Romans 3:9-12 KJV (9)Â What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10)Â As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11)Â There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12)Â They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
v9 are we any better? No, all are under sin.
v10 is anyone righteous at all? No, there is none righteous, no, not one.
v11 does anyone understand, or seek after God? No, there is no-one who understands, none who seek after God.
v12 is there anyone who does good? No, there is none who do good, no, not one.
How then can a man who is *under sin*, who is *not righteous*, who *does not understand* nor does he *seek after God*, who does *nothing that is good*, how can he possibly be saved?
Mark 10:27 says it is impossible with man, but not with God.
If a sinner is ungodly, and he will not seek after God, how can that man possibly get saved?
Oh, by the grace of God. This is undeserved by definition. It is by grace that God saves, through faith...
And who is the author of *faith*? It is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:3-7 KJV (3)Â For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4)Â Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5)Â But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6)Â Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7)Â Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
This doctrine of *imputed righteousness* is most wonderful to the true believer.
Does it involve a man's own righteousness? No, it does not affect his righteousness at all. But don't forget, he has no righteousness anyway: "There are none that doeth good, no, not one."
So the man is a sinner, has no righteousness, and is perishing in his sins. What does such a man need? He needs to have righteousness *credited* to him, and God is willing to *credit* the man with a perfect righteousness, the righteousness of his Son; and he is willing to do this by *grace* and it arrives through *faith*.
Imputed righteousness is credited upon faith in Jesus Christ, otherwise known as *JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE*. Aye Aye.
"I never said my claim of what Calvinism teaches is biblically supported. I donâ€™t believe it is and thatâ€™s why I donâ€™t believe what they teach. It is taught that the reason why â€śBobbyâ€ť believes and â€śJohnnyâ€ť doesnâ€™t is because â€śBobbyâ€ť is more righteous. Bobby is saved because he had faith and Johnny didnâ€™t, so Bobby is saved by what he did. The caveat to this is that God first made Bobby righteous enough to believe, so all of the glory goes to God. However, that doesnâ€™t really erase the fact that Bobby was saved because of something he did, which was to believe and we all know if you do something which results in your salvation, it is a work."
Folks will have to make their own minds up whether this is a genuine ignorance or a feigned troll-like ignorance.
One thing is certain, it is incorrect, and would be laughed out of court.
Frank wrote: Good afternoon Pilgrim! Thanks for your comments and thoughts on this subject. I don't normally write on this, but the terror the unsaved will experience when they see their fate is something that is incomprehensible. Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Frank, it is a good word incomprehensible, for those things which are coming on this world because of sin. We can glimpse them in scripture, but the just wrath of an omnipotent God will never be understood fully until it is seen and felt.
I will praise God daily for his most remarkable and amazing grace, and for his deliverance from the wrath to come.
A penalty was paid and pardon bought And sinners lost at last to him were brought
Frank wrote: ... But, unless they repent and trust solely in the mercy and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, they are going to experience the wrath of almighty God. Psalms 14:14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
I love to read anything "gospel" bro. Thank you. The wrath of God is a dreadful thing, frightening, eternal to the unrepentant. Outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, "tormented in this flame". Luke 16:24. It will all happen one day, after the great day of judgment.
Meantime, the gospel bells are sounding, as you mentioned, "the mercy and sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour" who is "not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance".
The Quiet Christian wrote: So good to see you back, John UK. The same thing you are witnessing in Wales is happening in the US via the "megachurch movement." I'm sure some are better than others on a relative scale, but there is no real corporate worship and can have very iffy, therapeutic preaching. Many have a tie to the charismatic movement as well so it seems.
It is gracious of you brother to say so. And yes, if there is any sort of church which may remain open for the foreseeable future here in Wales, it will be the charismatic churches, because they are made up primarily of young people. Most other churches are very elderly congregations and will naturally die away and close the doors.
Therefore, if any Christian here wishes to meet together with other believers and serve the Lord with a whole heart, but who do not wish to fellowship with charismatics, they have to make do as best they can.
YIA, to show what I mean by the complexity of the work of the Spirit, here is another NT text which shows something of his work subsequent to believing the good news of the gospel.
Ephesians 1:11-14 KJV (11)Â In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12)Â That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13)Â In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14)Â Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
This is where you will need to decide if there are many different works of the Spirit, surrounding the conversion experience. Such as we have here, the sealing of the Spirit; in other places the baptism with the Spirit, in other places conviction of the Spirit, regeneration of the Spirit, the indwelling of the Spirit, the promise of the Spirit, and so on.
