A Condition For Salvation
Jimmy W. Bates
Pursuing salvation in accordance with Gods plan is
a personal responsibility, For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things
done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be
good or bad (II Cor. 5:10). So then every one
of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom. 14:12).
Each individual who would obtain the salvation offered in and
through Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:10), must obey the Gospel and live
a godly life. The Lord will take ...vengeance on them
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ (II Thess. 1:7-9). For the grace of God
that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus
2:11,12). Jesus promised, ...be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE
Our study involves REPENTANCE as a
CONDITION of salvation. The very fact that many will be lost
(Matt. 7:13,14) is proof that salvation is conditional. Among the
conditions upon which God offers salvation is a change in ones
heart and life through repentance the turning from sin and
turning to God in submission to His will. Repentance is a much
broader subject than what many people realize. Let us look closer
at what the Bible teaches on this most important point.
Repentance is necessary because of SIN! If sin had not
entered the world (Gen. 3:1-5), there would have been no need for
repentance. But, when God closed the door to Eden because of sin,
He opened the door to repentance that man could be forgiven of sin
through the merits of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness
of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Eph.
1:7). My little children, these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for
our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole
world (I John 2:1,2). Repentance is necessary for the
forgiveness of sins on the part of the alien sinner,
...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38).
Repentance is also necessary for the forgiveness of sins on the
part of the erring Christian. The erring Simon was told,
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if
perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee
(Acts 8:22). Sin is universal, For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23); (Compare I
John 1:7-10); therefore, ALL must repent. Paul stated,
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now
commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30).
Peter warned, The Lord is not slack concerning his
promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to
usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Those that do not
repent will perish. Jesus said, I tell you, Nay; but,
except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke
13:3,5). God will not forgive sin that is not repented of;
therefore, that unforgiven sin will cause one to perish! (Compare
I John 5:16,17). The sinner must repent or be unprepared at the
Judgment. Paul stated the reason why all must repent,
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge
the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath
raised him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
Given the necessity of repentance to mans
salvation, it is not surprising that repentance has always been a
part of Gods message to man. In every dispensation, God has
commanded his messengers to preach repentance to people in sin.
Those who responded to the word of God in genuine repentance
received Gods forgiveness and were restored to favor and
fellowship with God. But, those who refused to repent remained
separated from God and doomed to eternal destruction.
Noah and the prophets in the Old Testament preached
the necessity of repentance to people in sin. Jonah preached to the
city of Nineveh, ...Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be
overthrown (Jonah 3:4). Jesus said, The men of
Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall
condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and,
behold, a greater than Jonah is here (Matt. 12:41).
When John the baptizer came preparing the way for
Christ, he preached repentance. In those days came John
the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying,
Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt.
3:1,2). Mark records, John did baptize in the wilderness
and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins
When Jesus began His personal ministry, He preached
repentance. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to
say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt.
4:17). Jesus stated, ...for I am not come to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13). In
Matthew 11:20ff, Jesus pronounced woes upon Chorazin and
Capernaum for refusing to repent. Jesus made it clear in Luke
13:3,5 that we must either repent or perish!
The apostle Peter preached repentance: 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).
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be
blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the
presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
The apostle Paul preached repentance to the idolatrous
people in Athens (Acts 17:30,31). Paul told Timothy, In
meekness instructing those that oppose themselves if God
peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the
truth (II Tim. 2:25).
Before one can obey the command to repent, he must
understand what is involved in Bible repentance.
TWO EXAMPLES OF TRUE REPENTANCE
The word repent is used in two different
ways in both the Old and New Testaments and is translated from two
different Hebrew words in the Old Testament and two corresponding
Greek verbs in the New Testament. The two Hebrew words are
naham and shubh. The two Greek verbs are
metamelomai and metanoeo.
