Tag Archives: water

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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Finding Hope in a Hopeless Time

When times seem hopeless there is a place of refuge where hope is found. Scripture is full of accounts of people who despaired of the necessities of life only to be clothed and fed, of captives who despaired of going home again being restored, and of loss of life being revived. While the adversities of this life swirl around us and seek to overwhelm us, God’s Word is the place to find solace and hope in these uncertain times.

When the Children of Israel fled the presence of Pharaoh in the great exodus, they could only take with them what they could carry. Their food and water lasted only a few days before running out; their shoes and clothes being only what they were wearing the night the death angel passed over the land of Egypt. God provided manna from heaven to feed them and water from a rock to hydrate them, but He also saw to the needs of their clothing as we read Moses’ words in Scripture, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot,” (Deuteronomy 29:5). In recounting how the Lord cared for them, Moses also said, “neither did thy foot swell,” (Deuteronomy 8:4). God’s Word brings hope to all who read.

While being held captive under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Children of Israel found themselves in great despair far from their homeland. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 137, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.” Their captors required of them to sing the songs of Zion but they would not, they could not for heaviness of heart. But 70 years later their joy and singing returned as King Cyrus under God’s plan for His Children, permitted them to leave and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the House of God (2 Chronicles 36). God’s Word brings hope to all who read and believe.

It had been four days since Mary and Martha’s brother had died. Jesus had finally arrived with His disciples to comfort the bereaved, or so they thought. Little did they know He had come to perform a miracle to restore their joy and happiness, but more importantly to show HIS power over death. Martha’s unknowing attempt to hinder His work, said, “Lord, by this time he stinketh.” With just three short words, “Lazarus, come forth,” what was once dead came alive, (John 11). God’s Word brings hope to all who read, believe and receive.

In the troublesome times in which we live, God’s Word is our only source of hope. The pages of Scripture overflow with encouragement, hope and most importantly God’s love for us and His plan for our future. Just as He cared for those wandering in the wilderness, those who were held captive, and those who had experienced the death of a loved one, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” (I Peter 5:6-7).

HE Who Sustains the Whole Earth

In man’s vile attempts to proclaim mankind alone as able to sustain the viability of the whole Earth, the Psalmist puts forth very plainly Who is the only True Sustainer of this planet we call home. In Psalm 104 David writes:

“O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment: Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters: Who maketh the clouds His chariot: Who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire:

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At Thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which Thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from His chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which He hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

 O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom Thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon Thee; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth.”

“The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever:

the Lord shall rejoice in HIS works.”

No Admittance

Moses had led the Children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years. Time was drawing near for them to enter into the Promised Land. Just before their crossing of the Jordan River, God called Moses up onto Mt. Nebo to show him all the land that had been promised to Abraham’s descendants. As far as the eye could see from the mountaintop, the Lord pointed out to Moses the lands that the Children of Israel would possess northward east of the river, westward all the way to the sea, and southward unto Zoar, the city Lot fled to upon the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Finally they had arrived; all but Moses would enter.

Moses knew this was as close as he would get to the Promised Land. It was during their wandering in the wilderness that the people began murmuring and complaining because of lack of water to sustain them. Earlier in the exodus before the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the wanderers were without water and God instructed Moses to strike a rock to bring forth water (Exodus 17). Twenty years later under the same circumstances Moses was told to speak to a rock and it would bring forth water. In his anger at the lack of faith of those under his leadership, Moses struck the rock twice with his rod and the water came forth. Because of his disobedience to what God had instructed him to do, the LORD spoke to Moses and said, “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20).

The Lord concluded His time with Moses on the mountaintop with these words, “I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And He (God) buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34).

How important it is obey God’s Word. Many wonderful blessings that could have been elude us when we disobey God. Surely Moses would have been the first to step foot in the Promised Land after all God led him to do after encountering the burning bush. But God is in control and when we do not obey His Word He will find others to do His Will. Upon Moses’ death Joshua was called of God to lead the people through the river Jordan on dry land, just as they had done in the crossing of the Red Sea during the exodus, and on to many great victories in the history of His Chosen People.