BATTLING BAPTIST BAPTISM
Beneficial discussions about differences in religion today
are often beset by the popular practice of political correctness.
Political correctness ties into the prevailing position of
pluralism in religion, where everyone is viewed as right even
though opposite and conflicting points of principle are in place,
which does not permit open discussion of differences.
Be that as it may, the value of the souls of lost men and
women are crying out for help out of the morass of religious error.
In Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River Anthology written
in 1915, he tells of fictional characters residing in the silent
halls of the local cemetery and imagines them to be speaking from
their graves. One of them is J. Milton Miles. His true-to-life
epitaph reads: Whenever the Presbyterian bell was rung by
itself, I knew it as the Presbyterian bell. But when its sound was
mingled with the sound of the Methodist, the Christian, the Baptist
and the Congregational, I could no longer distinguish it, nor any
one from the others, or either of them. And, as many voices called
to me in life marvel not that I could not tell the true from the
false, nor even, at last, the voice that I should have known.
Miles dilemma, as imagined by Masters, exists in reality among
the multiplied millions asleep in the silent city.
Many choose no longer to earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, but
among the faithful few this noble demand of Christianity is still
taken as a sacred trust (Jude 3). Through reproof, rebuke, and
exhortation, the minds of men are challenged to examine what they
believe in light of the sacred standard of scripture (II Tim.
Battling Baptist Baptism brings to light the
basic error of the entire Baptist system of belief. In the
Baptist Faith and Message, as adopted June 14, 2000, by
the 15 million member denomination, baptism is declared to be a
church ordinance (Article VII), that is, baptism by the
hands of one in the Baptist fellowship makes one a member of the
Baptist Church. The Baptist Faith and Message says,
It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believers faith
in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believers death
to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in
newness of life in Christ Jesus (emphasis mine, GM).
Symbol from the Greek symbolon is
literally a token of identity. The Baptists do not
believe that in baptism the believer actually becomes dead to sin,
the old life is buried, and the newness of life begins. They teach
that baptism only symbolizes those things; those things are
believed to have happened at the moment of belief. Evidence of this
emerges in the Baptist confession made before baptism: I
believe that God for Christs sake has forgiven me of my
sins. Baptist people like to speak of baptism being an
outward sign of an inward grace. Note the word sign.
Baptists are correctly represented as believing and teaching that
baptism is not essential to salvation or baptism does not save
The symbol of baptism, therefore, literally does only one
thing for the candidate: it makes him or her a member of the
Baptist Church (Article VII). Now, bear in mind what the New
Testament says about baptism and see in corrupted contrast that
which every Baptist must affirm in order to retain his position
that baptism does not save us.
First, Christ is not there in the water, but
the Bible says, Buried with him by baptism
(Rom. 6:3; Col. 2:12). And, For as many of you as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal.
Second, baptism is not into the death of
Christ. But the Bible says, Buried with him by baptism
into death (Rom. 6:3).
Third, the cleansing power of the blood of
Christ is not in the water. But the Bible says, But when
they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake
not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his
side, and forthwith came there out blood and water (John
19:33-34). And, Know ye not, that so many of us as were
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore
we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we
also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). Further,
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ;
not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit
that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth (I
Fourth, the old man of sin is not crucified.
But the Bible says, Knowing this, that our old man is
crucified with him (Rom. 6:6).
Fifth, the body of sin is destroyed prior to
baptism. But the Bible says, Knowing this, that our old
man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6).
Sixth, the person is not raised with Christ.
But the Bible says, Buried with him in baptism, wherein
also ye are risen with him (Col. 2:12).
Seventh, the person is not raised to walk
in newness of life. But the Bible says, Therefore we
are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).
Eighth, no faith in the operation of
God is required in baptism. But the Bible says,
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him
through the faith of the operation of God (Col. 2:12).
Ninth, sins are not forgiven in baptism. But
the Bible says, He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned
(Mark 16:16). And, Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
Ghost (Acts 2:38). And further, And now why
tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,
calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16).
Tenth, baptism does not save us. But
the Bible says, The like figure whereunto even baptism
doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the
flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Peter 3:21). And,
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from
the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision
of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven
you all trespasses (Col. 2:12-13).
