Max Lucado - Baptism

At Jubilee 97 Max Lucado preached a system which denies baptism in order to or for the remission of sins. Max Lucado's radio messages seem to allow one to become a child of God by prayer. This may be an attempt to balance the error of seeing baptism as an "act" to be legally performed whatever the age. However, like "the foolishness of preaching," Baptism as a burial is the perfect model of one who abandons all power to earn salvation. Indeed, we are baptized by the "spirit" when we are baptized in water.

Max Lucado: The absolute MARK

John 17:14 I have given them thy word;
        and the world hath hated them,
        because they are not of the world,
        even as I am not of the world.
John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me
         I have given them;
        that they may be one, even as we are one:
2Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly
        in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Jer 23:17 They say still unto them that despise me,
        The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace;
        and they say unto every one that walketh
        after the imagination of his own heart,
        No evil shall come upon you.

Christ the Spirit spoke through the Prophets. If you command what He has not commanded you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit of Christ  Your own imagination is evil

Jesus doesn't pray for the WORLD: that is the Kosmos or adorning world of ancient paganism. Jesus said that God HIDES Himself from the wise: the wise are the sophists meaning speakers, singers and instrument players who use deception to steal your church and soul
Max Lucado. Index of Articles.
Max Lucado Creed
Baptism is our pledge only
The Thief on the Cross
Saved by Trust Only
Romans 6 and baptism
Proof Texts from a Lexicon on music used to deceive his elders-who cannot retreat.
The Worship Team under the PATTERN of the Levites is prophetic: The Levites volunteered to execute 3,000 of the brethren who had engaged in musical idolatry at Mount Sinai

The COMMAND in 2 Chronicles 29 is that the Levites stand in military ranks.
They made noise to warn any godly person that they would be EXECUTED if they came near.
The Levite Pattern is SOOTHSAYERS with INSTRUMENTAL backup.  John 18 calls Them SORCERERS with instrumental backup.

Violent men take the Kingdom by Violence laded burdens are songs
The Kingdom of God does not come by Religious Observations.
Salvation by Grace Through Faith and not by our WORKS: Rhetoric, song writing, music performance

It is bad thinking to use Alexander and Thomas Campbell to "prove" that Baptism is JUST ASSURANCE that we have been saved. That is not honest. See how they all follow Leroy Garrett into calling Jesus, Peter, Paul and most of church historiansliars.

Review of Max Lucado's Creed on baptism:
Part One: The Thief on the Cross Saved without Baptism! No: Christ had not yet preached to the pre- Cross faithful nor ascended into heaven.
Part Two: Baptism is just a pledge that you have been saved? No: Baptism is our REQUEST TO God; not OUR guaranteeing OUR faith and future conduct to gain "church" membership.
Part Three: Salvation by Trust Only or Prayer Only? 12/5/02 See how the GA, Shelly, Lucado Trithism as A Family of Gods leads naturally to despising the counsel of the human Jesus and how Baptists Baptism denies that Christ came FULLY in the flesh.
Part Four: Romans 6: Baptism DOES NOT save?
Jesus said that without being born AGAIN of Water and Spirit or Water and the Word you CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter into His kingdom or rule which is the Ekklesia or Christian synagogue or school of the Bible. The seven "spirits" of Isaiah 11:1-4 which would rest on the BRANCH are all related to forms of spiritual knowledge. Jesus said "My Words are Spirit and Life." Therefore, you might join a venue for Rock and Roll peddled as "worship" but Jesus Christ WILL NOT be your free-of-charge Teacher until He washes your spirit or mind. Only then do you have access to the seven spirits represented by the Menorah or Candlestick which gave LIGHT to the Holy Place along with the table of bread and the incense altar. Each Christian "priest" must look into the Most Holy Place with their own prayers. Then, you can enter into the Most Holy Place to meet God. Jesus said that the ONLY new PLACE is the human spirit as it gives heed to the Spirit of Truth through the Word. Don't believe the lie that "musical teams" lead you into the presence of God: that makes them claim to be God standing in the Holy Place. Not in the vilest pagan temple could singers and musicians enter into the holy precincts on the penalty of death. Don't follow people making "Christianity" viler than paganism. If you are part of the 5 out of 13,000 congregations then you have become a laughing stock just like the musical idolatrs at Mount Sinai which forfeited and continues to forfeit the Covenant of Grace.

People who refute this have a "spirit" which intends to hurt you real bad.

New Max Lucado material REBUKING the name of CHRIST to establish an effeminate, pagan religion. ACU prepares te way:

Carrol D. Osburn on Women: The ACU Agenda: Train Prophetic roles, Channelers and Facilitators the method of subverting the 'hierarchial" views of Jesus and Paul is "Feminist hermeneutics stands over against patriarchal hermeneutics" its goal achieved "by small, often unnoticed acts of SUBVERSION. Numerous such incremental changes, like EROSION, will eventually bring down the FORTRESS " ( p. 32).

LYNN ANDERSONS BRINGS PROMISE KEEPERS SHEPHERDING AND DISCIPLING DILEMA TO ST. LOUIS.An Index of Articles of the turn from the WORD to SYMBOLS AND IMAGES (IDOLS). Don't confess your sexual secrets to ANYONE: He will turn and rend you. A REAL FRIEND could blackmail you with it.

The National Shepherding Movement

An Index of Article Reviews of Max Lucado's Views which includes a city-wide denomination under the MOTHERCHURCH and DISCIPLING PASTOR to upgrade the morals.

Is Max Lucado Bringing Promise Keeper's SHEPHERDING MOVEMENT to Oak Hills.This would add to the Purpose Driven Cult and extablish a PROMISE KEEPERS denomination since over 100 "pastors" are already organized by MAX.

All of the Jubilee-Post Modern theology flows out of this:

First: Claiming of the Greeks: The apostles filtered their own fragmentary knowledge about Jesus through the philosophy and theology of the Greek-Roman world. Out of this they performed Narrative Theology to fulfil their own evangelistic agenda. For instance, Rubel Shelly can take the terminal musical idolatry at Mount Sinai for which God "turned them over to worship the starry host" into a pattern for Christian worship and community. Here is an example of John finally discovering the connection between Jesus and the Logos and introducing it back into his account constructed by "taking liberties." Here is his use of Plato versus the Old Testament. Then, this system can be used to accuse Jesus of being a winebibber.

Second, everything has been put through the Shelly Filter and the only reliable part of the Bible is seven factual statements about Jesus which somehow survived.

Therefore, we are talking past one another just like a Mormon talks past a Bible believer.

Jubilee Chickens Hatching

Madison Church of Christ Concerned Members Forum

Madison Church of Christ: Musical Seed Sown, Thistles of Discord Reaped as Planned.

