Susan - the often abused text about Jesus knocking on the door speaks not to the individual heart but to the church and is a reference to communion. As to infra and supra lapsarianism, I believe that is the are where the inquiring mind of man goes too far. God has given us a glimpse of His viewpoint, from the perspective of eternity, that we might be comforted and assured thereby, not that we might formulate our theology from that perspective. We, who are bound in time, cannot penetrate the eternal now. And how can you make chronological events happen in the eternal now? First God, in eternity did this, then that and so on. I hope I make sense here. As to the abuse of the 5 points that is a mistake that is made far too often and leads to hypercalvinism which is a greater heresey than Arminianism. 100% Divine + 100% Human = 100% product. The two occur simultaneous yet the Divine has preeminence. This is true of all theology. God and man together make 100%. Look at the authorship of Scripture, at the Person of Jesus. Now apply that to your salvation. 100% Sovereignty does not negate 100% responsibiltiy. All that the Father GIVES Me, WILL come to Me! Sovereignty and responsibility. But don't equate or confuse responsibility with ability. We are dead in sin - totally unable!
Feel free to email me on [email protected] Don't mind discussion anything and, who knows, we might both learn something. I am firmly convinced of two things; 1 - It is the height of foolishness to think that sin has serioulsy impaired all our faculties, except our ability to interpret Scripture 2 - Christian fellowship is not based on agreement, but on the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look forward to talking to you.
Mike wrote: "Does God Choose Some to Salvation & Eternal Life in Heaven and Some to Damnation & Eternal Existence in Hell?" No.
No? Well I say 'Yes!' and my 'Yes!' at least came with some Scriptural support. Your 'No' is no different than the 'No' of a little child who does not want to go to bed. Does God give everyone a totally free will to choose for or against Christ and therefore Christ did not die for anyone in particular just for whoever might decide to choose Him?
Now you! But give your 'No' some substance. Or your "Yes", whatever the case may be.
Murray - appreciate your scholarship and your clear and direct reasoning. This is something that has been sadly lacking in many of the responses I have received on this site. That said, you still need to answer me this: To which promise was Peter referring in Acts 2 when he said it was 'to you and your children'? If not the promise first made to the Patriarchs and Fathers, signed and sealed in circumcision, then what promise? If it is that same promise then what is the sign of that promise? These are legitimate questions, are they not? That sermon was first preached to Jews, who knew the OT and the covenant and all that pertained to it. Any monumental changes in it they would expect to be addressed. Nowhere do I find that in the New Covenant children are now not included. Even Baptists see this and have substituted a 'dry baptism' (as we call it)in dedication. Now that has no Scriptural foundation whatsoever. I know of only one infant who was dedicated, and his mum only saw him once a year after that when she brought him a new jacket.
Discerning Believer wrote: The sacramental system was derived from the Roman Catholic Church and caried over into Protestantism. That is one area where the reformers never completely broke away from the Romish traditions.
You can't just make a statement like that mate and not back it up. There are many things carried over from Rome, not least the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the resurrection and ascension etc. The Reformers were not perfect, but they were diligent theologians and their theology was further developed by greats such as the Puritans and the Westminster Divines, not to mention a host of Reformed Scholars since then from BB Warfield to John Murray to Henry Krabbendam. I have yet to see a list of the great Baptist Theologians. Nowhere does the Reformed Church say that baptism imparts the new birth. It is a sign and a seal; in adults of their conversion, in infants of the promise of the covenant that "I will be your God." But just as the promises made to old Israel, there are always conditions. So tell me, in Acts 2, WHAT promise was Peter referring to, if not the promise of the covenant?
Icon O'Clast wrote: Who can give me some insight into this one? In Acts 15 during the Jerusalem council the issue is the OT law and the Gentile believers. In vs 10 Peter says, "Why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Then in vs 11 Peter goes on to say, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they." In vs 10, what is the yoke, who are 'the disciples' and who are 'the fathers'? In vs 11, in the part "we shall be saved in the same manner as they"; who is 'we' and who are 'they'? I would be very keen to hear some opinions on the questions I asked. Thanks!
