Mar 252017

Matthew 19:1-15

 In this section Matthew 19 – 20:16 – Jesus deals with 3 topics; marriage, children and property. Hmm, this is the neighborhood in which we usually live.

Teaching About Marriage / Divorce


 1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

  • Jesus is on the move

And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

  • Always the large crowd and Jesus responds to their needs.
  • This is another sign that his kingdom has arrived – look who Jesus is hanging with;
  • Those who have been cut off from the worship life – the unclean, the down and outers.
  • He not only takes their sin upon himself, but also sets them free.
  • These healings are object lessons and not a prescription to ask “Why didn’t you heal my son?”
  • What is the biggest object lesson for the Christian? The Resurrection!

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

  • Note that they come to “test him” – not to learn out of curiosity.
  • “For any cause?” It is said that a man could divorce his wife for burning the toast.
  • They want to trap Jesus with a loophole – something that relieves them of their sin. “Ah Ha! Caught you teaching against God’s Law!”

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

  • Holy smokes! He takes them to the scriptures. “Jesus, we can all read the scriptures, but we want to know what is Right… or, we want to know what you think is right.”
  • But Jesus will not be “loopholed”
  • WC Fields when observed reading the Bible said he was “looking for loopholes” as were the Pharisees … even as we do.

and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

  • I think this also goes to the proper parts fitting together.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.”

  • Jesus adds his own divine commentary to the Genesis passage.
  • Jesus is saying, ‘so whose sermon are you going to listen to? The sermon of your own mind (and don’t we do that most of the time?) or the sermon of the creator of all things?

They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”

  • They have their own sermon to preach – they want Jesus to Amen their sermon.
  • In real life, how many going to the pastor for a family problem, perhaps an impending divorce think they are being judged vs being given God’s word.
  • Will we listen to the word of God or are we just looking for the pastor to amen our side of the story?
  • The keys get mixed up – the binding key gets loosened and the loosing key gets bound.

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

  • I wonder if Jesus smiled at them and said “yes, Moses did make that allowance – do you know why? Because you are sinners.
  • They probably think the divorce allowance was because they we righteous and they deserved a way out – – no, Sinners.
  • From the beginning – Go back to v.6 “let no man” – is Moses God or man?

And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

  • This is what the people hear and then say “the pastor / the church are judging me. We don’t want to be a part of a church like that.
  • But … until we recognize our sin, forgiveness cannot be granted.

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

  • No – marriage is messy, just like the church because both are fully populated with sinners.
  • Marriage has obligations and much denial of self.
  • Marriage is a divine institution and is not man made. The Church will continue to come under pressure over the definition and practice of marriage
  • So what do you confess and how would you go?
  • Jesus said deny yourself and pick up your cross – In America I do not think we have a clue what Jesus means – but we may be called on to find out.

11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.

  • It is important here to remember the original question – ““Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
  • One cannot approach this text from the question the Pharisees are asking – under what circumstances is divorce OK – because this is not a text that answers this question.
  • The Pharisees would never accept his answer – so his answer is really to the surrounding crowd.
  • The answer – God’s design for marriage is simply a permanent joining of the two – one man, one woman as a husband and a wife, which has been described as one flesh.
  • When is it lawful to divorce? Jesus pretty much answers NEVER!
  • But we live in a twisted world.
  • But to the question of “it is better to not marry” – well that is limited to a select few – only those to whom it is given.
  • 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
  • The “onlys” here seem to be “eunuchs”
  • What is a eunuch? Castrated – some who do it as an obligation to God – perhaps some with no libido.

Let the Children Come to Me

 13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people,

  • Folks bring their children to Jesus to be prayed for by Jesus
  • The disciples hear previously about Jesus and children, and they still rebuke the people and play the role of bouncer.
  • “Folks, please keep your children away from Jesus, he has more important things to do.”
  • Don’t we do the same thing when we keep the children out of the Divine Service and put them in a separate classroom? How many times I have heard, “well the children will cause a disturbance and someone who really needs to hear the message will miss it.”