See how Godly Deacons Draw A line in the MUCK.
First, note that: Preachers of the "core gospel" use narrative theology or "take liberties" with the Words of the Spirit. However, they hide "the rest of the story" from you so that you will be fools and keep on paying them. Paul's message throughout his epistles was that one cannot preach the "core gospel" of a crucified Christ and still demand the "daily dole" of the temple worker, threshing oxen or soldier:

What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 1 Cor 9:18

This was a direct repudiation of the "many" who "saw godliness as a means of financial gain." The "core gospel" never sunk in at Corinth. Therefore, Paul asked of the trained super speakers or theatrical performers:

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 2 Cor 11:23

Second, note that trained speakers and "super apostles" insist on preaching a "core gospel": Just Jesus and Him crucified.

However, Paul made that statement to condemn carnal Corinthians who could not bring themselves to be "meek and lowly in spirit."

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 2 Cor 11:4KJV

You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all. 2 Cor 11:4LIV

But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles." 2 Cor 11:5

I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 2 Cor 11:6

Again, Paul shows that if someone claims "I am an apostle" or "I am a charismatic evangelist by the sovereign grace of God" people are gullible. That is why peddlers of the Word can take advantage of those Paul using irony branded as fools:

For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 2 Cor 11:19

For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 2 Cor 11:20

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: Ga.2:4

Here is the meaning of those who devour people in order to be famous or rich:

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. Rev 12:4

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Mt.23:14

The "spirit" fueling much of the modern church is NOT holy! Rather, it comes out of an old wine jug of near-gone preachers just "sipping the wine" -- just sitting and spitting on the front porch of the "temple" of God. The urge to reject baptism flows from the same "new wine in a new wineskin" to replace the pure, fruit of the vine placed in "ceremonially pure vessels of clay" by Jesus.

The NEW WINE IN OLD WINESKINS parable quenches the thirst of modern agents of restructure of the church. Understand this and you will understand the old restructure when the Word of Christ was held to be still "fermening" so that it will fit a church "trying to be as much like the world as possible."

Hear Jesus ridicule the new Wineskins religion.

New Wineskins - Drinking the Cup of God's Wrath

The fear or even hatred of water in God's plan (modelled after creation, the flood, the Red Sea, the creation and recreation of Israel, the Word, the Spirit) causes those who teach salvation by faith only (or repentance only) to teach that when Paul called upon the name of the Lord this was salvation by prayer only.

Rather than so-called "believer's baptism" to be based on pure grace, the evidence shows that , like the Eucharist, demands the personal work of Christ in dying for the sinner who has worked his way through the "law" and is given faith as a gift.

When a prominent writer of any group writes definitive books and lectures in many religious gatherings, it is tempting for enemies of the church to "stack" that writer as a "chip" on their side of any doctrinal issue. The views about baptism expressed at Jubilee 97 by Max who was Keynoter for that purpose (as well as those who imported him), and denounced by many very moderate congregations, has passed judgment upon congregations and defined, by some of the group, as sectarian and destructive. This sounds less judgmental to the non-readers when church doctrine of the church is denounced with the words "decadent and deliterious." (rotten and destructive) (Shelly / Harris, Second Incarnation)

Those views are "stacked" by opponents of the church on their side of the issue which is publically spread in the media as division in the church and ridicule heaped upon them.

Max Lucado: For instance, a newspaper article notes that:

People in the pews, even many preachers, have begun to regard professing Christians at the church down the street as the real thing.

Even if they sing their hymns with organs.
Even if they take Communion quarterly rather than weekly.
Even if they were sprinkled rather than dipped.

Max has since boiled the frogs by slowly introducing instruments--based on a Lynn Anderson defense of instruments and assuming the right to UPSET COMFORT ZONES with a female twist--so that the Sunday Morning assembly is a full blown Rock and Roll presentation with the "owners" demoted to silent observers.

How can people have the time or god-like ability to decide that "I'm ok, your'e ok?" Perhaps there is a case of "underemployment" among those whom we believe have no "official" campacity in the local congregation, much less to do a litmus test to decide and pass the judgment: "We have now decided that you're ok?"

In the end, this view says that people have no choice and no part in obeying what is clearly expressed in the Bible. All they can do is "call upon the name of the Lord" and, in Calvinism, even this was prompted by God and you have no choice. God decides to save a few but the majority He decides to create just, it seems, to populate hell. This includes "infants not an inch long squirming in hell."

However, the world-wide attempt to restore the church by going directly to the Bible rather than relying upon the cumulative doctrinal decisions of the world, has led churches of Christ to accept the early, time-honored view that Jesus meant what all translators believe that He meant: that baptism is for or in order to Christ's accepting us into His family by forgiving our sins.

Because many people change their opinions based totally upon the pronouncements of a popular lecturer, it is important to understand that the views expressed and defended by Jubilee 97 - Jubilee 99 have to make the Bible mean what it does not say. defensive and attack the questioners." It is not proof of deep intelligence to say that examining anyones published views about the Bible is judgmental and Pharisaical. Yet, this device works to silence many: it did not work on Jesus, paul or any free-in-Chist person.

The dogma of faith only or "demand only" is based upon two teachers: Luther and Calvin/Zwingli.

Faith only to Zwingli who is the founder of the John Smyth (Smith) dogma is Calvinistic. This means that not even reading the word in the hope of acquiring "faith by hearing" is allowable. Not even praying is allowable. If you are predestinated to salvation God will get you, willing or not. This is the typical Baptist view based upon Zwingli. In many respects it is quite identical to pagan baptism. Zwingli simply misunderstood the Reformers view of "faith only."

Faith only to Martin Luther is closer to the Biblical view. He wrote:

But as our would-be wise, new spirits assert that faith alone saves, and that works and external things avail nothing, we answer:

It is true, indeed, that nothing in us is of any avail but faith, as we shall hear still further. But these blind guides are unwilling to see this, namely,

that faith must have something which it believes, that is, of which it takes hold, and upon which it stands and rests.

Thus faith clings to the water, and believes that it is Baptism, in which there is pure salvation and life;

not through the water (as we have sufficiently stated), but through the fact that it is embodied in the Word and institution of God, and the name of God inheres in it.

The view of getting a Holy Father simply by calling God "Father" has no foundtion in the Bible, church history, our common practices or common sense.

We do not make a personal attack upon Max Lucado. Our authority is given by the Holy Spirit Who demands that we "test the spirits because many false teachers have gone out." The "many" will always be wrong and the "few" will be among the despised and rejected along with all faithful Bible characters -- Including God Incarnate Himself. Don't let your knee jerk and you will discover that Max is called to task for both extremes: "Asking" God to you your father, and "baptismal regeneration." The truth lies in the middle as usual.