The Hebrew word naham does not imply sin,
though sin may be involved. It means, to lament or
to grieve. It emphasizes strong emotions: sympathy,
compassion, disappointment, hurt. The International Standard Bible
Encyclopedia defines this word, ...To adapt language to our
understanding, God is represented as repenting when delayed
penalties are at last to be inflicted, or when threatened evils
have been averted by genuine reformation (Gen. 6:6; Jonah 3:10).
This word is translated repent about 40 times in the Old
Testament, and in nearly all cases it refers to God. ... Gods
heart is grieved at mans iniquity, and in love He bestows His
grace or in justice He terminates His mercy. It indicates the
aroused emotions of God which prompt Him to a different course of
dealing with the people... (p.2558). This word is used in
Genesis 6:6, And it repented the Lord that He had made
man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Exodus 32:14, And the Lord repented of the evil which he
thought to do unto his people.
The Hebrew word shubh is used in the Old
Testament to express repentance in the sense of turn back
or change directions. This word demands a change in
attitude toward sin and toward God, and implies a personal decision
to forsake sin and to enter into fellowship with God. This word is
used in 1 Kings 8:47,48, ...and repent, and make
supplication unto thee...saying, We have sinned...And so return
unto thee with all their heart, and all their soul...
Ezekiel 14:6, ...Repent, and turn yourselves from your
idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Ezekiel 18:30, ...Repent, and turn yourselves from
all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
The Greek word metamelomai is used in the
New Testament to indicate emotional concern and regret. The
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, ...The feeling
indicated by the word may issue in genuine repentance, or it may
degenerate into mere remorse... (p. 2558). In Matthew 27:3,
Judas repented in the sense of regret or remorse. His
regret did not turn him back to God.
The Greek word metanoeo in the New
Testament expresses the spiritual change implied in a sinners
return to God. It means to change ones mind with regard to
sin, and consequently to change ones conduct. This word is
used in Matthew 3:2, 4:17, Acts 2:38, 17:30 and many others. The
noun form of this word is metanoia which is used of
repentance from sin or evil. Vines Expository Dictionary of New
Testament Words points out that ...this change of mind
involves both a turning FROM sin and a turning TO God (p.281).
In the Old Testament, the City of Nineveh repented
at the preaching of Jonah according to the Lord in Matthew
12:41. God had sent Jonah to Nineveh and he preached, Yet
forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown... (Jonah
3:4). The people of Nineveh believed God (Jonah 3:5). They
turned from their evil way (Jonah 3:10). The Lord
said they repented. They turned from their evil and turned to God.
THE SCOPE OF REPENTANCE
In the New Testament the Prodigal Son (Luke
15:11-24) is a classic example of genuine repentance. He departed
from his father and went into sin. He requested his inheritance,
gathered all his substance, went into a far country, and there
wasted his substance in riotous living. When his resources were
gone, his friends were gone and he found himself in the
hog pen starving. But, he came to himself, thought about
his circumstances and about his fathers house and determined
to go back. He recognized, acknowledged, and confessed his sins. In
humility, he requested just to become a servant in his fathers
house. He experienced the joy of forgiveness from his father.
Notice the steps involved in his turning from sin and turning to
his father: 1) He gave careful consideration to his situation. He
recognized where he was and where he needed to be. 2) There was
genuine sorrow for the sins he had committed. 3) There was the
determination to make things right. 4) He returned to his
fathers house. 5) With genuine humility, he confessed his
sins. He didnt slip in the back door and expect to be treated
as if nothing had happened. 6) He made a fervent plea for a place
in the fathers house. All of these steps are involved in
The reason many have a misconception of true repentance
is because they do not recognize the full scope of repentance. Many
confuse repentance with things that may or may not be involved in
repentance, but certainly do not constitute repentance within
themselves. For example:
A CHANGE OF HEART
Repentance is NOT FEAR! Many fear death, or
the Judgment, or hell itself. But, being afraid of these things
does not constitute repentance. One may live a life of sin and then
in the hour of death, out of fear, call on God to save him. Fear
alone is not repentance. James stated, Thou believest
that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe,
and tremble (James 2:19). The devils trembled but they
did not repent. Felix also trembled, And as he reasoned
of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled,
and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient
season, I will call for thee (Acts 24:25). Felix
didnt repent! Godly fear will motivate one to repent, because
one who truly fears God will obey God. Let us hear the
conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl.