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

  • Jesus sets them straight. The kingdom of heaven is specifically for the children – are you “a children”?
  • “do not hinder them” – Acts 8 uses the same word for hinder by the Ethiopian “what should hinder me from being baptized?”
  • In a Lutheran service, this verse or the corresponding one in Mark are read at a baptism.
  • What does this verse have to do with baptism?
  • Jesus is telling them “I have come for the children too. Do not prevent children from entering the kingdom – How dare you!!”
  • Why do some people / churches refuse to baptize their babies?
  • They don’t sin? They are “in” based on their parent’s faith? They need to choose on their own? There is an Age of Accountability?
  • What is said about the age of accountability? I think we find it right there in scripture – there is an age of accountability – but the clock starts at birth. Psalm 51.

15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

  • Jesus does what he came to do and moves on.


  76 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. Thanks MLD. Good teaching again this week.

  2. This morning we followed the gospel of Jesus and as we ‘did not hinder the little children’, but instead we allowed Jesus to bring in 2 new souls into the kingdom. Twin 6 week olds.

  3. I think it’s a mistake to limit the words of Jesus about forbidding the children to come to Him to baptism.

    That is not to say that it can’t include the sacrament.

    I think it includes anything that would create a barrier to them coming to Christ and receiving the love of Christ.

    I do note that it was the religious that needed to be rebuked…

  4. I agree with you enough to add those who keep babies out of the sanctuary during the divine worship service are also hindering the children.

  5. “are you “a children”?”

    How do we become “a children”? Do we do this ourselves or does God soften our hearts to become “a children”?

  6. I don’t know why I’d bother, but I guess someone might be reading…

    reading baptism into this passage is a major anachronism.

    But I know that won’t matter to those convinced otherwise.

  7. Well we have discussed in the past how Baptists deny seeing water baptism, let alone God working through baptism, in any biblical passage. So what’s new?

  8. Exactly, that’s exactly what I’ve said.


    Sorry everybody. Won’t happen again.

  9. “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,”

  10. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

  11. Well you will have to tell me where I am wrong. Each time I have ever brought up any verse and said God it working through baptism – you have always come back with the same retort. ‘this verse is not talking about baptism.’

    Because Jesus has not yet instituted Christian baptism – this is still one of those OT types and shadows that points towards what is to be. The key is that the kingdom was made for the children – and some churches do deny entry.

  12. ” this is still one of those OT types and shadows that points towards what is to be. The key is that the kingdom was made for the children – and some churches do deny entry.”

    This is an answer to my first post. Your first was nothing but a lie and an insult. You know this, and it is why I am a fool for continuing to have any discussion here.

  13. I affirm Josh. How silly to say we don’t see water baptism in any passages of the Bible. You just lumped Josh and me with Hannah’s wild argument from last week. That is why you are getting insufferable to discuss with. The parents were not bringing their children to Jesus to be baptized in that text. Period.

    I had the same experience in India. Parents wanting the pastor to bless their children and you can bet this passage was in my memory, even though we had other places to go.

  14. “The most odious form of arguing online is to find the most foolish looking representative of the other side of the debate and act as if that fool represents the whole of the group…”

    I just read this somewhere….:)

  15. Where is the difference theologically between the Baptist view and Hannah’s view? You both deny baptism as a means of grace. Perhaps Hannah is just more to the point and honest about the view.

  16. Let’s be clear. Lutherans do not believe the unbaptized baby is damned, even as they say the baptized one is “saved”

    And to be clear that “salvation” of that baby is dependent on that baby in the future, for it can walk away and reject Christ and be damned.

    No different than babies of believers today in Josh and my churches except for the water.

  17. “Where is the difference theologically between the Baptist view and Hannah’s view?”

    If you don’t understand that, there is no use trying to straighten it out for you. You are either incapable or unwilling.

