Archive for the ‘Baptismal Regeneration (Expose)’ Category

Duck Dynasty: What EXACTLY do they believe?

June 16, 2014

West Monroe, Louisiana Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ is the home Church of Duck Dynasty.

In their doctrinal statement it says: “The Holy Spirit is a gift given to physically indwell Christians when they are baptized.”

 

In the below video is “Duck Dynasty” Star Phil Robertson in the baptismal pool and is going to baptize Brian Richards…You will hear Robertson say  “You are now going to die to sin,” … “You’re going to be buried — the old you — and the new one will come forth. God will seal you with his spirit and you will be guaranteed to be raised from the dead one day and live forever. Good news, you know?”

We would reckon those things Robertson says are “going to” or “will” happen, will not actually happen by his water baptism. That is the heresy of baptismal regeneration he is teaching, just like  Oak Hills Church of Christ, where Max Lucado also adds baptism to the Gospel. Max Lucado and Elder Doyle Jennings of the Oak Hills Church of Christ told David Cloud that they believe baptism is necessary for salvation. I myself have not met anyone in the “Church of Christ” denomination that does not teach baptismal regeneration. Though some might deny the term, the false doctrines of it are taught by the “Church of Christ” denomination. No matter what title one would give the heresy, it’s heresy still being taught and not being exposed and rebuked. Water baptism cannot be added to the Gospel that saves (1 Cor 1:17) or it’s another gospel (Gal 1:8).

Notice how this verse below is a dry verse (no water baptism) when talking about being sealed and Paul used the words:  “trusted”, “after ..heard”, “after ..believed”. NO WATER BAPTISM to be sealed:

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Those who think Baptism saves, should read what Paul said very carefully:

1 Corinthians 1:14-18 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Water baptism comes after you are saved, not to be saved. We also know that one of the malefactors who was hanging next to Jesus did not get baptized and yet he went to paradise.

Luke 23:33-43 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Notice in Acts 10:47 that they received the Holy Spirit BEFORE they were baptized:

Acts 10:43-48 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

We are not saved by the work of baptism! Water baptism follows after salvation and some may not have had the opportunity to be baptized once saved by grace through faith. We reckon some have died in prison cells and in other situations that were saved and never water baptized. Having preached in jails and prisons and seen a few saved, I was never allowed to baptize one of them. But we would not reckon them not to be saved because they were not water baptized.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Under this posted video on Facebook they write: “These guys put their faith in Jesus and put him on in baptism!

This is also heresy! We do not put on Jesus in Water Baptism…nor do we come out of the water all of a sudden a “brother” because of water baptism. Sadly many replace or get confused with a “water baptism” for a spiritual baptism (being born again) not of or by physical water but by His Spirit. Faith does not come by water baptism but by hearing the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

Notice how he says “right here and now” at around seconds 35 in the above video.

In the below video you will hear Baptism Regeneration sprinkled throughout it, but mainly in minutes 24 to 37. He will take scripture verses talking about Baptism and twist them to mean water baptism instead of Spiritual baptism and give lip service to being saved by grace while adding water baptism to the gospel like many false teacher have done before him (Martin Luther, John Calvin, RC Sproul, John Wesley, and others).

 

PSYCHOHERESY ENDORSED

Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ also promotes psychoheresy in their “Celebrate Recovery” and promotes a book called “Celebrate Recovery Bible” with a “special forward note written by Rick Warren” in the book. They also offer the book “Life’s Healing Choices” in their resource room that is forwarded by Rick Warren.

More info on the Recovery Heresies read:

12 Steps to Destruction Codependency Recovery Heresies by Martin and Deidre Bobgan
http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/e-books/12steps-ebk.pdf

 

