On two separate days in a row, I had the opportunity to evangelize a person who attended the “Church of Christ.” I experienced two completely opposite reactions. This intrigued me, and I was glad for the boldness that God provided, because it offered a graceful surprise in my life.

First of all, what is the Church of Christ? I do not think I am misrepresenting their beliefs if I state that they believe that baptism is a requirement for salvation. That is, true followers of the “Church of Christ” believe that until one is baptized, God has not imparted His grace to the believer, and thus, it is impossible for a person to go to heaven without that cooperation with God. The following link best describes their position and wikipedia seemed informative as well.

I’m not going to use this post to disprove their doctrine. Suffice to say it is a false teaching. If you are not planning on continuing reading for whatever reason, let me just state the salvation is in Christ alone, through faith alone, by grace alone. Man cannot add to Christ’s work on his behalf.

The first encounter was yesterday, June 24, 2010. I was at the ODOT main campus on the Hilltop. My wife and I had just bought a minivan and were going to do the title and license plate registration. Praise God for providing so abundantly for my family, by the way! Anyway, I stepped out of my car and a confused looking man was asking directions. I showed him where his building was and I then offered him a tract. He accepted it and said something to the effect of following the Lord as well. “Praise God,” I said.

So my wife and I went into the BMV, completed the work and left. Now the man almost seemed to be waiting for me in the parking lot. He came out and said “you’re pretty aggressive for the Lord.” He asked me what church I go to and I told him Berean Baptist Church on the East side. He told me he was raised Baptist. This always intrigues me…like people feel they’ll identify with me in some way. I’ve learned that most of the times I hear that it’s because the person has left…which interests me because it is usually for a reason. Now I’m not saying only Baptists are saved…but I do agree with the doctrine that is taught and believed. So for a person to tell me they “used to be Baptist” basically means they probably disagree about something I find biblical and important!

At this point I asked him what type of church he goes to now. He replied, Church of Christ. Ahhhh, my little alarm sirens went off in my head and I replied to him, “you know, the Church of Christ teaches that in order to be saved, one has to be baptized.” He nodded in agreement. So I told him that on the Day of Judgment there is going to be a group of people who are judged by their works and another group judged based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. He nodded in agreement. Then I told him that by putting his faith in his baptism, he has effectively put himself in the second group; that Christ alone is the basis for salvation and that the gospel he believes is a false gospel, or not a gospel at all. (Galatians 1:6-7, 1 Corinthians 1:17)

Long story short, at this point he stormed off. He was clearly frustrated or angry. This is what happens when your foundation is shaken. It’s like an earthquake. The Earth is our foundation. When it is shaken, like an earthquake, it is not only very frightening, but it is dangerous. The very thing that is supporting us physically, when it is not firm and solid becomes a point of tragedy. The same is true of people’s spiritual beliefs. If you question someone’s spiritual beliefs and get them to question them themselves, their very foundation is shaken. The first reaction of most people whose foundations are shaking is to cling to something; anything that they think is anchored. In the case of one’s spiritual foundation shaking, I think the first reaction of many people is to attack or get very angry at the person who is causing the “foundation-shaking.” I find this very common with religious people. The one thing I like about people who truly embrace postmodernism thought is that if they genuinely “practice what they preach” they are usually the most respectful people of my beliefs. But someone who is deeply steeped in a religion or cult, they are most offended when it is questioned. But at least that means they understand the message. When someone isn’t shaken up, I am concerned about them.

Thanks be to God that we inherit an unshakable kingdom! Hebrews 12:27-28

So today, I encountered Peter Ramirez. I spent too much time after work chatting with a coworker about cellphones. Had I not done this I wouldn’t have run into Peter. Isn’t God’s sovereignty comforting?

Peter is homeless and staying at Faith on Sixth. He is selling a homeless newspaper where he makes about 10 dollars a day. He had a look of genuineness to him when he approached me so I took some time to talk to him. Before we spoke for even a minute, he told me that I must be a Christian because I had such a humble spirit.

