarding the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, CERTAINLY the Holy Spirit came down in great measure “in the house where they were all sitting” Acts 2.2. But, surely according to Luke 1 the Holy Spirit indwelt Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, and likewise Simeon in Luke 2.25.

jrdavis

Thomas,
You write;

“The church could never have started without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That happened on the Day of Pentecost. It was then and only then that the Holy Spirit could indwell believers permanently. He never indwelt people permanently BEFORE His outpouring on the Day of Pentecost.”

Would you provide Scripture Chapter and Verses that teach this?
I would agree with Sharon’s comment that the church’s origins were “already in existence” prior to Pentecost.

Sharon

It absolutely could start without the Holy Spirit and it did start while Jesus was on earth. The church was empowered at Pentecost. As long as Jesus was on the planet the Holy Spirit could not come. Only one part of the Trinity can be on earth at a time.That is why Jesus told the disciples that it was expedient for them that he go back to the Father so thatthe Comforter/Holy Spirit could come.

Church= Called Out Assembly. Jesus called them together and ordained them to preach unto the House of Israel only. That is what they did. Once the church was empowered there was added unto THEM (the already existing church in the upper room)about 3,000 souls.

Baptism is the first Ordinance of the Church
The Lord’s Supper is the second & last.
Both of those had been done prior to Pentecost. The Pre-Pentecost Church had observed both of those ordinances.

Under whose authority did those things take place? It was done by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the HEAD of the True Church. Later after He went back to the Father the authority to do those ordinances was entrusted to the Church.

So my friend, the True Church was in existence prior to Pentecost. Jesus left the planet, the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers, empowered the church and then the Disciples turned the world up-side down for the cause of Jesus Christ.

His Peace to you.

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