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SOTERIOLOGY

THE

DOCTRINE

OF

SALVATION

Table of Contents

Section 1:

Introduction

4

Section 2:

Salvation In The Old And New Testament Is Not Different

4

Faith

4

Blood

5

Obedience

5

Section 3:

Salvation Effected By The Gospel Only

5

Necessary For All

7

Only One Gospel

11

Section 4:

Salvation Accomplished Only By Vicarious Blood Sacrifice

12

Atonement

12

Sacrifices

12

Substitutionary

12

Blood

12

Origins

13

Origins Of The Idea Of Sacrificial Blood Sacrifice

13

The Implementation Of Substitutionary Blood Sacrifices

13

Three Pre-suppositions Of Sacrificial System

14

Section 5:

All of Salvation’s Provisions A Result Of Grace

16

Section 6:

The Provision Of Salvation On Mankind Generally

17

Substitution

17

Propitiation

17

Redemption

18

Reconciliation

18

Justification

19

Section 7:

The Provision Of Salvation Upon The Individual (Regeneration)

20

U sage Of The Word

20

The Nature Of Regeneration

20

Section 8:

The Narrow Sense Of The Word "Regeneration"

21

 

Instantaneous

22

An Act Of God

22

Precedents To The Instant Of Regeneration Of Infilling Of The Spirit

24

How The Infilling Of The Spirit Occurs (And Accompanying Phenomena)

24

Section 9:

The Wider Sense Of The Word "Regeneration"

26

The Act Of God In Drawing The Sinner

26

Drawn By His Constitution

27

Drawn By His Nature

27

Drawn By The Holy Spirit

27

Response In The Individual

27

Hearing The Gospel

29

Believing The Gospel (Faith)

30

Repentance

31

Water Baptism

35

The Efficacy Of Water Baptism

48

Removal Of Adamic Curse

54

Sanctification (Holiness)

55

Holiness

Of Spirit

58

Holiness (Separation) Of The Human Soul (Mind)

59

Holiness (Separation) Of The Human Body

60

Section 10:

A Word To New Christians

67

Eating Right

67

Exercise

68

Proper Rest

68

Notes

Section 1:

Introduction

Soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation, is the primary theme of both Old Testament and New Testament theology. The doctrine is founded upon five presuppositions:

1. That mankind is guilty before a just God and estranged from God.

2. This guilt and subsequent estrangement leaves man condemned to death - both physical and spiritual.

3. Mankind is hopelessly mired in this condition and cannot escape by his own efforts.

4. God has a personal interest of reconciling mankind to Himself.

5. God has activated this personal interest in the form of a "plan" of sal- vation. The execution of this plan is the message of the Bible.

Section 2:

Salvation In The Old And New Testament Is

Not Different

 

The message of salvation is progressively unfolded in Holy Writ. From the book of Genesis, the salvation message begins as a dim thread which expands ever more brightly as the spiritual drama unfolds. The

Old Testament pre-figures and looks forward to the coming of the Christ- Redeemer. Its salvation message is incomplete and awaiting the coming

of He whom Isaiah spoke: "

the Lord hath anointed me to preach good

tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to

proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isa. 61:1).

Regardless of the degree to which the plan of redemption was un- veiled at any given time, the basic requirements for receiving salvation and its benefits have always been, and still are, the same. These are:

Faith

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6).

This has been true throughout both the Old and New Testament.

It was by faith that Abel, Enoch, Noah, Ahraham, Jacob, Rahab, Moses, etc. received a good report (Heb. 11:2). That this refers to salvation can be clearly seen from Rom. 3:3; Gen. 15:6; In. 3:16, 7:38, 11:26; Acts 8:37, 16:31, 19:4; Rom. 10:9-11.

Notes

Blood

"Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). From the ear- liest scriptural record, the necessity of substitutionary blood sacrifice to cover man's iniquity is evident (Gen. 3:21, 4:4). The primary idea is that man is under condemnation of the death penalty (from the curse of sin). The only way he can escape this is if someone dies in his stead.

While there was no one qualified in the Old Testament to replace him, he could, by the offering of bulls and goats, display his faith in God, thus holding back the judgment of God until the qualified Redeemer would appear (Mt. 26:28; Heb. 9:12-23; Acts 20:28; Col. 1:14).

Why did God choose blood? Because death was required as the pen- alty of sin, and blood was the proof of death. This blood, when applied before God, testified that the required death was accomplished (Heb. 9:23-

28).

 

Obedience

Too many scriptural references to enumerate stress the necessity of obedience to the revealed will of God.

Obedience is not meritorious works by which man "earns" salvation, but rather is a result of faith acting in the human heart. The very fact of revealed law (Gal. 3:24) silently testified to the necessity of obedience. The following scriptures, along with many others, illustrate the necessity of obedience: Deut. 11:27; I Sam. 15:22,23; Jer. 7:23; Mt. 7:21, 24-27, 8:27; Acts 5:29, 6:7; Rom. 1:5, 6:16, 15:18, 16:26; II Thess. 1:8; Heb. 5:9; I Pet. 1:22,4:17; I In. 5:1-3.

That belief (faith) and obedience are inextricably related is also clearly seen in Rom. 10:16.

 

they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?"

"

Section 3:

Salvation Effected By The Gospel Only

Many human religions and humanistic philosophies have professed ways and means whereby mankind could escape the penalty and prob- lem of sin. However, scripture is not only clear but emphatic that the sal- vation of any (and every) man comes only through the gospel of Christ. This fact is clearly enunciated in scripture.

Notes

 

"If the gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (II Cor. 4:3) .

John, speaking of Christ, identifies Him as being"

the true Light,

which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (In. 1:9). Paul de- clares that those washed and cleansed shall inherit the kingdom of God,

but not others (I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).

 

The Bible is written to and for the sane and those able to compre- hend. Any outside of that are not specifically dealt with. We assume they are dealt with according to God's unerring justice. From this, we deduce that children and the severely retarded are granted entrance to mercy commensurate with what is right and just - therefore, assumed to be in safety.

The real solution to man's dilemma is to find a way to get the right- eousness that God has and to appropriate it for himself. Man is guilty. Only God only is in right standing with the true standard of jurisprudence (i.e., Himself). Man, if he is to escape death and damnation, must find a way to appropriate the righteousness of God for himself (i.e., to cover himself with the righteousness of God). He must seek to find some point (or place) in history where something has "broken the barrier" between God and humanity (i.e., a point where the righteousness has been revealed for the benefit of the world). If one can discover the location where this righteousness has been revealed for man's benefit, then he can find escape or deliverance (salvation). Otherwise, he is hopelessly mired in futility, spiritual darkness, and condemnation to death.

This is why the news of Christ's coming is called the "gospel" or "good news" - for the Bible declares that it is here, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that God's righteousness has been revealed.

 

"For 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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from

faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all. ungodliness and unrighte-

ousness of man

" (Rom. J:16-18).

From the above verses, we note the following:

 

1. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against the unrighteousness of mankind ( v. 18).

2. Only by appropriating God's righteousness for Himself can man be made righteous - hereby escaping the wrath of the righteous God (v.

17).

3. Paul strongly and clearly reveals the one place wherein the righteous- ness of God has "broken through" to mankind ("for therein is the right- eousness of God revealed").

Notes

4. That one place where God's righteousness has "broken through", or

been revealed to mankind, is in the gospel of Jesus Christ ("the gos-

pel

it is the power of God unto salvation").

5. Although a person's knowledge of the gospel may be very limited, he/ she must go ahead and have faith in what they do know (i.e., they must start in faith from whatever place they are in understanding).

This faith, if followed diligently, will open the way to increasing reve- lation of the power and scope of the gospel as it brings the candidate

to complete deliverance (i.e., salvation - "

from faith to faith" v 17).

The gospel of Christ is the only hope of the human race for deliverance from guilt and death. This is the clear teaching of scripture.

 

"That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather to- gether in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven, and which are on earth: even in him" (Eph. 1:10).

That Christ and His gospel is not just "one of many ways" to salvation is clear from such passages as the following:

 

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist" (Col.

1:16,17).

"For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Col.

2:9,10).

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:8,9,11,12).

For those who" obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" , ever- lasting destruction is promised (II Thess. 1:8).

May God help the church to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19), for in the gospel of Jesus Christ only lies the great hope of the world!

Necessary For All

 

By stating that the gospel is necessary for all we mean that every sin- gle individual born onto earth is born with the curse of sin already upon

Notes

them. This curse is transmitted from generation to generation, regardless of whether the previous generation is "born again" or not. With the fall of Adam, this curse of sin has come upon the entire race.

"

by one man sin entered unto the world, and death by sin; and

so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

" (Rom.

5:12).

"

as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to con-

demnation

" (Rom. 5:18).

It is not that the acts of giving birth or conceiving are in themselves sinful, but from the moment of conception a person possesses a sinful na- ture.

In the beginning God created man in His image, as a triune being (one person - three levels of consciousness). His spirit provided him with awareness of God, his soul gave him consciousness of himself, and his body provided him with the medium for awareness of the physical world. Of this, James Beall, states: "man's spirit, which was his point of contact with God, was designed to rule over the soul and body. As man re- sponded directly to God through the Spirit, the rest of his being came into alignment with God. God communicated to Adam's spirit, and his soul and body were blessed as this fellowship pervaded his whole being. When Adam sinned, the spirit which was to rule over his soul and body died - just as God had warned that it would. This resulted in an inner imbalance and loss of control over impulses and desires. Worst of all, sin resulted in the severing of direct fellowship between God and man. In place of inti- macy came estrangement. Man was no longer comfortable in God's pres- ence. Fear took over where love had reigned".

Many non-believing thinkers take great offense to the doctrine of original sin - declaring it to be a root cause of the guilt (which plagues society) used by religion for the purpose of manipulating and controlling the populace.

It is true that charlatans and religionists have, from time to time, used the fact of inward guilt for selfish purposes and in unethical ways. This is as despicable and detestable as the unbeliever purports it to be. However, it should be clearly understood that the evil religionist didn't create the condemnation in the individual, he simply took advantage of what he recognized was already there. It is also true that unbelievers are also guilty of capitalizing upon the universal condition of guilt in the human race.

The primary point is that denying inward guilt doesn't make it disap- pear. The answer is not to ignore the problem and pretend that it will go away. It won't.- It is the product of a curse on a fallen race. While corrupt religion exacerbates the guilt problem, so do the philosophers who seek

Notes

to cure the problem by denial of its existence. The evidence of original sin in the race, and its consequent burden of guilt and aberrant behavior, is exemplified in human society "a million times a day". The preponderance of evidence of the condition is utterly overwhelming. The degree to which the unbeliever vehemently denies it is testimony that is proportionate to its existence.

So (what is the cure and how does it effect deliverance? The cure is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Its way of working is what the doctrine of salvation is all about.

The fact that "all are under sin" is an important one. The gospel gains its great significance on the presupposition that all men are sinners, hence need salvation which the gospel provides. The Apostle Paul me- ticulously drives this point home in the early part of his Roman's dis- course. He emphasizes that all men, regardless of race, are utterly guilty before God.

"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have be- fore proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that under- standeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of the asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom. 3:9-19).

"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Gal. 3:22).

Here in Galatians, Paul assumes that they understand that all are un- der sin until "the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe".

Those guilty are not considered by God to be ignorant of their guilt or "innocently guilty", but rather actively' and rebelliously guilty con- sciously suppressing the truth which God is attempting to reveal.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness" (Rom 1:18).

Paul declares that when they saw God "manifest" (v. 19), and learned about Him from "His nature" (v. 20), they did not glorify Him as revealed (v. 21), but instead strongly turned away from God becoming progres-

Notes

sively more corrupt (v. 22-27), until they completely sought to obliterate God from their knowledge and became reprobate and totally rebellious (v. 28-32).In the span of five verses in Romans 5, Paul declares us to be "without strength" (v. 6), "ungodly" (v. 6), "sinners" (v. 8), and God's "enemies" (v. 10). He declares that man's alienation is alleviated only by the application of the gospel to the life of the individual. Upon seeing God's true view of sin, the sinner should never allow himself to compla- cently rely upon the "goodness" of God to placate the "wrath" of God. The only thing that will placate the wrath of God is the righteousness of God applied to the life of the sinner, thereby making the sinner righteous. The sinner can find this righteousness of God only through the gospel of Jesus Christ - for that is the one place in human history where it has been re- vealed for man's appropriation of it unto himself (Rom. 1: 16, 17).

God declares that every sinner has sufficient revelation of truth to jus- tify his being subject to the wrath of God.

"

that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath

shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of

the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19,20).

Considerable discussion has been made concerning whether or not there are those who have "never heard", and consequently will not be held responsible for obedience to the gospel. There is no debate, however, as to the position of the scripture. Being as Holy Writ is our only authoritative guide, we should heed its message soberly - the declaration is clear.

"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law:

and as man as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law" (Rom.

2:12).

Some have taken Romans 2:14 to imply that the heathen will be judged by a "different" rule of judgment (or law) than those exposed to the writ- ten Word.

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves" (Rom 2:14).

This verse does anything but make allowance for alternate routes to God's righteousness, other than through obedience to the gospel. There are not "two laws". Paul's repeated use of the word "the" before "law" indi- cates that he is not teaching that there is another law. Rather, he declares that the inclination toward God and righteousness is in the very constitu- tion of man's spiritual makeup. This law that they have within themselves parallels perfectly the law which scripture contains. It is not a "different"

Notes

law, but the same law - only received from a different source. He here in- dicates that one's knowledge of God comes from several sources, all of which man will be fully held accountable for. These sources of knowledge are:

natural creation (Rom. 1:20)

human nature (Rom. 2: 14)

the unwritten law (Rom. 2: 14)

To the person who is led toward God by sources other than the Bible, God sees their sincerity and sends them the gospel (Acts 10, 17:27, 19:1-6). There is only one name and one person whereby we must be saved.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts

4:12).

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that be- lieveth" (Rom. 10:4).

Only One Gospel

We have already discovered that there is only one gospel. Four times in Romans 1, Paul speaks of "the" gospel (v. 1,9,15,16). Other times he speaks of it as "the faith" (1:5), "the power of God unto salvation" (1:16), "my gospel" (2:16), etc. When he speaks of "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (3:24), he means that they are justified through the gospel. When he speaks of "believing on him that justifieth the ungodly" (4:5), and of the "the righteousness of faith" (4:13), he is not indicating another route to God's salvation, but rather is simply using different terminology to indicate different facets of the same, one and only gospel. When he speaks of "imputed righteous- ness" (4:24), the imputation of righteousness is not apart from the gospel, but rather through the gospel (5:1). When he declares: "they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (5:17), he is not projecting that this is a gift apart from the gospel, but rather, it is the same thing - for it is in the gospel that the grace and righteousness of God is made available to us (Rom. 1:17; Eph. 1:13; I Cor. 4:15; Acts. 20:24). The declaration of scripture is clear - there is only one Gospel (or "saving message"). The student should be careful of "rationalizing" about who will and will not be saved. Scripture is em- phatic that the abyss between God and man is a fact, and that it can only be bridged by the application of God's righteousness to man - thus as- suaging God's wrath on sinners. The only place God's righteousness is applied is through the gospel (Rom. 1:16,17).