12:13). Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth
I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation
he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with
him (Acts 10:34,35). But, godly fear within itself is
Repentance is NOT REGRET! One might regret
sin for any number of reasons. When one is confronted with his sin,
he might just regret that he got caught. Achan regretted taking the
spoils from Jericho, after he got caught (Joshua 7:1-26). When
Samuel confronted Saul for his disobedience to God, he expressed
regret, but did not demonstrate true repentance (I Sam. 15:10-30).
Judas regretted his betrayal of Christ, but showed no true
repentance. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he
saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the
thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders...And he
cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and
went and hanged himself (Matt. 27:3,5). One should
regret his sins for the right reasons; but, regret within itself is
Repentance is NOT GODLY SORROW ALONE! Godly
sorrow is certainly involved in repentance. There will be no
repentance without genuine godly sorrow. For godly sorrow
worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the
sorrow of the world worketh death (II Cor. 7:10). Just
because one is sorry for his sins does not mean he has repented of
those sins. If one is truly grieved over his sinful life, he will
be motivated to repent.
Repentance is NOT TURNING FROM SIN ALONE!
Repentance certainly involves quitting sin. The drunkard must quit
drinking alcohol. The thief must quit stealing. The adulterer must
quit committing adultery. The Christian who forsakes the assembling
of the saints, must quit forsaking the assembling of the saints.
But, just the quitting of these sins, and nothing more, does not
constitute true repentance. Repentance involves, not only the
turning from sin, but also the turning to God in obedience to His
will. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for
repentance (Matt. 3:8). We must not only turn from the
works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21); but, we must also turn to God in
adding the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23), and the Christian
graces (II Peter 1:5-11). In true repentance one must quit doing
what is wrong and start doing what is right.
The alien sinner in becoming a Christian must in
repentance turn from a life of sin and turn to God in obedience to
His word. He must confess faith in Christ as the Son of God. The
Ethiopian eunuch confessed, I believe that Jesus Christ
is the Son of God (Acts 8:37). Paul wrote, For
with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:10). He must
also be baptized for the remission of sins. ...Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins... (Acts 2:38; cf. Acts 22:16;
10:48; Rom. 6:1-5; Gal. 3:26,27; I Peter 3:21). The individual who
fails to confess faith in Christ as the Son of God and to be
baptized for the remission of sins has not yet repented of sin!
In repentance, the erring Christian must turn from sin
and turn to God in compliance with His terms for forgiveness. Simon
was told to, Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and
pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven
thee (Acts 8:22). Confess your faults one to
another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The
effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much
(James 5:16). If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). One who is not willing
to confess sin and pray for forgiveness has not repented.
Repentance involves making it right with the ones sinned against
(Matt. 5:23,24). Private sin may be privately confessed to God.
Public sin requires public confession. When a child of God sins
publicly, he has wronged the church, at least those to whom it is
known. Before it can be made right with God, it must be made right
with the church. The confession should be as public as the sin is!
The full scope of repentance involves the thoughts,
will, and actions of the penitent. It is a change of mind or will
that is produced by godly sorrow and results in reformation or
change of ones life or conduct. It involves honestly,
fervently, and sincerely seeking the favor of God (His forgiveness)
by turning from a sinful way of life and turning to God in
Gods appointed way, being motivated by a sincere desire and
determination to do right and to be right. This determination comes
from genuine godly sorrow because the sinner knows he has offended
God and is under His wrath. This desire and determination involves
making restitution so far as possible.
Repentance will never take place without a change of
heart. The sinner must change his attitude toward sin and toward
God. The most needed characteristic of man is a penitent heart
as demonstrated by David (Psalm 51) and the Prodigal Son (Luke
15). Without a penitent heart, one will not go to heaven.
