Church of Christ
Mission USA

Common Errors Refuted

(In Answer To A Baptist Preacher)

by Perry Sexton

      While door knocking and passing out religious material I was confronted by a Baptist preacher. I was content in just leaving him the material, but he started asking questions and challenging my answers. Following are some of the things discussed, along with Scriptures showing the error of the Baptist way. Friends, I do this because of my love and concern for his soul, your soul and the souls of all mankind. Error is damnable! I am not quoting him, but I am giving generally his arguments which is according to Baptist’ doctrine. I countered his arguments with Scripture and have expanded on that somewhat after each point.

      On Mark 16:16 the Baptist preacher said one is saved at the point of faith. Please note what Jesus said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” The word “and” is a coordinating conjunction which connects things of equal value. So the Lord said in Mark 16:16 that two things are necessary to be saved: faith and baptism. We must not change God’s Word and we must not change definitions of words to suit our wishes! All Scripture on this matter supports what Jesus said. Who will you believe: the Savior or mere man???

      The Baptist preacher’s response was common error, basically: Jesus did not say that he who is not baptized shall be damned. The answer is obvious: Jesus would not have to say that because one would not be baptized, nor even could be baptized without faith! Consider this example: the doctor tells you that you will die unless you have your appendix removed. If you believe the doctor and are concerned for your life you will have the surgery. But if you do not believe, you will not have the surgery and you will die. Let us state it this way concerning one with appendicitis: “He that believeth and is operated on shall live, but he that believeth not shall die.” 

      The Baptist preacher talked of the “water” in John 3:5 as it were the water in physical birth, but the context shows this to be false. In the first place, would Jesus or anyone say that before you can be saved you must be born physically? How absurd! Is there even one Scripture that would support Jesus saying this? No. How many times have you seen “you must be born physically” as a qualification for anything? Have you seen it on job applications, etc.? Such absurdities only come about when men try to get around the truth! Why would anyone want to get around the saving truth and thus be lost eternally??? Please believe the Word of God.

      Please note the context: Jesus said “Except a man be born again,…” (v.3). And “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,…” (v.5). Jesus was speaking of a “man” being born again of the water and of the spirit. To be born of the Spirit is to hear and obey the Spirit.  This is accomplished only through God’s Word (cp. 1 Peter 1:22,23 and every conversion account in the book of Acts). It is a spiritual birth consisting of two elements: water and the Spirit. The Spirit teaches water baptism; He gave us God’s Word. He that believeth and is baptized is raised up to walk in newness of life (cp. Rom. 6:4). One is in newness of life through the new birth which certainly includes water baptism.

      Surely the honest Bible student can see clearly that the one who has been translated into the kingdom, having redemption, the forgiveness of sins, is one who has been born again or saved (Col. 1:13,14). In like manner the Bible clearly teaches that baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 cp. 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21) showing that baptism and the new birth are one and the same. Jesus taught a man is to be born again of water and of the Spirit. One is saved when his sins are remitted. Jesus taught this happens in water baptism. Will you believe the Savior?     

      The Baptist preacher brought up the same old question that has been refuted by us many times over: It is of one on death row having heard and believed the gospel, but could not be baptized. I asked him the same question and he said one on death row was saved at the point of believing and without baptism. I told him that he took a lot of liberties with God’s Word, but that I could only speak the Word of God (1 Peter 4:11). Which I did: see again Mark 16:16. Friends, the Word of God will meet us all in the Day of Judgment.

      The Baptist preacher said he cried out and was saved and used John 3:16 as the basis. His statement has to do with the so called “sinner’s prayer:” the error of man (cp. Matt. 15:9). To know what God’s Word says about the prayers of sinners please read: John 9:31; Isaiah 59:1,2; Proverbs 15:8,29; Psalm 34:16 and 66:18. There is no Bible example of an alien sinner ever doing as the Baptist preacher said he did. No Bible friends! That should mean something to us all! It is error of the worst kind. It has no true basis in God’s Word, but rather contradicts the teachings from God. They use Romans 10:9,10, but an honest study of these verses clearly reveals it does not support man’s doctrine of praying for salvation. Faith and confession are “unto” and not “into” as is baptism (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). God tells us the truth plainly and it is easily understood whenever we will accept it (cp. 2 Cor. 3:16). Sometimes Luke 18:9-14 is used to try and justify man’s doctrine of praying for salvation, but such cannot be done honestly. Both men in the parable were in covenant relationship with God. They both had a right to pray to God, the alien sinner does not.

            The Baptist preacher used the old worn out and refuted argument of “once saved always saved” saying that no one is able to “pluck” the saved out of God’s hand. I believe John 10:28,29 as I do all Scripture, I do not believe man’s perversion of the Scriptures! It is true, neither man nor Satan himself can “pluck” the saved out of God’s hand. But God’s Word is just as plain that man is a free moral agent and can choose to leave God (e.g. Duet. 30:19; Joshua 24:15). Man can come (Matt. 11:28) and man can leave (Jer. 50:6; 2 Peter 2:20-22). We must take the “sum” (Psalm 139:17) total of God’s Word, not just what we want. God’s Word teaches that the saved have eternal life in “promise” (1 John 2:25) and in “the world to come” (Mark 10:30) and that man can clearly fall (Acts 1:25; Heb. 10:29). Eternal life comes at the end of a faithful life on earth (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 3:6; Rev 2:1ff).

       The Baptist preacher resorted, it seems to me like, to a willful misuse of the thief on the cross. Their argument is that the thief on the cross was not baptized. They make this presumption without one shred of evidence. With book, chapter and verse I can show more evidence that he likely was baptized, but that is not the point in the first place. The all important point missed by him, willingly or otherwise, is the fact that the thief lived and died under the Law of Moses. He never lived under the law of Christ. This matter is very easily understood because it is common with everyday living. A man’s will or testament does not come of force until after the man dies (study Heb. 9:15-17). Now, why would anyone keep using this argument as the Baptist preacher did in light of what the Bible so clearly teaches? Furthermore, baptism is a part of the New Covenant not the Old Covenant.

       The Baptist preacher refused our material and to study with me, though I made several attempts. Such an attitude as this is not pleasing to God. In the first place one cannot have a good Bible study without opening the Bible together and considering the Scriptures and context carefully. Please note a few Bible characters that became Christians and their attitudes (Acts 2:41; 8:31; 16:14; 17:10, 11). Closed-mindedness is not a godly attribute! Please read Matthew 15:14; 13:15; John 12:40; 2 Cor. 4:4).  

       Another problem: the Baptist preacher continually jumped from one subject to another. Nothing good can be accomplished from such – the truth will never be learned from such handling of God’s Word.

       The Baptist preacher or some other might object and say: “I am not refusing God’s Word, I am refusing your words.” Well, I say, show me where I have taught anything different than what is taught in God’s Word. Prove it (1 Thess. 5:21). There is no good reason and certainly no biblical reason not to believe what I have just taught: it is God’s Word – go back and see!

       If you have any questions or concerns please let us hear from you. We are very much concerned for the souls of all men.

       Please know that the Baptist preacher will also get a copy of this material and will be asked for a public discussion of these matters. We are concerned for his soul also. ♥