Notes

Section 4:

Salvation

Accomplished

Only

By

Vicarious

Blood Sacrifice

 

When scripture declares that salvation is come, it approaches the sub- ject carefully and clearly.

The gospel, pure and simple, is the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished - that, through the shedding of His blood in His sacrificial death, the full payment for the penalty of sin has been provided; and that by His resurrection, he has led the way to eternal life (i.e., salvation) for all those who will believe on Him and what He has done (In. 3:16).

Christ's death at Calvary was the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. It was this sacrifice which would "atone" for the sins of the world.

Atonement

Atonement means "to cover". Theologically speaking, it conveys the idea that something is sacrificed to provide a covering for sin.

Sacrifices

The idea of substitutionary blood sacrifice being necessary to accom- plish atonement is deeply ingrained in both the Old and New Testament.

Substitutionary

 

Substitutionary means the life of the animal sacrificed takes the place of the one who is supposed to die as a judgment for their transgressions against God. They bring their sacrifices in lieu of their own lives being sac- rificed. For example, when the death angel passed through Egypt, it brought God's judgment (death) to every Egyptian household. Israel was instructed to slay a lamb for each household (Ex. 12). Their act of obedi- ence of faith in God's Word averted God's judgment - in that the slain lamb received the judgment in place of the firstborn of the household. Thus the firstborn was "redeemed" from judgment (Ex. 13:14,15).

Blood

Scripture repeatedly emphasizes that the life of an animal or human is in the blood. Thus, the shedding of its blood is the equivalent of its giving up of life itself. The fact that sacrifice as a part of worship originated early in creation (i.e., prior to the scattering of people in Gen. 11) explains why it can be found even among the heathen through the ages. The idea of sacri- fice has been much perverted - followers of false religions have gone so far

Notes

as to slay their own children as sacrifices by casting them in the fire, offer- ing them to crocodiles, etc. Even Israel, in their times of apostasy, offered their children to Molech, which is said to have been a graven image (with outstretched arms) where fires were set at the base until it was extremely heated, at which time a child would be laid in the arms of the image, and thus sacrificed.

Even in the world of the occult, the institution of sacrifice can be found. The universality of sacrifice, though often misunderstood and badly mis- used, can be explained by the fact that it was instituted by God before the scattering of the people of the earth. Being scattered, many of the nations of the earth lost the meaning of the sacrificial system, but retained the ritual.

In reading the continuing scriptural record, it is evident that the di- vinely instituted sacrificial system came out of the Noahic flood intact. Scripture is clear that before and after the flood of Noah's day, the necessity of the sacrificial system was well understood.

Origins

Origins Of The Idea Of Sacrificial Blood Sacrifice

While there was no need for the atoning sacrifice prior to the fall, God, in his foreknowledge, knew that man would need redemption by a substi- tutionary sacrifice. Thus, the idea of atonement predates human history. Rev. 13:8 declares Christ as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". I Peter 1: 19,20 reveals Christ as "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (c.p. Ex. 12:2-6 when the Lamb was "foreordained" before it was slain). Titus 1:2 shows eternal life to be "promised before the . world began". The Church was intended "before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4).

From this we see that sacrifices were not a "stop-gap", last minute idea, conjured up to save the race. Instead, it was foreknown and predestined by God before the world began.

The Implementation Of Substitutionary Blood Sacrifices

The first intimation of the implementation of an atoning sacrifice in scripture is found in Gen. 3. Here is described Adam and Eve's attempt to cover themselves with fig leaves, and their subsequent failure. Instead God covered them with animal skins.

While scripture does not give the source of the skins, it follows that they were from slain animals (i.e., blood sacrifices). Apparently from this beginning, the idea of sacrifices as a way to come to God was firmly and deeply entrenched in the human race. However, as time went on, man's

Notes

rebellion overflowed, and "when they knew God, they glorified him not as God (Rom. 1:21). Hence, the flood of Noah, and later on the confusion of tongues and scattering of the race at Babel (Gen. 11).

Genesis 4 records the first sacrificial offering by man - the son of Adam - righteous Abel. Why do we say "righteous" Abel? Because the blood "covered" him from the penalty of death when his sacrificial animal died in his stead. He was thus accounted as having God's righteousness ap- plied to himself (Rom. 1:16,17). Here we see again the pattern established of an innocent animal dying so that the guilty party may be "covered" or spared. The animal did not actually take the place of the sinner, but fore- shadowed the coming of Christ which would die for the sinner. God ac- cepted man's display of faith by this act of obedience.

History faithfully records the failure of the nations to walk in the light revealed to them in creation (Rom. 1:20). Even Israel, who was given the revelation of the one true God turned to idols, in spite of strong instruc- tions not to do so (Num. 33:52). This depravity moved them deeper and deeper into idolatry and self-degradation (Rom. 1:19-32). However, scrip- ture is clear in revealing that, even in the idolatrous and immoral, there remains ready evidence that all know, or have known, the truth of the one Deity who supersedes all others (Acts 17:23-28). This important point should be remembered when discussing the question of salvation for those who have purportedly "never heard" the truth.

Three Pre-suppositions Of Sacrificial System

The sacrificial system (even the perverted system of the heathen) pre- supposes three things:

A.

Confession

Man confesses his dependence upon God, and acknowledges Divine right to be over him.

B.

Worship

Man's sacrifices are a sign of relinquishment of all self-rights to God. By offering his sacrifice, he reveals his faith in God and thereby worships.

C.

Atonement

Thirdly, man intuitively recognizes an estrangement between himself and God. He has inward anxiety and is aware of being at odds with God. Anxiety is not synonymous with worry. Worry stems from concern of cir- cumstances outside of the individual. Anxiety is much deeper and comes from the condition of man's fallen nature. So he brings his offering as a substitution which receives the judgment meant for himself. The blood of

Notes

the animal "covers" him and averts the wrath that he senses is due him.

The sacrificial system of Israel had a rather complex set of sacrifices to keep man's relationship with God free of obstacles. For example, if a per- son committed a sin, he brought a sin offering which was slain and offered up to God. This was a sacrifice of atonement. Once a year the High Priest, on the "Day of Atonement", offered up the blood of a sacrifice for the sins of the whole nation (Lev. 23:26-32). If one had trespassed against his neighbor, he was then obligated to bring God a sacrifice of worship (Lev. 1). He was eligible now to be enjoined to God in fellowship by offering the sacrifice of fellowship (Lev. 3).2

As can be seen by a study of the Old Testament, Israel had numerous sacrifices. All of them filled a specific need in man's relationship with God, whereby fellowship and communion could be re-instituted. Different ani- mals, fowl, and plant life were used in these diverse sacrifices, with the intent of fulfilling the necessary requirements for peace and right-standing with God.

In, reality, none of the Old Testament sacrifices had power to obtain and provide true atonement. The very fact that the sacrifices had to be re- peated again and again showed their innate weakness (Heb. 10: 1,2). By comparison, Jesus Christ, the supreme sacrifice atoned "once for all" (Heb.

10:10).

"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4).

The sacrifices were a temporary and incomplete accommodation for sin until the perfect sacrifice should come. By this act of obedience by the shed- ding of blood, man's faith that a perfect sacrifice was someday coming was accepted of God.

As Myer Pearlman explains, the inadequacy of the system was also de- tectable in that the priests who offered the sacrifices were imperfect. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year. The remainder of the priests were not allowed into the Holy of Holies, for "

the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest" (Heb. 9:8). However, with the coming of Christ, the old system was superseded by the new, the imperfect by the perfect.

"And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:11,12).

Thus, we see that the Old Testament saints did indeed receive justifica- tion by faith (Rom. 4:16,23), which was manifested in their obedience as revealed in their offering of blood sacrifices. However, the justification was

Notes

not effected by their animal sacrifices, but by Christ (Heb. 9: 15). The Old Testament sacrifices simply "rolled their sins ahead" to Calvary, where they were accounted for once and for all (Rom. 3:25).

Section 5:

All Of Salvation's Provisions

A Result Of Grace

Grace can be defined as the unmerited, unsolicited, and unrecom- pensed favor and power of God to do His will. All man has, including life itself, stems from the grace of God. It is a gift of God (Rom. 6:23). The Christian loves God and serves Him, and will be rewarded by Him. How- ever, none of this is "payment" to God for His grace. Our love is, in the fi- nal analysis, really His love returning unto Himself, since He is love and the source of love.

It should be understood that God's pardoning of sinners by His grace does not mean that God does this apart from His justice, for this would be a contradiction of His own nature. God pardons the sinner by His grace because the requirements of His justice have already been met in Jesus Christ opening the way for man to experience the grace of God. Man finds favor because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him by regenera- tion, or the new birth. As typified in Abraham's intention of offering Isaac an offering to God, God provides the power of justification for every hu- man being.

In summarizing the general provision of salvation to mankind, it should be pointed out that they are just that - provisions. They are pro- vided for every human being, but not automatically applied to every indi- vidual. Pardon may be promised to those involved in a rebellion, but is only profitable to those who surrender. Salvation's provisions in Christ are the birthright of the whole human race (Rom. 5:18), but in order to benefit from it, it must be valued and appropriated by each individual for themselves (In. 7:37-39; Acts 16:30,31,34). This accepting of God's gift (Acts 2:38) is not a meritorious work whereby man "earns" salvation, but is rather the open heart of humility responding and reacting to God's gift and its resultant reactions in the recipients’ life. That salvation is the "free gift of God" is clearly enunciated in scripture (Rom. 3:24,25, 8:32). It is un- merited and no amount of human effort "earns" it (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Phil. 2:13). While man does elect of his own volition to accept or reject sal- vation (Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:12, etc.), if he does choose to submit to God's plan for his life, then it is God who does the work of salvation, and man who gratefully accepts God's gift. Even the power to choose is from God.

One may then say that if this is so, then man can thwart God's will, which makes God less than all-powerful. The answer to this is that God's will is to some degree "layered", and one degree is subject to His "higher" will to grant man choice. Thus, His ultimate .design is not thwarted re- gardless of the individual's acceptance or rejection of God's provision of

Notes

salvation. A rough equivalent of this can be seen in the father's will for the prodigal to come home, yet his "higher" will was that the prodigal should learn to appreciate from personal desire rather than coercion.

Section 6:

The Provision Of Salvation On Mankind Generally

1.

Substitution

The earliest teaching of scripture is that the penalty for sin is the death of the sinner (Gen. 2:17). The Old Testament sacrifices were used to be sacrificed vicariously, or in place of the sinner. The animal became the

victim in place of the sinner. It was the sinner's substitute. The priest rep- resented the sinner, and the altar represented God. The idea of the substi- tutionary sacrifice of the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ in the New

Testament.

 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (In. 3:16).

All of scriptures most moving passages portray Christ as our substi-

tute.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and" carried our sorrows

He was

wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (lsa. 53:4,5).

Herein lies an important reason why scripture instructs the believer that he is to do all in the name of Jesus Christ. He is our substitute, and as such, his name is invoked in worship, repentance, baptism, and supplica- tion

.

2.

Propitiation

The word "propitiation" connotes a reconciling, a bringing together, an arranging of things in such a way as to make favorable. Propitiation is a fulfilling of the demands and judgment claims of a righteous God by the atoning sacrifice. Christ is this propitiation (Rom. 3:25; I In. 2:2, 4:10). Sin separates. Propitiation is a return, a drawing nigh to God.

 

"Propitiation", as used in Rom. 3:25, is the same Greek word as "mercy

seat". "Mercy seat" means "covering" and conveys the idea of an atoning

 

sacrifice.

Notes

This whole idea can be seen and more clearly understood in the taber- nacle plan God gave to Israel. The ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:10,22), rep- resented the presence of a God who is a righteous governor in the midst of Israel. His demands were represented by the tablets of stone within the ark, upon which the Ten Commandments were written. The lid on the ark was known as the mercy seat. Where the ark (and the Ten Command- ments within) represented the demands of righteousness, and testified that God would not tolerate or overlook sin, the lid on the mercy seat rep- resented the other extreme. The mercy seat "covered" the law. It was on this mercy seat that the High Priest sprinkled blood once a year for an atonement for the people. Here was an "answer" to the demands of God's justice. The blood of the sacrifice sprinkled on the mercy seat averted the judgment. In the person of Christ, God Himself became the sacrificial Lamb and took the penalty for sin (Gen. 22:8; Rev. 5:6,7). The demands of the law were fulfilled, and the sinner was delivered from judgment.

3.

Redemption

To redeem, scripturally speaking, is to buy back by paying the re- quired price - to loose from bondage by paying the necessary debt. Christ our redeemer died on the cross - died for the sinner and paid all his due, thus effecting redemption (Mt. 20:28; Gal. 3:13; Titus 2:14; I Pet. 1:18; Rev.

5:9).

The idea of a "redeemer" is found fore-shadowed in the Old Testa- ment law of the kinsman - redeemer (Lev. 25:47-49; Heb. 2:9-16). This law allowed a way for a man, who had sold his property and himself into slavery (to pay his debt), to be redeemed and have his property and free- dom returned to himself. This could be done at any time if the needy had a man who was kin to him who could (and would) pay the required price to buy back his property and freedom. This all typified Jesus Christ who is our kinsman (Heb. 2:11,12), who was willing and able to redeem us ( I Cor. 6:20; II Cor. 8:9).

4.

Reconciliation

To reconcile is to bring man back to a peaceful and satisfactory rela- tionship with God. The work of reconciliation does not begin with the sinner seeking God, but rather with God seeking the sinner.

 

"God hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 5:18).

The church is given this "ministry of reconciliation" .

"

and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of

reconciliation" (II Cor. 5:18,19).

Notes

 

Salvation and reconciliation began with God.

Reconciliation is Christocentric, not anthropocentric. It is not initiated nor centered in man, but rather Christ. God clothes Adam and Eve with skins, teaches Abel proper sacrifice, provides Israel with the Passover Lamb and the atonement sacrifice, and gives the world the son of God as the final once and for all Lamb (Jn. 3:16). God provides mankind the means to salvation, including the ability to have faith. Christ's death has made the perfect sacrifice for every man to appropriate for himself by God's prescribed method (Acts 2:38).

5.

Justification

The judicial term "justify" means to declare acceptable, to acquit, (and, when used theologically, to deem righteous).

The idea of justification is that there is a courtroom scene, in which the sinner stands guilty before God, but because Christ satisfies the demands of justice on the sinner, he receives a sentence of acquittal.

Justification is made possible by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, hence this historic happening is termed the "good news", or "gospel". The joy of the christian life is directly related to his being par- doned and deemed righteous by Christ's vicarious sacrifice.

While justification is effected by God at Calvary for mankind in gen- eral, it becomes effective in the life of the individual through regeneration. Its provisions are brought into effect only through regeneration, or the new birth. Regeneration, or the new birth, is the medium by which the gospel, through faith, is applied to the individual (Rom. 1:16,17, 3:21,22). It is a state in which the believer stands justified before the justice of God (Rom. 5:2). Neither past sinfulness (no matter how gross), nor present im- perfections affect his standing before God. He is completely secure as long as he is indwelt by the spirit of Christ within. God declares him acceptable, and none can change it (Rom. 8:34).