    One could just as easily ask what’s the different theologically between a Lutheran and Taco Sauce?

  18. “Let’s be clear. Lutherans do not believe the unbaptized baby is damned, even as they say the baptized one is “saved””

    This is not true.

  19. So any unbaptized baby goes to hell?

  20. Josh – I understand and respect your position on baptism as it was a position I once held. For me, it was seeing that infant baptism was practiced from the earliest times in the Church. Irenaeus (d. 202) was a “third generation” Church father – that is, he was a follower of Polycarp, who was a follower of John the Apostle – and he writes of infant baptism as a wholly accepted practice in the early Church. Now, not saying antiquity is a “slam dunk” argument, but it does make you think…

    “For He came to save all through means of Himself—all, I say, who through Him are born again to God—infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age, being at the same time made to them an example of piety, righteousness, and submission; a youth for youths, becoming an example to youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be “the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence,” the Prince of life, existing before all, and going before all.” (Against Heresies, 2.22.4)

  21. Josh, MLD flip flops on my car accident on the way to the infant baptism question.

    Jean on the other hand is like talking to a KJV only person who thinks the NIV is Satanic. Narrow as dental floss, myopic as Mr. Magoo. Except Magoo was nice….

  22. Hannah may arrive at her view of baptism from a different route than Baptists, but you both arrive at the same conclusion – Baptism is not a means of grace; Baptism does nothing. So, she comes to the logical conclusion: Why do it? Baptists invent a Baptism of obedience. Your view confuses the issue of Salvation by grace, through faith alone. So, isn’t Hannah’s view at the end of the day at least cleaner?

  23. Doesn’t the majority of the evidence though, point to paedo-baptism not being mentioned until around 215, and not becoming widespread practice until a couple hundred years later?

    Don’t have books nearby, but that is my memory. Again, even if that is true, it wouldn’t be a slam-dunk one way or the other.

  24. Jean – Lutherans and Taco Bell both say you have to eat something.

    I’ll quote Michael for you again:

    “The most odious form of arguing online is to find the most foolish looking representative of the other side of the debate and act as if that fool represents the whole of the group…”

  25. “Except Magoo was nice….”

    Kindness is severely underrated among the online Christian types.

  26. Jean. You are incapable of honest discussion. We just had a lengthy thread on the subject so for you to repeat false statements about what we believe, when we have already expressed ourselves clearly, makes you a false witness, and very much in unrepentant sin.

    You desire to be “right” repeatedly leads you to such sin, and is contrary to the general history of this blog (with exceptions on occasion) when debated doctrines throughout church history are discussed here.

    As to MLD, I always attempt to represent you accurately but your statements do change when your argument crumbles a little. So it can be tough to keep up.

  27. So far I see name calling only from Josh and Steve. Then the accuse me of not being nice. Fascinating.

  28. Josh

    Irenaeus wrote ‘Against Heresies’ about AD 180 and spoke of infant baptism as a normal part of Church life that everyone accepted. Again, you’re only looking a a generation or two after the last of the apostles. Actually, come to think of it, we have earlier evidence for infant baptism than for the Canon of Scripture! I better watch it, I could get in trouble here…

  29. “So any unbaptized baby goes to hell?”

    This is not true.

    All this shows is that you and Steve come from traditions that only know how to raise objection through your doubting questions, but have not been trained to resolve tough issues.

  30. Jean – Show me one place that I called you a name, please.

  31. Also, Steve says he’s honest and I’m not. Show me where on this thread I have misrepresented you or Josh and include the comment number. I will review the comment.

  32. JEan – Any comment that links my view with Hannah’s is dishonest.

  33. Thanks Duane – I’ll have to go back and read some more. Been a while since I studied all that. Dates get mixed up. If I find what I’m thinking of, I’ll link it here for your comment.