Eleventh, candidates are made Baptists by a
vote of the members and baptism by the hands of one in fellowship
with the Baptist Church. The Baptist Faith and Message
states, Each congregation operates under the Lordship of
Christ through democratic processes (Article VI). But, the
Bible says, Praising God, and having favour with all the
people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be
saved (Acts 2:47).
Twelfth, sins are forgiven at the point of
belief before baptism, the form of doctrine, is obeyed.
But the Bible says, But God be thanked, that ye were the
servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of
doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye
became the servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18).
Battling Baptist Baptism may bring those who
believe the Bible to the point where they understand baptism and
become willing to follow the Bible which is written by God instead
of following the Baptist Faith and Message which is
written by men. One thing is for sure, if those who know the truth
about Bible baptism refuse to engage the battle against Baptist
baptism, then millions upon millions of precious souls will one day
enter the cemetery saddened by their eternal separation from the
loving Savior Jesus Christ.
3610 Kipling Ave.
Memphis, TN 38128
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SHOULD WE CARE WHAT PEOPLE WANT?
The following letter was received shortly after 9-11 and
reveals what a tremendous battle the faithful face all around the
world. Men have lost their respect for God and his Holy Word. They
are more interested in self than God. They feel that if our
fellowman is pleased, then God will be pleased. How little
knowledge of the divine will is present today. Read this mans
letter and weep.
To the Minister and Elders:
I live in Nashville and attend what your church would
consider a Liberal Church of Christ". Actually, most of our
church doesnt consider our church to even be a church of
christ", but rather a family of christians. I just read your
seek the old paths publication today. And I must say that
I am rather embarrassed, but also feel a deep sense of sadness for
your mentality. I grew up in a very conservative church of christ
in FL, so grew up around this mentality. And I cant thank God
enough for delivering me from this mindset. I have experienced a
new life in him, one that is not held down by traditions,
regulations, or some kind of laws that in turn have been regarded
as Gods word".....That is Heresy!!!! I think its a
dangerous place to say that church of christ traditions are in fact
the will of God.
Do you think for one second, that after the events last
week, people who dont know christ care about musical
instruments in worship, or whether to move the lords supper to
the beginning of service, or whether its wrong to allow women
to teach classes. That is nonsense!!! People right now are hungry
for answers, for comfort, to understand God. People need Jesus, and
need love, not traditions that arent even valid in this life.
Life is too short, and the Gospel is too powerful, to sit around
pointing fingers at petty little issues that have no real meaning
in what it means to know God.
I pray that your church will realize that christianity is
being attacked, and we must come together as believers and spread
the truths of God, not traditions of a denomination.
COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE LETTER
I have read and understood your letter. I appreciate your
concern. However, if you will, please help me learn how I can
get around or avoid the following passages. If
I ignore these, I will be liberal too. But, Ill also be lost!
1. How can I get around being a friend to Jesus
when it demands my obedience to his Word, not mans whims?
Jesus plainly said, Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you (John 15:14). A friend of
Jesus, a true friend, OBEYS HIS WORD. One who says he is a friend
and does not obey him is a hypocrite. There are many so-called
friends of Jesus today, but he does not know them as friends. I
cant be a friend if I dont obey.
2. How can I get around loving Jesus when it
demands obedience to his Word? Jesus plainly said, If ye
love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). The American
Standard says, If ye love me, ye will keep my
commandments. If I ignore or fail to keep the Lords
commandments, then Ill not be counted as his friend. If I
dismiss his Word and say that the only thing that counts is to meet
what needs people think they have, then Ive missed the whole
point of Jesus coming into the world to save sinners. He only saves
those who OBEY HIM (Heb. 5:8-9).
3. How can I get around knowing Jesus when it
involves and is based on obeying his word? And hereby we
do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that
saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily
is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in
him (1 John 2:3-5). To really KNOW the Lord is to keep
his commandments. Ones a liar that says he knows the Lord but
dont keep his commandments. How much plainer could it be? Many
have said we need a relationship with Jesus and we can
really get to know him, yet they ignore the only way to
know him -- obedience to his commands.
