Larry Ray Hafley


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Contending for the Faith

Answering a Baptist Preacher's
"Unanswerable Questions"


COMMON SENSE QUESTIONS A "CHURCH OF CHRIST" PREACHER CANNOT CLEARLY ANSWER

By Pastor David Martin
Solid Rock Baptist Church

David Martin is pastor of the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 5893 Old Brownsville Rd. E, Bartlett, TN 38135 USA; phone: 901-634-1622. He is a 1984 graduate of Pensacola Bible Institute of Florida, and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1986. He has been in his current pastorate for eight years. His article on the Church of Christ cult is the result of in-depth personal conversation with a Church of Christ elder that led to a 3-day public debate with a Church of Christ evangelist in 1997. The debate was attended by 250 people nightly from within a 300-mile radius of Memphis, Tennessee.This is one of the most controversial articles on the church of Christ you will find anywhere. No church of Christ preacher can satisfactorily answer any of the questions posed by Pastor Martin.

If you wish to respond to this article, please click here to email Pastor David Martin.


[First, given David Martin's credentials and experience, it is apparent that we are not dealing with a novice. He is fully capable of giving "an answer" to our scriptural review and refutation of his views (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:15). Therefore, if he does not agree to further discussion, it is not because he is not qualified to do so, but because he has been answered and his doctrine cannot stand the test of open debate.

Second, the posting of Martin's material acknowledges the "controversial" nature of it. Hence, Mr. Martin surely will not object as we respond in an equally candid fashion. Note: Our replies will be enclosed in brackets beneath each of his questions.

Third, let it be understood that this review is not a defense of a "Church of Christ cult" to which Martin refers. In the New Testament, the church of Christ was referred to as "this sect" which was "every where...spoken against" (Acts 28:22). As the apostle Paul would not defend a sect or cult of men, but was "set for the defense of the gospel" and "explained...the kingdom of God," so shall we (Acts 28:23; Cf. 8:12; 19:8, 9; 20:24, 25; Phil. 1:17).

Fourth, whether one may "satisfactorily answer" Martin's questions may be subject to one's personal view. Paul answered the Judaizers, but not "satisfactorily," according to them! Stephen answered the Jews, but not, as they judged, "satisfactorily" (Acts 7:54-60). Paul gave answers to heathen, pagan, Jewish, and Roman authorities, but not "satisfactorily" (Acts 17:22-32; 22:1-22; 2 Tim. 4:16).

Let the reader be the judge. Let us, therefore, continue to debate the issues. Whether others view these efforts as being sufficient or satisfactory, is of no particular consequence (1 Cor. 4:3-5). Rather, my main concern is to provide scriptural answers, ones that are pleasing to God, if not satisfactory to men-"Study to show thyself approved unto God." "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Now, to Mr. Martin's comments and questions.]


The religious sect known as the "Church of Christ" has many peculiar and aberrant doctrines that are contrary to the word of God. It is a most deceptive and dangerous cult. Their teaching of baptismal regeneration is an age-old heresy that has damned millions to hell, and is still doing so today. The idea that they are the one, true and restored church of Jesus Christ puts them in the same league with the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches.

[It is certainly true that "baptismal regeneration is an age-old heresy." However, no Christian, no saved believer, no member of the church of the Lord teaches the doctrine. If the fact that one teaches that baptism is essential to salvation makes one a teacher of "baptismal regeneration," does the teaching that repentance is an essential condition of salvation (as Martin correctly teaches) make one a teacher of "penitential regeneration"? Mr. Martin teaches that one cannot be saved without faith in Christ (Jn. 8:24; Heb. 11:6). Would it be fair and correct to charge him with believing in "faith regeneration," and not in regeneration by the Spirit of God? No, it would be neither fair nor correct. Why, then, is it right to charge that one believes in "baptismal regeneration" when he contends that baptism, like faith in Christ, is but one of the conditions with which the sinner must comply in order to be saved by the blood of Christ?

One must be baptized in order to become a member of a Baptist Church. Shall we charge our Baptist friends with believing in "baptismal membership," indicating that water (not faith, not the Lord) adds them to the Baptist Church?

Naaman was not healed of his leprosy until he dipped seven times in the river Jordan (2 Kgs. 5:1-15). Would Mr. Martin argue that this was a case of "seventh dip healing"? The blind man in John 9 had to "wash in the pool of Siloam" before he could be healed of his blindness. Would Martin argue that this was a case of water healing, and not a healing of blindness by the Lord? No, he would not do so in either case. Why, then, argue that if one says what Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," that he is contending for "baptismal regeneration"?

If we say that baptism is a condition of salvation, Martin says this puts us "in the same league with the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches." Well, Catholics, the Mormons, and Martin argue that one must believe before he can be saved. Does this put him "in the same league with the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches"? If it works one way, it works the other.]

If you are a member of this "church" or have been influenced by its teachings, we challenge you to ask your preacher the questions that follow, then get your King James Bible out, open it up, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the TRUTH (John 16:13). If you have never been saved in the Bible sense, for heaven's sake, do not mistake being "washed in the baptistry of the church" for being washed in the blood of Christ.

[Where does the Bible tell us to "ask the Holy Spirit to" show us the truth? The Holy Spirit tells us to "read," and that when we do, we will understand (Eph. 3:4). When the Bereans "searched the Scriptures daily" to see whether or not they were being taught the truth, Paul did not tell them to quit studying the Scriptures "and ask the Holy Spirit" to show them the truth (Acts 17:11; Cf. 2 Tim. 2:15). Why does Martin tell us to do what no apostle ever told anyone to do?

Certainly, "If you have never been saved in the Bible sense," we would encourage you to become saved in that manner-"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 16:31; 17:30; 22:16).

