I realize I am not creative, entertaining, or humorous. I enjoy reading this blog because Jon is all of those things. But since he asked me to post from time to time, you have to scroll over my posts to read what he has to say. Or, if you would like to get lost in the ramblings of my mind, or perhaps fancy the challenge of trying to unravel my tangled thoughts; you are welcome to read my posts also.
Okay... I thought it would be fairly easy to share my thoughts on the 3 excerpts I posted from the Lakeview Bible Church's Statement of Doctrine. Turns out it is rather overwhelming. There is so much background that goes into it, I’m not sure if this is the best format for expounding. I will try to share my thoughts in an abbreviated fashion. I will be happy to elaborate if anyone is interested. I will start with baptism.
- F. One Baptism
We believe that the Holy Spirit places all believers today
into the Body of Christ by one spiritual baptism.
- This divine baptism takes place at salvation and identifies every believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
- Since this one baptism promotes the unity of the Spirit,
Lakeview Bible Church does not practice water baptism,
resting in the total sufficiency of the finish work of Jesus Christ
for a complete and blameless standing before God.
(Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 and 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:3-6; Colossians 2:9-12)
I think I understand why Lakeview Bible Church says they do not practice water baptism today. If you have not bothered to look up the verses listed, I will share them here. The baptism that Paul taught was not a water baptism, it was a spiritual one.
3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
1 Corinthians 12
12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
1 Corinthians 1
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. 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Now this last verse raises an interesting question. If Paul wasn’t sent to baptize, why did Jesus say:
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
I’m sure we ignore the truth of what Paul is saying by minimizing it, since it doesn’t fit what we’ve been taught. (“He must have just meant that baptizing wasn’t his MAIN goal, since baptism doesn’t really SAVE you.”)
Except that Jesus really said:
15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
And Peter, remembering what Christ had taught him said:
38Then Peter said unto them, 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. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
For now, I suppose I can just say that Paul is preaching a different gospel than Jesus was commanding his disciples to preach at the end of the gospels. Paul was given a different message and a different audience.
7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
The verses above, and the verses below should give you an idea of what the gospel of the circumcision was about (gospel to the Jews).
5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23But… …Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
23And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,
3But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
And this should tell you what Paul’s gospel was about:
1 Corinthians 15
1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Water baptism belongs to a different gospel than the one Paul taught (and the one through which I was saved.)
Since I’m trying to keep my post here fairly condensed, here’s a good read if you want a thorough breakdown according to a mid-Acts dispensational view: http://www.dispensationalberean.com/teaching/webb/water.html
It is 8 pages long, so you will have to click through the multiple pages for the whole idea.