Monday, February 8, 2016

Christian Apologetics: A Reasoned Defense of Christianity

Has your Christian faith been challenged in the classroom, by the media, or by friends? 
Have you heard the Bible ridiculed? 
Seen Evangelical Christians accused of hate and bigotry? 
Need answers to the tough questions about the reliability of the Bible and about Christianity? 
You can find the answers in these books: 

 
Christianity on Trial, by Mark Lanier, a successful trial lawyer.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, by Norman Geisler & Frank Turek.

Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell. Josh is a former atheist and has spoken at numerous universities.

Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door, by Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler. Short chapters designed for students. Good for teenagers through adults.

The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel, a former atheist.
In Defense of the Bible, edited by Cowan & Wilder, B&H. 
Who Made God?, by Norman Geisler & Ravi Zacharias. 
Apologetics Study Bible, by Holman Publishers. 

Read the Bible itself to find out what it really teaches.
Good translations: NKJV; KJV; NASB; HCSB… 

Read these books and you will find the Bible and Christianity stand up well to skeptics and tough questions. Believers in Jesus Christ need not fear the false accusations against their faith.

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. -1 Peter 3:15

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 8, AD 2016.

Articles:

Valentines Day - The Bible on Love
Wine for Your Stomach's Sake; 1 Timothy 5:23
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism
Small Texas Church Takes on a God-Sized Goal

More articles in lower right margin.   
 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bilingual Bible And Other Christian Books

We have a new Spanish language Sunday School class meeting at our church. While we are an English speaking church, we have some attending our church who are bilingual, and some who only speak Spanish. 

If you want to learn Spanish, or at least a few Spanish words -
If you want to learn English, at least a little -
What better way to learn either language than with the Bible and Christian literature?  Books that have both Spanish and English side by side. 

I went to a LifeWay Store a time or two and spent some time on their Spanish language aisles. I wanted to get a few supplemental books for the Spanish Bible Class. Among other things I found the following.

Bilingual Bible, Version Reina-Valera 1960, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers. On the same page one column is Spanish, the other column is English.

Down Through the Roof; Jesus sana a un Paralitico. Arch Books. The Bible story of the man being lowered down through the roof.
The Berenstain Bears; Los Osos Berenstain, Dios te ama!; God Loves You!, Living Lights. 
Each of the above has other children’s bilingual books in these series. 

There are also a number of Spanish language books by popular Christian writers.

I ordered the following books at LifeWay.
They are by Dr. Daniel Sanchez, professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
La Doctrina del Fin: La historia que cede el paso al orden eterno
Evangelio en el Rosario: Estudio Biblico de lost Misterios ed Cristo
Dr. Sanchez has authored other books as well, in both Spanish and English. 

LifeWay also has Sunday School Literature in Spanish. Our class is using, Estudios Biblicos Para La Vida.

Years ago a lady from Portugal began attending our church. I did some checking and ordered a Portuguese language Bible from a Bible Society. She had never seen a Portuguese Bible. Even though she spoke English, she was thrilled to see, as well as read, the Bible in her own native language.

Just today a bilingual lady was looking through some of these new books mentioned above. She said she had no idea they were available and thought they would be helpful to her and some in her family. She borrowed two of them.

So, just a reminder that you can get the Bible and other Christian literature in most any language today. It can also be an effective way to witness to a friend.

Check out bilingual Christian literature at LifeWay Christian Stores, and other Christian Bookstores in your area. If they don’t have it, they can order it.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 25, AD 2016.

Articles:
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Lord's Supper, Questions & Answers
Israel, May They Prosper Who Love You
More articles in lower right margin. 
 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Must A Preacher Know Greek And Hebrew?

Should a pastor, or any believer for that matter, study and be fluent in Greek and Hebrew, to really be able to study, understand, and teach the Bible?

Our Bible, God’s inspired, inerrant Word, originally was mostly written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).
An English translation of the Bible is translated from Hebrew and Greek into our English language. Obviously the translators need to be Bible scholars fluent in the original biblical languages as well as English.