4. How can I get around abiding in Jesus when it
is directly linked to living as he lived? He that saith
he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
walked (1 John 2:6). Jesus diligently followed the
commandments of the Father in heaven (John 8:29) and if we desire
to be like him, then so must we. Wanting a relationship with the
Lord and claiming we abide near his side demands we live as he
lived. He always obeyed (John 4:34; 6:38). He pleased not himself
(Rom. 15:3; John 5:30). We must also follow the rules he followed.
5. How can I get around loving the children of God
when it is tied to keeping Gods commandments?
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love
God, and keep his commandments (1 John 5:2). We must
love the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17). This is a genuine care that
seeks their best interest. But this is only done when we obey the
Lords commandments. Were not concerned with what people
want or what they feel or what they think they need, were
concerned with what the Father wants and how the Father feels. God
knows whats best for us.
6. How do I get around having the love of God
when the only way I can do that is to keep his commandments?
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3). The
Holy Spirit caused these words to be recorded for every generation.
They are just as applicable today as they were when originally
written nearly 2000 years ago. Do you have the love of God? If so,
the way it is proven is by keeping his commandments.
I am embarrassed too when those who claim to know
Jesus do not love him and desire to be his friend as the
verses above clearly show. Our mutual concern should not be what
people are hungry for and searching for, our concern should be what
God desires and what God commands us to do.
We cant be concerned about what people are searching
for. They often search for the wrong thing. They often look in the
wrong place. They may not care about mechanical instruments of
music or women teaching over men or any other commandment of God.
But that does not change Gods word and his will for them. What
they need is God and Jesus in their lives, not the traditions of
men that says Gods will is not important and can be dismissed
at will. If we are true friends of Jesus, we will do what he says
and give people what God wants them to have, not what they want and
Are you willing to break away from the traditions and
commandments of men and become a friend of Jesus?
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QUIT YOU LIKE MEN
Jerry C. Brewer
If it does not stir you as a member of the
church to an earnest contention for the
faith, your love for the truth has waxed
One can almost hear the muffled roll of drums, the grimly
measured tread of marching boots, the thump of distant
cannon belching fire, and what General Douglas MacArthur called the
mournful mutter of the battlefield, when Paul says,
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be
strong (1 Cor. 16:13).
Here is the imagery of battle. The associations of
war and the issues of battle vibrate in every word of this
exhortation. It is an appeal to the heart as stirring as the call
of a commander to comrades in a critical period of battle.
(Foy E. Wallace, Jr., The Faith Once Delivered Demands
Conflict, In Word And Doctrine, Vol. 3, No. 4, May-July, 1996,
Joseph D. Meador, Ed.).
Christ calls men to battle and that task requires courage.
When Paul said, Quit you like men, he meant for us to
perform our front line duties with courage worthy of the title,
Soldier of the Cross. It isnt enough to know the
truth and preach it. One must have the courage to stand for truth
(Jude 3). One who wont earnestly contend for the faith
certainly does not love the truth.
The young prophet who came out of Judah and cried against
Jereboams altar at Bethel manifested courage. Contrasted with
his boldness was the evident lack of it in the old prophet who
invited him to his house. Saying an angel had commanded him to
summon the young prophet to his house, the old prophet lied to him.
Believing that lie led to the young mans death (1 Kings 13).
That narrative has been used, and rightly so, to teach the danger
of believing a lie. But it also reveals a trait in the old prophet
that afflicts men today -- cowardice. He greatly admired the young
man for his courage to speak out against Jereboams sin, but
theres no record that the old prophet ever raised his voice
against the kings iniquitous acts. Holy Writ calls him a
prophet. He knew what God had commanded regarding worship, but he
refused to speak out. He was a coward.
Many years ago, I sat on a murder trial jury in Cleveland
County, Oklahoma. Seeking the death penalty, the prosecution asked
each prospective juror if he believed in capital punishment. Each
of those chosen for the jury answered in the affirmative. Yet, when
it came time to assess the punishment for the murder, of which the
defendant was found guilty, about one-third of the jury refused to
vote for the death penalty. Theres a vast difference in
believing something is right and doing what is right. The devils
also believe and tremble. Those jurors didnt have the courage
of their convictions and that is the curse of the church today.
