Saturday, March 4, 2017


(Dialogue continued)


Baptist::           Since we last talked I have thought a lot about you teaching that “baptism” is essential to salvation.” I’ve thought of some things that just kind of blow that idea out of the water. No pun intended.
Christian:         Okay, I am sure ready to listen and learn.
Baptist::           When you teach that you have to “be baptized to be saved,” you are teaching that you can earn your salvation.
Christian:         Well, why do you think a person is baptized?
Baptist::           You are baptized to get into the Church.
Christian:         So, in other words, you earn your way into the Baptist Church.
Baptist::           Well, no, that is not true.
Christian:         Now wait. If I say that one is baptized into Christ to be saved, you say that I am teaching that you can earn your salvation, but if you teach that you are baptized to get into the Baptist Church, are you not teaching that you can earn your way into the Baptist Church? Is that logical?
Baptist::           Well, baptism is simply the means of getting into the Baptist Church so it is not really earning your way into the Baptist Church.
Christian:         But if I say one is baptized into Christ, it all of the sudden becomes a work of merit to earn salvation. Is that what you are saying?
Baptist::           Well, kind of, I guess.
Christian:         Well, my mind won’t make such a great leap of faith as to believe there is a difference between one being a work of merit and the other not. There is no merit at all in being baptized into Christ. Salvation is merited completely by what Christ did on the cross. Salvation is only in Christ, so I was baptized into Him “where all the promises of God are. I am saved by what happened to Him, not what happened to me. There is no condemnation to those “in Christ.” If one is “in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away and all things are made new.” The only way I know to be “in Christ,” is to be baptized into Him. Paul says,
`“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Galatians 3:27
Baptist::           Well, we believe you are baptized to be a member of the Baptist Church.
Christian:         Yes, I know that is what you believe, but you do not believe you have to be baptized to get into Heaven.
Baptist::           No way.
Christian:         Well, I guess then that you believe it is easier to get into Heaven than it is the Baptist Church.
Baptist::           Huh?
Christian:         Well, if you do not have to be baptized to get into Heaven, but you do to be a member of the Baptist Church, it takes more to get into the Baptist Church than it does to get into Heaven.
Baptist::           Okay, I’ll admit that.
Christian:         I reckon you would have to, because that is what you believe. Let me ask you how you were saved.
Baptist::           I just said the “sinner’s prayer,” and asked Jesus into my heart.
Christian:         What is the “sinner’s prayer?” And what is this “asking Jesus into your heart?” I have never read that in the Bible. Where is that?
Baptist::           I don’t know but I’m sure it’s in there. Even the radio preachers quote it. Revelation shows Jesus standing at the door and knocking. You have seen the famous picture of Jesus knocking on a door without a latch.  He won’t barge in. He knocks and you have to let Him in.
Christian:         Well, I have looked and looked for “sinner’s prayer” and have never found it. The artist probably took his idea from the Revelation picture, but that is Jesus knocking on the door of the lukewarm church, not on an alien sinner’s heart.
Baptist::           Oh, my! I have never noticed that before.
Christian:         Let me ask you, how old were you when you were saved? And how old were you when you were baptized?
Baptist::           I was ten when I said the “sinner’s prayer,” and was saved, but I was twelve when I was baptized and joined the Baptist Church.
Christian:         So you were saved two years outside the Baptist Church?
Baptist::           Yes.
Christian:         So one does not have to be a member of the Baptist Church to be saved?
Baptist::           Oh, no! There are a lot of people saved that are not in the Baptist Church!
Christian:         Well, that is encouraging to know. So you don’t think that you have to be in the Church to be saved?
Baptist::           Oh, no! You don’t believe that you have to be in the Church to be saved, do you?
Christian:         Well, I believe, if you are saved, you are in the Church. On Pentecost, those that gladly received the Word were baptized and the same day there were added about 3,000 souls.
Acts 2:42 and 47, “42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
We believe the Lord adds you to His Church, not men.
Baptist:            Well, what kind of Church was it?
Christian:         Well, it is Christ’s Church. It is His body and by one spirit we are all baptized into one body.
I Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Baptist:            So, you are saying, when you were baptized, you were added to the Church?
Christian:         Yes, we were baptized into Christ. We became a part of His body. When we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into His death. We died with Him and arose with Him to walk in a newness of life.
Romans 6:4, “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.”
Baptist:            Well, let me change gears here. Paul specif-ically said,”Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the Gospel.” It follows then that baptism has no part of the Gospel.
Christian:         It is true, Paul was sent to preach, not merely baptize. This is true, but let’s follow your logic. Since Paul was not sent to baptize, he was not sent to make Baptists, since you have said that it takes “baptism to make a Baptist.”
Baptist:            Now, that is not what I said.
Christian:         No, it is just the logical conclusion to your argument. Furthermore, if baptism is no part of the Gospel, then the Baptist Church is no part of the Gospel. It is not a Gospel Church since it takes baptism to make a Baptist. Will you admit to that?
Baptist:            You frustrate me.
Christian:         (Smiling)No, truth frustrates you. I have just been using your logic on your own doctrine.
Baptist:            Well, maybe so, but I am proud to be a Baptist!
Christian:         But you are not a Baptist, sir.
Baptist:            What do you mean, “I’m not a Baptist?” I have been a Baptist for twenty years.
Christian:         No, sir. I am sorry to tell you, but you are not a Baptist.
Baptist:            Now what do you mean by such a statement?
Christian:         You have been a member of the baptist Church for twenty years, but have you baptized any one?
Baptist:            No, you have to be an ordained minister to administer “baptism.”
Christian:         Then you are not a Baptist. A Baptist is one who baptizes. That is why John was called “the Baptist.” You have baptized no one, so how can you be called “a Baptist?”
Baptist:            Sir, you are playing word games.
Christian:         Not really. Is one who does not do plumbing a plumber? Is one who has never driven a nail a carpenter? Is one who has never preached a preacher? Are you, sir, really a Baptist, if you have never baptized?
Baptist:            Oh, boy!
Christian:         The Great Commission says, “Go, teach and baptize.” Baptist preachers do that, but you don’t. You do not obey the Great Commission.
Baptist:            You may have something there, but one needs to go to a minister to be baptized.
Christian:         You fellows are always talking about a man out in the dessert with no water to baptize them. Let me ask you this. What would happen if a man wanted to be baptized on an island with no ordained Baptist preacher present? How could he become a member5 of the Baptist Christ?
Baptist:            He couldn’t, but he does not have to be a member of the Church to be saved.
Christian:         But the Bible says that the Church is what is going to be presented without spot and blemish.
Ephesians 5:27, “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.“
II Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.”
I don’t know of anyone but the Church that is going to be saved, since He adds the saved to His Church.
Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
It is His Church which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” 
It is the purchased ones who are redeemed. It is the redeemed ones who are saved. Yes, I believed all saved persons are a member of His Church.
Baptist:            Well, you have given me something to think about. I think my arguments are sound in the overall, though.
Christian:         (Smiling, putting his right arm around him, replies,) We will have to talk again. In the meantime, I don’t think your arguments on baptism hold water. Pun intended.

And with that, they both laughed and ended company.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and
not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

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