A penitent heart is a heart that aches because of
sin. It is a heart that will not allow one who has committed
sin to eat, sleep, or rest until forgiveness is obtained. Before
Saul was baptized, ...he was three days without sight,
and neither did eat nor drink (Acts 9:9). One who is
indifferent toward sin in his life does not have a penitent heart.
A penitent heart is an examining heart.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own
selves... (II Cor. 13:5). The Prodigal Son examined
himself in the hog pen. How long has it been since you have
searched your heart and asked: Am I right with God? Is there sin in
my life that I need to repent of?
A penitent heart is a confessing heart. The
Prodigal Son confessed to his father, I have sinned
against heaven, and before thee (Luke 15:21). The
penitent heart impels one to daily confess sin to the Father in
heaven and desire forgiveness. One who does not confess his sin
does not have a penitent heart.
A penitent heart is a humble heart. When one
commits sin he ought to hang his head in shame and humility and say
as the prodigal son, make me as one of thy hired
servants (Luke 15:19). Too often people are boastful and
proud of sin in their life. They joke and laugh about it. The
penitent heart demonstrates an attitude of humility.
A penitent heart is a forsaking heart. It is
a heart that forsakes sin. One may fall in sin but a penitent heart
will not allow him to stay in sin. If one is reluctant to quit some
sin, he does not have a penitent heart.
A penitent heart is a correcting heart. It
impels one to correct wrong doing as soon as possible and to
whatever extent possible. Too many dont want to do what is
necessary to correct their sin. They do not have a penitent heart.
God not only demands, but lovingly desires that all come
to Him in repentance. The Lord is not slack concerning
his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Our God is a God of
love who wants to see every sinner saved. Who will have
all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth (I Tim. 2:4).
Heaven rejoices when sinners repent. Sin
brings grief to God. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of
God... (Eph. 4:30). Therefore, great rejoicing comes to
heaven when one sinner repents. I say unto you, that
likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,
more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no
repentance. ... Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the
presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth
God gives man the ability to repent. All who
really want to repent can do so and come to God. God gave us the
power and ability to choose (Matt. 11:28-30; II Peter 3:9; Acts
17:30). Man can go so deep and so long in sin that he loses the
desire to repent (Heb. 6:4-6). The most tragic thing anyone could
do is allow themselves to go so far in sin that they loose the
desire to repent!
God gives man time and opportunity to repent
(II Peter 3:9). But, many will wait too late. And I gave
her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not
(Rev. 2:21). If you need to repent, dont wait until it
is too late and be lost forever!
God through his word encourages all to come to Him in
repentance with two great incentives: 1) The goodness of God.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance
and long suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth
thee to repentance (Rom. 2:4). 2) The severity of God.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on
them which fell, severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou
continue in His goodness; otherwise thou shalt be cut off
God does not force the sinner to repent. He makes an
appeal through the preaching of His word. He seeks to motivate all
to repentance through His goodness and severity. Each individual
must choose to repent or perish (Luke 13:3,5).
WHAT WILL YOUR CHOICE BE?
PO Box 97
Nettleton, MS 38858
Table of Contents
WATER BAPTISM AND WORKS
Garland M. Robinson
There are several different types of works
mentioned in the New Testament. There are:
1. Works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). These
are immoral and oppose the kingdom. They keep one from being saved.
2. Works of Satan or works of darkness (I
John 3:8). They originate with Satan. They keep one from being
3. Works of moral goodness (Titus 3:5). The
world recognize these as good works and they even help others. But
they have no power to save in and of themselves. Anyone, even a
non-Christian, can do these works. They will not or can not save.
4. Works of the Law of Moses (Rom. 3:20;
Gal. 3:19-25). They cannot save and were never intended to save.
They simply identify and condemn sin. They show mans inability
to save himself.
5. Works of mans righteousness (Rom.
10:1-3). These were designed by man, thinking they would draw one
closer to God. They, likewise, cannot save.