Man cannot effect his own justification, for he is inherently sinful. However, Christ vicariously took man's guilt upon Himself at Calvary, thus setting mankind free from God's judgment.

 

Justification goes beyond forgiveness.

Justification not only effects pardon of the sinner, but, when appropri- ated by the sinner, places the sinner in a new standing with God, as right- eous. The criminal becomes more than a pardoned criminal, he becomes as though he never sinned and enters into a communion with God. Justifica- tion (by way of regeneration) subtracts sins, then adds the imputed right- eousness of Christ. Justification is effected by regeneration, or the new

Notes

birth. Logically, its application to the individual is preceded by regen- eration.

Section 7:

The Provision Of Salvation Upon The Individual (Regeneration)

Usage Of The Word

The inward change from sin to salvation, from Adam's family to Christ's family, from death to spiritual life, is regeneration. It is called a new life, a resurrection, a new birth, born again, a new creature, a renew- ing, etc. Regeneration is that act by which God gives spiritual life to the individual (Eph. 2:1,5,6). Regeneration is the change of heart or nature effected by the power of the Holy Ghost in the life of the believer. The spiritual life lost in Adam (Gen. 2:17) is regained in Christ (Rom. 5:18). Regeneration is a transformation from sin to sanctification, and is empha- sized by the Lord as being absolutely essential to being part of God's kingdom (Jn. 3:5).

Life is union. Death is separation. Therefore, when we speak of spiri- tual life, or being "born again", we mean spiritual union with God. The human spirit is "re-born" in this action which reconciles to God. Regen- eration, or the new birth, is the point at which the general blessings of Christ's substitutionary sacrifice, propitiation, redemption, justification, rec- onciliation, and sanctification are applied to the individual. Without the new birth, there is no provision for the salvation of the individual. Without regeneration, Christ's substitutionary sacrifice avails nothing for the indi- vidual - the price paid for redemption goes unused, the justification made possible remains unapplied, and sanctification remains impossible. Scrip- ture plainly teaches that salvation is applied to the individual through re- generation and cannot be found by any other means (In. 1:12,13,3:5; Titus

3:5).

The Nature Of Regeneration

How It Is Effected?

Regeneration is effected by the action of God who turns the heart of the sinner to Himself (In. 6:44,65, 12:32). Man cannot save himself.

However, regeneration is not (and cannot be) effected without exertion on the part of the sinner. While God turns the soul toward Himself, the sin- ner must also turn himself toward God (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 16:30,31; Rom. 10:9, etc.). This should not be thought of as man "earning" salvation, but rather it is a response, appropriating (i.e., taking to Himself that which God has provided).

Notes

In being born again, the processes of God turning the sinner and the sinner turning himself occur simultaneously. However, prior to the instant of regeneration (i.e., infilling of the Spirit), the drawing of the soul by God (hearing, being drawn to repentance, etc.) precedes the turning of the soul to God. When the drawing of God is greeted by the submission of man, reconciliation and regeneration is brought to pass. These are important truths. The idea that man can save himself, or is saved because he con- trols his ultimate destiny, is a humanistic, man-centered idea that is not in agreement with scripture.

Hence, we can see that regeneration of the individual is accomplished by both passive and active elements in the sinner. While it is effected while the sinner passively waits for the Spirit to draw him (In. 6:44) and fill him (Acts 2:38, note "receive"), he nevertheless must actively exert himself also (Psa. 100:4; Acts 17:27; Mt. 11: 12,13; Lk. 16:16; In.'7:37, etc.). This ability to feel God and respond is given by God, but must be allowed to operate by the individual.

Understanding the passive and active aspects of regeneration assists us in understanding the scripture. Oftentimes, the change salvation brings to man is credited entirely to the power of God. In other places, as noted above, scripture emphasizes the necessity of action by the sinner in obtaining salvation. The reconciliation of the alienated parties (God and the sinner) is instigated by God, but must be accepted and reciprocated by the sinner.

Regeneration and its aspects can be explained only so far, as God has revealed them. The subject of regeneration is the sinner. The result is spiritual life. Scripture does not explain all the metaphysics of the process of regeneration. However, it does describe the change effected, thus avail- ing us of some explanation.

When we speak of the "change" effected by regeneration, it is not meant that there is a change in the substance of the soul, nor does it mean that the instantaneous miracle of regeneration consists in an act of the

soul of the sinner. It is received passively. Peter states: "

ye shall receive

the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). This does not mean that the be- liever is in a "static" state at the moment of regeneration, but rather is in a state that could be described as "dynamic passivism". The instant of re- generation (i.e., the infilling of the Spirit - Acts 2:4) is preceded by exer- tion on the part of the individual (i.e., desire) and succeeded by exertion on the part of the individual (Le., desire) and succeeded again by exertion on the part of the individual (i.e., growing in grace). The instant of regen-

eration itself is the act of God alone.

 

Section 8:

The Narrow Sense Of The Word "Regeneration"

Notes

In the narrow sense of the word "regeneration" is:

Instantaneous

In scripture, regeneration is used In both a narrow sense and a broader sense.

When the word is used in scripture in its strict, or narrow sense, it is speaking solely of the instant in which the soul is regenerated by the mi- raculous reception of the Spirit in the heart (Acts 10:44-46, 11:14-17; Rom. 2:28,29; Phil. 3:3). It is the instantaneous change from spiritual life- lessness to spiritual resurrection (Rom. 6:5-10). It is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4,38). Finney stated that regeneration is an in- stantaneous change from entire sinfulness to entire holiness. In the nar- row sense of regeneration, this is true. It is at the point of the infilling of the Spirit that the sinner is blessed with new life.

An Act Of God

In this strict usage, regeneration is solely an act of God. In speaking to Abraham, God informs him that He (God) will provide "Himself a lamb for a burnt offering" (Gen. 22:8). The new birth is being "born from above" (i.e., God initiates, God forgives, God baptizes with the Holy Ghost). God does all in effecting salvation. For salvation to be effected, four elements were needed. God fulfilled all four by Himself - He was the provider of sacrifice (Gen. 22:8), He was the sacrifice (Acts 20:28), He was the High Priest which presented the sacrifice (Heb. 8:1-2, 9:11-14,24,25,26), and He was the place in which the sacrifice was offered (Heb. 7 :27).

There is no doubt that regeneration is an act of God's power (In. 1:12). However, it does not automatically follow that it cannot be resisted, or that there is a pre-chosen "elect" group of individuals who have been picked by God prior to any personal choosing - who, regardless of circum- stances, are pre-destined to be saved. The converse is that all others are predestined to eternal damnation, and must have been damned according to the will of God. This conclusion is based on an erroneous conception of the irrepressibility of the will and power of God -"whatever is, is the will of God, else it would not exist, for His will is omnipotent and infallible". This produces an unscriptural position of fatalism.

It is true that when God absolutely wills something, it is impossible of failure. However, it does not immediately follow that everything that is was willed by God to be so. The truth is that He does not impose His gift of righteousness on the unwilling and undeserving heart (II Sam. 22:27). His perfect will is that man, being created in the image of God, has the prerogative of discrimination (i.e., the power of preference, or choice).

It is obvious that many things exist which are at odds with the perfect will of God. It is not the will of God that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9).

Notes

Sickness is not the perfect will of God. Sin is not the perfect will of God. Famine is not the perfect will of God. Although God does not will evil, He does allow that which is adverse to His perfection. He wills to permit it. However, while He passively allows evil, He does not actively will it. Just as there are degrees of reward and degrees of punishment in God's econ- omy, there are also degrees of tolerance and intolerance. He wills to toler- ate the existence of sin - at least temporarily. At this point in time, His will concerning man's freedom and privilege to choose governs His will to eradicate that which is not consistent with His righteousness. For now God's long-suffering governs His execution of justice. His creating man in His own image (i.e., with the power to choose) precedes the sovereign pre- destination of every individual. This is not an example of man governing God (i.e., anthropocentric power) by the power of choice, but rather God governing Himself and His own power by the governing of His own will. He has chosen (willed) to allow, with limitations, the laws of cause and effect to operate in the universe (Mt. 5:45).

For God to choose to passively tolerate evil is a very different thing from being the instigator of evil. God did not create evil as some abstract "thing". He did, however, create humans (and Lucifer also, in whom the first evil is found), with the capacity to make wrong choices. Evil is the by- product of the incorrect use of the power of choice. The "recipe" for mak- ing evil is to improperly mix choice and desire. The result is the thing called sin, which does not (and cannot) have life in and of itself, but does have existence similar to the way in which some diseases have existence - it has life as long as it works within something else which does have inde- pendent life.

We mention this to clarify that God does not will the damnation of any individual. He did not foreordain that Adam and Eve (nor Lucifer) must sin, nor did He create in outer space somewhere a thing called" evil". However, He did include the results of choice with the privilege of choice, which accounts for evil. Even then, His mercy prevailed and is manifest in His intervention in human hopelessness at Calvary. To accept the idea that God has predestined men to certain salvation or destruction reduces the power of human choice to a mere game as God toys with man - thus mak- ing God the author of deceit. Choice is to man as part of His constitution, resulting from being made in the image of God. This tremendous power in the hands of man (i.e., to determine his own destiny) is a sobering thought and responsibility. Furthermore, if all the evil that exists is created by God as an actual "thing" which opposes His will, then we have an irreconcil- able contradiction to reason and also to the nature of God. A tree repro- duces itself. While God does temporarily will to tolerate the existence of evil, the righteous God does not produce unrighteousness.

Beyond this, we cannot go. It is impossible for the creature to compre- hend the infinitude and inexhaustibility of the mind of God and its work- ings.

In conclusion, while instantaneous regeneration is absolutely an act of

Notes

God, it does not occur apart from the surrendered will of the candidate. While the phenomenon of instantaneous regeneration is not in itself an active grasping of the human will, it does require cooperation of the hu- man will (Jn. 20:22).

Precedents To The Instant Of Regeneration Of Infilling Of The Spirit

Scripture reveals that several things must occur in the individual prior to the instant of being filled with the Holy Spirit, or regenerated. In the wider sense of regeneration, these are included as a part of regenera- tion and are plainly declared to be essential to salvation. They are: hear- ing the gospel, believing the gospel, repentance, and water baptism.

As we shall see in the wider usage of "regeneration", these are part of the process of regeneration.

How The Infilling Of The Spirit Occurs (And Accompanying Phenom- ena)

The human heart is prepared for the reception of the Spirit by the precedents mentioned above. By this time, if the precedents have been thoroughly accepted and embraced by the individual with the whole be- ing (Deut. 6:5,6; Mt. 22:37-38), the individual is in a state of total surren- der to God. The spirit is contrite. The will is surrendered. It no longer re- sists, but completely capitulates to God in the joy of faith. The emotions are unusually tender, and the individual is uninhibited and free of self- consciousness. There is no begging, no requesting forgiveness - that is all done and past. The soul has already been freed of guilt, which the indi- vidual senses. However, he/she also senses the existence of an inner vac- uum that nothing but God's indwelling Spirit can fill. The span of time shortly preceding the Spirit baptism is usually, but not always (Acts 10:44), characterized by spoken worship (Psa. 100:4). The soul actively worships and seeks after God until the moment of the impartation of the Spirit upon the believer.

The instant the Holy Spirit falls upon the open heart of the believer, he (the believer) becomes inundated with a consciousness of God's pres-

ence. This ecstasy may be expressed physically in a subdued manner or in

a

tremendous burst of joy and physical enthusiasm, but the ecstasy is

there. Also, in virtually all the scriptural instances of receiving the Spirit,

it

is evident that they spoke in other tongues (In. 7:35-37; Acts 2:1-13, 9:17-

18, 10:44,45, 16:34, 19:6, etc.).

The presence of the Spirit is observable on the countenance of the can- didate. At the moment of the Spirit's baptism, whether the outward dis- play of emotion is reserved or enthusiastic, tremendous spiritual power is observable on the recipient (Acts 2:6,12,13,15, 8:18, etc.). It is accompanied with joy, a deep euphoric sense of inward power / contentment, and ful- fillment (Acts 2:11, 8:39, 16:34).

Notes

The scriptural record of the founding of the churc~ records that, at the time of the infilling of the spirit, all the recipients:

Were in one accord (Acts 2:1)

Experienced a "sudden" sensation of rushing wind from heaven (Acts 2:2; Jn.20:22)

A flame settled upon each of them (Acts 2:3)

They spake with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts

2:4)

This speaking in tongues was actually praising and worshiping God in languages previously unknown to the speakers (Acts 2:7,11), Note that it was not speaking with other tongues for the "purposes of evan- gelism",

It was followed by a strong, clear-cut proclamation that this saving experience was for all people everywhere (Acts 2:38,39).

In the succeeding scriptural case histories of regeneration in the New Testament, they all serve to verify the experience of Acts 2. While the cir- cumstances vary, the experience and complete message was always the same. From these, we see that the instant of regeneration. was manifested initially in the convert by the following:

A state of ecstasy. The initial salvation experience was always deep and usually profoundly emotional.

A deliverance from the grips of debilitating habits - evil spirits (Acts 8:5 -7; Rom. 1:16-17).

A change in affections and mental / spiritual appetites. In fact, the change, in both inward feelings / ideas and outward lifestyles / goals, can be described as no less than extreme and radical. This change, like the others herein mentioned, was not in any way the ex- ception, but was the norm (Acts 9:1-31).

Speaking with other tongues consistently accompanied the instant of re- generation in scripture. The Jewish believers accompanying Peter in Acts 10 considered it the certain sign that Cornelius' household had indeed received the same regeneration infilling that they (Peter and others) had earlier received (Mk. 16:17; Acts 2:4, 8:18, 10:46, 19:6; I Cor. 14:18; Isa. 28:11,12).

Praise and worship, both in other tongues and the believers native lan- guage, accompanied the instant of regeneration (i.e., infilling of the Holy Spirit>". This initial "tongue-speaking" was not for the purpose of interpretation, but rather was a total yieldedness to God as an initial sign of the Spirit's infilling of the believer (Mk. 16:17; Isa. 28:11,12; Acts 2:4,11, 10:44-48). This praise and worship was a joyous response to God in recognition of sins removed and the infilling of the Spirit.

A power for testifying and witnessing and for performing supernatural events. This power was so obvious in the spiritually new born as to astound both the believers and their critics (Acts 1:8, 4:33, 5:5,11,12,29,42, 6:8,15,

Notes

9:1-43, etc.).

Chapter 9:

The Wider Sense Of The Word "Regeneration"

The wider sense of regeneration includes the whole process by which the heart of the sinner is turned from sin to salvation.

Narrowly speaking, "regeneration" is not used to designate the com- plete work of transformation from sinner to saint. We "were saved" at a specific time - instantaneously. We "are saved" as we live the Christian life. We "will be saved" when we obtain the heavenly state. The narrow defini- tion of regeneration applied only to the instantaneous miraculous instant when the candidate initially experienced salvation.

In the wider sense, regeneration includes:

A. The Act of God in Drawing the Sinner

Drawn by his constitution.

Drawn by his nature.