Multitudes of Gospel preachers believe the truth, preach it at
every opportunity, and would not preach error. But when they are
tried in conflicts crucible, they seek comfort and safety in
silence while jack-booted enemies of Christ decimate the church.
They may know and preach the truth, but they love neither it nor
the Lord who revealed it.
About six years ago, Joe Beam was engaged by the apostate
Weatherford, Oklahoma, church to preach a meeting. Marking Beam as
a false teacher, another preacher and I wrote and mailed a letter
to area churches, including the entire membership of the
Weatherford church. Prior to mailing the letter, we presented it to
western Oklahoma preachers at an area-wide study and offered them
the opportunity to sign their names to it and help with postage
costs. Only one located preacher was willing to affix his name to
the letter. Another signed it, but called the next morning and
asked that his name be removed because members where he preached
had children in the Weatherford church. Another gave
money for postage, but didnt want his name on the letter,
saying, Youll need someone to defend you when this comes
out. He was willing to defend me -- which I
didnt need -- but refused to defend the faith. Like the old
prophet at Bethel, they admired what we were doing, but feared to
jeopardize their pay checks in defense of the truth. That kind of
hireling cowardice is high treason to Christs cause (Matt.
Error is couched in countless forms concealed. Christ
calls for vigilance -- watch ye. But when error has been
flushed out of the hiding and forms into advanced columns against
the church, Christ calls for courage -- stand fast in the
faith. Then, when the lines are drawn tight, surging issues of
truth and error are locked in the grim struggle for mastery --
Christ calls for valor -- quit you like men. Perform like
a soldier of Christ worthy of the name... The imagery thrills me.
If it does not stir you as a member of the church to an earnest
contention for the faith, your love for the truth has waxed
Many years ago, an old preacher whose name has long been
forgotten said, The walls of hell will be papered with the
hides of Baptists. If he were alive today, he might amend that
to say, The walls of hell will be papered with the hides of
Baptists, glued there with paste from the jellied backbones of
hirelings in churches of Christ.
308 South Oklahoma
Elk City, Oklahoma 73644
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IN THE NEWS...
We find more and more who are pitching in with the
denominations. Many brethren think they are a denomination. They do
not love the truth and consequently do not know the truth. They
will by no means live the truth. The following is an example of
compromising programs that are going on all around us. Here is
another example of read it and weep.
The Mens Seminar 2002 on April 20th
"21st Century - The Battle for Your Mind"
was a tremendous blessing from our Lord.
On Saturday, April 20th almost 1400 men from across the
city of San Antonio and representing 23 churches attend Oak Hills
for this first-of-a-kind conference for men. Twelve dynamic
speakers from the San Antonio Christian community addressed six of
the most difficult and controversial subjects now facing men in the
twenty-first century; how to cope with stress, overcoming anger,
dealing with sexual temptation in a sexual society, overcoming
fear, dealing with difficult people, and how to receive Gods
Oak Hills Church of Christ
Alamo Heights United Methodist Church
Alamo City Christian Fellowship
Community Bible Church
Maranatha Baptist Church
Harvest Fellowship Community Church
Church of Acts
Congregational Leader of Congregation Beth Simcha
Buckner Fanning Ministries former pastor of Trinity Baptist
Head of Through the Storm Ministries
Pictures of the event include those of:
- Pastors and Prayer - The Men - Worship and Teaching
- The Altar Call
Dont forget this last statement on the page:
Through the leading of the Holy Spirit and for the Glory
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this seminar was presented by
the Mens Ministry of Oak Hills Church of Christ.
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Steven. E. Yeatts
The recent Tennessee state budget debate and debacle has
caused the word taxes to receive overuse lately. Taxes of
many varieties have been discussed from income tax, to gasoline
tax, to sales tax, to wheel tax. However, as I watched the state
legislature in action one evening I was struck by the irony of a
proposal that included the raising of the so-called sin
tax. As the television news reporter spoke the words sin
tax a graphic appeared on the television screen listing the
words in bold font -- SIN TAX. I imagine most of us know what this
phrase sin tax means, but do we really grasp the true
sense of its impact? The people of the world use this jargon in
reference to the taxes levied on tobacco and alcohol. In other
words, one who wants to use tobacco (whether inhaled or just a
pinch between your cheek and gum), or one who chooses to drink
alcoholic beverages of any variety, pays an exorbitant and
disproportionate tax ("sin tax") in order to feed their addiction
Is this phraseology lost on anyone but me? Certainly not!