Mr. Martin warns, "do not mistake being 'washed in the baptistry of the church' for being washed in the blood of Christ." How would he answer the following admonitions? (1) Do not mistake being washed at the altar in answer to a preacher's call for you to give your life to Jesus, "for being washed in the blood of Christ." (2) Do not mistake being washed from your sins by saying the sinner's prayer "for being washed in the blood of Christ." (3) Do not mistake being washed from your sins by faith "for being washed in the blood of Christ." Mr. Martin, when one comes to the altar, and as a believing penitent says the sinner's prayer and is "washed" from his sins, does that process exclude the blood of Christ? If not, your objection to baptism fails. If one may be saved by doing those things, without making void being washed from his sins by the blood of Christ, so he may also be baptized without nullifying the washing of the blood of Christ.

Baptists teach that one cannot be a member of a Baptist Church without being baptized. Does their insistence on baptism for membership mean they are trusting on membership in the water of the baptistry of the church and not in the blood of Christ?]

If you ask one of these "preachers" any of the questions in this tract, you won't get a straight answer due to their "screwball" theology. You'll have them in "hot water," "swimming in circles," trying to explain their heretical positions. They'll be "hopping all over the pond" because they can't stay too long in one spot without sinking in the mire of their false doctrines.

[Is "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" "'screwball' theology" (Mk. 16:16)? Is "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" "'screwball' theology" (Acts 2:38)? Is "arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" "'screwball' theology"? Will Mr. Martin give us a "straight answer," or will he find himself "in 'hot water,' 'swimming in circles'" while "'hopping all over the pond'" and "sinking in the mire of his "heretical positions" and "false doctrines"? So, tell us, Mr. Martin, are the passages cited "'screwball' theology"? We await your "straight answer."]

Don't YOU wind up being baptized in the "Lake of Fire" by accepting a "waterworks" based plan of salvation and rejecting salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. (Matt. 3:11; Rev. 20:15; Eph. 2:8,9; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 11:6).

[Since one must be baptized to be a member of a Baptist church, are all Baptists guilty of "accepting a 'waterworks' membership in the body of Christ (Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13)? As such, are they guilt of "rejecting" membership in the body of Christ by grace through faith? Are they guilty of trusting in "'waterworks'" membership in the body of Christ and not in the "finished work of Christ"?

If they do so, might those Baptists "wind up being baptized in the 'Lake of Fire'?" No, I suppose Baptists would be in no such danger, even if they do reject the "finished work of Christ" with their "'waterworks'" membership, because Baptists believe once a man is saved, he may do "despite unto the Spirit of grace" and count "the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing," and still go to heaven (Heb. 10:29)! Let Mr. Martin deny that last charge if he will.

We trust that Mr. Martin will give us a "straight answer" to these questions. We would hate to see him refuse to answer and watch him land in "'hot water,' 'swimming in circles,' trying to explain (his) heretical positions." Watching Mr. Martin refuse to give a "straight answer" while "'hopping all over the pond'" of his "'waterworks'" membership, would not be a pretty sight.]

 

Here are Questions for Campbellites

1. According to the history of the "Church of Christ," God used certain men to "restore" the New Testament Church in the early 1800's. Where was the true New Testament church before then? Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). What happened to the church and where was the truth it was responsible for preaching before God restored it.

["Although no Christian today is a member of the congregation which was established in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection, all Christians of all times are members of the same church of the Lord which was established on that day. (Cf. 1 Cor. 1:2b; 12:13; Eph. 2:16; 3:6-LRH).

"The church was established once for all. It had but one birthday, it is not born again and again each century, or after periods of apostasy. Christ was made head of the church once for all. He does not ascend each generation, make purification for our sins, and sit down at God's right hand (Heb. 1:3, 13; Eph. 1:19-23; Acts 2:30-36). His reign is not started anew each generation. He was not de-throned by the apostasy and re-enthroned by any restoration movement. Peter did not say Christ would reign until His enemies conquered his kingdom and brought to an end His reign as king. He did not say that after this had taken place, centuries later a group of men would or could re-enthrone Christ. Peter said Christ would reign until all enemies are conquered, and Paul said that when this is done, the kingdom will be delivered to the Father (Acts 2:34-36; 1 Cor. 15:24-28). The last days dispensation started once for all and will not be started again, for this dispensation and covenant is the eternal covenant (Acts 2:16, 17; Heb. 1:1, 2; 2:3, 4; 13:20).

"....Congregations in various cities and regions can depart from the faith and individuals can depart from the faith. A congregation in a given locality can be destroyed, and, when such happens, there is a need for a congregation to be established there, and in this sense for the church to be restored there. However, the reign of Christ cannot be destroyed or restored. It continues until the end of time. Men need to accept Christ, but, whether they accept Him or not, He still reigns" (James D. Bales, Restoration, Reformation, Or Revelation?, 18-20).]

2. If a "Church of Christ" elder refuses to baptize me, will I be lost until I can find one who will? Do I need Jesus AND a Campbellite "preacher" in order to be saved? If I do, then Jesus Christ is not the only Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and the Holy Spirit is not the only Administrator (1 Cor. 12:13) of salvation - the "Church of Christ" preacher is necessary to salvation for he is performing a saving act on me when he baptizes me! Is this not blasphemy against Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?

[Author's Note: This same question was answered in an earlier article. At that time, I did not know that Mr. Martin was the one who had framed the question, hence, you will see no direct references to him in the answer below-LRH

No New Testament Christian would refuse to baptize a penitent believer in Christ. One need not be baptized by an elder in the Lord's church in order to be saved. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;" he did not say, "He that believeth and is baptized by an elder shall be saved." Yes, one is lost until he does what the Lord said do; namely, believe and be baptized (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16).