Drawn by the Holy Spirit.

B. Response in the individual.

Hearing the gospel.

Believing the gospel (faith).

Repentance.

Water baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit is covered under the "Instant of Regeneration" .

All consequent holiness and Christ-likeness (Sanctification).

I Cor. 6:11 may be said to depict the instant of regeneration. On the other hand, actual subjective holiness and Christ-like growth in the indi- vidual is progressive and evolving, hence the many scriptural exhortations to "grow in grace, and knowledge" (II Pet. 3:18; Eph. 3:16-20, etc.). The process of regeneration is radical and far-reaching and is, in fact, a re- creation of the entire spiritual, psychological, and philosophical base upon which the individual's life is structured. This is not an overstatement. The new life includes a new interpretation of past experiences, a new under- standing of present circumstances and purposes, and an awareness of a breath-taking future.

The Act Of God In Drawing The Sinner

The act of God in drawing the sinner precedes the sinner's turning to

Notes

God. God draws the sinner in three specific ways - each on a higher level than the preceding.

Drawn By His Constitution

First God draws man through man's constitution. Man is so consti- tuted as to need order and structure in his life. For example, if we bring enough discordant sounds and events into man's life, he will lose his san- ity. His makeup demands order, and the author of order is God. Man is of- ten drawn to God as the consciousness of disorder in his life increases. This is not unnatural. He seeks "peace", "rest", etc. - all which are by-products of being in alignment (i.e., order) with God and man's own make-up or consti- tution.

Drawn By His Nature

Secondly, God draws man through man's conscious nature. Along with Job, "Oh that I knew where I might find him", is the plaintive cry of the hu- man race. Although often pathetically, inadequate, and grossly misguided, all religion, true or false, is testimony to man's being drawn toward God. God draws man through man's nature, which is so constructed as to seek God. While it is true that man's carnal nature abhors God, it is nevertheless true that, by virtue of his being- made in God's image, he is drawn by his spiritual nature toward God and desires God. As is evident from history, as well as scripture, man hungers for God. This hunger is God indirectly drawing man through man's nature.

Drawn By The Holy Spirit

Thirdly, God is drawing man by His Holy Spirit. As we have seen, man inherently is drawn by God and seeks for communion with God. This na- ture and constitutional inclination toward God is activated by the Holy Spirit by the application of the Word of God to the heart of the individual. The primary method of application of the Word is by proclamation (i.e., preaching and teaching). When the heart of man, which is already drawn to God by constitution and nature, is "pricked" (Acts 2:37) by the preached Word, and if that heart accepts the Spirit's prompting toward surrender, then the process of regeneration has begun through the hearing of the Word.

Response In The Individual

The scripture is never hesitant to include the necessary responses in the sinner to the drawing of God's Spirit (e.g., faith, repentance, etc.) as part of the process of regeneration. In other words, both the drawing by God of the sinner to Himself and the response of the sinner to God's drawing are necessary parts to (and must be included in) any scriptural definition of the process of regeneration - or the new birth. Furthermore, these responses are not, and were never meant to be, categorized as

Notes

"work" (i.e., meritorious deeds) whereby a person "earns" salvation. For example, "faith" is a responsive act of the human spirit. It is man's favor- able reaction to the hearing of God's - Word. It is necessary for salvation. It is not a "work" whereby one "earns" or "merits" their salvation. It is, rather, a part of the process of regeneration which stems from man's re- sponse to God, and as such, is essential to salvation. The same is true of repentance, baptism, etc.

Sixteenth / seventeenth century reformation theology, in an attempt to escape from salvation by "works" and dependence on the ritualistic Romish church for salvation, and in an honest effort to forever establish that the "just shall live by faith", sometimes categorized any action by man as "works", and as such, unnecessary for salvation. The underlying thought was that emphasis on man's response detracts from the essential truth that salvation was solely the gift and provision of God, and nothing could be done to merit it. As the historic church of the day had so misused its authority and misconstrued the Word of God, the reformers nobly en- deavored to overcome this error by emphasizing that salvation was a gift of God, not a gift of the church or man.

There were of course, abuses. Some took "grace" as license to live on lawless, iniquity while continuing to claim salvation under the guise of "grace".

While this was extreme (if taken to the fullest with all the attendant implications), the powerful doctrine of justification by faith nevertheless accomplished the crucial task of freeing the masses from slavish depend- ence upon the whim of carnal church leaders who, in many cases, did not know God for themselves.

Thus, in the circumstances of the times, the tenacious defense of God's provision of salvation, totally apart from man's actions, was necessary. This mighty pivotal truth of "the just shall live by faith" was indeed tram- pled underfoot for centuries - thus providing a convenient method of en- slaving the masses with dependence on rituals and the whim of men for the hope of salvation. This despicable misuse of the truth of God eventu- ally prompted a spiritual revolution. Thus, when Luther boldly pro- claimed, and later others espoused, the great truth that "the just shall live by faith", this became the impetus for men to assert themselves in a search for God, independent of sacraments and rituals. This finally resulted in true encounters with God's love on a personal basis. Delivered from de- pendence upon unscriptural rituals, penances, superstitions, false doc- trines, etc., and for the first time experiencing the fervency of dynamic per- sonal-fulfilling relationship with God, it is no wonder that scholars sought ways to protect this new-found spiritual freedom from dependence upon (or subjugation to) a return to dead forms and attempts to "earn" salva- tion by pleasing men. Thus came about an utter disdain for anything that smacked of salvation by human effort, and a rejection of any idea that man in any way provided input toward his own salvation.

Notes

While the positions above were necessary and did tremendous good, care must nevertheless be taken, lest one flee from one extreme so radi- cally that he wings past the truth to the opposite extreme. This is precisely what takes place when, in the process of regeneration, human action (response, reciprocatory exertion, etc.) is categorized as "works". The truth is that they are not "works", but rather absolutely necessary and proper reactions to the moving of the Spirit -without which, salvation cannot be effected. The responses are there because the individual moved upon is alive - hence reactive. As such, these reactions are necessary (Le., Lk. 13:3,5), and are included by scripture as integrated into the process of' regeneration. The provision of salvation by God is of no effect unless ap- propriated by man. This appropriation is necessary for regeneration. These actions of obedience are not "meritorious works", or "works of the Law", or something apart from, and extraneous to regeneration - and should not be classified as such. Instead the response (or obedience) is absolutely essential (II Thess. 1:8).

Hearing The Gospel

As we have already seen, sinners can be drawn toward God before hearing the gospel. The fact is that probably all sinners are drawn to one degree or another (In. 12:32). However, being drawn is only a beginning. To be saved, one must call upon the name of the Lord (Rom. 10: 13).

Paul emphasizes that hearing the gospel is a necessary prerequisite to salvation.

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?" (Rom. 10:14).

"Hearing" in the passage above means to hear the gospel proclaimed by men. By this we mean that, when scripture speaks of "hearing" the gos- pel, it is not referring to "hearing" from God in some mystical, non-human form (e.g., "in the wind" or "from an Angel", etc.). God has chosen men to proclaim the gospel. Thus, one hears the gospel as it is preached by a hu- man. What a sobering responsibility for the preacher (Le., the angelic be- ing did not preach to Cornelius, but directed him to a man who would bring him the gospel - Acts-l0).

and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:14,17).

"

Christ's final words were a commission to the Apostles too.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations

teaching them to observe all

things whatsoever I have commanded you". (Mt. 28:19,20)

This was the method used by Christ Himself (Mt. 4:23). When this

Notes

method is adhered to, Christ assures His supernatural blessings (Mt. 28:20; Acts 1:8; Mk. 16:17,18).

While it is true that someone may be saved from a personal study of the Bible, the general thought here is that, without hearing the gospel preached as revealed in the Bible, one cannot be saved.

Scripturally speaking, hearing has a two-fold meaning. First, hearing means to hear the gospel proclaimed by someone as described above. This proclamation may be a preacher preaching (Acts 5:42), or a non-preaching church member witnessing (Acts 8:4). However, it is a hearing with the ac- tual physical ear (and/or brain) as well as the spirit.

Whenever scripture speaks of hearing in the deeper sense, it clearly takes on an added meaning. To "hear" the gospel in a way that effects sal- vation is more than just hearing with the physical ear, or even the brain. It means to accept what is heard as being truth and to be willing to respond accordingly. It includes not only hearing, but understanding and positive response (Mt. 13:13-18). Hearing in the full scriptural sense carries with it a pronounced blessing (Mt. 13:16,17), in which the Spirit strongly urges the hearer to partake, by acceptance in faith, of that which is heard (Rom. 10:6- 8; Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). It is "hearing" on this level that becomes a first step towards salvation.

Believing The Gospel (Faith)

Definition Of Scriptural "believing" is more than being mentally per- suaded of the veracity of a given statement of truth. Scriptural believing is faith. The difference is that mental persuasion may affect the intellect alone, whereas "faith" affects not only the intellect, but also the will and emotions. When the scripture exhorts to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31), it is referring to faith. When one has faith in the gos- pel preached, it means they mentally accept it and they totally embrace it with their will and emotion, or whole being. This shows the obvious rea- son why salvation oftentimes is such a radical change in the recipient's life. Because of this, the life of the sinner is abruptly elevated to a complete different set of values, and a totally new lifestyle - hence the term "born again" (In. 3:5).

To simply "believe" to any degree is insufficient (Mt. 7:21-27; In. 2:23- 25; Acts 8:18,19; Jms. 2:19). Paul emphasized justification by faith more than any other writer, yet he strongly insisted that saving faith is insepara- bly bound up with obedience. He taught that the mystery of God's re- demptive plan (the church) has been made known to all nations for the "obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26). The New International Version trans-

lates this last phrase as made known "

so that all nations might believe

and obey him". God's grace brings obedience to the faith (Rom. 1:5). Christ

worked through Paul to make the Gentiles obedient (Rom. 15:18). Simi- larly, Luke recorded that a great number of priests were "obedient to the

Notes

faith" (Acts 6:7). Faith and obedience are so closely linked that a lack of obedience to God is proof of a lack of faith. 3

"But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Rom. 10:16)

Necessity Of

The necessity of believing in order to receive salvation is repeatedly em- phasized throughout scripture. This whole-hearted acceptance of the mes- sage of truth is seen as the minimum acceptable position for receiving salva- tion. Compare In. 1:12, 3:16, 3:18 36 4:39,41,42, 5:46,47, 6:29,35, 7;38,39, 8:24, 10:37,42, 11:25,26,27,40,45,48, 12:11, 28,39,42,46, 13:19, 14:1,10-12; Acts 8:12,37, 10:43, 16:31; Rom. 1:16,17, 3:22,28,30, 4:5,24, 10:9-17, etc.). As in obvi- ous, the necessity for believing is set out in scripture in no uncertain terms.

Origin of

The ability to believe (or have faith) for salvation came from God. A measure of faith is given to every man (Rom. 12:3). This potential faith (i.e., faith which contains potential to be activated to salvation) is given to all, but does not effect salvation unless activated by the will to surrender to God.

We can increase our faith by hearing the Word of God and by genera- tion of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 10:17). We are responsible for letting God de- velop faith in us and for using the faith He has placed in our hearts. 4

Repentance

Definition of

The change in the heart of the sinner, by which he turns from sin to God, is termed repentance. It works in the total human - affecting his intel- lect, will, and emotions. It involves a change of direction, an about face. One's view changes -feelings change / goals change. The sinner is brought to an abrupt face to face with his sins (recognized sins). He admits his sin (confession). He has godly sorrow (conviction). He turns from sin (forsakes). He attempts to repair the damage he's caused others (restitution) (Lk. 15:17-21).

Intellectually, there is a change of perspective.

Sin is recognized. Guilt is the resulting sense. A sense of unworthiness, uncleanness, and helplessness grips the heart (Psa. 51; Rom. 3:20). How- ever, repentance is not a permanent self-loathing, but is based on the sin- ners understanding of his true, defiled condition (Job 42:5,6). The first re- action of a human touched by God is not joy. To teach such is to teach a

Notes

shallow religion. The first reaction is a recognition of sinfulness and the need of God, and is virtually always accompanied with a deep sense of sobriety. It is a thorough self-emptying and imploring of God's mercy and love to fill the repentant heart.

There is no true recognition of sin other than by God's working in the heart. True preaching to the sinner effects this resulting revelation of sinful condition. It enables the sinner to see himself objectively - as God sees him. Through repentance, the sinner takes God's part against himself and places his agreement on God's side against himself. We sense the injustice with which God has been treated, and recognize what our sins mean to God. The divine essence in man, as a result of being made in God's image, will not let its own essence and origin suffer wrong uncorrected. It is this deepest part of man which advocates God's claims and takes God's part against our own sins and multitudinous transgressions.

Emotionally there is a deep and thorough change of feeling. Rather than a sense of well-being and self-justification, the repentant heart feels deep sorrow for sin. It recognizes infractions against goodness, mercy, and jus- tice, and implores the Lord to remove this sinfulness and forgive trans- gressions (Lk. 18:23; II Cor. 7:9,10).

There is a difference between repentance (which produces sorrow for sin) and shame (as a result of sin and fear of the resultant judgment). The latter is selfish, while true repentance is unselfish.

True repentance does not consider consequences or others' opinions, but rather views sin as a transgression against God and a defilement of the person to the uttermost. It is a state in which personally the repentant per- son feels their guilt (Lk. 5:8).

True repentance never includes a sense of despair and hopelessness. Sorrow without hope may be remorsefulness, but it is not repentance. Re- pentance, when it is finished, drives out despair, and replaces it with a sense of having been forgiven and freed from sin's dominion. 5 In godly sorrow is always found the element of hope. If the element of hope is missing, then the sorrow does not stem from repentance.

How do we know this is true? Because repentance is a product of faith, and the nature of faith is belief in a positive future (i.e., hope).

It is true that conscience is present in every human accusing or excus- ing one's actions. However, it is the Holy Spirit which convinces of sin (Rom. 2:15). Why is the Holy Spirit needed? "Conscience is the witness of the Law, the Spirit is the witness to grace. Conscience brings legal convic- tion. The Spirit brings evangelical conviction. The one begets a conviction unto despair, the other a conviction unto hope. Conscience convinces of sin committed, of righteousness impossible, of judgment impending. The Comforter convinces of sin committed, of righteousness imputed, of

Notes

judgment accomplished - in Christ. God alone can reveal the divine view of sin, and enables man to understand it". 6

The will of man is also deeply affected by repentance. It effects an in- ward turning from sin to a will or disposition to seek pardon and clean- sing (Jer. 25:5; Psa. 51). The intellect and emotions are included in this turning, along with the will - as is exemplified in Acts 2:38. The idea of repentance, as applied to the will, is somewhat different from what it is as applied to the emotions or intellect. In reference to the will, repentance implies a turning from sin rather than a sorrow for sin. Repentance joins man to Christ in being repulsed by sin and the devastating results of it. This aspect of repentance is seen clearly in the Prodigal Son " I will arise and go to my Father" (Lk. 15:18).

In contrast to the idea of individual predestination, repentance pre- supposes free will in the human heart. Scripture, by its exhortation to men to repent, assures acceptance to all who will do so.