None of these works justify men before God
never have, never will. I have never taught they would save
and have never heard anyone else teach they would save or justify
one before God. But, there is another kind of work not
mentioned in these five.
6. Works of God. These are works He
designed and commands man to obey. These are sometimes called
works of faith. It is these works (commands) that man
must obey in order to be saved. We do not trust in our works or
performance, but rather, we trust (have faith) in Gods word
and therefore OBEY Him, i.e. we OBEY HIS WORKS the works He
command us to do.
The works of God include:
Faith. Faith is a work designed by God (John
6:29). It is not mans work, it is Gods work. It is a work
God commands man to do. Without man performing this work, he cannot
be saved. When man complies with this work, he cannot say
he has earned salvation.
Repentance. Repentance is a work designed by
God (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38). It is essential to salvation. It is a
work God commands man to do. Without man performing this work, he
cannot be saved. When man complies with this work, he
cannot say he has earned salvation.
Confession of faith in Jesus. Confession is
a work designed by God (Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:37).
It is a work God commands man to do. Without man performing this
work, he cannot be saved. When man complies with this
work, he cannot say he has earned salvation.
Baptism in water for the remission of sins.
Baptism is a work designed by God (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Mark
16:16). It is a work God commands man to do. Without man performing
this work, he cannot be saved. When man complies with this
work, he cannot say he has earned salvation.
These are not mans works, they are Gods
works. These are works God commands man to do.
Were not trying to emphasize water baptism over
the other works of God, but since that one work is under attack and
is denied by many, it obviously requires more attention.
Notice these significant points concerning water
Without water baptism, there is no newness
of life (Rom. 6:4). One either lives an old
life of sin or a new life in Christ. The new life in
Christ follows baptism. It does not precede baptism.
Without water baptism, there is no forgiveness
of sins (Acts 2:38). Since one cannot be saved without having
their sins forgiven, water baptism is obviously essential to
salvation. Forgiveness of sins never follows any other action than
water baptism. This is true throughout the whole New Testament.
Without water baptism, there is no union with
Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). Since salvation is only offered
to those who are united with Christ, this makes baptism essential
to salvation. Baptism puts one INTO Christ where salvation is
Without water baptism, one cannot be saved.
Jesus makes this clear in Mark 16:16, [BI} He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved. Some try to deny this
verse belongs in the Bible. They see the great damage it does to
their faith only doctrine, so they try desperately to
dismiss it. However, there is nothing taught in this verse that is
not taught in the rest of the New Testament in passages such as
Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, I Peter 3:21, Col. 2:12, Rom. 6:6,17-18. But
even if Mark 16:16 did not exist, the case for water baptism has
not been hurt and the case for faith only has not been
Without water baptism, theres no calling on
the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). To call on the name of the
Lord simply means that we rely on and obey the commands of the
Lord. Jesus is the one who commanded baptism, so we call upon His
name when we obey His command to be baptized. In baptism, one is
calling on the Lords name. Shall one deny baptisms
validity (essentiality) simply because he doesnt want it to
have anything to do with salvation?
Without water baptism, theres no adding one
to the body of Christ (Acts 2:41,47). No other passages speak
of one being added to the body of the saved (the church) other than
when one is baptized. One is not added to the church at the point
of faith, not at the point of repentance, nor at the point of
Without water baptism, theres no washing
away of sins (Acts 22:16). The water of baptism does not wash
sins away. Ones sins are washed away by the blood of Christ
(Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7). The question is, when does Christs blood
wash away sins? It is not at the point of faith, not at the point
of repentance, nor at the point of confession. The forgiving blood
of Jesus washes sins away WHEN one is baptized (Acts 22:16).
Without water baptism, theres no contact
with the blood of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). Since the blood of
Jesus is what washes sins away, the question is, when does one
contact the blood of Christ? One contacts the blood of Christ when
he/she is baptized INTO Christ (Rom. 6:3-6). It was in Christs
death that he shed His blood and it is when we die to sin and obey
the likeness of His death, burial and resurrection (in water
baptism) that we contact His precious blood. Romans 6:17-18 says,
Being THEN made free from sin, ye became the servants of
righteousness. One is not made free from sin when he first
believes, repents or confesses faith in Christ. One is made free
from sin when he is baptized according to Romans 6:18.
