Wherever God’s law is supreme, life and property are safe. Wherever the Bible is despised or discarded, neither life nor property is secure. When worldly friends were discussing theories around the dining table one day, Voltaire said: “Hush, gentlemen, till the servants are gone. If they believed as we do, none of our lives would be safe.”
The influence of the Bible in restraining sin and promoting righteousness is one of the evidences that it is a supernatural and divine revelation.
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We are Saved By Grace, through Faith…
According to a report of the British and American Bible Society, at Manila, a Filipino who assisted in 1908 in translating the Tagalog Bible gave this testimony:
“I became a Christian through reading the Bible. When I saw in John 4:24 that ‘God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth,’ I began to think that worshiping God through idols must be wrong, and from this I was gradually led on to the truth. At first my father and brothers were very bitter against me; I said but little to them, but gave each of them a Bible and asked them to read for themselves; in time they, too, became convinced, and are now Christians.”
A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her. So if we love the Lord Jesus, we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him.
– John R. W. Stott
AN ORDINANCE IMMEDIATELY INSTITUTED BY CHRIST (Matt. 28:19, 20), and designed to be observed in the church, like that of the Supper, “till he come.”
The words “baptize” and “baptism” are simply Greek words transferred into English. It means to dip a thing into an element or liquid. In the LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is used of the ablutions and baptisms required by the Mosaic law. These were effected by immersion, and the same word, “washings” (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21) or “baptisms,” designates them all. Moreover, all of the instances of baptism recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:38-41; 8:26-39; 9:17, 18; 22:12-16; 10:44-48; 16:32-34) suggests the idea that it was by dipping the person baptized, i.e. by immersion.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two symbolical ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper represents the work of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper a small amount of bread and wine used in this ordinance exhibits in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Matt. 3:11) by his coming upon them (Acts 1:8). The fire also with which they were baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary event of Pentecost was explained by Peter as a fulfillment of the ancient promise that the Spirit would be poured out in the last days (Acts 2:17). He uses also with the same reference the expression shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit (Acts 2:33). In the Pentecostal baptism “the apostles were not dipped into the Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed forth, poured out, fell on them (Acts 11:15), came upon them, sat on them.”
The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater importance than those relating to its mode.
The controversy here is not about “believers’ baptism,” for that is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in apostolic times, and they have been baptized in all time by all the branches of the church. It is altogether a misrepresentation to allege, as is sometimes done by Baptists, that their doctrine is “believers’ baptism,” Every instance of adult baptism, or of “believers’ baptism,” recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:41; 8:37; 9:17, 18; 10:47; 16:15; 19:5, etc.) is just such as would be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the Protestant Church, a profession of faith or of their being “believers” would be required from every one of them before baptism. The point in dispute is not the baptism of believers, but whether the infant children of believers, i.e., of members of the church, ought to be baptized.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk 16:16).
These are the words of Christ, the risen Christ, and are the last that He uttered ere He left this earth. None more important were ever spoken to the sons of men. They call for our most diligent attention. They are of the greatest possible consequence, for in them are set forth the terms of eternal happiness or misery: life and death, and the conditions of both. Faith is the principal saving grace, and unbelief the chief damning sin. The law which threatens death for every sin has already passed sentence of condemnation upon all, because all have sinned. This sentence is so peremptory that it admits of but one exception—all shall be executed if they believe not.
The condition of life as made known by Christ in Mk 16:16, is double: the principal one, faith; the accessory one, baptism; we term it accessory because it is not absolutely necessary to life, as faith is. Proof of this is found in the fact of the omission in the second half of the verse: it is not “he that is not baptized shall be damned,” but “he that believeth not.” Faith is so indispensable that, though one be baptized, yet believeth not, he shall be damned. As we have said above, the sinner is already condemned; the sword of Divine justice is drawn even now, and waits only to strike the fatal blow. Nothing can divert it but saving faith in Christ. My reader, continuance in unbelief makes hell as certain as though you were already in it. While you remain in unbelief, you have no hope and are “without God in the world” (Eph 2:12).
Now if believing be so necessary, and unbelief so dangerous and fatal, it deeply concerns us to know what it is to believe. It behooves each of us to make the most diligent and thorough inquiry as to the nature of saving faith. The more so because all faith in Christ does not save; yea, all faith in Christ does not save. Multitudes are deceived upon this vital matter. Thousands of those who sincerely believe that they have received Christ as their personal Saviour, and are resting on His finished work, are building upon a foundation of sand. Vast numbers who have not a doubt that God has accepted them in the Beloved, and that they are eternally secure in Christ, will only be awakened from their pleasant dreamings when the cold hand of death lays hold of them; and then it will be too late. Unspeakably solemn is this, Reader, will that be your fate? Others just as sure that they were saved as you are, are now in hell.