Repentance Not Salvation

Repentance is part of the process of regeneration, and as such is nec- essary to salvation; but, in and of itself, is not salvation ("repentance unto salvation" - II Cor. 7:10). Repentance is a negative, not a positive, element of conversion. The positive element is the infilling of the Spirit. Repen- tance is a subtraction of sin from the individual, but not a filling with the Spirit. Repentance alone does not constitute a filling, but rather an emp- tying - it is not renewal, but rather removal (of sin). It is a pre-requisite to the instant of regeneration.

Repentance is not a meritorious work whereby one earns or merits salvation. It is inextricably tied to faith (Mk. 1:15). It is a work of God in the human heart (Acts 5:31, 11:18; II Tim. 2:25) as well as a response on the sinner's part to the Spirit's prompting (Acts 2:38; Mt. 3:2, etc.). As such, it is an integral and essential part of the process of regeneration. Repentance produces sorrow for sin, not only because of its dreadful con- sequences, but because of the human heart's spiteful disposition in oppo- sition to the loving God.

Necessity Of Repentance

Just as faith is necessary for salvation, so is repentance. In fact, wher- ever true faith is found, repentance also is found. Repentance and faith cannot be separated. And any time there is faith, there is repentance.

Conversely, where there is true repentance, there is faith. However, faith

always precedes real repentance. "Repentance

follows the first moment

of faith, but it precedes the full expression of saving faith (the new birth experience). Perhaps it is best to describe repentance as the first 'faith re-

sponse' to the gospel, for repentance stands at the beginning of a life of faith and is itself the initial act of faith. " 7

Notes

Throughout the Old Testament, the idea of repentance is found. Blood sacrifices typify repentance wherein the dying animal represents Christ dying for the sinner, and the sinner dying out to sin (Rom. 6:6). It is death, not in the sense of being meritorious, but rather in the sense of being a necessary preparation to entering the presence of God (i.e., infill- ing of the Spirit).

In the Old Testament tabernacle, the priest first went to the brazen altar where death took place. He then proceeded to the laver for wash- ing. This is typical of water baptism and the washing by the Word. He was then anointed with holy anointing oil, which was typical of the in- filling of the Holy Spirit. He then could dwell in the presence of God in the Holy Place and sustain himself on the shewbread - this being a type of the spiritual life lived and sustained in the presence of God (Heb. 10:19-22). Thus the process of regeneration is typified in the priest's ap- proach to God in the Old Testament tabernacle. And, just as the sacrifice of the brazen altar of necessity preceded the washing and anointing with oil, so repentance of necessity precedes water baptism and Spirit bap- tism (Acts 2:38).

Repentance has always (since the fall of man) been a requirement for approaching God. The Old Testament prophets repeatedly called Israel to repentance. The New Testament opens with the message of John the

Baptist to "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt. 4:17).

Christ' emphasized, "

except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk.

13:3). The twelve apostles learned early the importance of repentance

and "

they went out, and preached that men should repent" (Mk. 6: 12).

Christ instructed that after His departure (ascension) "repentance should be preached in His name" (Lk. 24:47). This is precisely what the

apostles did preach on the birthday of the church.

 

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said

unto them

repent

" (Acts 2:14,38).

And finally, the ascended Christ exhorts the church to "repent or else I

will come unto thee quickly

" (Rev. 2:16). Obviously, repentance is a ne-

cessity in the process of regeneration.

Origin Of Repentance

 

The repenting sinner is accepted by God, thus making God the giver of forgiveness. Also, repentance itself is the gift of God (Acts 11: 18) to the acknowledging of the truth (II Tim. 2:25). It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4), and the contrition (sorrow), which accompanies salvation, is from God (II Cor. 7:10) and works in the human heart by the Holy Ghost (Jn. 16:8).

Water Baptism

 

Notes

Origin

Water baptism and its conjunction with salvation begins with the proc- lamation of John the Baptist.

 

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance

" (Mt. 3:11).

Christ Himself establishes water baptism as an essential part of the New Testament christian experience. He does this prior to the church's founding.

 

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Jn.3:5).

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved

" (Mk. 16:16).

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them

“ (Mt.

28:19).

In Lk. 24:47, Christ instructs that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name, beginning at Jerusalem. That the apostle clearly understood this to include water baptism as is seen in Acts 2:38.

 

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ

for the remission of sins

Acts 2:38).

The use of water in religious ritual and for a figure of baptism in the Old Testament is not unusual.

1. The flood of Noah is spoken of as baptism which was the means of salvation for Noah and his family. In a sense, the flood was a baptism of the earth itself, by which sin was washed from it.

2. The baptism of Moses through the Red Sea was a symbol of water bap- tism, by which they were delivered from their past bondage of sin, and by which Israel recognized its new found freedom and new identity as a nation (1. Cor. 10:1-5)

3. Water was also used in the religious washings for purification of the Hebrews. Anything impure was washed with water. Water was used for symbolic cleansing by being sprinkled on the individual (Num. 19:13). The central idea of Old Testament religious use of water was washing or cleansing. Something washed in water was considered cleansed. It was an act of purification.

Mode

The New Testament mode of baptism was to immerse the candidate in water. To baptize meant to dip - to dye by dipping (Rev. 19:13).

Notes

That baptism was by immersion is evident from numerous passages of scripture.

"Then went out to him {i.e., John the Baptist} Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jor- dan, confessing their sins" (Mt. 3:5,6).

"And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the

water

" (Mt. 3:16).

"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and

the eunuch said, see here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And

when they were come up out of the water

" (Acts 8:36,38,39).

In Romans 6:4, Paul makes baptism analogous to burial. To be buried, as in the ground (or in a cave) was to be totally surrounded by (or en- closed) by material from which the grave was made (dirt, rock, etc.). So water baptism means to be totally surrounded (or enclosed) by the water.

One of the arguments often used against water baptism by immersion is that the water baptism of John was likened to the Spirit baptism of Christ.

“I indeed baptize you with water

but he that cometh after me

he

shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire" (Mt. 3:11).

We know that Spirit baptism is accomplished by a "pouring out" (Joel 2:28) upon the candidate, thus excluding the idea of the candidate being "dipped" or immersed in the Spirit.

The answer to this is that to be baptized does not mean only that the candidate is to be "dipped" in the ingredient (Spirit, water, rock, dirt, etc.), but rather that he is completely surrounded by (or enclosed) by that in which he is being buried (or baptized). As anyone who has ever received the baptism of the Holy Spirit will quickly attest, they were indeed totally immersed in the Spirit. They also know that to have the Holy Spirit "poured out" upon them very certainly means to be completely saturated with it, or "sot" with it (Acts 2:1-4,13). Lastly, they know that baptism of the Spirit is certainly no mere sprinkling!

Another oft-used argument in favor of sprinkling (or affusion) as be- ing the proper mode of baptism is that in Heb. 9:10, the word "baptize" (KJV "washing") is used to include Old Testament rituals or sprinkling. To this we give a three-fold reply.

Notes

First, the idea of sprinkling for baptism is foreign to the New Testa-

ment. The Greek language has words used for "sprinkle" and "pour",

but these are never used of baptism.

Secondly, some Old Testament washings did indeed mean to be

wholly enclosed or completely washed in water - in no way (either in

fact or in type) violating the idea of baptism by immersion.

Thirdly, all Old Testament uses of water for washings and/or sprin-

kling for religious purification prefigured baptism to one degree or

another. The fact to be derived from the type was that it signified pu-

rification and in reality qualified the candidate for the communion of

God and His people. Whenever water or blood was used in sprinkling

in the Old Testament (for purification, etc.), it symbolized that the

thing sprinkled was totally immersed in the cleansing being typified.

An example of this is seen in Isa. 63:1-3.

"Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Boz-

rah

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like

him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the wine-press alone; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments and I will stain my raiment" (lsa. 63:1-3).

While some use this scripture (in conjunction with Rev. 19:13) to teach baptism by sprinkling, it in fact teaches saturation (i.e., the "garments" of verse 1 were completely dyed, saturated, surrounded by the liquid). Thus, with all sprinkling in the Old Testament, it symbolized the washing of complete immersion in the New Testament.

Formula

The formula for baptism is prescribed by Christ in Matt. 28:19, and used for the first time by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:38. Christ gave the command to baptize men "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". Starting with the. Apostle Peter on the Day of Pente- cost (to whom the keys were given for the initial entry into salvation in the church age), in every succeeding recorded instance, they baptized all converts in the name of Jesus - sometimes preceding the name "Jesus" with "Lord" or succeeding it with "Christ", but always in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38,8:16,10:48,19:5,22:16; I Cor. 1:13).

Numerous fanciful and/or untenable explanations have been seem- ingly given for this contradiction - Christ commanding to do one thing and every single recorded church leader seeming to do another.

Notes

To avoid error, some have simply stated that it is safer to follow Christ than the Apostles. This shallow reasoning is unsatisfactory - as all scrip- ture is inspired, and the disciple who penned Matt. 28: 19 stood in full agreement with Peter in Acts 2:14.

Others have stated that Matt. 28: 19 is truly a formula, while Acts 2:38 simply meant "by the authority of”. This is completely arbitrary, and is based upon an incomplete accounting of the utterances of Christ called the "Great Commission" as recorded in Mt. 28:19 (c.p. Lk 24:45-47).

It is evident, from a comparison of the accounts of the Great Commis- sion in the synoptic gospels, that no dichotomy exists between the use of the formula as recorded in Mt. 28: 19 as compared to the formula used by the Apostles in every 'other place (Acts 2:38, 10:48, 19:5, 22: 16, etc.).

Matthew records the Great Commission as:

 

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of

the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost

" (28:19).

Mark's record is:

"

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth

not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new

tongues

" (16:15-17).

Luke captures it with Christ speaking of Himself accordingly.

"Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusa- lem" (24:45-47).

In response to the command of Christ in Lk. 24:45-47, Luke (who was also the writer of the book of Acts) records that in fulfillment of the com- mand of Christ, Peter on the day of Pentecost (when queried concerning the way of salvation) responded with an exact fulfillment of the Lk. 24:45- 47 command.

"Repent, and be baptized everyone 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).

Why did the early church, without exception, baptize in the name of Jesus? The evidence points to the fact that the New Testament writers con- sidered that, while "Father", "Son", and "Holy Ghost" were necessary terms

Notes

for distinction of revelation of the one true God, they were not names. They unhesitatingly assert that the final, full, and complete revelatory name of God is Jesus. As we shall see, the writers joyfully pointed out Old Testament Jehovistic quotations as being directly fulfilled in the name of Jesus.

They not only asserted it - they reveled in it! They seemed to have a special awareness that when the name of Jesus was praised, one need fear leaving out the Father and/or the Holy Ghost, for to them the name of Jesus encompassed the complete revelation of the Godhead as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Thus they saw no contradiction whenever one said to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost", and another said that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His {i.e., Christ's} name". The New Testament is replete with evidence that, to them, the risen "Lord Jesus" was the "Jehovah-Elohim" of the Old Testament - revealed to man as the "Christ". Thus Peter concludes his Pentecost sermon.

"Therefore let all know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

From the resurrection and Great Commission forward, the disciples did not view Christ Jesus as a mere man, nor even as "only" the Messiah. They recognized Christ's humanity as being from thenceforth "deified". Hence, Peter readily applies Psa. 110: 1 to the risen Savior.

"For David

saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on

my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool" (Psa. 110:1).

It is easy to see from this that the Apostles understood the risen Christ as the enfleshment of the Godhead (Col. 2:9), and knew that they were complete in Him (Col. 2:10). Thus, they were satisfied to do all things, in- cluding baptism, in "His" name (Col. 3:17).

History of Baptism in The Single Name

We have already seen that baptism was administered in the name of Jesus in apostolic times. Church history quite thoroughly documents that

this remained the case for the next hundred years or so of the church ("The

trinitarian baptismal formula name of Christ"). 8

was displacing the older baptism in the

The shepherd of Hermas speaks of baptism "in the name of the Lord", and in the "name of the Son of God". 9 The Didache speaks of bap-

tism "into the name of the Lord" 10 . Justin spoke of baptizing"

.in the

name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit" 11 . Irenaeus stated that "we are made clean by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord" 12 . All four of the above were written in or around the second century A.D. 13

Notes

From the chart, we conclude that:

NAME

TIME

FAVORABLE

UNFAVOR-

UNCERTAIN

ABLE

Stephen, Bishop of Rome

3rd Century

*

   

Cyprian, No. Africa

3rd Century

 

*

 

Farmilian, Bishop Of Caesarea

A.D. 256

*

   

Abrose

A.D. 340-398

*

   

Council of Constantinople

A.D. 381

 

*

 

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

4th or 5th Century

 

*

 

Church in Constantinople In Letter To

A.D. 450 (approx.)

 

*

 

Justinian Code

A.D. 529

 

*

 

Council of Constantinople

A.D. 553

 

*

 

Martin Damium, Bishop of Braga

A.D. 550 (Approx.)

 

*

 

Bede of England

A.D. 673-735

*

   

Council of Frejus

A.D. 792

*

   

Pope Nicholas I

A.D. 858-867

*

   

Peter Lombard

A.D. 1160 (Died)

   

*

Hugo Vicotor

A.D. 1141 (Died)

   

*

Thomas Aquinas

A.D. 1225-1274

   

*

Martin Luther

A.D. 1525

 

*

 

Michael Servetus

A.D. 1540

*

   

Emmanuel Swedenburg

Reformation Era

*

   

Francis Cornurel & Many Generals

17th Century

*

   

Many Baptists

17th Century

*

   

Willaim Penn

Reformation Era

   

*

Some Quakers

Reformation Era

   

*

Some New England Congregationalists

19th Century

   

*

Many Plymouth Brethren

19th century

*

   

Many Pentecostals, Charismatics, Some Sabbatarians

20th Century

*

   
century *     Many Pentecostals, Charismatics, Some Sabbatarians 20th Century *    

Notes

The New Testament church baptized in the single name exclusively. Baptism in the single name has been practiced throughout history. In post-apostolic times (from time to time), it was not only widespread, but (in early times) dominant and (in earliest post-apostolic times) used exclusively.

Many later scholars regarded it as valid.

The ruling church hierarchy regarded it as valid. 14

In the Great Commission, as recorded by Matthew, it is noteworthy that Christ precedes it by saying, "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth". With the death, burial and resurrection, the humanity of Christ Jesus is victoriously "deified". While Christ is deity prior to the death, burial and resurrection, after the resurrection, even His humanity is highly exalted (i.e., He is the medium and expression by which all divine revelation of God and authority from this time forward is known).

"In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9).

He is now highly exalted and God gave "

him a name which is

above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow

" (Phil. 2:9-10).

"All authority is given unto me

go ye therefore!" Nothing can be

plainer than this. The Commission in Matthew emphasizes an aspect of the Gospel too often neglected, but about which Christ is very jealous. To fulfill the Great Commission in the manner Christ intended, we must "teach all nations" that "all authority has been given unto Him". The Apos- tles fulfilled both Matthew and Luke on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-

38).