I am not much of a crowd-follower and perhaps am unfair about other people's need to congregate. I think parades are some mystical, ancient paganism which I cannot understand or appreciate. Therefore, I am not a judge of the value of religious festivals and male-bonding or identification rituals to others. However, like parades, a little understanding of ancient religious myths make me think that something mystical or even sinister is taking place. My comments, therefore, are an attempt to convince us all to sit down, shut up, open our Bibles and listen to God speak "in the whisper of a voiced silence." (Paraphrasing Karen Armstrong's great work, A History of God). I have no God-like urge to convert you to my position.

When the mind is put into disequilibrium by mass meetings, schedules, expectations, lights, sounds and music, it is easy for speakers to overstate their position and the "audience" to overhear and accept token Scripture with a lot of opinion as equivalent to the Scriptures themselves. Such is the danger of personality evangelism.

Certainly faith matters perhaps more than we can comprehend, but faith must become an active verb. Because Max was not baptized for me I had better get my new revelation out of the old water skin of the Word. Max should be able to continue his venture without my help. However, if Max becomes the model for baptism then I think both of us will be disturbed.

Jublee 97 and Baptism

None of the FAITH ONLY people ever taught that faith without an object saves. Nor, did they preach the simple PAGAN form of baptism adopted by Max Lucado and Baptists without understanding the context of the originators. John Calvin as distorted by history couldn't say it better:

In a television interview in Nashville, TN, July 2, 1997, Max Lucado said:

"I believe in baptism. Jesus was baptized. The Bible teaches baptism. I just don't believe that baptism saves you.

I believe that Jesus Christ saves us.
And baptism is
one of those ways we celebrate our salvation.
It's really the initial
step of the faithful believer."

"I really believe in faith. Jesus believed. The Bible teaches faith. I just don't believe faith saves you. I believe Jesus Christ saves us.

And faith is one of those ways we celebrate our salvation. It's really the initial step of the faithful believer."

"I really believe in repentance. The Bible teaches repentance. I just don't believe repentance saves you. I believe Jesus Christ saves us. And repentance is one of those ways we celebrate our salvation. It's really the initial step of the faithful believer."

"I really believe in confession. Jesus confessed. The Bible teaches confession. I just don't believe confession saves you. I believe Jesus Christ saves us. And confession is one of those ways we celebrate our salvation. It's really the initial step of the faithful believer."

You should understand that John Mark Hicks discussing INCARNATION theories of Max Lucado as dittoed by Rubel Shelly notes that Max Lucado seems to deny the full humanity of Jesus Christ. If true this would define ANTI-CHRIST teaching. In Cosmic Christmas Max Lucado picks up on ancient Gnostic views that Jesus came from God as a VIAL of light. Of course, the idea is that Jesus passed through Mary and did not partake of her humanity. Of so, this would define the teachings of ANTI-CHRIST.

This view leads to Calvinism which declares that one should not do anything-- even read the Bible-- believing that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." This Anti- Christian view gags at the notion that their "god" could dare use any things physical as a MEANS.

Unfortunately, the BAPTIST FAITH ONLY view utterly fails to grasp men like Zwingli who denied BAPTISMAL REGENERATION in the sense that infants could be saved by sprinkling. The view was that Baptism without Faith does not save: therefore, baptism does not save. However, most never denied that BAPTISM based on faith saves:

"Shepherd quotes the following words from J.W. Wilmarth, a prominent Baptist scholar: "To be baptized unto Christ, as the context seems to indicate direction of mind in the act, the result being stated, ye have put on Christ, clothed yourselves with Christ (so to speak), involving the ideas of unity and conformity. And this is mentioned (as the word 'for' shows) to confirm the preceding statement, 'Ye are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.' Here, then, Faith and Baptism are united (as elsewhere), and united in their relation to adoption, which results in union with Christ. All this, of course, implies Remission" (p. 398). Shepherd copied these revealing remarks from Baptism and Remission in the Baptist Quarterly, July 1877, p. 310.

Also picked up somewhere is the statement that:

"Albert Barnes was, for many years, the preacher for the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1951, a reprint) are in the libraries of thousand and thousands of preachers throughout the world. I shall read two statements from Barnes--one from his commentary on Acts 2:38 and the other on 1 Peter 3:21. Concerning the expression "for the remission of sins," Barnes comments: "Not merely the sin of crucifying the Messiah, but all sins.

"There is nothing in baptism itself that can wash away sins.

"That can be done only by the pardoning mercy of God through the atonement of Christ. But baptism is expressive of a willingness to be pardoned in that way, and is a solemn declaration of our conviction there is not other way of remission. He who comes to be baptized, comes with a professed conviction that he is a sinner; and that there is not other way of mercy but in the gospel, and with the professed willingness to comply with the terms of salvation, and to receive it as it is offered through Jesus Christ" (p. 53).

That is what Peter said:

And 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, 1 Pet 3:21

Well, Baptism didn't get drowned and didn't even get wet at Nashville Jubilee 97. It will still be there when Nashville Jubilee 99 has come and gone and the residue will be a lot of notes tossed on the floor. Most of the Baptists won't attend and the "sectarian" church of Christers won't either because they already know Whom they believe. And didn't Jesus say: "Don't go out. The kingdom of God is within you." If you have lost the Kungian "now but not ye kingdom" of Christ don't expect to find it except, according to Jesus, within yourselves.

Those who were quick to judge this writer for reporting what Max taught, listened to the tapes of Jubilee 97 and sheepishly admitted: "That is what he said." Yep. It is not judgmental of a person to report what they believe and teach as a new dogma to be sold to those who believe what Jesus said and was practiced beginning on the day of Pentecost.

All of the church of Christ is astir because Max is said to have rejected their notion of baptism. However, the Baptists seem all astir because Max, whose books penetrate the inner sanctums of the group, is still believed to preach "water regeneration." Perhaps there is a need for clear speech.

On the one hand:

Well, we just don't know. Max Lucado is supposed to have said, according to one critic, and thereby necessarily "denounced his Christianity to become a member of the Campbellite, church of Christ cult." This is because Max says, on the one hand:

"It is necessary to respond to God's free offer of salvation by faith, repentance, and baptism. As we confess Christ as our Lord and are baptized by immersion, God meets us, forgives our sins and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers each of us." (Max Lucado)

Because Max said that, the critic responds that Max teaches baptismal regeneration:

"See for yourself that Max Lucado is indeed masquerading as a Christian in Christian circles. It should really bother Christians that the Church of Christ teaches that if you were baptized already believing your sins were forgiven, that you need to reject that baptism. Then, after renouncing that baptism and believing that you were never saved in the first place, that you will never be saved until you are baptized for the express purpose of having your sins forgiven. This is a false gospel that damns to hell! (Gal. 1:6-9)

If it is acceptable to Promise Keepers and Jubilee 98 I will just keep the walls up between myself and the overwhelming majority who will never accept church of Christers except on their terms. That is, you will have to denounce belief in the value of baptizm. God gives us the right to choose without denying your right to choose. After all, choice is the key "test" of discipleship.

