Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 6
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord,” so translated the 70 elders of the second century B. C. The Vulgate translates it this way: “He who walketh in the right way and feareth the Lord is despised by him who pursueth the path of shame.” This our Lord spoke about in John 15: 20: “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than His Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you, if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours, also.” It is sometime difficult for we who follow the revealed written Word of God to understand the response we receive from those we try to teach. Some act as though it is just our idea and one idea is as good as another, some take great offense and recoil in anger. Others act as though it makes no difference, they can do what they will and God will be pleased with them, anyway. Hiding our head under the sands of denominational thought and not “proving all things” is a remedy to nothing but destruction.
A man walking down the road thinks his journey is good as long as he puts one foot in front of another, but if the man is walking in the wrong direction, he is getting even further away from his intended destination with each step. So is the case with the Baptist denomination. In the 1700’s this denomination talked up the idea of following the Bible and the Bible only. Their preachers and members spent hours preaching men were to be baptized, but they made no distinction as to WHY or Who is to be baptized. Having obeyed that command (for whatever reason), they b ought into the deception of Satan thinking they had obeyed the Lord. This presents a dilemma when co0nfronted with the idea that their obedience is not what the Lord commanded, no matter if they had been baptized in every pond of water from Michigan to Florida. How many times have I talked to folk who have been baptized in a denominational church cry out; “Well, I have been baptized, haven’t, I?” The REASON for being baptized is as important as the proper of mode. Those who have had water sprinkled on them see quite clearly the command baptidzo in the Greek language is immersion (read Acts 8:38) and as quickly recognize they have not been baptized at all. But-but, the person who has been immersed think it silly to repeat what they have previously been satisfied with!! They respond with; “well, I thought!” So did the apostle Paul, read Acts 26:9, or “I intended, ” Moses intended to help, Exodus 2:14-15, or “in my heart, I,” again, this will not suffice, Romans 10:1-4. The command is to be baptized FOR, or in order to, for the purpose of receiving the remission of sins. This is exacting for it brings us into the blood of Christ which washes away sin. Acts 22:16 If a man courts a woman for the wrong reason, he still is courting her while the end result will be wrong. “In his heart” he has the wrong motive.
In the 16th century the battle was over immersion, not the purpose of immersion. The Roman Catholic practice of pouring water on someone’s head was shown to be sin. IN the beginning of the 17th century the PURPOSE of baptism began to be discussed. Men like Alexander Campbell, in America and others in Europe began to write about the PURPOSE of baptism FOR the remission of sins. This angered those who thought they were returning to the type of religion that required WORKS which had been so much a part of Catholicism. The principle defender of this “no works” religion became the Baptist denomination. Sometimes we are blinded by our own pre-determined prejudices. In the New Testament baptism is NOT a work we do, it is a work of God. Titus 3:5 In baptism Christ “washes us by this act of regeneration (the new birth).” Those who cry “grace,” and they cite Ephesians 2:8-9, do not understand what grace is! Grace IS GODS PLAN TO SAVE. Noah found grace; “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11 By God’s grace we “are justified” Titus 3:7 God’s plan, called grace was “prophesied by the prophets, “yet to them it was not revealed! 1 Peter 1:10-12. Noah BUILT the Ark, sinners MUST be baptized, and salvation comes WHEN “washed in water.” Acts 22:16; Ephesians 5:26 Baptism saves, 1 Peter 3:21, Christ takes His blood and “cuts loose the sin from the soul.” Colossians 2:11-12 In baptism we are ACTED UPON, put “into Christ, by Christ.” Acts 2:47