  34. Josh, saying something is dishonest because you say it is may work in Washington, but not with me.

  35. MLD – you said it wasn’t true when Steve said you didn’t believe unbaptized babies were damned, then you said it was untrue when I asked if all unbaptized babies are damned.

    That is confusing.

  36. Jean – if you are the one who decides what I believe and don’t believe, then yes, you can say whatever you want and it will be honest.

    I’m telling you that I don’t believe anything near what Hannah believes. For you to continue saying that I do is dishonest. Again, you know this, but you think it helps your argument.

  37. Josh – work on it – seriously.
    I am stepping into a meeting for the next couple of hours.
    This has been worked out by other much brighter than me.

  38. I have and do work on it. You are the one teaching on this page, which is why I asked you.

    All good. It is not my belief so I don’t have to find a way to make it work.

  39. Josh, you wrote:

    “I’m telling you that I don’t believe anything near what Hannah believes. For you to continue saying that I do is dishonest. Again, you know this, but you think it helps your argument.”

    First, I am not trying to score argument points or win a debate. I am seeking only God’s truth and wish to share it with others and by God’s grace inculcate that truth in them.

    Second, Hannah has said that any water baptism, whether to a man, woman or child, does not in any event impart God’s grace. She says that salvation, the remission of sins and regeneration, does not come by water baptism. That is her conclusion regarding water baptism.

    If you disagree with any of those above points, please share with us which one(s). If you don’t disagree, then where am I being dishonest?

  40. She made a much larger point, and you know that.

  41. Josh,

    Yes she does, and that is why I did not attribute that larger point to you or Steve. If you read my relevant comments, #15 and #22, I am speaking of the result, where from different routes you both arrive at the same destination on the issue of the denial of the means of grace in Baptism.

  42. Like I said, you can’t just take a crazy argument, pull a couple of points and ask me defend it. That’s dishonest.

    I can discuss my view on baptism, but Hanna will not be involved.

  43. “I can discuss my view on baptism, but Hanna will not be involved.”

    If you can make a biblical argument, I would like to read it. And we can leave Hannah out of it.

  44. Jean, I called you narrow and myopic in your theology. I stand by that objective critique.

    I said you were not nice – I stand by that based on your unrepentant calling me a dangerous false teacher, despite many opportunities to take it back. It is what you believe, so be it. Thus, I go back to my narrow, myopic theology comment.

    As to false witness of what I believe, again, that is objective as well. As this baptism discussion shows…but I’ll let Josh handle that one.

  45. I know MLD is in a meeting but it seems like by now we ought to be able to pin this down. I sincerely want to know, if I am a Lutheran pastor, what I am expected to say to the parents of the child in my congregation who lost their baby in a tragedy in the first weeks of its life before baptism could occur. (I use the car accident on the way to church as an example, but there are all sorts of examples that could likewise be used)

    The choices are minimal.

    A) The infant is saved and received into heaven. Despite no baptism.

    B) The infant is damned and received into hell. Because of no baptism.

    C) I don’t know. I will leave it in the hands of God. (Though with this answer I assume there ought to be at least a strong degree in Lutheranism of what is LIKELY to happen – and thus how the pastor should answer the parents in his congregation)

    Why MLD seems to waffle on this is confusing to me. He is so dogmatic on everything else re: Lutheranism.

  46. Josh,
    This is the concluding sentence in the paragraph on Baptism in the SBC link you provided.

    “Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.”

    Where is the biblical support for this sentence?

  47. I’m not sure that every sentence of the statement has a bible verse attached. Of course, there is no biblical record of a baby being baptized, so we can’t argue for strict biblical adherence.

  48. “I’m not sure that every sentence of the statement has a bible verse attached.”

    So, are you admitting that the sentence I quoted in #47 is not supported by Scripture? And, thus, would be a man made work?

    Josh, above at #42 you said “I can discuss my view on baptism….” Can you?

    You wrote:

    “Of course, there is no biblical record of a baby being baptized, so we can’t argue for strict biblical adherence.”