Hold on, PRAISE JESUS because that is NOT ME and didn’t COME FROM ME. To God alone be all the glory for that work.

Anyway, he told me he brings his sword everywhere and pulled out his Bible to show me. He was very excited to meet another Christian. He showed me a picture of Peter II, his son, for whom any believers out there can also pray! Thanks! (Proverbs 15:29, James 5:16, John 14:6 and Proverbs 28:9 are some of the reasons I only request prayer of truly regenerate souls, by the way, in case you wondered 🙂

Then I asked him where he is going to church. He replied, “Church of Christ on Livingston.” Now my little heart probably skipped a little. He seemed so nice and genuine. Many homeless people learn to play parts, in order to manipulate people to give them things. I didn’t sense that with this guy. I’ve had my share of experience with people of all walks of life from my past. My flesh said, don’t bother, he’s just going to get mad like the other guy and cause a scene. But my faith, (which, by the way is a gift of God’s grace Ephesians 2:8-9) said that the power of God is the gospel (Romans 1:16) and that God’s Word is the source (Romans 10:17, Is 40:8, 55:11). So I looked at him and told him what I explained above. I told him that the Church of Christ teaches that baptism is required for salvation. I told him that I knew that ONLY faith in Christ would credit our account with His righteousness. What a relief when he completely agreed and was glad. My heart rejoiced! I warned him to be very careful and that he should probably find a different church that preaches the Truth. We chatted several more minutes and he told me how I had encouraged him today. Praise God for that. I even mentioned to him that I had been a source of discouragement for so many for so long, that God alone deserves praise for His work in me! Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 2:9-10

The power is in The Word, dear Christian reader! It is not your cleverness, your good looks or your persuasive speech. In fact, if people are wooed by your preaching or evangelism, there’s a chance you’re not actually preaching Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, foolishness to the world that considers itself wise already! (1 Corinthians 1:23-25) But to those who are the called, the wisdom of God! Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: KJV) Are you ready to admit you are one of the foolish things of the world? Are you weak? Are you one of the BASE THINGS, things which are despised? If you cannot admit this, then maybe you are not part of the chosen! Inspect yourself and decide if your pride is more important than God’s Glory and come to Him for mercy, for it is abundant!

Peter is a lover of Jesus Christ who needs our prayer!

12 thoughts on “Evangelizing the “Church of Christ””

  1. Are you aware of when the “Church of Christ” made up baptism? I’ve read about it in the New Testament several times but clearly it isn’t necessary. I am just wondering what use, if any, baptism is today. Why did Jesus have his disciples baptize people? As can clearly be understood by most folk, being baptized is submissive and thus NOT A WORK. Jesus never said Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Oh…Yes He Did (Mark 16:15-16). He did not say believes and baptizes others. He did not say believes and is not baptized will be saved. It is evident that many people believe that baptism is a work when it is just the opposite. One does not see in scripture self-baptising but only those who baptize others. I wouldn’t mind believing the way you do if you could tell me who was saved in the New Testament all by themselves–that is, who was all alone, said a little prayer, and BAM! he was saved. Furthermore, many believe that belief is not a work when John 6:29 clearly says it is. You must have been pretty proud of yourself for tricking that first guy. Oh, and convincing that second guy that the Church of Christ made up baptism and that it isn’t even mentioned in the bible–that is priceless! You go on to mention pride–it is not foolish to obey the word and be baptized any more than it was foolish for the children of Israel to look at the fiery serpent if they were bitten (Numbers 21:8-9). You could have convinced many a person to just believe that they would be saved–the serpent is not necessary. But how many would have been saved using your method?

  2. Thanks for commenting Daniel. Suffice to say, I believe the scripture is clear that regeneration is a work of God which precedes faith unto salvation.