Advertisements

FALSE TEACHERS WHO PROMOTE THE EVILS OF INFANT BAPTISM AND BAPTISMAL REGENERATION

May 7, 2014

“…infant baptism is far from being harmless. On the contrary, that it is one of the most calamitous evils with which the church has ever been visited. … INFANT BAPTISM IS AN EVIL BECAUSE ITS PRACTICE IS UNSUPPORTED BY THE WORD OF GOD … Evil is found prevailing even in the professed churches of Christ! … In no form, however, has it afflicted the cause of truth and salvation more grievously, than in that of infant baptism; a rite generally prevalent, but without divine authority; repulsive in itself, and in its consequences always injurious… Is infant baptism supported by the Word of God? I aver that it is not. It is nowhere commanded. It is nowhere, in any form, divinely authorised. Examine the holy record, from first to last, and you will discover not a trace of infant baptism. If it is anywhere commanded, or authorised, the passages in which that fact appears, can be produced. Where are they? Let them be forthcoming. We have a right to see, and to examine them, for ourselves. We demand the texts. But this demand has before been often made, and always in vain. They have never been produced. They have not yet been found. They never can be found. They do not exist. The Word of God, in all its length and breadth, contains not a syllable of authority for infant baptism, in the form of command, of precept, of permission, of example, or in any other form whatever. In that sacred book not one word in relation to it, is anywhere uttered. He who claims divine authority for infant baptism, must justify himself by adducing it. … Martin Luther, the great father of the Reformation, says:—‘It cannot be proved by the scriptures, that infant baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun by the first Christians after the apostles’.1  John Calvin testifies thus:—‘It is nowhere expressly mentioned by the evangelists, that any child was by the apostles baptised’.2 … Infant baptism is not found in any form in the Bible. Every effort to deduce it from the sacred records, no matter how ingeniously conducted, has proved a wretched failure. It is confessed by its advocates that it is not found in the inspired pages. Infant baptism is therefore, unsupported by the Word of God.” [Emphasis added]

– Robert Boyte C. Howell

(http://quintapress.macmate.me/PDF_Books/Evils_of_Infant_Baptism.pdf)

 

What doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:34-39 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

 

Many false teachers are promote the heresy of Infant Baptism:

Sadly many professed Christians and teachers who have no scriptural support for Infant Baptism have turned to the fable of infant baptism.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

Billy Graham deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

Billy Graham grew up going to a Presbyterian Church and then joined the Southern Baptist Church but his wife Ruth remained a Presbyterian. In 1961, Billy Graham in an interview with the Lutheran Standard shows you how Billy Graham was deceived by the evils and heresy of infant baptism also:

“I have some difficulty in accepting the indiscriminate baptism of infants without a careful regard as to whether the parents have any intention of fulfilling the promise they make. But I DO BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING HAPPENS AT THE BAPTISM OF AN INFANT, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian Truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the miracles of God, but I BELIEVE THAT A MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN IN THESE CHILDREN SO THAT THEY ARE REGENERATED, THAT IS, MADE CHRISTIAN, THROUGH INFANT BAPTISM. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me” (Graham, interview with Wilfred Bockelman, associate editor of the Lutheran Standard, American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Standard, October 10, 1961). [Emphasis Added]

 

Charles Spurgeon said:

“… you have this baptismal regeneration, preparing stepping stones to make it easy for men to go to Rome. … I pray you never rest upon this wretched and rotten foundation, this deceitful invention of antichrist.”    

– Charles Spurgeon (from his sermon titles Baptismal Regeneration)

 

Martin Luther deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to ‘be saved.’ To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever.”

– Martin Luther (Quoted from The Large Catechism)

 

“The false sacramental gospel of ‘Baptismal Regeneration,” as proclaimed by Martin Luther and others, has probably (God only knows) led more people to hell than any other error propagated and tolerated within the ranks of professing Christianity.”

– Dwight Oswald

 

Michael Horton deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“In Baptism, we have been swept into the new creation and in the Supper we are actually fed with the body and blood of Christ as pilgrims on the way to the Promised land …”

– Michael Horton (in the May/June 1997 issue of Modern Reformation, p.14.)

 

Don Matzat deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“I have on numerous occasions discussed if not debated the subject of infant Baptism with callers on my daily radio program. The scenario is always the same. The opponent of infant Baptism is put off by the fact that we teach and confess that an infant can become a believing Christian by God’s grace through Baptism. … ”

– Don Matzat (LCMS)

 

Pope John Paul II deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“The fact that Christianity is a religion of salvation is expressed in the sacramental life of the Church. … Baptism and the Eucharist [are] sacraments which create in man the seed of eternal life.