    Yes we can. Matthew 28:19 says “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them….” Is a baby a member of a nation? If so, then the command is to baptize them.

    But, let’s stay on your view before we move into the Lutheran view. It will make the discussion easier to follow.

  49. The consent of one or both parents (or guardians) is required in Lutheran practice prior to baptizing an infant………Since those baptized are also to be instructed in the Christian faith, (Matt. 28:20), the church baptizes infants only where there is the assurance that parents or spiritual guardians will nurture the faith of the one baptized through continued teaching of God’s Word.
    Quite a condition there. I guess Lutherans don’t give a damn (pun intended) about the infants of unsaved parents…..

  50. #46 Steve

    Go back to Augustine (whom Luther quoted in this regard) “It is not the lack of baptism that damns; it is the despising of baptism that damns.” The infant that dies unbaptized has not despised baptism…

  51. Real quick to Steve’s #46 while I am on a break from my meeting.
    1.) The baptized baby has every assurance of salvation – as dictated by the scriptures (and you know every one of them, even if you deny them.
    2.) For the unbaptized we do not have this assurance – so in the end we cannot proclaim with any certainty that the now dead unbaptized baby is heaven bound … and you have no such assurance from your point of view.
    3.) Yes, again it is in God’s hands. But let me ask you this – why don’t you give the same assurance of heaven to the one who never took the time to believe. Something to his kids – well we know that Bill never believed, but perhaps God is merciful and will save him. I see no difference between him and the unbaptized baby.

    To the questions asked by Steve and Josh there is no waffle or contradiction

  52. Steve,

    The issue sin’t whether or not Lutherans care about the infants of unsaved parents, they do and that is why the LCMS is staunchly pro-life. But, regarding baptism, the commission is:

    “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” It is baptize and teach, not baptize alone or teach alone.

  53. “Quite a condition there. I guess Lutherans don’t give a damn (pun intended) about the infants of unsaved parents…..”

    I don’t know where your anger comes from in these discussion. My articles was pretty uncontroversial along with the first couple of comments … until you guys brought the vitriol.

    My article is no different than if you wrote one and spoke naturally of a passage as if it were discussing the rapture.

    You need to learn to discuss topics rationally and eliminate the emotion.

  54. Now, solely for those reading with no intention of further argument. Let me offer an alternative view on the Lord’s words in the close of Matthew’s gospel then the assumption that since infants are people they must be included in the verse. (As that would argue for baptizing anyone, including pagan adults, regardless of faith- expecting God to interject saving faith in Christ into them just as He supposedly does with the baby)

    For starters, one must recognize the Scripture speaks of disciples as Christians, and knows no such distinction between rank and file believers and disciples (as if disciples were somehow more serious about their faith). This is something that many in Calvary Chapel also confuse. You may be a bad disciple, but if one is a Christian, then one is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Period.

    If one agrees with this starting point (the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch) – then the Matthew close is very simple.

    Evangelism, baptism, teaching. In that order.

    Make disciples, then baptize, then teach them.

    It is noted by my quote above that the Lutherans acknowledge the importance of teaching as something that takes place after baptism.

    All we do is recognize the entirety of the verse, that making disciples, likewise, appears before baptism.

  55. So tell me about this age of accountability. As I said, David said it began at birth – but you say a child has not way out until he can settle up with God at this certain age.

    So what do you tell the parent of a child who dies before be makes ‘the choice’?

  56. I don’t know where your anger comes from in these discussion.
    Maybe because you equate the ones Jesus says are worthy of a millstone around their necks to those who deny infant baptism as efficacious.

  57. MLD, if you HONESTLY (and not just blog banter) do not see the difference between an infant and someone old enough to reject Christ and His work on the cross, then how am I going to possibly discuss this with you.

    If you DO see a difference between the two, then you are just being disingenuous again and not worthy of engaging.