Clearly a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew would be a plus to anyone studying and teaching the Bible. It can open up new areas of fuller understanding. If you have the time and ability, by all means learn the biblical languages.

There are some areas where you will only be effective and respected if you have at least a basic knowledge of these languages. On the other hand, if you don’t know the languages, if it is a crucial point, you can rely on and quote those who do know Greek.

English translations are produced by some of the top scholars in Hebrew, Greek, and English. Therefore, when we study a good English translation, we are enjoying the fruit of their scholarly labor. We get much of the benefits of the original languages through their research and translation. Can they get it wrong? Yes. That is a good reason to sometimes consult a second or third English translation. We are privileged with the luxury of having multiple good English translations: KJV, NKJV (my favorite), NASB, HCSB, and others.

Just because you know Greek doesn’t mean you automatically have the corner on proper Bible interpretation. Even once you know exactly what a Bible verse says in Greek, there can still be more than one view. And, a Greek scholar can still be flat out wrong on a biblical issue. So, don’t be bullied by someone just because they know more Greek than you. Also, you can often find a Greek scholar that disagrees with the Greek scholar trying to bully you.

If you are fluent in biblical languages, don’t use it to excess in your preaching and teaching. Frankly, some preachers seem to want to show off their knowledge of Greek.
Unless it is a point that really makes a difference, most laymen are not too interested in how well you know Greek. Some get weary of hearing the Greek word of every word in a verse.

There is an old story of a pastor search committee who included two requirements for their next pastor. That he not know Greek and that he had never been to the Holy Land. A previous pastor had done both and talked of them excessively.

Greek and Hebrew word studies at times are interesting and instructive. But sometimes they can skew the truth. We do not necessarily consider the ancient root meaning of a particular word, every time we use that word. Maybe the biblical writers did not either.
For example, the origin of the English word “enthusiastic” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “possessed by a god.” But when a preacher says we should be enthusiastic about a church program, I doubt he is saying we should be possessed by a pagan god. Rather, he is just using the common understanding of the word. He simply means we should “be excited” about the church program.

Often when you find out what a Bible verse says in Greek, you find it is the same thing as what your Bible translation said in English all along. And, that is the very purpose of a translation.
I’ve sometimes asked, do you know what John 3:16 says in Greek?” They usually get excited they are about to discover some new truth. I then answer, it says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Yes, that’s the jist of it in Greek!

You can do a competent study of Greek and Hebrew, even if you do not know the languages. Great Bible study books abound such as, Vines Word Studies, Young’s and Strong’s Concordances, A. T. Roberson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, Bible Commentaries, topical Bible study books.

Even a cursory knowledge of the biblical languages, though, can help you understand the differences in languages in general. Even a cursory knowledge of any second language can give you a better understanding of the original biblical languages, translation, transliteration.

Some preachers who know Greek are condescending toward those who don‘t know Greek. Yet, some of those same preachers who know Greek, do not know Hebrew, or only have a slight knowledge of it. Well, with that attitude, that preacher should never preach from the Old Testament until he is fluent in Hebrew.

A Greek scholar should never look down on a believer that does not know the biblical languages. Often, that humble believer may know more about a biblical passage than the scholar knows. And, the Greek scholar should show a healthy degree of humility. Perhaps we will all need a remedial course in Basic Bible when we reach Heaven’s shore.
I’ve always admired a Bible scholar who does not act like a scholar, and who can explain Bible truths so we all can understand.

Those who do not know the biblical languages should respect those who do. Theirs is a monumental accomplishment. Often they can reveal biblical truths of which others are unaware. Sometimes either side can keep us from doctrinal error.

I’ve sometimes wondered if a part of the spiritual gift of tongues is the ability some have to quickly and easily learn another human tongue or language. This would, of course, include Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek. The Apostle Paul would have known these languages and probably others and is likely to what he was referring (1 Corinthians 14:18) when he said “I speak with tongues (languages) more than you all.”