    You believe that God does not save anyone, that Christ’s atoning work on the cross is not sufficient to save someone, until that person is baptized in water. Only then does the Holy Spirit come for that soul.

    At no point did I say that people should not get baptized, nor would I. As a “baptist” it is my strong conviction that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded that we be baptized after experiencing saving faith in Him in order to identify with his death burial and resurrection. But there is no efficacy in the actual act itself.

    I’ll add that all obedience to God is an act of submission. That is irrelevant to the fact that nothing we do can make Christ’s work more efficient. He is all-sufficient, and trusting in Him, and being truly baptized INTO CHRIST is the only way to be declared righteous by God and before God.

    As far as NT believers who were saved without baptism, I’ll offer the thief on the cross, the apostle Paul and the Ethiopian Eunuch. All clear pictures of saving faith without or before baptism.

    1 Cor 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    Paul didn’t believe baptism was necessary for the gospel to be preached either; he considered the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16.

    So repent and believe the gospel and be saved, then be fully immersed!

    1. “So repent and believe the gospel and be saved, then be fully immersed!” If I tell you my phone number is 772-7968 and you dial 772-7986, will we be connected? You have affirmed that scripture says he who believes and is not baptized will be saved when it doesn’t say that.

      You have used someone from the old testament as an example for us today–the thief on the cross. When did the new testament begin? When did Jesus command his disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”? Was this before or after his own death on the cross. The point is moot as to whether that thief had been baptized in John’s baptism for the kingdom of God was not yet–it was at hand. Many people today are waiting for the Lord to appear and let him know that they are forgiven right before judgement day–it ain’t gonna happen.

      Saul called Paul clearly did believe in Jesus the very moment that he was blinded and informed by Jesus himself what was going on. It is a bit puzzling though why Jesus did not reply to Saul in Acts 9:6 what you believe he should have said. You would expect Jesus to say “do? Do? You don’t have to do anything. You have now believed and are saved.” But Jesus did not say that, did he? “Must do” is pretty clear Micheal. Why, if I were to believe what you stated about Paul, would Ananias tell him “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). If Paul did not think baptism was necessary, why would he have recorded that he still had his sins before he was met by Ananias? Can one be saved and still have their sins? Why would Paul bother to baptize people (I Cor 1:14-16) if there there “is no efficacy in the actual act itself”. Couldn’t more people be reached with the gospel if that part about baptism were just left out? You state that baptism has no actual effect at all, but then you state “that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded that we be baptized after experiencing saving faith in Him in order to identify with his death burial and resurrection.” Romans 6, no doubt. But what you are saying is that one can be saved before identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus–aren’t you?

      The eunuch? The guy who is the posterboy for all of us as to what to do to be saved? Why was this guy baptized–it wasn’t like there was an entire congregation around to witness it. Why did he not go away rejoicing before he was baptized? Why didn’t Philip tell him to wait and get baptized in Ethiopia. Why wasn’t he just told he was saved? Why does Peter state in I Peter 3:21 “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”? Do you preach that one can have an answer of a good conscience toward God without baptism? I was baptized not just to get wet for no reason at all, but because Paul, Philip, Peter and even Jesus said to do so. “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). Baptism either saves us throught the resurection of Jesus Christ, or it does not.
      Romans 6:3 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Baptism is either the way in which we are put into Christ, or it is not. It is either the way we are buried with him and raise into a new life, or it aint. It is either of some efficacy, or it is completely useless and too much has been recorded in the New Testament of Jesus the Christ about it.