This same basic message is found in virtually every Apostolic sermon recorded in the Book of Acts, and in the same order. First, the exalted posi- tion of the post-resurrection Christ. Secondly, the resultant benefits to hu- manity through the name of Jesus (Acts 3:13,16,19, 4:10-12, 5:31,32, 7:55,56,60, 10:42,43, 13:33,38, 17:3,7,30,31, 26:13,16,18).

John Paterson states: "Regardless of one's beliefs concerning the per- sonality of God, one must admit that the Father could give all authority in heaven and in earth to the Son, and that such a gift would automatically transform the name of the Lord Jesus Christ into a name representing and carrying all the authority of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is clear that Matthew, far from contradicting the other writers, records a great truth and an essential of the gospel message - one which was translated into action by the Apostles with decisive finality". 15

The Great Commission is recorded in Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:14-18; Lk.

Notes

24:45-51; In. 20: 19-23; and Acts 1:6-9. It is evident that this was repeatedly the subject during the 40 days of Christ's ministry between the resurrec- tion and the ascension. Mark and John record the first accounts made in Jerusalem on the eve of the resurrection, while they sat at meat. Matthew's account is a later recording, occurring on the Mount of Olives shortly be- fore the ascension.

The Apostles clearly understood, at this point, the identity of the Christ, the events about to transpire, and the way they would take place.

At the very beginning of His post-resurrection instruction (In. 20:22), Je- sus breathed on and illuminated the minds of the disciples by the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:2). He "opened their understanding that they might under- stand the scriptures" (Lk. 24:45). In Luke 24:48, the disciples were in- structed to be "witnesses of these things" (i.e., the things He had inter-

preted to them from the Word). Christ "expounded unto them

the

things concerning Himself - His death, burial, and resurrection, and how this was applied to their lives by repentance (Lk.24:47), water baptism (Mk. 16:16; Mt. 28:19), and the infilling of the Holy Ghost (Lk. 24:49; In.

20:22).

"How did the Apostles fulfill the expectation of Jesus? Compare the message of the Apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost and note the consis- tent interpretation of the Commission. God never intended baptism to be used to indicate adherence to some theological dogma with which it had no logical connection. If this were acknowledged, I believe that many brethren, who do not feel that they can abandon their conception of the Deity, would nevertheless practice baptism into the name of Jesus". 16

May we further point out, in agreement with Mr. Paterson, that to baptize in Jesus name does not necessarily mean, nor prove or disprove, that the Father and the Son are separate persons in the Godhead - or that the Holy Ghost is the Son. It does emphatically assert that the name of Jesus is the name above every name (Phil. 2:9), and is without question the exalted, highest revelatory name of God - which is the precise reason that it was sent from Heaven to Mary to be applied to the Christ-child (Lk. 1:31), who was the embodiment of the highest revelation by God to man. To baptize in Jesus name does not automatically infer that the Father is the Son, but rather that the Father is in the Son, reconciling the world.

The use of God's name, for whatever reason, is a serious, important matter. Scripture soberly intones the message that God's name should not be taken vainly.

It is this name "Jehovah" that we are commanded to "fear" (Deut. 28:58). This name is to be exalted (lsa. 12:2,4). This is the name used in Jer. 23, where "lying prophets" are threatened by God for making them forget God's name. This is the name by which God made His covenant with Is- rael in Ex. 6:3. And, as J. Paterson goes on to declare: "centuries later, when God wished to reveal Himself not merely to one race, but to a perishing world (when he wished to proclaim through the medium of one supreme

Notes

name both the exalted personal position of the Mediator of the new and better covenant and his condescension to man), He did it by the use of this same glorious name - 'Jesus' or ' Jehovah the Saviour'" . 17

Concerning the name "Jehovah", C.I. Scofield states: " The primary meaning of the name LORD {Jehovah} is 'the self-existent One'''. Literally, He that is who He is, therefore the eternal "I AM". "Havah", from which "Jehovah" or Yahweh" is formed, signifies also "to become" - that is to be- come known, thus pointing to a continuous and increasing self-revelation. Combining these meanings of "Havah", we arrive at the meaning of the name Jehovah. He is "the self-existent one who reveals Himself'. The name is, in itself, an advance upon the name "God" (EI, Elah, Elohim), which suggests certain attributes of Deity, as strength, etc., rather than His essen- tial being.

Jehovah is distinctly the redemption name of Deity. When sin entered and redemption became necessary, it was Jehovah Elohim who (Gen. 3:9- 13) clothed them with "coats of skins" (Gen. 3:21) - a beautiful type of righteousness provided by the LORD God through sacrifice (Romans 3:21,22). The first distinct revelation of Himself by his name Jehovah was in connection with redemption of the covenant people out of Egypt. The name of Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jehoshua" meaning "Jehovah is salvation". Twelve times God is referred to as Savior in such Old Testament scriptures as Isaiah 43:3,11: "For I am the LORD {YHVH}

thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour

I, even I, am the LORD

{YHVH}; and beside me there is no saviour" (YHVH is the Hebrew equiva- lent of "Jehovah" without the vowels). 18 Obviously, salvation for mankind

came at Calvary. The Apostle Paul speaks of this redemption being accom- plished by "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13-14).

We again here lay stress upon the fact that the above is not here dis- cussed for the purposes of attempting to explain anything concerning the person of or distinctions of Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. That is another subject. While the same scriptures may be used to discuss the nature of the Godhead, we are here only interested in pointing out that, regardless of the idea of relationship of the Father to the Son, the fact is emphatically clear in scripture that the entirety of the Godhead is encapsulated in one name and one name only, and that one name is Jesus.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts

4:12).

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of JES US every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).

Notes

Note that the Father is glorified by exaltation of the Name of Jesus - not "another" name.

this

David Gray, goes on to state: "Some have tried to lessen the impact of truth by translating Jesus to mean merely 'salvation'. But the fact is

irrefutable - attested to by such reliable Greek and Hebrew scholars as Strong, Thayer, Vine, and Peloubet, who assert that the name Jesus incor- porates in it the very name YHVH with the suffix 'sins' (Greek) or 'shua' (Hebrew) added. It is this suffix which means salvation". 19 "Jesus" in Greek is the equivalent of "Jehoshua" or "Jehovah-shua", or "JHVH- shua" in Hebrew". Of this Paterson states: "I have known them (Le., preachers) to say 'Jesus means Saviour - not Jehovah the Saviour'. When they say this they are either utterly ignorant or utterly dishonest, for in-

disputable evidence is found in Numbers 13:16 where Moses changed the name of Oshea the son of Nun. His name, another form of Hosea, meant 'Saviour' - and such He was to Israel's national life. Moses, being a prophet, recognized him as a type of the greater Saviour and added the Covenant name JAJi - hence J ahoshea or Joshua.

Then, because the name Joshua or Jesus was bestowed on Jewish chil- dren by fond parents, some preachers pretend to believe that the name of our Lord Jesus is 'only a common name'! Full well they knew that there is only one Jesus whose name was announced from Heaven, and who was declared by the Angel to be 'Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord' (Mt. 1:21; Lk. 2:11). We do not 'preach another Jesus' (II Cor. 11:4)". Matthew Henry, in his Commentary on the Bible, states: "Jesus is the same name with Joshua, the termination only being changed, for the sake of conforming it the Greek. Joshua is called Jesus (Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8). There were two of that name under the Old Testament who were both illustrious types of Christ. Christ is our Joshua - both the Captain of our salvation and the High Priest of our profession, and in both our Saviour".

"The name Jesus became the highest and greatest name of God, might- ier even than YHVH. 'Far above all principality, and power, and might,

and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but

also in that which is to corne

' (Eph. 1:21)". 20

Just as 'Shema' (the truth of one God) is at the very heart of the Old Testament, so the 'shem ha Meforash' (the ineffable name) is at the very heart of the 'Shema'. " 21

God first revealed "the ineffable name" to Moses, in response to his query as to God's Name.

"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God {Jehovah-ElohimJ of your fa-

Notes

 

thers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever and this is my memo- rial unto all generations" (Ex. 3:14-15).

Everyman's Talmud, by Dr. Abraham Cohen, goes on to explain: "To the Oriental, a name is not merely a label as with us. It was thought of as indicating the nature of the person or object by whom it was borne. For that reason special reverence was attached to 'the distinctive name' of the Deity which He had revealed to the people of Israel, viz. The tetragram- mation, JHVH {or 'Jehovah,}". 22 It is an oft documented fact that the Jew- ish people were so fearful of taking God's name in vain that they refused to utter the holy name of God, and substituted "Adonai" wherever "Jehovah" appeared in scripture.

The Name of God Resident in Christ

Before proceeding, we again emphasize that this section is an attempt to illuminate the truth that the entirety of the Godhead is encapsulated in the name - this personal name embodies the marvelous fact of the pro- gressive revelation of God and His plan of redemption. The name of God was in Christ, and scripture is very clear concerning this fact.

Zechariah prophesied of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem thus:

"Behold the King cometh" (Zech. 9:9). Luke records three very important things concerning this (Lk. 19:37-40). First, upon Christ's entry, "the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud

voice

Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the Name of the Lord:

peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." Note that "the King cometh in the Name of Jehovah" was a settled issue in Heaven. Secondly, the Phari- sees considered the application of this scripture to Jesus as improper and said: "Master, rebuke thy disciples". Thirdly, note the remarkable answer of Christ: "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones

would immediately cry out", To quote John Paterson, here we have "an endorsement unparalleled in Sacred Writ!" Paterson, continues: "The same

prophet, referring to Christ's second coming, said: 'his feet shall stand in that

day upon the Mount of Olives, and Jehovah my God shall come

and all the

saints with thee

And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day

shall there by one LORD, and His name one (Zech. 14:4,5,9)."

In Jn. 5:43, Christ Himself declared: "I am come in my Father's

Name

" He also laid claim to the same name "Jehovah" which was

given to Moses in Ex. 3:14,15 (See In. 8:58). Rev. 14:1 speaks of saints who have the Lamb's (Father's) Name written in their forehead. Rev. 22:4 de-

clares the Lamb's name shall be in their foreheads. Christ stated, "I have

manifested thy name" (In. 17:6). He further states, concerning the Father's Name: "Father holy, keep them in the name of thee which thou has given to me, that they may be one as we. When I was with them, I kept them in

the name of thee which thou ,has given me

" (In. 17:11,12, Nestle's Gk.

Eng. N.T.). The Revised Version reads: "Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me". Matt. 1:21 and Lk. 1:31 record when

Notes

Christ was given the Father's Name to bear. May those who oppose the Name of Jesus in baptism, or any other way, beware of the promise of protection to the last-day church to "keep from the hour of temptation those who have not denied His Name". Denying His Name is no small matter!

Psalm 44:20-22 prophesies as follows: "For thy sake are we killed all day long." Just prior to this David declares: "If we have forgotten the Name of our God, shall not God search this out?" For whose sake were they "killed"? Paul makes application of these very verses to the Apostles (Rom. 8:36) which were persecuted and killed for the name of Jesus (c.p. Mt. 10:22; Acts 4:7, 5:28, 9:21, 15:26; I Pet. 4:14).

 

"That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the hea- then, which are called by my name, saith Jehovah that doeth this" (Amos 9:12).

Peter uses this scripture in reference to what occurred to Cornelius and his household in Acts 10. He does this in Acts 15:14, "Simeon hath de- clared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name". James elaborates further in 15:17, "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord (Jehovah)." The Apostles directly and un- hesitatingly applied these scriptures to those over whom the name of Jesus had been called (c.p. Acts 10:48).

Concerning the name of the Holy Ghost, suffice it to quote Christ: "But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my

name

" (In. 14:26).

All was well summed up years ago by Dr. John Munroe Gibson, M.A., D.D., Principal of the Presbyterian Theological College, Mc Gill Univer- sity, and subsequently Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in England, Concerning the text, "At that day, ye shall know that I am in My

Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (In. 14:20), Dr. Gibson says, "I am in my Father - there is the doctrine of the Father. 'Ye in Me' - there is the doctrine of the Son. 'I in You' - there is the doctrine of the Spirit. That there is a great region of mystery is evident, but we do not need to ex- plore it, for if we think of the Father, there is Christ -' I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.' If we think of the Holy Spirit, the practical thought is Christ in us - 'I in you' as He puts it here. It comes to this, that practi- cally Christ is all in all. 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' It is 'I am' all the way through. The Divine Name is all in Christ."

Biblical Accounts of Baptism in the Name of Jesus:

Thus, it can be easily seen why the Apostles, and every verifiable ac- count of baptism in the church for the first 100 years of the New Testa-

Notes

ment Church, was dome in the name of Jesus. While there is not one sin- gle account of any other formula used for baptism, there are at least ten New Testament reference which indicate that baptism was done in the name of Jesus:

1. On the birthday of the church at Jerusalem, Peter commanded the Jews to be baptized "everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38).

2. Philip preached to the Samaritans "concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:16).

3. Peter preached to the Gentiles. namely Cornelius and his household, and "he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah" (Acts 10:48, Amp.N.T,)

4. Acts 9: 1-19 records the conversion of the Apostle Paul. V. 18 records that he was baptized. In recounting the story in Acts 22, Paul records that

Ananias came to him and instructed him, among other things, to "

arise,

and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. calling on the name of the Lord." The Nestle's Greek-English New Testament translates the literal English thus: "Rising up by baptized and wash away the sins of thee, invoking the name of him." A study of the Old Testament reveals that calling the name, or invoking one's name on something indicated ownership. By being bap- tized in Jesus Name, the New Testament Christians knew this meant they were His property, Le., the property of God, for, "ye are complete in Him" (Col. 2:10).

5. Paul instructs the Ephesian disciples of John the Baptist, baptizing them "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5 Amp.).

6. The Roman believers were "baptized into Jesus Christ", they were "baptized into His death", and they were "buried with Him by baptism." To again quote John Paterson: "In all this elaborate explanation of the meaning of water baptism, where is there the slightest suggestion that baptism was intended to be a public avowal of the doctrine of the Trinity? The Father did not die -was not buried - was not raised from the dead? No one can read this passage noted Bible expositor, who writes, "I rather think inas- much as baptism is into the death of Christ, that the formula 'in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ' is the correct one."

7. To the Corinthians, Paul writes: "What I mean is this, that each one of you says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ. Is Christ, the Messiah, divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?" (I Cor. 1:12, Amp.). Paul clearly indicates that whoever was crucified for them was also the one who's name they were baptized in. His whole argument for allegiance to Christ hinges on the fact that it was Christ who was crucified for them, and that it was Christ's name that they were baptized in.

8. A close comparison of Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38; and I Cor 6 reveals another in- teresting Pauline statement which undoubtedly is an allusion to bap- tism in Jesus Name. "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:11).

9. The believers in Galatia were also baptized in Jesus Name. "For as many

Notes

 

of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27).

10.

The Colossian believers were "co-buried with him in the baptism, in whom also ye were co-raised through the faith of {in} the operation of

God

" (Col. 2: 12, Nestle Gk./Eng. Text New Testament). A close

comparison of this text with Rom. 6:3,4, reveals that baptism was in the name of, and for the purpose of, "burying" the candidate with whoever had died for them (i.e., Christ). Apostolic precept is good ground upon which to stand.

