One in Christ

Galatians 3:26-28 — “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s add “there is no Methodist nor Presbyterian, Church of God nor Baptist.” Jesus erased cultural, economic, and gender distinctions, and fabricating divisons seems a pretty poor way to repay His sacrifice to bring us to unity. Yeah, maybe some of us interpret things a little differently or worship a little differently. It’s fine to attend different “churches” (with a little c). But this attitude of division and discrimination will tear the Church (big C) apart. Jesus Himself said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not stand” (Mark 3:25).

A Casting Crowns song has the line, “People aren’t confused by the gospel; they’re confused by us. Jesus is the only way to God, but we are not the only way to Jesus. This world doesn’t need my tie, my hoodie, my denomination or my translation of the Bible. They just need Jesus. We can be passionate about what we believe, but we can’t strap ourselves to the gospel, because we’re slowing it down. Jesus is going to save the world. But maybe the best thing we can do is just get out of the way.” Hmmm. Perhaps, in our almost pharisaical zeal for our preferences and interpretations, we’ve become stumbling blocks to those seeking the truth. We’re really good at straining out gnats, but have we noticed lately that there’s a lost and dying world out there who needs the message of Jesus more than the choir needs the message about predestination?

I’m pretty sure that if we were literally carrying our crosses to the execution site, there would be no hot debates over instrumental music or kitchens in churches or infant baptism. Maybe we would even dare to reach out a hand to help the brother or sister next to us stand up under the weight of the wooden beam.

Maybe, if we were all truly dying to self, the Church would be the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity.

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree that some things are not worth arguing about; but can you give me one single Biblical example of an infant who believed with all of its heart, repented of its sins, and was baptized for the remissions of sins? If we choose to ignore Biblical teaching and follow only the parts that appeal to us, then is Jesus’ admonition of “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

  2. Infant baptism flies in the very face of what scripture teaches. First, Romans 8:9 and Psalm 51:11 make clear that the Holy Spirit within us is how we fellowship God. If the Holy Spirit is in you, you are a Christian. According to Matthew 29:19, Christians are baptized, by the command of Jesus, into a relationship with God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 3:1-5, Paul asks some Christians: “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?” Two choices here and only two choices. It was by the hearing of faith. One must hear and believe the message. They received the Spirit at the very beginning of their Christian experience (baptism). But, what was that faith in? Jesus Christ. John 7:37-39. What was the “means: of the Holy Spirit? Acts 2:38, when taken with the Galatians 3:1-5 and Acts 2:38 and Romans 8:9, it is crystal clear. Note: there is a union of faith and baptism. Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized every one of you into (eis) the remission if your sins, AND YOU WILL receive the gift (that is the Holy Spirit.)” Galatians 3:26, 27 says, “You are all sons (or daughters) of God THROUGH faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized (immersed) into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Babies cannot receive as a Christian the Holy Spirit as mentioned in these passages because 1) they cannot obtain faith by hearing 2) believe in Christ and 3) repent. Also note that there are no unbaptized believers in the book of Acts. Baptism is, when you consider the passages, believing the word-having faith in Jesus. You will note that baptisms always take place immediately.

    Also, your article betrays that you are being influenced by the “community church” concept where everything and nothing is believed. By the way, Jesus prayed the Father in the Gospel o John to send the Holy Spirit to cause the apostles to remember what Christ preached and to make Christ word’s clear to them. You find those words in the Bible. The false spirit of this age is the the “community church” mentality where truth is what anybody wants it to be. (Read about the Gnostics and the Jewish Christians who syncretized every and any belief with Christianity.) Read your Bible and stop relying solely what Lipscomb University and Grace Chapel SAY to you. Study. Heresy has been around for centuries and many churches today are now denying the truth in exchange for non-truth, opinion, and whatever feels good. “Saved” isn’t a feeling: it is a fact. Learn the facts through good Bible study! Love you muchly! (BTW, this kind of post will come back to haunt you. Also, remember James: “Let not many of you become teachers…….” Now, why would he say that?)

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