– Pope John Paul II (Quoted from Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp. 74-75)

 

Pope Francis deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

 

John Calvin deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“…at whatever time we are baptised, we are washed and purified once for the whole life…we must…recall our baptism…so as to feel certain and secure of the remission of sins…it wipes and washes away all our defilements” (IV: xv, 3).

“God in baptism promises the remission of sins, and will undoubtedly perform what he has promised to all believers. That promise was offered to us in baptism, let us therefore embrace it in faith” (IV: xxv, 17).

“We have…a similar promise given to the fathers in circumcision, similar to that which is given to us in baptism…the forgiveness of sins and the mortification of the flesh….We deny…that…the power of God cannot regenerate infants….Let God, then, be demanded why he ordered circumcision to be performed on the bodies of infants…by baptism we are ingrafted into the body of Christ (1 Cor xii.13). [Therefore] infants…are to be baptised…” (IV: xv, 22; xvi, 3, 4, 8, 10, 17-32)

– John Calvin (Institutes)

“Today’s Calvinists avoid the uncomfortable fact that in all of his voluminous writings, Calvin never tells of being born again through faith in Christ. He considered himself to have been a Christian from the moment of his Roman Catholic infant baptism: ‘…at whatever time we are baptised, we are washed and purified once for the whole life…we must recall…our baptism…so as to feel certain and secure of the remission of sins…it wipes and washes away all our defilements.’21 He trusted in that baptism as proof that he was one of the elect22 and denounced all who, like today’s evangelical ex-Catholics, were baptized after believing the gospel.
Those saved out of Catholicism and baptized as believers were known as Anabaptists and were persecuted by Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists. Of such, near the time of his conversion to Luther’s Protestantism, Calvin wrote, ‘One should not be content with simply killing such people, but should burn them cruelly.’23 Calvin banished them from Geneva in 1537.24 How could today’s born-again and baptized former Catholics consider Calvin as one of them? They couldn’t–and wouldn’t.”

– Dave Hunt (What Love is this? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God)

 

R.C. Sproul deceived by the evils of Infant Baptism

“Regeneration is the gift of God’s grace. It is the immediate, supernatural work of the Holy Spirit wrought in us. Its effect is to quicken us to spiritual life from spiritual death. It changes the disposition of our souls, inclining our hearts to God. The fruit of regeneration is faith. Regeneration precedes faith. Infants can be born again, although the faith that they exercise cannot be as visible as that of adults.” [Emphasis added]

– R.C. Sproul (“Regeneration: The New Birth.” New Geneva Study Bible 1995; pg 1664); he wrote the introduction and was the general editor. Other editors: James Boice, Edmund Clowney, Roger Nicole, J.I. Packer.

 

——–

More info:

INFANT BAPTISM (WHO PRACTICES INFANT BAPTISM?)

Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian, World Council of Churches

http://www.wayoflife.org/database/infant_baptism.html

 

Is Infant Baptism Biblical? (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

 

 

Martin Luther’s Sacramental Gospel

February 23, 2014

by Dwight Oswald

This report has been excerpted and/or adapted from an article in the November-December 1997 Earnestly Contending For The Faith, Pastor Dwight Oswald, editor (a ministry of Southview Bible Church, 2007 South 7th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

“… you have this baptismal regeneration, preparing stepping stones to make it easy for men to go to Rome. … I pray you never rest upon this wretched and rotten foundation, this deceitful invention of antichrist.” — Charles Spurgeon (From his sermon titled Baptismal Regeneration)

“The fact that Christianity is a religion of salvation is expressed in the sacramental life of the Church. … Baptism and the Eucharist [are] sacraments which create in man the seed of eternal life. — Pope John Paul II (Quoted from Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp. 74-75)

“To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to ‘be saved.’ To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever.” — Martin Luther (Quoted from The Large Catechism)

The false sacramental gospel of “Baptismal Regeneration,” as proclaimed by Martin Luther and others, has probably (God only knows) led more people to hell than any other error propagated and tolerated within the ranks of professing Christianity.