Even the world in its spiritually unwise state of mind assigns a
nickname to the taxes on tobacco products and alcohol that calls
usage of such products to be what it is -- SIN! The thing that
further provoked my interest in the phrase sin tax, is my
wondering how many of my brethren (sisters included!) are paying
this tax because of their inability to exercise Biblical
self-control (Gal. 5:23; 1 Peter 2:11; 2 Peter 1:6)?
So many flimsy defenses are paraded out when one tries to
justify their usage ("recreational or otherwise) of
cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Some argue
that the social use of alcohol is acceptable. After all,
the Bible only condemns drunkenness, right? Any argument to defend
a Christians use of physically and spiritually harmful
substances falls in light of 1 Thessalonians 5:17,
Abstain from all appearance of evil. Others state,
Where does the Bible say I cannot drink alcoholic beverages or
smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco or dip snuff? I am glad you
asked! Here are some passages that very clearly denounce the usage
of products that are harmful to our physical health, but much more
profoundly harmful to our spiritual health.
The Bible is consistent in its denunciation of Christians
harming themselves by paying such a sin tax. Paul told
the Romans, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal
body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof (Rom.
6:12). One who uses alcohol or tobacco (the nicotine found in
tobacco products is a highly addictive drug) has yielded control of
himself to an external substance and thus is allowing sin to reign
supreme in his physical body. Paul told the Galatians in 5:24,
And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with the passions and the lusts thereof (ASV). When we
become a new creature in Christ our efforts against the old
man of sin are to be heightened and we are to put
away our old habits and act like the new creature that we are
(2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10). One who was a smoker (or
chewer or dipper) or a drinker before they obeyed the Gospel should
have targeted that behavior as one of the first things to rid
himself of because of his obedience to the Gospel. One who
developed his addiction to tobacco products or alcohol after
obedience to the Gospel has fallen far from his calling and needs
to seriously re-evaluate his conversion (Rom. 6:1-2; Col. 3:1-5).
Some argue that ceasing their tobacco or alcohol usage
cannot be done, that one can be so powerfully addicted that
stopping is impossible. That attitude is contrary to the words of
Christ and contrary to our calling. Jesus said, The
things which are impossible with men are possible with God
(Luke 18:27). [In this passage from Luke, Jesus acknowledged
the extreme difficulty of one who was rich entering the kingdom.
Surely it will be very difficult for one to abandon an addiction to
a harmful substance, but it is definitely possible, and for a
Christian it is absolutely NECESSARY]. If one does not develop the
strong spiritual attitude from reading the Word of God and through
prayer about such a matter, then of course, in his own power he
cannot defeat this physical addiction.
Paul wrote, I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). For a Christian to say
that he or she cannot stop smoking or using tobacco products or
that he or she cannot stop drinking is contrary to Holy Scriptures
which says we can do ALL things through Christ. One who says he
cannot is really saying he chooses not to cease that behavior which
violates his Christian calling most blatantly and publicly.
What about a Christian who would be foolish enough to say,
Well, it is my body and I will do what I want with it. After
all, I am only hurting myself? Paul asked, Know ye
not that your bodies are the members of Christ (1 Cor.
6:15a)? He continued to write in that same chapter, 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? For ye are
bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in
your spirit, which are Gods (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Theres the answer for Christians who claim self-ownership over
their bodies. They have forgotten who bought them and who owns them
and for Christians to harm their bodies by using the products that
require sin taxes is an assault on the owner of our
bodies, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Even the worlds vernacular ("sin taxes") indicates
their knowledge that usage of tobacco products and alcoholic
beverages is sinful. Sadly, some in the Lords church continue
to pay sin tax while ignoring the obvious results of
their behavior. Indeed, sin truly does tax all people.
