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William

Baptismal Regeneration

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Question:

 

Many churches teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. This position is commonly called "baptismal regeneration," because it holds that one is "regenerated" or saved only when a person is baptized. A person who is not baptized, according to this teaching, is not saved and will not go to heaven even if he has believed and professed Jesus Christ as his Savior. Is this what the OPC believes?

 

Answer:

 

Presbyterians frequently face questions like yours. I have a hunch that many Christians in the "believer's baptism" camp mistakenly tend to believe of Presbyterians, "If you baptize infants, you must believe that baptism saves."

 

The confessions and catechisms of churches grounded in the Reformation clearly deny that baptism saves:

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Q. 72: "Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins? A: "No, only Jesus Christ's blood and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins."

 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647), Q. 91: "How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation? A: "The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them or in the one who administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in those who by faith receive them."

 

 

The OPC heartily agrees with these historic statements.

 

As for someone who professes Christ as Savior and Lord but is not baptized, the Bible is clear: "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.... Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:11, 13). Providential circumstances may prevent a believer from being baptized (e.g., the thief on the cross). Sometimes bad teaching will convince a believer that baptism is not necessary or even is wrong (e.g., the Salvation Army).

 

The normal pattern, however, is for true believers to be eager for baptism. And, indeed, the OPC requires persons who profess Christ to be baptized before receiving them into church membership. Baptized infants are enrolled as non-communicant members of the church.

 

I hope I have satisfactorily answered your questions. Thank you for writing.

 

Source: https://www.opc.org/qa.html?question_id=199

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The normal pattern, however, is for true believers to be eager for baptism. And, indeed, the OPC requires persons who profess Christ to be baptized before receiving them into church membership. Baptized infants are enrolled as non-communicant members of the church.

 

I hope I have satisfactorily answered your questions. Thank you for writing.

 

"non-communicant members" is a technical jargon of the OPC that should probably be defined or explained for non-Presbyterians.

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"non-communicant members" is a technical jargon of the OPC that should probably be defined or explained for non-Presbyterians.

 

The two kinds of members in a particular church are: non-communicant and communicant. Non-communicant church members are children of believers, received into the visible church by infant baptism and thus subject to its discipline and oversight, and entitled to many of its privileges and blessings, but not permitted to come to the Lord's table. Communicant church members are those who have appeared before the session and have given evidence of a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, consistency of character and understanding of the Lord's supper, and have therefore been publicly received into the full privileges and responsibilities of communicant church membership.

 

 

A. Some Reasons for Church Membership

 

 

1. Non-communicant membership. The children of believers should become non-communicant church members:

 

(a) because it is the will of God, who has ordained that they receive baptism as the sacrament of reception into Christ's church;

 

(b) in order to benefit from the guidance and discipline of the church (Rom. 9:4, 5). (See chapter III for the further unfolding of this subject.)

 

2. Communicant membership.

 

(a) A non-communicant member of the church should become a communicant member:

 

(1) in order to accept publicly the promises and assume the obligations of the covenant of grace signified by baptism;

 

(2) in order to enter into the full privileges and duties of communicant church membership, i.e., to come to the Lord's table, to have one's children baptized, and to take an active part in the government of the church. These privileges are restricted to communicant church members in good standing (I Cor. 11:29).

 

(b) An adult convert who was not in infancy received into the church by baptism should become a communicant church member:

 

(1) Because this is a scriptural way of making a public profession of faith in Christ. The believer is commanded to profess publicly his faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9, 10; Matt. 10:32, 33);

 

(2) Because every true church and denomination is a God-appointed organization for the benefit of the invisible church. Therein members of the invisible church have fellowship and worship together, thus practicing the communion of the saints. Thereby, members of the invisible church are nourished upon the Word, proclaim the gospel both at home and abroad, and care for the lambs of the flock (Eph. 4:11-13);

 

(3) Because believers are commanded to partake of the sacraments. As the use of the sacraments is restricted to communicant church members in good standing, it is obviously the will of God for adult converts from the world to become communicant members of the church (I Cor. 11:29).