Some seem to just not have an aptitude for learning another language, yet they excel in other areas. Some will disagree, but you can be a very capable preacher and teacher of the Word of God without knowing much about Greek or Hebrew. It would not be difficult to name a long list of outstanding preachers, pastors, evangelists, missionaries who do not know Greek or Hebrew.

We would all be diminished if we had no Greek and Hebrew scholars. We would all be diminished if we got rid of all those ministers who are not fluent in the biblical languages.

Wherever you fit in the spectrum of biblical languages, may we all read, study, and hide God’s Word in our hearts. May we believe Holy Scripture, then put it into practice in our everyday lives.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 18, AD 2016.

Articles:
Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
Commentaries and Bible Study
SCRIPTURE INDEX for Ancient Wine and the Bible

Other articles in lower right margin.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never traveled more than 200 miles from the place He was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.

He was only 33 when public opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. When He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the kindness of a friend. He rose from the dead.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life.
-adapted from Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons,” Judson Press, Philadelphia; 1926. 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. -Matthew 1:21

Merry Christmas!
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 17, AD 2015.  

Articles:
Alcohol and the Holidays
That Night, A Christmas Poem
10 Commandments for Christmas
More articles in lower right margin. 
 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Baptismal Regeneration; Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? Part 2

Part of the confusion over Baptismal Regeneration is a failure to understand the meaning of baptism. Baptism is simply a picture of what happened to you when you believed in Jesus. In a sense, baptism is a funeral of who you used to be. When you go under the water it is a picture of dying to your old life of sin. When you are raised from the water it is a picture of you being resurrected to a new life in Christ. That is what happened to you when you trusted Jesus as your Savior. Baptism, of course, also pictures your belief that Jesus died for your sins and rose again, and your belief that our physical bodies will be raised at the resurrection. 

What about the Bible passages that seem to teach Baptismal Regeneration? That seem to teach you must believe and be baptized to be saved?

First, do not neglect the multitude of clear passages that say if you believe in Jesus Christ you will be saved (see previous article, part 1).

Now, let’s look at those verses some claim teach Baptismal Regeneration.

1. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. -Mark 16:16
Notice first, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” 

In New Testament times it was common that when one believed, if there was enough water, they would baptize them immediately. So belief and baptism often went together.

Now, back to, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”
That is true. It is also true that he who believes and joins a church will be saved. It is even true that if he believes and buys a pickup truck he will be saved. 

Now notice the next phrase, “but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

It is very significant that it does not say if he believes and is not baptized he will be condemned; only, if he does not believe he will be condemned.

2. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? -James 2:14
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? -James 2:20
Someone may say, show me your faith. Well, God can see your faith, but others cannot. God can see your faith, but man can only see your faith by your works. If you truly believe, then good works will follow. If there are no good works, a man may have reason to doubt your faith. 

Always remember as well, verses like Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5; etc.

3. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. -1 Peter 3:21 (NKJV)
Many Baptismal Regenerationists only quote a small portion of this verse, “baptism doth also now save us,” (KJV). That is a strong argument, until the entire verse is considered. One of the basic rules of properly interpreting the Bible (hermeneutics), is to study the word, or phrase, or verse in context; what comes before and after it. 

This verse does not say baptism saves us or takes away our sins. It only says baptism is a type (or antitype, figure, symbol, picture) of our salvation. As mentioned previously, believer’s baptism by immersion is a picture of our salvation; a symbol of what happens to us when we trust Jesus as our Savior.

Notice also this verse says baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God. In other words, we are commanded to be baptized. It is a good work. We are not saved by good works, we are saved by repentance and belief in Jesus. But after we believe, baptism gives us a good conscience because we are obeying and honoring God.

This verse even states baptism is, “not the removal of the filth of the flesh.” Rather than literally taking away our sins, baptism symbolically takes away our sins, a picture of what happened when we believed. Only Jesus can literally take away our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21).

4. Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” -John 3:5
Does born of water mean baptism? If it did, it would only mean so in a figurative way. However, it does not mean baptism. Every time you see the word water, that does not automatically refer to baptism. 

There are a couple of explanations. First, some believe born of water refers to physical birth, a water birth. This view says you must be born both physically (physical birth, born of the flesh) and spiritually (new birth, spiritual birth, salvation).

This view says Jesus explains “born of water and the Spirit” in the very next verse:

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. -John 3:6

Second, some believe born of water refers to the washing of the Word of God in salvation (John 3:5; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:8).

Does the Word of God spiritually wash us? Yes.

That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. -Ephesians 5:26

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
-Psalm 119:9

And one aspect of salvation is that we are born again through God’s Word.

Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. -1 Peter 1:23

It should also be remembered that Jesus summed up the new birth in this same chapter in John in the well known verse,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

No mention here of baptism being a part of salvation. Rather simply believe in Jesus and you will not perish but have everlasting life.

5. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” -Acts 2:38
The word “for” (Greek - eis) in this verse can also mean “because.” 

This verse could justly and easily be translated, “Let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ ‘because of’ the remission of sins.”

Do we ever use the word “for” in the sense of “because?” Yes we do.

For example,
“He was thrown in jail ‘for’ stealing a car.” 
He was not thrown in jail ‘so he could’ steal a car, rather, he was thrown in jail ‘because’ he stole a car. 

6. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ -Acts 22:16
Ananias was speaking in a figurative way of washing away sins. 

Baptism is a picture, a symbol of salvation, but it is not salvation nor a part of salvation. That baptism is a picture or symbol of salvation is shown in 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.

Notice before Paul (Saul) was baptized, but after he believed, Ananias called him, “Brother Saul” (Acts 22:13), thereby recognizing his salvation.

Notice also that Ananias, in speaking of washing away your sins included, “calling on the name of the Lord.”

Baptism is not a part of salvation, only a picture of salvation. Salvation is only in Jesus Christ, not in good works. In dealing with this issue, never forget or minimize the many clear Bible passages that teach salvation is only through personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The song does not say,

Jesus paid a part,
Some to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
We washed it white as snow.

Rather,

“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
-Elvina M. Hall, Baptist Hymnal, LifeWay; 2008. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 15, AD 2015.

Articles:
Baptismal Regeneration; Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? Part 1
More Articles in lower right margin. 


 




 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Small Texas Church Takes on a God-Sized Goal

Pastor Mark Brumbelow and his wife Cherry pray over Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes during a service at Grace Baptist Church of Wild Peach in Brazoria, Texas.

Brazoria, Texas, United States
November 10, 2015
Along the Gulf Coast sits Brazoria County, proclaimed by the local newspaper to be “Where Texas Began.” It is home to the first capital of the Republic of Texas, as well as the Brazos River which early Spanish explorers named “The River of the Arms of God.” Just five miles from that river and 60 miles south of Houston, the village of Wild Peach experienced God’s embrace the last weekend in October.

As rains from the remains of Hurricane Patricia hammered the area, a tornado headed straight for Wild Peach—including its one convenience store, an elementary school, three churches, and numerous homes. The storm was averted, though, and some believe that was in part due to what happened in Grace Baptist Church earlier that day.

This congregation of 25, whose pastor is also a taxidermist, set out Saturday morning to finish their year-long goal of packing 2,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. With just 270 shoeboxes to go, they planned to continue packing boxes as long as they had gifts left to fill them.

Church members and friends, both old and young, made their way around tables piled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to pack shoeboxes with gifts for children in need around the world. As Charlie Meazles, a Marine veteran of the Korean War, packed a box for a two- to four-year-old boy, he said, “I do it for the kids everywhere. I hope they come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.”

Within hours, they had officially completed 2,118 gifts. Pastor Mark Brumbelow said, “This is not something Grace Baptist has done. This is something the God of Heaven allowed us to be a part of.”