Max might tell the "infant" baptizers among us that Baptism is important but baptism is more than being baptized into water: it includes being baptized into Christ. Or we might say, baptized in connection with His death. Or that we have died to ourselves--hopefully before the burial--and we are resurrected, like Him, to walk in a Spiritual or Christ-Mind way. Max, I don't know, might have told the listeners that he baptizes those who have "experienced the new death" but he might quote Peter and say that, as with an eight-year old, it just washes the body unless you are "asking God" to give you a new conscience cleared of the dead-in-sin state as evidence that you have died and are being resurrected and that only God, not the preacher, can resurrect you.

But on the other hand:

Part of the Seeker method is to entice people to the "sale" without telling them the price. To suck em in with music and drama when you do not (for the moment) believe in it for the plenary session of the church. It may not be possible to fully explain over the radio.

Max Lucado: "In his Lubbock radio sermon Max Lucado said to his listeners that:

"God is ready to be your Father. Maybe you never understood that the invitation was for everyone. Maybe you thought that you weren't worthy. Maybe now you do understand God will make you worthy and the invitation is for you, and all you have to do is call him Father. Just call him Father. Just turn your heart to him even right now as I am speaking. Call him your Father, and your Father will respond. Why don't you do that?

Our Reporter notes that:

If Max Lucado, the minister at Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas, lacks the hard edge often associated with his tradition, it isn't for lack of exposure. He grew up in it. He was baptized, at the Parkview Church of Christ in Odessa, Texas, when he was 10.

But "I don't think that a lot of the more strict teachings ever became a part of my DNA," he says.

One of the strictest is the belief that baptism -- by immersion and for the forgiveness of sins -- is an act that saves the soul.

As much as he cherishes baptism, Lucado says, "we are saved by grace."
"Baptism is a response to God's gift, not a way to earn
God's gift."

It seems to me that if you get the premise wrong then your conclusions are wrong. Being baptized at 10 may mean that Max was baptized to escape hell, to join the other kids or to "get to eat some of that bread and drink some of that juice." No one has ever said that we are not saved by grace -- but then grace is not "unlimited forgiveness for unlimited sins"; it is the power to conform to Christ's will. Max has added something in addition to grace: "Just call God your father." Well, what if we do not call God our father, will we not be saved?

Furthermore, no one has ever suggested that they can earn God's gift. These are false, if "gentle", attacks against those who don't agree. Because we brought nothing into the world it is obvious that even food is free:

And also that every man should eat and drink, and
enjoy the good of all his labour,
it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:13

No one can earn a carrot's growth, but just asking God for a carrot will leave you awfully hungry. Click to see how Free Grace is God's power to be involved in His supernatural works.

I think that I will try calling Bill Gates Father! Think it will work?

Of Max Lucado "In a seeming effort to recite a model prayer (with instrumental music playing) Lucado continues:

The speaker of the hour, Max Lucado, in his introduction, said, "Don Finto is my hero." So, there you have Shelly, Lucado, and Finto-birds of a feather flocking together. These men-Shelly and Lucado-are either as much of a goose as Finto, or they are laughing in their sleeves. I cannot tell which. In either case, it is inexcusable.

Max Lucado: "Father, I give my heart to you. I give you my sins. I give you my tears. I give you my fears. I give you my whole life. I accept the gift of your Son on the cross for my sins. And I ask you, Father, to receive me as your child. Through Jesus Christ I pray.

"The tape records the radio announcer as coming on the air and saying,
"And friend
if you prayed along with Max Lucado just now, here on Upwards, we want to welcome you into the family of God."

Then Lucado returns to the microphone and says:

"If today is the first day you've ever prayed a prayer like that, could you do me a favor? Could you write me a letter? I don't have anything I am going to ask from you. I do have a letter I would like to send to you. I'd like to give you a word about the next step or two. I want to encourage you to find a church. I want to encourage you to be baptized. I want to encourage you to read your Bible.

But I don't want you to do any of that so you will be saved. I want you to do all of that because you are saved."

We are tempted to adopt the "faith only scheme" without knowing what it really means. For instance, contrary to the opinion of many, the dogma of "faith only" is not their one step plan of salvation. Rather, faith is the Calvinistic proof that one has been chosen by God to be saved. Not only is Baptism as a requirement considered by them as legalistic, one cannot even study the Word in order to gain saving faith. This would be seen as a work of human merit. Then, if we seek Christ by attending church are we performing a work? Should we just sit and wait? How about prayer? Isn't that a "work?"

Because churches are being divided and others are judged as legalistic just because of the speech at Jubilee 97, there is mass confusion and division over baptism and this confusion is enhanced when those who denounce the old church are defended based on 'warm fuzzy feelings" and not on any shred of knowledge.

Therefore, we will look at some Scriptural concepts connected with baptism as an aid to those whose faith has been shattered by being implicated in legalism. There can be no harsher judgmentalism than to be called a legalist. While our index on baptism includes a growing list of discussions with some who denounce churches of Christ as a "cult" because of its stand on baptism, we need to ask some questions:

If one can be saved without baptism one can be saved without being clothed with Christ:

Baptism as Clothing of Jehovah-Savior Predicted and Fulfilled

In the prophecy of Joshua (Jesus or Jehovah-Saves) the Branch, Zechariah wrote:

AND he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. Zec 3:1

And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zec 3:2

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy (of a lamb) garments, and stood before the angel. Zec 3:3

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. Zec 3:4

And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. Zec. 3:5

Christ would be both king and priest or hold two offices but upon one throne and in one Being. He will then put on the Majesty He laid aside to take up residence in the man Jesus:

It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.' Zec.6:13

Jesus Fulfilled All Types

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Here, we see that the one righteous act of Jesus Christ paid the price for all sins past, present and future. How, then, can we demand faith as a work when the work has been done? How can we demand repentance when the work has been done? No one demands that faith is a work and no one demands that baptism is a work of human merit. If it is legalistic to demand baptism why is it not legalistic to demand faith? It takes massive ammounts of energy to believe and keep on believing; it takes no energy to be baptized.