Dr. Tim wrote: In America, John, if you â€śsayâ€ť youâ€™re a Christian, youâ€™re a Christian. (Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s the same in the UK.) Thatâ€™s why we have so many â€śChristiansâ€ť like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton actively promoting sodomy and infanticide. Thatâ€™s why we have a â€śChristianâ€ť queer running for president. Thatâ€™s why we have â€śChristiansâ€ť like Jim who abhor Christian involvement in politics and yet spend all their time talking about politics. Thatâ€™s why we have â€śChristiansâ€ť by the millions who will welcome the Antichrist with open arms. And the reason we have so many â€śChristiansâ€ť like that is because so many of our churches have a come-as-you-are, leave-as-you-were mentality. Do you hear that retching sound? Thatâ€™s Jesus spewing them out of His mouth.
Thank you brother, that makes a lot of sense. I suppose the survey also includes every shade of christendom, even Catholicism and Episcopalian.
Wales has been steadily following Europe into secularism, and becoming more and more liberal. Nonconformist chapels are closing down every week, and people of "vision", so-called, are seeking to pander to the wants of outsiders, making churches which are no churches. "Christian Hedonist Church". Jesus left.
Galatians 3:1-3 KJV (1)Â 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? (2)Â This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3)Â Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Paul obviously is calling the believers in Galatia foolish. Why? Because although they had been soundly converted through the preaching of the cross, some folks had come in and were beginning to add other things to "faith" as a means of justification; namely, the keeping of the commandments.
Paul remonstrates with them, asking them if they received the Holy Ghost through "faith" or through the "works of the law". Obviously he expects them to answer, "Through faith."
He then tells them, "Look, you began your Christian life by faith in Jesus Christ, and are justified. Do you now imagine you can be sanctified by keeping the law?"
YIA, this will always be the way of false teachers, to add one single thing to the work of Christ crucified and resurrected. You stick with faith in Jesus and you will be all right.
Youth in Asia wrote: And so they repented, called on the name of the Lord, received His word, got saved, and got Baptised. You cannot know from this verse when they received the Holy Spirit, was it after repentance, or after their baptism?
Hello YIA, perhaps we ought to just check the verse again, eh?
Acts 2:38 KJV (38)Â 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.
Seems plain enough.
But you are worried that water baptism seemingly is required to receive the "gift of the Holy Ghost"? Understandable, if that was the only text in the Bible.
As I said to J4, the working of the Holy Ghost is very complex, and there is a prior work of the Spirit in the mind before ever the sinner believed and was saved. The Spirit of God was involved with Peter the apostle before ever he was baptised with the Spirit at Pentecost. How did Peter make that saving confession concerning Christ, without a revelation by the Spirit? Matt 16:15-17. He could not. Nobody can.
If you are not happy with Acts 2:38, would you like some more NT verses which show when a believer receives the Spirit?
Youth in Asia wrote: How does the new testament say believers get the Holy Spirit?
Acts 2:38 KJV (38)Â Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized [in water] 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.
Here you are Frank, the remainder of the quote most excellent.
Not many realise that we died in Adam, and we also died in Christ, before being raised to newness of life. It's all about federal headship.
"Christ having died for their sins, was laid in the grave, where he continued for a while, and then rose again; and as they were crucified with him, they were also buried with him, as their head and representative; and all their sins too, which he left behind him in the grave, signified by his grave clothes there; and baptism being performed by immersion, when the person baptized is covered with water, and as it were buried in it, is a very significant emblem of all this; it is a representation of the burial of Christ, and very fitly holds him forth to the view of faith in the state of the dead, in the grave, and points out the place where the Lord lay; and it is also a representation of our burial with him, as being dead to sin, to the law, and to the world, by him. This shows now, that baptism was performed by dipping, or covering the whole body in water, for no other form of administration of baptism, as sprinkling, or pouring water on the face, can represent a burial, or be called one;" Gill on Col 2:12
Frank wrote: Hey brother John UK! Baptism is a sacrament that simply publicly shows what has been done in your heart and soul. It cannot save in and of itself, but as you said just about everyone would say it is not optional in the obedience sense. There are some who become saved that donâ€™t have the opportunity to be baptized, but if opportunity is there it is mandated.
Amen brother! It is perfectly normal for a new convert to be baptised in water, despite the inconvenience of it, especially for multitude immersionists like John the Dipper (where 'dipper' is the correct translation of the greek word).
Of course, circumcision was even more inconvenient, not to say painful, but who are we mere mortals to argue with our Creator?
I agree with you, that baptism does not save. And I also agree with you that it does serve to show physically and pictorially that which has happened spiritually in a sinner's life, when he came to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
JG on Colossians 2:12 says, "....but that they and all their sins were buried with Christ, of which their baptism in water was a lively representation."