      I know you wish to state or at least clarify why you at one hand say Jesus commanded baptism and then on the other say that it is of no efficacy. You still did not tell me who in the New Testament was all by themselves, said a little prayer, and was saved. Why did Peter in Acts 2 not reply on the day of Pentecost “repent and you will have your sins remitted and then at some later time you can be baptized if you desire”? I have always thought it harded to preach what I believe than what the bible actually says. What verses to use as the truth and which ones to say–it actually doesn’t mean that…

  3. Daniel, I have a few questions for you.

    1. If faith in Christ alone does not justify a person before his / her holy Creator, what do you make of Ephesians 2:8-9:

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    (I’m not saying you think baptism is a work – you said, I think, that it is surrender, just go with the question though).

    a. We are saved by what according to this passage?

    b.Can you fit baptism (or anything for that matter) into this somehow?

    2. A scenario. Let’s say you have been giving the gospel to your mom over and over, yet she constantly rebels against the message. You and I would both agree, I think, that if she died in that state of unbelief, she would go to Hell, right? Okay, let’s say one day she receives the message like seen when Paul meets with Lydia (God opened her heart – so your mom was given the grace to believe). Your mom smiles and says, “I understand! I get it! I didn’t know how to be justified before God until now. I just didn’t get it! Thank you for telling me, and being persistent with…” her words trail off as she has a stroke and dies. Now, from what I understand, your belief is that your mom is not yet “saved” until she is baptized. So even though God opened her heart to the gospel message and she started to delight in it, but had the stroke before you could get her body into some water, would your mom be in Hell or Heaven? That’s the first part of the question.

    Like would you say something at her funeral like, “well, mom got it, she understood, had faith, but her faith in Christ’s work wasn’t good enough because the baptism ceremony couldn’t happen, thus she went straight to Hell until she lands in the lake of fire… sorry mom, Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough.” I know this sounds absoluely ridiculous, but isn’t that what you believe? If not, I’d like to know what you believe about people in these instances – they believe the gospel and die before baptism?

    3. Would you agree that there are essential docrtrines – like not minor doctrines we can squabble about, but essential for a person to be a Christian? I would say that the Doctrine of Justification is one, would you too? Well, how, then is a person justified? I bring up Romans 4. Prior to the cross, prior to baptism, prior to circumcision or any such thing, God considered faith in Him to be good enough (and the only thing) that is required for salvation. Read:

    2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    In v. 3 what is the “it” spoken here? “It” is belief in God (faith). Faith in God (not faith + circumcision nor faith + anything). And continuing to the last part of Romans 4:

    22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

    24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

    25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    The “it” in v. 22 again is faith in God – faith in what God said and did will produce righteousness for Abraham. For Abraham, like us, was a messed up sinner. He needed not to do a work or a ceremony for salvation, but to believe. Moving onto vv. 23 and 24, Paul says that we can look back on this faith in God that Abraham had and understand that it is for us too, “if we believe on him…” not “if we believe on him and be baptized.” And in v. 25, what was required for our justification? The death and resurrection of Christ. We must understand what justification is and how we become justified. It is being right with God (we are born not right with God, wouldn’t you agree?) and then by us trusting God’s work, we become justified / right with God.

    4. 1 Corinthians 1.14 says

    14I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

    WHOA! What? Is Paul crazy? He is actually THANKING God that he baptized none of his hearers. Can you imagine those words coming out of your mouth, Daniel? I’m SO GLAD I am not here to baptize anyone. Sounds like Paul is in direct opposition to what Christ commanded in Matthew 28.19:

    19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Yet, Paul thanks God – weird huh? Yet Paul goes on still in v. 17:

    17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect

    So if baptism is necessary for salvation, why is Paul so adamant that the main thing is that he was sent to preach the gospel (meaning the good news of Christ’s finished work for sinners)? Yet you believe opposite, don’t you? That baptism must be done in order for the good news (gospel) to have any salvific work in the person. What do you make of Paul saying he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel? AND that he is actually HAPPY that he didn’t baptize anyone but Crispus and Gaius?