Without water baptism, theres no putting off
the old man of sin (Rom. 6:6). Without discarding ones
old sinful life, there is no salvation. One must die to
the sinful life and live a new life of obedience to the Lord. This
is done when one is baptized (Rom. 6:6), not when one believes,
repents or confesses.
Without water baptism, theres no being made
free from sin (Rom. 6:18). This verse is so clear one would
need help to misunderstand it. Exactly WHEN is one made free from
their sins? It is when one OBEYS from the heart (sincerely) that
form of doctrine that has been delivered to us. What is the
form of doctrine a sinner obeys? It is water baptism.
That is the topic of discussion, the context, of Romans 6:1-18. One
obeys a likeness of the death, burial and resurrection of
Jesus (Rom. 6:3-5). As Jesus died on the cross, a sinner dies to
sin. As Jesus was buried in a tomb, a sinner is buried (immersed)
in water baptism. As Jesus was raised up from the dead, a new
creature (II Cor. 5:17) is raised up from the waters of
baptism. When one obeys this form of doctrine, he is then
made free from sin. He is a new creature (creation) in Christ. Old
things are done away. All things have become new (II Cor. 5:17).
Without water baptism, theres no likeness
of the Lords resurrection (Rom. 6:5). As Jesus was
raised up from the tomb, one who is baptized is raised up from the
waters of baptism. This cannot be said of one who believes in
Jesus. This cannot be said of one who repents of his sins. This
cannot be said of one who confesses faith in Jesus. The only
likeness of the Lords resurrection is when one is raised from
the watery grave of baptism.
Without water baptism, theres no operation
of God on our sins (Col. 2:12). In water baptism, God
performs an operation on us to remove our sins from our soul. One
cannot remove his own sins, it is only done by God. God does not
perform this operation when one believes. He does not perform it
when one repents. He does not perform it when one confesses.
Colossians 2:12 clearly shows God performs His operation when one
is baptized in water.
Without water baptism, theres no new birth
(John 3:5). Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is born
again he cannot be saved. This new birth is made up of
water and the spirit. The Holy Spirit
reveals God will that one must be baptized in water to be
saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Water baptism is the only action in
the whole New Testament that can be connected with a birth. In a
birth, a baby comes into the world from a place where he/she is
covered (a place that cannot be seen). In water baptism, a person
comes into the world from a place where he/she is covered (a place
that cannot be seen). One is born the first time in natural child
birth, but one is born again (born anew) through/in the
process of water baptism. Faith, repentance or confession does not
resemble, even remotely, the action of a birth.
Without water baptism, theres no death to
sin (Rom. 6:2,11). Unless one dies to sin, ceases to live a
life of sin, there is no forgiveness of sins. Romans 6 makes the
connection of dying to sin with water baptism, not with faith,
repentance or confession.
Without water baptism, theres no salvation
(I Peter 3:21). God is saying, read my lips,
baptism doth also now save us. How could it be said any
plainer? Is God lying to us? Certainly not!
Can we say that water baptism saves us? The Bible says
YES in this verse. But according to other verses, we learn that
baptism alone does not save. We do not count on it for salvation.
Anyone can be dunked under water. So, what then does save? God
saves (Jude 1:25). Jesus saves (Heb. 7:25). Faith saves (Rom. 5:1).
Repentance saves (Luke 13:3,5). Confession saves (Rom. 10:9-10).
BUT, NO ONE OF THESE ALONE saves. All that we do, we do by faith.
Nothing we do is any good without faith. By faith, we repent. By
faith, we confess. By faith, we are baptized. So, we are justified
by faith (Rom. 5:1). But not faith alone (James 2:24).