Before replying to the remaining question, let me say a word about the term, "Campbellite." First, it is a name which I do not wear. I would not call a man a "Baptist" if he rejected the term. Second, there is nothing which I believe, teach, and practice which began with the teaching of a man named Campbell. If so, what is it? (1) Is it baptism "for the remission of sins?" No, Acts 2:38. (2) Is it the fact that I am a member of a local church of Christ? No, Romans 16:16, "the churches of Christ salute you." (3) Is it because disciples come together "upon the first day of the week" to break bread? No, Acts 20:7. (4) Is it because members of the church "lay by in store" upon every "first day of the week" ? No, 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2. (5) Is it because members of the church refuse to wear human names and are referred to as "Christians," "disciples," "saints," "brethren," "children of God" ? No, Acts 11:26; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:1; Gal. 3:26.

Again, our querist needs to cite one item that I believe, teach, or practice that originated with a man named Campbell. Can he do it? If not, let him not call me a "Campbellite," for I reject anything and everything in religion for which I cannot find a "Thus saith the Lord" (1 Pet. 4:11).

Further, regarding the term, "Campbellite," from the Encyclopedia Of Religion, edited by Vergilius Fern, we note the following: "A term applied to the Disciples of Christ; (1) Whimsically by themselves; (2) Ignorantly by the non-church public; (3) Viciously, as well as ignorantly by the less enlightened sects. Obsolescent, with the general advance of religious intelligence and interdenominational courtesy."

Perhaps, our Baptist friend has used the term, "Campbellite," in ignorance. If he continues to do so, we shall let Mr. Fern's description define why.

Next, our Baptist challenger argues that if baptism is essential to salvation, then it makes the baptizer a mediator of another's salvation. Therefore, Christ is not the only mediator (1 Tim. 2:5).

First, the Bible says that God saves men through the preaching of the gospel (1 Cor. 1:21). One cannot believe and be saved until he first "hears" the gospel, "and how shall they hear without a preacher" (Rom. 10:14)? Now, our Baptist friend is in the same position in which he attempted to place us. A preacher is required before one can hear, believe, and be saved (1 Cor. 15:1, 2, 11). Let our Baptist respondent tell us if that makes a preacher a "mediator" and an administrator of salvation in addition to Christ. Since he says that one who baptizes another becomes another mediator, another besides Christ, why does that not also make a preacher another mediator, in addition to Christ, since the preaching of the gospel is essential to one's being saved?

Since he said a baptizer "is performing a saving act on me when he baptizes me!" we shall now ask him if a preacher "is performing a saving act on the sinner when he preaches to him so he can be saved"? If he can understand how that a preacher is not a mediator and is not usurping the role of Christ even though he must preach in order for me to hear, believe, and be saved, then he ought to be able to see how men may baptize others without becoming mediators along with Christ.

Second, one must do the believing which saves him-"except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (Jn. 8:24). Does the fact that one must, himself, do the believing make one a Savior of himself? No, and the same is true of baptism. Further, one must, himself, repent-"Except Ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). Does the fact that one must do the repenting make one his own co-Savior? No, and our Baptist friend, who believes in the essentiality of both faith and repentance, agrees with us. If, then, the fact that one must believe and repent to be saved does not make him his own Savior, then he ought to see the same with respect to one's being baptized.

Our Baptist gentleman asks if someone other than the Holy Spirit is the administrator of baptism. No, men are the administrators of water baptism. Jesus told men, not the Holy Spirit, to teach and baptize all nations (Matt. 28:19). It was men who performed water baptism in the New Testament-"he (Philip) baptized him" (Acts 8:38).

If our questioner thinks the Holy Spirit is the administrator of the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13, let him tell us what the element is. Into what element does the Spirit baptize one? The Spirit cannot be both the administrator and the element into which one is baptized.

Observe that the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13 places one "into one body," that is, into the church. Since Baptists acknowledge that water baptism places one into the church, can they not see that the baptism which puts one "into (that) one body," the church, is water baptism?

Again, though, our Baptist friend has crossed himself up with respect to how many baptisms there are. He speaks of one here which he says is administered by the Holy Spirit. That is one baptism. Then, he also admits the practice of water baptism which is administered by men-two administrators equals two baptisms. Two baptisms is one baptism too many, for the Spirit says, "There is...one baptism." Let our Baptist friend tell us how he can hold to two administrators and two baptisms while the Bible says there is "one baptism."

In view of the above facts, who is it that is guilty of "blaspheming" Jesus Christ? (This is the conclusion of the insertion of a previous answer to the same question. Below are additional remarks directed to Mr. Martin-LRH).

In accordance with Scripture, Mr. Martin correctly believes that one must "call on the name of the Lord" in order to be saved (Rom. 10:13). However, before people can call on the Lord and be saved, they must hear the word of God, "and how shall they hear without a preacher" (Rom. 10:14)? Since one cannot call on the Lord without faith, and since one cannot believe until he hears the word, and since he cannot hear "without a preacher," then preachers must preach the gospel (Rom. 10:13-17). Now, in view of that fact, let us ask Mr. Martin:

"If a 'Baptist' elder refuses to preach to me, will I be lost until I can find one who will? Do I need Jesus AND a 'Baptist' preacher in order to be saved? If I do, then Jesus Christ is not the only Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and the Holy Spirit is not the only Administrator (1 Cor. 12:13) of salvation-the "Baptist Church' preacher is necessary to salvation for he is performing a saving act on me when he preaches to me! Is this not blasphemy against Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?"

Note, that Mr. Martin argued that if another person is needed to baptize one "into Christ," that proves that Jesus is not our all sufficient Mediator and Savior. Well, why is not the same thing true with respect to necessity of having a preacher preach the gospel? Romans 10:13, 14 clearly shows that folks cannot hear, believe, and call on the name of the Lord and be saved until preachers preach the gospel (Rom. 10:13-17). Now, if the fact that another person is needed to baptize one into Christ nullifies Jesus as our only Mediator and Redeemer, does not the necessity of a preacher do the same? We shall await Mr. Martin's "straight answer" to this question.

Since Mr. Martin agrees that a preacher is necessary in order for one to hear and be saved, yet this does not make void the fact that Jesus is our Savior, why does he not see that the same is true regarding the position of one who baptizes another?]