I propose a question: Is it possible that those who once preached baptism as necessary to salvation and have now denounced their old position, might have taught a system of legalism because they never understood the Word? If so, do they still suffer from the same token use of the Bible to construct sermons and lectures?

Amont neo-Calvinists it is legalistic to demand that one must develop faith as a result of hearing the Word as Paul explained in Romans 10. However, this is not a legal demand. Paul asks, "How can they believe unless they hear?" They can't. Hearing takes an expenditure of human energy but this energy earns nothing.

As The Lamb of God, Christ's garments would become polluted and even gambled-for as He took on the filth of the whole world, past, present and future. God would give Him new clothing when the old garment was taken away. Water would flow out from Jerusalem and there would be One Lord and His Name would be One as the hyphenated Jehovah-Savior.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. Mt 3:13

But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? Mt 3:14

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh (to tower up to be conspicious as a model) us to fulfil all righteousness (holiness). Then he suffered him. Mt 3:15

Fulfill includes:

Pleroo (g4137) play-ro'-o; to satisfy, execute an office, finish a period or task, verify or coincide with a prediction, fully preach, perfect, supply.

Jesus was baptized into His office and to fully preach righteousness. His actions were a visual aid to fully preach the baptism which He would command before He would fall on or embrace believers with His Spiritual presence.

Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, put on the filthy skins of all of the dirty lambs of the world. When He, as fully God, finished the visible manifestation of the invisible God, He sat down beside the clothing of Majesty He laid aside to become a mortal.

THE Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Ps.93:1

When we are baptized "in connection with Christ" we fulfill the type by dying to our own filth, being buried as a dead person and being resurrected to put on the Clothing of Christ. A dead person has no power to respond until the quickeing Word is heard as spirit and life (Jn 6:63)

Baptism is the place where our faith is completed

Christ had the power within Himself to lay down His life and to take it up again. That is, the Spirit Father living in Him did not die and therefore resurrected the body

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 1Pe.3:18

No. The Lord Jesus Christ was not murdered: He laid down His own life and He took it up again.

The Spiritual "person" comes alive in the watery grave or the watery womb. Having fulfilled the type of Christ's death, we can have the active faith to be raised spiritually. The power is not in the water but in the assurance and clear conscience He gives us:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:8

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col 2:10

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Col 2:11

Note: Christ was buried in the tomb: we are baptized not in that tomb but in baptism which is the gift of grace so that we do not have to literally die and be buried.

having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Col.2:12

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col 2:13

If baptism had no place then why would the Spirit Christ have added it here? If our salvation is complete when Christ died and was resurrected then why not just stop the discussion and make no mention of baptism.

A person who intellectually believes that Christ lived has no Spirit power or saving faith. There must be a faith that Christ was 100% God in the flesh and that He died in a human sense and went into the grave. By the power of faith by the Spirit Father, Jesus Christ raised Himself. One who pleads, "But, I don't have to" may not have faith . God put total Salvation in faith in His human form who died, was buried and was resurrected.

Baptism is the place where We Put on Christ's Clothing

Jesus Christ is "God manifest in the flesh" (1Tim 3:16). He is the "door" or the "gate" into the Spirit God Himself. To become children of the invisible, incomprehensible Father image of God, we have to go through the door or get in connection with the human side of God. God has decreed that the way to exercise personal faith in a system of faith is to do faith in baptism. Faith is a noun which must become an active verb.

But after that faith (system of religion) is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Gal 3:25

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:26
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:27

We put on Christ "in the sense of sinking into a garment; to invest with clothing."

Verses 26 and 27 are in the form of a parallelism: One becomes a child of God by believing that Christ is God and that He is the door or access to Himself. One exercises the faith as "the power to become children of God" by walking through the "door" or by "putting on Christ" in baptism.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Who died). Gal 3:26
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:27

My father always said: "I have faith
in the Boeing 747 but I don't have faith upon the 747." He said that he would fly anywhere in the world he could "keep one foot on the ground." This defines faith. If we do not "put on" the 747 we are not going to get off the ground. The "faith-only" people want to keep one foot on dry ground.

Faith which saves is not intellectual acceptance. Faith is conviction of the truth of Christ as God, a reliance or trust upon that faith including a constancy in following that gospel or Christian System:

Pistis (g4102) pis'-tis; from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstr. constancy in such profession; by extens. the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Faith is at one level a persuasion that something is true. This persuasion gives one the power or competency or authority to become children of God (Jn 1:12)

However, the corresponding verb is:

Peitho (g3982) pi'-tho; a prim. verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by anal. to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflex. or pass. to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): - agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confient, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

Faith put into action involves obedience but that obedience accepts the free gift and does not earn a bit of it.

But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Ro 2:8

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Ga.3:1

Why would God go through the sham of producing evidence if it is not possible to believe the evidence unless He had already predestinated you to believe it? Doesn't that create a strange god in our own image just because we cannot fully explain a few passages of Scripture?

Baptism is the place where our New Life Begins

We believe that one-cell life begins at conception. Therefore, when the seed of truth is planted and believed, the "one cell" acquires power to become a child. However, the single cell "obeys" the instructions in the DNA as it grows into a complete human person.

By analogy, the children of Israel were saved (or momentarily safe) by faith when they escaped Egypt. However, they had the power to become fully free and citizens of another nation only when they walked through the Red Sea where the "old man of sin" was drowned and the "new man did not get wet."

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Ro 6:2

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Ro 6:3

Therefore we are buried (inter, to assimilate spirituality) 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. Ro 6:4

For if we have been planted (by association, instrumentality) together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Ro 6:5

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Ro 6:6

For he that is dead is freed from sin. Ro 6:7

All of the "earning" power was with Christ. However, He asks one simple thing: "To accept the merit of my literal death, burial and resurrection you must undergo a likeness of that saving event." If we do not wish to "enter the ark" or "cross the Red Sea" or be "baptized in water" then we reject the means which God has ordained. To reject it or denounce it is to deny that Christ as God had the right to bring us into discipleship using His choice of methods and means.

The Faith of Abraham

Abraham is the great example of faith only. However, Abraham was counted righteous by his faith each time he did what God commanded. This was not a one step plan of salvation. Paul wrote:

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (credited) to him for righteousness. Ga.3:6

Knowing that the masses would misread this fact, God restated the covenant to Isaac:

And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Gen 26:4

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5

Abraham's faith included doing what God asked each and every time He asked it. Abraham was never personally righteous. However, God "filled in the account book" that Abraham was righteous because his belief led him to faith which adds up to obedience.