For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). For a
Christian to use tobacco and/or alcohol, sin taxes their spiritual
growth, their example to family, co-workers, friends, neighbors,
and ultimately could jeopardize their eternal destiny if they are
obeying the lusts of their addiction and not actively trying to
cease their addiction (remember, I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH
CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME").
There are some taxes that all citizens, Christians or not,
have to pay in order to fulfill the law. In such legal matters we
have no choice but to comply. However, paying sin tax is
a willful act that is contrary to the example that a Christian
should set and is detrimental to ones body and ones soul.
What a great day it would be if only the sinners paid the sin
tax, while those who claim Christianity refused to participate
in the ingestion of that which led to such a tax in the first
2644 Lascassas Pike
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Table of Contents
FELLOWSHIP OF THE IMMORAL
Gods Word instructs us that we have fellowship with one
another in the body of Christ. Paul wrote, God is
faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son
Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9). In this fellowship,
false teachers, those who walk disorderly and those who
are immoral are not tolerated by God. They should likewise not be
tolerated by brethren. Gods motives are pure and so ours
should be. We should follow the Scriptures in how to deal with
those who choose to live immoral lives, teach false doctrine, or
reject the plain teaching of Gods Word in their lives. The
goal should be to restore them back to the body of Christ. We must
not drive our erring brother or sister away, but allow them to
repent and make their lives right with God. We must not forget to
use love, mercy, and kindness in dealing with situations where
souls are at stake.
RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM
The fifth chapter of First Corinthians gives us insight
into how God wanted situations of immorality handled within the
It is reported commonly that there is fornication
among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among
the Gentiles, that one should have his fathers wife.
Paul makes it known that the problem of fornication among the
Corinthians was common knowledge. This reminds us of what Paul said
in chapter 1, For it hath been declared unto me of you,
my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there
are contentions among you (1 Cor. 1:11)
MAKE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT
The apostle was not only aware of the sinful situation,
he had also heard of their reaction to the problem of fornication.
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that
he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you
(5:2). Instead of the Corinthians being sorrowful for the
problem at hand, they were puffed up, proud, or high
minded. Paul rebukes them for not having the responsibility to
remove the fornicator from among them. Their sorrow and loving
action were missing in this case of sinful conduct.
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in
spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning
him that hath so done this deed (1 Cor. 5:3).
THE ACTION AND PURPOSE OF DISCIPLINE
As a fellow Christian in the one body of Christ, Paul has
already thought about the situation and made a judgment. Paul was
absent, but present in Christ. He knew what Jesus taught concerning
those caught up in sinful activities and therefore made a judgment.
This is Gods way because Jesus stated, Judge not
according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment
After Paul let the Corinthians know he is aware of the
situation and that he has made a judgment concerning their handling
of it, he tells them what they must do by the authority of Christ.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are
gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus
Christ (1 Cor. 5:4). The congregation should be united
in this effort to induce the party in error to repent and come back
to righteous living. Paul revealed this action was from Christ who
has all authority and power (cf. Matt. 29:18). Everything we
believe and practice must have Christs approval. And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Col.
PURGE OUT THE OLD LEAVEN
Why should this action by taken? To deliver such
an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit
may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5:5).
Hopefully, the one that is put out from the church, will throw off
the influences of Satan, come back to the Lord and be saved in the
end. This should be the motive behind church discipline. The church
must work together to accomplish this goal.
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6)? The
Corinthians attitude concerning this situation was not right.
Glorying or being prideful or arrogant only made the
problem worse. Paul reminds them just as a little leaven spreads
through all the dough, sin spreads through the whole church. There
is danger of this sin spreading through the members if it is not
stopped when diagnosed.
NO FELLOWSHIP WITH FORNICATORS
The apostle gives them the command to Purge out
therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are
unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us
(1 Cor. 5:7). Remove the fornicator from among you so his
influence will not spread through the church. The old
leaven refers to the impure portion (fornicator) in the lump
(church). Purging needed to be done to make a new lump. The
reference to Christ involves an analogy with the Jews practice
of removing all leaven from their houses before Passover (Exodus
12:15,20; 13:7). As the passover lamb was sacrificed, Jesus has
been sacrificed and we must not have the impurity of leaven among
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old
leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with
the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor.