3. If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my salvation have to wait until the plumber showed up? If I were to die before then, would I go to hell? If obedience to water baptism is the means of forgiveness of sins, then I would.

[Author's Note: Again, this same question was answered in an earlier article. At that time, I did not know that Mr. Martin was the one who had framed the question, hence, you will see no direct references to him in the answer below-LRH

Since it takes baptism to constitute one as a Baptist, "If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my membership have to wait until the plumber showed up?"

"If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry," one might decide to go elsewhere to obey the Lord who said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16).

After his broken water pipe scenario, our friend asks, "If I were to die before then, would I go to hell?" Well, suppose another case. If the preacher lost his voice and could not tell an illiterate man about Jesus' death for his salvation, would his salvation have to wait until another preacher showed up? "If he were to die before then, if he were to die before he could be lead to believe, would he go to hell?"

If a broken water pipe nullifies what the Lord said about baptism because someone might be lost without being baptized, would a preacher's inability to speak nullify the fact that one must hear the gospel before he can believe and be saved? If a man dies before hearing and believing the gospel, he will be lost. Regardless of the objections, Scripture still says that one must repent and be baptized "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; 22:16). If he does not do that, he will be lost (Lk. 13:3; Jn. 3:3, 5).

(Again, this is the conclusion of the insertion of a previous answer to the same question. Below are additional remarks directed to Mr. Martin-LRH).

Mr. Martin, since Paul said we are "all baptized into one body," if the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my membership in the body of Christ have to wait until the plumber showed up (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:23)? Since Jesus "is the Savior of the body," and we are "baptized into one body," If I were to die before the plumber got there would I go to hell? Since obedience to God in being baptized into the body of Christ "for the remission of sins" is essential, then I would indeed be lost (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:16; 3:6; 5:23-26- "with the washing of water by the word").

One thing is for certain, the Baptist church could not exist if the world's water pipes burst and there were no plumbers, for one must be baptized in order to be a Baptist. Mr. Martin sees no problem with that, of course, for he does not believe one must be a member of a Baptist church in order to be saved. According to him, one can be saved and never even learn of the existence of Baptist churches, and go to heaven when he dies. However, this is not true with respect to the Lord's church, for Jesus is the Savior of it (Eph. 5:23). Jesus' blood purchased His church and none can be saved apart from it (Acts 20:28; Eph. 2:16; 5:23-27, 32), but one can be saved even if he never hears about a Baptist church. Therefore, the Baptist church is not the Lord's church.

Further, not only can one be saved without being a member of any Baptist church, one also can be saved without ever hearing or believing the gospel as preached by the Baptists, but one cannot be saved if he does not believe the gospel of Christ-"He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:15, 16; Jn. 12:48). Therefore, gospel of Christ is not Baptist doctrine.]

4. If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water, and it is possible for me to "lose my salvation" and go to hell after being baptized, then wouldn't my best chance of going to heaven be to drown in the baptistry?!! - before I had a chance to sin so as to be lost again? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of heaven, isn't that my best opportunity?

 

[Author's Note: This question, too, was answered in an earlier article as follows:

If my membership in the Baptist church is conditional, and since I may sin and be withdrawn from by a Baptist church after being baptized into it, wouldn't my best chance to die as a Baptist be to drown in the baptistry?-before I had a chance to sin so as to lose my membership in the Baptist church? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of my membership in the Baptist church, wouldn't it be my best opportunity?

Please observe that our Baptist friend does not appeal to Scripture to sustain and support his position, but to conjecture and his imagination. Over and over he presents predicaments which he thinks undermine the authority of what the Lord has said. He begins the paragraph above with, "If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water...." There is no "if" about it. According to the testimony of the Spirit of God, one is not forgiven until he believes, repents, and is baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; Cf. 3:19; 22:16).

Further, if one cannot lose his salvation, why all the warnings in the Bible about it (Heb. 2:1; 3:12; 4:1, 11; 12:15; 2 Pet. 3:17)? Why does the Bible tell us to take heed lest we fall, if we cannot (1 Cor. 10:12-see context of that statement, 10:1-11)? Why does Scripture speak of those who "are fallen from grace" if such a thing cannot occur (Gal. 5:4)?]

5. If as a Christian I can sin so as to "lose my salvation," just what sin or sins will place me in such danger? Is it possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin, and become lost again? Please be specific and give clear Bible references.

[Author's Note: Below is an answer previously given. Again, though there are no direct references to Mr. Martin, the material and its questions are now intended for him!

What "sins will place me in such danger?" (1) "Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt. 5:22). Now, this cannot be talking only to unsaved men for they are not merely "in danger" of hell fire, but are "condemned already" (Jn. 3:18). So, it is addressed to the saved. Does our Baptist friend believe that a child of God shall be "in danger of hell fire" if he says, "Thou fool"? If a child of God cannot go to hell, how could he ever be "in danger" of it? Let our friend explain. (2) Is it possible for a child of God to commit murder? Yes, for David "killed" a man (2 Sam. 12:9). What does the Spirit of God say about a man who commits murder? "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 Jn. 3:15). Obviously, an alien sinner does not have eternal life abiding in him, so there would be no question about whether he had eternal life, even if he had not murdered anyone. Hence, the passage is speaking of brethren, of children of God. One who hates his brother is a murderer, "and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Does our Baptist friend know that? Yes, it is "possible," as our Baptist friend inquires, "to know at what point one has committed such a sin," for Nathan told David. If a man can know that he has said to another, "Thou fool," and if a man may know that he has murdered another, then, it is "possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin and become lost again."

Since he asked us to "be specific and give clear Bible references," please note that we have done so. (End of previous reply. Below are additional remarks for Mr. Martin.)

Mr. Martin boldly asks "just what sin or sins will place me in such danger?" As expressed by one of his brethren, "Pastor Sam Morris," there is no sin a child of God could commit which would place his soul in any danger. Below is what Mr. Martin believes and teaches. Let him deny the words of Sam Morris if he will. I dare him to tell us he does not believe the quotation below. Speaking of the Baptists, Sam Morris said:

We take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul....All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger" (Sam Morris, Do A Christian's Sins Damn His Soul?)