    5. Romans 1.16,17 says:

    16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    v. 16 – there goes the “it” again. What is “it” that is so powerful? And the verse does not read “unto salvation to every one that believeth AND IS BAPTIZED.” Right? Paul made it clear the main thing is faith in the gospel, just faith in the gospel is what saves. In v. 17, the just (those who are justified – Christians) live how? By…. faith. Not faith and ceremony. Not faith and a good work. Not faith and church attendance. Nothing but faith. Would you disagree?

    Would like your thoughts Daniel.

    In Christian love,

    Tamara Slack
    “Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell.” – C.H. Spurgeon

    1. Tamara, you say you would like my thoughts, but I share what The Word says.

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

      Tamara, you seem to think these verses say “saved through faith only.” You know that faith and belief are not the same. You’ve heard the argument that the demons believe and tremble but are not saved—right? (James 2:19) I have heard that some people don’t really care for the book of James very much—perhaps they’ve never studied it.
      James 2:20-26 20 but do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
      25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
      26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

      I, Daniel Kelley, was saved through faith, but I had to do something to obtain it—it did not fall on my lap and I had a say in whether or not I wanted to be saved. Romans 10:17–So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. I had to hear the word of God to have faith and this is the same way that my faith increases—by the word of God. I assume that you don’t believe that repentance is necessary—that is the hardest work (something we must do) that I can imagine. (I will never understand the hang-up about baptism. Water is the most abundant thing around—if people are living somewhere—there is water. I have not yet heard of someone dyeing from being baptized—but what a way to go!) Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. Everyone must repent, but of course, I had faith that Jesus is the Son of God when I was like 2 years old—but never had anything to repent of. Philippians 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. I am sure that I also confessed that Jesus was the Son of God at a very early age—but was not a Christian. My faith was made perfect like Abrahams (that is “complete”) when I, by faith (because the Word of God says so) decided to repent of my sins, confessed Jesus as the Son of God, and was baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and had my sins washed away. I had to obtain the faith that lead me to decide to repent and confess and be baptized. Getting wet is not a show, but an act of obedience or as you have well stated in your question—by faith. I did not do it because everyone else thought I should. I did it because Jesus said to. One can see in James 2:24 the exact opposite of what so many believe and confess—“a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Either Paul and James are going head to head, or it was understood by those this was written to what was necessary to be saved (repentance, confession—and oh, baptism). Since I decided to be put into Christ does not mean that I now deserve salvation. Salvation is not the same thing as love. God has unconditional love, yet our salvation that comes from Him is absolutely conditional—otherwise the Bible is useless if I am to be saved without any requirements.

      #2 “ So even though God opened her heart to the gospel message and she started to delight in it, but had the stroke before you could get her body into some water, would your mom be in Hell or Heaven?” Neither, but I believe she would be headed to hell and in a place of torment till the judgment day like the rich man in the story Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Tis funny that you brought up Lydia, since she asked Paul after she was baptized whether she was faithful to the Lord. Did she heed the things spoken by Paul? Why did she get baptized? If Paul didn’t think it was necessary to be baptized, where in the world did she hear that she needed to be baptized?

      Acts 16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

      “Like would you say something at her funeral like, “well, mom got it, she understood, had faith, but her faith in Christ’s work wasn’t good enough because the baptism ceremony couldn’t happen, thus she went straight to Hell until she lands in the lake of fire… sorry mom, Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough.” I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but isn’t that what you believe? If not, I’d like to know what you believe about people in these instances – they believe the gospel and die before baptism?”
      Since my mom is dead, I know that I wouldn’t say that at her funeral since I was balling and couldn’t say anything—and she is headed to heaven! I can’t imagine being able to say that—hope your kids don’t have to. “Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough” is the whole point. If you can’t go through all the unimaginable difficulty to find a body of water large enough to be immersed in, then you just don’t care enough. I do believe that many who believe the gospel will be condemned—having believed but not obeyed.
      I believe the entire word of God to be doctrine and thus essential. If it is not mentioned, then don’t mention it. You save ”not “if we believe on him and be baptized” but Mark 16:16 clearly says you’re wrong—clearly.
      “What do you make of Paul saying he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel? AND that he is actually HAPPY that he didn’t baptize anyone but Crispus and Gaius?” Clearly the context states that those who were being taught and baptized were squabbling over who did the teaching and baptizing—and Paul says it doesn’t matter who baptized you. Please, for the life of me, if baptism isn’t essential for salvation, then why have it at all. As long as I have salvation, who needs anything else?

