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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Sharon

Thomas, they didn’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit prior to Pentecost is true. But they were in the physical presence of Jesus Christ. As long as Jesus was there with them they didn’t need the indwelling. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came and began to live in them.

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

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.

Sharon

Semantics. They aren’t “saved” but they are SAFE, in Heaven. They had no opportunity to be saved since they died so very young. They, like all mankind are “eternal beings.” Since it is not our Fathers will that they perish, do we do as the Calvinists who say that only the BABIES OF THE ELECT go to heaven should they die? If that is true then scripture stating that it is not His will for these babes to perish we need to remove those verses then. Of course those children are in heaven. To believe other wise is calling Jesus a liar.

So then, they are SAFE in heaven with our Lord Jesus. Can they be called SAVED? Perhaps saved from perishing according to our Fathers unwillingness that they perish.
But they are not SAVED in the same sense as we are. We realized we were a sinner that deserved hell. We received by faith Jesus Christ and repented of our sin and by the same faith believe we will spend eternity in heaven with God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit.

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

SA Topsites ::

Dan

I agree with that Thomas. The history of the Church starts on the day of Pentecost and finishes on the day of the Rapture.

Sharon

Oh my. My point is they are in heaven. I have lived in many different places. Some words mean the same thing in some places and totally different in others. So…drop semantics. No I didn’t learn some man-made teaching.

Your comment: Are the little babies who are “safe” kept in the “safe compartment” in heaven whilst those who are “saved” are kept in the “saved compartment?” Or do little babies share in the same glories and blessings of heaven than those who have been saved?

It seems that sarcastic remarks mean the same every where and you Thomas are a very sarcastic man.

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

Sharon wrote
Semantics. They aren’t “saved” but they are SAFE, in Heaven. They had no opportunity to be saved since they died so very young. They, like all mankind are “eternal beings.” Since it is not our Fathers will that they perish, do we do as the Calvinists who say that only the BABIES OF THE ELECT go to heaven should they die? If that is true then scripture stating that it is not His will for these babes to perish we need to remove those verses then. Of course those children are in heaven. To believe other wise is calling Jesus a liar.
No, not SEMANTICS but deliberately changing the meaning of words. “Saved” means “saved” and “safe” means “safe.” The word “safe” appears only thirteen times in Scripture and never, I repeat never in connection with little babies. You must have heard it from your pastor who heard it from someone else which makes it a manmade doctrine. I am not interested in manmade doctrines. Here’s the truth:

Nonetheless, they are tainted with the sins of their parents (Psalm 51:5). It is this taint of sin from which little babies must be saved and washed in the blood of Christ. Only the blood of Christ can wash away the babies’ taint of the sins of their parents. As such they are saved because the blood of Christ saves and does not merely make one safe. That’s nonsense. To say that the blood of Christ makes one safe, to me, demeans Christ’s blood and his sacrifice on the cross.
Are the little babies who are “safe” kept in the “safe compartment” in heaven whilst those who are “saved” are kept in the “saved compartment?” Or do little babies share in the same glories and blessings of heaven than those who have been saved?

Sharon

I realize that sarcasm was used in the Bible. As for my being an emotional woman, yes I am and there is a reason why as well but that is between me and the Good Lord.

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

Sharon wrote:
It seems that sarcastic remarks mean the same every where and you Thomas are a very sarcastic man.

Didn’t you know that sarcasm was often used by some of the Old Testament prophets, Paul and even Jesus sometimes to convey something they wanted to emphasize and bring across to their listerners in a more forceful way?
Once again, Jesus’ blood does not only make one safe; his blood SAVES to the uttermost!
And you, Sharon, are a very emotional woman.

Sally Forth

Sharon, you are right concerning the issue of babies and children under the age of accountability. Thomas is quite confused. It doesn’t matter how we refer to their condition, they are covered by the blood of our Lord and in His perfect plan He does not condemn those who are incapable of understanding and receiving Him. Salvation requires BELIEVING and babies cannot believe. Thomas is nitpicking as to you referring to them as “safe”.

jrdavis

Thomas,
So, Zecharias, Elisabeth, Anna, Simeon, John the Baptist and others who were filled with the Holy spirit will get raptured at the same time as the Church? This seems to be what you are saying as they would be “one in Christ” as they certainly believed He was the coming Saviour? Simeon and Anna for example, seen and believed in the Messiah according to the OT Scriptures, Luke 2.30 and Luke 2.38? They like Mary believed in “God my Saviour” Luke 1.47?
Having said the above, if the Church started at Pentecost, this wouldn’t make sense? Yet I believe the Scriptures teach that the Church started with Jesus when he called out to Himself His disciples as He was/is the Rock in Matthew 16.18? I shall have to dig deeper…

Sharon

jrdavis wrote:

Thomas,

Yes & Amen.

So, Zecharias, Elisabeth, Anna, Simeon, John the Baptist and others who were filled with the Holy spirit will get raptured at the same time as the Church? This seems to be what you are saying as they would be “one in Christ” as they certainly believed He was the coming Saviour? Simeon and Anna for example, seen and believed in the Messiah according to the OT Scriptures, Luke 2.30 and Luke 2.38? They like Mary believed in “God my Saviour” Luke 1.47?
Having said the above, if the Church started at Pentecost, this wouldn’t make sense? Yet I believe the Scriptures teach that the Church started with Jesus when he called out to Himself His disciples as He was/is the Rock in Matthew 16.18? I shall have to dig deeper…

Sharon

Sally Forth wrote:

Sharon, you are right concerning the issue of babies and children under the age of accountability. Thomas is quite confused. It doesn’t matter how we refer to their condition, they are covered by the blood of our Lord and in His perfect plan He does not condemn those who are incapable of understanding and receiving Him. Salvation requires BELIEVING and babies cannot believe. Thomas is nitpicking as to you referring to them as “safe”.