This was what Paul meant by faith. Faith is believing God and doing whatever He asks without question. He wrote about Abraham's salvation without circumcision or the Law of Moses:

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 1Cor 7:19

The dragon lives in the water and sends false floods to try to drown the truth of Jesus Christ. John wrote that the dragon just hates those who obey God's will rather than just stand at the Red Sea waiting for God to move their feet:

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

That is why he always yells in your ears: "Did God really tell you to keep his commandments?" The implication is that "God did not tell you not to do anything."

Abraham never saw his obedience as a work by which he could earn God's approval to receive a wage of which he could boast.

No one believes that they can do a single thing to earn God's gift of salvation or "good spiritual health." However, it is elementary that those who refuse to get into the watery coffin of the Ark or the watery grave of the Red Sea will hear Christ say: "But, I told you to go forward and you argued that you had faith and didn't have to when Pharaoh's army was bringing certain death and I was opening the Sea."

God's grace is defined in Isaiah 5: The wineskin message of Isaiah five is: "I saved you by grace, built a wall between the vineyard and the animals and you lost it all by too much interest in wine and music:

And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes (sweet or fresh), and it brought forth wild grapes (poison which stinks like a sistern). Isa 5:2

What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? Isa 5:4

And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: Isa 5:5

When Israel broke down the walls and drank the small quantity of foul, poison wine, they turned their religious festivals into wineskin revivals:

And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts:

but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Isa 5:12

The good "wine" God provided for in his creation for a dry land was the fruit of the vine. This well-packaged product was not for getting drunk after it began to "stink like a cistern" and became "poison" like the grapes of Gomorrah. Rather, the fruit of the vine had a lot of sugar and could be preserved as a food product to relieve thirst. When the leaders were suckered into a new wineskin religion the people were deliberately left ignorant and died of physical and spiritual thirst:

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isa 5:13

God provide all things by His grace but if we do not cultivate, water and keep the walls built up the enemy will turn our food into alcohol.

Saved by Grace

If you are not a second incarnation of God, everything in your life is a gift of God. Why don't you tell your boss that you must be paid on the basis of employment-only? Want to get God's free carrots by planting thistle seed? or refusing to weed and water?

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:13

You couldn't create a grain of wheat if your life depended upon it, it is the gift of God. will you eat and live without obeying the conditions for receiving the free gift of God?

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. Ec.5:19

Will you accept the gift of God to be given riches and wealth without obeying the "rule book" which came with the free gift?

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:10

The gift of God is the water of life, will the Samaritan woman relieve her spiritual thirst without believing in it and asking for it and "drinking" in the Word?

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that

not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8

You see, Paul didn't say that faith only saves. He said that it is the grace of God which saves us and that this grace comes through our faith. The grace is the gift and the way we get the grace is by asking for it in the way Christ ordained. If we don't accept grace by exercising our faith then God's grace is simply not available to us. The same analogy is true of Baptism.

Israel was saved in God's purpose even when dead in pagan religion in Egypt. He saved them by His grace. He could have said, "Just believe." However, we know that the faith of the Israelites could never resurrect them on the other side unless they abandoned logic and allowed themselves to be "buried" in the Sea.

God's grace appeared to Pharaoh but he rejected it. His grace appears to all mankind. Therefore, if salvation is by "grace alone" then all mankind will be saved. However, this misses the point. Grace, as God's unmerited instruction from Christ as "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63) as the power or the seed which can germinate into life or die on the rocky road. Paul demanded:

Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:8

Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Titus 2:9

Not purloining (with holding part of the doctrine), but shewing all good fidelity (faithfulness); that they may adorn (make it shine) the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Titus 2:10

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11

Teaching (educating) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Titus 2:12

Grace is unmerited favor but it is not unconditional favor.

By its very definition, grace is God's influence upon our heart through the Spirit words taught by Himself in visible manifesttion:

Charis (g5485) khar'-ece; from 5463; graciousness as gratifying, of manner or act (abstr. or concr.; lit., fig. or spiritual; espec. the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude..

Thus, grace is not "unlimited forgiveness for unlimited sins." It is the power to do what God has commanded us to do. If you refuse to obey God then you have already rejected His offer of grace.

The result of this grace teaching us is to cause us to live righteously. That is, righteousness is not imputed "goodness." Rather, righteousness is right conduct as the fruit of the Spirit or Words of Jesus Christ:

Dikaios (g1346) dik-ah'-yoce; adv. from 1342; equitably: - justly, (to) righteously (-ness).

Paul understood that to do righteousness is to have the power or grace to kill off sin in our lives:

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:34

To be justified by grace demands that we render or show that we live in a right relationship whti Christ:

Dikaioo (g1344) dik-ah-yo'-o; from 1342; to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent: - free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

Noah had God's grace. He had the instructions from God about how to save a tiny remnant of human life from the comming destruction of the habitable places of the earth. However, God did not build the Ark.

Moses had the grace of God as the power and instructions to escape slavery. He stood at one side of the Red Sea and told Israel to stand still and see God's Grace save them. God's grace had appeared teaching them how to escape. Now, God seems to get angry and yells at them: "You have the grace (charisma) or the power which I have give you without price. Now, put it into practice and do righteousness and you will be justified."

Moses And Baptism for Salvation

I have heard preachers who are definitely from the "right bank of Jordan" preach that old time-honored sermon about "faith only" and not get ritually sacrificed by the "brethren and sisteren" for their own, subconscious, sins. However, this faith matters only when it prompts one to obey every one of God's commands every time it is given as did Abraham.

Haven't you heard that faith matters so much that God teaches faith only? Have you heard the sermon about faith only where Moses said: "Stand still and God will save you before you get baptized in the Red Sea?" Well, human sermons have an amazing habit of losing the tail end of God's already-preached sermons. Hear the rest of the story about salvation by faith only:

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. Ex 14:13

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Ex 14:14

And (BUT) the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: Ex 14:15

They had faith but they were refusing to be baptized by literally being under the sea and covered by the cloud. God Said: "Die to yourself, trust yourself to me, do it or you will die."

Could we say tha that Israel was saved totally by God's grace? Certainly, unless you, O Noble Exegete, have the power to "huff and puff and blow the Red Sea in." Have you looked upon the face of your dead father? Then you know the difference between being dead and being profoundly dead. There is nothing he can do to resurrect himself, nothing!

In a sense, there is nothing you can do to resurrect yourself from spiritual death. But wait:

The Israelites put their faith in God through Moses. They repented by turning away from Egypt as the model of sin. They began the march toward God's model of baptism. There was no way that their faith and turning toward God would bring life unless they continued the process. However, their leader must have suddenly returned from one of those "mass meetings among the scholars" and told the people just to stand by and let God save by "belief" them without putting their trust in Him by going under a lethal element - water - and being buried in the "tomb" to allow God's grace to work in their individual lives. God said of the faith only Israelites: "Get off your excuses and get going."