      I will gladly disagree that faith only saves. If I get to use your reasoning and use of scripture, then Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, means that everyone will be saved. Or maybe just those who believe and do not repent. Or those that have faith but refuse to confess Jesus is the Son of God. Or maybe, just maybe, we need to look at the scripture as a whole and see what others did—yes did—to obtain salvation (by faith). I would hope that you agree that if it was required for one person, then it only makes sense that it is required of all. Otherwise, God is showing partiality and it is all a flip of the coin as to whether we will be save or not.

  4. “I wouldn’t mind believing the way you do if you could tell me who was saved in the New Testament all by themselves–that is, who was all alone, said a little prayer, and BAM! he was saved.”

    The thief on the cross.

    1. The thief on the cross was not by himself, did not say a little prayer, and was not under the new law yet! No doubt he was in paradise since Jesus had the power to forgive sins and told him such.

  5. Daniel,

    The Church of Christ is becoming a predominate force in my area. I commend you and them for your research and zeal. I readily admit that many of your arguments make much sense in the context you have presented them, but as my experience with Church of Christ people in person has gone, I’ve yet to meet a regenerate one, and one who is not dripping with heresy in other areas. The free-will message of baptismal regeneration has no power, of course it doesn’t, because this is what Paul said, “The cross…is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) It is not baptism, it is not works based effort, it is the work that God did in the believer through what Christ did on the cross. You quoted John 6, the best chapter ever written against man being able to do anything to gain Christ. Faith is a work, baptism is a work, repentance is a work, if any of these have any efficacy, it is not because man has done it, for 6:63 says it is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh availeth nothing, but because God has done it. If we believe in Christ, it is God who has done it (6:29), if we are compelled to come, it is because God has done it (6:44), if we are saved, it is because God has done it (6:63). How then do you say that baptism is your part? You can’t, because God immerses us in Christ, not waterly, but spiritually.

    Peter said it so well in the Devil’s and the CoC’s favorite verse, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) Peter did not say, “Repent and get wet.” How ridiculous is that? He said, repent and be immersed in the character and work of Jesus Christ, totally spiritually, not physically at all.

    Are you aware that there is a New Testament Epistle written to the Church of Christ (which of course is a misnomer)? It is the Epistle to Lystra in Galatia, against adding works (baptism is a work, no matter how you’ve justified it in your mind), and it is the accursed and cut off church, Paul has absolutely not one good thing to say to this church. If you think your free-will has done anything to earn merit and salvation with God, then you are cut off from grace and Christ profits you nothing; you are following a different gospel and your end is the fire of Hell.

    When taken in context, the whole Bible points to salvation by grace through faith, not of works. You can of course cut and paste it to say anything you want it to say, but this endeavor will cost you your soul. As you try to boast in Heaven of your free-will decision to be baptized, you will be cast into utter darkness. Our disagreement is not merely one of “is baptism necessary for salvation”, because if you have genuinely repented and believed in Jesus Christ, then even your sin of believing baptism is necessary for salvation would be covered. But as I said earlier, and I see in your posts, that there are much deeper theological and sin problems. I like to dig with CoC members to find out just how heinous their beliefs are, I’ve found CoCers who deny the deity of Christ, who deny Hell, who believe all will be saved eventually, that believe evangelism is a means of earning favor with God, and who follow after strange spirits. It is a strange religion you are in, I don’t know where else you have gone astray in theology, but I see a huge amount of pride in your free-will, in believing in a god whom you can bribe, and I would be there are deeper issues.