James 2 compliments Romans 4. Lest there be a
misunderstanding of Rom. 4, James 2 clarifies it. The same example
of Abraham is used in both texts. Abraham was saved by faith, BUT
NOT FAITH ALONE. He was saved by Faith WHEN he obeyed (worked) what
God told him to do.
The word FAITH is a figure of speech (synecdoche) by
which a part is put for the whole. When the Bible says were
saved by faith, it does not mean faith alone, nothing more, nothing
less. James two makes this clear. Faith is believing and trusting
God. Faith is doing what God says, WHEN he says, WHY he says, and
HOW he says. Active faith involves the whole plan of salvation, not
just faith alone.
Its not hard to understand what Jesus said to do
to be saved in Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved. But many deny it. Faith is not
all one must do, but Im not going to deny what Jesus said do.
This passage is in perfect harmony with every passage on faith,
every passage on repentance, every passage on confession, every
passage in the whole New Testament.
There is no verse or verses anywhere (or context for
that matter) that tells us all there is to do to be saved. Mark
16:16 doesnt. Romans 5:1 doesnt. First Corinthians 15:1-4
doesnt. Acts 17:30 doesnt. Theres not one. If so,
where? And, if you attempt to point one out, then you have denied
the remainder of the New Testament.
Ill take all the word of God, not just a part of
Table of Contents
...Go And Tell Him His Fault
Between You And Him Alone
Jimmie B. Hill
Our Love for one another can only be shown in
the actions that such love prompts. With this in mind, our Lord tells us how we
are to treat those who would sin against us.
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against
thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he
shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother (Matt.
The word brother is a term of endearment
which was instituted by our Lord and Saviour. It is not to be taken
lightly. Christians are called brethren because they are of the one
redeemed family with Jehovah God as their Father and Christ as
their Brother. Therefore, as the Father and the Son are one (John
17:21), Christians are to be united in doctrine, priorities, and
helping one another to their eternal destiny.
Our Lord did not choose the word brother arbitrarily.
This word carries with it the love (agape) of one
another (I John 4:7-11,16). As members of the same family, each is
to be concerned with the others physical and spiritual welfare
(Rom. 15:2) and work with each other in the caring of one another
(Rom. 13:8-10). Love seeks opportunity to do good to all men, but
especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10).
Our love for one another can only be shown in the actions that such
love prompts. With this in mind, our Lord tells us how we are to
treat those who would sin against us.
Matthew 18:15 tells us how to deal with brethren who
sin against us personally or in a private manner. This is apparent
in the phrase, ...if thy brother shall trespass against
thee. If a brother sins and injures anothers
character, his person, his property, or his spirit, whether by
words or conduct, the situation must be dealt with. The brother who
is trespassed (sinned) against is under obligation to go and try to
resolve the matter and restore the erring brother (Gal. 6:1). How
is this to be done? As Matthew 18:15 indicates, he is to go to the
erring brother and tell him of his fault (sin). This is to be done
in the absence of any other person and without speaking to anyone.
It is to be done privately. He should be told his fault in the
spirit of gentleness and love. This is for his souls sake in
order that he may have the opportunity to acknowledge his offense
and offer an explanation of his conduct. Many would be glad for
such an opportunity and welcome the show of love and concern that
brethren are to have for each other. It may be that he does not
realize what he has done or the ramifications thereof and will
gladly adjust his conduct and repent of his wrong doing. It is the
obligation of brethren to furnish such an opportunity to one
another. In the event of a personal or private trespass, such is
required to be done alone. And, if the erring brother
repents (Luke 17:3,4) then the case should be settled and should
never be made known to anyone else.
To violate the words of our Lord in Matthew 18:15 has
the potential to do great harm to the church of our Lord. The
faults of the penitent brother should not be blazoned abroad. Why?