So, in a spiritual sense, our hearing by faith, like the conception of a human egg cell, brings "justification" in the limited sense of "being approved by God." He loves it when we believe Him and without this "open door" it is impossible to "go in." Faith gives us the power to become the children of God. We understand that a fetus is alive! That is why we detest abortion.

However, the live fetus is not a citizen of God's kingdom. It, he or she, has not yet been birthed into a relationship with the world. If the live child "refused" to be born, to come forth out of the water, the child would lose that germ of life brought by faith in the finished work of Christ. However profound one's faith, faith matters only when we show that it is true faith by acting upon our belief. A dead fetus is not a live child and a dead faith is not a saving faith.

God provided everything by His free grace and it would be faithlessness and a lack of gratitude not to accept it and meet Him on the other side of the Red Sea. No one I know believes that the water saves or regenerates--not even Alexander Campbell. However, God said: "Salvation is on my side of the Red Sea." To refuse to "die" and be buried means that God will not resurrect you on the other side of the Red Sea. Jesus, as another Prophet like Moses, demonstrated this all over for us. And Paul wrote:

MOREOVER, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 1Co 10:1

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1Co 10:2

However, this did not prevent Israel from adding musical worship to try to force the lost god to appear or to lead them back beyond the reach of their effectual baptism:

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 1Co 10:6

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 1Co 10:7

Tupos (g5179) too'-pos; from 5180; a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. a statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler ("type"), i.e. a model for imitation) or instance (for warning): - en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.

Later, when faithful men refused to eat pork in the temple, the women (He 11:35) did not receive their men from the death sentence. As punishment, the men literally had "their bones pulled out of joint" as they were made into a musical instrument on a drum frame later made into the shape of a cross or X. Tortured or "stamped with a pattern" is:

Tumpanizo (g5178) toom-pan-id'-zo; from a der. of 5180 (mean, a drum, 'tympanum"); to stretch on an instrument of torture resembling a drum, and thus beat to death: - torture.

Paul said that crossing the Red Sea was a type or "brand" to prove to us that baptism now saves us. Not water, but looking to God on the other side and walking by faith without any more excuses. If they refused they would forever remain on Pharaoh's (sin) side of baptism. They could earn their death just by refusing to come forth out of the water.

Play was singing, playing instruments, drinking wine and engaging in the fertility (mixed sexes) rituals of paganism. Ritual drama (Christmas, Easter) was always attempts to appease or resurrect the gods and make changes in the "congregation." God wasn't interested in the rituals which proved that faith matters little to ritual celebrators.

Baptism During Creation and At the Flood

Jeremiah used the figurative language of creation to show that a people became void and empty.

I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone. Je 4:23

I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. Je 4:24
I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. Je 4:25

I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. Je 4:26

In the creation God brought the earth or fruitful places out of the water but standing in the water. In a figurative sense the earth or people died and sank under the seas. To make a fit place for mankind to live God raises the earth or people out of their void and empty place and makes them into a place where Spiritual things grow.

Therefore, baptism reaches back even to the point where God redeemed the void, empty and "lost" condition of the fruitful places by bringing them out of water. It also reaches back to the flood event:

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 2 Peter 3:5

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1Pe 3:20

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer (appealing to God for) of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1Pe.3:21

We get the picture that the earth or fruitful place was covered totally with water. The "soil" was dead until God by His Wind of the Word brought chaos in the sense that the lands buckled as the wind blew or hovered over it and the waters moved. God is said to be "riding the wings of the wind or spirit." Then, the dry "earth" was birthed from the water. Only then, after the soil reached God's side of the water, could it be earth or a fruitful place to produce life.

God's creative power is always on the other side of the water. Don't ask me why. Perhaps it is because wine was the magical potion of Babylonian and other fertility rituals. Perhaps it is because the worshipers of Nimrod trounced around with their musical worship team teaching that "man can be regenerated by external means."

Acts 2:38

No one has ever translated Acts 2:38 to mean "be baptized because of the forgiveness of sins."

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ac 2:38KJV

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38NIV

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38NAS

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38RSV

And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38LIV

While we are told what the text really meant, there are no credible translations which supports the pre-baptism salvation or "good spiritual health." The passage does not read:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ because your sins have been remitted, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ac 2:38KJV

However, this verse is translated the "gift of the Holy Spirit" is on the other side of baptism.

We believe that the overwhelming evidence is that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift which Christ gives. This is proven in connection with baptism in Romans:

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Ro 6:22

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Ro 6:23

Remember that Paul began this conversation by saying:

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. Ro 6:4

To be a type or like as, baptism must be a visible recreation of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. This cannot be some invisible immersion in God which we cannot see as a form.

Sure, we are burried with Christ. However, Christ died and was placed in the tomb totally cut off from any earthly influence. There, His body was given back its life and He walked out of the tomb or out of the "ark" or out of the "Red Sea" into a new life able to function in the world. Because We could not all get into the tomb or experience the death Christ experienced, God has decreed that baptism is a fitting time and place where we ask for what Christ died to purchase for us.

Romans 10

All of the steps leading one to the ultimate one or baptism are listed in Romans ten. However, baptism is not specificially mentioned. Paul did say:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ro 10:13

Paul had not forgotten that in his own salvation, calling upon the name of the Lord is done in and through baptism:

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Ac.22:16

I am sorry but the passage just does not read:

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, because your sins have been washed away, calling on the name of the Lord. Ac.22:16

We are not saved, as Calvinists teach, by calling upon the name of the Lord as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit. Rather, calling and baptism is concurrent: baptism is how we call upon the Lord. Peter shows how we call upon the name of the Lord and ask for His own merit when we obey Him in baptism--

1 Peter 3:21

Noah and his family were saved by the pure grace of God. There was no way for them to be saved from the flood. However, God's grace was in the form of instructions about how to build the ark, get inside and be saved. It was through the Spirit of Christ (1Pe 1:11) that Noah was taught the gospel of salvation from the flood. Peter wrote:

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved (preserved, cured) by (through) water. 1Pe 3:20

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer (seeking) of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1Pe 3:21KJV

And 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, 1Pe 3:21NAS

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1Pe 3:21RSV

The implication is clear: those who did not believe Noah or did not get on the ark drowned.

Mark 16:15-16

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mk 16:15

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (sentenced for deserved sins). Mk 16:16

Those who try to get around this clear statement note that: "Jesus didn't say that one who is not baptized shall be lost." He didn't have to. All are lost until they are saved. They do not have to do anything to be lost. God credited us with minimum intelligence. It takes the two acts to accept God's gift but only one to be lost. "Get to the station and get on the bus and you will take a trip." The logical negative of this is: "Don't get to the station and you will not take a trip."