Will Mr. Martin tell us whether he agrees with the quotation above? Will he give us a "straight answer," or will he resort to "swimming in circles"? Mr. Morris's words are the consequence of the Baptist doctrine of "once saved, always saved." If Mr. Martin denies them, he denies his doctrine. If he agrees with them, let him tell us plainly.

6. If as a Christian I can fall and "lose my salvation," is it possible to regain it? If so, how? If God "takes away" my salvation, doesn't that make Him an "Indian giver"? How could I ever know for sure that I was saved or lost?

[Author's Note: From an earlier response to the same query.

Yes, it is possible for one to regain his salvation. "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 8:22; Cf. 1 Jn. 1:9-"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It is possible, for David, who had committed murder, and who, therefore, had no eternal life abiding in him, was forgiven and restored (Psa. 32:1; Rom. 4:6).

But, "If God 'takes away' my salvation, doesn't that make Him and 'Indian giver?'" Well, let us try that same reasoning on the Baptist church. "If the Baptist church withdraws from me and takes away my membership for some sin I have committed, doesn't that make it an Indian giver?" We know that Baptist churches will not keep a drunken adulterer in their fellowship. When they withdraw from such a man, after having once accepted him as a member, are they "Indian givers"? If not, why not?

Again, our Baptist friend relies on his own human reasoning. Let him read the verses below and then tell us if he thinks God is an "Indian giver."

(1) David said to Solomon, "If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever" (1 Chron. 28:9). Was David telling Solomon that God is an "Indian giver"? (2) "The Lord is with you while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chron. 15:2). Does this make God an "Indian giver"? (3) "Because ye have forsaken the Lord, he also hath forsaken you" (2 Chron. 24:20). Was God an "Indian giver," according to our Baptist friend's rules? (4) "If we deny him, he will also deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12). "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38). Is God an "Indian giver" when he denies those who deny him?

Tell us, Mr. Martin, is he?

What of the unbeliever who is assured of damnation, but who later turns to Christ, becomes a believer and is saved (Jn. 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24)? Is God an "Indian giver" when he fails to send the former unbeliever to hell after he had promised him that he would? Just as God is not an "Indian giver" when he cancels the condemnation of the unbeliever who becomes a believer, neither is he an "Indian giver" when he condemns the believer who turns away from him in an "evil heart of unbelief" (Heb. 3:12).

Finally, in this connection, God is not an "Indian giver" when he condemns those who turn from him, for he is giving them exactly what he said he would if they forsook him (1 Chron. 28:9; Rom. 11:22; 2 Tim. 2:12).]

7. After becoming a Christian, are there any sins that will put me beyond the "point of no return" so that I cannot regain salvation? What sin or sins will put me in such jeopardy, so that, after becoming a Christian, I would be doomed to hell without any recourse? Please be specific and give me clear Bible references.

[Author's Note: More from a previous reply to the same question.

"But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin....If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9). Is that "Bible" reference "clear" and "specific" enough?

Let it be noted that we have replied with Scripture, not with our own reasonings and rationalizations.]

8. If I committed some sin -whether in thought, word, or deed, one minute before a fatal car crash - would I go to hell if I did not have time to repent of it? And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference.

[Author's Note: Same reply from "Answering A Baptist Attack Against 'Campbellite'"

[If David "killed Uriah" "one minute before a fatal chariot crash," would he have gone to heaven without eternal life abiding in him (1 Jn. 3:15)? "And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference."

If an alien sinner, an unbeliever, was on his way to hear a Baptist preacher and died "one minute before the preacher spoke," before he had time to come to faith in Christ, would he go to heaven even though he was still an unbeliever? "And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference."]

9. Why does the "Church of Christ" insist that their name is scriptural when it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible? The church is referred to as the "church of God" eight (8) times in the Bible, but never is it called the "church of Christ." The verse they use is Romans 16:16, but it doesn't say "church of Christ." Where does the Bible call the church the "church of Christ"?

[Author's Note: Yet another copy of the answer to the same question.

From my book,"The Christ, The Cross, And The Church," pages 114, 115, we note:

Before we deal with the question as to the advisability of using the designation, "church Of Christ," perhaps we should establish that it is a scriptural label. In 1 Thessalonians 2:14, the Spirit cited "the churches of God." However, when he wanted to speak of one such church, he spoke of, "the church of God" (1 Cor. 1:2). Thus, the singular of "churches of God" is "church of God." In Romans 16:16, the Holy Spirit mentioned "the churches of Christ." Since the singular of "churches of God" is "church of God," what is the singular of "churches of Christ"?

Yes, numerous terms are used to identify God's people in the New Testament, but not one time does Scripture say anything about a "Baptist Church" or "Baptist Churches." As a matter of fact, in no literature, whether sacred or secular, written before 1600 A.D., can one find any reference to a Baptist church, either singular or plural. Perhaps it is fair to ask, since our querist is a member of a Baptist Church, "Where does the Bible, or any literature, written before 1600 A.D., mention either a "Baptist Church" or "Baptist Churches"? We have answered from Scripture regarding "the churches of Christ," now let him do the same if he can.]

10. If the "Church of Christ" claims to worship God only as "authorized" by scripture because they sing only (and do not use instrumental music), then where do they get the "authority" to use hymnals, pitchpipes, pews, and indoor baptistries in their worship services? If the answer is that they are "aids to worship," where does the Bible allow for that? Where is your required authorization? If a pitchpipe can be an "aid to worship" for the song service in the "Church of Christ," then why can't a piano be an "aid to worship" for Baptists who may need more help in singing?

