Tag Archives: baptism

Baptist Dysfunction #3

As we walk through the list of Baptist distinctives, we come to an issue of church polity and practice. Jesus Christ entrusted the church with many things, two of which get a special spotlight (and rightly so): Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. There’s not a lot of controversy here, but I’ve got a few questions about these…

SacramentsStainedGlass01Two Church Ordinances

#1 – Believer’s Baptism

I know why we baptize believers – in obedience to Christ, for identification with His death and His church, and to proclaim the gospel. I also get the picture from the New Testament that baptism symbolized rebirth, so why can’t a believer be re-baptized when he rededicates his life? What would be the issue with re-preaching the gospel or identifying again with the church if one has become distant? Why can’t a Christian be baptized again? I mentioned that idea one time to some Christian leaders and they shot it down with disdain. Their answer was, ‘Well Jesus only died on the cross once, so you should only get baptized once.’  Not only does than answer lack basic logic, but it also implies an unhealthy connection to salvation.

Furthermore, at what point did churches get so particular about ‘receiving’ the baptism from other churches? I understand that some baptisms are given under false pretense (as if it is part of salvation) or by the wrong mode (sprinkling instead of immersion), but why do we dismiss baptisms from other brethren? Is it to pad our numbers? Is it because we are that distrusting of their water districts? I truly don’t get it!

Also, why don’t we work as hard for baptisms as we do salvation decisions? Why do we compare our baptism numbers (isn’t that a little self-aggrandizing)?  Some don’t, but many IFB pastors worship the numbers… or rather worship themselves through the numbers. They judge their entire lives by how many are in the pew on Sunday. If we count, we should count how many families had devotions this week, or how many people showed real patient love with a difficult person, or many hours our church spent praying for their co-workers… Those numbers are worth counting (if you’re gonna count)!

#2 – The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper was given to the church as a sacred sacrament. It’s one of the major things that we are urged to do together that reveals the gospel. Some churches practice it once a year, others once a quarter, while others once a month. So why don’t we do it more often? I’ve know…because we don’t want it to get old / ritualistic… Right! So why do we do it exactly the same way every single time? We read the same verses and the same people pass the trays the same way. Every. Single. Time. Why? Would it be a sin to be creative with communion?

With regard to the ordinances, why -in most churches- are only ordained men allowed to participate?  I have never seen anything more beautiful than a father baptizing his child or when parents lead their family in communion.  Just because the church was entrusted with these doesn’t mean we get to monopolize them! Agree? (And by the way, I think foot-washing should be considered… maybe not as an ordinance, but at least practiced occasionally. Humility & soap would go a long way to clean up some of the stink in our churches!)

 

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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Oh, Glorious Day!

It’s been said by many before that as Christians,we should be careful not to get our theology from songs. Very true statement — there are plenty of songs out there that take scriptural principles way out of context and by singing them, the listener THINKS that it is Biblical. While there are certainly some bad songs out there, some of them are VERY good!

On June 28th of 2012, I celebrated 14 years of salvation. I will never forget the Sunday night that I pulled my father aside as a 12-year-old boy and explained to him that I was in need of a Savior. Lovingly, he knelt down with me at his bed and shared with me the blessing of Christ! As I reflect back on that day, one song (with great scriptural meat) flooded my mind.

In 1910, a preacher by the name of John Wilbur Chapman penned the words to a song that in my opinion, portrays the full scope of the finished work of Christ: Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me). Granted, Casting Crowns rendition is a little more catchy, but they use the exact same words:

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!

What a chorus! To full understand the depth of what is being said, I want to compare those lyrics with a famous passage of scripture that is often misread. In Romans 6, we receive from Paul the significance of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Lord with the assurance of ETERNAL SECURITY as a bonus!

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4  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. 5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:3-5)

First off, let’s understand that just because you see the word “Baptism”, it doesn’t mean that it is referring to water (Baptism of Fire, Spirit, Suffering, etc). What baptism DOES equal is IDENTIFICATION or ONENESS. For example, remember in 1 Corinthians 10, that Israel was “baptized” or identified unto Moses.  With that being said, let’s again look at Romans and the first line of the chorus:

… dying, He saved me;

that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

To be saved, you must be IDENTIFIED with and be ONE with Christ’s death. It is essential that we understand that Jesus had ZERO sin to die for, and that HIS death was what WE deserved.

Buried, He carried my sins far away;

… Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

To comprehend the magnitude of that statement! After the crucifixion, the body of Christ, LADEN WITH THE SINS OF THE WORLD, was buried. Our sin was buried WITH HIM! But the best part is the next phrase:

Rising, He justified freely forever:

… 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.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. (Romans 6:8-10)

WOW! Realize that Jesus died ONCE for sin — He is not dying again. If you are identified with His death, that means YOU DIE ONCE! If you are ONE with Christ, YOU will be raised from the dead to live with Him forever. What an assurance!

Article by Kevin Crozier

@kevcrozier

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