Monday, March 12, 2018
Luke informs us that on the day of Pentecost, Peter was asked a question. His response was, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 (NKJV).
Peter stated 1) Repent, then everyone was to be 2) immersed which resulted in 3) the remission of sins, after which they would 4) receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the following verses we see the response of about three thousand.
“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:40-41 NKJV).
Peter had already given them 4 points on what to do. Here he exhorts them to 1) be saved. To accomplish that, they 2) gladly received his word, which included v. 38, then they were 3) immersed and as a result they 4) were added.
Luke also tells us: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47 NKJV).
Luke’s math equals the Lord 1) added and as a result they were 2) being saved.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 KJV).
Paul asked the Romans about their baptism or immersion. They were 1) immersed into Jesus and thereby immersed into his death. He tells them what this meant. They were 2) buried with Jesus by immersion into his death. Paul shows the results of this immersion. They were 3) raised up from death and were now walking in newness of life, or in a new life.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27 NKJV).
Paul reminds the Galatians that they are sons 1) through faith. Then he shows the actions of that faith. They were 2) immersed into Christ and the results was that they 3) put on Christ.
COLOSSIANS 1:13-14; 2:11-13
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14 KJV).
We were 1) in darkness. Jesus 2) delivered us and 3) translated us 4) into his kingdom where we have 5) redemption and forgiveness. He continues to explain this in the following verses to the Colossians.
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:11-12 NKJV).
They were circumcised. How? 1) without hands. What did this do? 2) put off sin. How was this accomplished? When they were 3) buried with Him in immersion. How did they know this is what they were supposed to do? It was based upon their faith response! Paul repeats this action in the next verse.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13 NKJV).
Their former condition was they were 1) dead in their sins. But, Jesus 2) made them alive with Him, and the results was that they were 3) forgiven.
God shows through the writings of Luke and Paul how He adds individuals to the saved (Acts 2:41, 47). The saved make up “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23 (NKJV).
- Jesus is the head over his body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).
- The saved of Acts 2:47 are the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
- We have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).
- The Spirit dwells in us and we are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
- We are “dead to sin” (Romans 6:2, 22-23; 8:1).
- We are a new creature or creation in Christ Jesus because he has taken all our sin and bestowed upon us his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21).
Numbers 1 through 6, and Acts 2:41-47 through Ephesians 1:22-23 happened before anyone decided to become members of a denomination referred to by Paul as “of Paul,” “of Apollos,” “of Cephas,” or “of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). Denominating of the body of Christ is condemned by Paul who was writing to the “body of Christ” in Corinth which he referred to as “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:27). God added folks to the saved. The saved were referred to as “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1:2). They were “the saved,” “the body of Christ,” and “the church of God which is at Corinth” before some in that saved assembly decided to be “of Paul” or one of the other three.
Since God had added them to the saved/body of Christ/church of God, what was the purpose of establishing the “of Paul” division or denomination? It wasn’t necessary to their salvation because they had already been added to the saved by Yahweh Himself. It wasn’t needed because they were already members of the body of Christ. It wasn’t to put them into Christ because that had already experience that prior to the establishment of those “of” bodies. It wasn’t so they could have fellowship with other saved individuals because they enjoyed that relationship prior to those “of” groups coming into existence. The establishment of those “of” fellowships originated from man since God already had his fellowship in place which those “of” groups were disrupting and destroying. Paul devoted four chapters to show the error of those groups being established. The other twelve chapters show the disruptive activities caused by those four divisions.
God’s Good News points to unity not division (John 17:20-23). There is life in what God promotes. If we don’t follow what God installed, what happens to the good news?