 

 

B. The Requirements for Church Membership

 

 

1. Non-communicant church membership.

 

(a) A credible profession of faith by the parents, parent, or another acting as a parent. Only children of believers are eligible for non-communicant membership. We recognize one as a believer who has made a credible profession of faith.

 

(b) A life of obedience on the part of the parents, parent, or another acting as a parent. This means that the parents must be church members in good and regular standing. Church membership is an evidence that one has made a credible profession of faith; good and regular standing in the church is an evidence of obedience in a denomination which is faithful in the exercise of church discipline.

 

© Communicant church membership on the part of the parents, parent or another acting as a parent in the particular church in which it is desired that the child become a non-communicant member. Unless the parents are subject to its authority the church has no opportunity of fulfilling its obligations to the child, i.e.: to see that he exercises the privileges and duties of non-communicant church membership.

 

(d) Infant baptism which is the badge of church membership. (See chapter III C, 1 c.)

 

Source: http://opc.org/books/marston.html

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A few types of baptism

 

Baptism of repentance - for Nation of Israel only: - Under the Gospel of the Kingdom message:

Baptism of repentance was John the Baptist ministry for the Nation of Israel only. A call of Repentance from breaking their 1st covenant with the LORD Jeremiah 31:32. Water baptism here is Jewish purification/cleasning doctrine preparing themselves for the soon coming prophesied & promised Messiah.

 

John the Baptist proclaimed:

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

(THE COMING MESSIAH WILL BAPTISE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT & WITH FIRE)

 

The baptism into Christ's body via the Holy Spirit. Matt 3:11 & Luke 3:16. Is a covenant of spiritual circumcision, done without hands and without water.

 

Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision """made without hands""", in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

 

NOTE: Translators Capitalized Spirit in the beginning & end of the vs. signifying deity/Godhead.

1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

(BY """ONE SPIRIT""" THE """HOLY SPIRIT""" WE ARE BAPTIZED BY CHRIST, INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST. NOBODY GETS WET)

 

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism

 

Deut 30:6 (A) The LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart

 

Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (Law)

 

HERES WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MOMENT YOU ACCEPT CHRIST:

Eph 1:3 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

(WHATS THE "GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION"? AFTER YOU BELIEVED IN THE SIN ATONING DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. YOU WERE - "PAST TENSE"" SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT)

 

14 Which is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession

(YOUR SALVATION WAS SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT & IS GUARANTEED BY GOD. AT THE MOMENT YOU PLACED YOUR FAITH/BELIEF/TRUST IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST)

 

Ephesians 4:30 Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

 

New Testament Baptism in water:

Water baptism is an emblem of the true spiritual baptism/circumcision. Water baptism is an outwardly public profession of dying to sin, being buried (when we go under) and of being raised together with Christ in new spiritual resurrection life.

 

John 12:24 Verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground & die, "it abideth alone" "but if it die" "it bringeth forth much fruit"

(ONE MUST DIE TO SELF IN ORDER TO BRING FORTH GODLY FRUITS. NOT TO BE SAVED. ONLY FAITH IN CHRIST IS REQUIRED FOR SALVATION!)

 

NO WATER USED AT THESE BAPTISMS EITHER:

Mark 10:38 Jesus said can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

(Jesus is speaking of His baptism into death. NO WATER USED!)

 

1 Peter 3:20 talks about the days of Noah and eight souls were saved by water. They were inside the Ark. NO WATER USED!

 

1 Cor 2:10 when the Nation passes through the red sea and were baptised into Moses. They crossed on dry land. NO WATER USED!

 

Acts 1:5 (Temple Mt/Pentecost) John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. NO WATER USED!

 

1 Cor 12:13 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

BY THE """HOLY SPIRIT""" WE ARE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST. NO WATER USED!

 

The baptism of Fire:

Fire is a symbol of judgment. See Isaiah 5:24, Isaiah 66:24. John the Baptist spoke of this: Its for unbelievers at the final judgment. Like the Baptizm of the Holy Spirit, only Christ the final judge can can baptize with an everlasting judgment. Maranatha

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