Additional Reasons Apostles Baptized In Jesus Name:

1. The church is portrayed as the bride of Christ (II Cor. 11:2). The bride takes the name of her husband, and thus also takes the name of her husband's Father. She takes upon her his name, and he inherits his fa- ther's name (Heb. 1:4).

2. Jesus is our everlasting Father (lsa. 9:6), and we are His Children (Heb. 2:13; I Cor. 15:49). We are not bastards, but as His sons and daughters, bear His name!

3. The children of Israel, under the Old Covenant, were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (I Cor. 10:1,2). The church under the New Covenant is baptized unto Christ - of whom Moses was a type.

4. Baptism encompasses both word and deed.

 

"Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Je- sus (Col. 3:17).

Perhaps a quote from Martin Luther holds words of wisdom for all:

"This I have often said, and now say it again, that when I am dead it may be thought of, and men may learn to avoid all teachers as sent and driven by the devil who set up to talk and preach about a God simple and sun- dered from Jesus Christ. If thou wouldst go straight to God and surely apprehend Him, so as to find in Him mercy and strength, never let thy- self be persuaded to seek Him elsewhere than in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him begin thy art and study, in Him let it abide firm, and wherever else thine own reason and thinking or any other man's would lead thee, shut thine eyes and say: 'I must or, I will not know any other God than in my Lord Jesus Christ'."

The Efficacy Of Water Baptism

Scriptural Statement

Christian water baptism, as an integral part of initiation into the king- dom of God, is clearly taught in scripture. It is consistently exemplified as being necessary, and is commanded. Christ with double emphasis (i.e., "Verily, verily") states:

Notes

"Except a man be born of water and of the. Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:5).

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved

" (Mk. 16:16).

And, in the Great Commission (Mt. 28: 19), Christ includes baptism

as a part of the message of salvation. Peter, in apparent fulfillment of the Great Commission of Lk. 24:47, introduces baptism on the birthday of the church as (succeeding repentance) instrumental in the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). It is interesting that the same word "for" used in Acts

2:38 of baptism (i.e., "

be baptized

for the remission of sins") is also

used in Mt. 26:28 of the blood of Christ (i.e., "

for the remission of

sins"). Thus also, there is undoubtedly here a typical significance to the "blood and water" which flowed from his side while on the cross (Jn.

19:34)

Numerous other scriptures indicate the sense of necessity with which the Apostolic church viewed water baptism. Speaking of baptism, Peter

speaks of it as part of what "

doth also now save us

"I Pet. 3:20,21.

"And he commanded them to be baptized" (Acts 10:48)

We see that scriptural terminology is bold in its declaration of bap- tism's place in conjunction with salvation.

"And now, why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

They considered it important enough that converts were re-baptized, even though previously baptized by John (Acts 19:1-5). Paul teaches that

the effects of Christ's burial are individually appropriated through water

baptism, whereby "

we are buried with him in baptism" (Rom. 6:4). He

states that it is the place where we are "planted together in the likeness of

His death

" (Rom. 6:5). It is through baptism that we are "baptized into

his death" (Rom. 6:3). Paul teaches that this death is the obvious and neces-

sary precedent to resurrection to new life (Rom. 6:8). It seems quite clear that Paul also apparently refers to water baptism when he refers initial sal- vation to the mercy of God, and then explains that the mercy of God was

applied by the "

washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy

Ghost" (Titus 3:5). While it is true that water baptism alone does not regen-

erate, it is equally true that water baptism was consistently a part of the initiation process of salvation in the New Testament.

Post-Apostolic Church History:

While this volume is primarily intended as a biblical theology, we will briefly review the doctrine of the post-apostolic church on the subject of the

Notes

efficacy of water baptism.

Throughout church history, many controversies have swirled around the question of baptism concerning the mode, the formula, the validity of the baptizer, pre-baptism requirements, re-baptism, etc. Among these questions is the question of the efficacy of baptism, and consequently the necessity of baptism for salvation. Did the early church teach baptism as necessary to salvation?

From New Testament times until 1500 A.D., the answer is an unequivo- cal "yes". That the New 'Testament church considered it so is evident from scriptural statement. Numerous post-apostolic documents testify that this remained the doctrine of the church for probably at least 200 years. Below are several statements from writings of that time.

The Pastor of Hermas (Approximately 97-100 A.D.)

Hermas states that life is given through the water of baptism, and this

is so necessary that it must, in some way, be applied even to Old Testa- ment believers (Vis. 3.3.5. Sim. 9.16. 2,3,5). Through baptism, all the sins

which a man has committed are forgiven. "

there is no other repentance

than this, that we go down into the water and receive the forgiveness of our past sins" (Mand. 4.3.1; df. 4.1.8). We know that there is "repentance other than going down into the water. However, this passage shows how strongly obedience to water baptism was viewed.

Barnabas (96-98 A.D.)

Barnabas teaches that the believer inters upon the possession of the blessings of redemption through baptism. "In order that we may go down into the water bewailing our sins and uncleanness, and come up from it having fruit in our hearts, having reverence and hope in Jesus in our

Spirit" (11.1). Through baptism, therefore, we become free from sin. Our heart is a dwelling of God (8.15). He continues: "Before we believed in

God, the abode of our hearts was perishable and weak

so that it was full

of idolatry and the home of devil because we did the things which were

against God. But it is to be builded up in the name of the Lord

How?

Learn - receiving the remission of sins, we are become new creatures, created again from the beginning" (16.7-9). He goes on to state: "He, who has thus received with faith in Christ through baptism the forgiveness of sins and the renewing indwelling of God, will also need to fulfill the 'new law of our Lord Jesus Christ'" (2.6).

Didache (200-210 A.D.)

The Didache mentions that salvation is applied to the individual by means of (among other things) baptism.

Notes

The Homily of Clement (Approximately 140 A.D.)

The Homily of Clement teaches that the Christian's baptism has pub- licly cleansed him from his sins (6.9; 8.6, it is called a "seal").

While the above listed are by no means exhaustive, it does give us knowl- edge of how baptism was perceived to be an essential part of salvation. This was not new, but was simply a following on in the path of the scrip- ture. Others taught similarly. Justin taught (about 150 A.D.) that baptism brings the pardon of sins and transplants the individual into a new exis- tence, and without it, there is no salvation (Just. Ap.i, 61). According to Clement (215, A.D.), it is baptism which makes one a member of the church and a partaker of salvation. It brings the cleansing from sin, and thus the capability of apprehending the salvation which the teaching of the church offers. Thus, one becomes His in faith (initially) through bap-

tism (Paen. i. 6. 113: "Having been baptized fore, we have washed away all our sins").

we are made sons. There-

The Soteriology of Tertullian also includes baptism. "Repentance is a means of salvation, as a floating board for the shipwrecked (Paen. 3). In turn, the sinner, by repentance, qualifies himself for salvation in baptism (Paen.6 "offers impunity to be purchased by this compensation of repen- tance"). Hereby, baptism gains a fixed position in the order of salvation. By baptism, guilt and punishment are removed. "Death having been de- stroyed through the washing away of sins, and guilt thus removed, punish- ment is also removed. Man is restored to the likeness of God, as he receives again the breathing of the Spirit which was experienced in paradise, but since lost" (bapt. 5). Baptism brings "remission of sins, abolition of death, regenera- tion of the man, the obtaining of the Holy Spirit" (c. Marc. i. 28). Tertullian's basic teaching concerning salvation was that it was imparted by the preaching of the gospel, apprehended by faith, and applied to the individual by bap- tism."

Origen (254 A.D.) in his pattern of teaching, concerning many biblical practices and events, considered baptism as being both symbolic and effica- cious simultaneously. He, who has in faith accepted the teaching of christian- ity, is baptized. Baptism is not a "symbol" in the modern sense, but as Christ's miracles of healing were symbols of the healing activity of the Logos. Yet, as these miracles nevertheless brought real healing to the individual in whose behalf they were performed, so baptism is for the recipient nothing less than the beginning and fountain of the divine blessings. It is a symbol of the puri- fying power of the Logos, but for the individual, it is actual purification. Through its administration, sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit bestowed (Luc. hom. xxi.; in Matt. Iv. 23; ad mart. 30 init.). It is the first remission of sins (Lev. ii. 4).

According to Methodius (311 A.D.), Christ is born in those who are re- ceived by baptism into the church. Baptism introduces into the fellowship of the Spirit and bestows immortality (conv. iii.8).

Notes

The theologians of the Western church taught basically the same concern- ing baptism (i.e., Christ's blood nullifies death). Thus Christ grants cleansing from sin (baptism), forgiveness of sins (repentance), the new law and immortal- ity. This salvation is imparted to man in baptism. In baptism, man experiences the second birth (cypr. ad Donat. 4; orat. dom. 23). The recipient receives the Holy Ghost (c.p. 63. 8; 73.9), becomes free from the devil (ep. 69.15) and from death and hell (ep. 55.22; op. et al. 2). The second birth secures for man's health (Cypr. hab. virg. 2), and sins are forgiven (Comm. instr ii. 5.8: "in baptism geni- talia are forgiven thee" cypr. op. et al/ 1).

The church in the 4th century taught baptism as being the effectual laying of the foundation of the christian life. It brings to the individual regeneration and renewal, and makes him a member of the church (Basil, serm. 13.4,7). Ac- cording to Chrysostom (407 A.D. - Chrgs. in Rom. hom. 2.6), it effects the blot- ting out of sins, which are "washed away as with a flood", and it bestows im- mortality. "Baptism, release to the imprisoned, the pardon of debts, the death of sin, the new birth of the soul, a chariot to heaven, an ambassador of the king- dom, the charism of sonship" (Basil. epl 189.5. serm. 13.5, Cyril, procrat. 16 init. Greg. Nyrs. cat. 33,35).

Augustine spent time explaining the symbolic aspect of baptism. He also clearly taught the sacrament of baptism included an actual exertion of divine energy. God really forgives sin in baptism. Imprinting a character upon the re- cipient. Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, primarily the forgiveness of the guilt of original concupiscence - in this consists its chief efficacy." 25 Augustine

frequently speaks of a blotting out of sins (e.g., by baptism

sins are destroyed

in Ps. 106:3). He teaches that the aim of baptism is the "remission of sins", and

that baptism has essentially to do with deliverance from original sin - as indi- vidual sins may also be atoned for through repentance. 26

There were no basic changes in the historical place of baptism in church history from Augustine to the time of Anselm of Canterbury (1109 A. D. ) and Peter Abelard (A. D. 1142). At this time, the doctrine was not changed, but rather re-established as basically the same. Baptism accom- plishes man's renewal by a putting off of vices and a contribution of vices. Original sin is remitted; because, through the grace of baptism, the vice of concupiscence is debilitated and guilt is abolished in baptism (Lombard iv. 31, ii. 32B). 27

The thirteenth century saw the question of how the grace of God, which originated from God, could be effected through created objects (i.e., water of baptism, bread, and wine, etc.). Hugo taught that the "sign con- tained the grace" (supra. o. 80). Thomas sought to answer the question by teaching that the principal, from which the instrument of grace came, is what made it ordained by God.

Against this view, stood the view of Bonaventure and others who taught that we dare not say that the sacraments (including baptism) con-

Notes

tain grace. This dwells only in the human soul, the sacrament being only a symbol. Nevertheless, by obedience to the sacrament, which is a covenant from the Lord, the Lord has obligated himself to (in some way) give grace to him who receives the sacrament" (bon. sent. iv. d. l, p. 1, a. 9. 2,3,4; brev. 6.1). This view, through its advocacy by Duns Scotus, became the domi- nant one in the later middle ages.

In most all of the above quoted examples of the historical teaching on the efficacy of baptism up to this time, it can be noted that, even though theo- logians correctly interpreted baptism as being a part of God's plan of salvation, they also veered from biblical theology on the subject in other ways. Biblical theology taught that the role of repentance and water baptism was one of , cleansing and remitting, attending, and usually preceding, the reception of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 8:16-20). Within one hundred years or so after the Apos- tolic Age, as the church moved away from the dynamic Pentecostal experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, it came to have "profession" instead of "possession". This, in turn, was reflected in the teaching that the instant of re- generation (i.e., the infilling of the Holy Ghost) was automatically effected in water baptism, rather than being a separate spiritual experience. In contrast, the New Testament church never confused the spiritual work of repentance and water baptism with the spiritual work of the infilling of the Spirit. While this fact was confused in church history, and is still a matter of considerable confu- sion in christianity today, this was not so in the New Testament. Christ includes water and Spirit in the new birth (Jn. 3:5). In the Great Commission in Lk. 24:44- 49, a clear differentiation is made between repentance, remission of sins, and the infilling of the Spirit. This is also true of the conversion at Samaria as Philip preached to them (Acts 8). While they were baptized in the name of Jesus by Philip, they did not (as many later theologians taught) automatically receive the Spirit thereby. This happened later (Acts 19:1-6). In Acts 10, the spirit was re- ceived prior to water baptism, thus again showing that water baptism, in and of itself, does not automatically presuppose the accompanying birth of the Spirit.

It is important to keep in mind that regeneration is both instantaneous and a process.

The process includes hearing the word, believing (faith), repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, sanctification, etc. The instant of re- generation (i.e., spiritual new life) is the moment of receiving the infill- ing of the Spirit (Jn. 7:37,38; Acts 2:1-4,38, 10:44-46, etc. ).

Eventually, as is always the case with deteriorating spirituality in the history of the church, more emphasis was put on form and rites, and less on the transformed life - until baptism was considered efficacious in and of itself, whether or not it was preceded by faith, repentance, etc. It was considered efficacious regardless of the condition of the candidate. By the thirteenth century, one was considered saved by baptism without regard to any subjective turning toward God. This kind of thinking made ripe ground for abuses of power by threatening to withhold baptism. This, in turn, set the scene for the coming of the reformation, which be- gan a return to more scriptural ideas of regeneration.

Notes

It was this idea of salvation by baptism that provoked the reformers to decry baptism as a "cure-all". They rightly insisted that faith, on the part of the candidate, played an inextricable role in effecting salvation. While baptism does hold a definite, undeniable place in scripture in the process of regeneration, it (in and of itself) is not the instant of regenera- tion. In the Old Testament, while circumcision was an absolute require- ment to be a part of the nation, it nevertheless was not counted as the "instant" in which one was accepted. It was absolutely essential, but not the first thing which was essential. The first thing required was faith. So it is with baptism. It is scripturally absolutely essential in the process of regeneration. It is not the instant of regeneration, for the instant of re- generation is when one is supernaturally, miraculously "born" or "filled" with the Spirit (Acts 2:38, 10:44).

One may ask how salvation can be both a "process" and "instantaneous". As previously pointed out, when one speaks of the "instant" of regeneration (i.e., "born of the Spirit" Jn. 3:5; Acts 2:1-4), all other factors in regeneration are con- sidered to be precedents to the instant. On the other hand, when one speaks of the "process" of' regeneration, all the elements preceding and succeeding the instant are considered a part of regeneration.