5:8). Paul tells them to keep the feast, which is still
following the analogy, to live pure and holy lives in Jesus Christ.
The old leaven which is sin, should not remain, neither
should malice and wickedness. Bill Jackson discussed the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth by writing, It is the
bread of sincerity (pureness, genuineness) and truth. Paul thus
makes the point that Gods children have Christ offered for
them as their passover, and their living for Him is a
keeping of the feast, and as the unleavened bread
characterized the literal passover of ancient days, so the lives of
the saints must be with unleavened bread of genuine
loyalty to the truth of God (A Commentary On First
Brother Jackson brings Pauls analogy home to the
Corinthians, Obviously the point in mind is to cause the
Corinthians to examine themselves, and to see that the presence of
the fornicator in their midst, combined with their lack of sorrow
for his sinfulness, has them feasting on impurity! (p.44)
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with
fornicators (1 Cor. 5:9). There is to be no fellowship
with those who practice the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). David
Lipscombs notes on First Corinthians, edited by J. W.
Shepherd, says, To have company with is to treat one as worthy
of companionship and association. The Christian is not to treat the
guilty person as such. The object, no doubt, is to make the
fornicator feel the disgrace and shame of his course and bring him
to repentance (p.78).
PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE
The New Testament teaches on this matter to
...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this
world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters;
for then must ye needs go out of the world (1 Cor.
5:10). The apostle lets them know that the command to have no
fellowship with the fornicator is an eternal principle, which
should be practiced on all who are guilty of persisting in the
sinful works of the flesh.
PUT AWAY THE WICKED
But now I have written unto you not to keep
company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or
covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an
extortioner, with such an one no not to eat (1 Cor.
Christians, who are guilty of being fornicators,
drunkards, or promoters of the works of Satan, are to be dealt with
by withdrawing fellowship. Notice that Paul says in this passage,
with such an one no not to eat. This refers to a common
meal. Eating a meal together is an act of fellowship where people
enjoy the company of one another and share their lives together.
Eating with those who are guilty, such as the fornicator at
Corinth, would be to endorse their condition and damage ones
For what have I to do to judge them also that are
without? do not ye judge them that are within (1 Cor.
5:12)? Paul reminds them that God judges those in the world. He
stresses that they should be dealing with these sins that are in
the church. This is their duty; to make righteous judgments using
the authority of Christ. He makes his case plain by stating,
But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from
among yourselves that wicked person (1 Cor. 5:13).
The Bible teaches that there is to be no fellowship with
the immoral. Association in such a way as to endorse or condone
sinful actions or situations must not be practiced. To gain a
brother or sister from the hands of the devil will not be
accomplished by overlooking their sinful lives. We must be loving
and kind in dealing with those who have fallen. We must also be
Scriptural and abide in the truth in dealing with matters that face
New Testament Christians.
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The World Convention of Churches of Christ is a very liberal
organization that has as its main goal the unifying of the church
of Christ, the Disciples of Christ and the Christian church. It is
having a World Convention in 2004 in England. Douglas Foster,
history professor at Abilene Christian University, is joining two
others in leading a religious heritage tour of the British Isles.
He will be joined by Paul Blowers of Emmanuel School of Religion
and Newell Williams of Christian Theological Seminary. The three
men are editing the Stone-Campbell Encyclopedia due to be published
in 2004. (World Christian, Second Quarter, 2002, p.3) (Mr. Foster
continues to demonstrate that he does not consider the church as
the distinctive body of Christ. The Disciples have been in
negotiations with several of the most liberal denominations to join
as one ecumenical body. For Mr. Foster to believe that we are just
a segment of the body of Christ with the Disciples would indicate
that he also believes that all denominations are part of the body
of Christ. For Abilene to continue to allow him to be on staff
would indicate that the Administration is supportive of his
efforts. Those who have kept up with Abilene are not surprised by
this. But some folks still do not know how far Abilene has
gone ...Mark McWhorter, Pell City, AL. Thank
you, thank you for advertising in your paper Bob Spurlins
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with Seek the Old Paths. We also appreciate the bundle
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you and asked to receive it. It lets everyone know about all this
mess, and we Christians need to know. Preachers rarely mention this
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STOP is published and that there are still
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