Background

“More books have been written about Luther [1483-1546], the great German Reformer, than about any other figure in history, except Christ” (The History of Christianity, Lion Publishing, p. 368). Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Germany. The next day he was baptized as a Roman Catholic at St. Ann’s Church in Eisleben. As a young man he attended the University of Erfurt in preparation to become a lawyer. One night [1505] on his way to his parent’s home he was nearly struck by lightening. In terror he vowed that if Saint Ann would save him he would become a monk. Following this, much to the consternation of his father, Luther joined himself to the Cloister of Augustinian Friars in Erfurt. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. During this time, Luther desperately tried to earn favor with God through a life of rigid asceticism. It brought no peace.

On a business trip to Rome in 1510, Luther was shocked by the corruption and worldliness he witnessed in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1511, his Augustinian order sent him to the University of Wittenberg, where he completed his doctorate of theology. Shortly thereafter, he was given the position “Chair of Biblical Theology” at Wittenberg, which he maintained for the rest of his life.

Sometime between 1512 and 1515, Luther supposedly came to realize that man is not justified by his own works but rather by faith alone. On October 31, 1517, he placed his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. For the most part, they challenged the practice of selling “indulgences.” Initially, Luther’s desire was for REFORMATION to take place within the Roman Catholic church. In 1521, the Pope excommunicated Luther. In 1525, Luther married a former nun by the name of Katherina von Bora. They had six children. Luther died in the same town he was born — Eisleben, Germany in 1546.

An Evangelical Reputation — A Sacramental Gospel

Luther is quoted favorably by just about everyone in professing Christianity. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists often refer to him as a champion of “Justification By Faith ALONE.” However, that is only half the story. It is absolutely amazing that very few seem to realize that Luther in fact believed that we are saved by “faith alone through baptism.” However, you can’t have it both ways at the same time — “Faith Alone” and “Faith through Baptism.” The addition of “through baptism” in effect contradicts “faith alone.”

In reality, Luther did not hold to JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE! If he had really held to this, he would have rejected the doctrine of “baptismal regeneration.” He did not! In fact, Luther called for the death of those (Anabaptists) who outspokenly believed in JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE and practiced BELIEVER’S BAPTISM. To get away from a gospel of works salvation, Luther referred to baptism as “God’s Work” and not a work that man does. However, the OBJECT of Luther’s faith was not Christ ALONE, but CHRIST plus BAPTISM. That is ANOTHER GOSPEL!!!

Luther’s Catechisms

Luther wrote down the “essentials” of the faith as he saw them in what is known as Luther’s Catechism. There was the SMALL CATECHISM geared toward children and his LARGE CATECHISM geared toward adults. Both Catechisms deal with five things: The Ten Commandments; The Apostles Creed; The Lord’s Prayer; Baptism; and Communion. Luther himself said:

“In the catechism, we have a very exact, direct, and short way to the whole Christian religion. … The catechism is the most complete and best doctrine, and therefore should continually be preached; all public sermons should be grounded and built thereupon. … the catechism, I insist, is the right Bible of the laity, wherein is contained the whole sum of Christian doctrine necessary to be known by every Christian for salvation. … We should esteem and love the catechism, for therein is the ancient, pure, divine doctrine of the Christian Church” (Table Talk — Martin Luther, translated by William Hazlitt, pp. 139-140).

“Luther said that he would be glad to have all his works perish except the reply to Erasmus and the catechism” (Here I Stand — Roland H. Bainton, p. 263).

Luther in His Own Words from The Large Catechism (All from The Large Catechism of Martin Luther, translated by Robert Fischer)

“It remains for us to speak of our two sacraments, instituted by Christ. Every Christian ought to have at least some brief, elementary instruction in them because without these no one can be a Christian … First we shall take up Baptism through which we are first received into the Christian community. … Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved” (pp. 80-81). (Bold added.)

“Hence it is well described as a divine, blessed, fruitful, and gracious water, for through the Word Baptism receives the power to become the “washing of regeneration,” as St. Paul calls it in Titus 3:5. … Thus faith clings to the water and believes it to be Baptism in which there is sheer salvation and life …” (p. 84). (Bold added.)