It will do no good! It may, however, cause great harm by wounding
the body of Christ. The enemies of the cross relish opportunities
to maliciously spread the faults of the members of the church to
instill doubt about its purity in others and thereby bring about
disbelief. This cripples the work of the church in the saving of
souls. Also, those brethren whom once had regard for the penitent
brother, knowing of his past faults, may look at him in a different
light. He may lose his reputation as a capable servant of the Lord
thus making him ineffective in the work of the church. The shame
involved with others knowing the nature of his sin may injure the
penitent brother and cause him to suffer needlessly. He may feel
unworthy to take part in the work of the church or any of its
activities. By placing yourself in his situation you should fully
appreciate the Lords wisdom in one going to him
alone. The Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12 should
be considered and heeded.
If the erring brother has the right attitude and a
good heart, then he will hear the loving brother and be thankful
for his diligence. And so, the Lord said, If he hears you, you
have gained your brother. By going to him alone the desired
effect has been achieved. The erring brother has been preserved and
the two have been reconciled. He has been gained as a Christian
brother and restored to himself and to the body of Christ.
Brethren, the wisdom of our Lord can be seen in His
words, Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against
thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he
shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Brethren, sin is sin. But any sin for which repentance
is made will be forgiven by our merciful and gracious God. Can we
do any less?
PO Box 5048
Duluth, Georgia 30096
Table of Contents
A couple of months ago an appeal was made on behalf of Linda
Hoff to help with medical bills she incurred because of having
cancer but no health insurance. Because of the generosity of fellow
Christians the bills were paid off. Funds received after that point
are being returned (cf. Exodus 36:4-7). Linda recently had a blood
test that showed no evidence of cancer after only one chemotherapy
treatment. Your love and concern has greatly touched us
...Douglas Hoff, Rockwood, MI. Dear brothers in Christ:
This letter is on behalf of Mark Brewer, a graduate of the
Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies. Mark is serving as
the pulpit minister for the Des Arc church of Christ. Mark took on
this mission work two years ago under the oversight of the Judsonia
church of Christ. During this time there have been 24 baptisms and
numerous Bible studies. The Lords church in Des Arc has grown
500%. Mark is 36 years old and is engaged to be married and as of
a month ago, his future was bright. Mark had surgery on his gall
bladder recently and the doctors discovered a problem. Mark is in
desperate need of a liver transplant, without it he will die. The
elders at the Judsonia church have set up a fund to pay for
Marks medical expenses. The cost of the medical expenses,
including the transplant is approximately $350,000. If there is any
way you can help, please do. We ask not only for your financial
support, but also for the prayers of faithful brethren. Please help
us spread the news of Mark to others. If you have any questions,
please contact any one of the elders: Dean Curtis (501) 729-3556,
Paul Farley (501) 729-5118, Donald Loy (501) 729-0402. Make checks
payable to Judsonia church of Christ and specify the money be
placed in the Mark Brewer medical fund. Send to Judsonia church
of Christ, PO Box 422, Judsonia, AR. [EDITORS NOTE:
Ive met Mark and know that he is a faithful preacher of the
Gospel and worthy of our support. On his behalf, I ask for your
help. Garland] Thank you very much for STOP
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...Larry Gouch, Bartlett, TN. Truthfully, I must say that
I take no joy in reading STOP when it comes to reports
such as the article about Abilene Christian University
compromising truth about homosexuality and other such compromises
in the Lords church. Ive always attempted to be
open-minded enough to try to understand the positions of
others, even when I disagree with them. However, Gods Word
clearly teaches that homosexual activity is an
abomination. Its beyond me how ACU can make such
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need to be informed, especially when it comes to such an extreme
compromise as this, and we need to pray earnestly for any who have
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Keep up the good work ...Edith Rich, Red Boiling Springs,
TN. Copies of the updated 8th edition of The Other Side
of Evolution, by Jon Gary Williams, are now available for free
distribution. This book is written for the average reader. In it
the complexities involved in the evolution theory are made simple
so both parents and young people can benefit from it. It is also
suitable for classroom studies. Individuals and congregations can
order copies (as many as needed) of The Other Side of
Evolution from Randall Standefer, PO Box 123, Dunlap, TN
37327, firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up the good
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