Tag Archives: Father

Baptismal Regeneration

In Jesus’ final words to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room before His arrest and crucifixion, He made it clear the only way to forgiveness of one’s sin and a right standing before God was through Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me, (John 14:6). Within two centuries of Jesus’ return to Heaven there began to creep into some of the early churches a teaching that baptism was the way to salvation.

Known as “baptismal regeneration,” this was and is a most serious deviation from the Scripture, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7). Man’s desire to make baptism the way of salvation contrary to Scripture is evident from the introduction of baptizing infants. It was thought if salvation could be obtained by water baptism, the earlier one was baptized the better. When infant baptism was first introduced babies were fully immersed under the water, but centuries later pouring or sprinkling of water came into vogue in most erring churches.

It was baptismal regeneration along with infant baptism that brought about the numerous denominations in the world today. Whereas Baptists alone continued to stand firm on by grace are ye saved through faith, in Christ Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), declaring non-fellowship with those early churches which accepted and practiced the errors of baptism, it was not long before, in A.D. 416, a law was passed in the Roman world making infant baptism compulsory. Ten years later in A.D. 426 the Dark Ages began, lasting 1,000 years, during which time many Bible-believing Christians were martyred for their faith and their stance against the corrupting of the Scriptures taking place in their midst.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke of those who would stand in the judgment and be told “I never knew you: depart from Me,” (Matthew 7:23). For those who do not come to God His way in repentance of their sin and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ Alone by His blood, but desire to come by water baptism or any other means, those words will be their doom. The Apostle Paul wrote, I declare unto you the Gospel… by which you are saved… How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Baptism is not the means of salvation; baptism by immersion is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the repentant sinner who has placed their faith and trust in Him pre-baptism, identifying  with Him for eternity.

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Salvation in the Old Testament

As the Prophet Ezekiel endured captivity in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, the Word of the LORD came to him as recorded in Ezekiel 18 saying, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

The LORD gave further explanation as to those who could live eternally with Him and not die a spiritual death, saying, But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and righthath withdrawn his hand from iniquityhath walked in My statues, and hath kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.”

Concerning the next generation that follow after sin, God said, “If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these thingshe shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.”

If the next generation follows after righteousness, God says, “Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such likehe shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.”

Reiterating in verse 20 of Ezekiel 18, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die, the LORD continued, “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:

               “The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him,  and the                               wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

The LORD then gives how one could be saved, But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statues, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”

“Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions;  Cast away from you all your transgressions;  Make you a new heart and a new spirit: For why will ye die?”

(Ezekiel 18)

 

                                                                                                

A Personal Relationship

There are those who view God as a distant figure, not one to be involved in individual lives on a personal level. But Scripture reveals He is altogether involved in the lives of those who come to trust Him and place their complete faith in Him. God gave Noah explicit details on how to build the ark to the saving of his family (Genesis 6). The Lord came to Job after his three friends proved unsuccessful in comforting him in the loss of his children and possessions, speaking to him of the greater things of God that make everything else pale in comparison (Job 38-41). The Lord personally spoke to Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh with word destruction was coming for their wickedness (Jonah 1). Even Isaiah personally heard from the Lord when it was asked of him, “Who will go for us?” and he answered, “Here am I: send me” (Isaiah 6).

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He told them to begin, “Our Father, which art in heaven” (Matthew 6). They were to address God as their Father, a familial term indicating relationship. Paul lays out in Galatians 4 what it means to be adopted into God’s family upon acceptance of His forgiveness of sin, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (a term of endearment). Paul continues, “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

God desires a personal relationship with each one of us just as He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden before their disobedience. Just as the first inhabitants of earth were cast out of the Garden for their sin, being separated from God, God desires we come back into a right relationship with Him through Christ. He stands ready to forgive. All we have to do is accept His free gift of salvation and become His child, crying “Abba, Father.”