    At current I can guarantee you that you are severed from Christ, that Hell gapes wide in expectation of your fall, and that you are in desperate need of rescue by the Christ who fulfilled all righteousness, who paid for sin on a cross, and who defeated death three days later; the only Man worthy of honor, power, and dominion forever.

    So in all of this, I call you to repent of this thy wickedness and pray God that he may see fit to forgive you, for you have neither part nor lot in his kingdom, your heart is not right in the sight of God.

    1. Thank you Canyon for not pussy-footin’ around. There is no reason for those who don’t agree that the word of God is the sole authority for the soul to pretend that everything is hunky-doory. “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.” (II Thessalonians 3:6) I do not count those who use a percentage of scripture as brethren, but as those who need to be taught the entire Word of God (evangelized). I rebuke those who are in the Body of Christ–since God says “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) I never have said that I was a member of the Church of Christ, but I take it as a compliment that when I present the truth of Gods word, that you have come to that conclusion. I would not dare take on the name of someone else, including the cousin of Jesus or any other name.
      If you don’t believe that baptism includes water then you have the freedom to do so–just not in the Lord’s Church. Jesus either made it really confusing and complicated and nearly impossible to understand, or you have been taught using only a few scriptures. If there was only one person who was baptized in water for the remission of sins, would that be enough to convince you? Why use the Bible at all if you only like parts of it? Your use of I Corinthians chapter 1 and not mentioning that Paul and Apollos baptized is rather convenient. Why did they baptize if it were not necessary? Why did Jesus command his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, then Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28) if you say that the baptism Peter spoke of was “totally spiritually, not physically at all?” If it is totally spiritual, then how can someone else, other than Jesus or God, do it? Why did Jesus command his disciples to evangelize and baptize if all you say is necessary is to evangelize? Am I the one who is not abiding or do you add to the Word of God when you state that what Peter stated was “repent and be immersed in the character and work of Jesus Christ, totally spiritually, not physically at all.” Acts 2:38 does not say that–you say that. I am warning anyone who reads this to read the Bible and gain their faith in God and to not listen to those who have to explain what is says and make the Word of God of no avail! (Matthew 15:6) I have not said that man saves himself. I have not said that others save man. I have quoted the Word of God, which is the Bible, and have not twisted or ommitted or added to it. I am happy to defend what God says is right since “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (II Timothy 3:16). If repentance is not necessary, then why evangelize? If we don’t have to confess that Jesus is the Son of God–just say a secret little prayer in faith, then why have a website like this? If I can say a little prayer in faith, then is it my faith that leads to my salvation or is it God alone that saves me before I have faith? You believe that someone must say a prayer, I believe one ought to know what the Word of God commands is necessary to become a Christian. Someone who obeys is not worthy of salvation, but is promised it none the less. “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’” (Luke 17:10) If one is prideful, as you have accused me, then one adds to or takes away what is commanded and says to God “I did it this way instead, now give me what is promised.” Never has the God of the Bible allowed man to make the rules or bend the rules. If baptism were not mentioned, it would not be necessary. If there was some verse that stated that baptism is important and should be done, but is not necessary then I would give it a 50/50 chance as to whether it should be done. If scripture said to baptize oneself, then I would do it and it would be a work. If I have someone do surgery on me, is that a work of my own? If someone else washes my clothes, am I the one who washes them. When Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, has Peter answer “to repent and be baptized” to those who questioned what they must DO, then who am I to say that one must not do anything? Who is man that he thinks he can change it to believe only, and you will be saved? Who can say what is necessary to be saved?–God through His Word. I did not invent baptism. The church did not invent baptism. The Lord commanded baptism in order to be saved. If water is not necessary, then why would the Ethiopian treasurer go with Philip into the water and have Philip baptize him (Acts 8)? Why doesn’t the Word of God say in Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word believed; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them? It clearly says “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” Explaining away baptism as something that only is spiritual is impossible to the Bible literate person. Stating that something is important and should be done but not necessary is ridiculous and a waste of time. Stating that something is heresy when it is the Word of God is nothing different than what Jesus accuses the Scribes and Pharisees of in Mark 3:28-30 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” Denying the truth will not lead to forgiveness. Ignorance is not bliss for “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30).