[A piano is not an "aid" for singing. One may sing, either beautifully or badly, with or without a piano. Martin's saying that a piano is an "aid" for worship in song is like saying a car is an "aid" for walking. No, a cane is an "aid" for walking, but when one is in a car, he is riding, not walking. Likewise, a piano is not for singing, but must be played. Playing on the instrument is what God has not authorized. Now, we shall deal with his argument on such "aids" as he has mentioned.

The Bible does not state that Noah used hammers, saws, and axes in the construction of the ark. However, such instruments were authorized by the command, "Make thee an ark" (Gen. 6:14). Without the instruction to build the ark, the tools would have been unauthorized.

The Bible does not mention church buildings per se. However, they are scriptural because of the authority to assemble (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18; 14:23; Heb. 10:25). Without the right to assemble, church buildings would be without divine authority.

The Bible does not refer to song books. However, they are authorized by the command to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3;16). They assist us in carrying out the divine direction to "sing and make melody" in our hearts to the Lord. Without the authority to sing, songbooks would be unscriptural.

The Bible does not talk about chalk boards, computerized images, or overhead projectors. However, they are approved by the authority to teach (Matt. 28:19). They assist in doing what the New Testament churches did; namely, teach (Acts 11:22-26). Without the authority to teach, boards and projectors would be contrary to Scripture.

The Bible does not say anything about collection baskets. However, they are authorized by the command to "lay by in store" (1 Cor. 16:2). Without the authority for a contribution, collection trays would be unauthorized.

The Bible does not mention plates on which to serve the bread of the Lord's supper. However, they are authorized by the command to "take, eat" (1 Cor. 11:24). Were there no communion, the plates would not be scriptural.

The Bible does not specifically cite a baptistry, an artificial pool in which baptism is performed. However, the command to baptize authorizes a place to baptize. Without the right to baptize, a baptistry would be without authority (Matt. 7:21-23).

Note These Contrasting Parallels

The Bible does not directly mention the use of pianos and organs in the worship of the church. If we had scriptural authority to "play music," such instruments would be authorized. As there is Bible authority for song books because we are to sing, so there would be authority for pianos in worship if we were commanded to "play music." When someone finds Scripture for "playing," he will have found authority for guitars, trumpets, "an such like." Until then, they cannot be used with the approval of heaven.]

 

11. The "Church of Christ" teaches that a sinner is forgiven of sin when he is baptized in water by a Campbellite elder. Where does the Bible teach that water baptism is required in order to have one's sins forgiven? Every time the phrase "for the remission of sins" occurs it is speaking of the fact that sins have been forgiven previously! The Bible plainly teaches that the forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon repentance of sin and faith in Christ - never upon water baptism! (Matthew 3:11; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43; Acts 20:21; Romans 1:16; Romans 4:5; et.al.) Where does the Bible teach that forgiveness of sin is linked with water baptism? When Christ made the statement in Matthew 26:28, "for the remission of sins," it had to be because they had been forgiven all through the Old Testament! Christ shed His blood because God forgave repentant and believing sinners for thousands of years before the Son of God came to "take away" sins and to redeem us and pay the sin-debt with His own precious blood. How can one say that "for the remission of sins" means 'in order to obtain' in light of the fact that God never uses the phrase in that sense? In the Old Testament God forgave sin on the basis of a blood sacrifice (Heb. 9:22) - the Old Testament saints had their sins remitted (i.e., forgiven) but they were not redeemed until Christ came and shed His blood at Calvary. Their sins were covered (Romans 4:7; Psalm 32:1), but the sinner was not cleared of his guilt (Exodus 34:7) until the Cross (Heb.10:4). Before Calvary, the sins of believers were pardoned, but they were not paid for (i.e., redeemed) until the crucifixion (see Romans 3:25 and Heb. 9:12-15). When Jesus said, "It is finished," (John 19:30), all sin - past, present and future - was paid for, and the plan of salvation was completed, so that 'whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins' (Acts 10:43). In Acts 2:38, the people were baptized because their sins were forgiven (at Calvary when Jesus said, "Father, forgive them,") and they received the blessing of forgiveness when they repented of their sin of rejecting Christ and accepted Him as their Saviour and Lord. Friend, heaven or hell depends on what you believe about this.

[Author's Note: A very similar question was answered in another article. Since it applies to most of the above.

No, neither the Bible nor the church of Christ "teaches that a sinner is forgiven of sin when he is baptized in water by a Campbellite elder." However, Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). Not only does our friend misrepresent the church of the Lord, but he also misrepresents what Jesus taught.

He says, "Every time the phrase 'for the remission of sins' occurs it is speakingof the fact that sins have been forgiven previously!" (1) If that is so, why do the following Baptist translations of Acts 2:38 read as they do?

"You must repent--and as an expression of it, every one of you be baptized-that you may have your sins forgiven" (Williams).

"You must repent, and every one of you be baptized-in order to have your sins forgiven" (Goodspeed).

"Repent (that is undergo a change of mind and feeling) and be baptized each of you with a view to the remission of your sins" (Baylor University, a Baptist school).

"Repent and be baptized every one of you for (in order that you may receive) the forgiveness of your sins" (Short Baptist College, 1921).

(2) If the phrase, "for the remission of sins" "is speaking of the fact that sins have been previously forgiven," what does that do with repentance which is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38)? One is to "repent...for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Are one's sins "previously forgiven," that is, are his sins forgiven before he repents? They must be, if "for the remission of sins" "is speaking of the fact that sins have been previously forgiven."

Now, if sins are forgiven before one repents, then one's sins are forgiven before he believes, for Baptists teach that one believes after he repents. Let our Baptist friend tell us if one's sins are forgiven before he believes. Acts 10:43 says that one who believes shall receive "the forgiveness of sins." Does that mean that one is forgiven before he believes?

The same preposition, "for," in "for the remission of sins" also appears in Romans 10: 10, where we are told that one believes "unto" salvation. Does one believe because of salvation that has been previously granted?

