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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baptismal Regeneration

I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topic of Baptismal Regeneration. At least a couple of things come together to motivate me to this undertaking. About a month ago when we were with my Father-in-law at the Hospital in Central Kansas we had the opportunity to interact with an older gentleman who was there with his very elderly mother. The man was very friendly, and at bare minimum Christian affected. Our last evening there the conversation, thanks to my wife, turned to the question of baptism being necessary for salvation. We had learned a day earlier that the gentleman was of the Church of Christ persuasion. He was commenting on how we agreed on so much. It was this that caused my wife to raise the issue of the necessity of baptism for salvation. Because the fact is, we disagree on a critical point that is how a man gets to heaven. We discussed the issue for several minutes. My wife left the room to be with her Father and I took a call on her cell phone. When I finished with that call he was handing me his cell phone and informed me that his preacher was on the other end. I obliged him by taking the phone and speaking to the Church of Christ preacher for some 20 or 30 minutes before he needed his phone returned. As might be expected we did not agree and the conversation even spilled over into the issue of eternal security.

There is also the fact that baptism has been the most contentious element of Christian doctrine for centuries. Many believing that baptism is necessary for salvation and then Baptists and a few others believing it is an ordinance. Of those who believe it is essential for salvation many embrace the practice of infant baptism. I realize I probably paint with a broad brush here and that there are no doubt many levels of distinction between those that hold to some form of baptismal regeneration. The point is I reject it in all its forms! I do not pretend to end the discussion with this series of posts. Greater minds than mine have applied themselves to the question and yet it still rages. We may all possibly agree that it will continue to rage because the Devil is the occasion of confusion. We will probably disagree about who he is using to continue the confusion. So, while the discussion will not end here I do not know who all will read this. It may be some who have questions and I can help answer them. It may be someone will read and come to see the truth. It could be that the Lord might use my feeble effort to encourage those who agree with the position I take here. I will not concern myself with how it will be used. I will simply write for one of the main reasons I commenced this blog, for an outlet, an opportunity to write.

I will state my position clearly. The New Testament teaches that baptism is an ordinance instituted by God and given to Christ’s church to administer to those who have repented and believed the gospel as a living picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ while at the same time bearing testimony to the candidate’s death to the old man and being raised to walk in newness of life. New Testament baptism has no saving merit and is not required in order to be born again. This I am fully persuaded is taught by the New Testament.

I will, over the next few weeks, seek to give the Biblical basis for the premise set forth.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: . . . . Acts 2:42
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