  58. “It is not the lack of baptism that damns; it is the despising of baptism that damns.” The infant that dies unbaptized has not despised baptism…
    Duane (and I realize you do NOT come from the same perspective as MLD and Jean, even as you affirm infant baptism)….

    What you quote above fits quite nicely with evangelical belief – certainly mine and I would imagine Josh as well.

    My son was raised in the church, and when HE wanted to, clearly understanding the Gospel, then it was my great pleasure and honor to baptize him. My wife and made sure he was not doing so just to please his parents, but because HE wanted to obey Jesus Christ and His command.

    That is likewise how I instruct all the parents in my congregation. I baptize young children if it is clear they understand and believe the Gospel and what it is that baptism is all about.

  59. Steve, now you have me confused – how do you evangelize without teaching?

    “All we do is recognize the entirety of the verse, that making disciples, likewise, appears before baptism.”

    But can you be a Christian without the baptism — that is the question.
    You have 3 element – evangelism – Teaching – baptism. Can any or all be eliminated? Seems odd.

    Again, we just take Jesus at his word – Christians are made by teaching and baptism. You deny this – you state that a Christian can be made in a different way that what Jesus says.

  60. To Duane’s comment and Steve’s response. We are not talking about what condemns a person. Jesus says that world is already condemned – closed case right there.

    The question before the house is ‘What Saves a Person’. The scripture is quite clear that baptism is a part of that.

  61. Steve, you wrote:

    “Evangelism, baptism, teaching. In that order.”

    By contrast, here is what the text actually says in the ESV:

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

    There is one activity, which is “make disciples of all nations.” This is done by “baptizing…[and] teaching.”

  62. I might add that the quote Duane cites goes nicely with what MLD and I actually agree upon around here.

    Namely, when someone talks about the non-negotiables of Christianity, MLD and I agree that what matters is not what one believes at the time of salvation, but what one denies. One may not have ever even heard of the Virgin Birth and still be evangelized (nor must our evangelism include an explanation of the Virgin Birth)….but if one professes Christ and then runs around rejecting the Virgin Birth, opposing it, there is real reason to question whether they have had the Spiritual birth

    Same too with baptism. Every believer I encounter is typically excited to be baptized and it is a wonderful celebration when our church has its annual baptism. I would question the faith of a professing Christian who would say that baptism is stupid.

    By the way, in Costa Mesa all the baptisms (hundreds) were done each year in four days. Once a month, during the summer, two days on Friday nights, two days on Saturday mornings.

    There was no need or desire for a tank to be on call after every service in case someone got saved…..

  63. #59 Steve

    No, you’re right… I affirm infant baptism, but I’m not on the same page as Jean and MLD on the issue of the death of an unbaptized infant. The LCMS position is often so strident that they themselves simply have to retreat to “only God knows”. I find that hard to square with “suffer the little children to come unto me” and operating believing parents from unbelieving parents.

    Here is the LCMS position (just for accuracy):

    “There is some basis for the hope that God has a method, not revealed to us, by which He works faith in the children of Christians dying without Baptism (Mark 10:13-16). For children of unbelievers we do not venture to hold out such hope. We are here entering the field of the unsearchable judgments of God” (Rom. 11:33).

    What is the basis of such hope? It is this, that God is not Himself bound by the means to the use of which He has bound us. That is to say that while Christ has commanded us to baptize all nations, God can save sinners without Baptism. He did so throughout the entire Old Testament.

    During the first 2,000 years we know of no special means of grace for little children. At the time of Abraham He instituted circumcision, but He did not thereby provide for little girls. It is for God to determine under what conditions He will receive children into His kingdom.”

  64. Jean brings up a good point. So is the claim that there are Christians who are not “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” because they have not been baptized?

  65. Both of you continue to insist I somehow believe that baptism is optional….

    It is wearisome…

  66. #64 Correction

    “separating believing parents from unbelieving parents.”