I don’t know whether you realize it but you are saying exactly what I have been saying
Thomas…you are swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat. Safe & Saved are interchangeable. These babies are not saved like we are. They cannot place their faith in Jesus Christ like we have. They will be in heaven because of who God is and God the Father is not willing that any of these little ones parish. The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.

Thomas, you are my brother in the Lord. I will not post on this topic any more. I believe you like beating a dead horse. Debra told me not too long ago that you are a good guy. I will take her word for it.

Thomas wrote:

I said that all babies are covered by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and as such they are all saved for all eternity. But you and Sharon find it convenient to make a difference between “safe” and “save.” “Safe” does not require faith because little babies are unable to believe but “save” does. The fact is that both “safe” and “save” have their root in the same word “sozo” which means to be saved or to be made whole. Both believing adults and little babies who cannot believe are saved and made whole. There is not difference.
None of you have as yet explained what you mean by “safe.” What do you mean by “safe?” Do you mean they are safe but not saved?

Sally Forth

Sharon said:

Thomas…you are swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat. Safe & Saved are interchangeable. These babies are not saved like we are. They cannot place their faith in Jesus Christ like we have. They will be in heaven because of who God is and God the Father is not willing that any of these little ones parish. The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.

She answered Thomas’ question clearly and concisely as did I. Thomas is the one doing the twisting of Scripture and has shone by his own words that he is void of compassion, even accusing Sharon of self-pity while pridefully saying he would never disclose his emotional hurts thereby putting her down for sharing hers.

Even as she showed charity to him, he spurns her good intentions. Perhaps Thomas would do well to review the fruits of the Holy Spirit which should be the hallmark of every believer lest we become a clanging cymbal and sounding brass. Speaking the truth in love and seasoned with grace displays a humble spirit, not thinking more highly of ourselves as the Scripture admonishes us.

I came to Sharon’s defense and this is my final word. I extend grace to all concerned.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sharon

Can you ask that you don’t bring in your life story into this, because it’s really got nothing to do with the subject at hand. Getting all emotional about it ain’t going to help anybody :) ok? Thomas is not bulling you, he is debating with you.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sally

Thomas was not demeaning Sharons emotional state, you are now taking things way to far. Stop it.

jrdavis

Thomas,
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Holy Spirit came down from above in Acts 2, and the Bible teaches that, as Jesus said Himself the “comforter” would come; John 16.7. But that still DOESN’T mean that the Church didn’t start prior to that great event? Certainly Peter was a changed man and without the Holy Spirit descending on Pentecost the Church would never have became empowered at that time from above.
I am starting to see how the “beginning of the Church” is an important issue in regards to the timing of the rapture. The “rapture” came into my line of thought because a contributor of yours, Dan stated; “The history of the Church starts on the day of Pentecost and finishes on the day of the Rapture”, but is this really so?Because if the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in Matthew 24-25 as the founders of the New Testament Church, then the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine becomes untenable? Therefore if one believes that the Church started in the Gospels when Jesus called out His disciples, you cannot then hold to the pre-tribulation rapture? It just wouldn’t add up? So to have a pre-tribulation deliverance/rapture and a Second Coming, you need to separate the Church from Israel/OT believers? Surely this is contrary to what you were communicating in an earlier reply when quoting from Ephesians 2.11-18. If we are to be “one in Christ” then don’t we have a common salvation, Jude 3 ? I believe I read somewhere, “The Church is in the Old Testament concealed, and in the New Testament revealed”.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sharon

Please read and understand what Thomas is saying about Baptism. I was totally wrong in my thinking. We have all been led to believe that baptism is a once off dip in the water symbol, it’s not…to repeat what Thomas said, “I need to remind you that the believer’s baptism (immersion) into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not constituted by a once-off symbol bearing sacrament but a continual and obedient reckoning (rational) that we are indeed dead to sin and alive to God.”

Hans

Tom stated:So Jesus was actually saying that Nicodemus, in order to enter the Kingdom of God, needed to turn to Him (repent) True. However true repentance can only come about by real faith, faith in the Name of Christ, the Word whom became flesh.
6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

We should be washed by the water of the word. Faith in the Word are followed by obedience to the word (a washing by the Word) and is a daily exercise as Tom pointed out.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

>> We should be washed by the water of the word. Faith in the Word are followed by obedience to the word (a washing by the Word) and is a daily exercise as Tom pointed out.

Thanks Hans!

Micheline

Hi
OFF TOPIC – Can someone pls give me the link to the section where you can ask general questions….I’ve been looking for it for hour now….no success :(
Thank you

Sharon

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 3:5 A man being born of water….John 3:6 tells us that is his “fleshly birth.” Jesus distinguished the difference of being born in the flesh (water) and being born in the spirit or born again.(3:7)
John 3:5 is not referring to baptism. It is referring to the birth of a person. That baby is in a watery sack until it breaks and is then born the first time. Jesus says, that which is born of the flesh…he explains verse five.

But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.

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