J4, there is no point in having further convo on your heterodoxy concerning baptism. We have gone into it many times before, and you are still in 'error', are 'wrong', and hold an 'unbiblical' position. You are a classic case of heterodoxy and cannot prove your position from the Bible. Rather you simplify the work of the Holy Spirit in a sinner's life, when it is really quite complex, beginning as it does in eternity, when God the Father chose certain sinners unto salvation, working in their hearts in due time when they came into the world, involving conviction, regeneration, enlightenment, indwelling, sealing, assuring, delivering faith and other spiritual gifts, empowering, and on and on and on. Sure, this is the real deal, and God is exalted in this work of his Spirit; it is salvation which comes from him.
But so too is water baptism after conversion; it is 'biblical', 'correct', and 'right' to be baptised in water, in total identification with Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
Thanks for the various points you made. Time will always tell concerning these matters, but one thing we can expect for sure, is that in these last days, churches will fill up with tares, who will seek to introduce the godly to worldliness, by stealth and subterfuge, as well as slowly turn the gospel around so that it loses all its power. In other words, attempts will be made to kill the church from within. Once the church is dead, the tares will go elsewhere.
Thanks for mentioning heresy and error. In my Bible 'heresy' is only found once, and then, not in regard to any one doctrine. So I have decided not to use the word 'heresy' in future; rather it will be: 'unbiblical', 'wrong', or an 'error'. Then it will not confuse you or anyone else.
For example, I hold that Presbyterians - even if there are some that are true brethren - hold to certain 'errors' and are 'wrong' on certain things, as also are IFB's and Anglicans.
Someone told me once that there is no perfect church, but I have found that in every church I have attended, the prevailing attitude is, "We are 'fine', our doctrine is 'correct', our worship is 'good', preaching is 'fine', structure is 'fine', blah, blah, blah....."
Just to be clear, Presbyterians do not believe in baptismal regeneration, but they do baptise their own babies in anticipation of them becoming regenerate at a later date. It's a genealogy thing, and I call it heresy, because it is not biblical. In most households, there will be saved and lost people. Sometimes an entire household is saved, such as Cornelius, and as this jailer we talked about. Opposition to this teaching is opposing God himself, who is entirely sovereign in the matter of salvation. To deny this is like whistling in the dark.
This sovereignty is found in John 3:8 and throughout the Bible, and I will always exalt the Lord God in all that he does. After all, if anyone is ever saved, it is on account of God's grace, not the worthiness of the one saved. All are guilty, all are condemned, and if God chooses to save a few, he is to be commended for showing mercy upon them.
With regard to your hesitancy about this family, I will give you my current opinion concerning them, which is that I doubt a single one of them is regenerate; thusly they are perishing in sins and need the true gospel, not a watered down heavy metal version of it.
Would you have baptised all of them without sufficient evidence of new birth?
1. I actually wasnâ€™t focusing on that part of the text but rather the timing. Most baptist churches require more of a convert that an over night, believing in God. Phillipâ€™s convert was almost immediately baptized too.
2. Also, heresy of baptism has nothing to do with a false convert being baptized. That is literally impossible to prevent, though it should be guarded along with the Lords Supper. The only heresy known to me surrounding baptism is baptismal regeneration
Hi Marty and thanks for your response.
1. I am with you on this, because it is most biblical to baptise upon conversion or very shortly afterwards. To delay is to encourage disobedience.
2. I also agree with you on the plain fact that no matter how careful we are, there will be unregenerates baptised by us. Philip's convert made a profession of faith which satisfied the evangelist and he baptised him immediately. The key thing is that he made a profession of faith in Christ as the Son of God.
Regarding baptism heresies, did you not know that Presbyterians baptise their offspring almost as soon as they come forth into the world?
Marty McD wrote: ... This household baptism in Acts seemingly took place in the course of a few hours, by the Apostles no less ...
Good morning Marty,
It seems to me that you have developed a false doctrine because of your use of the ESV, and it concerns me. In your post, you appear to claim that because the jailer had become a believer, all the others in his household (wife, children, servants etc.) were eligible for baptism, even if they had not come to faith themselves. The ESV supports this, and it is where you got it from.
"Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God." Acts 16:34 ESV
In this text, a theory is promoted that the jailer was the only one who had believed in God; therefore his entire household had been baptised on account of his faith. [obvious heresy]
I heartily commend to you the KJV, which I have posted below for comparison, which clearly shows that all present had become believers and were therefore eligible for baptism. [see Acts 8:36-38]
"And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Acts 16:34 KJV