“‘He who believes and is baptized will be saved,’ that is, faith alone makes the person worthy to receive the salutary, divine water profitably. … But it becomes beneficial to you if you accept it as God’s command and ordinance, so that, baptized in the name of God, you may receive in the water the promised salvation” (pp. 84-85). (Bold added.)

“He always [the Christian] has enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism promises and brings — victory over death and the devil, forgiveness of sin, God’s grace, the entire Christ, and the Holy Spirit with his gifts. In short the blessings of Baptism are so boundless … Now here in Baptism there is brought free to every man’s door just such a priceless medicine which swallows up death and saves the lives of all men. To appreciate and use Baptism aright, we must draw strength and comfort from it when our sins or conscience oppress us, and we must retort, “But I am baptized! And if I am baptized, I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.” … No greater jewel, therefore, can adorn our body and soul than Baptism, for through it we obtain perfect holiness and salvation, which no other kind of life and no work on earth can acquire” (pp. 85-86). (Bold added.)

“Thus we see what a great and excellent thing Baptism is, which snatches us from the jaws of the devil and makes God our own, overcomes and takes away sin and daily strengthens the new man, always remains until we pass from this present misery to eternal glory. … As we have once obtained forgiveness of sins in Baptism …” (p. 90). (Bold added.)

Further Quotes from Luther on Baptism

“The Anabaptists cavil as to how the salvation of man is to be effected by water. The simple answer is, that all things are possible to him who believes in God Almighty” (Table Talk, p. 180).

“Just so, when we are baptized into everlasting life and the kingdom of heaven … Therefore it is necessary that we should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His death” (Commentary on Romans — Martin Luther, translated by J. Theodore Mueller, p. 101).

“… made children of God. … by a new birth, and by the renewing of the inward man, which is done in baptism … For, besides that they who are baptized are regenerate and renewed by the Holy Ghost to a heavenly righteousness, and to eternal life … And this is to put on Christ truly, according to the gospel. … This is diligently to be noted, because of the fond and fantastical spirits, who go about to deface the majesty of baptism, and speak wickedly of it. Paul, contrariwise, commendeth it, and setteth it forth with honorable titles, calling it, ‘the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.’ And here also he saith, that ‘all ye that are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.’ Wherefore baptism is a thing of great force and efficacy” (Commentary On Galatians — Martin Luther, translated by Erasmus Middleton, pp. 221-222). (Bold added.)

“… so, it is to be observed, must you also be saved in baptism. Just as that water swallowed up all that was then living, of man and beast, so baptism also swallows up all that is of the flesh and of the corrupt nature, and makes us spiritual (Commentary On Peter & Jude — Martin Luther, Kregel Publications, p. 169). (Bold added.)

“Luther attached great importance to his baptism. When the Devil assailed him, he would answer, ‘I am baptized'” (Here I Stand — Roland Bainton, p. 287).

Excusing Luther’s Sacramental Gospel

Many make excuses for Luther, claiming that since he had just come out of Roman Catholicism, he couldn’t be expected to have all of his theology correct. One could concede this on so-called “secondary” issues, but the issue here is not secondary but PRIMARY! (1 Tim. 2:4) The issue is HOW Christ is received. That is ESSENTIAL!!! It should again be pointed out that the Anabaptists did have their doctrine correct concerning baptism, yet Luther called for their death. It is not that Luther did not give careful thought to the issues. He did!:

“If anyone after my death should say: If Dr. Luther were living right now, he would teach and hold this or that article differently, for he did not sufficiently consider it, against this I say now as then, and then as now, that, by God’s grace, I have most diligently compared all these articles with the Scriptures time and time again, and have gone over them, and would defend them as confidently as I have now …” (Luther’s Works, by Robert H. Fischer, p. 360).

Therefore, “faith alone” for Luther meant believing God saved one through the ritual of Baptism. He said it many times. He said it clearly! And yet today many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists do not really understand that Luther dogmatically held to “Baptismal Regeneration.” In fact, if one did not believe in the Sacrament of Baptism for salvation, then Luther held that your faith was in vain — even if you were baptized:

“… the Anabaptists [reject] baptism, and therefore they cannot efficiently baptize … (Table Talk — p. 180).