The fathers are obviously not the patriarchs but the Jews after the time of the giving of the law because the law is the yoke spoken of. The second verse I have always seen as saying, We (Christians) believe that through the grace of Christ we (Christians) shall be saved in the same manner as they (the fathers).
The Scripture texts which speak clearly on the Sovereignty of God in salvation, of His unconditional election etc are legion and the free will case has zero evidence. They cannot have free will and Sovereignty together because they cancel each other out, just like works and grace do. If you have a little bit of power/authority then Jesus can not say that He has ALL power. The doctrine of reprobation is, as Calvin said, a horrible decree. Yet it is a decree. Pharaoh was raised up for one purpose only - to show God's glory. The wicked were made for the day of judgement. The potter has made vessels of dishonour as well as vessels of honour. He did not make identical vessels (eg drinking cups) and then chose some of them and leave the others. The ones that were left were never drinking cups. They were chamber pots. Tares were tares from the beginning and goats were always goats. Just because we do not like something or can't understand something does not give us the right to ignore or reject it if the Bible plainly teaches it. It is the Word of God to man, not the word of man to God. Just bow your head and give Him all the praise and all the glory and do not try to keep a little glory to yourself. You have nothing to boast of, not even your 'decision', cos it was not your decision.
No one has addressed any of the issues I raised below. I categorically state that there is no immersion to be found in the OT. I gave the evidence and not one point has been refuted. Where was immersion in the OT? Where is the refutation of my exegesis on Heb 9? I was not talking about the subjects of Baptism. I am having a very satisfactory discussion about that on another thread. But on the topic of the mode of baptism I have, so far, been relatively unchallenged. I will not bring my Scriptural evidence forward again. It is on the table and so far there is nothing stacked against it. I think I will leave the matter there as a testimony to Immersionist defeat.
So please explain to me - the Lord's Supper and Baptism are sacraments; Circumcision and Passover are not sacraments; the Ark was a sacrament. How did they partake of the Ark? How are Baptism or the Lord's Supper similar to the Ark? I have studied theology for 30 years or more. I have read great theologians on both sides of the divide; although there are not so many great Baptist theologians outside of Beasly-Murray and Strong. Nowhere have I heard of the Ark being referred to as a sacrament. So tell me, do you see the church of the Old and New Testaments as one church? Do you see one organic covenant? Do you see one plan of salvation for one people by one Saviour decreed from all eternity? I know you guys like to call yourself "Reformed" because you loosely adhere to the 5 points. But if you deny the unity of Scripture and the continuity of the covenant of grace under two administrations then you are no more reformed than a chihuahua is a mastiff. Leave it there if you must. But you have a lot more Scripture to ignore than just Rom 4:11. And I repeat, on immersion you have no case whatsoever!
MurrayA wrote: Mr.J, You have simply not seen my point. I am denying that circumcision and Passover were OT "sacraments". However, unlike circumcision and Passover the Ark was sacramental
The OT talked about the sprinkling of blood before the Ark, ie, before God. The Ark was a symbol of the presence of God. In that sense the actual sprinkling would be sacramental, but not the Ark itself. The sacraments were visible signs and seals of the redemptive work of God through His Son in the Holy Spirit. The Son produces salvation and the Holy Spirit applies it. It is their WORK which is symbolised and portrayed in the sacaraments. The blood of the Lamb, in Passover and in Communion. That is already clear when you see how and when Communion was instituted; at Passover. "When you do THIS, do it in remembrance of Me." What were they doing? Celebrating Passover. Likewise circumcision was a seal of the righeousness of faith, which is applied by the Spirit. He is the Spirit of regeneration. It is the true circumcision, the heart circumcision which pictures the removal of sin and the rebirth. That is why baptism is also called the washing of regeneration. Or do you think that the NT sacraments came out of nowhere and had no organic relationship with the OT?