We noted above that the final role of our faith is to raise us in connection with Christ. In the following analogy, note that the action of faith is the product of belief. One who does not believe does not have to ignore baptism to be lost. He is lost because of his lack of faith:

One who sees and

believes in

The tornado

and gets in the shelter

shall live

One who sees and

believes not in

The tornado


Shall die

The faith which saves is the faith which actively commits one's trust in Christ through the process of baptism:

Pisteuo (g4100) pist-yoo'-o; from 4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by impl. to entrust one's spiritual well-being to Christ): - believe (-r), commit to trust, put in trust with.

The unbelief which alone can cause us to be lost is the lack of faith which leads to disobedience:

Apisteo (g569) ap-is-teh'-o; from 571; to be unbelieving, i.e. (trans.) disbelieve, or (by implication) disobey: - believe not.

One who does not obey a command really disobeys it. One who disbelieves actively disobeys it.

Unbelief by itself will cause us to be lost. However, it takes faith plus baptism to fulfill the Great Commission which was not just to Jews but to the whole world. And so everyone has believed it.

Philip was preaching "Jesus" to the Eunuch from Isaiah 53. Verse 11 says:

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11

Philip knew that Jesus proposed to bear their sins away through a token "death, burial and resurrection" in Baptism.

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. Acts 8:35

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? Acts 8:36

So, we cannot preach "Jesus" without having the disciple being taught how Christ proposes to bestow His grace. Philip told the Eunuch that total faith stood between him and his baptism:

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37

There was no congregaton to witness so the baptism was not an external witness to an internal act. There was no "church to join" so there was no requirement to satisfy a body of already-saved believers. Just Philip and the Eunuch. Philip could have said "now that you are saved by faith you should find a church to join and after they have 'admitted you' then you can be baptized." However, he did not because he knew that "believe and baptize" stood between the Eunuch's sins and their remission:

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Acts 8:38

No. The Eunuch was not "baptized" in or by the Spirit while repudiating literal water baptism. He, Philip, baptized him, the Eunuch. This is a human-to-human act into enough literal water that you can go down into and come out of the pool:

Katabaino (g2597) kat-ab-ah'ee-no; from 2596 and the base of 939; to descend (lit. or fig.): - come (get, go, step) down, fall (down).

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Matthew 3:16

And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing (calm, happy, well-off, full of grace). Acts 8:39

1 Corinthians 1:14

The carnal people in Corinth put their faith in the one who baptized them and not in the Cross of Jesus Christ. This is why Paul was glad that he had not baptized them: they would worship him and not Christ.

However, Paul was sent as an evangelist and not a baptizer into a sect. He would preach and he would, and did, baptize personally. However, out among a lot of Gentiles it was necessary that the people be discipled and taught before they were ready to die to self and be baptized in connection with Christ's death. Paul would go on to his next mission and any believer could baptize without being "clergy." Click Here to see some comments on "Christ sent me not to baptize."

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1Cor 1:13

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 1Cor 1:14

Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 1Cor 1:15

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. 1Cor 1:17

It is clear that the Corinthians did not understand Paul's preaching. Therefore, he was glad that he had not baptized them because it would have been destructive. He did not say, "I am glad I didn't baptize you because Christ didn't even send me to baptize."

Because Paul did baptize people, he did not mean that baptizm had been discontinued and replaced with faith alone. He meant that baptism is step two after one acquires a faith which will lead to baptism for the right purpose.

Baptism must be seen as the time and place where Christ has decided to meet believers to participate in the death, burial and resurrection. Because baptism is an reinactment, it is not the purchasing power or work of the believer but the acceptance of a gift. There are usually conditions attached to a free gift even if it is just "put out your hand and take it."

Thanks to David for challenges and corrections which have been followed up.

Second thanks to Jacqueline who pointed out a messy paragraph. Please remember that most of this site was put together in about four months motivated by friends disturbed by the mad dash to find God when He isn't lost.

1 Corinthians Chapter 2

But the point has been missed and time has marched on.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor 2:2

The Greek implies, "The only definite thing that I made it my business to know among you, was to know Jesus Christ (His person) and Him crucified (His office)" [ALFORD],

not exalted on the earthly throne of David,
but executed as the vilest malefactor.

The historical fact of Christ's crucifixion had probably been put less prominently forward by the seekers after human wisdom in the Corinthian church,

to avoid offending learned heathens and Jews. Christ's person and Christ's office constitute the sum of the Gospel.

By telling people all they have to do is call God "father" is a repudiation of the "core" message of God in Christ. Although the Word was God, He laid aside his glory and majesty and subjected Himself to suffering as a vile criminal.

The Corinthian's were like many entertainment "venues" to day being caqlled churches. However, Paul said:

Because Christ was crucified the Corinthians should not honor the self-exhalted but look to the suffering servants for their example. Paul is maligned by the "trained speakers" in Corinth whom he calls huper or super-apostles who used their exhalted skills to demand a salary. However, as an apostle of a vile, crucified malefactor Paul was uniquely qualified to be their teacher. Nothing in his person, his manners, secular knowledge or speaking skills could stand between Christ and the student.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 1 Cor 2:3

I--the preacher: as 1 Corinthians 2:2 describes the subject, "Christ crucified," and 1 Corinthians 2:4 the mode of preaching: "my speech . . .

not with enticing words,"
"but in demonstration of the Spirit."

The idea of "enticing words" is in contrast to "spirit." The contrast is not between the "letter" and some supernatural experience.

weakness--personal and bodily (2 Corinthians 10:10, 12:7,9, Galatians 4:13).

For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 2 Cor 10:10

Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. Gal 4:13

trembling--(compare Philippians 2:12). Not personal fear, but a trembling anxiety to perform a duty; anxious conscientiousness, as proved by the contrast to "eye service" (Ephesians 6:5) [CONYBEARE and HOWSON].

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Phil 2:12

Next, Paul has moved beyond "Christ and Him Crucified" for the "Perfected."

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 1 Cor 2:4

Paul didn't write slick market-place books. Rather, he had submitted himself as a model of what it is to be a Christian. However, Corinth never got over veing carnal and therefore could not "eat meat."

AND I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 1 Cor 3:1

Click for more notes on "just preaching Jesus and Him crucified" which is Paul's insult to those who should have been mature believers.

Baptism - Washed Away at Jubilee 97? Didn't even get wet.

Click Here to see the new birth as defined in John 3.

Click Here to see a New Paradigm of Salvation to replace the Old Pattern of Salvation.

Kenneth L. Sublett You are invited to comment but you should be specific.

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