Luther held that those who believed water baptism was only a symbol and not a sacrament (means of grace) were not saved:

“In 1527, he wrote with regard to the Anabaptists: … ‘Let everyone believe what he likes. If he is wrong, he will have punishment enough in hell fire.’ … Most emphatically he believed that the wrong faith would entail hell-fire …” (Here I Stand, Roland Bainton, p. 294).

Luther and the Lord’s Supper

Luther believed that through baptism one becomes a Christian. And, thus, it resulted in salvation on the basis of “faith alone.” Communion was for maintenance. Luther taught that through communion, one received forgiveness of sins that threatened one’s relationship with Christ and strength for Christian living:

“For here in the sacrament [Communion] you receive from Christ’s lips the forgiveness of sins, which contains and conveys God’s grace and Spirit with all his gifts, protection, defense, and power against death and the devil and all evils” (The Large Catechism — p. 98).

Not Far Removed from Roman Catholicism

“Luther taught that the sacraments of baptism and Lord’s Supper are vehicles that communicate the grace of God. … Luther’s concept of baptism did not differ markedly from the Roman Catholic view; he retained much of the Roman ceremony connected with the rite. Luther taught baptism is necessary to salvation and, in fact, produces regeneration in the person. … Luther also upheld infant baptism, teaching that although infants are unable to exercise faith, God through His prevenient grace, works faith in the unconscious child. He based the baptism of infants on the command to baptize all nations (Mt. 28:19)” (Paul Enns in the Moody Handbook of Theology, pp. 452-453). (Bold added.)

Luther and Evangelicals Today

Today, ecumenism reigns! Lutherans are embracing unity with other “baptismal regeneration” denominations and also embracing reconciliation with Roman Catholics. Tragically, many “Evangelicals” also see a place for spiritual fellowship with those embracing a sacramental gospel. In fact, some of the leading “champions” of the “Evangelical” faith clearly hold to the same basic sacramental gospel espoused by Martin Luther. Michael Horton would be one example. He is currently president of Christians United for Reformation and vice-chairman of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He writes:

“In Baptism, we have been swept into the new creation and in the Supper we are actually fed with the body and blood of Christ as pilgrims on the way to the Promised land …” (Michael Horton in the May/June 1997 issue of Modern Reformation, p. 14.)

R.C. Sproul would be another that holds to Luther’s sacramental gospel teachings.

The Sacramental Gospel is Another Gospel

One would have to agree with Luther that only the right kind of faith will get you to heaven. However, the OBJECT of your FAITH must be Christ ALONE and not baptism!!! I would earnestly contend that the Scriptures teach that your FAITH must be directly in CHRIST ALONE!!! (Gal. 1-3) To rest in a Sacrament (even partially) is to deny the reality of the ONE mediator who is Jesus Christ HIMSELF (1 Tim. 2:5).

The Gospel is that Christ died for our sins and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3-4). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16). The gospel is distinct from baptism (1 Cor. 1:17). John 3:16 promises “whosoever believes in Him [Christ] should not perish.” … Jesus said the one who believes has “passed from death into life” (Jn. 5:24). John’s essential purpose (20:31) was to write so “believing you may have life in His name.” John completely left out New Testament church baptism! Are we to believe John didn’t get the GOSPEL right?

Paul explains that the one “who does not work but believes on Him … his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). Again, Paul says that “with the heart one believes unto righteousness” (10:10), and the promise is WHOSOEVER “shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (10:13). TRUE believers are those who “have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). They have counted all things loss to gain Christ and acquire the righteousness “which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (3:7-9). Just as Abraham was saved by faith alone (Gen. 15:6), so are we (Rom. 4; Gal. 3)! The “just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38)! All that believe are justified from all things (Acts 13:39). Our hearts are purified by faith (Acts 15:9).

Ordinances have always been symbols. In the Old Testament, they looked forward to Christ (Heb. 8-10). In the New Testament, they look back to Christ (1 Cor. 11). Symbols can never save — only the substance which is Christ can save. To rest in ordinances or rituals instead of Christ alone is to trample under foot the Son of God, to show contempt for His precious blood, and to insult the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29). If faith is real in the heart, then the expectation of Scripture is that believer’s baptism (obedience/good works/fruit) will follow!