Just listening wrote: Dr. Phil... Of course you will not agree with C.H.S. on the posted comment you believe in Infant Baptism. Here is a great link to a sermon by Brother Henry Mahan on Baptism. Give it a listen, it is an excellent sermon on the subject. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1808137567 Truth suffers nothing from free discussion, it is indeed the element in which it most freely exerts its power. We have personally known several instances in which sermons in defence of Infant Baptism have driven numbers to more Scriptural views, and we have felt that if P√¶do-baptists will only preach upon the subject we shall have little to do but to remain quiet and reap the sure results. It is a dangerous subject for any to handle who wish their people to abide by the popular opinion on this matter. C.H.S.
I appreciate your conviction, but have admitted myself we have no watertight argument - and I believe the same goes for you. On immersion you have no case - zero. Independent word study will never support baptist claims that bapto always means immersion. In the case of covenant baptism, your failure to see the covenantal nature of Scripture means you fail to see the big picture.
This is just a humorous anecdote I heard. I do not know how close my wording of it is, but the gist of it went something like this. Spurgeon's mother once said to him, "I prayed so long for your conversion. I beseeched God that He would make you a Christian. But I never thought He would make you a Baptist." Spurgeon's reply was priceless; "Mother, God answered your prayer above and beyond all that you asked Him." Whether you be Baptist or Presbyterian, for or against Covenant Baptism, you can not deny that C H Spurgeon was and always will be the Prince of Preachers.
Go back to the Biblical definition of a Sacrament Murray. It is a visible sign and seal, an outward sign and seal of a spiritual reality. It is the Word of God made visible. It signifies the actions of God in the redemtption and salvation of men. The Passover depicts justification through the blood of the lamb. Circumcision depicts the removal of sin and the regeneration of the sinner by the power of the Holy Spirit. These are Biblical and clear facts. These are seen again in their NT counterparts of Communion and Baptism. The terminology is even used interchangeably in the NT. The Ark is a picture of the presence of God, to be kept in the holy of holies and demonstrates the insurmountable gap between a holy God and a sinful man. But the veil which kept that presence away was torn. The ultimate sacrifice was made by the ultimate Priest. It is His work that is demonstrated in the sacraments. It is not a symbol - it is a sign AND a seal. Abraham had that in circumcision, you read that plainly. Paul unites the meanings of circumcision and baptism to the Colossians. Otherwise his reasoning to them that they did not need to be physically circumcised becomes meaningless. I know your arguments mateI was a Baptist for years. I have never lost respect for your position. I just disagree.
You still have not answered my reasoning from Scripture that immersion did not exist in OT. The diverse baptisms in Hebrews are explained within the text itself. Heb 9:13 relates to Num19:17-18; Heb 9:19 to Ex24:6,8; Heb 9:21 to Lev8:19 and 16:4. There is no such thing possible as diverse immersion. But there are given in the OT texts diverse sprinklings. And Hebrews calls those sprinklings baptisms. So you can not now or ever say that baptism ALWAYS means immersion because in this case it clearly can not.The Heb 9 text calls these baptisms purifications. There is no purification by immersion possible according to OT law. Now tell me, how did the disciples, seven weeks after the cross and shortly after being imprisoned themselves, convince the authorities who hated them to allow them to use the city water pools to immerse the thousands (Acts2:41; 4:4) who were converted. If you read the purification laws you will see that if these were not followed to the letter, the person was "cut off". This meant more than to just die. Messiah was "Cut off", but not for Himself. Check the texts yourself then look at Heb 9 again; Lev14:6,7; Ps 51:7; Num19:11-13; Lev13:44; 15:11 and 11:19-44 which is referred to in Mark7:3-4; Num8:7; Ez36:25-27. I state again, Jn1:25 proves John sprinkled!
