Does Mark 16:16 teach Baptism is required for Salvation? by Damon Whitsell

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

**There is a myriad of reasons why this verse cannot be used to teach baptism is required for salvation**

(1.) This text does not deal specifically with the fate of someone who believes and is not baptized.

(2.) The obvious emphasis is on unbelief = damnation.

(3.) The oldest New Testament Greek manuscripts do not contain Mark 9-20 and therefore cannot be used as a certainty to establish a doctrine of salvation.

(4.) Most who claim baptism is required say baptism is “for the remission of sins”. This verse predates Acts 2:38, so this verse is talking rather about Johns baptism which was a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3). Repentance correctly understood as a change of mind from unbelief to personal faith in Christ (Matt. 21:32, Acts 19:4, Acts 20:21, Mark 1:15) is what provides remission of sin (Acts 10:43).

(5.) Most baptismal regenerationist are cessationist, not Charismatic, and do not follow Mark 17-18 by casting out devils, speaking in tongues, laying hands on the sick, taking up serpents and drinking deadly things. So while they say they believe the passage, they do not practice it.

(6.) It is said “these signs shall follow those who believe”, not “those who believe and are baptized”.

(7.) Verse 20 says the Lord works with then who believe, not them that believe and are baptized

The “ONE TRUE CHURCH” by Damon Whitsell


Have you ever heard that phrase “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” before?

If You have, it is most likely that you heard it from a cult member or cult group. ALL cults say they are the “one true Church” (referred to as OTC hereafter). All cults have 3 things in common. 1. The all have distorted teachings about God, specifically Jesus and the Trinity. 2. They all employ a teaching and culture of legalism. And while they may give lip service to “salvation by grace”, they apply a system of salvation by works. 3. They all claim to be “The ONE TRUE CHURCH”

This idea of the OTC among cults is expressed in many ways, some of them very ambiguously and not always clearly understood by the folks that hear the assertions. The claim to be the OTC by cults, and the many different ways that say or imply it, is generally called Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism being defined as “Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom”.

Lets understand how Cults practice authoritarianism by looking at the teachings of their leaders or books. We will see that indeed cults are sectarian and authoritarian in belief and practice, claiming that “only they have the ONE TRUE way” and that only through their group, church, or fellowship can anyone be saved. They say only they have authority and salvation is exclusive to, and dependent upon their teachings and membership in their group. They keep their members in bondage by saying that members that leave the OTC, will lose their salvation by doing so.

We will hear it in their own words. We’ll look at 3 or 4 of the more well known cults. Lets look at a couple of Mormon quotes first.

Mormons

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong; and the “Personage” who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

Notice that the Book of Mormon is saying here that the Christian church is “the whore of all the earth”, “the church of the devil” and “the mother of abominations”.

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IS SALVATION SOMETHING WE DO, SOMETHING GOD DOES OR BOTH? by Damon Whitsell

I find that when many talk about salvation or being saved, they do not even use or have the correct definition of save, saved or salvation in mind.

The terms in Hebrew, Greek and English predominantly mean to deliver, to rescue from harm or danger, to deliver from sin, to preserve and protect. These actions come from outside of us. They are not something we do. We are merely recipients.

Webster’s defines salvation as “the act of saving someone from sin or evil : the state of being saved from sin or evil”, “something that saves someone or something from danger or a difficult situation” and “deliverance from the power and effects of sin”. Strong’s defines Salvation in the Greek as “G4991 sōtēria Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving”. And in Hebrew Strong’s defines Salvation as “H3444 yesh-oo’-aw Feminine passive participle of H3467; something saved, that is, (abstractly) deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity: – deliverance, health, help (-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare”.

It was Christ “who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4). Before the foundation of the world “… God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). Salvation is simply not about what we do, but rather what God and Jesus Christ has done on our behalf, delivering us from the wages of our sin – death. There is a plan of salvation. And with any plan there is doing involved. But we are not the ones that do the doing.

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My Note on James Chapter 2 by Damon Whitsell

A foundational and basic error of interpretation lies in thinking that James 2 is the go to place in scripture to clarify what salvation is. CoC’ers that oppose salvation by faith alone seem to think James was teaching differently than Paul and the rest of scripture. But he is not. Paul is the apostle to the gentiles and James was a Jew speaking to Jews. They were speaking to two different audiences and emphasizing two different types of Justification. Paul said Abraham was justified by faith and had nothing to boast about before God. He was showing justification before God. Yet James said “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18). He is speaking about justification before men. And both Paul and James agree and said that Abraham believed God and it was counted or credited to him as righteousness..

To see the two different kind of justifications see (Rom 4:2) “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God”. If Abraham was justified by works, as James at first glance appears to assert he is, he can glory before men but not before God. Romans 3: 19-20 says “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law makes all men “guilty before God” and “in his sight”, but we can be seen as just to men by observing and keeping the law and doing good works. This has to be the true understanding of James2:24 because the scripture is clear in so many places that we are saved through faith and not by works. James cannot be speaking in contradiction to the rest of scripture.

GREAT VIDEO: A Loving Rebuke To Progressive Christians: And A Discussion With A Super Hero About Heaven, Hell And Salvation In Jesus Christ




At The End Of The Video Below Joe Kirby, From Off-The-Kirb Ministries, Has a Fascinating Discussion with This Super Hero about God, The Bible, Love, Heaven and Hell, Salvation, Jesus Christ, How Christians Should Evangelize AND MORE. It Was Very Fascinating, Indeed.

As a blogger it is my job to say something interesting, or intriguing, about this video to try to get you to watch the video, because I believe it is a great video, and I would like to see people watch the video and spiritually prosper a little more because of watching it. But this video is hard to give an adequate description of because it is so different, so I will just say this.

I have been following Joe Kirby and his ministry on Youtube for over a year now and I believe this is his best video I have seen yet. Joe does not usually do apologetics videos, or rebuking videos, or exposure type videos exposing false teachers and false teachings but here he gives very good reasons why people should be very weary of “progressive Christianity”, and yes he does give a loving rebuke to “progressive Christians”.

He starts off with the old riddle about 5 blind guys and an elephant, and how they all feel something different when feeling the elephant to show, and then to explain why, that Christianity and Biblical Truth are not up for just any and every interpretation. He talks about how progressive Christianity mimics our post modern relativistic world by claiming that all truths are true (so just be nice and accept all truths as true) and treating God’s Word no different than many Unbelievers do, thinking it can mean what ever we might think or imagine it means.

NO, God and the authors of the bible had very specific intended interpretations, and ways we are to understand biblical truths, when they wrote the Bible. And Joe explains that very well and why it really matters.

So I hope I have convinced you to watch the video because I really do think you will spiritually prosper more if you do.

(VIDEO/AUDIO) Dr. J. Vernon Mcgee Addresses Acts 22:16, Does Baptism Wash Away Sins?

As usual Dr. J Vernon McGee give an excellent exposition of scripture. Here he addresses Acts 22:16 to show that baptism does not wash away the sins of the believer.

You can view quit a few post answering the question Is Baptism is required of salvation? (HERE) on my blog titled Answering The Hard-line Church of Christ. Including another post that looks at Acts 22:16.