Trusting God to Fill Them
Mark and his wife Cherry packed their first shoebox gift 13 years ago. For the first 10 years or so, they would pack three—one in honor of each of their boys—and their church as a whole would pack anywhere from seven to 20. “We were proud of that,” Mark said, “and I’m still proud of that. It was good. It was right.”

In 2013, though, they packed 43 boxes and Mark said, “I was just ecstatic!”

That year they drove more than four hours to an ice-covered Dallas to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center.

“If I’d have known how icy the roads were in Dallas, I never would have gone,” Mark said. But there as they inspected shoeboxes and prepared them for international shipping, they learned about the opportunity to volunteer with the project year-round. Discovering that the Gulf Coast didn’t have many volunteers, Cherry signed up and soon became the community relations coordinator for three counties.

Driving home from Dallas, Cherry suggested that they do 500 boxes in 2014.

Mark thought, “That’d be nice!” But he prayed, “Lord, we can’t do that. That’s impossible! But if you want us to do it, we’ll do the best we can, and get as far as we can in that direction. I just think you’re asking too much of us.”

The next Sunday, Mark preached on 2 Kings 4 where Elisha tells the widow who had no money left to borrow jars from her neighbors so he could fill them with oil. During the sermon it hit Cherry that it was the widow’s job to get the containers and God’s job to fill them.

Sensing she just needed to get 500 shoeboxes and trust God for the contents, Cherry went to a nearby store on Monday morning to see if she could get shoeboxes. They gave her some, and she repeated the trip every week until she had 500 boxes.

The church was skeptical of the new goal, but they gave it their best effort and ended up packing 532 shoeboxes!

That was only part of the challenge, though. Samaritan’s Purse requests that a $7 donation accompany every shoebox gift to cover the cost of shipping. Throughout the year, Grace Baptist had collected $1,200 for this purpose—in part through generous monthly donations from a church member with Down syndrome—but that was nowhere near the more than $3,500 needed. A travelling construction worker who had visited their church surprised them with a gift of $1,000 for the shoebox shipping. Then another couple in the church had some extra funds come in and offered to pay all that was left of the shipping costs.

The next Sunday, Mark announced that the shipping was covered, but he also said, “If the Lord’s leading you to give anything for Operation Christmas Child and you’ve not yet given, today’s the day to come clean with God.” This prompted the church to give another $400. They sent all of it in to cover the shipping of their own shoeboxes, as well as some other boxes sent to Samaritan’s Purse without the requested donation.

‘Give, and It Will Be Given to You’
This was also the time of year when Southern Baptist churches set goals for their Lottie Moon Christmas missions offering, named after a pioneering female missionary to China. In the past, Grace Baptist’s goal had been around $750. But in 2014, someone in the congregation suggested that their goal wasn’t a dollar amount, but rather obedience to God. So, instead of writing a projected financial goal on the posters they placed around the church, they simply wrote “obedience.”

Mark feared that because of their Operation Christmas Child giving that their Christmas missions offering would suffer. But he said, “Last year after packing 500 shoeboxes, our Lottie Moon offering doubled over what it had ever been before. I’m telling you Luke 6:38 is true. ‘Give, and it will be given to you.’”

This biblical principle was true for the church in other ways as well. Early on, when Grace Baptist paid their bills, there wasn’t enough leftover to pay their pastor. But since they’ve been giving to Operation Christmas Child that has changed.

“Right now it’s hard to believe I’m looking at the right paper when I’m looking at the treasurer’s report,” Mark said. God is blessing them both financially and numerically.

Celebrating More than 2,000 Shoebox Gifts
Mark and Cherry volunteered at the Processing Center in Dallas again in 2014 and as they prayed on their way home, they felt God was asking them to fill 2,000 shoebox gifts in 2015.

“It is no bigger of a deal to God to fill 2,000 boxes than it was to fill 500,” Mark said. But to his congregation, it felt overwhelming. That only increased their sense of celebration on Saturday, October 24, when they exceeded their goal.