Next, we are told, "The Bible plainly teaches that the forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon repentance of sin and faith in Christ - never upon water baptism! (Matt. 3:11,Lk. 24:47, Acts 3:19, Acts 5:31, Acts 10:43, Acts 20:21, Rom. 1:16, Rom. 4:5, et al)."

Ignoring passages on baptism, as our Baptist friend does, will not make them go away (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:26, 27; 1 Pet. 3:21). We agree with every passage he has cited with respect to the essentiality of faith and repentance, but we dare not pretend that passages which prescribe baptism as a condition of salvation do not exist, as our friend has done.

We are asked, "Where does the Bible teach that forgiveness of sin is linked with water baptism?" To which we reply, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). One might cite the baptism of John. John's baptism was said to have been "for the remission of sins" (Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3). Further, as we have shown, Acts 2:38 connects the two. Peter proves the connection when we compare his statement in Acts 3:19 with that of Acts 2:38:

Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins-Acts 2:38

Repent and turn that your sins may be blotted out-Acts 3:19

From the comparison above we see that the expression "for the remission of sins" is equivalent to that of one's sins being "blotted out." Thus, we have shown that "forgiveness of sins is linked with water baptism." Again, we have answered Mr. Martin's questions with Scripture. Will he do the same?

Our friends twisting and torturing of Matthew 26:28 has him declaring that Jesus shed his blood "because" sins were previously forgiven. If that is true in the absolute, then Jesus need never have died and shed his blood.

Since 'without shedding of blood is no remission," Jesus had to shed his blood in order to provide the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:22). Yes, "Christ shed His blood because God forgave repentant and believing sinners for thousands of years before the Son of God came to 'take away"'sins and to redeem us an pay the sin-debt with His own precious blood." Let it also be noted that "God forgave repentant and believing sinners for thousands of years before any man ever believed that God raised Christ from the dead," yet men today must believe that fact in order to be saved (Rom. 10:9). The fact that many were saved without believing that God raised Christ from the dead does not mean that we can be saved if we do not believe it (Rom. 10:9).

Our friend unties his whole argument when he says, "the sinner was not cleared of his guilt (Ex. 34:7) until the cross (Heb. 10:4)" In other words, Jesus shed his blood for (in order to) the remission of sins. Thayer's Lexicon says "for the remission of sins" means "to obtain the forgiveness of sins" (p. 94). Bauer's work, translated by Arndt and Gingrich says that the expression in Acts 2:38 means, "for the forgiveness of sins, so that sins might be forgiven" (p. 228). We shall let our friend argue with the scholarship of the world as to the meaning of the expression, "for the remission of sins."

Our friend says, "In Acts 2:38, the people were baptized because their sins were forgiven (at Calvary when Jesus said, "Father, forgive them,") and the received the blessing of forgiveness when they repented of their sin of rejecting Christ and accepted Him as their Savior and Lord. Friend, heaven or hell depends on what you believe about this."

Again, note that if those in Acts 2:38 were "baptized because their sins were forgiven," then they repented for the same reason, that is, "because their sins were forgiven," for Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized...for the remission of sins." So, if one is baptized because he is already forgiven, then he repents because he is already forgiven.

On the cross, Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them," but they were not forgiven at the time that prayer was uttered. If so, then they were forgiven without either faith or repentance, for they neither repented nor believed before Acts 2. Jesus' prayer for the Father to forgive those who slew him was answered in Acts 2 when about three thousand souls repented and were baptized "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38, 41).

We agree that "heaven or hell depends on what you believe about this."

12. If salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, and baptism is a work of "righteousness," then how can water baptism be a part of salvation? (Titus 3:5; Matt. 3:16) In the Bible, we are SAVED BY GRACE, and grace does not involve human effort or merit - grace is grace and work is work! (Just read Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 11:6.)

[Mr. Martin assumes what he must prove; namely, that baptism is included in the works of righteousness referred to in Titus 3:5. He assumes it; he asserts it, but he cannot prove it.

Let us ask Mr. Martin if believing in Jesus is a righteous act? Is it, Mr. Martin? Next, is it necessary for one to believe in Jesus before he can be saved? Yes, one must believe, and one's believing is an act of righteousness. It certainly is not an unrighteous action. So, if baptism is excluded because it is an act of righteousness which man must do, then faith is also excluded on the very same basis.

Further, must one have godly sorrow and repent of his sins? Is repentance of sin an act of righteousness or unrighteousness? It is an act of righteousness. Therefore, if Mr. Martin excludes baptism because it is an act of righteousness with which man must comply before he can be saved, then repentance is excluded on the very same grounds.

With these facts in mind (that faith and repentance are works of righteousness with which man must comply), let us construct a parallel to Mr. Martin's statement above:

"If salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, and faith is a work of "righteousness," then how can faith in Christ be a part of salvation? (Titus 3:5; Matt. 3:16)." When Mr. Martin answers that question, he will have answered his objection to baptism. But, again:

"If salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, and repentance is a work of "righteousness," then how can repentance of sins be a part of salvation? (Titus 3:5; Matt. 3:16)." When Mr. Martin answers that objection, he will have answered his own complaint against baptism.

No, salvation is not by the works of man's righteousness (Titus 3:5). However, one must work the righteousness of God. "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34, 35). Again, we ask Mr. Martin if faith, repentance, and baptism are works of man or works of God? Are they works of man's own devising, or are they works of God (Jn. 6:28, 29)?

Mr. Martin says that "grace does not involve human effort or merit." While we might agree that grace does not rely on human merit, Mr. Martin has overstated his case by saying that "grace does not involve human effort or merit." If that be true, then faith is excluded, for one must believe in Christ. God will not believe for the sinner. The sinner must believe, "except ye believe," Jesus said, "ye shall die in your sins" (Jn. 8:24). Believing is a "work" (Jn. 6:29). So, if "human effort" nullifies grace, then Mr. Martin nullifies grace every time he tells someone to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." If one's human effort in being baptized excludes baptism, it excludes faith for the very same reason.