      If this post remains on this website it will show that the word of God has been used to answer questions that have been raised against Daniel Kelley along with the useless words that I used to go from one point to the next. Let it be also noted that the questions that I have asked have not been satisfactorily (Biblically) answered and that I, Daniel Kelley, have been guaranteed that I am severed from Christ in the eyes of Canyon Shearer, but not in the eyes of God. Pride has not lead me to obedience, but humility. Pride is partial truth, partial scripture, partial obedience and complete seperation from God. Don’t make The Word of no avail. If it is written, it is necessary.

  6. Michael, I am curious why none of Daniel’s questions/claims (all supported by scripture)were answered by you with book, chapter, and verse. Why was Paul baptized after seeing Christ on the road to Damascus if Baptism was not necessary? The answer is in Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”. If anyone should have been saved by “faith only” it should have been Paul, but he wasn’t. Additionally, Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” includes the word “the” in the original greek manuscripts. One is saved through “the faith”, not by faith. The faith is belief (heb 11:6, john 8:24), repentance (luke 13:3), Confession unto salvation (Rom 10:9-10), Baptism (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Gal 3:26-27, 1 Peter 3:21, etc), and living faithfully to the scriptures (2 Tim 4:7-8, Rev. 2:10). Cherry picking verses out of context proves nothing, and God’s word is not contradictory. Therefore, if one verse call for faith and another calls for baptism, both are required. Actually, faith is evidenced by one’s obeying the scriptures (Luke 6:46) One verse does not cause ommission of another. That is simply bad and inconsistent hermeneutics. If faith only saves, what do you do with 1Pe 3:21 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”. Does baptism have a part in salvation or not? The Bible says it does.

    1. Shawn, thanks for the response. All of Daniel’s questions were answered with scripture in my first comment. I chose not to repeat myself.

      One day I will stand before God and have nothing in my hands to bring to Him. My only claim of righteousness will be to cast my life on the mercies of Christ.

      On the day you stand before God, you can explain to Him how you ‘fully trusted Christ’ AND were fully immersed in order to have your sins forgiven.

      One of us will be cast into eternal torment for our sin and self-righteousness. The other will be put into Heaven to be with the Lord forever.

      Repent while there is still time and fully trust Christ, and not your own works. Many will say to Him, Lord, Lord…I’m sure you know the passage. Don’t be one of them, Shawn. There is a better way: His way.

  7. Daniel,

    Was the thief on the cross baptized? Jesus told him he would be with Him in Paradise. So if one has to be baptized in order to be saved, are you implying Jesus was a liar? It is impossible for God to lie. John 14:6 says “I am the way the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.” There is no expression of plus getting baptized, in fact read through and you will not find any account of Jesus stating it’s Christ plus anything else. By the way, it was considered a humiliation for a Jew to be baptized. That was a ceremonial cleansing the Jews performed on those from outside the Jewish faith. In fact what made it an act of confession Christ as Lord was the potential of being put out of the synagogue or even being put to death. Baptisms were done in public where anyone could see. If you were seen being baptized you were known to be a Christian and thus a target for whatever the ruling elect of the day wanted to do to you. It could cost them their life for such an act of confessing Jesus Christ was God and the promised Messiah. Salvation plus baptism is no different than thinking it’s works plus baptism. Neither are a path to salvation but an act of obedience and a result of salvation. This is the modern day version of the debate in Acts chapter 15. What do we do with these Gentiles? Circumcision is of no value. If that is the case then why is baptism?

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