Depending on the context, scripture uses both approaches. At times, be- cause the precedents to the instant of regeneration are essential, they are spo- ken of as such, and in this sense have efficacy (Acts 2:38, 22:16; Mk. 16:16, etc. ). In scripture, none of the elements in the process of salvation are considered "meritorious work". Christ's gift of salvation demands a response. This re- sponse becomes the catalyst for the instant of regeneration (Jn. 7:35-37), but in no way "earns" salvation.

So we see that all the elements in the process of salvation, in a very real sense, are efficacious. However, this seems (in a unique sense) true of baptism in removing the adamic curse.

Removal Of Adamic Curse

Theologians throughout history have recognized (in baptism) the remission of the in-born general guilt on the race stemming from Adam. There is merit to the idea that the primary function of baptism is to remove the candidate from being under the federal headship of Adam, and being placed under the new federal headship of the Second Adam - Jesus Christ. The old Adamic head- ship is "buried" in baptism, and the candidate arises a member of a new family - hence, Christ's referral to baptism as part of the new birth (Jn.

3:5).

In the Old Testament, when one's name was called over something, it indicated ownership. At baptism, man enters and lives under a new king and a new Father - and, as a son, receives the inheritance of his new Fa-

Notes

ther (i.e., life) in the stead of his old inheritance which is a curse (i.e., judgment and condemnation).

Why are both repentance and water baptism necessary for the remis- sion of sin? Because the curse of sin stems from a dual source. First, from birth, the sinner carries the curse of sin which is come upon the - whole race from Adam (Rom. 5:17,18,21; Psa. 51:5). Secondly, he carries the curse of sin because of his committed sins (i.e., actions), which transgress the Law (Rom. 2:8,12; Gal. 3:10). So, when one repents, he repents of sins committed - thus (by faith) moving out from under them into the safety of Christ's imputed righteousness (Rom. 2:16, 3:22). When one is bap- tized, he is removed from the curse of his inherited Adamic family, and born (of the water) into a new family with a new name - Jesus.

However, it is not completely correct to say that repentance is only for sins committed (e.g., how can one need to repent for something they didn't do?), and that water baptism is only to remove the Adamic curse. For, repentance is more than godly sorrow for committed sin. It is, as we have previously observed, seeing things from God's perspective. It is feeling about ourselves (individually and collectively) what God feels (i.e., taking God's part against ourselves and against the race). In re- pentance, besides having sorrow for (and turning from) our committed sins, we also feel the same way about man's failures and sins as God feels. We, in effect, confess the righteousness of God in judging the race.

Water baptism, while it does remove the Adamic federal headship over the individual, it also (when done as an act of faith) must, of neces- sity, be involved in the removal of the result of the Adamic curse (i.e., committed sins, acts 22:16). "Rising up, be baptized and wash away the sins of thee, invoking the name of Him" (Nestle's Gr. Eng. New Testa- ment). Therefore, scripture portrays repentance and baptism as being inex- tricably bound together in the process of remitting sins (Mk. 16:16; Lk. 24:47; Acts 2:38). One repents for sins committed, but is baptized for re- moval of sin-curse inherited.

Sanctification (Holiness)

By sanctification, we mean all consequent holiness and Christ-likeness in the individual subsequent to the initial process of regeneration. From divine perspective, sanctification is accomplished by the work of God in separating the individual from their sins and the curse of their sins. The individual is made "righteous" and considered holy (or sanctified). This is God's holiness imparted.

Imparted Holiness

By imparted holiness, we mean that the converted individual is holy by virtue of God's imputation of His own holiness upon the individual.

Notes

The individual has no personal holiness (Psa. 14:3), but receives God's ho- liness when He receives the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:11).

Essentially, there is no other holiness than God's. However, after the Holy Ghost indwells the believer, God considers His imputed holiness to be the believer's, and exhorts the believer to "be ye holy for I am holy" (I Pet. 1:15,16, 2:9; Rom. 12:1; II Tim. 1:9; II Pet. 3:1I, etc.). The believer ex- periences God's holiness, and the outworking of this in the believer's life is what the Bible gives the believer credit for as being personal (or ethical) holiness. Holiness, spoken of in this manner, means to live in such a way as to see the outgrowth of God's holiness manifest itself within us - so as to not desecrate the dwelling place of God (i.e., our lives). This is what we term "ethical" holiness.

Ethical Holiness

“Ethical" means "pertaining to, or treating of ethics and morality" and, "conforming to right principles of conduct as generally accepted by a spe- cific profession - a given system of ethics". Thus, ethical holiness refers to conforming to right principles of morality and conduct accepted by God as consistent with His kingdom and holiness. It is keeping ourselves in align- ment with that which is true, pure, and right. It is deciphering the abso- lutes of God's kingdom, will, and universe - and then acting accordingly.

Does God have a "given system of right principles of conduct"? The answer is yes, He does. What then is the source from which this system of ethical holiness stems? The answer is God's nature. Because God is the abso- lute, He is not only absolute, but absolutely perfect - therefore, all things concerning His "system of ethics" is in perfect conformity to God. To be holy is to be like God, to be correct, to be proper. As God is life, and promises life to those who separate themselves from the "pseudo self-life" and surrender to He who is the essence of all life, the way of holiness is the "good way", (i.e., the way of life), and leads to contentment and oneness with God. Ethical holiness in the life of the believer arises out of a dual condition of the believer's life. One is surrender, the other separation. In effect the believer's holiness is real only as they live "Christ's life",

"I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).

As scriptural record reveals, that which is holy is always "set apart" from all uses other than God's service and will. Whether the holy object is animate or inanimate, if it was used for holy purposes, it was set apart for the sole purposes of God's service.

The Old Testament tabernacle plan typified the requirements of holiness for those who would have on-going communion with God. Everything con-

Notes

nected with the tabernacle worship was set apart and used exclusively for the service of the tabernacle (i.e., it was "holy", "sanctified", "separated", "called out", "consecrated" - Ex. 40:9-15).

In a sense, this "set-apart-ness" does not belong solely under ethical holiness - it's applied to inanimate (i.e., incapable of ethics) objects, as well as to the ministers of the tabernacle. Even the dishes were set apart, or kept separate from all other uses (Ex. 40:10). Also the priests were conse- crated and set apart. They were to dedicate their lives exclusively to the service of God's work (I Pet. 2:9). The ministers of the tabernacle, (and the Levites) were given no inheritance in the promised land - they were to be "holy" (i.e., separated, consecrated to the business of God's service - Deut.18:1-2; Joshua 13:14). The ministers of the tabernacle were to live of the service of the sanctuary (i.e., the tithe of the people - Deut. 18:3,4,5, I Cor. 9:11,13,14).

It is interesting to note that not only were the priests holy, but also the tithe which the people brought was to be considered holy, ("set apart", or belonging to God), and to be used for no other purpose than the support of the ministry of the tabernacle - it was utilized at the direction of the priests. It was to be considered as belonging to the Lord. If one held them back, he was considered to be "borrowing" from God, and was conse- quently instructed to add an additional sum to them (Lev. 27:30-34).

There are other elements found in the Old Testament idea of separa- tion, such as cleanliness. Separation meant separation from that which was unclean and/or infected (Lev. 10:9-11, 21:1-24, 22:1-33). The priests were to be thoroughly washed before ministering (Ex. 29:4-6; Lev. 8:6; Num. 19).

Another element connected with holiness was that of anointing. Prior to all service in the tabernacle, the priests (after being washed) were com- manded to be anointed with the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:30). In fact, all things associated with the service of the tabernacle had to first be anointed with holy anointing oil. Holiness could not be effected without the anoint- ing oil, along with the washing by water (Ex. 29:4-6, 30:25-33; Lev. 8:6-13; Jn. 3:5; Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5; I Cor. 6:11). Where there was no washing by water and anointing with holy oil, there was no holiness and authority to minister i n the tabernacle in applying the blood for the sins (the order in Lev. 8 - first washing, then anointing, then ministry in holy things). As the scripture references herein show, all of the above foreshadowed basic ful- fillments of the Holy Spirit and "washing by the water of the Word" as be- ing essential prior to the work of ministry of a Christian.

Thus, we see that in separation is found the elements of consecration (i.e., separation for exclusive use), cleanliness (washing), and anointing.

In the New Testament, the counterpart to the Old Testament separa- tion of God's people is found in both the life of the church and the individ- ual believer. The church is referred to as "an holy nation" (I Pet. 2:9). The individual believer is spoken of as "the temple of the Holy Ghost". The Old

Notes

Testament commanded the people to carefully avoid disease, corruption, and all sorts of uncleanness.

 

"…cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1)

"

be

ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom.

12:2).

Holiness of the believer encompasses his total being. The two verses above show this to include the total man - body, mind, and spirit. Holiness in the life of the believer is sometimes erroneously spoken of as "inward" holi- ness, and "outward" holiness. Actually the holiness of God in the believer, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, permeates every part of one's life, starting in the human spirit, then permeating the mind (soul) and body.

 

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess. 5:23).

These three areas, spirit, mind, and body must all be holy (i.e., separated, clean, and anointed with the Holy Ghost).

Holiness Of Spirit

 

"

let

us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of

spirit, perfect-

ing holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1).

"Renew a right spirit within me" (Psa. 51:10).

Each part of man has various senses - whereby he has contact with the forces and objects present in the dimension in which that part of him oper- ates. For example, the spirit of man has certain "senses" in a way that neither the soul nor the body have. His spirit possesses the sense of worship, (Jn. 3:5,6, 4:23,24), and of faith, hope, thanksgiving, and of love (I Cor. 13:13; Gal. 5:16,22). Prayer generates out of the human spirit, aided by the Holy spirit (Jn. 4:24; Rom. 8:23,26). Spiritual revelation comes to the spirit of man from the Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:11-15).

All of the above does not mean that the soul (mind) and body are inca- pable of participating in those things, for they do. The sensations of the human experience are expressed throughout one's being. There is an in- separable (by man) interaction in the make up of a human (Heb. 4:12). However, it is in the spirit of the person that worship, faith, hope, etc. be- gins and finds first expression. This expression then continues through the soul-mind and the body.

Notes

So, what then is holiness of spirit? It is a separation (separation, clean- sing, anointing), and surrender to God of the faculties and actions of the spirit.

As we have seen, sanctification of the believer falls into two general cate- gories - separation and surrender. In separation, we find the elements of consecration, cleansing, and anointing. Also, we see that these three ele- ments apply to the whole being of the believer - spirit, soul, and body (I Thess. 5:23).

The separation of the human spirit includes the element of consecra- tion (separation), cleansing, and anointing (I Cor. 6:20).

By separation, we mean that the human spirit is to be separated from uses other than for the purposes of God's will and service. It's "senses" should be reserved unto God. For example faith (a sense of the spirit) should be constantly empl6yed - as opposed to doubt, which is the oppo- site and corrupts the human spirit (Heb. 11:6). Worship of the true God (Jn. 4:23,24) is a proper separated use of the spirit's sense - as opposed to idolatry (I Cor. 10:7,14; Phil. 4:6; I Cor. 10:10). Prayer is a proper use of the spirit in relying upon God - as opposed to self-sufficiency, which is a si- lent denial of the need for God's anointing (Prov. 3:5; Eph. 6:18; Jude 20). The human spirit, which is separated to God, will manifest God's love, and be separated from fear, strife, and hatred (II Tim. 2:4-7; I Cor. 13; I Jn., etc. ). This love will be translated into love and concern for others (II Cor. 5:14; Rom. 9:3, 10:1) - as opposed to preoccupation with self.

Holiness (Separation) Of The Human Soul (Mind)

The human soul (seat of emotions) / mind (seat of logic) is also to be sanctified unto God (I Thess. 5:23; Rom. 12:2; Phil. 2:5). The soul is to be separated to the uses of God in purity of thoughts - as opposed to filthiness (II Cor. 7:1; Rom. 12:2; Phil. 4:8), and in sobriety - as opposed to lust and foolishness (I Cor. 10:6; I Thess. 5:6). Every class of christian is admonished to be sober- the bishop (I. Tim 3:2; Titus 1:8), their wives (I Tim. 3:11), the aged-men (Titus 2:2), the old and young women (Titus 2:3,4), the young men (Titus 2:6). The soul-mind is to be kept protected (i.e., separated to proper thought patterns by the "helmet" of salvation - Eph. 6:17).

The bondage of fear, in the emotions, is replaced by the spirit of liberty (Rom. 8:15; II Con 3:17). Carnal reason is to be rejected - as opposed to an embracing of spiritual revelation (I Con 2:9,10). Carnal wisdom is consid- ered "unanointed", unholy, and unclean - as opposed to the wisdom of God (James 3:15,17; I Cor. 1:19-31). Imaginations are to be "cast down" in favor of the knowledge of God (II Cor. 10:5). Fear is to be rejected, and is replaced by a "sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). Wrath is rejected for joy, gentleness, meekness, temperance, peace, etc. (Gal. 5:22,23).

Notes

Holiness (Separation) Of The Human Body

Just as the Old Testament tabernacle sacrifices were "holy", so the christian is admonished to 11 present your bodies a living sacrifice, "

holy

(Rom. 12:1).

"

let

us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh

perfect-

ing holiness"' 1 Cor. 7:1).

Know , ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?" (I Cor.

6:15).

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, Which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? therefore glorify God, in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" I Cor. 6:19-20).

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth" (Col.

3:5).

The body is to be separated to God, in that it is not to be polluted by adultery and/or fornication (I Cor. 6:19). It is to be kept cleansed - as opposed to filthiness (II Cor. 7:1; Heb. 10:22). He, who defiles his body which is the temple of God, shall be destroyed by God, for the temple (or dwelling place of God) must be (and is) holy (I Cor. 3:17).

The body is also to be separated from being yoked with unbelievers. This unequal yo'.zing is taught to be the equivalent of yoking Christ with Belial, righteousness with unrighteousness, light with darkness, and the temple of God with idols (II Cor. 6:14-17). The worldly is consid- ered to be unclean (II Cor. 6:17), and the promises of Fatherhood, by God to the believer, are taught to be dependent upon the believer's separation, cleansing, and anointing (II Cor. 6:18, 7:1; I Cor. 6:11).

Men are admonished to "lift up holy hands" (I Tim. 2:8). In Bible days, this was a common prayer position, and represented the pure, separated position of the believer from "wrath and doubting". The women believers are admonished, by both Peter and Paul, to adorn themselves in "modest apparel", abstaining from artificially attempting to produce physical beauty by use of accoutrements of the world (i.e., jewelry, pearls, trinkets, etc. - I Tim. 2:9,10; I Pet. 3:3-5). The teaching seemed to be that the female believer's inward beauty of spirit, which resulted from being filled with God's presence, was much greater than these artificial attempts could pro- duce, and was best exemplified by not allowing it to be screened or ob- scured by outward adornments. The idea was that Christ was best seen through the transparency of the believer (I Pet. 3:4).

This was undoubtedly equally true of the male believers, but it appar- ently was not their practice to so adorn themselves - consequently, they

Notes

received no such admonition. Thus, we see that the believer's body was to manifest the inward beauty of soul and spirit. Anything which obstructed this manifestation (i.e., outrageous or sensual clothing, make-up, jewelry, adornments, etc.), was not consistent with their new identity with Christ, and thus to be avoided. The whole idea of the believer be