The same is true with respect to repentance. If "grace does not involve human effort," then salvation is not by grace when Mr. Martin demands of an alien sinner that he repent. God will not repent for us. We must do it ourselves. Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). Since Mr. Martin says that "grace does not involve human effort," and he thereby excludes baptism, he will have to do the same with repentance, for it, too, is something that one must do.

No, we are not saved by our own works, nor by the works of the law of Moses, as Scripture clearly teaches. However, we exert some "human effort" in hearing the word of his grace and in believing, in repenting of our sins, and being baptized into Christ (Acts 19:5; Eph. 1:13; 2:8, 9). This is what the Ephesians did when they heard, believed, and were baptized "in the name of the Lord" "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; 19:5). Later, Paul said those Ephesians who had done so, those who had exerted the "human effort" to hear "the gospel of the grace of God" and who had believed and were baptized, were saved by grace through faith (Acts 19: 5; 20:24; Eph. 1:13; 2:8, 9). Finally, "confession" of Christ as Lord is made "with the mouth" "unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9, 10). Mr. Martin, is there any "human effort" required for one to confess with his mouth "unto salvation"? If so, does this "human effort" negate salvation by grace?

The same is true with respect to repentance. If "grace does not involve human effort," then salvation is not by grace when Mr. Martin demands of an alien sinner that he repent. God will not repent for us. We must do it ourselves. Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). Since Mr. Martin says that "grace does not involve human effort," and he thereby excludes baptism, he will have to do the same with repentance, for it, too, is something that one must do.

No, we are not saved by our own works, nor by the works of the law of Moses, as Scripture clearly teaches. However, we exert some "human effort" in hearing the word of his grace and in believing, in repenting of our sins, and being baptized into Christ (Acts 19:5; Eph. 1:13; 2:8, 9). This is what the Ephesians did when they heard, believed, and were baptized "in the name of the Lord" "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; 19:5). Later, Paul said those Ephesians who had done so, those who had exerted the "human effort" to hear "the gospel of the grace of God" and who had believed and were baptized, were saved by grace through faith (Acts 19: 5; 20:24; Eph. 1:13; 2:8, 9). Finally, "confession" of Christ as Lord is made "with the mouth" "unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9, 10). Mr. Martin, is there any "human effort" required for one to confess with his mouth "unto salvation"? If so, does this "human effort" negate salvation by grace?]

13. The "Church of Christ" teaches that "obeying the Gospel" includes being baptized in water in order to be saved. If this is true, then how is it that the converts of Acts 10 were saved by faith before and without water baptism? The Bible says in Acts 5:32 that only those who obey God may receive the Holy Ghost - so what did those in Acts 10 do to obey and receive the Holy Ghost and be saved? In the light of Acts 10:34-48, Acts 11:14-18, and Acts 15:7-11, how can anyone honestly believe that water baptism is necessary to salvation? Simon Peter said their hearts were "purified by faith" (Acts 15:9) and that we are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ like they were (Acts 15:11); that is, before and without water baptism! We know that unsaved people do not receive or have the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Romans 8:9). We know that the Holy Spirit is given only to those who have believed on Christ (John 7:39). We know that the Holy Spirit seals the believing sinner the moment he puts his faith and trust in Christ as Savior, before he is ever baptized in water (Ephesians 1:12,13). How does the warped theolgy of Campbellism explain away these clear passages of Scripture without "muddying the waters" of truth and drowning its members in eternal damnation?

 

[In Acts 10, Cornelius and his household received Holy Spirit baptism. This reception of the Spirit was not to save them. They were saved by what hearing the words of the gospel, not by receiving the Spirit (Acts 11:15). Their hearts were "purified by faith," not by the reception of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 15:9). They were granted "repentance unto life;" they did not receive life by receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. They were baptized in water (Acts 10:47). Their baptism in water was "in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48). Baptism in the name of the Lord is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; 10:48; 19:5). Thus, they received forgiveness when they heard, believed, repented, and were baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."

Mr. Martin is correct. We are saved "by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ like they were." Like them, we heard "words whereby" we can be saved (Acts 11:14). Like them, we believe on the Lord Jesus (Acts 10:43). Like them, we repent in order to have eternal life (Acts 11:18). Like them, we are baptized in water, in the name of the Lord, for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 10:48).

However, if the reception of the Spirit before they were baptized in water proves they were saved before they were baptized, Mr. Martin has a problem. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Those in Acts 10 were to hear words whereby they would be saved (Acts 11:14). Peter spoke to them that they might believe (Acts 15:7). However, the Spirit fell "as (Peter) began to speak" (Acts 11:15). So, before they heard words which would lead them to believe and be saved, the Holy Spirit fell on them. Now, if the reception of the Spirit before baptism proves they were saved before baptism, it also proves they were saved before faith, for they received the Spirit before they believed!

(For a more complete and thorough study of this same argument, see my book, The Christ, The Cross, And The Church, pages 136-138, 142-145.)]

It would be impossible to discuss all the false doctrines of the "Church of Christ" in this small article. If you have a particular question not dealt with here, or need clarification on the issues discussed, contact us via email or at the phone number or address listed. We will provide you with sane, sensible and scriptural answers to your Bible questions. www.biblebelievers.com

[Likewise, it would be impossible to discuss all the false doctrines of the "Baptist Church" in this article. If you have a particular question not dealt with here, or need further clarification of the issues discussed, contact me via e-mail . Also, see our web site (www.Biblework.com). We will provide you with scriptural answers to your Bible questions. (There is no need to say that we will provide "sane, sensible" answers as Mr. Martin did, for scriptural answers, by their very nature, will be both sane and sensible.)

I shall be willing to meet Mr. Martin in a public discussion on the subject of what constitutes salvation by grace through faith. I do not believe he will agree to it, but let it be known that the opportunity is hereby extended to him. If he does not agree to a discussion, we shall know that he feels his questions have been answered.]

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