  67. Duane @64 – I read that as well. I did not paste it since it fully affirms with what evangelicals believe as well (at least this evangelical).

  68. Steve,

    If baptism isn’t optional, then it’s either Law or Gospel. If it’s Law, then salvation isn’t by grace alone. If it’s Gospel, then Christ is giving you grace. What category are you placing it in?

  69. #68 Steve

    My divergence on this is the separation of believing parents from unbelieving parents…

  70. The command (imperative) at the close of Matthew is to make disciples. As I said above, the making of disciples is evangelism. There are no non-disciple Christians in Scripture.

    The descriptive participles are baptizing them and teaching them.

    Just as teaching Christians is not optional, so baptism is not optional. This is what I mean when I say not optional. I am not going down a silly rabbit trail of another’s invention of law, gospel, grace etc.

    Evangelical churches are committed to baptizing and teaching believers in Jesus Christ who have believed the gospel. This is without dispute.

    Now, Jean says that the evangelism aspect of the verse is explained by the baptizing and teaching (i.e. that this is how one makes a disciple) – which is problematic since in Lutheranism the baptism for the infant is the “now” and the teaching is the promise of the parent in the “later” as the child grows (as cited above). Of course, the participles in the text know no such distinction of time and are both present participles subordinate to the main aorist imperative verb.

    In my prior post above, I did not suggest that there is no teaching possible until after baptism, as if this was a sequence of three unique things. Of course, I did not think I needed to fully exegete the verse either.

    When I was born again, I began to learn and was taught. When I understood about baptism I was eager to be baptized and did not freak out that I had to wait a month longer until Costa Mesa had the first baptism of the summer. Nor did I think I had to stop being taught until after I was baptized. Nor did I think baptism “optional” as a disciple of Christ, though I also did not think I was damned if I died before I could do it.

  71. My divergence on this is the separation of believing parents from unbelieving parents…
    As is mine…if I understand you correctly. I think we are in agreement on that score..

  72. “So, are you admitting that the sentence I quoted in #47 is not supported by Scripture? And, thus, would be a man made work?”

    Sorry, got busy.

    Yes, Jean Baptism is a man made work. Good point.

    We’ve got to raise the level of discourse here, guys.

  73. Steve,
    Back to the question – is there suuch a thing as a Christian who has not yet been brought “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

    If you can be a Christian without baptism – but you gotta get baptized at some point – are you without the name in the interim?

    See, I keep going back to what Jesus does to save people – and you are more concerned about what condemns the already condemned.

    Also, you said “The descriptive participles are baptizing them and teaching them. ” – so would you not agree that there is no such thing as a non baptized, non taught believer?

    After all, the ‘descriptive participles’ are how a Christian is made.

  74. I was a non-baptized , non-taught believer believer for at least a few months. I am still being taught today.

  75. MLD – I see a distinction between justification and sanctification (and of course, glorification).

    I know you see these terms differently.

    Our divergent starting points is problematic for a fruitful discussion.

    I shared before about how in India, the expression was “ready for baptism” – and how it spoke to the counting the cost of discipleship, and the persecution which often followed because of the public witness, identification, that the baptism had in the village of the believer.

    So to answer your question, the moment one believes the gospel he/she might know very little indeed. In fact, know nothing more than the simple statement of Paul in 1 Cor 15. Obviously he was “taught” the Gospel, but here I would add that the Bible does separate the idea of preaching (the Gospel) and teaching.

    So yeah, one can get saved and certainly be untaught and unbaptized. If one claimed to be saved, claimed to be born again, and rejected baptism and rejected any teaching…then I would reject his claim to being born again.

    And I would agree with Josh @75 – as my salvation came about through the Bible and the “Teacher” was the Holy Spirit – no church, no pastor, and frankly, no instantaneous moment when I knew with certainty that I had crossed over from death to life.

    But I do know I was born again before I ever sat down and heard a message from Chuck in my first church, and before I was baptized in Pirates Cove a couple months later.

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