It is time this subject got back on track. Here is my statement. The Bible clearly teaches Postmillenialism - not the negative Defeatism of Amil or Premil and especially not the double-visioned nonsense of Scofield. The Biblical structure of the Bible is Covenantal. All God's dealings with man, from Adam on, must be by condescending covenant. There is one plan of salvation which must end in victory for Almighty God. ALL revealed Scripture must be seen in the light of God's eternal Covenant of Grace. Any other way only leads to the chaos and confusion we see today. The stream that flows from the temple becomes a mighty river, which irrigates the desert and makes the Dead Sea fresh. The stone that was cut out without hands never ceases to grow till it fills the whole earth. Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about a church that is ultimately defeated and must be rescued by a 'secret' rapture. God has declared the end from the beginning. He is in heaven and does as He pleases. Do you really think He is going to lose? Amils and Premils see the church ending with a whimper. Dispies see it ending in a fairytale. The Bible tells us it ends with a triumphant shout!
The comment on the Ark below is interesting but meaningless. The Ark is unique to the OT. It signifies the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. To touch it unlawfully meant instant death. Nowhere is it even remotely referred to as anything akin to a sacrament. It is not a sign of regeneration or justification. It is not a sign of cleansing. It is not a sign of the blood of the Lamb. Instead, the Ark itself was sprinkled. Yet there is strong connection between Circumcision and baptism. Both of them refer to Christ's death. Both of them refer to cleansing from sin, ie, the removal of something. Both of them were visible signs and seals of union and identification. Both of them were outward visible signs of inward spiritual truths. There is a true circumcision, that is of the heart. There is a true baptism, that is of the Spirit. They both mean the same thing. If not, then Paul's whole line of reasoning to the Colossians becomes meaningless. Their concern was that they were not circumcised. Paul tells them they have been circumcised, by the true circumcision when they were buried with Christ in baptism. Not water baptism but the true baptism. We were in Christ when He died, was buried, rose and ascended(Col3:1-4;Eph2:5,6)by the work of the Spirit, the true baptism/circumcision.
The Red Sea crossing and the Ark of Noah typology are not the central issues. And yet, immersion, according to your terminology, must have cleansing by water. It cannot be dry. The only ones who were immersed in those instances were the damned ones. You addressed none of the other issues I brought forward regarding OT purification etc. Where was immersion in the OT? Where are the prophecies concering immersion by the coming Messiah? Where is your word study on Bapto and Baptiso? There was no mention of baptism in the OT because it is a Greek word. So to do your word study on its meaning you must use the LXX, the Greek Old Testament. It is all very well to stand in the shadows and fire meaningless potshots, but you do not gain debating points that way. So far, I have laid out a legitimate case and you have not even adequately addressed it - yet you act as if you have defeated it.
Murray The Colossian text establishes it beyond a doubt. Paul assures them that they have been circumcised, with the circumcision made with out hands, when they were buried with Christ in baptism through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Circumcision is called a seal of the righteousness of faith. All who are in Christ are Abraham's seed and heirs according to THE promise, ie, the same promise Peter mentions in Acts 2. That seed is not many but one Seed who is Christ. The Covenant is called New but there are so many points of unity and continuity it is more renewed. There is no essential differences between the sacraments of the NT and of the OT. ICor10:1-4 Paul ascribes to the OT church that which is essen tial in the NT sacraments. Rom4:11 circumcision is the seal of the righteousness of faith. Because they represent the same spiritual realities, the names of the sacraments of both OT and NT are used interchangeably; circumcision and passover are ascribed to the NT church ICor 5:7; Col2:11, and baptism and Lord's Supper to the church of the OT ICor10:1-4. The difference comes in the change from exclusive Israel to Universal church Eph 2:11-16. Now tell me, what promise was Peter talking about in Acts 2? Curious to know your answer. And thanks for a great discussion.