The next morning, church members entered the church to find every one of their 2,118 shoeboxes lining the front, sides, and center aisle of their church building. To the right of the podium, which bore an Operation Christmas Child logo, shoebox gifts formed a Christmas tree.

After a verse of “Victory in Jesus,” Mark said, “I believe this is the happiest day for our church.” Drawing from Psalm 2:8, he went on to say, “God is letting us have the nations as our inheritance.”

“We said, ‘We can’t, but if You help us we will,’” Mark said, recapping their journey over the past year. Tears flowed as he recounted God’s faithfulness to help them surpass their goal to bless children in need around the world with a tangible gift of God’s love.

Mark also pointed out that with 2,118 shoeboxes, they needed $14,826 to cover the shipping. Throughout the year, they had collected $1,645.46. Then $3,200 came in at Saturday’s packing party, leaving them a deficit of $9,980.54.

“Are you wrapping your minds around these numbers?” Mark asked.

Then Mark proceeded to share that someone from outside the church had handed him a check that morning for $14,000, specifically to cover the shipping expenses. Gasps went up around the room.

They now had $18,845.46 to cover shipping for their boxes and they committed to sending it all to Samaritan’s Purse.

“I believe the highest form of worship we give to God is when we offer up to Him what we’ve sacrificially given,” Mark said.

The congregation dispersed around the room to lay hands on the shoeboxes. Cherry prayed, “Give these boxes to the boys and girls they’re just right for. We pray for every child, every community that will be impacted by these boxes.”

Others joined her in praise and thanksgiving. One even confessed, “When Mark said we’d pack 2,000, I thought he was crazy.”

But God did it.

“We haven’t done anything special, but seek to obey God and what He’s told us to do,” Mark said. “There’s nothing special about Grace Baptist Church or its preacher. But I tell you there’s something mighty special about the God that we serve.”
-Article written by Samaritan’s Purse.

See full article and additional photos:
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/small-texas-church-takes-on-a-god-sized-goal/


-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 11, AD 2015.
More articles in lower right margin. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Baptismal Regeneration; Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? Part 1

I believe in and practice Believers Baptism by Immersion. 
Many believe, however, in Baptismal Regeneration. This view teaches you must believe in Jesus and also be baptized to be saved. They teach baptism is a part of salvation. Rather, the Bible teaches faith in Jesus Christ, and nothing else, brings about your salvation.

Does the Bible teach you are saved (born again, regenerated, forgiven, made right with God, given a place in Heaven, have everlasting life) by believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Yes.

Consider these verses:

Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace. -Luke 7:50 NKJV

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” -Luke 23:42-43 The thief on the cross could not be baptized or do any good works, he could only believe.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. -John 1:12

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. -John 3:36

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. -John 5:24

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. -John 20:31

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. -Acts 3:19

To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins. -Acts 10:43

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. -Acts 16:31

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” -Romans 4:3; also Genesis 15:6

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. -Romans 4:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. -Titus 3:5

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. -Romans 10:9-10, 13

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. -Ephesians 1:13

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9

Notice these verses (and many more) do not mention baptism at all. Simply repent, believe, turn your life over to Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Notice as well that baptism is a good work, yet we are not saved by good works.

Those who believe baptism is a part of salvation negate all these verses by emphasizing a few verses that appear to state their case. But, if we have to answer for their verses, they must answer for the many more clear, unambiguous verses that plainly state belief in Jesus saves us.

In a hospital waiting room a man who believes in Baptismal Regeneration told me, “The Bible says if you believe you will have a chance to be saved.” Three times he stated this, and three times I told him, that is not what the Bible says. Rather than his extra-biblical view, the Bible simply states if you believe you will be saved.

Lest there be misunderstanding, we are saved by faith, then works follow. Once we have been saved, God commands us to live for Him and produce good works.

Next: What about the Bible passages that seem to teach Baptismal Regeneration?

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 14, AD 2015. 

Articles: 

Baptismal Regeneration; Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? Part 2
The Roman Road of Salvation
 
Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs

Other articles in lower right margin.